Bloggiesta Finish Line!!! WOO HOO!!!
*GASP* *dragging myself across the finish line* *raises a pinky to tap the finish line ribbon then passes out and trampled on by other Bloggiesta participants*
I am here! CHA CHA CHA!
What a weekend eh? I logged in a whopping 27 hours on Bloggiesta. (Pretty impressive as I only put in 5 hours on Friday and then was gone the rest of the day and evening.)
My to do list was:
A new blog header
Done. In fact you may come to Book Journey and go “OMG Becky, LOOK AT HER BLOG!” and uh…. yeah…. I pretty much changed the whole thing.
2. New blog widget
Not yet. Not sure what I want to do yet.
prep posts for upcoming reviews
I prepped 8 upcoming reviews, pretty much everything I have had my hands on this week and what coming next.
4. Write posts for movie/book reviews that I have completed
Done. 5 posts written and I have a few more ideas to create draft posts.
Participate in mini challenges
I participated in ALL the new 2012 challenges (with at least a comment if I could not participate)
Promoting your blog on Facebook: While I do not want a Facebook page for Book Journey, I did learn a few things about social media and put a LIKE Facebook button on my posts.
The Mr. Linky How To was great! I use linky every week for the Monday meme but I know a lot of bloggers do not know how to use it.
Top Ten Basics for HTML was very useful and bookmarked for the future.
How To Embed a YouTube Video, with wordpress.com I do not have any problems with that but it was interesting to see how it works for other platforms.
Themed Pages was BRILLIANT and I tool away a lot from this one. I never thought about how those pages could be draws to my blog if named correctly. My new layout allows me to add many pages in a “non cluttered” looking way so I will be working on this more later tonight.
The Pinterest challenge and how to use it with your blog intrigues me. I asked Joy to hook me up with a Pinterest invite (something I have avoided until now due to I was afrad of the time suck and my body would be found years later stuck on a Pinterest page….) However, if it can promote Book Journey I am willing to take a look.
My own challenge, referring to increasing your blog traffic through comments is still going on here until midnight central time. Throughout the weekend I have commented on at least 100 blogs.
Twitter Me This and Blogging was a fun post. I do have my posts linked to go to Twitter automatically.
Five Ways To Make Your Reviews Stand Out introduced me to Fyrefly which is pretty sweeeeet! I totally saved that link too!
Windows Live Wire (or from this point forward known as WLW) looked really interesting. I have not heard of that before. I am going to check it out more later.
Get Noticed By Search Engines taught me a lot! While it appears that SEO and wordpress.com are already bosom buddies, I did not know about tagging photos in the additional space or the importance of key words in our posts OR The Google ad words Key tool which like I said…. I learned a lot about this!
Sidebar Help chewed me up and spit me out the other side. (Thus the major blog changes) Actually this challenge pointed out what I already knew… I had too much going on taking away from the blog itself. I cut from two sidebars to one and tonight I will be organizing them yet more and making pages for those who do not need to be on the sidebar…. clean clean clean!!!
Five Tips To Writing Fast Reviews, gave me tips on how to be more proactive in my writing and cut out the distractions. This is something I need to continue to work on.
Eight Ways To Freshen Up Your Content reminded me that it is ok to bring up those old posts again that drew in great discussion. AND she mentions J Kaye… who was awesome. And a true blogger icon that I learned a lot from.
MOBILIZE! Says Florinda and I have been interested in knowing more but not sure if I am there yet. I am going to go back to this post again but I think wordpress has a widget that links you right up.
Social Media Icons hooked me up with some pretty cool buttons that I downloaded and plan to work on later tonight for the sidebar
Plug Ins and Widgets for WordPress sites is mostly (plug ins) for wordpress.org but interesting to know what i would be dealing with if I ever decide to self host. Widgets however… I love.
Goodreads challenge was a reminder of all of the awesomeness of Goodreads. I use that and liked hearing more about it.
What Is Rafflecopter? This challenge not only let you know all about it, you are linked to how to use it… which I did. Which was fun.
Blog events anyone? This was a smart idea for a challenge. We were asked to connect to an upcoming bookish event and there were choices. I chose Book Chick City’s 100 Books in A Year Challenge, signed up and I am in.
Policies! Always important, I learned about these on the first Bloggiesta but we do need to be rmeinded to update them to current every few months or so. Also the idea of a giveaway policy I found to be very helpful.
Back Up That Blog! Another great reminder. Easy to do on wordpress.com (a button and a download!) but looks pretty easy on other platforms too. Read this post and you will want to be sure you are backing up that blog!
6. Clean up/update side bars
A work in progress, thanks to the mini challenge on this as well I received some great ideas!
7. Send out author chat questions to 3 authors
Did not happen… not sure when it will honestly.
8. Prep a blog survey to use in April
Not yet but this is staying on the to do this week.
9. Draft some fun discussion posts (one drafted… two more ideas formed….)
I drafted two ideas and have written down three more. Excited to move on these.
Overall I am extremely pleased with the results of Bloggiesta spring 2012. I did more than I planned and I am walking away with a totally different looking blog. During my visits to other blogs I picked up some pretty sweet ideas I hope to implement and plan to go forward with a neater more organized, easy to follow blog.