Together we will build a strong, engaged (bloggers) community

Yeah, it’s my last assignment, Blogging 201, Day Fourteen – Make the most of Events

– Quote –

When it comes to building a strong, engaged community on your blog, nothing can replace steadily publishing and engaging and commenting on others’ blogs – but that doesn’t mean you cannot help yourself (or your blog) target new audiences through blogging events, both virtual and in real-life.

Today’s assignment: create a recurring blogging event on your site, and/or make plans to attend a blogging conference.

 

– Unquote –

 

As part of engaging community on my blog, I currently run the below events and assigned separate pages for these activities.

1.   Littlegirlstory ‘Must Read’ posts – This is a raw idea where I created my own littlegirlstory ‘Must Read’ badge for 10 nominated posts every now and then from a list of blogs I followed.  It is a post of links to other blogs that I share with my readers.

Occasionally I promote this page on DP Community Pool for new bloggers to promote their blog on my page where I will visit and comment on your blogs.

 

2.  ‘Share your suburb Challenge’ is another page for bloggers to link any posts related to stories, activities and introductory to their suburb, towns or cities they live in.

Perhaps I need to reblog this challenge once every now and then to get pingbacks and links.  I believe I have not promoted this interactive idea enough.

 

3.   ‘Littlegirlstory’ Wordless Wedndesday – This idea of creating a page with links to bloggers participating in ‘Wordless Wednesday’ came about when I happened to be off work one Wednesday.

Bloggers just need to pingback their submission and link it with my ‘Wordless Wednesday’ page.

 

Now back to the assignment, I need your support so if you are doing any posts relating to any of the above, please pingback your links on my page.  All these are ‘open events’ meaning that they are on-going and please feel free to link as many of your posts as you wishes as long as they are related to the topic.

 

I am so glad I have finally completed Blogging 201, Class of April 2014.  I may perhaps be the last (or the last but one – who knows) nonetheless, I am glad I completed what I set out to do.

Thank you very much for reading my assignments (posts) as I know many of you are not part of this project but you have all been wonderful and had indirectly supported me and encouraged me.  I could feel the ‘chi’ (energy) from all of you that kept me going from one assignment to the next (though slow but steady).  I believed that is the result of ‘building a strong, engaged community’.  I hope you have also learnt something through reading my assignments alongside with me.

Together we will ‘build a strong, engaged bloggers community’.

 

One last word of reminder, please do not forget my above three events (projects).  Place your mouse over those projects 1, 2 & 3 and click to take you there.  The best thing is that are there on my pages and you can pingback anytime whenever you are about to post anything relevant.

 

 

 

Should you invest money in promoting your blog?

Blogging 201, Day Thirteen

– Quote –

Blogging is always a labor of love, where rewards take the form of engaged readers, substantive comments, new friends, and a better understanding of yourself as a writer. It’s also a time-consuming activity, though — and time often is money (directly or indirectly).

Should you invest money in promoting your blog?  Should you try to monetize your carefully crafted content?

– Unquote –

My answer is definitely NO.

I blog for pleasure and readers get to read my story and my random thoughts free so why should I pay for someone to read my blog?  In the internet age, lots of information can be sourced from the world wide web for free. My belief is if I am not selling something for monetary gain, then I do not see the need to invest money in promoting my blog.

I spend a lot of time on my blog and time is priceless and my stories are precious.  I get a sense of satisfaction whenever I clicked ‘publish’ and of course I cannot deny that I hope to see the little bar graph go up and up and hence I feel appreciated when I see ‘likes’ and ‘comments’.  It can often be discouraging when a post that you put time and effort in doesn’t bring that little bar graph up but I always tell myself I blog for pleasure not pressure.

At the end of the day, I am still determined that I share my story freely and readers come in freely to my blog and they either like what you see, read on, like it and comment (that’s when the interaction begins) or leave my page.  I would have liked everyone who stumbled upon my blog to stay on and build the connection but not everybody has the same interest.  No matter what I will not pay for traffic.

What are you views?  Should you pay for traffic?

Is blogging a pleasure or pressure? Start the poll now !

The best way to learn what readers want is to ask.

Today’s assignment: create a poll and/or a survey to collect feedback from your readers on your site and its content.

– quote Michele W – Blogging 201, Day Twelve.

 

When I read this assignment, I thought to myself, do I really want to do that?

I have no intention to be an author seeking for an audience trying to sell a book hoping to make it into the bestseller list.  Just in case you do not know, I started blogging while looking for a platform to write my autobiography, something for my children and future grand and great grand children to read about their roots.  Then my blog branched out to something more interactive when I started taking part in ‘daily prompts’ and ‘weekly photo challenges’.  I also created my own ‘little girl story Must Read posts’ where I share posts of blogs I followed and liked.

Besides my life story, I write about anything and everything.  At times I may read something in the newspaper and thought that article is worth sharing and I would share and add my views to that topic.  Other times while driving or stuck in a traffic jam, some random idea may come across my mind and that would be another random post.   I blog about things I came across in my day to day life, mostly general topics, poems or photos (of my pet dog, Toby or food and all sorts).

Blogging is a hobby to me and I am never pressured on what to write or blog about.  I share and write articles I personally find interesting, inspirational and motivational and I am most happy of course when I get comments and likes and that reassured me that readers out there appreciate the topic or subject matter as much as I do.  When not socializing out, I enjoyed blogging, something I do most nights, penned down my thoughts into words that can be shared across the globe.

So well, I will give this assignment a miss.  No survey or poll required.  Easy come, easy go.  I would rather blog for pleasure than pressure.

As Michelle W. wrote in Blogging 201, Day Twelve

QUOTE

As we mentioned earlier — now may not be the right time for you to go out and begin to survey and poll your readers. There are no mandatory assignments — just ideas for how you can build your blog’s audience and solidify your brand.

UNQUOTE


Why do you blog?

Do you chose a topic based on what you believe your readers want to read or do you write anything that comes into your head?

Image

Littlegirlstory and her pine cone.  When the blog loads, first you see the blog title ‘litlegirlstory’ then the header of a pine cone followed by the story.

Blogging 201, Day Eleven: Buddy Up – Who wants to be my buddy?

I guess I may be the last blogger working on this assignment.  I may have taken my own sweet time, my own pace on Blogging 201.  After reading today’s assignment I felt I had worked on it alone without much interaction because ……………

I have no buddy from Blogging 201 Class of April 2014.

How sad.

That does not mean I have no blogging buddies at all though.  I sure do and you know who you are but you are not doing this assignment with me !  I need someone to ‘buddy up’ on blogging 201.

Today’s assignment : Find a blogging buddy.  If appropriate, plan to publish a guest posts on each other’s blog.

If you are from Blogging 201, please would like you buddy me and explore this assignment together?

I have no idea how to go about doing guest post.  For those who know, please share tips, the pros and cons of ‘guest post’ please.

Here’s an extract from Blogging 201, day eleven.

If you’re not going to guest post, you can still be helpful buddies. Promote each other’s posts on your social networks — we know you’re looking for more content to share. Link to them in posts, or from your sidebar. And of course, keep using one another for candid feedback and moral support.

Is there anyone out there happy to do any of the below with me please?

 

No, you do not have to be from Blogging 201, class of April 2014.  In fact I have already done all of those except for 1 (Guest Post) with my close blogging buddy(ies) and you definitely know who you are.

1.  Guest post.

2.  Promote each other’s post on your social networks.

3.  Link to them in posts or from your sidebar.

4.  Giving each other candid feedback (comments) and moral support (likes).

 

Happy Blogging.

 

Image

 

Blogging 201, Day Ten: Support Your Community

Today’s assignment: invest in your community by leaving five comments, adding (or updating) a blogroll, and introducing a comment policy.

via Blogging 201, Day Ten: Support Your Community.

 

I will add a blogroll (or two) to my blog for this assignment.  To see this, please go to my homepage to see my blogger friends (Blogs I follow) and more great blogs here (Blogs I liked).

Sorry I am not able to show all of you but rest assured I love your blog equally as much.  Those blogs shown here are randomly selected by WP and I have no idea how to pick and chose who is to appear in this grid of eight each.  (Scroll down below for the newly added blogrolls.)

To check out how to add a blogroll to yours, please click here on ‘Build a better blogroll’ by Michelle W.

As you can see, I still haven’t given up on Blogging 201.  More to go but I am determined to finish this assignment soon.  Better late than never !

 

Happy Blogging.

Blogging 201 : Day Eight & Day Nine

Still catching up on my assignment.

It is pretty hard to keep up after days of break, blogging about all the different things from Mother’s Day random thoughts, worrying about loosing my pet to Wordless Wednesday and totally forgotten where I left off on Blogging 201.

Blogging 201 : Day Eight

Today’s assignment: create a 30-day plan for how you’ll grow your presence (and your blog) on the social network you selected yesterday. If applicable, create a profile on the network just for your blog.

If I recalled I had chosen Instagram because I had already created a facebook page which more or less mirrored my WP Blog.  To grow my presence through Instagram, I believe I have to learn to master that social media first.  It’s a joke, ’30-day plan’ to grow my presence on that social network I had chosen??  I would be lucky if I had time to figure out how to get the most out of Instagram and register my presence in 3 months or at worst 30 months !

Because most companies blocked most social networks like facebook, meetups and instagrams (for example), from personal experience it is pretty annoying when your WP homepage loads and see all X X X showing on your widgets that prevented access from images being loaded.  Hope I have explained myself well or you know what I am talking about especially since this is written by someone who is not a computer whiz.

I have come to a standstill on Day Eight assignment so am now taking two steps at a time.

Let’s move on to Blogging 201 : Day Nine.

Today’s assignment: create a page or section on your blog to display links to your online presence elsewhere, and make sure your other presences reflect the brand you’re developing on your blog.

??????????  Honestly that was what goes on in my head till I read the explanation to this assignment.

We hear what you’re asking: “I’ve just gotten comfortable and cozy blogging on WordPress.com — now you’re telling me to publish elsewhere? And didn’t we just spend two days dealing with social networks?”

Here’s what Day Nine is trying to tell us.

Quote – If you already do this, or join any other sites today, gather the links of your publishing outlets, the posts you’ve written elsewhere, and your profiles on networks to which you contribute. Then, create a new page on your blog to house these links. Decide how best to organize your links: if you’re just starting out, a simple list of links might suffice. If you write on a number of regular themes and topics, from travel to food to photography, create separate headings for each, with relevant links underneath. Or, if you’ve been at this for a while now — and your archive spans several years — consider creating sections by year, with each year featuring your best links. – Unquote

If you are like me and make no head or tail out of it, then check it out yourself by clicking here.

I have earned myself a badge but I am not sure if I had graduated yet.  For those who had been reading my assignments, hopefully you have learned something alongside with me so we can share this badge.

If you had not, I already told you from day one since this blog was born that ‘I am not a writer, nor an avid reader …..’ so I may confuse you as much as I confused myself !

Blogging U.

Blogging 201, Day Seven: Broadcast Your Brand

Today’s Assignment: pick one social network you’ll use to help grow your blog and connect it to your site in at least one way.

I have a facebook page where I shared most if not all of my post from littlegirlstory.  The target audience is different because my facebook page viewers are mostly my personal friends, friends that I have known since childhood.  I have tried to invite bloggers over to my fb page but only a handful have visited.  If you haven’t yet, perhaps after reading this and if you do have a facebook page as well, we could connect on FB as well as WP.

Please visit https://www.facebook.com/littleborneogirl and support me, LIKE please and be part of my community.

Honestly I am not too tech savvy.  I do not even know how to use instagram and been asking my kids about it and they probably really fed up with me repeatedly asking the same questions. As part of today’s assignment I have tried to add a new social network, in this case I picked ‘Instagram’.

I have gone to APPEARANCE, WIDGETS and added that into my blog so the few photos I have on instagram shows up on my blog but I have no idea how to transfer my blog pictures into instagam (hopefully I will learn this trick in the latter part of blogging 201) or perhaps someone could tell me please.

To see what is new after Day Seven : Broadcast your Brand, you need to get into my homepage on WP and look at the widgets to the right of my page and keep scrolling down to see the new addition today – Instagram : A picture paints a thousand words.

I am not making much progress here tonight.  My intention is more to add photos from WP to Instagram not the other way round.  Now that Instagram is added here on littlegirlstory, I guess I have to be more careful what pictures I snap with my phone in future.

With Instagram at a click of a button,
you will get to see what I am up to !
No words necessary.

Instagram

Drive traffic to your archives – Three precious tips

I felt like a tortoise but I have not lost my motivation.

My motto where Blogging 201 is concerned is ‘Slow and steady, wins the race.’

Time check now is 11.41pm, Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

By the time this post gets published, I will be further behind.

However, I will, ‘never, never, never give up‘, said Winston Churchill.

BLOGGING 201, DAY SIX ” DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR ARCHIVES (dated April 20, 2014)

Today’s assignment: integrate features to draw traffic to your older content, including widgets, related posts, and a “Best of” page.

Here’s a summary of the Three Tips (extracts from Blogging 201, Day Six).

1.   When writing new posts, you can simply refer to ideas and discussions you’ve published before with well-placed links, sprinkled naturally throughout your posts. Readers are already engaging in your post, so pointing them to other content draws them deeper into your blog.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE EXAMPLE OF LINKS, SPRINKLED NATURALLY …..

2.  You’ve got handy widgets in your dashboard under Appearance → Widgets to promote your older work in your sidebar and footer, including the Top Posts and Page WidgetArchives Widget, and Categories Widget. These types of widgets automatically pull in archival and popular content — they’re quick, simple additions to drive traffic to older work. Each widget has configuration options, so you can control how each appears and how much real estate they take up in your sidebar.

NOTICE ANY NEW WIDGETS?  GO TO MY HOMEPAGE AND LOOK FOR THE WIDGET ON THE RIGHT AND JOIN THE CROWD.

3.  You can activate the Related Posts feature, which analyzes the words in each post, searches your site for similar posts, and displays them in a “Related” section at the bottom of every post.

THIS IS AUTOMATICALLY DONE FOR ME.  CHECK OUT OTHER TIPS ON BLOGGING 201 BELOW.

Blogging is sharing.  Happy blogging !

Blogging 201, Day Five: Give ‘Em What They Want

I am getting further and further away from this blogging 201 project.

I am on Day Five while others are perhaps on Day Thirteen or Fourteen.

I continue to self motivate myself, Never, Never, Never give up said Winston Churchill.

 

Today’s assignment: conduct a short and simple stats analysis that will help you create an editorial calendar for the next 30 days.

 

Sharing some tips here – you will notice I do my blogging 201 assignments by sharing the tips and blogging about it.  By sharing, I am learning at the same time.

Today’s assignment is about your blog stats.  I want to express my thanks to my readers and followers especially those who LIKE or COMMENT on my post.  This is an encouragement to me that I am not writing for myself only.  I also noticed that the number of followers for each blogger is an open book so there is nothing to hide or to be embarrassed about.  So what if someone has 2,000 or more followers and I only have 200 or maybe less.  Be it blogging or any hobby, as long as you are passionate doing something, keep doing it, good or bad.   It’s your own perception as long as you do not hurt anyone when engaging in something that thrill you at the expense of hurting another.

Blogging 201 Day 5 talks about stats and traffic.  If you go to your stats, you could pick up your top posts and which days of the week brings you the most traffic.

I wish I could show you a table of my stats (blush blush) as an example but I am not tech savvy enough, hence please click here to get to Blogging 201 day 5 for the step by step instructions with tables of the Blogging 201 stats to show.

Here’s an extract of the tip from Blogging 201 day 5.

Take a look at your blog’s popular posts and popular days, and sketch out an editorial calendar for the next 30 days. Ask yourself:

  • What are your top five features? Which topics do they represent?
  • Which days of the week bring the most traffic?
  • When should you plan to publish new posts on your most popular topic?



Yeah, playing around my stats, clicking here and there, that’s this day 5 assignment done.

In recent weeks, Thursday has been my best days on traffic for most weeks.  What’s yours?

 

 

 

 

Blogging 201, Day Four : Get read all over

I am still far to go on Blogging 201, perhaps four days or more behind.  

Let’s have some fun with me experiencing the wonders of WP and hopefully we will ‘get read all over’.

 

Today’s assignment: make sure your site is mobile-friendly, and familiarize yourself with the features of responsive design.

 

Let’s experiment on this.

Instructions below.

Test different sizes right from your computer

You can use the Customizer to “test” your site on different devices — this not only allows you to see how responsive design works, you can also play with options to find the perfect mix that makes you happy on the big screen and the small.

To launch the Customizer, hover over your site’s name in the top-left corner of the screen, and click on Customize. In the panel that opens, you’ll see these three symbols near the bottom:

Here’s the example shown.  Notice the three symbols at the bottom.

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 1.01.49 AM Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 1.02.00 AM Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 1.02.09 AM

From left to right, these represent desktop view, tablet view, and smartphone view. Clicking between them emulates the look of your content on different screens, and you can see what your blog looks like in various sizes.

Go ahead, click on one of them.  What do you see?

Then click on another view.  What changes?

I have shown you mine (see examples above).  

Time to check out yours.   Have fun.