Blogging 101 – Success Over the Next 30; A look back and a look forward

On September 15th, the first day of Blogging 101, I posted Work-in-progress as my introductory post.  In it I responded to one of the prompt questions as follows:

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

I will have written 5 out of every 7 days, whether or not I hit the publish button. I will have published 75 – 150 posts and reached 200 followers on my blog.

By October 3rd, I had started using an editorial calendar thanks to the Daily Post’s Three Habits of Highly Effective BloggersI am finding that an editorial calendar not only helps me plan but also keep track of my progress.

With this post completing Blogging 101, I question how successful was I for the last 30+ days.  I am a bit of a numbers geek, so let’s look at the data shall we?

  •  24 posts: Including this post, I published 24 posts. Even if I cut my productivity to 50%, I should be able to easily reach my target of publishing 75 – 150 posts within one year.
  • 104 followers: At the start of Blogging 101, I had 39 followers, 65 new followers in a month.
  • 6 Facebook fans: Created a Facebook fan page and have 6 followers.
  • 8 Pinterest followers: Converted my personal Pinterest account into an account for my blog.  Check it out, please and let me know what you think.  I got creative and used song titles for boards not named after one of my blog’s categories.
  • 7 Twitter followers: Decided to keep one twitter account and have 7 new followers obtained because of blogging.
  • 5 post ideas: the number of post ideas I wrote on the sidebar of my editorial calendar/planner that I still need to work on.
  • 3 project ideas: the number of project ideas I jotted on the sidebar of my editorial calendar/planner for planning out.
  • 1 new feature: I started my #FF feature as a result of Blogging 101.  If you care to join in let me know in the comments section and I will add you to the blog roll of #FollowFriday bloggers that will be appearing on the sidebar of my #FF posts starting this Friday.
  • 1 new community event: I joined in on Silver Threading’s community event feature called Writer’s Quote Wednesday.
  • 3 community events: found three other community events I want to check out.
  • 5 items on my to-do list: added 5 blog maintenance items to my to-do list – get out and take some photos to use on my blog; update my blogatar; clean widgets throughout; create image widgets for social media Follow buttons; work on creating a consistency in my social media presence.

It looks to me that Blogging 101 lit a fire underneath my blog.  I am happy with what I’ve accomplished and can see a plan for the immediate future. So what does that mean for the next 30 days?  In the next 30 days, my readers should expect to see:

  • 4 Writer’s Quote Wednesday posts;
  • 4 #FollowFriday posts;
  • 2 Saturday Suppers posts;
  • 1 post per day for NaBloPoMo; which my regular features will be included in that post per day in November.

What you might see in addition to the above?  Perhaps the following:

  • 1 new monthly feature in November if I decide to add it to my blog.
  • 3 of the 5 post ideas jotted on my editorial calendar sidebar actually published.
  • the announcement of a new feature to start in December.
  • the third installment of Serially Lost and Found.

Blogging 101 provided a foundation that I will hopefully expand upon during Blogging 201 and NaBloPoMo.  See you in the blogosphere.

Follow Friday – Realistic Optimism, Foodie Alert, and Ciao Italia

I discovered all of this week’s #FollowFriday blogs while reading and commenting over at the Daily Post’s Three Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers, which contains some great tips both in the post and in the comments section.

Realistic Optimism

Fill Your Own Glass

Karen Pearce, a reformed pessimist, writes with “A realistic approach to an optimistic life” over at Fill Your Own Glass.

Baby Girl…You Look Fine, the first post I read on her site, is powerful and courageous. She discusses fat shaming and not being comfortable in her own skin. Her words resonate with so many women as she speaks honestly about a struggle most women deal with in some shape or form at some point in their lives. You rejoice in her epiphany when she states, “I will allow myself to be enough.” The lesson of Baby Girl…You Look Fine is one we should pass on to our sisters and daughters.

In a more light hearted piece, Life Should Be a Musical (With Jazz Hands) she writes of “Musiclandia”, a utopian world where words are replaced with music and dance.

Visit Fill Your Own Glass when you have a chance; I’m sure you will not be disappointed with her unique blend of realism and optimism.

Foodie Alert!

Zest and Herbs

I was delighted to find Zest and Herbs, a culinary blog written by Simon Davis while reading comments on the Daily Post’s entry Three Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers, Simon’s post Book Review: Rick Stein’s India not only left me craving Indian food but also reminiscing about and salivating for all the fish and chips I ate the year I lived in West Sussex.

He uses the theme Suburbia and the layout is splendid for a food blog and easy to navigate. All foodies should definitely check out Zest and Herbs here on WordPress or on twitter at @zestandherbs.

Ciao Italia!

dreamdiscoveritalia

Lizzie over at dreamdiscoveritalia is an expat living in Venice who writes about her experiences throughout Italy. Entertaining were her recent first-hand accounts of Venice leading up to George Clooney’s wedding to Amal Alamuddin complete with photos of celebrity sightings and a turn of the camera onto the paparazzi.

In addition to travel pieces, dreamdiscoveritalia runs an Italian language feature called Italian 101. These posts are informative and delightfully written; check out How to say hello in Italian. Italophiles be sure to head over to dreamdiscoveritalia to enjoy all things Italian.

ciao ciao

Until next Friday.

Truth Serum no. 5

 

Blogging 101: Make a Prompt Personal

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today’s Daily Prompt.


Sitting in her downtown D.C. law office, Katherine Robinson fidgeted with the amber-colored bottle on her desk.  The instructions she had been given echoing in her head.

“Be careful.  The formula is powerful. Do not dispense it without receiving consent first.”

She’d received the bottle through covert sources; a former CIA operative friend.  As a lawyer, Katherine knew the ramifications of giving truth serum without consent.  It was risky, for sure.  But, no one she wanted answers from would consent. Continue reading

Blogging 101: Be a Good Neighbor

Blogging 101: Be a Good Neighbor

Get out your calling cards, and leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.


For this assignment, albeit a couple days late and crunched for time, I decided to use the topics in my reader and scan until I landed on the first four posts that caught my eye. Here they are in no particular order except that in which my eyes landed on them.

Moving Upward, Forward and Onward

Under the topic Racism in America, I found Moving Upward, Forward and Onward, written by a college age woman named Sabrina.  Her posts are written from her refreshing perspective and in a fashion as she says in her tagline the Ramblings of a College Age Woman.

In Hello Friends I come to you with more on Racism she discusses the responsibilities white America in particular should take for the existence of racism in America.  She in a rambling fashion with posts published in between homework and whatever else is going on in her life that day tackles some serious topics such as sexism and racism in our society.  And I believe she is on point in her discussion of microaggressions (jokes, stereotypes, etc.)  feeding racism in America.

The Dad Letters

Under loss, I came across The Dad Letters, written by a group of five dads who record their impressions on life’s journey in letters to their children.  I found one of the Dads, Ralph Amsden, under loss in my reader.  In a letter to his sons, Ralph discusses the loss of his mother at a young age in Would Have Been

His words are eloquent and in Would Have Been and the previous posts he links to regarding his mother he made me smile, cry and laugh.  In one post he shares his mother’s words “I hope I can pass my knowledge, patience, love and everything else that grows in me from the seeds my parents planted, on to my son to help him grow as a person also.”

In the short time his mother shared with him on this earth it appears that she succeeded in fulfilling her hope and Ralph is now passing the “knowledge, patience, love and everything else that grows in me from the seeds my parents planted” on to his sons.

I took a few moments to look around The Dad Letters and discovered that the Dads share an array of topics with their children, lessons on life and love, what it means to be a Dad, and difficult topics such as sexual abuse and domestic violence and everything in between. Daniel talks about sexuality and sexual abuse in To My Son #YesAllWomen and Christian talks to about domestic violence in a letter to his daughter.

Hope, Fireflies and Fairytales

Under Family in my reader I came across Hope, Fireflies and Fairytales written by Jenifer, a newly divorced, single mom of three.  In what appears to be her inaugural post, Fairytales and Fireflies, she proclaims how she still believes in fairytales even after a difficult year.  Looking forward to more posts as she searches for her happy in between and ever after.

The Boston Sports Fan

And under baseball, I found The Boston Sports Fan a new blog written by in their words “a small group of post-graduate, mid-twenties degenerate gamblers Boston sports fanatics who have been living the dream ever since Drew Bledsoe got impaled by Mo Lewis in Week 2 of the 2001 NFL season.”

In their second post they discuss the end to a horrible season and whether Derek Jeter will grace the Fenway Faithful with his presence on the field in the final Boston-New York series of the miserable 2014 season.  As a member of Red Sox Nation, all I have to say is let Jeter show up at the cathedral for a Boston farewell and just wait until next year.

Until 2015 opening day, I am looking forward to more posts by the Boston Sports Fan on Tommy, the Patriots, Bruins and Celtics.

Blogging 101: Saying Hi to the Neighbors

Reblogging my first #FollowFriday mention. Thanks Grasshopper Girls.

FollowFriday

The third assignment in Blogging University’s Blogging 101 – September 2014 workshop was titled Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors.  Participants were encouraged to discover and follow five new to them blogs here on WordPress.com’s corner of the blogosphere.

I posted my results and findings here.  This exercise was fun.  Reading the posts of my fellow bloggers, and making some new blogging friends helped to build a sense of community.  Since I posted my response to the assignment I’ve been thinking that WordPress should find more ways to encourage this sense of community on a consistent basis.  I thought about whether there was a way I could use my blog to call out other bloggers that I had discovered and enjoyed.

One of my newest blogging friends Grasshopper Girls posted her response to the exercise today and it hit me.  #FF! Follow Friday! Borrow the popular twitter trend #FollowFriday and adapt it to WordPress.

Twitter_logo_blue

From now on, every Friday I am going to feature a #FollowFriday post on my blog.  My goal will be to feature three blogs I enjoy.  On Twitter, where there are no rules regarding #FF tweets just common practices.  It is common practice on twitter to either favorite or retweet or both a #FF tweet when you are mentioned.  I think that the same common practice would work here on WordPress.  So  if I am mentioned in a #FF post I will either like or reblog or both  the #FF post.   Grasshopper Girls is going to run a similar feature on her blog.  Together we may start a WordPress trend; so feel free to join us.

My inaugural #FF blog shout out goes to Molly B and Me

Molly B and Me, coauthored by a mom and her teenage daughter, was one of the first bloggers to like something I wrote and the first blog I followed.  We both love sports, although she roots for all the wrong teams: Black Hawks not the Bruins, Packers not the Patriots.  I forgive her sports faux pas as she supports storied franchises in solid sports towns.

One of the first posts I read on Molly B and Me  dealt with our shared affliction procrastination with such humor and creativity that I can’t help but idolize Laura and her entire family for embracing and celebrating their procrastination instead of fighting it.

We also both blog about family.  Although she actually had children and I just borrow other people’s children (mainly those of my sisters) from time to time.  Her delightful daughter Molly B writes about cooking and her life as a teenager.

Check out this mother and daughter team, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I know that was only one #FF blog shout out but there are no rules and I need more time to write about the two other blogs I had picked out for today.

Until next Friday.