Saturday, January 24, 2015

31Days Challenge: Days 18, 19, and 22 catch-up

Parajunkee is hosting a Better Blogging Challenge again this year. She hosted something similar for 2014 and I had fun taking part, so thought I'd try it again this year! I like that the challenge is pretty flexible and you're not locked into doing every single task.

Still playing catch-up after a wicked bout of the flu!

31 Days of Better Blogging

Day 18:  Social Network...Go!

Your task today is to check out a new social network.

Rachel lists four new social network sites that she thinks are worth checking out:  Tsu, Medium, Learnist, and Secret.

The only one of these that I've heard of is Tsu, but only because I followed Kevin Hearne there. I followed him from Facebook to Google+ to Tsu. Hope he settles down soon and picks a social media platform, as I'm exhausted! ha!

I like the looks of Tsu because it's pretty intuitive and reminds me of Facebook. I've found a handful of authors and book bloggers there, but haven't explored it in depth yet. If you want to join, here's my link.

Day 19:  Change It Up

Your task today is to change something in your blogging routine.

While schedules and routine can be good, changing things up a bit can stimulate creativity and freshen things up.

I'm not ready to change my blog design, but am thinking about taking part in a new meme. Just have to find one I really like, so am open to suggestions!

Also like Rachel's suggestion about changing the time we post. I usually schedule my posts for the morning, but maybe I'll try posting them in the evenings instead when more people are home and online.

Day 22:  Check Under the SEO Hood

Your task today is to check how well your SEO is doing.

Have to admit that I'm not 100% sure what SEO is exactly, so need to read a few tutorials. I know that I have several dead links that I need to deal with, but not sure where to go from there.

Rachel does suggest having unique post titles, but most of my posts are reviews so not a whole lot I can do to jazz those up. I follow a few blogs that create eye-catching titles, but you wouldn't know that they were reviews until you clicked. I like full transparency and to call a review a review, but it's certainly something to think about....

Friday, January 23, 2015

31Days Challenge: Days 14, 16, & 17

Parajunkee is hosting a Better Blogging Challenge again this year. She hosted something similar for 2014 and I had fun taking part, so thought I'd try it again this year! I like that the challenge is pretty flexible and you're not locked into doing every single task.

Still playing catch-up after a bad bout of the flu....

31 Days of Better Blogging

Day 14:  Competitors

Your task today is to narrow down a list of competitors. Take note of who you think of as “competition” and follow and pay attention to what they do.

Glad that Rachel made this a challenge, as she clarifies what she means by "competition." While none of us are really competing against each other with our blogs, she points out that there is some competition for blog tours, ARCs, author interviews, and so on. Since I more or less wait for email invitations and don't solicit anything from authors/publishers, I guess I've taken myself out of the competition.

But, based on her parameters, I'd prefer to think of them as role models or inspiration. Once you find someone with similar reading tastes and blog stats, then see if they can inspire you to do better. Maybe they have features that might work on your blog? Which content has the most comments and shares? Do they use social media differently? Who are they following that you haven't discovered yet?

I like her idea of finding similar-to-you blogs and using them for inspiration. I also use the so-called "Big Fish" blogs as inspiration. I'm still not comfortable with asking someone to guest post on my blog because I don't want to impose, but that's my issue and I know I need to get over it. Think I'll think more on this challenge and maybe implement some of her suggestions down the road.

Day 16:  The Buddy List

Your task today is to create a blogger buddy list.

I sorta-kinda have a buddy list. I have the blog roll on my blog, plus have different groups set up on Bloglovin and Twitter that I try to check most often. I don't mind leaving comments and connecting on Facebook, Tsu, or Twitter, but am too shy to take it beyond that.

Day 17:  Goals & Missions

Your task today is to get a firm grip on your blogger goals and mission. Do you have them? If not - get on that…

No mission statement for me, but I do have some blog goals. To remind myself, I made a permanent page on my blog with daily tasks as well as long-ranging goals.

One of my unwritten goals is to grow my blog and interact with my readers on a more consistent basis. I'd also love to attend BEA this year, but that's more a physical goal as I need to build up the strength in my knee. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

31Days Challenge: Days 10, 12, & 13

Parajunkee is hosting a Better Blogging Challenge again this year. She hosted something similar for 2014 and I had fun taking part, so thought I'd try it again this year! I like that the challenge is pretty flexible and you're not locked into doing every single task.

I was hit pretty hard by the flu earlier this month, so am playing catch-up!

31 Days of Better Blogging

Day 10:  Email Signatures

Your task today is to revamp your email signature.

Have to say that I'm happy with my email signature as is. I have my two blog names, with links, right under my name. I'm hesitant to add my Twitter name since I'm rarely on Twitter, but maybe I should add my Facebook page address? What do you think about adding a description, like "Reader. Reviewer. Blogger." in there too? I just don't want to clutter up my signature too much or be annoying.

Day 12: Menu System

Your task today is to inspect your menu system. Is there something on there that really doesn’t need to be? Is there something that is missing?

Aside from not being able to figure out why I can't get my menu back under the header, I think it's okay. I've got pages for Home, About Me, My Review Policy, Challenges, My TBR Pile, Blog Goals, and Contact Me. Anything else I should add?

Day 13:  New To You Blogs

Your task today is to find five new to you blogs and leave them a comment.

This was made easy by Parajunkee including a linky in her post where you could leave your blog name and link. I visited several new-to-me blogs and found way more than five to follow! Fingers crossed that I've found some new blog buddies!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

31Days Challenge: Days 7, 8, & 9 catch-up

Parajunkee is hosting a Better Blogging Challenge again this year. She hosted something similar for 2014 and I had fun taking part, so thought I'd try it again this year! I like that the challenge is pretty flexible and you're not locked into doing every single task.

The flu hit me pretty hard earlier this month, so I'm playing catch-up.

31 Days of Better Blogging

Day 7:  Highlight Your Popular Posts

Your task today is to discover which posts are your most popular post and highlight them on your sidebar or in a post.

Have to admit that I'm a little conflicted about this one. I'm hesitant to add another widget to my sidebar, and the "if you liked this" suggestions at the bottom of posts didn't work out too well last time I tried it.

Isn't having my archive on the sidebar enough? Does anyone look for the most popular posts on a blog? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know!

Day 8: Recycle Your Posts

Your task today is to recycle a post from a year ago – or longer.

This is another task that I have mixed feelings about. Most of my posts are reviews, so I'm not sure how I would update them for recycling. Unless I did a reread review, but it's been ages since I've reread anything so that's probably not an option. Maybe a post featuring some of the series I've read? Or a Top Ten list of favorite reads with links to the original reviews? Any suggestions? Or should I stick to new content only?

Day 9:  Social Media Checks & Balances

Your task today is to clean up your social media. Unfollow people that aren’t needed and focus on the social network that works for you!

This task was pretty easy for me, as I use the same avatar for all of my accounts so no need to update. I already have my Facebook and Twitter followers in different lists, but I'm not ready to unfollow anyone at this point.

I'm hardly ever on Twitter, but I've started spending a few minutes every day checking my feed and retweeting anything that catches my eye. I'm doing the same thing on my Facebook page.

Not quite ready to check out my "competitors" to see how they handle social media. Where would I even start? Do I even have competition? I have friends and people I follow, but I don't really think that we're competing for anything.

I have set up a spreadsheet to track my blog stats on a monthly basis. Surprised to see that I get so much traffic from Pinterest, so think I need to start spending more time there. I also set up a Tsu account, but that seems a little stagnant right now. Maybe because it's still so new?

In case you'd like to connect, here are my social media links:
Facebook
Twitter
Tsu
Pinterest

Copyright © alexia561.blogspot.com 2009-2015 - All Rights Reserved *graphics courtesy of Google Images, Travel Mania header courtesy of Blogtemplate4u