As some know I am participating in the Blogging 201 challenge. Having been on holiday I am a little behind.
Though there is no rule that we have to set a post for each challenge day, I feel it is good for me, stamping my progress and might also be informative to others who might read my blog.
However I take no offence to those who wish to pass by my 201 posts and skip to my more humorous or deep speels.
PS: Date wise, this is back to front, Day 2 is at the bottom, most recent now at the top, so with progression you might want to zoom down!
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.
- Linking up to different media sites
- What different media sites tend to be related to subject wise
Published, but not forgotten: today, you’ll integrate features to draw traffic to your older content, including widgets, related posts, and a “Best of” page.
This days challenge is about the following:
- Drawing traffic towards old posts that have been favored
- Not letting old posts sink to the bottom of the pile.
So, I have a category widget, plus an archive which are personalized, plus a favorites widget, this draws attention to the accessibility of old posts.
Today, you’ll conduct a short and simple stats analysis that will help you create an editorial calendar for the next 30 days.
This days challenge was to research the following:
- Check stats and analyse to give the following
- What content is most popular
- What days have peaks and troughs
- With this information to work out what days need a boost and what days/content gives a pointer for what my readers like.
Now my query with this is, many of my days stats go up when I do a challenge. This of course is partly due not only to my scintillating content (I wish), but also that my post is linked back to the hosts page and with the social context of these challenges people tent to blog hop, so in my mind’s eye doesn’t give a ‘true’ picture of it all.
However, having said that, most readers seemed to like the post when my “dogs ass fell out”, what does this say about you all? tsk tsk!!! 🙂
Today’s assignment: make sure your site is mobile-friendly, and familiarize yourself with the features of responsive design.
This days challenge was to check the following:
- That the theme we use are user friendly from all types of applicatons ie tablet, mobile etc and that they are responsive.
Whilst doing my theme upgrades and testing, I did find the little picture at the bottom, being nosy and not knowing what it was I pressed them, soon discovering their use, presto, hopefully my blog is viewable from most devices if not all, yay!
Good design affects your content and credibility, and visuals play a big role in a reader’s decision to stay…or go. Make sure yours are helping, not hurting.
This days challenge again talked about the following:
- Testing and trying themes
- Testing and trying fonts and colour paletttes
- Making & branding headers
- Try things out on a test site
Now as mentioned from the day before, I have done all of this already. So no major work to do which is great considering I was on holiday. Now that is not to say that I am arrogant about what I have done and that there are no improvements to be made. The thing I am saying is that I don’t see them. So I welcome comments and or feedback on things you really like, things that are iffy and squiffy and or things you might hate. I might cry and wail but I will take constructive comments on board and where possible make changes.
I do think having a test blog a great idea and have put this in to place 🙂
Below is as taken from the Blogging 201 page so no discrepancies made:
To build a strong brand, you have to assess your blog, top to bottom. Today you’ll figure out what’s inconsistent or unhelpful — and start to fix it.
First, focus on your goal. Think back to yesterday: why do you blog? What do you want to accomplish? What is the thing you’d like your blog to be known for? This will be the lens you use to dissect your blog.
Second, examine your blog from header to footer. Consider your theme. Look at every widget, page, and image and ask: does this clarify and reinforce my focus? How will this help me meet my goal? Here’s a checklist to get you going. Each point includes a link to more info:
- Does my theme match my blog’s intent? What about my font and color choices?
- What are my title and tagline saying? What about my post titles? My About page?
- Do the titles of my widgets and my calls to action contribute to my brand?
- Do I have a consistent visual identity? Am I choosing images that support my brand, both in posts/pages and widgets?
- Are there elements that are counter to my brand? Why have I included them? What role do they play?
- Does all this carry through in the other places my blog has a presence —Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or forums/sites where I’m active?
Third, start introducing changes that reinforce your brand. Make one update today. You don’t have to burn things down and rebuild — just start making tweaks that move your site closer to your vision, and watch them add up. Here are some easy starting points:
- Add or update a tagline to give more context to your title.
- Customize your widget titles and comment prompt.
- Use your own photos to create custom image widgets or a custom header.
- Add a text widget with a pithy description of your blog’s mission.
- Create an email address for your site, using your custom domain or a free yourgreatblogname@gmail address.
As some of my readers know, I just changed my theme & upgraded not long ago. This was after many testings and complete hiccup, ie somehow making my page go upside down, yep you heard it here first.
With my theme change, I chose colours, have home made headers, put in widgets, tailored the titles and introduced Flickr photostream and instagram and basically tidied everything up.
I have no desire at present to make the e-mail mentioned above, as I have my own gmail with blog title in, so see no need.
However I have a small to do list here:
- Tidy up cateogories
- Tidy up/check tags
Please feel free to spank me if you notice none of these things are done! 🙂
© Justine @eclecticoddsnsods.com
PS apologies for the lines at the top, I simply could find no way to get rid of them, I de-formatted, deleted and pulled my hair out!