30 Day Challenge

This is a 30 day blogging challenge. Mainly for personal bloggers as the questions are all about you – who you are, what you like and what you are like.

Here is the list of the each day if you’d like to try it yourself!

  • Day 1-Introduce yourself and give 15 interesting facts
  • Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name
  • Day 3-Your first love
  • Day 4-Your parents
  • Day 5-Your siblings
  • Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy
  • Day 7-Favorite movies
  • Day 8-A place you’ve traveled to
  • Day 9-A picture of your friends
  • Day 10-Something you’re afraid of
  • Day 11-Favorite TV shows
  • Day 12-What you believe
  • Day 13-Goals
  • Day 14-A picture you love
  • Day 15-Bible verse
  • Day 16-Dream house
  • Day 17-Something you’re looking forward to
  • Day 18-Something you regret
  • Day 19-Something you miss
  • Day 20-Nicknames
  • Day 21-Picture of yourself
  • Day 22-Favorite city
  • Day 23-Favorite vacation
  • Day 24-Something you’ve learned
  • Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
  • Day 26-Picture of your family
  • Day 27-Pets
  • Day 28-Something that stresses you out
  • Day 29-3 Wishes
  • Day 30-A picture

via It’s Good to be Queen: 30 Day Challenge.

Sort of Taking a Break

I haven’t been writing so much of my own unique content lately. I will get back to it. My excuse is twofold: family weddings (2 of them) and just plain needing a break.

Also, an interest in blogging as a content curator versus writing all the content yourself. I prefer being the brains behind my own blog but I admit it is nice to take a break and let the voices of others have a say for awhile. It’s also a great way to pick up more ideas, gather information and mix the resources you find into something new and interesting. It’s a great way to form opinions and pull together ideas.

So that’s my excuse for being a bit on the slack side lately. The second wedding is this weekend, just before our Canadian Thanksgiving which is on Monday.

30 Days to a Better Blog from SITS Girls

I’m posting all the steps here cause the Challenge is done but I’m not. This way I can keep working through all the steps even if I only get one each week. See The SITS Girls site for more and future events.

  • Day 01 – Write an Elevator Speech
  • Day 02 – Write a List Post -You could use this as a brainstorming session for ideas to write about related to your niche.
  • Day 03 – Promote a Blog Post -Use Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon… or ask another blogger to link to one of your individual posts.
  • Day 04 – Analyze a Top Blog in your Niche -Don’t copy another blogger. Be unique, but let them inspire you.
  • Day 05 – Email a Blog Reader –Have you ever interacted with blog commenters outside of blog comments?
  • Day 06 – 27 Must Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers -Pick your own tutorials rather than those on the list. You know which areas you want to know more about.
  • Day 07 – Write a Link Post -Think of it as creating a mini web directory of links for your niche.
  • Day 08 – Interlink your Old Posts -If you’ve written about a topic before (or one similar) bring your old post back as a reference.
  • Day 09 – Join a Forum and Start Participating -Keep involved with others in your niche. See what resources they use and what they write about.
  • Day 10 – Set Up Alerts to Monitor What is Happening in your Niche -It may be a good plan but I’ve never found time to use alerts, or found them very reliable.
  • Day 11 – Come Up with Ten Post Ideas -Be creative but consider gaps you may be leaving in building a resource for your niche. Look at it from the angle of someone just starting to research the topic.
  • Day 12 – Develop an Editorial Calendar for your Blog -A good idea to try. I haven’t used anything like this but will try running one of the WordPress plugins and see how it goes.
  • Day 13 – Take a Trip to the Mall -Don’t get stuck in the online world. Study how businesses/ associations do things off the Internet and how they merge online and offline.
  • Day 14 – Update a Key Page on your Blog -Your About page is the obvious one to keep updated. Consider others you have and give them a dusting off too.
  • Day 15 – Find a Blog Buddy -I have a few blog buddies. People I have known online for years both socially and as writers working on a site.
  • Day 16 – Solve a Problem: 7 Ways to Identify a Reader’s Problems -Use statistics to see how people find your site. Also, look up other sites and read their categories and tags. Is your niche missing anything? Consider your niche as a resource for your readers. Fill it up.
  • Day 17 –  Watch a First Time Reader Use your Blog -Take an objective look at your blog. Test it, check navigation, loading time, readability. Ask for reviews of your site and listen to the feedback, don’t spoil honest feedback by getting defensive.
  • Day 18 – Create a Sneeze Page -A chance to show off your archived posts and highlight some of our best information.
  • Day 19 – Write an Opinion Post for your Blog – By giving an opinion you invite people to agree or debate with you in comments.
  • Day 20 – Leave Comments on Other Blogs – Spend some time writing relevant comments in other blogs. Give the kind of comments you would like to see yourself.
  • Day 21 – Breathe Life into an Old Post – Rewrite it as a new post and link back to the original. Don’t lose old comments and give yourself a chance to see what you’ve learned, how you have improved.
  • Day 22 – Pay Special Attention to a Reader – You want special attention from your readers so start by giving some first.
  • Day 23 – Call your Readers to Action – Interact with readers and ask for what you want. Read about calls to action and how that works.
  • Day 24 – How to Use a Magazine to Improve your Blog – Take ideas from magazine layouts, how they present their pages, their content and market themselves. Do the same with any other publication such as books, ebooks and newsletters too.
  • Day 25 – Ask a Question – Asking a question gears readers into giving an answer.
  • Day 26 – Improve Another Blog – You don’t have to be a web guru to do a good deed for another blogger. Give them an honest opinion in a constructive way.
  • Day 27 – Hunt for Dead Links – When a link can’t be fixed/ updated remove the HTML and leave a note to let readers know the site is gone or missing.
  • Day 28 – Write a Review Post – A review doesn’t have to sell anything. You can review something you love or do as a hobby. Keep the review balanced with objectivity.
  • Day 29 –  Develop a Plan to Boost your Blog’s Profile and Readership Online – Basically decide who you want to be reading your blog and then go out and find them.
  • Day 30 – 17 Statistics to Monitor your Blog – Don’t become a stats whore. Rank, statistics, popularity should be something you check to mark progress. Don’t cater your writing/ blogging to raising your numbers in this way. For one thing, none of them are that reliable.
  • Day 31 – Plan the Next Steps for your Blog – Be aware of other blogs and anything you like about them. Make plans for your own site, where do you want it to be as it grows. What do you want to improve. What could be changed. Do you want to take part in ad exchanges… more social media… split your blog into subsections or sub-blogs…

Blogging Power Partner

On InkRebels I read a post “The Bloggers Guide to Having Fun While Writing”.

One of the points was to have a blogging power partner:

Having a writing buddy always makes the blogging process more fun! Do you have a friend that also updates her blog regularly? Could you imagine the two of you encouraging each other? You make a pact that the blogging conversation will be positive. It is so much fun to motivate and help each other stay on track with your blogging goals.

I agree. Even if you are not in contact every day it is a good idea to have someone who knows what you are doing, your general plan and the direction/ goals you want to get to. I have Deanna. I’ve known her since we both wrote at BackWash.com. I’ve told her more of my secret shames, fears and goals than I would ever tell anyone else. So, in that way, I am accountable to someone outside of myself. She doesn’t make me feel bad when I’m not living up to my own standards for myself. But she does make me try harder to keep on track, without her having do to a thing…. I just know she’s out there!

Yowling to Get Noticed

Today is Y on the A- Z Blogging Challenge. A lot of words begin with Y. But for some reason I thought of ‘yowl’. That sound a cat makes when it wants to get noticed.

What other words can you think of for sounds cats make? Skip the easy ones like meow and purring. If you were going to write a story with an animal as a sidekick what animal would it be? How would the animal communicate or would it just be like an ornament, sort of moved around like a dead weight?

Describe the Music in Words

For the A – Z Blogging Challenge… V is for Violin.

Is there a difference between the violin and the fiddle? There probably is, but I don’t know about it. I do know that fiddle players have a much different style of music than violin players. I love listening to fiddle music, lively tunes that you can’t sit still for (unless you’re the guest of honour at a wake).

I like classical music but seldom stop what I’m doing to find any and listen to it. Of all the instruments my favourite is a relative to the violin, the cello. I like the deep bass. It’s mellow and smooth – much the same way I like my coffee. Music is a continual education, not unlike learning how to make a great cup of coffee. I had piano lessons as a kid. Tried drums later in school, but it didn’t seem to become a passion with me.

What instrument would you most like to listen to? Have you ever written about someone playing an instrument? Give it a try, describe the music in words.

Tales of the Epic Treehouse

For the A – Z Blogging Challenge… T is for Treehouse.

I used to design the treehouse for The Swiss Family Robinson in my head. A whole house with lots of cosy niches and nooks. I’d have a library for my books and even a bow window to sit in. Of course, I had a great view from that window. I could see the ocean from my library bow window.

I never had a real treehouse. But we did build snow forts after the snow plough went down the street in winter. The ditch was just deep enough for us to dig out a fort from the piled up snow. Later it became another of those dangerous things they warn parents about like using car seats and all that other stuff no one put a lot of thought into until years later.

Come up with a plan for a treehouse or snow fort of your own. Something very elaborate. Could you build a story around it? Make it your own island castaway tale or end of the world survivor epic. Something good and fun to write.

Just for the Canadians… do you remember The Swiss Family Robinson on TV in the 1970’s?

Stay on the Optimistic Side

Today for the A – Z Blogging Challenge… O is for Optimistic. When do we have a more optimistic day than those days we make big changes to our lives? I made this ASCII art illustration for my wedding, years ago. Things didn’t turn out as I had hoped at the time. But things are still changing and evolving. I’m still mostly optimistic.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

More wedding ASCII art:

Moving Forward in Life?

This came in a locally delivered newsletter. No credit given to whoever wrote it originally so I don’t know who or where it came from.

Are We Moving Forward in Life?

Well, that’s a silly question, isn’t it? Life and time moves forward and onward with or without us!

Life can pull us along and we can allow it to take us where it leads us. In doing so we will surrender control to anyone who happens to drift into our path.

Or, we can take control and move life forward under our own sail. We can take control and go where we want to go.

Taking control will require some effort and even some sacrifices. Firstly, we will have to believe in ourselves, know that we really can be the masters of our life. This will not always be easy because once we set in motion the actions required to change the direction challenges, obstacles  and setback will happen, it will be our belief in ourselves that will get us through.

Next we need to adjust our attitude, we need a can-do, positive frame of mind. Eliminate negative thoughts and feelings of being undeserving or inadequacy. Keep our mind firmly focused on where we want to go and what we are looking to achieve. We must be prepared to take risks and realize that risks are necessary to achievement, as are a few failures along the way. even the turtle doesn’t move ahead unless he sticks his neck out.

Finally we need a total commitment to change. Change ourselves, our thinking, our action, our words even some of our associations.

If we adopt these steps in gaining control of where our life is headed we will: catch the wind in our sails, ride the current and become the master of our own life.

It’s all up to you!

Blame any typos on me. I was testing my speed typing skills when I typed this from the original. I still don’t know what my actual speed is but I’m getting better at typing from copy. Speed comes from not second guessing yourself so much as you type it.

For the A – Z Blogging Challenge… L is for Life

Virtual Kissing

Today for the A – Z Blogging Challenge… K is for Kiss

The Virtual Kiss site has been around for many years. I’ve sent virtual kisses to Todd while he was my boyfriend and then my husband. I think I even sent him one after the divorce. That’s a lot of years for one virtual card site to keep going.

Have a look at the style of kisses you can send. Send one to someone. Everyone has someone they can send a kiss to, for one reason or another. (Of course, my Irish luck, that the kissing booth is down for a week while they move servers.)

Invent a kiss. Maybe a divorce kiss. A kiss for good luck. Or a kiss for best wishes on a long trip. Each virtual kiss is a graphic with the focus being a huge pair of lips. So, in that style, create a new one for the site. Create a few and even send in your ideas.