Writing, reading, learning, commenting, optimizing, tweet-chatting and providing support. That pretty much sums up a productive Bloggiesta weeekend. If you want more details on the background to the event, check out my excited post from when this weekend was announced. In short, it was a lot of work and a lot of fun!
The event started a week earlier for me as I had to do some research and testing for the Facebook mini-challenge for which I had volunteered to host. The post went up at midnight on Thursday and the excitement started shortly thereafter. Some bloggers couldn’t wait to get started! It was so rewarding to get the comments from happy bloggers when they added Facebook “Like” buttons to their posts or set up a fan page on Facebook. When communities work on things together, great ideas get shared. I learned about dlvr.it and twitterfeed and other great apps that help bloggers promote themselves on Facebook.
Since I knew I was going to support bloggers on the mini-challenge, I tried to keep my personal goals for the weekend realistic. Saturday started out strong, but Sunday I ran out of steam after creating my recommended reading list page turned out to be way more work than I thought. Here are my goals what I accomplished in more detail:
- Write a guest blog post that I’ve been asked to do.
- Sadly, this barely got started. This is when I realized I was out of steam. Fortunately, we have a long weekend coming up.
- Now that I have Zemanta installed, go through all my posts and improve SEO and participate in the Get Noticed By Search Engines mini-challenge by April from Good Books and Wine.
- If you want to learn more about SEO, I highly recommend reading and doing April’s mini-challenge. Wow! I learned a lot. I went through all my posts and made improvements to links, tags and added relevant related articles. I also added alt-text to all my images. Zemanta was helpful. I only used it to scan my posts and make suggests. Since I am not writing posts on broadly popular topics, the suggestions I got back were often not inspiring. Going forward I’ll have to have it search on words and concepts I specify.
- Participate in a couple of other mini-challenges.
- Write my March blog post for my personal blog.
- Got that done… on the last day of the month.
- Update my blog roll with blogs I actually follow and are being updated regularly.
- Did that on both my blogs. My personal blog has a special section for my friends’ blogs.
- Add a recommended reading list page, using the widget from Amazon.
- That was a lot more work than expected. Amazon kept timing out as I built my widget and then I discovered that the widget didn’t work on WordPress.com. So I had to generate links to the photos and the pages on Amazon and manually create the page. Check it out! If you click through and purchase one of the books on Amazon, I get a small commission. This is a bit of an experiment with monetization. We’ll see how that works. At the very least my readers will have book suggestions.
- Explore using a different theme and/or improving the visual impact of my blog.
- Only done on my personal blog. I managed to get a little favicon (the little bonhomme on the corner of the browser tab) added to this blog.
- Fix my WordPress and Open-ID sign-in for commenting on Blogger or Typepad blogs.
- After spending an hour or so trying to find a solution on various forums and websites, I determined there isn’t a solution 😦