Blogging U. Day 8: Make your Blog a Hub

IF YOU SEE me running across the lawn with my hair on fire, it’s because my brain has exploded and fire is shooting out my ears. tree upside down

WHY you ask?

Today’s topic is about exploring opportunities beyond my blog. Blogging University calls my blog just a “hub” for my online presence. They suggest creating a page or section to display links to all my online presence elsewhere. Didn’t I just do this with those sidebar buttons?

Well, yes and no.

Krista of Blogging U. advices:

The short answer is: you don’t have to do anything. If you’re happy simply blogging, then hooray! We’re glad. But since you’re here because you care about traffic and growth, we want to take time to discuss how expanding your presence on a few more platforms might benefit you, whether you’re a professional freelancer or aspiring writer (or poet, or photographer, or…). This isn’t about tweeting or status updates, but about spreading your substantive work across the web — and pointing it back to your blog.

[insert eyes rolling in the back on my head]

Then I started to read the links and it started to make more sense. I could consider Tumblr, for example, as a complimentary space for my writing.

It is worth having a page on my blog with these links, not just the sidebar buttons. But, those links would need to have different content than can be found on my blog or at least I think that’s what this all means. It’s just a bit much, and my head is reeling from all this knowledge.

Cooling down now,

Wanda

Blogging University Day 7: Make the Most of Big Events

CREATE  recurring blogging event or MAKE plans to attend a blogging conference. That’s today’s assignment.

A blog event attracts visitors, and participating in a blog conference raises your profile.

A BLOG EVENT

I participated in the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and I’m going to participate in the Fabri-Quilt New Quilt Block Blog Hop.

Blogging University invites its students to start an event of our own.

Through the New Quilt Bloggers I was in the “Sewcial Swarm” hive, and one of the hive mates, Deanna at Stitches Quilting, posted about wanting to make a Cathedral Window quilt some day. The pattern was from a subscription service, Best-Loved Quilt Cathedral windows instructionsPatterns, which I have. It belonged to my mother.

Deanna suggested we have a Quilt-A-Long together. Each week we’d make a Cathedral Window and within about three years we’d have enough for a twin-sized quilt — if we used 6″ blocks. Of course we could make it modern and oversize it — maybe double it for 12″ blocks. We could call it “Cathedral Windnesday.” I’d create directions for the “bigger” windows then post a block each week. My concern is it wouldn’t be very exciting and limited to one quilt block. I like the idea of oversizing traditional quilt blocks so maybe a combination of a Block of the Month sampler where I upsize a traditional block. That would be a BIG EVENT.

WordPress has a complete guide to help me host the perfect event. I can submit my event to their listings. I’ll study on this some more.

A BLOG CONFERENCE

Who knew there was Bloggy Boot Camp or blogging conferences? WordPress has WordCamp.

Not sure this is for me, but perhaps this is something the Modern Quilt Guild should consider hosting.

Please let me know what you think about CATHEDRAL WINDESDAY.

Wanda

LOVEworks.

Blogging U. Day 6: Dig Deep into a Social Network

I GROANED when I read the title of today’s assignment.

The good news is: I WAS ALREADY following some of Blogging University’s advice.

SHARING

I have Sharing Buttons at the bottom of each post. In WordPress, you go to “My Sites,” then “Sharing”. Located at the bottom is “Sharing Buttons.” There are four different options. I changed mine to “icons only” from the “official” option. And, I changed my “sharing” prompt. “SHARING is sew sewcial” I hope it worked.

FOCUSING

Blogging University recommends focusing my energy on one social network.

I’ve discovered that quilt bloggers are using Instagram as much as they use Facebook.

My Pinterest page connects to my blog, but my blog doesn’t post to Pinterest automatically like it does to Facebook and Google through WordPress’ Publicize option.  The same is true for Instagram.

I haven’t settled on which network to focus on.

PUBLICIZE

I use Publicize for Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. I learned I can control the message that is shared with these sites. I can be a tease for the first time ever.

SIDEBARS

pinterest instagram flickr bloglovin email

Do you see the tears dripping from these lovely icons? During the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, I learned how to add buttons to my sidebar. And, I shed a few tears getting them to work. I got these buttons from Carrie Loves. I wanted different colors to coordinate with my blog logo. That made me cry tears of joy.

INVOLVEMENT

Networking requires taking the next step: sharing other bloggers’ posts or links I find interesting. I can also share “status updates” about an ongoing project. I can ask my readers to help me. I can build personal connections with readers.

Asking a question is also one way to engage with readers.

WHAT ONE SOCIAL NETWORK SHOULD GET MY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION?

Thanks,

Wanda

The next chicken pinchusion in the Oh Sew Tempting Chicken Run Giveaway Sort Of.

Blogging U. Day 5: Make the Most of Your Archives

THE BEST of Wanda’s Life Sampler is on tap for today’s course homework.


Blogging University professor Krista advises:

Why do this?

  • Because a go-to page compiling your best posts is the simplest way to get readers to your content — you never know which post pique someone’s interest, so make the good ones easy to find.
  • Because while your About page does a great job introducing you, a curated selection of posts further illustrates your perspectives.

WAYS I CAN DO THIS

  1. Refer to past posts in the current post.
  2. Use widgets such as Top Posts, Archives and Categories.
  3. Use Related Posts feature at the end of the current post.
  4. Then, there’s a “Best of” page which can be added to the main menu and to the About page.

I have a “Quilt Gallery” and a “Tips & Tutorials” page, but I include every associated post on those pages.

For my homework, I’ve added a page called, “Quilt Porn,” as my best QUILT PORNof section. It’s the really hot stuff on my blog.

Giving you free quilt porn,

Wanda

Watermelon Summer Color Palette

Blogging U. Day 4: Give ‘Em What They Want

color palette made by Quilting Jetgirl

WHAT do they want? Today I’m looking at my stats and making an editorial calendar.

My stats are found under “My Site,” “My Stats”. They can be organized by days, weeks, months, and years.  By clicking on the date I can see what I published on that date. In the last month, the most popular period was the week of June 30, 2015 when I published “Template Tips.” The previous week was also popular when I published “New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.”

The most viewed post is “Yoga Sling Tutorial,” other than my home page.

The most popular search term, which leads to views, is “hexagon applique quilt.” I have a tutorial on that.

The most popular day of the week for views is Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. I’ve been posting Tips or Tutorials on Tuesdays to link up with The Late Night Quilter. That explains the Tuesday love. These stats tell me I need to continue with the how-to posts.

For the month of August:

  • I plan to participate in Tuesday Tips and Tutorials.
  • I’m going to figure out what weekly feature I want pursue.
  • I’m also going to create a block for the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop with a tutorial to post on August 31. The solid colors are Chartreuse, Turquoise, Coral, Aqua, Lapis Blue and White (color palette above created by Quilting Jetgirl.) I hope that process leads to more ideas.

Subject to change,

Wanda