Congratulations for finishing yet another Bloggiesta! If anyone wants to write a wrap up post with all the things they’ve accomplished and link it up, you can do that here.
Thanks again for participating! Mark your calendars for March 21 to 27 for our week long Spring Bloggiesta!
Since it’s a MINI Bloggiesta this time around, we only have a small list of mini challenges, but they are all awesome. Be sure to give our challenge hosts lots of love!
Here’s the list for you look over and decide which ones you’d like to work on. If nothing strikes your fancy, be sure to check out the list of past challenges here and use the opportunity to catch up on one of those.
Winter 2016 Mini Bloggiesta Mini Challenges
Aloi from Guiltless Reading: Clean Up Your Email
Tasha from Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books: Keeping Your Info Private
Brittany from Book Bumblings: Creating and Writing Processes to Stay Organized
Kathleen from SMS NonFiction Book Reviews: Rafflecopter Giveaways
Emily from Emily Reads Everything: Bullet Journaling
Katie from Doing Dewey: Planning Your Posts
Now is the time to let us know if you plan to participate with us this coming weekend (January 16 and 17) for the Winter 2016 Mini Bloggiesta! And it’s very simple: This next week, write up your To Do List, post it on your blog, then come back here and link it up!
Start putting your blogging resolutions into practice and take this weekend to do some much needed blog maintenance. If you can’t think of anything to do, some ideas for a basic to do list can be found at this link. You are welcome to copy it and use it however you see fit.
We have several mini challenges lined up and ready to go. Be sure to check back here on Friday for the list. In the meantime, you can check out these past Mini Challenges from previous events and see if any of them strike your fancy.
There will be one Twitter chat on Sunday January 17 at 2 pm Eastern. We hope to “see” you there!
The “official” event will just be the weekend, but for some of us, it’s a holiday weekend and we’ll be lucky enough to have Monday off! If this is you… feel free to think of it as a bonus day and keep right on bloggiesta-ing!
And now, here’s the linky. Be sure to link up using the direct URL to your To Do List post using you name, your blog and your Twitter account if you’d like other participants to find you there.
Thanks and have fun!
Our next Bloggiesta is happening in TWO WEEKS! It’s a mini one, which means just two days long: January 16 and 17 (the weekend) with a bonus day (Monday, January 18) if you have it has a holiday (or even if you don’t) and want to keep going.
It also means only one Twitter chat will be scheduled (Sunday January 17 at 2 pm Eastern)and only a small list of mini challenges. (If you’d like to do a mini challenge, please reply or email email@example.com.)
But mostly it means, a few days here at the start of the new year to set aside some time to get those blogs into shape!
We hope you’ll join us!!
Okay, time to tell us what you think! Please fill out the survey and give it to us!
We had our final chat on Sunday afternoon. Everyone took a moment to say what they’d accomplished this bloggiesta which ranged from scheduling reviews to switching to MailChimp. Lots of participants took advantage of the mini challenges and seemed to really enjoy them. Thanks again to those who hosted!
Much of the time was spent soliciting ideas for future mini challenges. We came up with this list:
- FTP for backing up your blog
- making a calendar/spreadsheet of book releases and ARCs
- MailChimp tutorial
- what does your host do? (Help for self hosted bloggers.)
- Tumblr: do we want one? Do we need one? Please, someone explain!
- all about giveaways and Rafflecopter
- How to make your blog Pinterest friendly
- social media strategies
Some suggestions for future Bloggiestas:
- more week long ones
- a month long one with themed weeks
- setting up blogging buddies during Bloggiesta
- having a blog critique or peer review session
- release challenges slowly over the course of the week/month instead of all at once
- brainstorm to do lists with other participants pre-event
- have achievement badges
- keep up the recaps!
Dates for next year (subject to change) were announced:
- Winter Mini Bloggiesta: January 16 and 17
- Spring Week Long Bloggiesta: March 21 to 27
- Summer Mini Bloggiesta: June 18 to 19
- Fall Bloggiesta: September 15 to 18
Maybe we’ll make the fall one a week long too. I’m not sure about a month long event at this point. Will ponder!
If you have any other suggestions or ideas, please comment here. Also, we’ll post a simple feedback survey form very soon. Thank you to everyone for participating!
Time to wrap up another one! Here’s hoping everyone accomplished a lot and learned new things!
If you’d like to write a wrap up post or even link up to your crossed off To Do Lists, go for it and share in this linky.
Thanks for participating! Let us know in the comments if you have suggestions for mini challenges or future events. There’ll be a survey up in the next few days. We’d love to get your feedback.
Wow, we had a fast crazy chat this morning! I wasn’t hosting so I should have been able to take awesome notes, and I tried, but still, I think I missed a ton of stuff! Oh, and thanks so much to Rachel Noel for hosting today! She did an awesome job!
Here are some of the things we talked about:
- have a few brand colors and a few accent colors
- color is the unifier of your blog, brings things all together
- trying to keep the colors clean and not to busy
- you can never have to much purple (Ha!)
- use different colors for different things
- too much, it’s too busy
- too little, it’s too boring
Some sites to help: coolors.co and Design Seeds
Pictures and Gifs?
- many said they don’t do gifs themselves, but don’t mind them on other blogs, as long as there aren’t too many
- lots of people like to use their own pictures
- like with color, use them sparingly so it doesn’t look too busy
- everyone seems to love graphics
- but don’t NOT use pictures either, need to break up the text
- make your pictures “pinnable”, meaning big and vertical, with a pin this attached to it.
- social media loves infographics!
Some sites: PicMonkey, and a book that was raved about: Don’t Make Me Think
- use subheadings and lists
- bigger is better! Get away from 12 px and make your text 16 or 18 px
- get rid of three columns… and if you do have a sidebar, keep it uncluttered.
- only put stuff in there that your readers WANT: social media, subscribe, search, and about
- readers like to read across the top and down the left
- sidebars shouldn’t be longer than your post
- FTC disclaimer should not be on your sidebar, it should be in each post, everytime
- think about what your readers really care about and what they want to see
About Me and Avatars?
- yes, have them!
- some have a short snippet on the sidebar and a fuller page
- use a good picture of yourself
- make sure it represents you well
- keep your picture the same everywhere, all your places
Some talk about HTML and code and CSS and stuff happened. Many people seem to be really amazing at this stuff. Way to go guys! Comment I liked: just learn it! It’s not that hard!
Some resources: CodeAcademy, Canva, Gimp
Sorry I missed so much! It really was hard to get it all down, but there’s a taste for you!
Some stuff we talked about:
How important are interactions?
- they are the best… the “heart” of blogging
- it’s my main form of human contact
- depends on your goals
- it’s good to not have just one sided conversations
- keeps me going during the slumps
- it’s why I blog
What problems do you face when it comes to interacting?
- Time! TIME TIME TIME!
- being too shy
- between writing, reading and commenting, something has to give… usually it’s commenting
What are some solutions?
- use small chunks of time
- force yourself to come out of your box
- respond to comments immediately if you can
- use Comment Reply Notification from WP
Feelings on comments?
- some people worry about them, some not so much
- some want more, some don’t care
- comments give you a boost of confidence
- they let you know if something you wrote got a reaction
- shares and likes let you know that people are reading your posts
- more bloggers are engaging on Twitter than in their comments
- being blamed for adding to others TBR piles is better than comments
- find hashtags and follow them, stalk them, respond sometimes even!
- come to chats like this one!
- tweet back even if you don’t know that person
- make twitter lists, it makes things easier to manage
- keep your messages short
How about events?
- join the ones that interest you
- can always lurk! It’s okay!
- choose ones that will enhance the audience you want
Here’s a link to a calendar of events done by Book Bloggers International
Here’s a link to a Twitter chat schedule done by Emily Reads Everything
Some stuff we talked about at Thursday’s chat:
What does this theme “words” make you think of?
- being creative
- it’s the “meat” of the blog
- expressing yourself
What sort of content should we have or being aiming for?
- honest, stuff that reflects our true selves
- content that shows off your personality
- natural, conversational
- content that reflects emotion and entertains
- not too long and to the point
- there’s room for all styles! It’s good we all don’t write or post the same thing!
What is your inspiration for your blog content?
- the books I’m reading!
- Indie authors I want to promote
- thoughts I have in the car/shower/bed/while walking!
- the passion of fellow bloggers
- questions I see on social media
- bouncing ideas off of those with different tastes
- notes that I keep
- BookTube videos
What are some struggles you face regarding blog content and writing?
- reading a boring book and there’s nothing too say (much conversation followed about not having to review every book you read!)
- starting but not finishing posts
- trying to force something
- Blogger’s block
- being too repetitive
- figuring out word choice
- changing things up visually
What do you do if feel your blog is getting too boring?
- do something different!
- review something other than books
- talk about something you love
- do a recipe post
- see what others are doing and twist it up
- come at something from a different angle
- just be yourself
If you want to change up the way you write a review, what are some ideas?
- make a bullet point list
- live blog a book
- use a fun voice or tone
- make connections with other books
- use a lot of pictures/gifs
- vlog it!
- do mini reviews
- take notes while reading
- use quotes
- make an “enjoyment” graph
- do a Q and A post