All posts by SueySays

Bloggiesta Chat Recap: Sunday Sept. 20 “Free for All” and “Mini Challenge Requests”


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!


September 2015 Fall Bloggiesta Finish Line

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.


Bloggiesta Chat Recap: Saturday Sept. 19 “Visual”


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: 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!

Bloggiesta Chat Recap: Friday Sept. 18 “Interactions”

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?

  • 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

Twitter suggestions:

  • 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

Bloggiesta Chat Recap: Thursday Sept. 17 “Words”

Some stuff we talked about at Thursday’s chat:

What does this theme “words” make you think of?

  • content
  • tone
  • writing
  • being creative
  • it’s the “meat” of the blog
  • expressing yourself

What sort of content should we have or being aiming for?

  • personal
  • honest, stuff that reflects our true selves
  • content that shows off your personality
  • variety
  • natural, conversational
  • content that reflects emotion and entertains
  • original
  • 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
  • pictures

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
  • procrastination
  • Blogger’s block
  • being too repetitive
  • figuring out word choice
  • changing things up visually
  • scheduling

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

Bloggiesta September 2015 Starting Line

Ole Ole! It’s time to blog and fiesta… BLOGGIESTA!  Welcome to all our new comers and all our old timers! We are so excited to have everyone participating with us! If you are new to the party, this post should help you get started.   And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to link up your To Do Lists on this post here. That’s how you’ll let everyone else know you are here and participating!


  • Bloggiesta begins now and runs through Sunday night… wherever you are. We don’t have specific starting and ending times…. just Thursday September 17 through Sunday September 20… wherever and whenever you are in the world!
  • Plan to spend as much time as you can working on your to do list and completing mini challenges. Don’t worry about having the entire week to devote to this, but do challenge yourself to put in some good hours to the project.
  • Feel free to update your progress any way you see fit. You can simply cross things off your list, or write a couple of update posts. We will have a Finish Line Post link up here on Sunday for anyone wishing to link them up. Twitter is a great place to shout your progress too.


  • Much of our connection with each other will be happening on Twitter. Be sure to follow @Bloggiesta and the hashtag #bloggiesta. 
  • Also, plan to do lots of blog hopping by clicking on participants links (See the sign up links here.) Send lots of encouragement everyone’s way and help out with your expertise on all bloggish things! This is a big part of the whole idea of Bloggiesta!
  • Be sure to participate in as many mini challenges as you can! The new ones are listed here, and previous challenges are listed here. Give our awesome challenge hosts lots of link love and ask them lots of questions!

And that’s about all there is to it! Go forth and blog your hearts out!

Bloggiesta September 2015 Mini Challenge Master List


Bloggiesta officially starts tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s our brand new  mini challenges!  We have awesome ones! Most of these challenges are ones you the participants have requested through feedback given after past Bloggiestas.  Look them over today and have fun adding to your to do lists. Many of these challenges have prizes and giveaways, so be sure to click through them all!

Email Challenges

Photo Challenges

Organization Challenges

Random Miscellaneous Challenges

Be sure to show all the challenge hosts some love! Bloggiesta wouldn’t work without them. We have a mix of brand new hosts and old timers, which is awesome. Thanks to you all!

Bloggiesta Twitter Chat Schedule


Similar to our last big Bloggiesta, we’ve decided to have themed Twitter chats focusing on different aspects of blogging. Our theme words this time are: Words, Interactions and Visuals.  Hopefully those are self explanatory! If not, come to the chat and see what everyone else thinks it means. :)

Below please find the schedule for the week.  Mark your calendars and join us when you can!  If you are part of the Google+ and/or Facebook groups, these will be official events and you’ll get a lovely reminder.

Join us using or or Tweetdeck or Hootsuite… or some other Twitter app of your choice. Use #Bloggiesta and follow @Bloggiesta. We hope to see you all there!

September 2015 Fall Bloggiesta Sign Ups

@Bloggiesta #Bloggiesta

I can’t believe it’s time for another Bloggiesta! This one will start next week on Thursday September 17 and run through Sunday September 20. We’ll have a Twitter chat each day of the event. We’re still working on figuring out those details so stay tuned for a separate post with that schedule.

In the meantime, write your To Do Lists, post them on your blogs, and come link up here! Be sure to link to the actual post with your list, and not to your blog in general. We need to be able to find your lists!

We have a sweet group of mini challenges lined up for this event. Those will be posted sometime the day before we get started, on Wednesday September 16. You can also work on doing any of our past challenges found here.

If you need help getting started on a To Do List, here’s a master list that you can copy and paste and change up to fit your needs.

I look forward to seeing all the things you plan to do!