Lessons Learned: Blogging 101

And so, Blogging 101 coasts to a graceful end. In comparison, my participation is more like Princess Mia’s rainy drive up San Fran’s hilly streets: lots of stops, starts and sobbing. Will there be a Hector Elizondo waiting to rescue me when it all gets to be too much? One can only hope.

It was a great learning experience though, and I can see from my stats how much my little blog has flexed its wings. I kid you not, when I checked my stats mid-course, I fairly widdled in my pants with glee. I’ve seen different points of view, galleries of beautiful pictures and met some awesome people. Along the way, I picked up a few easy-to-do pointers, so if you’re new to the blogging world and you want a quick lowdown of what works, read on.

Little Details Matter – Your About page, your sidebar, your photographs, your background, all of these flesh out your blog’s personality. It may take a few tries and couple mugs of the beverage of your choice, but you’ll discover how to get around to the look you want.

Tagging Works – And effective tagging works better! If you’re not sure which tag to use, worry not, Edit buttons were meant to be used. Once you’ve hit Publish, you get to that in-between world where WordPress congratulates you on a post well done. If you’ve forgotten to add tags in your haste to get your awesome wordage out, this page will remind you to add a few and will even  prompt you with a few selections from your own post. If you do have tags already, you can click on them on the lower left side of the screen so you can see what other people (who are using the same tag) are writing about.

Post Regularly – I admit, I haven’t been following this bit of advice in a while. Regardless, it’s a legit way to keep your visibility up in the blogsphere and you can have a lot of fun with it too, even if – and this is important – you think you’ve got nothing to write about. You can do a feature week (like my favorite eco-friendly makeup fairy Carina, who did a Harry Potter-themed makeup week) or you can join one of the many blog hops (so many topics, so little computer time- but here’s a list of the ones I like and hope to join soon). Writer’s block is just another excuse nowadays, so get off your mental butt and join in the fun.

Link Up – Showing the way to other blogs when yours doesn’t seem to be doing so well may sound counter-productive. What it does though is provide a sort of anchor for your readers, no matter how many there are. You give them a chance to read more, and your favorite post’s writers get to see you as something other than just another lurker.

Pictures Are Eye Candy – Alright, so maybe you don’t have the camera you’d like or enough time to snap a drool-worthy photo (and make no mistake, picture perfection takes absolutely ages). That’s no trouble at all. Look for some stock photos that will fit your needs, or go to a meme creator to get wordy flair in a new way.

Widgets!!! – These happy little things on your sidebar (or header or footer) may seem tedious at first glance and daunting the next, but taking a step back to really work on them gives your blog a unique look that’s all you. You can edit the titles to suit your liking or use the image widget to go as simple or as complicated as you’d like (check out The Daily Post’s tutorial, they look like so much fun!)

Find Your Groove – Now I know I’m not the only one raring to be a blog-tastic writer goddess with wise words and clever life hacks, but let’s face it, no blogger in the world wakes up like that. Just like everything else in life, blogging has a learning curve. Just take your time, take down notes, read through a few other budding blogs and find what works for you.

In conclusion, dear readers (if there are any left after my lengthy hiatus), I thoroughly enjoyed participating in Blogging 101. It works, plain and simple. So, if you want to pump up net presence or get into a better blogging groove, I believe that joining one of Blogging U’s courses is the way to go.

The world is your bivalve, fellow blogger! Grab some lemon!

By the way, Blogging 201 is starting next week, and I’m super psyched about it. Who else is going to join? Drop me a line so I can follow you!

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