Bloggiesta Finish Line!!! WOO HOO!!!

*GASP*  *dragging myself across the finish line*   *raises a pinky to tap the finish line ribbon then passes out and trampled on by other Bloggiesta participants*


I am here! CHA CHA CHA!

What a weekend eh?  I logged in a whopping 27 hours on Bloggiesta.  (Pretty impressive as I only put in 5 hours on Friday and then was gone the rest of the day and evening.)

My to do list was:

1.  A new blog header

Done.  In fact you may come to Book Journey and go “OMG Becky, LOOK AT HER BLOG!” and uh…. yeah…. I pretty much changed the whole thing.  😯

2.  New blog widget

Not yet.  Not sure what I want to do yet.

3.  prep posts for upcoming reviews

I prepped 8 upcoming reviews, pretty much everything I have had my hands on this week and what coming next.

4.  Write posts for movie/book reviews that I have completed  

Done.  5 posts written and I have a few more ideas to create draft posts.

5.  Participate in mini challenges

I participated in ALL the new 2012 challenges (with at least a comment if I could not participate)

Promoting your blog on Facebook:  While I do not want a Facebook page for Book Journey, I did learn a few things about social media and put a LIKE Facebook button on my posts.

The Mr. Linky How To was great!  I use linky every week for the Monday meme but I know a lot of bloggers do not know how to use it. 

Top Ten Basics for HTML was very useful and bookmarked for the future.

How To Embed a YouTube Video, with I do not have any problems with that but it was interesting to see how it works for other platforms.

Themed Pages was BRILLIANT and I tool away a lot from this one.  I never thought about how those pages could be draws to my blog if named correctly.  My new layout allows me to add many pages in a “non cluttered” looking way so I will be working on this more later tonight.

The Pinterest challenge and how to use it with your blog intrigues me.  I asked Joy to hook me up with a Pinterest invite (something I have avoided until now due to I was afrad of the time suck and my body would be found years later stuck on a Pinterest page….) However, if it can promote Book Journey I am willing to take a look. 😀

My own challenge, referring to increasing your blog traffic through comments is still going on here until midnight central time.  Throughout the weekend I have commented on at least 100 blogs.

  Twitter Me This and Blogging was a fun post.  I do have my posts linked to go to Twitter automatically.

Five Ways To Make Your Reviews Stand Out introduced me to Fyrefly which is pretty sweeeeet!  I totally saved that link too!

Windows Live Wire (or from this point forward known as WLW) looked really interesting.  I have not heard of that before.  I am going to check it out more later.

Get Noticed By Search Engines taught me a lot!  While it appears that SEO and are already bosom buddies, I did not know about tagging photos in the additional space or the importance of key words in our posts OR The Google ad words Key tool which like I said…. I learned a lot about this! 

Sidebar Help chewed me up and spit me out the other side.  (Thus the major blog changes)  😛  Actually this challenge pointed out what I already knew… I had too much going on taking away from the blog itself.  I cut from two sidebars to one and tonight I will be organizing them yet more and making pages for those who do not need to be on the sidebar…. clean clean clean!!!

Five Tips To Writing Fast Reviews, gave me tips on how to be more proactive in my writing and cut out the distractions.  This is something I need to continue to work on. 

Eight Ways To Freshen Up Your Content reminded me that it is ok to bring up those old posts again that drew in great discussion. AND she mentions J Kaye… who was awesome.  And a true blogger icon that I learned a lot from.

MOBILIZE!  Says Florinda and I have been interested in knowing more but not sure if I am there yet.  I am going to go back to this post again but I think wordpress has a widget that links you right up.

Social Media Icons hooked me up with some pretty cool buttons that I downloaded and plan to work on later tonight for the sidebar 😀

Plug Ins and Widgets for WordPress sites is mostly (plug ins) for but interesting to know what i would be dealing with if I ever decide to self host.  Widgets however… I love.  😀

Goodreads challenge was a reminder of all of the awesomeness of Goodreads.  I use that and liked hearing more about it.

What Is Rafflecopter?  This challenge not only let you know all about it, you are linked to how to use it… which I did.  Which was fun.  😀

Blog events anyone?  This was a smart idea for a challenge.  We were asked to connect to an upcoming bookish event and there were choices.  I chose Book Chick City’s 100 Books in A Year Challenge, signed up and I am in.

Policies!  Always important, I learned about these on the first Bloggiesta but we do need to be rmeinded to update them to current every few months or so.  Also the idea of a giveaway policy I found to be very helpful.

Back Up That Blog!  Another great reminder.  Easy to do on (a button and a download!) but looks pretty easy on other platforms too.  Read this post and you will want to be sure you are backing up that blog!

6.  Clean up/update side bars

A work in progress, thanks to the mini challenge on this as well I received some great ideas!

7.  Send out author chat questions to 3 authors

Did not happen… not sure when it will honestly.

8.  Prep a blog survey to use in April

Not yet but this is staying on the to do this week.

9.  Draft some fun discussion posts (one drafted… two more ideas formed….)

I drafted two ideas and have written down three more.  Excited to move on these.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the results of Bloggiesta spring 2012.  I did more than I planned and I am walking away with a totally different looking blog.  During my visits to other blogs I picked up some pretty sweet ideas I hope to implement and plan to go forward with a neater more organized, easy to follow blog.

Did you participate in Bloggiesta?  If so what was your favorite part?  If not, looking at my links above so any of those topics interest you?

52 thoughts on “Bloggiesta Finish Line!!! WOO HOO!!!

  1. Whoa! Totally different look! One of these days you’re going to have to teach me everything you know. Mine seriously needs some pizzazz!

  2. Awesome! I can see that you did some more fine-tuning since the last time I was here. Nice borders, etc. And I think you tweaked the colors, too.

    I like it!

    And I had tons of fun doing this…and now I must go write my wrap-up post!

      1. I’m not a “pink” person, but think it goes well with the grey. Better than baby blue at least! 🙂

  3. Congratulations on a great Bloggiesta Sheila! Love the new look and your new header is gorgeous, but where’s Coffee Cup? How will you do your Morning Meaderings without him??? I’m exhausted and still have several half-finished goals I’m still working on, but think this was a great event! I’m thisclose to fixing the final glitches in my new design, then I can finally update my blog! Think that’s the part I’m most excited about taking away from Bloggiesta this year!

    1. LOL – yeah… I broke the cup. 😯

      LOL Just kidding… I messed up the sidebar… I need to fix it. I think I have an idea for coffee sup too and you just gave it to me. Thanks! I am glad you had fun too!

  4. Holy smokes, reading that made me feel bad. I didn’t participate but have been trying to figure out some of the blogger updates etc, almost lost my sidebar in process, now updating and deciding. So much great info, 2 I definitely need to go read, so thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh my! Hello! I completely understand why you’re using your pinky to hit submit on your post. Look at all you did! Wow! (Love the “OMG Becky” reference. LOL)

    Your blog looks great and I’m so so impressed with everything you did. You even socialized a ton! Wow! Thanks so much for hosting your mini-challenge as well as participating in Bloggiesta! We’ll see you again in September!!

  6. Wow – awesome job with all the challenges! I didn’t keep track of what I participated in, but I probably should have. You did really good this weekend — I like the new header! And I’m glad you’re making a start on discussion ideas … jot them down whenever you think of something! I like to read links that come up on Twitter, sometimes … they can bring up other topics that are good to write about.

    Glad you had fun!

  7. Wow, quite a productive weekend for you! And several design changes too. I had fun with the challenges but I didn’t have the energy to officially join more than a few of them.

    Ummm… bring back Coffee Cup!

      1. I had to laugh when I saw him gone… because I ADDED my coffee cup to my new cover photo for my Facebook fan page. And yeah, I think you changed everything!

  8. I didn’t officially do bloggestia, but I have been looking at and acting on quite a few of the posts to improve my blog. Amongst other things, I’ve joined and linked up to twitter, and added a facebook liike button. I’ve also reviewed my ideas regarding posts and comments.

    Your list of what you’ve done was really useful by the way- it made it easy for me to look down and see if I’d missed any good tips.

  9. Go you on completing most of the new mini-challenges!!! I did a few and learned some new things which is always good. I already started my list for the next Bloggiesta – and I’m sure as I continue to visit everyone’s wrap-up post I’ll be adding to it!

    Love, love, love the new design!

    1. Thank you Kristen, I appreciate your comment on the design as I am wavering… its so different – the comment layout…everything. It helps to know others like it. 😀

      I think Bloggiesta and I are going to be friends all week… I am still tweaking away 😀

  10. Your blog is truly amazing and your energy is an inspiration! I didn’t realize what was missing until someone mentioned the coffee cup, so I’m glad to know it’ll be back after its makeover.

  11. I think I missed all the mini-challenges… like pthft! Flew by unnoticed!! Great wrap up post… I’m gonna check some of those out!!

    I like Pinterest. I am finding other book bloggers posts floating around, too, which I think is the point (I wandered away from the point, drawn in by all the pretty pictures – Ooooh!!) Hunt me down once you’re up and I can pass on whatever you do for Book Journey. Theoretically.

    1. My only fear of Pinterest is that I think I will like it too much. I spend so much time now reading, reviewing, blogging, …. add Pinterest to the mix and sleep is going to have to go…. LOL

  12. You are a Bloggiesta-ing machine! ALL of the mini-challenges!? You’re dedicated. And I like all of the aspects of the new “look.” 🙂

  13. Holy cow lady! No wonder you held up that pinky and then collapsed at the finish line. ALL of the mini-challenges? I admit that I didn’t stop to do any of them because I was always running on a timer of not knowing when the babe might wake up from her nap.

    Everything looks great!! Kudos on all the accomplishments.

  14. The place looks fabulous, Sheila! Sounds like you had a very busy and productive Bloggiesta–congrats on all you accomplished, and I’ll look forward to seeing your first post using a mobile-blogging app :-).

  15. I’m so pleased the themed page challenge worked for you! It was my first ever time making up a challenge, so it’s nice to see it was helpful. It sounds like you did a lot–good for you!

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