Bloggiesta: Blog Cleaning Party Starts Today

Have you heard of Bloggiesta? It is running this weekend, September 20 through September 22, 2013.

The blurb:

In short, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!

Bloggiesta is a cleaning party for your blog!

Part of the challenge is to create a to-do list. Sometimes just setting goals sends you on your way toward accomplishing them. My to-do list for this session are:

  • Get rid of the archive section in the sidebar of my blogs. It is long and doesn’t really help readers find information. – Changed it to a dropdown menu with one click – that was easy!
  • Possibly replace with a review archive page (remove old Cybils from 2011)

Wow, that small change almost got me into trouble. I found out my old WordPress theme wouldn’t let me change the navigation bar for some reason. When I tried to upgrade to the newest version of that theme, I lost the sidebar. After a frantic few moments, I changed to a better theme and everything is back. Whew!

  • Add a review policy to the About page. Really, I haven’t done this yet.

I enjoyed reading what others included in their review policies. I might have to tweak mine after a bit, but it feels good to have one in place. While I was there, I updated the entire About page.

  • Write and schedule at least five posts to get ahead for the busy upcoming weeks
  • Investigate Bloglovin’
  • Investigate copyright footers – unresolved
  • Do two of the mini-challenges

Have you checked out Alysia’s Post Brainstorming challenge? She has so many excellent ideas, I just can’t wait to get started putting some of them to use.

April’s favorite WordPress plugins is very helpful, too. I found out I could use a Collapsing Archive plugin instead of the dropdown archive I just created. Better Delete helps get rid of all those stored excessive drafts, as well. Several people have suggested Duplicate Post, which I use all the time for meme posts that have the same links and buttons each time.

Brittany’s Guide to GoodReads highlights her research into how people use Goodreads and points out some awesome and little-used features. I spent some time going through GoodReads after reading her post and trying out the features.

  • Read and comment on other participants Bloggiesta posts

See, setting goals was helpful already. I’m sure as I read through other people’s goals I will think of more things to add to the list.

If you’d like to try it, make your own to do list (great suggestions here) and sign up at the Bloggiesta Starting Line.

I’d love to hear from you if you decide to take the challenge, too.

Bloggiesta, It’s Like Spring Cleaning For Your Blog!

Have you heard of Bloggiesta? It’s a series of blogging challenges that are like spring cleaning for your blog and it’s this weekend, March 30-April 1, 2012.

The blurb:

Bloggiesta is a three day event where participants will spend as much time as they can working on fixing all those pesky blog related tasks…. all those things that you think “some day I’m going to clean that up, or change that around, or add that thing!” Everyone will post a “to do” list, or goals they want to accomplish and then all of us will work together to get our lists done. The fun thing is that we can cheer each other on, and learn from each other and have a blast doing it. It’s the perfect time to figure out that something you’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t know how… or to get caught up on reviews, or to fix your labels, or take control of your Reader… or do oh so many other things!

Edit:  Check the mini-challenge list for some fabulous blog-sprucing ideas.

I actually have four different blogs (yes, blogging is an illness :-)) and they all need a bit of sprucing up.

As for goals, I’d like to:

  • Back up all of them and find a way to create back ups that is easier to do so I will do them more often. Edit: has information about backing up blogs – I am trying out the plugin Online Backup on my blogs – got it installed and it is backing up -Nice!
  • Find out to how to make my blogs Pinterest friendly

Joy of Joy’s Book Blog stopped by to let us know about her Bloggiesta Pinterest challenge. If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest, she has a neat how-to-sign-up post and she’ll even help you with an invitation. Check the comments for even more good advice.

See also her link to the  Directory of Book Bloggers on Pinterest at The Well-Read Wife.

Looks like adding a “Follow me on Pinterest” button and a “Pin it” might be good ideas.

Easy “Pin it” plugin for WordPress

  • Figure out Google Adsense (that says it going to expire this month) and how to use it effectively (as in work at all).

For this blog, Wrapped In Foil:

  • I would like do some book reviews that need to be done ASAP. Books, you know who you are!

Edit:  The Bluestocking Society has 5 tips for writing better reviews. Did you know there is html code for adding stars to your blog?

Melanie at Melanie’s Musings has 5 tips for getting those reviews done faster. I really need those!

  • Create a page/list of language-related children’s books for those studying a foreign language or trying to decide which language to take.

Edit:  Charlotte at Charlotte’s Library has an awesome challenge about adding pages to blogs. I did get some research done on this topic.

  • Decide if I should make any other pages to help people find relevant posts more easily.
  • Figure out how to send my reviews to Goodreads in a timely way (plus a couple of other places) -Wouldn’t it be great if there was an automatic feeder like Networked Blogs sends your posts to Facebook?

Edit:  Check Janice at Janicu’s Bloggiesta Goodreads Challenge. She has some great tips.

Comment:  I have been wanting to do a better job with Goodreads for awhile, but only had signed up for an account and never really used it. Today I tried to sign in to take part in the challenge. Goodreads immediately created a brand new account for me using my Facebook account and was contacting all my Facebook friends before I realized things were going wrong. It is funny now, but I was frantic for a few minutes trying to stop it. Now I have to try to delete the new account without losing my old one. Sometimes social media is a bit too social.

The good news:  I found some new friends.

Has anyone tried writing their review in Goodreads and then publishing it to their blog? How does that work for you?

For Growing With Science:

  • Consider whether or not to change the theme. It is an old clunker as far as the comments are in the header, no one knows how to leave a comment, plus the pages aren’t in the tabs correctly. But because it is a clunker, I’m really afraid to try to tinker with it by changing the css. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • Freshen up the science books for kids page and research more great STEM books that are coming out

Edit:  Did a blog post that I have been putting off about this and did some research.

  • Organize mystery seeds into one page of pictures with links to answers

Edit:  Oh well, this was an epic fail. Turns out thumbnails are too small to see. Well, now I know.

I should also clean up my sidebars

For Wild About Ants:

  • Write some of the posts I have been putting off. How about all of them?

Edit:  I posted and made a list of seven more topics to post about over the next few weeks.

  • Long term:  Learn to create videos to add more interest. Oh yes, I guess that would require getting a camera to take videos wouldn’t it?

For Eleven Point Pink:

  • Change the focus to gardening as well as photography. Add some new posts and add links to blogroll, etc.

Edit:  I did add a new post.

See, setting goals was helpful already. I’m sure as I read through other people’s goals I will think of more things to add to the list.

I’d love to hear from you if you decide to take the challenge, too.

Edit: What a great challenge! I had so much fun, met some wonderful new people and accomplished a lot, too. The biggest thing I learned was the usefulness of having goals and spending the time to work through them. It has been so energizing!

Hope Bloggiesta went well for you, too.

It’s spring in the desert. Time for spring cleaning!