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"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, January 23, 2011

10 Things I Learned During Bloggiesta! And My Bloggiesta Wrap-up!

Bloggiesta 4 Wrap-up!

Almost 76 hours later and the 4th Edition of Bloggiesta is almost over! Wow, what a fun weekend! OK, work, but fun! Not only did I learn a whole bunch of great new things, I met some great bloggers and visited equally great blogs that I discovered while tweeting and participating in #bloggiesta with the 200 plus other bloggers!

Now, nursing a strained knee (and a fur baby who is recuperating from major surgery) meant I was homebound this weekend, so this year I was able to devote a lot of time to Bloggiesta. So, here are the highlights of...

10 Things I learned during Bloggiesta 4

1. Labels & Tags Challenge... This mini-challenge was all about labeling your posts so people could easily search your blog for relevant information. ( and for us bloggers that happens in the footer of our posts) What I did was create a tab at the top of the blog for "Author Interviews", and "Reviews", and have been slowly adding authors/books with links so readers have one place to look for these. Thanks to Beth @ Beth Fish Reads for hosting this challenge!

2.Google Forms Challenge... This Challenge was all about learning how to use Google Docs to create forms. You need a gmail account, which I have, and what I did for this challenge was to create a form for future giveaways. You can see a sample of this type of form on my recent Sunday Salon. I also created a "contact me" form, you can find by clicking on the "contact me" button in my sidebar. Thanks to Jen @ Devourer of Books for hosting this challenge!

3. Organize Thy Books Challenge... This Challenge was all about organizing the books you receive for review and that you review, but it could easily help anyone who buys books! Jenn of Jenn's Bookshelves talks about using Google Docs to make a spreadsheet to keep track of your books, and using a virtual bookshelf, such as LibraryThing, to keep track of your books. What I did was create a spreadsheet in Google Docs with info to keep track of the when, where and who of the books I receive. Thanks to Jenn @ Jenn's Bookself for hosting this challenge!

4. Mr.Linky/Linky Tools Challenge... This Challenge was all about learning how to create "Linky's" for your blog events. Helpful for reading challenges, and link-ups. I learned how to create both types of Linky tools Thanks to Jen @Teach Mentor Texts. Thanks for hosting!

5. Backing up your Blog flashback mini-challenge... This mini-challenge is called a flashback because it was from last years bloggiesta, but there are always links to the previous challenges that were particularly helpful, and backing up your blog is definitely helpful! In 3 easy steps I was able to back-up my blog "just in case". Thanks to Farm Lane Books for hosting this challenge!

6. Anchors Away flashback Challenge... This flashback challenge was about using good descriptive text to link to the actual location in your blog posts. Instead of writing Here is Chick with Books and creating the link with "Here", it's better to write Here is Chick with Books and linking with the actual location. Lots of blogging reasons for doing this and Thanks to Michelle @ Galleysmith for hosting this challenge!

7. Google Alerts Challenge... This flashback challenge was about setting up Google's search engine to email you with current information posted on the WWW on a particular topic of your choosing. Anyone with a google account can do this, topics range from your favorite football team to "your blog". Thanks to Emily @ Emily's Reading Room for hosting this challenge.

8.Designing You Own Buttons/Banners mini-challenge... This challenge was to make either a button or banner for your blog. Callista of SMS Book Reviews listed some great free sites to help accomplish this. What I did was make a "Contact Me?" button, put it on my sidebar and linked it to a form that allowed someone to contact me. Callista @ SMS Book Reviews hosted this challenge!

9. Best Email Practices Challenge... Trish of Hey Lady Whatcha Readin'? offers 11 great tips on keeping your email organized! And gives us 5 reasons why gmail is the best email server. This is great advice for ANYONE who has an email account. I spent some time over the weekend cleaning up my email, although I have more work to do to organize it better. Thanks Trish for hosting this challenge!

10. Your Review Policy Challenge... This challenge is for solely for bloggers. It's a great post, and very informative about what you should include in your review policy that is typically somewhere in your blog, either a separate heading or included in "About Me". This is something I am working on. I tend to be a little anal about these kind of things and it will take me a little more time than this weekend to put it together, BUT I want to Thank Girls Gone Reading for hosting this challenge!

I did visit lots of blogs! And took a peek at all the challenges and mini-challenges! All the challenges were creative and fun! I wish there were more time to participate in all of them! Thank you to all the Challenge hosts for taking the time to write great & informative posts! Thanks to Natasha of Maw Books Blog for organizing & hosting this wonderful blogging event! Thanks to everyone who stopped by this weekend to offer help, a hello and a "you go girl"!

Did you participate in Bloggiesta 4? What challenges did you find the most helpful?! Have a great rest of the weekend! There's still a little time left for challenges, so have fun to anyone still counting down the time to the end at 8am monday morning!


Natasha @ Maw Books said...

It certainly looks like you learned A LOT Suzanne. I love it! Thank you so much for participating and I hope to see you again in the summer edition!

jayme said...

That's a lot! Bloggiesta is such a fun event. Thanks for stopping by.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Man oh man, you certainly got your money's worth in class, this session! ;O) I learned a lot, too but it was more soul searching, I think . :O) All around, I think everyone seems to have had fun and everyone was pretty productive, too.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Natasha!
Yes, being laid up at home with a bum knee this weekend made for a productive time! :-) I decided that I would participate in challenges this year because I really wanted to be part of the "Big Group", meet other bloggers and chat about what we were doing. Had so much fun! Thanks for putting it all together!

Hi Jayme!
I'm amazed at what I actually did too! Saturday night was pretty sleepless! :-) Sometimes I get carried away with "projects". Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Pam,
Last Bloggiesta (the year before lastI did a lot of soul searching too. Sometimes that's really all you need to infuse a little spark in your blogging! I really enjoyed meeting everyone and seeing what everyone else accomplished! Thanks for coming by!

teresa said...

Wow, you're amazing!! And you gave me some more ideas that I'll have to follow up on even if I don't finish by tonight.
By the way, you're the reason I even know about Bloggiesta!
So, thanks!!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Teresa!
You are sweet! Thanks for the encouragement! You didn't do too bad yourself! And you have a nice start to your new blog! I'm glad I was able to share Bloggiesta so you could join in!

Kathleen said...

The contact me button looks great! Thanks for trying my mini-challenge. Looks like you got a lot accomplished and had fun too.

Beth F said...

I am in awe of how much you got done. Wow!!!! I failed my own mini-challenge this time around. But I did manage to buy a domain and make the switch without killing my blog. :)

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Callista!
Thanks so much for the info & great tips for making buttons! Your mini-challenge was fun! Thanks for hosting it! I appreciated it!!

Hi Beth!
You are so funny! I think making the switch to your new domain tops any mini-challenge! I cringe at the thought of doing it myself. I'm so glad you had no problems! Thanks to you as well for hosting your mini-challenge for Bloggiesta! I learned so much AND had fun!

Unknown said...

Oh you did so well! I gave up on Sunday Hubby was cleaning his side of the closet, which was not bad to begin with so I know it was a scream for me to get off the computer.

I hope your furry friend is doing better.

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