This past week I completed the activities for Day 7 – Day 12. I strongly encourage any blogger to complete the challenge activities; it’s a great learning experience to say the least! I’d also like to say thank you to all the challenge participants for enriching the challenge for me so far. Thanks for all your comments and encouragement!
I’d like to make special mention of Sue Waters. Her blog is an amazing resource for the challenge, and blogging in general, and I know I wouldn’t be learning half as much if it wasn’t for her!
Here’s what I learned in the challenge this week:
Day 7 – Plan Your Next Week’s Posting Schedule - I think this will turn out to be one of the most important tips I’ve learned so far. I used Google Calendar for this last Sunday. I like the email reminder that Google sends the night before a scheduled event. I scheduled two posts this weekend: one related to the 31 Day Blogging Challenge, one unrelated. In terms of productivity and life balance, 1-2 posts a week is realistic.
Day 8 – Comment on a Blog You’ve Never Commented On Before - Done, thanks to the challenge participants. I commented on Colin’s and Joy’s blogs, both of which I’ll keep reading after the challenge is done. One important realization - I do need to find a way to keep track of comments and co-comments.
Day 9 – Run an Advertising Audit On Your Blog - Although this activity is not listed for the group challenge (probably because I don’t think teachers create blogs for profit), I included it here because I didn’t know that some people blogged for a living. Now that I’m aware of it, it makes sense. I don’t know why I was so surprised to discover that for some people, work means getting up and posting every day. Once again, my mind has been opened just a little more to the new and unexpected ways that technology is changing the way people live, work and interact with one another.
Day 10 – Declutter Your Sidebar – As far as aesthetics are concerned, I like clean, simple design lines in general so my sidebar was not cluttered. After reading other participants reflections, I decided the only thing missing was a prominent RSS feed subscriber. I added Feedburner last night. I hope I added it correctly. I hope even more that I see some subscriptions soon!
Day 11 – Dig into Your Blog’s Statistics – I’m installing Google Analytics to get the data I need to do this properly. In terms of comments, the highest number is found on posts associated with the 31 Day Challenge, my art blog project and my PLN post.
Day 12 – Introduce Yourself to another Blogger - I returned the favour and commented back to Jeanette after she tagged me for this challenge activity. I do believe that this will be an ongoing aspect of blogging and expanding my PLN, although I’ll mainly stick to commenting and co-commenting for now. Digital immigrant at heart, I still do not feel comfortable emailing complete strangers.
Day 14 – Analyze Your Blog’s Competition – After reading this activity, I realize that time will be needed in order to properly analyze and find the answers to the questions posed. I’d rather spend a few days on this and learn from the activity than complete the activity quickly just to get it done. This self-directed learning opportunity affords the luxury of time, so check back next week for the reflections on this activity and those that follow.
Image: “7″ by Lincolnian on Flickr.com