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!

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