Blog Challenge – Build New or Re-vamp

tiff_blog_challengeIf you’re ready to start a blog (or turbo-charge an existing one) this challenge is for you!You’ll not only give your own blog a boost, you’ll also get to see a whole lot of blogs that will have you brimming with ideas.

One of the most popular things I did last year was create the 10-Week Challenge. I also ran a series of shorter challenges on a range of topics. This year, I was thinking of doing a blog challenge – but then Tiffany Dow announced hers, and I thought: Great! I’ll just shoot on over there and join that one!

I suggest you join in, too. Just by visiting a few blogs today that I heard about on Tiffany’s challenge, I found a couple of additions that will be excellent for my blog. Let me tell you about them. (Aaaand… see my PS at the bottom.)

1. Comment Luv. Comment Luv is a WordPress plugin that automatically adds a link to the last blog post made by anyone who comments on your blog. This is a terrific way to use social networking. It is open to spamming, but I have set my comments so that I have to approve the first comment made by anyone who hasn’t done it before. (After the first one, it’s automatic approval.) If I see that it’s spam just goes straight into the trash.

2. A Printer Friendly button. You’ll see the ‘print-friendly’ option at the bottom of each post now. If you want to print out any post to file or to make instructions easier to follow, you click this button and it goes to the PrintFriendly site for you to edit. You can simply click the box saying ‘no images’ and hey presto! Instead of printing out all the side panels and illustrations, you get just the meat of the article. However, you have the option of deleting images manually – so if it’s a ‘how-to’ post with useful images, you can keep those and delete the side panel stuff.

Here’s an example of the result (from the last post I made). By printing out just the text of the post – and cutting out the comments – it dropped from 9 pages to 2! After all, you don’t want all those comments, do you?

Print-friendly_before&afterI got the code for the printer-friendly button for my website, too. Here’s what the print-out would have looked like before using Print-Friendly:

Print-friendly_before

By clicking the “Print Friendly” button, you not only get the option of deleting all images, you can adjust the print size, too – making it smaller, to save paper, or larger to save your eyes!

Print-friendly_text_imagesIf you’d like to join Tiffany’s Blog Challenge, go here to read about it and to sign up to ensure you don’t miss any posts for the duration of the challenge:

http://www.tiffanydow.com/blog/the-freaking-fantastic-blog-and-list-building-challenge/

PS: I said above that you’ll find lots of interesting things on the blogs in the challenge. Well, it’s the next day, and I came back to add this: If you’re not sure about why you should blog (as an author) go and take a look at this post on Sharon Fiberesima’s blog.


Comments

Blog Challenge – Build New or Re-vamp — 17 Comments

  1. Thanks for the good info, Marg. I’ve decided to renew a WordPress site that I’ve ignored while I got the hang of Facebook, Twitter etc. There is a helpful PDF guide to WordPress on the MakeUseOf.com site for anyone wanting some hints.

    • Malia, I hate to tell you this… but you’ve already got it! Your site is where I saw it… LOL.
      BTW, I really liked the way your social media icons sat along the bottom of your blog post. Is that another plugin?

  2. I keep hearing about blogs, but I’m not sure what one is and how it is used. Is there a sight to where I can go to gain information about it?

    • Patricia, blogs are everywhere. Think of them as an interactive website. You just do posts about whatever seems relevant to you or your career, and people can comment on them. Here’s a link about blogging basics, but this site might be a bit overwhelming for a newbie. http://www.dailyblogtips.com/category/blogging-basics/
      Do a search on ‘how to blog’ or ‘why to blog’, and also search for blogs + [any area of interest]. Substitute YOUR area of interest and see how many blogs there are out there on the subject.
      You can start a blog at wordpress.com or blogger.com if you don’t want to get your own domain name (but wordpress.com gives you the option of buying a domain name to suit your blog – have some potential names ready before you start.)
      WordPress have a video on their site explaining more. http://wordpress.com/

      Patricia: just found this blog post about why authors should blog. Worth a look! http://www.fictionblueprints.com/blogging-for-authors/

    • Hi Sydney – so glad you’re finding the books useful! I’m working on the latest one now. The hardest thing is paring down the content to keep them lean, mean and useful.
      I know how much I appreciate ‘printer friendly’ when I’m visiting a blog or website. BTW, you can install a print friendly button on your browser toolbar and use it when you encounter a site that ISN’T print friendly.

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