Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday Thirteen, Ed 14

Something that sort of took me by surprise after I’d been blogging for awhile… is that it’s really a circle of bloggers. I think it’s the rare reader, or at least the minority one, that doesn’t have her own blog. I had this image, originally, of providing this font of knowledge for appreciative readers who just didn’t know WHERE to turn for their next romance fix.

OK, heh, so it’s not quite like that. We all have blogs, we are all voracious readers of both books and other blogs, and we are all avaricious about our reader stats. Turns out there’s a fair amount of behind the scenes type stuff that bloggers may or may not do to make their blogs memorable and manageable. Maybe you saw my earlier posts about Bloggiesta and the hard-working Natasha. There’s also a group at BookBlogs.ning that I belong to where bloggers share tips and advice about improving their blogs.

I found all this to be very inspirational, however I wasn’t able to get nearly everything done that I wanted to during the official “Bloggiesta.” So I’m dedicating this T-13 to my blog to-do list.

1. Content. The part that I care most about for this blog is to have good content, even when I don’t feel like writing. I’m going to try to write one “rainy-day” post each week that I can pull out when work gets crazy or the kids get sick. When I have a nice stash, I’ll start posting them and writing replacements so they don’t get too stale.

2. Guest posting. Something I hadn’t thought too much about, but Natasha’s list included working on getting guest posters to appear regularly, and I really like the idea.

3. Static Content Pages. I’d like to have a good “about me” page, as well as pages that outline my policies (my, doesn’t that sound official?) for accepting submissions, reviews, and giveaways. Blogger doesn’t have a great way to do this, so I need to get creative.

4. Sidebar clean-up. I’ve got quite a bit of stale stuff there that feels cluttery. The new template helped a lot, but there’s more to do.

5. Figure out Feedburner and Technorati.

6. I’m planning to kick off something new here that I’m fancifully calling “Friday Fantasy Feature.” Since this IS a romance blog after all, you may be forgiven for that little trip into the mental gutter you just took – but no, I’m not talking about erotica or THOSE kind of fantasies. I’m talking about the sci-fi/fantasy genre, which I confess occasionally distracts me from romance (though I always return).

7. Submissions to book review sites. I’ve poked around a bit superficially without much luck, but I know they’re out there.

8. Contacts at publishers. I have a couple. I want more. (Don’t we all?)

9. Thinking about joining RWA, even though I’m not an aspiring writer. Seems like a good way to find out about good stuff coming up.

10. Graphics and badges. I want to play around with a small square icon for Alpha Heroes – some people like to put graphics in the sidebars, and I might futz a bit with some T-Thirteen headers to share.

11. Do more blog-hopping. I think I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut. I have my favorite bloggers, to whom I’m very loyal, but there are new ones all the time and I don’t tend to make much effort to find them – and that is definitely MY loss.

12. Related, I want to refresh my blog rolls. There are a bunch that I want to add.

13. Read and comment more at the big sites: AAR, Smart Bitches, Dear Author. I tend to feel a little overwhelmed by the big magazine style sites, but I should get over it. Maybe. OTOH, I rather like the little single-owner blogs; they have an intimacy that I love.

Visit the Thursday Thirteen site here.
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Chris said...

Your list got me thinking about some things I should do, too - thanks!

Leslie said...

I love this post! I see lots of things on that list that I should do.

It's a bit overwhelming trying to get to all the blogs that I want to. And I need to comment more and lurk less. :)

And the about me page - ugh! I wish I could hire someone to write mine. LOL

I think I've heard of Technorati but I have no idea what it is. I will check out those two sitess you mentioned. Thanks!

Alice Audrey said...

I've never found the big sites bother to come check me out just because I comment. I'm better off visiting little ones if I want them t read me too.

Shelley Munro said...

What Alice said about the big sites v smaller sites. I've been thinking a lot about my blog recently too and ways to increase traffic. Technorati is actually very easy. Just go and claim your blog and go from there.

Unknown said...

All of these are sound advice. I think the most important part of a successful blog aside from content, is putting yourself out there and visiting blogs old and new.
Happy T13!

Hootin Anni said...

Yes, yes...I made sure I cleaned my blog up a lot a few weeks ago. It was a mess. Good luck.

My Thursday's road signs & slogans are posted...come on over if you need some laughter!

Happy 13'ing!!

I am Harriet said...

Good stuff!
Happy Thursday!

Joy Wizziwa said...

Lots to think about indeed...I'm not a really good blogger but doing the T13 has really opened my eyes to how I could do it much better. If only I could create a bit more time each day. ;)

Thanks for the great T13 List!!


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