Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blog Improvement Challenge - week 1

To read the entire post about what the first week is about, please go to Sophisticated Dorkiness.   

To sum it up, this is what the first week is all about:

here is the first task for the Blog Improvement Project:

  • Read some of the articles on goal setting.
  • Set some goals for your blog.  Think about where you would like to be a year from now, and try to set clear and specific objectives that you’ll be able to measure in some way once we get to the end of 2009.
  • Write a post about your goals.  If you can think of any, also include ideas about projects or activities that you think could help you achieve those goals.
  • Come back and sign the Mr. Linky (image below, it will be a popup) with the specific post you’ve written your goals in.
  • Check back to answer questions (if you can), read and comment on other participants blogs, and to see a wrap up post next week of some of the most common goals other participants have set.

I waited until I had a chance to really think about what I wanted to do with my blog(s) and also get reader comments before I did this post.

First, I had two blogs.  I was on the fence about combining them.  When I first created my second blog, I did so because I thought I wanted to keep my book blog about books only.  However, I realized that I didn't post much on the person one, so what was the point?  I also began to really enjoy blogs that review/talk about books but also personal things.  So my first goal was to make a decision.  Thanks to my readers, I have decided to combine the blogs.  Now, I just have to do it.  

I changed my template design not too long ago, but I've decided to change it again.  I know, I just can't be happy.  I thought I would be happy with this one.  However I didn't like how the quote showed up on the left side, hard for lots of people to read the whole thing.  I also didn't like that I couldn't use a picture in the header.  So, I looked online and found some free templates. I also found directions on how to use a standard blogger template and make it 3-columns.  I definitely want 3 columns.  So in the near future, look for some design changes.  I will create a post to let you all know when I start working on it, and when it's done. 

Oh, wait, I forgot to mention my goals first.   I suppose my goal would be to get a bigger following.  I realize that I don't have any way to know how many people follow my blog via google reader or a similar program.  However I do have a stat counter on my blog so I can see how often my blog is viewed via the website.    I also want people to really enjoy reading my blog.  I want to provide some entertainment for those who read it.  I know sometimes I will read a blog and bust out laughing, and it really just makes my day.  

Along with getting a bigger following, my goal was to create better posts.  You probably already noticed a change in how I do my book reviews.  That was just me getting a jump on things.  I hope the new format is more enjoyable.  I'm sure I'll make changes throughout the year, but at least it's a start. 

I would love to get more comments on my blog.  For those who do comment, THANK YOU!  You really have no idea how happy that makes me.  I don't have very many friends who live in St. Louis.  In fact,  most of those who I would call friends, are really my sisters friends.  But we sometimes hang out and share emails.  While I love these women, it really gets me down that I don't have many friends of my own.  So having people comment on my blog and "talk" to me that way, really does make my day.    I'm also going to get better at commenting on other's blogs.  There are several I follow and love, but never comment on.  I wonder if they love comments as much as I do?  Probably.  So I'll start commenting more.   Towards the end of last year I started trying harder to comment on comments received on my blogs.  I used to never comment.  But then  people started to respond to comments I left them, and I appreciated it.  So I started to do it here.   When I don't respond to your comment, it's usually because I don't have time.  I was probably checking email really quick and had time to publish your comment, but not respond.  So I'm going to try and get better at that. 

There are several things I would like to start doing with the blog, especially now that it's combined.  First, I will mention that I have several goals for myself this year, that have nothing to do with blogging.'s going to trickle into my blog.  These aren't the dreaded "new years resolutions" because I started working on them last year.  But they are important to me and I'm still struggling.  First, eating.  I am by no means over-weight.  I don't' think I need to lose weight.  I am at a very healthy weight for my height and age.  (Although I do have a bit of a stomach..and I just don't want it to get bigger).  I've been working out for about 3 years now.  I work out in the weight room at work, so it's pretty easy for me.  What I want to work on is what I eat.  I eat a lot of junk and it's not healthy for me.  I've begun to not feel 100% most days and I believe it's because I don't eat healthy.  So last year I started to work on this. What this means to you, is that when I find a cool recipe or a way to help myself eat better, I plan to share it.  I actually already have my first post in mind.

I'm also going to share tips on saving money.  I know, with the economy the way it is, you are getting this everywhere.  But I hope that what I have to share helps.  I thought I would also tell you about some of the rather silly suggestions I have come across.  Oh, and just to let you know, last year I saved a little over $1,400 by using coupons.  So...I might know a thing or to about this.

I work in IT.  I'm in support.  So I get a lot of questions all day long that I can readily answer, but realize it's not something most people know.  I want to start sharing that with you.  Obviously you use a pc, or you wouldn't be reading this.  I'm very open to suggestions from my readers.  I plan to start posting tips and tricks once in awhile, not a lot.  I'll probably also post funny stories about calls.   I hope that when I post something, at least somebody finds it funny.  If you read it and have another question, please leave a comment.  If you think your question is "stupid" just ask me not to publish your comment or your name and I won't.  I'll answer it, but I wont' mention you asked it.  I will say that you shouldn't be embarrassed to ask any question, but I know a lot of people probably will be.  Also, I look forward to the questions because it will help me grow.  I'm hoping I'll get a lot that I don't already know the answers to.  That will prompt me to research it.  That in turn, will help me with my job.  So the way I see it, it's a win-win situation.

And last, one change I'll mention is that you will see a lot more pictures.  Mostly of the house, trips, and my nephews.  I hope you like pictures!!! haha!

I hope this wasn't too boring for you.  I also hope that you stick around as I try to improve my blog this year. I think you will see the blog, and myself, grow. 


Anonymous said...

It looks like you have 40 subscribers in Google Reader. I'm sure you have subscribers in other readers, too. Good luck with your goals.

Beth F said...

Great set of goals! And how nice to offer your expertise.

Bermuda noted that you have 40 subscribers in Google Reader! Wow! That's bunches more than I have. You must be doing something right!

Kris said...

Bermudaonion - wow! Thanks! I had no idea you could see how many people followed your blog on google reader or others. 40 -I'm impressed! lol!

Beth - Thanks! I thought I was being nice too. haha!

Anonymous said...

I love seeing pictures on blogs, so I hope you are able to add more! Great goals, and thanks for joining the BIP!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

Kathrin said...

Kris, just wanted to drop in to say how much I love your goals. I've been a faithful reader, but, like you, I sometimes forget commenting *sigh* I hope to do better from now on!

Kris said...

Kathrin - Thanks for being a faithful reading and thanks for stopping by for this one! I think we'll both do great with our goals this year...or so I keep telling myself. haha!

Kathrin said...

Kris, I sure hope we will do well with our goals! If you'd like to, we maybe could support each other with a heads up-post or something every now and then?

Kris said...

Kathrin - That sounds great!