Blogging Fundamentals 2018 – Assignments One Through Five

First things first – time for an update on my progress toward achieving any of my New Year’s resolutions. I published my resolutions on 6 January 2018 in this post: 2018 – Time For Some New Year’s Resolutions. It was a pretty good list, ambitious yet achievable, so I thought, and while it is still too early in the year to say I failed entirely, I can say I am not doing well to achieve a single one. But, this post marks a little more progress toward achieving some of them.

The entire focus of completing the Blogging University Blogging Fundamentals course at this time is to completely revamp this blog to have it align more with what I foresee as my writing focus for the foreseeable future – using this blog to support my need to earn more money, which is one of my published resolutions. As a retired person, all my income is fixed now, so earning more money can only result from getting another job or developing income from home-based business. I am not looking for a new job and I’m not going to look for one, so this blog is going to be one tool to help me start earning from business. Thus, the focus of my writing is going to be business related, primarily home-based business related.

Other than shifting the focus of my writing, revamping the blog also means I am completely changing how it will look. Again, this works well with completing the Blogging Fundamentals course, since the fifth assignment is to “Love Your Theme,” in other words to try several themes until I find one I like and start using it. This turned out to be pretty easy as I identified a theme several weeks ago I wanted to use, so the next several weeks will not only see a change to my content but a blog that will be changing several times as I move from my existing theme to a new one.

As I stated in the title of this post, it’s being written to accomplish the first five assignments of the Blogging Fundamentals course. I already talked about changing the theme, so in the interest of actually completing the first four assignments, here they are as assigned in the emails I received.

Day One – Publish a “who I am and why I’m here post: This is simple isn’t it? I am here to write and have people read and enjoy what I write. Actually, it never has really been simple. In my very first post on this blog, I wrote, One single thread of advice is repeated over and over in everything I have ever read or heard about writing – “just write!” Get started! Write something today, and tomorrow, and again and again. Today, that is what I am doing. That is why I was here six years ago and it is why I am here today.

Day Two – Take Control of Your Title and Tagline: It’s very easy to complete this assignment, I’m not changing anything. My title and tagline are both fine with me and they are well established so they actually have some SEO value. Again, no change needed.

Day Three – Visit the Neighbors: This is where the whole concept of a blog as a community starts to come together – visiting other blogs and developing a relationship by starting to comment on other’s works. Over the years I have done this and followed several blogs. Since I am going in a new direction now, it’s incumbent on me to find new blogs with similar interests to start engaging as my new peers.

Day Four – Identify Your Audience: This is going to be a work in progress for me over the next few weeks as I refine exactly who I am trying to reach out to with my new business focus.

Next up over the next day or two will be unveiling the new look of the blog and a couple of posts to complete the next course assignments. Hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll have this going in the general direction I want.

 

2018 – Time For Some New Year’s Resolutions

Okay, here we go. The new year is upon us and it is time to do what many, many, many people do – make my New Year’s Resolutions. As I was searching for an image to use for this post, instead I found this article from lifehack.org – 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them. Nearly all the items I thought of for my resolutions are on this list. The only one that isn’t is my number one resolution. So here is my list of resolutions for 2018. Like most people, the odds are against me sticking with all of them, but I’m going to try harder this year than I have in the past.

  1. Publish at least once a week on this blog: Yes, this is my number one resolution and it’s the only one not on the lifehack list, although it kind of is. Number 49 on the list is Start writing a book/journal. No, this blog isn’t a book nor does it qualify as my journal, but the idea of either is to write, which is what this blog is about and what I intend to do. This is post number one, so it’s a good start.
  2. Get healthier: For my second resolution, I’m combining several different ones from the list. As you can tell by the graphic above, my blood sugar averages for December are awful. This is important to me because I’m a diabetic. If you’re not, the chart probably doesn’t mean much to you, but for a diabetic it can mean life or death. Reigning in my blood sugar is part of my overall resolution to get healthier by healthier eating, more exercise, more and better sleep, and giving up cigarettes. For many people, it’s not easy to do any of these regularly, but again, I am determined to do better in 2018.
  3. Watch less TV and read more: For this item on my resolution list, I combined a couple of resolutions that were listed separately on the lifehack list. Like many people, I watch a lot of TV – in fact I watch too much. I used to be a very avid reader that more often that not had my face buried in a book. Over the years, that changed, and in my opinion, for the worse. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with watching TV, but it should be in moderation. In my case, 8 to 10 hours a day was entirely too much. So, I’m going back to the life I used to lead – the life of a voracious reader. Because I own a Kindle, and because there are thousands of books that can be downloaded for free, I am currently reading a collection of Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  4. Learn more about art, music, culture etc.: I’m fortunate in that I have a pretty decent education. Over the years I’ve taken classes and read and studied many subjects on my own, so I feel pretty knowledgeable about a lot of things. One of my biggest shortcomings though is what many of us consider “cultural” works. For example, I’ve never been to the opera or the ballet. I don’t understand a lot about art. These are the things that I intend to start experiencing in 2018, and I’m busy searching for the first one to attend this month.
  5. Earn more money: Like most people, I can always use more money. I am retired now, so I can’t get a pay raise or a bonus at work. I’m not looking for a job, either. My extra money is going to come from working from home in a couple of different endeavors, but those are for later posts or posts in another web site or blog I am working on.

So there you have it. These are my five resolutions for 2018. I hope you made yours as well and I wish you much success in achieving them.

Blogging 101 | Post 3 – ‘ritin’ rampage!

cropped-new_writesomethingtoday1.jpgDecision to Quit

When I signed up for this course, I decided come hell or high water, I would complete it this time. I got behind, as expected, woefully behind. In fact, this is only my third post of the sixteen assignments we’ve been given so far. I actually decided this past weekend that I was going to give up on this again.

What Decision?

I woke up this morning and changed my mind. I decided, right or wrong, that I am going to get caught up before Friday and complete this course – finally. So, I’m starting a writing marathon, no, like the title says, a ‘ritin’ rampage. That’s what I’m going to do – go on a freaking rampage and write thousands and thousands of words and publish them all.
Let’s get started with this.

All good boys deserve a favor.

Four score and twenty years ago.

Whistle while you work.

Fly away little Starling…fly, fly, fly.

Ooooops!

Sorry about that! Those quotes are completely unrelated to the topic at hand. They were just some poor, pitiful attempts at humor from poor, pitiful me. The topic is writing to get caught up, and I am starting with today’s assignment, since it’s easy – it’s already done.

Sharing and Publicizing, Oh My!

This is the real assignment for today, and like I said, I am already doing it. Currently, whenever I publish something on this blog, it automatically notifies or posts on these social media services: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, and Path. I have to admit though, either all the articles I’ve shared on social media were lousy, or the people who look at my social media sites aren’t interested in reading. Who knows, but I’ll keep at it.

So, This One is Done

The rampage is started, the coffee is flowing, and somehow the words are falling out of my brain onto the keyboard. Call this assignment done, if you will. If not, I will. Next up, I believe, will be a two-fer, if I can make it work.

Stay tuned!