I recently signed up with Blogging University, part of WordPress.com, to learn about improving my blogging skills and hopefully continue to increase my readership. The online course consists of several challenges which are meant to help me brand my blog and hopefully find the readers I want to reach.
In this challenge, I was asked to make some goals regarding my blog such as increasing readership by a certain percentage, blogging a specific amount of times each week or month or maybe adding some respected guest bloggers. Of course, I’ve had to think about this a little.
I suppose the biggest challenges with my blog to date have been how to increase readership without sacrificing my privacy. After all, I write about the events of my own life, the people I meet and my impressions of the places I visit. I try to keep a positive outlook and show only the upside of my adventures. If I am going to create a solid brand, I want it to be consistent with my other professional ventures. It also has to be consistent with my values and personal code of ethics. For instance, I only post pictures of people who have agreed to be on my blog and never put pictures of children, to protect their identity.
Over time, I have started to be read by friends of my husband (aka Mister Accurate Data). Therefore I try to report factual or historical data as accurately as possible. I find I am spending more time these days just researching and adding links to my posts to make them more educational, not only entertaining. It’s a bit of a fine line, that.
Back to goals though – I have been toying with the idea of separating my blog into 2 distinct blogs, one about my adventures, which has been my main blogging focus to date, and a second dedicated more closely to teaching and specifically teacher exchanges. There seem to be fewer blogs dedicated solely to teaching exchanges, so it might be a service to those who want to find out more about it or those who want to talk about their experiences. I think that would involve some research and the blog might become more of a curation.
Reblogging, guest posts, using tags more effectively, using Twitter more effectively and the power of the blogging awards – these are all items on my to do list. But short term goals are what this post is about. I think the best 2 goals to choose are: learning how to use Twitter more effectively so I can add a Twitter feed to my blog; create my own blog award using criteria of my design. Time frame? Let’s say I give myself until the end of June for the Twitter feed and till the end of summer for the award.