Blogging 201 – Branding and Growth – Week 2 Recap

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Today is the last day of the fabulous two-week Blogging 201 course designed and organized by The Daily Post’s Blogging University. If you’re new to blogging, I suggest you start off with the Blogging 101: Zero to Hero 30-day course which covers all the basics and proceed to the Blogging 201: Branding and Growth 14-day course which is aimed at focusing your blog and growing your audience.

Last week I did a recap of the first week of the course, which you can read here. This week, we had some intensive assignments that required a lot of thought and a little bit of extra time:

Day 6: Dig Deep Into Your Social Network – This was aimed at increasing the blog’s social presence on one or more networks and mapping a 30-day outline on how to effectively use them. This also included adding widgets of your social networks on your blog and using the publicize and share tools in your post. I had already made my blog’s social presence on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’ prior to this course but I still have to outline an effective 30-day plan on how to use it. Any suggestions on how to organize a social media schedule or set some goals? 🙂

Day 7 – Make the Most of Events – This was about creating a recurring event, participating in other events or going to blogger conferences to increase engagement in the blogger community. I found this assignment so interesting  as I’ve always wanted to host a blog event but thought it would be more effective once I had this blog running for a longer time.  In the past week I’ve also participated in two bookish events – Top Ten Tuesday and The Book Worm Club.  After much thought and research, I created a weekly recurring event,  Take-A-Step Thursday because I wanted to know what sorts of things inspire people and what they are inspired to do as a result. I hope you will be inspired to participate. 🙂

Day 8 – Make your Blog a Hub – The purpose of this assignment was to collate online work and projects that you have done elsewhere and create a “Best of ” page on your blog to showcase your versatility.  At the moment, I don’t have any work published elsewhere, but I am looking into exploring more platforms and ideas that will inspire me. Would appreciate some suggestions on this.

Day 9 – The Buddy System –  Guest posting and cross-promotion was something that I had been considering for a while now, but wasn’t sure about since I am quite new in terms of readers and followers and I’ve only just started blogging regularly. I haven’t actively looked for a buddy yet, so if you’re interested in collaborating with me over topics like books and film or something new that we can come up with, I’m more  than happy to brainstorm with you. Please email me directly with the subject “Guest Posting/Blog Buddy” to chat about it. 😀

Day 10 – Give ‘Em What They Want – II – This is part two of the assignment we did last week where we focused on quantity or checking our blog’s statistics to figure out what kind of posts receive more attention and what time of day/night should we post to get noticed. This week we focused on the qualitative aspect of blogging where we could ask our readers anything we wished through a poll/survey. I would really appreciate you taking the time to fill my simple survey of 3 questions so I can work harder at improving. 🙂

I also want to point out here that when I checked my blog again in January after a long hiatus, I had 31 followers. My followers increased by 28 in the weeks leading up to the course when I started blogging again. But since the course started last week, I’ve had an increase of a further 52 followers! That is a whopping 47% increase in two weeks!! For that, I would like to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! 😀

So would I recommend this course to new bloggers? ABSOLUTELY! Go do it, spend some time and work on your blog. Focusing on your content is of course a main priority but also learn how to sell your work and make your blog a brand! You’ll be so proud of your achievements after you’ve acquired some skills.

I’ve learnt so much during these past two weeks, things that I had no idea of when I started blogging again in January. I’ve stretched my blogging boundaries, started exercising my writing muscles, dabbled in the design of the blog, created a blogging event and participated in a couple of bookish blog events, received three awards from lovely bloggers, increased my presence on social media, found so many inspiring blogs, received so many lovely words of encouragement and support from fellow course participants, increased my followers by 47%  (I am still humbled by how that happened!) and made some wonderful friends through it all.  I call that a very successful two weeks indeed ! 😀

All the best! Happy Blogging!

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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