May 29, 2011

Community and Knowledge Go Hand in Hand

When I committed to WordCount Blogathon’s challenge to write a post-a-day-in-May, my goal was to focus on our blog and my writing. After two years of heavy writing for Depression Cookies and a cross-country move, I lost my energy. Now I feel renewed. Initially I was going to set a 500-word-a-day goal for writing starting in June, but now I know I can do much more.
But this knowledge was only the tip of the iceberg. This is my feeble attempt to quantify what I’ve learned:
* How to better define what I want our blog to be: our blog started as a way to promote and discuss our novel, Depression Cookies. Now, thanks to seeing so many wonderfully diverse blogs, I realize Mom and I have so much more to say. We are a mother-daughter team who wrote a mother-daughter book . . . there's a wealth of topics for us to cover.

* Respecting Copyrighted material: Don't get me wrong, I would never steal another's thoughts or hard work for my own use. Still, I didn't get the nuances of using images or "selected pieces" of blog posts. Now I do. When I wanted to pass along some great information from a discussion I attended, I contacted the speaker and asked if I could paraphrase what I learned. She was thrilled and I've formed a bond with her. I wouldn't have thought to contact her before.
From PublicDomainPictures.Net
* Simply ask: I never thought to do guest post exchanges and contact other people for help with my blog! I've found it only improves my blog to have others' thoughts and opinions featured, and I've been astounded at how many people are willing to do this if you just ask.

* Twitter: Before Blogathon, I had only dipped my toe into the pool of Twitter. Basically I signed up kicking and screaming. I’m still a Twitter-newbie, but I’m starting to appreciate what it has to offer.

* Links: It never dawned on me to put links within my posts. Such a rookie mistake.

* Community: I am a better blogger when surrounded by a community of bloggers. You get what you give. I’m updating my Blogs We Love sidebar come June 1 to reflect this new and growing community. I became a better mother when I surrounded myself with mothers, the same has been true of blogging.

Then there’s the invaluable advice I’ve received on Feedburner, Google alerts, blog stats, freelance writing, writing techniques and inspirations, and the list goes on and on.

Thank you Blogathon bloggers and our ring-leader, Michelle Rafter. Although it's been a crash course, I now have reliable sources to use as I continue to learn.

What in your life has been made better by community?


Anonymous said...

Great list, Tia! Funny, I thought you'd been blogging for quite a while...:) Nice work this month!

Haley | Girl About the World said...

Thanks for sharing what you've learned -- I think it's definitely been an educational experience for all (I know it has been for me!).

Tia Bach said...

Thanks Liz & Haley. I've learned so much more than I could summarize here. Truly the best part has been the community and having some new go-to blogs.

Unknown said...

I couldn't have said it better! That's just about exactly what I got out of the blogathon too! I'm actually going to miss the daily deadline and the sense of community we have with the blogathon. Geez, about two weeks ago I thought I'd never say, "I'm going to miss the daily posts."'s really been a great experience!

Tia Bach said...

Thank you. I'm going to be visiting all my fave blogs and holding tight to the house Michelle built!

gloria marie said...

great wrap up post! my only blogathon regret is that i didn't make time to engage more in the community. seems like there were tons of great blogs and bloggers!
looking forward to next year! keep blogging!

Lisa said...

Good list, Tia, and I so agree about copyrighted (is that a word?) material and images. I'm trying to be extra careful with that.

Tia Bach said...

Yes, Lisa, I looked up copyrighted because I wasn't sure and found examples. Thanks for stopping by!

Tia Bach said...

This was my first Blogathon, Gloria, and I can't wait to do it again. I've learned so much more than I could express above.