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Zero to Hero: Day Twenty-Eight

  1. NOTE: Zero to Hero forum threads will close after five days. If you're just starting out, welcome! Feel free to visit a more recent thread to say hello, ask questions, or seek feedback. Happy blogging!

    Day 28 -- only a few days more until you earn your Level 1 Blogging Hero belt! (You didn't think you'd learned everything, did you? :) )

    Today, it's time to take look at how your past posts have performed, and use that to inform and inspire what you draft today. Get all the details on the Zero to Hero main page.

    Use this space as a place to ask questions and seek feedback from fellow bloggers, or just to talk about blogging, why you're here, and how your month is going.

    Please refrain from posting links to your blog unless you're seeking feedback -- this is a place for discussion. Irrelevant comments and spammy links will be deleted. Instead, give your posts the "zerotohero" tag to enable other participants to find you.

    The Daily Post has a weekly open thread on Sundays called "Community Pool," for peer feedback. If you're looking for general feedback on your blog or feedback unrelated to this challenge, please visit that thread.

  2. Oops, just did a post this afternoon that is completely different to what I normally do. Done exactly the opposite of this task, never mind!

  3. What good do you think those sidebar widgets do?

    I have had a thousand visitors this month so far, which is not bad, and for a week I put at the top of my side-bar “Bravery games is a post I love, and a good introduction to this blog. Click and enjoy.” Just one page view in a week. So I used larger print in my text widget, an eye-catching font, and wrote "click for my best photography post: Le Puy en Velay." Not a single click. People do find the old stuff: The Garden of Earthly Delights gets steady search traffic- but by searching, to find the old stuff they want. When they find my blog they occasionally want to explore it, and read a lot of posts, but not very often. I agree my older writing is worth reading, but I don't think the side-bar is the way to get it read. The side-bar is better used for facebook and twitter, perhaps.

  4. @clareflourish
    That's what I think about the sidebar too. I do have the Archives widget in the sidebar, but I don't think either a list of popular posts or a list of recent posts is very helpful in most cases. I prefer to use the sidebar for an About widget, post categories, social media and such.

  5. Here's the one thing I don't understand: •Because the best blogs are cumulative, with posts that build on each other and take the reader on a journey.
    How can I build on a previous post when new readers are essentially reading my blog backwards?

  6. I guess what I mean is, How do I take my readers on a journey, when some of them are traveling one way, and others in the opposite direction?

  7. @fatherat54
    Blogs are essentially a reverse chronological order publishing tool wherein the most recent published post will display on top. You cannot change this order on a free hosted WordPress.com blog. It's designed to serve your visitors as they come to read the most recent posts and will not be inclined to trawl through hundreds of posts to locate it.

    See here for the option of creating a book-like structure > http://en.support.wordpress.com/write-a-book/ Perhaps that will work for you.

    Or you could use a single sticky post as an index page > http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/post-visibility/#sticky-posts

    Or you can falsify every date-stamp one each and every post before publishing.

    When you create a new post and backlink to an earlier one the readers click through to read it. This is the guide for creating links in posts and pages: http://en.support.wordpress.com/links/

    This is the general link model:
    <a href="URL HERE">Highlighted anchor text here</a>
    This is the visual result - it's not actually linked here in the forum.
    Highlighted anchor text here

    1. Enter the relevant descriptive anchor text you want to link to first. Note that "here" is not a good choice.
    2. Then use your mouse to highlight that anchor text. (If you don't highlight the anchor text the chain icon will remain grayed out and not be useable.)
    3. Next click the chain icon in the editor and proceed to create the link.

  8. @clareflourish
    @maraeastern
    Having blogged for many years myself, I have experienced exactly what you have stated above. That is why I favor using responsive layout themes and using static index pages like Basic Blogging and Popular Posts in a Custom Menu at the top of the blog for reader navigation purposes and a Featured Content page rather than focusing on widgets. I also provide an All Posts page.

  9. very helpful to read all of the input so far as I tend to get stuck on widgets and bells and whistles.

    I have not done my assignment yet but I have a probably very naive question: I take it our blogs know their own authors/administrators, so that the stats don't take into account when we view or visit our own site?

  10. @birgerbird
    That's right, if you're logged in your WP account and visit your own site, your clicks won't count. If you are logged out, however, the clicks will show in the stats.

  11. themadmuslimah
    Member

    Just wondering. If we haven’t participated thought out the whole 30 of this task then do we still get a blogger belt? ( I promise that I will catch up!)
    http://thatmadmuslimah.wordpress.com/

  12. Well, I was a bit surprised to find out which post was among my top ones , but I did expand on it. I had to stop myself from going on and on though... have to save the rest of the tips for later

  13. helenholshouser
    Member

    @anamelio--goingto read your post asap--sounds intriguing

    I too was a bit surprised when I looked at my stats! My top 3 or 4 posts --none of them are about genealogy--which I was leaning towards specializing in! LOL Hmm--may have to go back to the drawing board!
    Seems that people most like my community posts or ones about ideas --like the reputaion one! I just finished the post fromyesterday thismorning--where I looked back at a post about Elvis and added a slide show of some sexy pictures--been advertising it that way on facebook--and have had quite a few readers, several comments on facebook--none yet on my actual blog page! Interesting. Again, I have learned so much--so much to learn, but feel I've grown tremendously in skills and belonging to the word press community! Helen

  14. luthersjournal
    Member

    @clareflourish
    To be part of the community or forum or event is more effective than any widget. You are right.

  15. To be part of the community or forum or event is more effective than any widget. You are right.

    I agree with that too but very soon you zero to hero bloggers in this challenge will not have these threads to socialize and invite each other to read posts in. That is not allowed in the technical support forum threads so you will be socializing on Sundays in the community pool http://dailypost.wordpress.com/?s=community+pool

    When it comes to technical support your will have to learn how to do forum tag searches, support doc searches and or Google searches prior to posting new threads. In case you did not notice this I am the only regular Volunteer who chose to assist in these zero to hero threads. There`s a message there that I assume Staff have received.

  16. psychoticincognito
    Member

    I wrote a post about one of my more successful subjects, anger and rage. Please take a look and tell me what you think.

    I didn't add any more widgets to my sidebar because, like a few others here, I don't think they really get clicked on.

    It's sad that Zero-to-hero is almost over, but I am looking forward to moving on to newer and greater challenges. Are you?

  17. I will try a meme on my sidebar next, I think, with a link out. Given that I blog about everything that interests me it is a bit of a challenge thinking what would appeal to "my readership" because they are quite a diverse bunch; and they do not come to me wanting all I offer.

    But anyone who wants to socialise can come to me, leave a comment and ask for feedback (!) or find other blogs they like, to comment on.

  18. @clareflourish, it depends. If you have a blog that touches on a variety of topics, the widgets can be really helpful for highlighting the fact that there's most going on in your blog than the most recently post or two might indicate. I think it also depends on how much other stuff is there (does the widget get lost?) and how it's organized (do you use your sidebar for navigation, or social networks and badges?).

    @fatherat54, once a reader becomes a regular reader, they're traveling down the path with you -- they're reading each new post with the context of the older ones. (If they're not regular readers, the hope is that the post they stumble on intrigues them enough to dig into the archives.)

  19. To everyone here: we'll continue to open threads for a few days after the "official" end of the challenge, for those folks who are at different points, and the Community Pool is open to you every Sunday.

    In addition, this section of the forums is meant, in part, for threads on blogging, so feel free to start conversations with fellow bloggers here.

    We'll be working on other ways to keep everyone connected and other events going forward, too -- look for more details in the Zero to Hero wrap-up post on The Daily Post this Friday.

  20. I agree that taking part in a forum or event is a good idea. I found one poetry site with a monthly comp where the entrants vote for the winner. So at least the other poets get to read my stuff! In fact this post gave me the most hits.
    I also agree about the awkwardness of adding extra material at the beginning of a document rather than the end. Very hard to get used to if you normally write beginning-middle-end in sequence. Can't see a way roudn this.

  21. thanks!

  22. @michelleweber, my sidebar is for internal navigation. I decided to make a feature of the tags, I have two hundred tags on show, and I tend to get about two views per visitor, one comment for twenty views, so they must be going somewhere. My experiments with one link on the sidebar to see if it would be clicked have yielded almost nothing. My most viewed post, I put links at the end of that, and those posts have not been clicked either. I am still trying. I can't see if my categories or tags get clicked, because they do not get shown as clicks, and they lead to "home page/ archives".

    So I could either have no sidebar, or one for other things.

  23. Is there a way to list blogs you like without having every blog you follow on WordPress show up in the widget?
    Does anyone know the best/easiest way to learn the basics of CSS?

    This has been a wonderful experience even though I didn't keep up, exactly, though surprised to see I'd been doing some of the exercises anyway! And loved discovering new blogs, new ideas, fascinating people.

  24. Forgot, will we have access to this list of assignments after the challenge ends?

  25. I was surprised at which of my posts were most popular. I already had a plan for today's post, so I will do today's assignment tomorrow. I cannot believe we are almost complete.

  26. Does anybody know what the difference between the two "follow" widgets is . . . is one for wordpress members only and the other for anybody with an email account? I ask because one of my friends has tried numerous times to follow and is not getting emails.

  27. I looked at the all-time summery of post “hits”. The first installment of a series of short stories I’m writing was near the top – I’ll continue that later. The others that rounded out the top 5 (not including home and about) were all part of a series of (hopefully) inspirational posts based on my experience in the arts and life. This is great because that is the direction I’ve been trying to get my blog to move… Anyway, here is the next in the series, which happens to incorporate past lessens (putting lesson 27 in to play): Finished? I Don’t Think So… Let me know what you think.

  28. I have noticed that the topics related to love and family got more views, likes and comments. Here are three posts I wrote in this month which got pretty good results:

    1. http://cxianliu.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/the-first-wedding-anniversary-paper/

    2. http://cxianliu.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/love-from-a-little-girl-to-a-piggy/

    3. http://cxianliu.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/my-reputation-as-a-knitter/

    So I decided to write another post for today's assignment, also to celebrate Lunar New Year, because right now it is already New Year's Eve in China. The Lunar New Year is more about family gathering than anything else, here is it:

    http://cxianliu.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/here-comes-the-year-of-horse/

    I have changed the header of my blog to accommodate upcoming Year of Horse.

    Thanks for reading.

  29. @birgerbird - I have a few e-mail followers. I know 1 created a Gravatar but I don't think the others did. Not sure what they did special to become e-mail only followers.

  30. @sanhend - Look at Day 13 - Blog Roll. This will let you put up a list of your favorite blogs.

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