I’m a late to WordPress’s “Zero to hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog” however decided to fast-track my way through select steps. Here’s a compressed version of the 1st week…
Day 1: Introduce yourself – My very first post was “Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly)” (29 April 2013)
Day 2: What’s in your name – I started just with “Every Day Adventures in Asia” and added the (Mostly) as I expected would share travels to Canada and places beyond Asia too. The tagline “Stories of a Canadian living in India, traveling around Asia” came many months later as my way of making just a teensy bit clearer who I am and what this blog is about.
Day 3: What’s on your mind – Honestly, when “Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly)“ began, I didn’t have a full-time job and hadn’t quite taken going ‘independent’ seriously yet… I’m a self-confessed workaholic so having extra time on my hands was a dangerous scary thing.
And while it was great taking a ‘holiday’ and I readily found interesting pursuits, there were limits. I still needed to DO something, ANYTHING to not get completely rusty with working towards deadlines. As I always enjoyed writing, used to share all sorts of stories of my travels, every day life with individual friends and family, thought “Why not start a blog?”
As for content, I had no lofty goals to change the world, merely use this forum to re-discover anew and share the everyday world around me – be it in India or some of the places I’ve lived, worked or travelled. I’ll admit I was a bit stiff initially, struggled with the technology, but lo and behold, I loved it. I began with a strict commitment to post once a week and soon found I couldn’t resist writing much more than that!
Day 4: Explore your neighbourhood
While I consider my blog a purely personal indulgence, along the way, became brave enough to publicize on LinkedIn… and discovered fabulous new ways of relating to people with whom I’d only ever interacted professionally. While it is blindingly obvious that we are all multifaceted people – by loosening up to share the personal – found many more ‘kindred spirits’ than I had ever imaged.
So I thought for my “explore your neighbourhood” assignment, I’d try checking out who from my professional universe is blogging using the “Find Friends” functionality. What is amusing is I discovered WordPress is littered with a plethora of half set-up aborted blogs!
Nearly all of my real life contacts with blogs gave up before they began – having only titles or at most a couple posts from.. oh.. 2008 or so. From this very unscientific study, one can’t help wonder… Just how many blogging hopefuls are out there who don’t make it past the 1st couple of posts!?
While the assignment is to discover new blogs and I did find more… what works for me is to check out who posts an interesting comment on a blog I enjoy reading or awards like Dragon’s Loyalty, Shine on, and the Liebster.
Day 5: Love your theme… basically by testing others. The outcome? Reconfirmed my preference for Academica (hope you agree too!). Back-up is Expound. Surprisingly Flounder works reasonably well.
Day 6: Include a new element. As I already use photos, music, videos, text and don’t know how to use instagram, etc. am giving myself a ‘break’ on this one!
Day 7: Do some more personalizing. While I’m partial to white background and blue text, I tweaked the colour palette slightly.
Hope you didn’t mind this sneak peek into how I’ve tackled the 1st week of the “Zero to hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog“.