Tag Archives: Blogging201

The End Is Only The Beginning

Blogging 201: Branding and Growth is coming to a close. It was a fast two weeks and it was as thrilling as ridding the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas.

Verruckt – Worlds tallest water slide.

Well, may not that thrilling, but the course was well done and a great learning experience. The course moderator Michelle Weber and the team of Happiness Engineers Lisa and Alex were right on and very helpful and supportive.

Today’s assignment: create a poll and/or a survey to collect feedback from your readers on your site and its content.

Designing and implementing this survey will be my weekend plan. I just need a little time to think about what questions to ask. In the meanwhile, I thought I would give you an indication how Blogging101: From Zero to Hero and this Blogging201 course have impacted Tales From The WagginMaster and me.

Stats 20150212In addition to an increase in readers, page views, and followers, this blog has gone through a large visual and content transformation.  It would be great to sustain this level of activity and hopefully I can adjust the content to make this happen.

Another area that has had a big impact on this transformation is you the reader. Without you, well, you get the idea. You, the readers, are what makes this blog a success. In Blogging101, we were given an assignment to ‘publish a post for your dream reader‘. Of course I had to know who that was. At that time, my dream readers included family, friends and RVers. Tales From The WagginMaster has not picked up new RV readers but that is OK. Perhaps the content has not be suitable for that audience mix.

At the beginning of Blogging201, we had to publish goals. My blog goals were:

  1. In 90 days (May 1, 2015), implement three branding techniques that will double my blog’s reach and readership.
  2. In two weeks (Feb 16, 2015), write a post that summarizes my blog stat page.
  3. In four weeks (Mar 1, 2015), write a post introducing two blogger accountability partners.

As of today, readership has tripled and my brand is now consistent across several platforms. I wrote a post discussing a part of my blog stats on Feb 5 (Analytics). And I am in the process of engaging two accountability partners.

I’ve published 37 posts in 6 weeks, compared to 50 post published in all of 2013 and 2014 combined. This year’s content has shifted from RVing to general information. I was not sure if that was the direction I wanted to go. Having received positive feedback is an indication that the content change was justified.

I have become more confident in writing blog posts that are interesting and informative. I’ve learned new techniques that will build content variety. I still need to get better at proofreading each post BEFORE hitting Publish. I’ve built relationships with some cool bloggers out there and am learning from them. I feel like I have a new group of life long friends who share a common joy in blogging.

As Blogging201 comes to a close, I am excited to see what the next beginning will bring.

Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.


But Am I Really That Sociable

Monday-Morning-QuotesMonday means back to work for working folks. For retired folks, it is just another Saturday. For me and my classmates, it means back to the classroom with Blogging 201.

Today’s Assignment: pick one social network you’ll use to help grow your blog and connect it to your site. Then, outline a 30-day plan for how you’ll use it.

Googling  “drive your business with social media” generates more links than imaginable. What if I don’t have a business? What if I just have “social” connections through my website/blog or FaceBook or Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn or Instagram or RVillage or other social media accounts?

I’ve already written a couple of post about Social Media. Take a look at Social Network Overload and Plugging Into Social Networks.  Today marks the third post on Social Media.

Continue reading

Analytics. Did you get your 2014 in review?

If you are a blogger and use WordPress, you should have received an email at the end of last year that contains a link to your annual report. Hopefully you’ve looked at it and perhaps studied it a bit.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Today’s assignment: conduct a short and simple stats analysis that will help you create an editorial calendar for the next 30 days.

At the end of 2014, I posted New Year – New Plan About Blogging. For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been busy learning how to use WordPress more effectively,  how to reach more people and how to share what I’ve learned. It has been a busy start to a new year.

StatsAs I’ve studied my current stats and compared against my year-end stats, I can say without question that Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 have help me increase the number of post and improve the content. This is evident by the increase in readership. At the end of 2014, Tales From the WagginMaster had 5,887 views compared to 2,331 views in the last 5 weeks. That is an increase of over 400%. I realize some of the view are due to class mates viewing Tales From the WagginMaster. During that same time period, I had an increase of 300% in followers.

Now, I am not a numbers person. Numbers are great but I do not write for the sole purpose of increasing numbers. Numbers are only an indicator. You – the readers – are what’s important.

Stated simply, one of my retirement goals is Make a difference. My email tag line reads, Transitioning from Success to Significance. That is how we are Living Our Dream.

Thanks for stopping  by, y’all come back now.


Auditing My Brand

Day two of Blogging 201 and another tough assignment.

Today’s assignment: audit your brand — look at all the ways you communicate information about your blog, and make sure they’re consistent, focused, and say what you want them to say.

Bonus points: make a test blog to use as your personal playground for testing changes.

One of the key components of this audit was making sure there is consistency across other platforms. I am focusing on WordPress, FaceBook and Twitter.

My approach was to synchronize the header images on these three sites. I really like the panorama of Cades Cove, TN I am using on WordPress. I incorporated other photos from Cades Cove on FaceBook and Twitter.

FaceBook fan page:
FB View
Twitter View
WP ViewThis is going to take a bit more work but I think I am headed in the right direction. What do you think? Do I have consistency?

Thanks for your comments. And thanks for stopping by.



After taking a weekend break from blogging, it is time to crank it up one more time. Two more weeks of ‘blogging school’ with Blogging 201: Branding and Growth.  Shouting a special “Thank You” to the Happiness Engineers at WordPress for hosting these free courses. Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 registration is currently over but don’t worry. These courses at others will be offered again. Watch for details at The Daily Post.

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals you want to achieve.

During my years working as a corporate training manager, I taught several courses on goal setting. Today’s assignment has caused me to dust of the cobwebs on the topic of goal setting.

Writing Effective Goals

The best* goals are those that are written down. This forces us to think about what we are stating in our goals. Also writing goals tends to make us more accountable for accomplishing the goals. I like to write S.M.A.R.T goals.

So let’s get started with my 1st blog goal.

Specific. What will the goal accomplish? How and why will it be accomplished? (Answer the What, How, and Why questions)

Implement branding techniques to improve the reach and readership.

Measurable. How will you measure whether or not the goal has been reached (list at least two indicators)?

Double my current reach and readership.

Attainable. Is it possible? Have others done it successfully? Do you have the necessary knowledge,skills, abilities, and resources to accomplish the goal? Will meeting the goal challenge you without defeating you?

Yes, the goal is attainable. I have the mind and discipline to participate in class activities that will focus my efforts on completing the goal.

Relevant. What is the reason, purpose, or benefit of accomplishing the goal? What is the result (not activities leading up to the result) of the goal?

By increasing the reach and readership, I would expect to gain respect from my readers and learn from their comments.

Time-bound. What is the established completion date and does that completion date create a practical sense of urgency

In three months.

My 1st blog goal becomes –

In 90 days (May 1, 2015), implement three branding techniques that will double my blogs reach and readership.

My blog goals:

  1. In 90 days (May 1, 2015), implement three branding techniques that will double my blog’s reach and readership.
  2. In two weeks (Feb 16, 2015), write a post that summarizes my blog stat page.
  3. In four weeks (Mar 1, 2015), write a post introducing two blogger accountability partners.

*Disclaimer: The comments in this post represent the opinion of the author. Readers are free to disagree with what I write, not argue about what I write.