Two weeks after the course, I decided to revisit my Blogging 201 notes and check if I’ve actually completed all of my requirements to claim I finally graduated. Offhand, I can already say that I’ve done so much better this time than how I fared with Blogging 101. I had a much stronger commitment. From flunking 101 to acing 201, I think I deserve a pat on the back (patting myself now), for I took 201 at a time nearer my first CPA exam, so that’s a real, major challenge (and yes, still very much employed full-time, working my ass off especially during month-ends). The good thing about 201 is it ran only for two weeks. So here’s a quick review of the course’s assignments for the first week and the corresponding links to my notes.
1. Setting Goals – Aim High, Hit High
2. Auditing Your Brand – A Closer Look at Those Lemons
3. Getting Read All Over – So How Do I Look?
4. Giving ‘Em What They Want, I – Chasing Numbers, Catching Love
5. Driving Traffic to Your Archives – My Passion is Equal to the Task
For ease of reference, I’ve compiled all of these notes under one category conveniently sitting on my sidebar: My BloggingU Notes. See, I’ve completed all of them with flying colours! But then moving on to the second week’s task is where I had some problems. I felt like the bigger tasks were all lumped into this heavier final week of the course. I should have done each of them on the day they were given out, which was what I promised myself when I wrote down my goals. But I decided to break that self-imposed rule, in favour of quality. I did choose to take my time. So here’s an update of week 2’s assignments:
6. Digging Into Social Networks – This I’ve done. I decided that for a life blog; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter would be the most fitting platforms.
6.1 Instagram: I checked my Instagram account and found it may be in tune and interesting enough for the blog. I need this especially for sharing photos in keeping with the “A Migrant’s Journey” category. I found I’ve already been posting photos documenting the things I’m experiencing in Sydney so I did not need to create a separate account. Occasionally, I also post photos reflecting God, Love and Career which are all aligned with the blog’s theme. Plus, I have one username for both WP and Instagram, so it was pretty easy to link the two accounts.
6.2 Twitter: I used to have a Twitter account which was under the username @sassycare, as in my WP and Instagram. However, i deleted it years ago. I thought I was not the popular type, enough to have people following what I have to say. I felt it was more for celebrities or at least like-minded people who have things to say that are worth being talked about in talk shows or news programs. My lack of confidence was a deterrent for me to continue on my twitter life. But years after, Flavored Lemons happened and I have a whole new reason to tweet. After all, I have thoughts I deem worthy to publish in a blog, so maybe Twitter can accommodate me this time? I have really few followers at the moment but that doesn’t bother me. My goal is to spread the word about articles I write and to reach people, who are always destined to be my audience but just haven’t found their way to the site yet. So after twenty thousand years of deleting @sassycare from tweetworld, I finally created the account @flavoredlemons and just like that, I found myself on Twitter again.
6.3 Facebook: I created a page for Flavored Lemons. It’s quick and easy to manage. I did inform my friends about it, they are all probably placing me into their “friendship over” zone because I asked them to check out a personal blog page. How uncool can I be? But I just wanted them to know I’m into something–writing articles about my life from which they probably can pick some lessons from. I wish they realise that for most of my posts their situations and stories are the inspiration behind. I always imagine my audience to be my friends. I just wish they one day they’ll appreciate my writing–especially those articles i wrote with them in mind.
7. Making the Most of Events – I’ve checked out available community events in WordPress and found this one which particularly caught my interest: Blacklight Candelabra. They post writing challenges once a week, every Monday. I participated on two of them so far and enjoyed the experience so much. I wrote my first poem and three haikus for the two challenges and am so looking forward to what future challenges may unleash from the creative corners of my mind.
8. Creating an Online Hub – This one took the most time to finish. I finally can say that after two weeks, the blog is now a hub to a network of social media accounts I mentioned in assignment #6. I have now a Social Media section on my sidebar, right below the menu. Simply click the icons to like or follow Flavored Lemons.
9. Buddying Up – I have a really exciting project that is in response to this assignment. I still don’t have it at the moment but already started working on it. Hopefully, I can tell you about it in a week’s time.
10. Giving ‘Em What They Want, II – Taking feedback from readers to another level, I found this one really worth a try. It wasn’t so hard at all. I have just recently added the “Get in touch with us” corner on the sidebar, and I really do hope to get in touch with all of you on a more personal level using this feature.
So there! All assignments in (almost, with only one as work-in-progress). After taking Blogging 201, I could say I am now happier with my blog, the direction it is going and how the brand has been built so far. I am sure it will still evolve and continuously grow as my blogging life continues. I hope you’ll all stick around and grow with me.
Thank you for being so supportive to Flavored Lemons from the start to this point; special mention to my Blogging 201 classmates who have likewise successfully completed the course, congratulations to us! Here’s to more juicing and squeezing out of the best things life has to offer.
Featured photo is taken from masahble.com