Tag Archives: Wordpress

Busy, busy, busy

Why is it that life gets in the way so often? Unfortunately, this blog is one of the first things to go when I am pushed for time. Not the running – that will be almost the last thing! (Feeding my children will probably be last.) Behind the scenes I have been very busy organising fundraising events as well as keeping up with my training. I have quite a few posts coming up so keep tuned but today’s post is about my training.

Dare I say it? I think it is going quite well.

My work in the gym is paying off and I am definitely getting stronger. I am now doing squats with a 20 kg weight. That is nearly one-third of my body weight! I am celebrating.

I am sticking with the yoga. Whether I am improving is harder to say but I am definitely enjoying the deep stretching along with the time out (Adriene calls it a rest for the brain!).

I think that I am getting fitter re my running but that is hard to say. Yesterday I ran 14 miles. It was hard towards the end but I did it :).

My biggest problem is where to go to keep my runs interesting. A week ago yesterday I think I was more stressed about where to go than the actual run itself; road, trail or a mixture. If I did a mixture what shoes to wear (trail or road). The weather was on the cool side. The ground was partly frozen but not completely so I knew that I would get muddy.

In the end I just went for it. I had a bit of a plan but nothing set in stone – I had definitely not measured out a distance. I did a mixture of everything. Here is my run in photographs:

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A wooded area

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I live near a ‘dyke’ – a raised bit of land.

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A muddy bridle path

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A not so muddy bridle path

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A cycle path

So you see – a bit of everything. Being mainly off-road this was quite a slow, tough run but all good for building strength in my legs. I even found some ‘hills’ which for me is a real novelty. I went exploring and found new paths , worried that I was trespassing and generally following my nose. These are the best type of runs.

How do you keep repetative tasks interesting?

What activities are the ones that are the last ones you drop?

 

 

Adding links into your posts.

DaniellaJoe has asked me how I put in the direct links within my posts. I figure that others may not know so thought I would do a quick post as it is something that is really useful to know how to do. It is also easier to explain with pictures rather than just words.

1. Highlight the word you want the link to appear in.

2. Click on the chain-like icon.

link copy

3. This screen then pops up. Simply paste your web page address and click on the add link. It should then work. 🙂

paste

Note:

If you cannot see the link icon make sure that you have highlighted part of the text. If you still cannot see it then you may need to click on the kitchen  sink icon:

kitchen

Finally, if you want to break the link then highlight the ‘link word’ and click on the ‘broken chain’ which appears to the right of the link one.

Really hopes that this makes sense – please ask if you need any clarification. Hope this helps DaniellaJoe?

5k and Marathons

I am in a bit of shock tonight as I type. The unimaginable has happened. I have got a place in the London Marathon. It was my first entry into the ballet and I got in. That is really not supposed to happen. What is more my friends haven’t got in. I am scared and excited and worried all in one go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway. Onto events closer to the here and now. A while ago I read a post about an international running event: the Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k. All WordPress blogs are invited to join in but I cannot see why anyone of you cannot join in. It is an idea that has captured my imagination. How great to be running a 5k alongside people from all over the world? Not often you get to do that.

Automatticians running a 5k in 2012

In fact you don’t have to run it – you can walk it, swim it, cycle it – in fact whatever you fancy as long as you cover about 3.1 miles. The idea is to do it on Sunday 29th  although officially you can do it anytime until that date. You then blog about it using the tag: wwwp5k.
If you are not on WordPress then you can link it back to this post.

So how about it? Fancy joining in? I shall be participating – so watch out for the post.

When do you blog?

Two weeks ago, I asked the question,

Why did you start blogging?

I was so pleased that I did ask this and a huge thank you to all of you who joined in. I learnt so much. It seems that I had a very narrow idea on the subject!

When thinking about this, current post, the obvious questions that came to mind following the ‘why’ are the ‘what’ and the ‘when’. I think that we have covered the what, so this week I am asking,

When do you blog and how did you decide on this?

  • Is it on an adhoc basis? Does this depend on when you have something you feel worth sharing? I definitely started like this. I had the simple aim of blogging once a week – this worked as it also coincided when I was able to produce something that I felt it was worth blogging about.
  • Is it meticulously planned? Currently, I fall into this category. In my head I have this plan where I blog three times a week; once on a Sunday when I share my crafting and join in with Handmade Monday, once on a Wednesday when I do my Blogging Buddies post and then on a Friday  – my fitness post. Originally this ‘plan’ came about because I read somewhere that blogging regularly is ideal when trying to increase readership. I am not  sure whether blogging on regular days is exactly what is meant but I tend to form little rules that I have to follow and this is what I have fallen into.

Handmade Harbour

I suppose that on one level it is important to keep blogging rather than having long gaps in between each one, that goes without saying really….but how often is regular for you? Once a week? Twice, everyday? What have you found that works for you?

This is one of a selection of free blog planners found on heartandmade

Some people take it a step further and keep a diary of blog posts planned ahead of time – similar to a calendar. Are you one of these? On the one hand, I really admire these people and would really quite like to be able to do this but I am simply unable to do this. I am, shall we say….slightly more disorganized and spontaneous.

  • Finally, some people may take more of a scientific approach: By this I mean using your blog statistics to assess which days your blog gets the most views. On WordPress your stats are easily accessed through your dashboard.

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If you go through to your actual page by clicking onto the graph:

You can find your summaries here. Scroll down and you will get to a summary by day:

Mine tells me that there is not really any one consistent day that is stronger than any other.  Not sure why…..Is this the same for anyone else?

How many posts do you think is ideal? Is there ever any such thing as too many posts in a week? How do you decide when and how often you blog? Do share you thoughts as I am sure that there are many more reasons that I have yet to identify. If you fancy joining in then you can leave a link below. Thank you 🙂

 

 

Pinging and Blog Directories

I am sure that all of you of you who blog want to encourage people to visit your blog? More visitors can mean more followers. (Go on admit it I am sure you check your stats on a fairly regular basis!) I have read somewhere that all bloggers want readers whatever they may admit and I am sure that there is a lot of truth in that.

I recently read a great post written by Hilary on Craft Blog UK. It is entitled

My big fat useful links for crafters.

In it she lists different sites that can be useful for you in getting your blog out there. Some of the sites are what you would expect: e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google plus etc. (No I have not yet managed to get my head around Google plus yet – have you?)

There is also a list of craft forums which I would love to find the time to spend time on but simply just can’t manage it at the moment. The  one  section that I am going to go through today is the one entitled:  Pinging and blog directories. Yep it confused me too!

I decided to do a bit of investigating and go through the list of the sites that she mentions:

  1. Submit Start: http://www.submitstart.com/

This states:

SubmitStart allows you to submit an unlimited number of web pages to search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing (MSN) for Free!

I had never thought I needed to do anything like this as I believed that WordPress takes care of this side for me. I did, however think that there is no harm in registering with this site (Hilary has a lot of experience in blogging and I assume she knows what she is talking about).

2.Zimbio.com: http://www.livingly.com/for-bloggers/

Submit your blog to…

1. Share your opinions with a wider audience

2. Interact with our community of like-minded bloggers

3. Promote discovery of your content, helping new readers find your blog

4. Get featured on the Home Page!

Sounds great to me. I have registered – did you spot my lovely new badge shouting it out to the world? I shall again let you know how I get on with this.

3. http://www.dmoz.org

This is a directory of sites – a bit like a huge catalogue. In order to submit your site you have to find the category that is the best match for your site. I have submitted and am now waiting to see if I am accepted. 🙂

4. http://pingomatic.com

Ping-O-Matic is a service to update different search engines that your blog has updated.

This was really easy to do – I filled in my blog name and checked some boxes. It then sent out the pings. I was then told to bookmark the page so I can return and ping later on. Simple and easy. Thumbs up on this one.

5.http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url

  • You want traffic and we can help you find it.

    Getting traffic to your site starts with being listed in the search results shown on Bing. Our tools can help you with this step.

Sounds good to me. On a quick glance it looks a bit like google analytic’s (which I am not great at using either.) I have, however signed up for this one as well.

6. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url

Again, very quick and easy to submit.

There are a couple more that are listed but I couldn’t get to work:

http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/au/free/submit

http://technorati.com/%20

I shall update you and let you know if I notice any improvements (or otherwise). Should you wish to check out the rest of the post on craft Blog UK you can follow this link.

Let me know if you find any good ones won’t you? (Or if you know any others that you use).

Blogging Tips – using SEO

Last week I wrote a piece about setting the categories and tags for your posts which help the WordPress reader put your post into the correct place thus helping people to find your blog. This week I read a great piece about how to get your blog noticed by Google.

 

This is definitely something that I have investigated before, but like many things, it slipped off my radar slightly more recently.  Another name for this is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This term often results in people rolling their eyes and quickly changing the subject. (I have dismissed it in the past). It needn’t be like that really. You are probably already doing most of them:

 

  1. Write relevant content with well-chosen tags (not too many).
  2. Write a tag line that correctly reflects the content on your blog. (Google uses this to work out what your blog is about).
  3. Write regular posts or updates on your blog or website. (This allows Google to see that it is an active site).
  4. Use Key Words sensibly through your post. You really don’t need to think too much about this as if you are writing great content then  you are most likely already doing it. When you are writing a post you need to think about what people would use to search for your piece and then use them sensibly throughout. If, for example I am writing about a beaded necklace that I had made I would ensure that I use this phrase in my post. See – easy as that. Don’t use it too many times however as Google will pick up on it and disregard it (It will also not read very well thus turning people away from your blog!)
  5. Use Post slugs: (yes I know this is new to me too!!) This is the bit at the end of the posts URL.  It can be changed to make it more applicable at any time. On WordPress when you are writing a new post the slug can be found under the title at the end of the
    Writing

    Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

    . WordPress will put the title in. You can have any title as long as you make the slug relevant to your title. Thus my slug for this post will be Blog SEO. Short and to the point!

 

You can also use Google Analytics for more detailed information and I shall attempt to write a piece about this next week so look out for that.

 

Should you wish to read more on this have a look at this or this.

 

I am now going to change my slug for this post (or try to!).

 

Happy Blogging 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning Blogging: Categories and Tags

A couple of weeks  ago we looked at how to encourage more readers to your blog, after all it is really nice to think that you are writing for an audience. Today we are going to look at another part of this which is also a way of organising your posts on your blog.

CATEGORIES:

When you are adding a new post you will notice down the right hand side a box titled categories. This is a way of grouping your posts together under main headings. Think chapters in a book. If you read a book about food you will expect to find chapters entitled, starters, main meals, salads, deserts etc. If you were doing this on a blog each of the chapters may well be one of your categories.

If you wish to add categories then you can click on the +category underneath the category box. You can sub divide your categories further by selecting an existing tag to be its ‘parent’. e.g under deserts you could have sub categories of hot and cold.

For more detailed info on altering categories then go to: here.

TAGS:

Tags, along with categories help people to find your blog. If you like the categories are the branches on your tree and the tags are the leaves. They give you a bit more information about your post. When you are ADDING A NEW POST the tags box is under the categories box down the right hand side.

As you type in content you will see that some suggested tags come up. You may or may not choose them – it is up to you. You can also add any of your own by typing them in the box.

You do have to choose your tags carefully – they need to be relevant. If you mention something in passing then it is probably not relevant to use it. It has to be part of the main content – I always think: ” What I would type into Google in order to find this blog post.”  It is the categories and tags that WordPress uses to place it in the Reader, thus helping people to find you.

A few tips to make the most out of tags:

  • If you include more than 15 tags and categories (total) on a post, it won’t appear on the topic pages — that’s our way of helping ensure relevance.
  • If your blog is private, your posts won’t show up in the Reader, so check Settings >> Privacy in your dashboard to confirm your settings.
  • If you regularly post material that is offensive, not safe for work, or not suitable for minors, we might flag your site as mature, and mature blogs aren’t included on topic pages. (You can contact support if you think your blog may have been accidentally flagged.)
  • If you’re misusing the tag feature, your blog may not appear in the Reader. Misuse includes tagging your content with misleading or irrelevant tags; and posting affiliate links, marketing material, and unoriginal content.

Taken from Learn.Wordpress where you can also find out a bit more information about tags. You will also find information on how to set up a tag cloud in your side bar and also a little exercise to ensure that you are choosing tags wisely and effectively.

I am now off to check that I have my categories neatly organised in the best way 🙂 As always let me know if you want to know anything else.

Happy Blogging 🙂