Annual Review: 2018 Blog ReVamp Goal: The MindMap (Ring-Billed Gull. Snapped @ Lake Johnson, Raleigh, North Carolina)

Annual Review: 2018 Blog ReVamp Goals (via MindMap)

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TL;DR

♦️ Pub: Jan 24, 2019 | Updated: Jan 24, 2019 @ | Reading: 6 min. | Words: 1,331 ♦️
Reviewing my 2018 Blog ReVamp Goals confirmed: I climbed the learning curve quicker than anticipated. A related MindMap kept me on track, as detailed in this article.


MindMap Replaced Bullet Journal

My BuJo serves as brain, most days. But electronic mechanisms better serve some projects. Plotting out a year-long approach to a technical subject involves —for me— lotsa erasures, cross-outs, and winding arrows. Obviously, the ability to simply grab an object and move it to a preferred location beats the analog route. End result: my efficient mindmap (courtesy of iOS SimpleMind+):

MindMapping my way to 2018 Blog ReVamp Goal glory (Ring-Billed Gull. Snapped @ Virginia Beach, VA)
MindMapping my way to 2018 Blog ReVamp Goal glory (Ring-Billed Gull. Snapped @ Virginia Beach, VA)

Spolier, and Aside: why me likey birds, much!

This picture inherently explains why I so adore bird photography.

Boidies! Me WUVs 'em!
Boidies! Me WUVs ’em!

The mindmap itself presents the staircase navigated to manifest my blog-related 2018 intentions. Stated differently, the map shows the main tasks I had to master, to move from point A to point B, i.e. what-me-doin’ blog to me-gotta-clue Blog 2.0.

The bird pic assigned here tells that tale. THIS provides yet another reason motivating my bird-snappin’ passion. Like people, birds exude personality. This lil guy (guyette?) struts with purpose, determined to reach his target destination. The path may be long, but his stance confirms he owns the required persistence.

I’ve yet to encounter a scenario refusing a relevant bird pic assignment. As such, bird photography naturally powers the cosmetics of this blog, as well as my Pinterest and BuJo-focused InstaGram accounts.

Bonus: I’m rejuvenated with every photo shoot!

Ok, now back on topic…


Blog ReVamp Goals 2018: the more ya learn…

The good news: I managed to climb the BlogStuff-101 learning curve withOUT tumbling into WoeIsMe Valley. I admit: confronting stark proof of my absolute ignorance on a subject conjures giggles. Why? Perspective: got nowhere to go but up, so, bring it in, baby!

The grrr news: checkmarks appearing on my did-it list coerced a 🎵Marvin Gaye🎵 vibe. Read: months later a gazillion additional tasks popped up like kids, each clamoring for attention. (Hence, my 2019 blog-word of intention: Polish!)

Let’s stroll through the garden of 2018 blog highlights.

CommentLuv

Some tasks resolved without my intervention. CommentLuv, long a beloved plugin, roared back onto the scene. The developer, who’d been sidelined by illness, came back with a vengeance. Happiness twice: the dev’s feeling stronger these days; the plugin’s properly updated.

The beauty of a beefed-up CommentLuv commenting system
The beauty of a beefed-up CommentLuv commenting system

What’s the big deal with this particular plugin? Assuming a friendly blogger installed it, you can choose from among your 10 most recent posts to attach as an URL when you comment. Google smiles on you, as a blogger, when it sees relevant sites link to your blog. Hey, what’s not to love?!

Warning: some bloggers reserve the pick-from-10 vibe for those who register. Their choice. Y’all know me. SistahGurl believes in delighting and respecting visitors at every turn. But don’t misread my largess. Add a silly nebulous spam-like 2 word comment, and I treat you accordingly. Respect works best as a two-way street. Assuming you approach me in a non-spamming manner, you’ll enjoy that pick-’em 10-blog-posts list.

The WordPress Admin Dashboard

Dealing -efficiently- with the WordPress Admin Dashboard
Dealing -efficiently- with the WordPress Admin Dashboard

Outta-the-box, WordPress induces frustration. I want the ability to

  • discern the I.D. number WordPress assigned to a certain tag so I can hide it for display-posts shortcode purposes (display-posts adores free WordPress.com AND self-hosted WP folks)
  • doublecheck, at a glance, if I assigned a featured image to each post; ditto re the more tag
  • see if I’ve modified a post since its publication (“last modified date”)
  • revise a live post without the risk of futzing it prior to finalizing
  • see the word count per post

And I want all that info while reviewing the 20-odd post listing screens. WordPress snickers in response.

A quick search on dashboard or admin at WordPress.org provides the options. Customer ratings separate the ugh‘s from the oh-yeah‘s. Plugins rescued me, as previously detailed.

Branding: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How

This issue skyrocketed to my number one headache perch. Reason: my artistic abilities begin with drawing a stick figure. They end with said ability to slap a baseball cap on that dude’s head, complete with protest poster in hand — a ’70’s holdover. 😂

Stick figures as art - Not! Even the whistling duck cocks a quizzical head
Stick figure as art – Not! Even the whistling duck cocks a quizzical head

My desperation to comprehend branding nuances had me studying tv commercials, and paying close attention to online ads. Still came up empty, despite the reams of additional articles poured into my tired head.

The answer manifested one evening, as I indulged the preliminary optimization process for posting my usual Wednesday bird photo to the blog. SherlockReena— da birds!!!

With something I loved now at the heart of the branding issue, everything I read finally made sense. Residual issue: how to convert my bird photography passion into a visually tangible brand?

Step by step, the pieces of the branding puzzle pushed me to the final picture. Step one: revise the site logo:

Branding: from lowly stamp to blog site logo, and more
Branding: from lowly stamp to blog site logo, and more

What began life as a stamp morphed into this blogger’s favicon. The 3 ducks? Courtesy of pixabay.com, my goTo site for copyright-waived images.

The process of moving from point A to the final point for that favicon gifted another goodie → an idea for Pinterest-friendly cover images:

Branding, incorporated into Pinterest cover images
Branding, incorporated into Pinterest cover images

Among the immediate results: 1.3m monthly viewers. Yo, cool!

Lesson Learned: pay attention to your near-daily obsessions. My “brand” reflects my personality: playful, deadly serious re goal execution, detail-oriented, bird freak, nature photo shoot nut, willingness to confront and devise work-arounds for my weaknesses, and more. My maiden missteps in this arena all traced to my looking externally, rather than internally, for my own essential vibe.

Blog Polishing Goals 2019 … the more ya wanna do

2018’s the more ya learn transformed into 2019’s the more ya wanna do. Such is the nature of empowerment through knowledge.

Moving in and out of the plethora of Duh!s sparked by 2018 Blog goals gifted a healthy list of 2019 intentions. I deemed 2018’s related umbrella intention Blog 2.0. 2019’s comparable intent: MommaPledge. Translation: with the structure in place, I turned my attention to polishing assorted “thingies.” But that’s a subject for another day. See ya then!


Call to Action

Poindexter, my inner critic, forming the cover of my 2019 EDC Hobonchi Weeks, also serving as 2019 Goals / Intentions workbook
Poindexter, my inner critic, forming the cover of my 2019 EDC Hobonchi Weeks, also serving as 2019 Goals / Intentions workbook

I know I’m not alone.We all come to blogging for our own precise reasons. But most of us have no to little clue of the numerous blogging nuances poised to deluge us. To escape the feeling of overwhelm, I literally put a name and face to my inner critic: Poindexter:

You have conducted a review if your 218 goals, correct? Got your peeers locked on 2019, correct?

Oh. Ok. If not, no problem.

Today.

New day. New potential. New resolve!

Annual Review: 2018 Blog ReVamp Goal: The MindMap (Ring-Billed Gull. Snapped @ Lake Johnson, Raleigh, North Carolina)
Annual Review: 2018 Blog ReVamp Goal: The MindMap (Ring-Billed Gull. Snapped @ Lake Johnson, Raleigh, North Carolina)

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