Category Archives: Community

The Evolution of a Blogger: Survey

Note: If you have been linked to this page, that is your personal invitation to copy and paste the unanswered survey found at the foot of this article. Join the fun!

THE EVOLUTION OF A BLOGGER

If you have been blogging for a while, you have probably noticed a change in yourself. Since the day you launched your blog, you have morphed as a person, possibly even as a writer.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it possible that the very act of blogging is, in part, responsible for the changes in your thought patterns, your attitudes toward opposing viewpoints, or the quality and style of your writing?

If so, I have put together this little questionnaire to enable you to showcase how you have evolved as a blogger, and to encourage you to link to a few of the blogs that are responsible for your personal growth.

The purpose of this survey is to give credit where credit is due.

What was the very first blog post you ever made? Include an excerpt in your response, and link to it. Caboose Alphabet

“My son was fascinated with trains. I wanted him to be fascinated with learning how to read. In an effort to combine the two, I created train flashcards with letters of the alphabet on them.”

Were you nervous to join the blogosphere? I was a little nervous, I think, but mostly I was excited. I knew this was something that I would enjoy tremendously. 

What was your greatest fear? That nobody would care. That my blog would sit undiscovered for years and do nothing but take up server space.

How did you feel after posting for the first time? Anxious to see how it would fare. I really wanted to help people – to be a resource. I was hoping people would stumble on my blog and use it to their advantage.

At the outset, which blog inspired you the most in terms of activity? Danielle Shipley. I wanted to be just like her when I “grew up” as a blogger! All of her posts were interesting, she had good interaction from followers, and she was very fun to talk to!

Do you remember wanting to have another blogger’s success someday? Maybe they had a ton of followers already, a great design, a unique idea, or a community of regular commenters. Link to them. Yep. Mark Mathia. Problem is, I can’t find his blog anymore.

Who reached out to you and really made you feel accepted in the early months of your new blogging life? Who supported you and made you feel at home in this element? Link! Aside from those mentioned above, Katharine Trauger probably encouraged me the most!

Do you remember any specific advice you read or received that immediately and permanently changed the way you blogged? I remember that I was conversing with a writing friend. I had discovered her because we both wrote for the same magazine at the time. Actually, I think it was her blog that made me realize that blogging was something I would enjoy. 

What was the advice? I was trying to think of a title for my blog. I knew I wanted to write about homeschooling, but I also knew that I didn’t want to have to stick to that topic exclusively. She told me to name my blog after myself. Then I could write about anything I wanted. So I chose the URL address based on my name, but the blog title reflects the idea that I used to be homeschooled and am currently homeschooling. 

Link to the wonderful person who gave the advice. Lea Ann Garfias

What’s your number one tip, now that you’ve been blogging for a while? Engage people in meaningful conversations, whether you are posting on their blog or they are posting on yours. Be real.

When you built your blog, who was your target audience? Homeschool parents. 

What kind of content were you mainly concerned with? I wanted to offer advice, ideas, and resources for homeschoolers, and have a place to share my own homeschooling successes and failures. 

Did you have a different name picked out for your blog that you ditched? Oh, wow. I can’t remember any one specifically. I think I had about 20 silly-sounding ones, and maybe 3 good ones. I know it wasn’t very many. As soon as I thought of FULL CIRCLE HOMESCHOOLING though, I knew that was the one.

Link to one of your old posts that is a good example of your initial goals. Incidental Teaching. I wrote this post during my first month. Six years later, and it’s still a pretty good representation of my teaching preferences.

Who else do you read regularly that targets your original audience? Do you have a favorite post from their blog? Link. Nowadays, I’m not really reading homeschool-related posts. I guess I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I have a plan, lol. I’m trying to declutter my brain, so we’ve really simplified our homeschooling process. I’m mostly reading about writing or religion. A writing blog I really like is A Writer’s Path. I discovered this blog when I stumbled upon the Writer’s Toolbox. For the longest time, I had the toolbox saved to my favorites bar!

What’s the most controversial post you’ve ever written? Link to it. If you have no idea, surf through your received comments and link to a post that received a good argument in the comment section. Probably this one: Answers for Atheists: Where Did Evil Come From?

Link to a blogger or two who commented on your blog and respectfully disagreed with your ideas. Dedicated to the Game. This person was very respectful and engaging. He commented on the post mentioned above.

Have you found yourself writing about anything that was not part of the original intention behind your blog? Yes! Torah! I never imagined I would be learning about it, much less writing about it.

Link to a good example. I Am One of Them, and So Are You.

Link to the most random thing you’ve ever written. Hobbies for the Blind?

Link to the most random post you liked this week. This one!! Balancing the Frump.

What blogs/tags do you follow that have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever posted? Link to one or two of them here. I follow the “steampunk” tag. I love looking at the pictures, and I admire all of the creativity involved! Unfortunately, there’s not a lot going on steampunk-wise on WordPress. A better place to find it is Pinterest.

A fun WordPress tag I follow is Wreck-This-Journal.

Last but not least, who do you consider your friends in the blogosphere? If you have no idea, look to see who has commented the most times on your posts and link to them. Most of my other supporters don’t have blogs! But they are: Vicki, Carl, Kimmy, Mike, Sherri, and Chrystal. Thank you for bringing so much to my blog!

Empty Survey Below (with introduction)

THE EVOLUTION OF A BLOGGER

If you have been blogging for a while, you have probably noticed a change in yourself. Since the day you launched your blog, you have morphed as a person, possibly even as a writer.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it possible that the very act of blogging is, in part, responsible for the changes in your thought patterns, your attitudes toward opposing viewpoints, or the quality and style of your writing?

If so, I have put together this little questionnaire to enable you to showcase how you have evolved as a blogger, and to encourage you to link to a few of the blogs that are responsible for your personal growth.

The purpose of this survey is to give credit where credit is due.

What was the very first blog post you ever made? Include an excerpt in your response, and link to it.

Were you nervous to join the blogosphere? What was your greatest fear? How did you feel after posting for the first time?

At the outset, which blog inspired you the most in terms of activity? Do you remember wanting to have another blogger’s success someday? Maybe they had a ton of followers already, a great design, a unique idea, or a community of regular commenters. Link to them.

Who reached out to you and really made you feel accepted in the early months of your new blogging life? Who supported you and made you feel at home in this element? Link!

Do you remember any specific advice you read or received that immediately and permanently changed the way you blogged? What was the advice? Link to the wonderful person who gave the advice.

What’s your number one tip, now that you’ve been blogging for a while?

When you built your blog, who was your target audience? What kind of content were you mainly concerned with? Did you have a different blogger name picked out for yourself that you ditched? Link to one of your old posts that is a good example of your initial goals.

Who else do you read regularly that targets your original audience? Do you have a favorite post from their blog? Link.

What’s the most controversial post you’ve ever written? Link to it. If you have no idea, surf through your received comments and link to a post that received a good argument in the comment section.

Link to a blogger or two who commented on your blog and respectfully disagreed with your ideas.

Have you found yourself writing about anything that was not part of the original intention behind your blog? Link to a good example.

Link to the most random thing you’ve ever written?

Link to the most random post you liked this week.

What blogs do you read that have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever posted? Link to one or two of them here.

Last but not least, who do you consider your friends in the blogosphere? If you have no idea, look to see who has commented the most times on your posts and link to them.

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Homeschool Empty Nest Part 2

It’s been almost a year since I posted about empty nesting, but I just had another idea today, and thought I would update. I think that volunteering for your local Chamber of Commerce would be a great way to stay busy and benefit your community at the same time. I truly enjoy helping them out, and I get to meet lots of fantastic people and get in on some great events. Our local chamber could always use volunteers, and you can even serve on our committees without being a member. Of course, if you *do* have your own business, and you aren’t a member of your local chamber, you have no idea what you could be missing out on. Personally, I was blown away when I discovered all of the benefits of joining. I guess it’s probably different in every town, but you should probably look into it, if you haven’t already. Happy Homeschooling!

Musicians and the Community

I joined my local chamber of commerce over the summer, and have been going to networking meetings to promote the music studio where I work. For the first several months, I was very involved in our town’s farmers’ market, and the studio was extremely visible to the public because of it. Several teachers, students, and other musicians associated with the studio came to the market to play nearly every week during July, August, and September. However, now that the excitement has worn off, I am having trouble talking myself into going to the next networking expo. I know I’m going to have to introduce myself and the business I represent, and since I can’t really talk about the farmers’ market in the middle of winter, I’m struggling to come up with other ways that we can benefit the community and other businesses. I’m tired of merely repeating, “We can offer musicians to play for your weddings, luncheons, and other events.” So I ponder the following question as I prepare for the upcoming meeting: How can musicians and communities be mutually beneficial to one another? Here’s what I have come up with so far.

Kay’s Studio can help the community by:

Playing for community events – parades, banquets, fundraisers, farmers market

Bringing “fine arts” into the community through our concerts and educational programs

Performing at area nursing homes, community centers

Instilling discipline and a sense of accomplishment in the new generation

Helping homeschool families find each other through our homeschool music classes

Sending business to those with services that complement ours (think weddings – florists, bakeries, dress shops, etc.)

Getting the next generation involved in the community – passing the torch, so to speak.

Making use of the services of local businesses

 

The community can help Kay’s Studio by:

Referring us to paying customers – weddings, luncheons, events, restaurants, private students

Purchasing merchandise

Helping us become more visible in the community by allowing us to play for community events

 

I still feel like I’m missing something important. Do you all have any ideas?