Tag Archives: blogging

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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I’m Over-analyzing Myself via Blog Stats

I was looking over my blog stats earlier this week, and I noticed a strange disconnect between the things I blog about and the things I visit other people’s blogs to read about. So I made a couple of lists.

Now I’m no expert on blogging technique, but it seems to me that these two lists should have more crossover than they actually do.  I told myself that a big reason for the difference is that I write about the things I know, whereas I read about the things I want to know.

The second thing I noticed is that there are many things on the first list (things I write about) that I should be reading about too. I should always make an effort to keep learning, even if I feel that I’m already an “expert” on the topic (which I can’t honestly say about anything really).

To be perfectly candid, I fear that part of the reason I don’t read more about homeschooling, for instance, is because I am set in my ways and don’t want to have my opinions, methods, and beliefs challenged. Or maybe I am too lazy to defend them. Uh, oh. My sister will reprimand me if she reads this…

That’s a poor reason not to stay educated. Part of excellence in any area of study is keeping up to date on changes in your field.

And even if your area of expertise is something like math, which doesn’t change on a foundational level, it seems to me that you should still stay current on popular opinion, methods, and such things as math history and theoretical math.

There is always something more to discover.

The third thing I noticed is that there are things I could be writing about that I’m not. For instance, homemaking is one of the tags that I follow in my WordPress reader, but to my knowledge, I’ve never written about it. Which is a darn shame, because I love doing it.

I love creating a home with an inviting atmosphere. I love that my husband compliments me and tells me that he looks forward to coming home after a long day at work. He is excited to find out what’s for dinner or what I’m wearing or any number of small details that add up to make a home.

I enjoy reading about how others keep house, and I’m confused by why I don’t share my ideas and experiences to inspire others. I guess I’m afraid that it will look like I’m bragging on myself, but that’s not how I perceive others’ blogs when I visit them for ideas.

So, if you like housekeeping, or you wish you did, stay tuned. It entails so much more than cleanliness and offers many opportunities for creativity.

photo credit: trackrecord <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22191301@N00/303650619″>EADS saliendo del pozo</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Ever Changing

Christie Thomas

FreeImages.com/Christie Thomas

I have been reading back through some of my old posts this week, and there are a few points in which I no longer agree with myself. I have changed my mind about several things over the course of the last year or so. As I compile some of my popular articles into a book and expound on the ideas presented, I am finding that I am leaving a lot of remarks out, and even changing a few things altogether. It is my hope that I understand things a little better than I did when I first penned these blog entries. It is my prayer and fervent desire that the Lord bring me into a fuller knowledge of the truth. I know that I hunger and thirst after His righteousness, and that I have been marveling at how perfect His law is. I am considering re-posting some of my well-read topics with comments about how my perspective has changed. Would that be weird? Providing commentary on my own writings? Ha, if I have time, I think I am going to do it. If for no other reason than to provide clarity for anyone I may have confused along the way.

Better Blogging…

…using search terms.

I think I just discovered a great way to offer my readers more helpful information. I found a page on WordPress that records all the search terms ever used to hit my blog. I had never thought to look at that page before, but while looking at today’s search terms on my stats page, I realized that one of the searchers probably didn’t find exactly what he was looking for. Then it occurred to me that I have the experience to help that particular searcher. So I plan to start a new series based on responses to search terms. Hopefully I can help more people find what they’re looking for. I intend to post these on Wednesdays. I have no idea how long I can keep this one going – it depends on the search terms and whether or not I know enough to respond. Now I just have to think of a clever name for the series…

Thanks to Grace and Space!

Earlier this month, much earlier (17 days ago), I received the Versatile Blogger Award from Sheila over at Grace and Space. I have been following her blog since reading this post way back in September. Her blog is like a breath of fresh air, and I have enjoyed many a relaxing morning reading her posts. Thank you, Sheila, for your nomination and also for your lovely blog!

As one of the recipients, it is my job to tell you seven things about myself that you perhaps do not know. In addition, I am supposed to nominate new reciepients of the award. Well, I will begin with the nominations:

1. Becoming Martha. This wonderful blog just so happens to be hosted by my brother-in-law’s sister-in-law! It is a great place to find DIY stuff for your kids’ rooms and other great projects. You will not believe the quality of this site. Jen gives us great ideas, and awesome tutorials complete with fabulous pictures. And I’m not just giving you my inflated opinion. The numbers speak for themselves. She has hundreds of followers, and has had over 100,000 page views. Considering that her blog will only be six months old tomorrow, I’m sure you can see why I’m so excited to tell you all about her!

2. Until the Day Dawn. Kimbery inspires me so very much, and I find that the more I read from her, the more I agree with her. Her blog covers just about everything the Christian woman needs. She talks about marriage, children, faith, and homeschooling. She also writes some really nice reviews to keep us abreast of some of the greatest new Christian products on the market. On top of that, she has written several fantastic books herself; they are available on her blog. Check her out – you will love her!

Sorry for the short list. I read a lot of blogs, but don’t want to recommend any that I don’t just absolutely adore!

Of course, I am still reading the blogs I nominated back in October. They are still some of my favorites, so check them out if you have the chance!

Now, for the little-known stuff about me:

1. I love, love, love my homeschool choir. If my employer suddenly ran out of money, I’d beg her to allow me to teach for free! This past semester has been one of the best, and I’m really looking forward to working on new music in January! This has been one of the most balanced classes I’ve ever taught, with 6 young men and 6 young women, and everyone pulling their own weight. Of course, I love my littles too, but my heart is really with the high school choir.

2. Someday, I want to travel the world. Slowly. Maybe spend a year in each country that we decide to visit. But I don’t want to take an extended vacation; I want to actually live in the countries that I visit. Work where the common people work, develop hobbies based on the culture of the place, eat their food, listen to their music, etc. I’d like to actually live on the income that I would make in any given place. Thankfully, my husband agrees that it would be fun, so maybe – someday?

3. I think about eternity a lot. I think about it every time I have to dust or get a hangnail or pick up a hairball (because the day will come when I will no longer have to deal with these things). I think about it when someone hurts my feelings or when I hurt someone else’s (because the day will come when we will understand each other, and we won’t be affected by sin). I think of it every time I meet new Christians or wonder whether someone knows Christ (because we will be together forever and get to know one another more).

4. I am my own worst enemy. I have so many things that I would like to accomplish in my life, but I have trouble finding the motivation to get anything done. Thankfully, I don’t have a problem homeschooling or going to the studio to teach, but anything optional becomes very difficult for me. Sometimes, I will spend an entire month being driven, only to burn myself out, spending the next month doing practically nothing with my life.

5. Someday, I’d like to find the time to volunteer for a hospice organization. Maybe once Ian is a more independent learner and can stay home by himself. I’d like to be there for people at the ends of their lives, to give them someone to talk to about their life experiences or anything else that may be on their minds as they approach that final frontier.

6. I’d like to learn another language. Can you see how this is beginning to turn into a list of New Year’s Resolutions? I can see that I’m wracking my brain too close to January 1st.

7. I’m beginning to wonder how long this body is going to hold out. We are trying so hard to get out of debt, but without any insurance, I wonder how we will handle future medical bills? Or should I just forego doctors and meet our Creator sooner rather than later? So my plan for now, while I am still relatively healthy, is to eat as properly as I can and begin to exercise to stay as healthy for as long as possible.