Becoming a Blogging Badass

At the top of 2015, I queried friends and family for their recommendations for blogs which offer tune-ups, advice on blog development and branding, working with mailing lists, and insider tips on how to build one’s empire and recruit followers. My beautiful sister, Susie, recommended the machinations of Sarah Morgan, and I have been hooked ever since. I joined her mailing list, participated in her TweetChats, and quickly ordered her Badass Blog Planner (BBP). No sooner did my BBP arrive, I dove headlong into the deep end, but I suddenly found myself drowning!

2015/01/img_0482.jpgOfficially an Itty Bitty Badass Babe-in-Training!

I quickly learned that I adored the editorial aspects of blogging (story-telling, photography, and networking), but I knew bumpkus about the technical and business aspects! Mercifully, the language Morgan uses in the BBP is fresh, honest, and easy for the beginner blogger and the less-than-tech-savvy like me. She completely lifeguards the pool for those slipping out of their water wings or chasing renegade flotation devices! Since January, I’ve been slowly paddling around with my BBP life-preserver. After getting hung up on the more technical aspects of the blog (like Google Analytics and WordPress ANYTHING), I elected to hop around and work on the sections I could easily complete first. Spending several months of tinkering, I finally plucked up the courage and submitted my humble slice of the universe to her Fix-It Friday.

Fix-It Friday

Back in May, I finally managed to scrape together my nerve to participate in Sarah Morgan’s Fix-It Friday, a free blog triage held once a month on the first Friday of the month. She extends an open invitation to those interested in her taking a peek at their page and offers some quick-n-gritty advice. Between the transition form flying back into an eight-to-five job, and house hunting, I did not tackle my homework as quickly as I would have liked. However, using the BBP helped me feel confident that I was at least presenting a valiant effort. Tapping that send button was quite the nerve-wracking moment. Deep breath in… and done!

Hey Karen! I would make your photos the same width as your post space (about 660px), add a list of 5-10 categories to the sidebar, and set your sharing icons to only appear on post pages, not on the main homepage – it ends up looking cluttered and people will be clicking ‘read more’ anyway.

I jaunted off to a meeting at the new job immediately after lunch, but when I came back *BAM!* Inspiration available! I’ve never been a designer. I’ve dabbled with PhotoShop with very little luck, so it felt good to have someone far more experienced take a peek at what I have to offer and respond with thoughtful, actionable feedback.
IMG_1775Productivity on the Parents’ Patio!
Task List
1. Photos – Going back and re-sizing all of them certainly wasn’t going to happen, but I started building new posts using the sizing suggestion. It took some getting used to seeing GIANT photos of my face, but it also drives me to give more thought to content generation.
2. Sharing Icons – After a hour of trial an error as I hunted the administrative Dashboard in WordPress, I finally managed to sort this out! I was rather proud of myself. There *might* have been some slow motion celebration going on afterward and exclamations of “Wooo!” like Ric Flair (who I had on a flight once) accompanied by gratuitous strutting.
3. Short List Categories – This took nearly two months of negotiation with my ego, but after evaluating the new direction I wanted to take my blog, I finally hunkered down with a paper and pen and mapped out new umbrellas to organize my I-love-a-little-bit-o-everything blog.
One and two were akin to ripping off band-aids. I shut those peepers real tight and just went for it! Man, they stung at first, but it did feel fantastic afterward. The third task was by far the most difficult. Those following me for a long time are well aware that my interests are quite varied, and I find it difficult to whittle down my interests into a specific niche. I am quite the Jill of all Trades and I’m perfectly comfortable with it, so I do not intend on relinquishing my interests for the sake of the blog. Taking a peek at my tags, I saw that I had 29 pages of tags. Twenty-nine!? Way too much. Giving the blog an audit and making strides to streamline it has been quite therapeutic, and my Renaissance Soul is happier for it!

Previous Categories: Administrative, Audio, Baking, Celebrating, Flying, Cooking, Decorating, Dieting, DIY, Crafting, Ideal Protein, Training, Drinking, Eating, Gaming, Learning, Musing, Ranting, Running, Shopping, Traveling
New Categories
  1. #ReconstructingKaren – I’m sitting down with that brave girl in the mirror and having a running dialogue on how we can improve how Karen views herself. She’s pretty stellar, but I’m fairly certain I’m biased. Categories/Tags Consolidated: #Wellness #Happiness #Inspiration #Motivation
  2. #LocalLove – I haven’t stopped exploring cities now that I’ve stopped flying. I’ll be not only focusing on Central Florida, but how a former flight attendant approaches travel. Categories/Tags Consolidated: #Traveling #DrinkLikeaLocal #ShopLocal #CityNameHere #Flying
  3. #FitnessFiles – Now that I’m settling into life here in Orlando, I intend on design a fitness action plan, so I can get back into regularly pounding the pavement and being sporty once more. Categories/Tags Consolidated: #Running #Training #GymRat #Workouts #RaceReports
  4. #KitchenExperiments – Food, Beverage, and culinary disasters. Time to start celebrating and entertaining! I love food, but I am by no means a chef or culinary expert. I won’t improve if I don’t try! Categories/Tags Consolidated:  #Cooking #Eating #Drinking #Baking #Celebrating
  5. #DegreesKahrenheit – Hot topics that seriously get my temperature rising. The original title of this blog was Degrees Kahrenheit, but I was terrible with weather and temperature metaphors, so I shifted to RRWK. It might be a little retro, but it’s coming out of retirement. Bottom line: stuff that gets my temperature rising!! Categories/Tags Consolidated: #Ranting #Musing #Administrative
  6. #Literary Lounge – Ever since I played CLUE as a child, I have always dreamed about having my own personal library. Once I discovered writing in university, I fantasized about having my own writer’s shed: a place of serenity, productivity, creativity, inspiration, and solitude. Finally, I am slowing building my sanctuary (or asylum depending on the day of the week). Categories/Tags Consolidated: #Reading #Writing #Crafting #DIY #Decorating #Learning #Gaming

Categories Retired: Audio, Dieting, Ideal Protein, Shopping, Weight Loss

Sunshine + Soul Searching during my lunch break!

I’m having a chat with my Rainy Day Savings Fund to devise a financial plan, so I can invest in myself and the KarenVerse and participate in Sarah’s Badass Babes Blog Club + E-Course. I’m holding off on getting her newly released e-book Create. Profit. Party! until I finish my renovations with BBP as I have a stack of other books which looks like a hackneyed Leaning Tower of Pisa demanding couch gravity and copious amounts of beveraging. In the mean time, I’ll keep my nose in my BBP, my head on straight, and my heart in the sky. I’ll be attending my first blog conferences in the autumn during KarenFest 2016 (better known to most as the month of September), and I believe Sarah’s BBP will be integral in preparing to show up with a sunny disposition, a confident smile, and prepared to be nothing short of Badass!

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