January 2014 Biannual Blogathon & Bloggiesta Goals & Accomplishments

Biannual Blogathon Bashtackle blog to do do list during bloggiesta

It’s time for another Biannual Blogathon, a weekend event where participants work on their blog to-do list as much as they can, network and support other bloggers and participate in mini-challenges to make our blogs even more outstanding.  The Blogathon takes place this weekend, January 24-26, 2014. It’s hosted by a great team of bloggers who are an excellent resource and really know their stuff!

Want to learn more and sign up? Visit the About the Blogathon page and sign up! You’ll be glad you did!

For this blogathon, I won’t have all weekend to devote to blogging so my goals list is pretty simple but it will take me awhile to complete.

* Get my old book reviews into the UBB plugin so that I can get my review indexes updated – DONE!
* Participate in one twitter chat – DONE!
* Complete 1 or 2 mini-challenges (they are my favorite way to learn about a specific task). – DONE!
* Update my book review spreadsheet so I can make sure reviews are cross-posted to various social media, Amazon, Goodreads & Barnes & Noble.

Update: I just found out that the Blogathon and Bloggiesta, a similar blogging marathon for book bloggers, are happening on the same weekend. Since they are two of my favorite events and happening the same weekend, I can use the same goals for both. I hope to participate in the twitter chat with my book blogger peeps and complete one of the mini-challenges for this event also.  If you want more info on Bloggiesta, sign up here.


Day 1 Accomplishments

* Updated the following book reviews in the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin. It was fun going back and reminiscing about reading these books, back when I didn’t know two of them would be made into movies this year. Have you read any of these? They would love more comments!

  1. Before the Storm by Diane Chamberlain
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. Finish What You Start by Craig Copeland

* Completed the Blogathon Increasing Blog Productivity and Growing Instagram Following mini-challenges. I signed up for Instagram and hope you’ll follow me and my adventures through photos. Check out the photo of our slow cooker Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken we had for dinner and the link to the recipe. It turned out pretty tasty and I’ll definitely be making it again.

* Updated my book boards on Pinterest and added a Travel the World in Books and a Nonfiction Book Reviews boards.

* Participated in the Twitter chat about blog conferences. Have you been to one? The great things participants said makes me want to go!

Total = 9.5 hours. I figured this was the day I would get the most done since older kids were in school.

Day 2 Accomplishments

Well, Superstar had a high fever so we had to cancel our plans and stay in. It was a cold day perfect for coffee, pajamas and blogging!

* Completed the Back to the Basics Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge. Changed a few design elements and tried to look at my home page through a visitor’s eyes.

*Updated 9 reviews in the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  2. Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
  3. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. Is Everyone Else Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  5. The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain
  6. The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain
  7. The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve
  8. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes
  9. The Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain

* Participated in the SITS Girls Sharefest Twitter chat and the Bloggiesta Twitter chat where I reconnected with blogging friends and made new ones. Also was reminded that I need to start linking up to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking meme because I love to talk about food just as much as I love to talk about books!

* Joined the Book Wheel’s Community. I look forward to meeting other readers, bloggers and authors in the forums.

Total = 9.5 hours

Day 3 Accomplishments

* FINISHED updating 6 reviews in the UBB plugin…woohoo!

* Updated book review index by title, by author and by rating pages. – check em out and tell me what you think!

* Participated in the Blogathon Twitter chat about working with brands, yep, that includes authors and publicists.

Total = 5 hours

Total Blogathon/Bloggiesta hours = 24 hours!

What’s on your blog to-do list? Are you joining the blogathon? If so, leave me a link so I can pay you a visit and cheer you on too! 

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  1. I’m just finishing up on the 31 day blog challenge. I am going to take a week or two to enjoy a little rest. I have a few things I want to tidy up around the blog, but after a crazy busy Oct through Jan, I am needing a bit of a break. I have a few scheduled blogs already to go so the blog can go on while I take a break!

    1. You deserve a break after the crazy wonderful months you’ve had. I really enjoy your blog. I wish I could do a 31 day challenge but I am way too wordy to post everyday. It takes me awhile to finish a post.

  2. Sounds like you are up on your blogging! I set up a new schedule that allows me to get weeks worth of posts done so all I need to do is network. : )

  3. It sounds like you had a successful blogging weekend. I had hopes of working on my blog this weekend,but it seems it is the time of year sickness hits. Both of my boys have come down with a nasty cough and cold, so we have been cuddling and watching movies this weekend.

    1. Sorry kids were sick but yay for cuddling too. Hope they are feeling better and you can get some blog work done. I know there is always so much to do and learn.

    1. Glad you got some good hours in! I think I’ve blogged more this weekend than all of December. No, I haven’t given it up entirely, I really enjoy it. Updating these book reviews has been on my list since May when I purchased the plugin. One of those things nagging at me but know it makes my book reviews more consistent and nicer. It will be easier going forward. Trying to get these done so I can get back to recipes, RA and travel. Do you have a plugin that helps you create a food recipe index? That will be the next index I tackle!

      Thanks as always for your support Tammy!

      1. I don’t, but I quickly searched, and this is what turned up: Easy Recipe – Built by a Food blogger’s husband, this really is the best recipe plugin for SEO purposes and formatting purposes. It has far more capabilities than most recipe plugins just in it’s free version. There is also a paid version and it’s totally worth the upgrade for the customization options alone. It is one of the only plugins on the market that plays nicely with Ziplists Save recipe feature, allowing you to switch seamlessly from Ziplist to Easy Recipe with no trouble. It is also the ONLY recipe plugin that provides a feature to convert older recipes that were already created with another recipe plugin. It’s awesome.
        Ziplist – Ziplist is a great recipe plugin for beginners or those that need simple & basic. With Ziplist, you can also create a partnered recipe box and shopping list for your readers to enjoy. It allows for customization, but you do need to have some coding knowledge to be able to do that. Otherwise it pretty much looks the same as anyone else using it.
        I don’t know if that is what you’re looking for.

          1. Thanks so much. I have Ziplist and easy recipe downloaded, now I need to get them in the plugins so they are easier to print and save. Thanks for your friendship and support.

    1. Blogathon is great, very technical bloggers who really know their material and are so helpful and for all types of bloggers.

      Thanks for the compliment on the new design. In a house with 4 boys, my own little piece of the internet needs a little purple, pink and prettiness!

  4. Wow! You have done awesome so far!! I’m so impressed!

    I’m recently followed you on Instagram! I’m excited to see your pics!!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Tif and for following me on Instagram. I LOVE to take pictures wherever we go and my kids now expect me to take pictures of food I cook and blog about it. Photography is my favorite form of art and I love looking at other’s pictures too. I don’t know why I waited so long to join.

    1. Thanks Laurel-Rain! I’ve done more blogging in the last 24 hours than I did all of December! But it feels great to catch up! Good luck with the rest of Bloggiesta.

  5. What is the UBB plug-in? Is it a Blogger thing? I never heard of the Blogathon event, but I’m a big Bloggiesta fan! You’ve certainly gotten a lot accomplished already!

        1. It’s a very useful plugin Laurie. I keep finding new things I didn’t know I could do! Hope you are having a good and productive Bloggiesta!

  6. Nice list. One of my tasks is to write an article on why you shouldn’t cross-post your book reviews. If you care about SEO, then you might not want to do this one. If you don’t, then go for it!

    1. Well maybe it’s a good thing I do it only sporadically. I had heard you should change words slightly and not just copy/paste to avoid hurting SEO. But I look forward to what you’re going to fill us in on!


    2. Hi Donna, just visited your blog and got an error when I tried to post comments. It said I wasn’t authorized for the task or something like that. I was complimenting you on such a productive Bloggiesta. I wish I had your technical expertise. There is so much to learn about analytics. And I agree with you that I prefer G+ over Facebook. There aren’t any viewer games and the communities are very interactive.

  7. Tanya – my event buddy – wanted to stop by and wish you all the best in this week’s blogathons! I finally got my kick-off post up. Hope you are well and productive. Would love to hear how you like the UBB plugin and if you feel it’s worth the investment when you have a moment!

    1. Thanks so much Create with Joy! Good to hear from you. I’ve been productive today thankfully. The latest update to the UBB plugin allows for automatic retrieval of book info from Google which certainly helps get the review done more efficiently. I still really like it even though I don’t use all it’s capability. I am still trying to get all the reviews in it so the indexes generate automatically. I bought it at half off and I think it’s worth it for my blog. With the # of books you review and giveaways you host, I think it’d benefit you. If you follow Caffeinated Book Reviewer or Unconventional Bookviews, they have a lot of the UBB features up and running. I’ve got a long way to go 🙂 Feel free to email me tanya{at}momssmallvictories{dot}com if you have further questions.

      Hope to chat with you later!

  8. I have to agree with Adelina- I have never heard of the Bloggiesta. But this is my second BBB so I have learned to multi-task quite better.

    But I hope you have tons of fun!

    1. Thanks Angela, i’m doing well so far but time for a break! Bloggiesta is popular among book bloggers but it is extremely helpful even for non-book bloggers. So much to learn and so little time. Good luck with your goals!

    1. Hi Adelina, what a pretty name you have! It is a great resource and I can use all the help I can get with blogging. I enjoy it but so much to learn. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I’ve never heard of these, but it sounds really fun to devote an entire weekend to my blog. Maybe someday when the kids aren’t so little…

    1. These blogathons are very helpful to me. I especially like the mini-challenges to focus on a task I haven’t done before. I always learn something. Maybe you can join in the next one, the big biannual blogathon bash will be in June and they have twitter chats in between and an active Facebook group.

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