Blogging 101: A FREE SEMINAR--Just Click Here!

Welcome!!!  I hope you enjoy this seminar and when you finish, feel free to grab the Graduation Certificate and post it on your blog with a link back to here so that if you know anyone who could benefit from these classes, hopefully, they can learn this info. too!

I also design blog buttons and headers for blogs, so if you are in need of either, just email me at:  They're inexpensive, but definitely, blog buttons can help direct traffic to your blog.

Class 1

You have just entered a free online class for women by Cindy Adkins, author of:

E-books available on Amazon.

While this seminar is technical, the books are not--They are purely for fun and inspiration.  Also, if you are using your blog to promote your online business, you will find these helpful.

While this class was designed for women, men are absolutely welcome too!

If you need handy tutorials, they are available on this blog with pictures.  I have provided direct links to some you may need.

If you want to "rock your blog," remember:
1.  Be friendly and authentic.
2.  Set goals that you want to accomplish.
3.  If someone visits you, be sure to visit back and follow him or her (you'll see how this benefits YOU later!)
4.  If done correctly, a blog becomes more valuable over time.
5.  Remember that a blog header is the FIRST thing that someone sees when they visit your blog.  So, make sure that it is attractive!
"No successful blog 'just happens.' It becomes successful because the blog owner has done all the right things to create its success."    
Part 1

We all know that there is plenty of social media to access on the internet.  But, with a blog, YOU are the star of your own show!

Want more followers?  Here are 3 QUICK TIPS:
1.  Put your “Followers” widget up at the top of your sidebar so people can find it quickly.  If visitors have to hunt for it, they may not join.  Make it visible and get more followers. 
2.  Make sure that your blog address is embedded in your email so that when you write someone a letter, they will be able to find your blog at the click of a button.
3.  If you have “word verification” on your blog when people may not be as likely to leave comments.  So, unless you are really worried about receiving comments from bots, go into your template designer and get rid of “word verification.”  

To learn how to get rid of Word Verification, click HERE.
Now, let’s talk about back-links.  Did you know that your blog has a ranking on Google?  The higher your ranking, the more visibility you will receive in search engines.  Yes, it’s true!  
Exercise 1:
To check YOUR rank, just click HERE.  
Put your complete blog address into the box.
Push the button that says “Search PR.”
When you come to a new page, fill in the code box (so that they know you’re a person.)
You will receive your ranking for free.  Easy!
The results could surprise you!!!  

Part 2

If you placed someone else's blog button on your blog, you did not only help them.  You could have just helped yourself too.  Do you want to know why?
Exercise 2:  Try it and see for yourself!
Go to your Google search bar (you know, the place where you go to find things on the internet), click “Images” up at the top left, and put in the words Cindy Adkins Whimsical Musings into the Google search bar and click “search images.”  You will see images from my blog.  But, look carefully because you will also see pictures from other people's blogs. 
If you already put my blog button on YOUR blog with a link to me or if you have mentioned me on your blog with a link to my blog, most likely,you will also come up under a search of my name under “images” and vice versa.
A quick glance at my page on Google and you will see artwork from Dorthe at Den lille lade, Terry at Terry 2 Dogs, Lynne from Adorn, Donna from My Shabby Chateau--and more! 
If people are searching for my blog in Google, they could also come upon many people that link back to me.  How neat is that?  
Now you can see why you want your button on your friends’ blogs and why you want theirs on yours.  Exposure is the name of the game and as you get more back-links, you will get higher ranking on Google!
Also, when you visit a blog and become a follower, the same thing happens, so don’t forget to follow as many blogs as you can.

If you want to know how to insert a blog button, go HERE.

Class 2--Visitors Don’t Read Everything  (But, if you have a writing blog, read the special circumstances for you at the end of this section.)
First, I need to clarify something.  You can have other people put your blog button on their blog and vice versa to create back-links.  But, have you ever written about someone on your blog and made a link that included their blog address?  If so, you created a permanent back-link to them already!

I create back-links all the time because I talk about people on my blog and put a link their names.  That makes a back-link for them.  Here is an example:

“June of Dezinaworld and Gail of Shabby Cottage Studio have amazing images for sale.  Go over and take a look!”
See? I created permanent back-links to 2 people in one sentence!

Now, onto our new lesson:
Do you know that MOST people only spend split-seconds visiting blogs?  Well, it’s true!  So, if you bog your visitors down with lots of writing (like I am doing now), chances are that they will not read what you say word for word.
So, what can you do?  Post some pictures, put very little text, and you are done!
It will not take you as long AND your visitors will appreciate it.

I was at a blog the other day in which a woman showed some beautiful pieces of art, but she also told about something terrible that was going on in her life.  I looked at the comments.  NO ONE mentioned it or said, “I’m so sorry to hear that.”  Do you know why?  Because they did not read it!  Her post was so long that she “lost” people because she was not concise enough.
We blog in between life.  We are not trying to spend our whole lives on here.  So, if you have something SUPER important that you want people to know, put it in your title.  That will get their attention.  Then, they can scroll down to read the info. and won’t miss something very important you need to tell them.

There is a BIG exception to this:  There are some writing blogs and those are completely different.  People visit because they want to read stories and participate in all kinds of writing prompts.  If you have that kind of blog, disregard this section--it does not apply to your blog!

Class 3:  Check Your Stats

Be sure to check how many visitors you have had in a day a week or even a year from your blog stats.  See how many people came to your blog in the last week, but also look at where they came from.  
In the future, if you join blog parties, do the ones that bring traffic to your site.  I joined a blog party once that brought me 2 visitors.  I spent 4 hours creating that post.  If I knew what my stats would be for that party, I would have joined different ones instead so that more people would visit me and read what I had to say.
I joined a blog party once that brought me 500 visitors in a matter of 2 days!  Not one of the people left a message, but they increased traffic to my blog.  Was it worth the time of posting?  Yes, indeed it was!  In fact, some very small blog parties can bring people who actually visit AND leave messages, so don’t worry about the size of the party.
Some big parties are what I refer to as “Stop and Drop’s.”  People put their link on and never visit a single person.  Why do they bother?  It’s fun to visit AND when you leave a comment on someone else’s blog--get this part--your comment will often come up in search engines too and make you look like you’re “all over the place!”
If you would like to see how to check your stats on Blogger, click HERE.

Note: In the original version of this class, which was posted on my main blog in early October, 2011, I also posted a list of parties you might like to join, but because these could change and this is a static post, I have eliminated them.  To see all link parties I join, just check my sidebar on my Whimsical Musings blog.  I have them listed by days of the week.  They all have a button with a direct link to them.  I will try to keep them updated.

Class 4:  Pay A Friend a Visit
From this class, you will learn:
  1. Why it is important to visit other blogs and leave a message
  2. Why it is important to visit a blog rather than just email a person.
  3. The importance of using keywords in your title.

But, before we start, here’s a quick re-cap and checklist:
Move your “followers” list to the top of your sidebar so everyone can find it.
If you want more comments, remove the “word verification” from your comments.
Be sure to imbed your blog address into your email.

Visit a friend:
One way to increase traffic to your blog is to visit someone that you have not talked to in a long time.  Let’s face it--we all get busy.  We forget about people we used to talk to.  So, when you leave here, just go to your list of followers, pick someone to visit and leave them a message.
But, there’s a reason:  Remember I talked about back-links making you more visible in search engines????  Well, if you leave a message for someone, you will find that your blog name ends up in a search engine for that too!!!  MORE TRAFFIC to your blog!!!
Leave a Message:  This is very important.  If someone visits your blog and leaves you a message, make sure to visit their blog and leave one for them.  Simply sending an email means, “Thanks for coming, but I’m not at all interested in your blog!”  I have had this happen to me and believe me, if I was a first-time visitor to someone’s blog who does that to me, I don’t come back.
Special Note:  If you are good friends with someone, that is a different story...You will catch up and visit as soon as you can, but I’m talking about if someone visits your blog and you never try to visit theirs.  Got it?
There is one more item I would like to address.  Do not forget the importance of key words when creating your blog posts--that is, if you want NEWpeople to find you.  More about that in "Blogging 102" later in this post.

Class 5:  You Want People to LOVE Your Blog

I have been to blogs that have blog parties (events where you link up) or sign up for a giveaway.   If they have tons of rules, I will not join.  Are they movie stars or something?  Let’s get real, folks!  I like to keep things as simple as possible and if I get lost in a mire of “rules,” I’m so “outta there!”
So, if you have a blog party or a giveaway, keep that in mind.  You are trying to get people to LOVE your blog--not to be afraid of it! lol  

Class 6--Blogging Angels
Welcome to our last class of this seminar--and thank you for participating!!! 
When I first started blogging, I met “Blogging Angels” who helped me out of nowhere.  One of those people is Gayle Page-Robak.  Her art is amazing.  I had a website and tried to join blog parties.  Gayle didn’t know me, but wrote a personal email to let me know how people could leave comments about my work.  How wonderful is she?  Here it is a year later and we serve on a Design Team together at Dezinaworld.  What a small world, indeed!
One day I was on a blog and saw Anna of Frosted Petunias.  Her blog is gorgeous.  It’s like entering a fairy stardust world.  Her talent is amazing too.  And she had SNOW.  I wanted it, but did not know how to put it on my blog.  She spent over an hour trying to help me.  I was a total stranger.  She is a total doll!  (I never got it because my blog won’t accept it.)  But, how was that for amazing help?
Another day, I had problems with Photoshop and clearly did not know what I was doing.  I wrote to Gail at Shabby Cottage Studio.  She helped me for hours--she was beyond helpful--Words can’t express how grateful I was.
At another time, I did not know how to take images and change the sizes as I was making a book as a surprise for my husband.  I wrote to June ofDezinaworld and June of Junibears Jottings.  They helped me so much.  See?  Real-life blogging angels!!!
Last year, my husband was sick and I had so many people who prayed for him--Their prayers lifted him up--and me too.  You know who you are because you are my friends on here to this day--and always brighten my day with your visits.
Donna of My Shabby ChateauDore of Burlap Luxe, and Linda of Itsy Bits and Pieces all helped me when I was opening up my Etsy shop--I can’t even begin to thank them for all that they did for me...I was like a lost puppy in cyberspace.
Then, when I wanted to “tweet,”  Nicole of Capers of the Vintage Vixenswas so helpful!!  She helped me “get my wings” on Twitter.
Then, I went through some true-life drama and Daniella of Daniella HayesDonna of My Shabby Chateau, and Marcia of the Red Scarf Diaries wrote countless emails to pull me through it all--made phone calls--and prayed.
And when my books came out, so many of you bought them and wrote reviews which I TRULY appreciate!  Linda of Random Creativity, Cindy of Art, Books, Tea, Diana of Nana Diana Takes a BreakTerry ofTerry 2 Dogs, Lynne of Adorn, and Myric of Petites Passions featured my books on their blogs--what a surprise!  (I'm afraid I am forgetting someone--If I have please forgive me, but this has been a long seminar!)
There have been so many people who come to visit my blog every day--and you KNOW you brighten my day!  You have sent emails, cards, gifts--it’s always like Christmas around my house.  Do you know WHY they mean so much?  Because YOU made them!!!
Sometimes we forget that bloggers have lives filled with jobs, families, and responsibilities, so when someone takes precious time to help us, it is truly wonderful.

And one more thing--remember that “Blogging is the gift that keeps giving.”  You help one person who helps the next person who helps the next person...and on and on...It is a circle of friendship.

Blogging 102--More Valuable Info.!

Class 1--Using Key Words

Another way to get more traffic to your blog is to go to Google Adwords.  Google Adwords is your friend!  Let’s say that I want to show a piece of artwork on my blog and it is mixed media.  I can go to Google Adwords and put “mixed media” into their search bar.  A list will become generated for the most popular searches.  I can make my blog title for that day the most common search for that subject.  More traffic will be generated to my blog--easy, peasy!
Class 2--More Info. about Backlinks
I discussed blog buttons previously.  I collect them because they are pretty AND because at the click of a button I can find my friends in a heartbeat.  But, they serve another purpose.  Remember I talked about “backlinks?”  Well, if you have more than one blog or website, make sure that you post buttons for your other domains on all of your properties.  Why?  Because you create your own backlinks and can rank higher on Google.
See, most people who have more than one blog put their buttons on so that visitors can navigate easily to their other sites.
I have a website called Recovery Artist.  If you click it HERE, you will see that I have a blog button right at the top of the FIRST page that links to my Whimsical Musings blog.  
Why did I do it?  I did it because I wanted people to find my blog because it is friendly and I want to know my visitors.  Little did I know that I had created my very own backlink by accident!!  How awesome is that?
Class 3--Make your blog interactive
One of the best ways to have people leave a message on your blogs is to ask a question.  For me personally, I like to ask questions about things I really CARE about.  Invariably, when I read the answers, I am so moved by all of you and your responses.
The questions don’t have to be long.  They can be as simple as asking what someone’s favorite flower is.  One that is important for me is to ask what everyone’s favorite colors are.  That way, in the future if I make them a gift, I already know what colors they like!!!  So, can you let me know what your favorite color is?
Class 4--Be Generous
One of the nicest things you can do for other bloggers is to be generous.  I always like to think that my blog generates good karma.  
So, how can you be generous?  How about posting a favorite recipe with a picture of the dish you just made?  
You can have a giveaway, but then, only one person benefits.  Instead, try to think outside the box, get in touch with what your “gifts” are and make them available to your blogging friends.  
One time I made tags with Bible verses that could be printed out and each person could have one.  It took time, but it was worth it because all of my blogging friends would have an “instant gift” from me.

Class 5--Favicons for Blogger
Have you ever noticed that if you go to the a website or blog, some people have a picture up in their search bar?  This image is called a favicon.
If you would like to make one for your blog, just go HERE. 

Thank you for visiting this seminar.  I hope it has been helpful!  If it has, please click the +1 button--thank you so much!!!