Thursday, March 01, 2012

"Get Fired Up" Reveal!


Today is the day! A big thanks to Melissa Sugar-Gold for hosting this wonderful blogfest. It has probably helped a ton of people. :) 

For those who missed out on the fun, here were the guidelines:
1. Sign up here  
2. Look for or stumble upon a blogger in need
3. Offer to help them with whatever issue they are struggling with (this could be showing them how to make sure their comment on a blog post links back to their blog or profile or making sure they have their blog linked to their blogger profile.)  There is no requirement here.  It is simple really. Lend your blogging experience or expertise to help another blogger gain readers or help them with a problem they are struggling with.  You could help them get their blog noticed by other bloggers. Offer to do a guest post on their blog or interview them on your blog.  Do as little or as much as you are comfortable doing.

4.  Do this from now until February 29th (Leap Year).

5.  On March 1st post about it on your own blog.  Tell us who you helped or discovered, what you did, and provide a link to their blog so we can all visit the blogger you mentored.
-------------------------------------------------------------
I chose to mentor one of my friends/critique partners: Melissa Maygrove.
(You may know her from the guest post I did over at her blog two weeks ago.)
A month ago, she was terrified of blogging and who could blame her? From the outside looking in, our close-knit community can be pretty intimidating. So, we took it one step at a time...

  1. We went over the basics--how to navigate blogger, how to post and schedule posts, how to format text, how to include photos, links, etc.

  2. I gave her some tips for maintaining an appealing (and consistent) blog. Here's a brief overview of what we covered:
    • Create a posting schedule and stick to it.
    • Be authentic--post in your own voice about what matters to you.
    • Network with/follow/befriend other bloggers. Stay active. Create long-lasting relationships.
    • Reply to the comments you receive. (In any way you see fit.)
    • Try to include an image in your posts.
      (Look for CC-licensed images, whenever possible. Provide credit.)
    • Turn off Word Verification.
    • Participate! Join blog-hops, blogfests, contests, and campaigns. 
    • Put a link to your blog on your other virtual haunts.
    • Etc.
  3. Finally, we gave her blog a complete makeover:
    • The first thing to go was the bland, cookie-cutter template she had before this. (I probably shouldn't subject you guys to a screenshot of that. *grins* Right, Melissa?)
    • She needed something that reflected her personal style, so we went background hunting. Plum Rose Lane had a blue print she loved.
    • After that, she needed a custom header. We didn't bother looking for something that probably wouldn't match, anyway. I made one in Photoshop.
    • Next, I commanded asked her to put a photo on her profile. Faceless bloggers are suspicious. (...I'm totally kidding about the last part. Relax! *grins*)
    • Then we set to work on gadgets. (GFC, Twitter, labels, blog archive, writing status, etc.) Just enough without cluttering the sidebar.
    • When we were finished, I made her a new blog button. 

    So, what do you guys think? :)


    Melissa is an information sponge. I showed her a few tricks, taught her a little HTML, and bam--she was good to go! Talk about self-sufficiency. The woman gained sixty followers this month!

    I am oh-so-proud of my blogging mentee, and she deserves all the traffic I can send her. So, if you get a chance, check out her blog. You won't regret it. :)

    Have a great weekend, guys! ♥ 

52 comments:

Iain said...

It's not so much a case of: Everybody needs a Ninja,
it's more like: Everybody needs a Carrie.

I'm on my way to have a look :o)

YelenaC said...

Looks nice, great job mentoring!

Cassie Mae said...

Super Carrie! And going to check out her blog right now :D

Natasha Hanova said...

Great advice. I'll click over there now.

Angela Brown said...

Looks like you make a wonderful mentor. Going to check out her blog right now.

Melissa Sugar said...

Awesome job, Carrie. Everyone should be so lucky. Melissa's blog is wonderful. It is refreshing to visit a blog that is designed so well and is easy navigate. I noticed that she has Google friend connect, but none of the names or faces are visible and you cannot join. Today is March 1st, D-day for Google friend connect, but it was my understanding that blogger sites were exempt. It is possible that she voluntarily removed it or it is temporarily down. Maybe you want to pop over and check it out since you are such an awesome mentor.

I am really impressed with the amount of time and the effort you must have put in to helping Melissa. She is fortunate to have you. Best of luck in the contest. I will announce winners soon.

PS. Bonus points for Meliss NOT having the captcha word verification on her comment. Big bonus.

Melissa said...

Thanks to all of you for visiting! = D Carrie's awesome, isn't she? I'm working on the Google Friend Connect snafu. It was there yesterday... = O

Giles Hash said...

Looks great :). One tip I always give bloggers is to MAKE CERTAIN that the text is dark (black is best) and the background is light (white or very light grey). Inverting the colors tends to give people headaches, especially if they're susceptible to migraines. And no one wants to read a blog that gives them physical pain :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Oops. Guess I fall into the pool of suspicious bloggers, then . . .

Off to check out her blog! :)

jamieayres said...

Wow, what a wonderful campaign . . . how'd I miss this? Ah, really could use some help:( Looks like you're a grreeeaaaat mentor:):) Nicely done!

Melissa said...

She is a WONDERFUL mentor. I am so blessed! = )

Carrie Butler said...

Oh no. That song is going to be in my head now... *grins*

Thank you, Iain! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Side note: She does have the Bloggeriffic "Follower" gadget (as opposed to the dearly departed GFC html). It's just not working, for some reason. Anyone have any light to shed on the subject? :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Yelena! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Why thank you, Cassie! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Natasha! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Aww... thanks, Angela! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Melissa! I really appreciate that.

I'm not sure what's wrong with her "Follower" gadget/Google Friend Connect (GFC) today. We're working on getting it back up and running, though. :)

(And thanks again for hosting this blogfest. I had so much fun!)

P.S. Yeah! Captcha had to go! ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Giles! That's a great rule, and it's applicable to almost any kind of website/blog. :) You know what's weird, though? One of my best friends has cluster headers and he can only stand to read white on black these days. (Which is why my personal blog is fashioned that way.) The eyes are such tricky things!

Carrie Butler said...

Haha! Oh, I so thought of you when I typed that, Eagle. I'm glad you saw the humor. :D

Thank you!

Carrie Butler said...

It really was a wonderful blogfest, Jamie!

Hey, anytime you need help, just let me know. Shoot me an e-mail or something. :)

Shell Flower said...

Great mentoring there, Carrie. I am seriously impressed. That is wonderful.

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Shell! I appreciate the kind words. :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

60 followers in a month! Way to go with the mentoring, Carrie! That's amazing.

Sally said...

I'll be marking this post for when I get around to starting that blog, for sure XD That's some helpful advice!:) What a cool event that was!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I love the idea behind this blogfest. Sounds like you had a great time being part of this.

Sophia Chang said...

Dude I do this everyday with my turn off word verification dictating lol

So glad to see that was on your list.

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Jennifer! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Two words: You're next. ;)

Thank you! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Absolutely! I'd love to do something like this again. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! That's very true. You're the queen of the anti-word verification campaign. :D

Joylene said...

Everybody needs a Carrie, lalala, everybody needs a Carrie, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Seriously, you rock, Carrie. Melissa's blog looks B A D !!!

Joylene said...

Thanks for the link to the Pinterest article. I'm disappointed because it was so much fun, but it's not worth the possible backlash. I'm going to do some further research and maybe delete my account. Thanks again, Carrie.

Carrie Butler said...

Best. Song. Ever. *grins* Thank you, Joylene!
---
You're welcome. I was disappointed, too! I had no idea about that until my sister forwarded me the link this morning. What a bummer!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Carrie,

Sorry I haven't been around... driving ALL over Florida these days for one thing or another. In Key West now....

You, are, a true and considerate blogger. Wonderful suggestions and a great way to reach out to our amazing community.

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

And, I hope Melissa has great success with her newly furbished blog.

Morgan said...

Ohhh... I love Melissa! And her blog looks fab! And "Whoot!" to Alex... I'm not *much* of a sci fi reader, but honestly? I'd read his stuff in a heart beat. Can't wait. :D

Lydia Kang said...

So many good bits of advice here! I particularly like the "turning off word verification" one. Golden.

Melissa's blog looks so professional now. Great mentoring work!

MISH said...

Sounds like such a wonderful campaign... and you're definitely such a great mentor, Carrie.
Well done! I'm off to check out her blog.

Carrie Butler said...

Hi, Michael!

It's nice to see you back around the blogosphere. Sounds like you've been pretty busy!

Thank you so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it. :)

Carrie Butler said...

They're both awesome, aren't they? I love our writing community so much! :) Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you! :) Oh, yes. Word verification has to go. It's so frustrating!

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Mish! I appreciate that. :D

Rachel Morgan said...

When I first stopped by Melissa's blog for the campaign I thought it looked lovely :-) Great mentoring job!

PS - thanks for offering to help out with spreading the word about Guardian tomorrow, even though you already have a post scheduled!

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Rachel! :)

Oh, no problem. I can't believe I almost missed it!

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Sorry I'm so late commenting on this Blogfest. They say 'life is what happens when you make other plans' and it's so true LOL!

I feel that I started out blogging with more of a brand/idea already formed of what I wanted having researched it, read about it and managed an online forum for 8 yrs previously and I agree with all your pointers, and I'm still learning along the way. Good luck with the contest.

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Madeleine! I appreciate that. (I'm still learning, too!) :)

Empty Nest Insider said...

I'm also sorry for arriving so late! You really went above and beyond in helping Melissa! I really admire you for being such a patient and supportive person! Best of luck with the contest, and I will visit Melissa over the weekend! Julie

Gail said...

I've discovered there are lots of people willing to help out there...thank you.

Carrie Butler said...

Better late than never, right? :) Thank you, Julie! I appreciate the kind words, and I'm sure Melissa will be happy to have you stop by.

Carrie Butler said...

Absolutely! We have a wonderful community. :)

Melissa Bradley said...

Terrific advice! Came here from Melissa's blog. What an awesome blog fest and I agree that it probably helped a ton of people. We have an amazing community here. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Thank you, Melissa! Oh yes. I'm proud to be a part of it. :D