Zero to Hero: The Inside Track

Helping people is part of my personality type. Both blogging and answering support questions have helped me to become more open and expressive. I have never been in a blogging challenge before and this is my Zero to Hero inside story part 2.

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zero-to-hero-badgeZero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog Assignments

I have blogged since 2005 and my assumptions about the challenge were wrong from the outset. At first I was not fully on board because I had yet to recognize what an old, crusty and set in my ways blogger I had become. I am an over achiever.  Until I was able to get the assurance that we did not have to complete any assignment or every assignment I was very uptight. But once I got the message that the challenge is flexible, we can take what we need from it and give what we can to it, my shoulders dropped a couple of inches and I started to breathe deeply again.

Day One: Introduce Yourself Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.
Day Two: What’s your name? Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline, and flesh them out more in a widget.
Day Three: What’s on your mind? Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.
Day Four: Explore the Neighboorhood Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader, and begin finding blogs (and bloggers) you love.

When I create a new blog I go through the same or at least a similar process as what the first three assignments called for long before I register the blog. In this case I had already:

  1. decided I would blog under a pseudonym;
  2. registered the a blog URL and a custom domain:
  3. created a site title and an effective tagline;
  4. decided exactly what kind of content I intended to publish in the blog;
  5. identified my target audience;
  6. published an About page with an effective blog description and a 140 Character Elevator Speech for my Twitter profile, as well as,  a sidebar widget briefly stating the purpose of the blog;
  7. published posts.

I started out by using one blog and then had a lightbulb moment when I recognized I could create a new timeless topics category and use another blog instead. See: Blog Challenges for Blog Improvement

this time – this space  is a conscious living blog, focused on overcoming challenges through skillful means and living the simple life to the fullest.

Day Five: Love Your Theme
Day Six: Try a New Element
Day Seven: Do Some More Personalizing

I spend hours almost every day answering support forum questions and I have private blogs set up to use for testing blog settings, features, themes and widgets so I can provide correct answers to those who post them. That means that I have test driven every free theme, including all the retired themes, more than once. It also means I have tried every type of element and personalization that does not involve purchasing a custom design upgrade more than once.

I’m also a blogger who has changed themes frequently and who makes new headers and changes backgrounds frequently on both blogs. Therefore, the first week’s Zero to Hero assignments did not hold a challenge for me in the sense of blog development. The assignments prompted me to review what I had done with fresh eyes and tweak it, and to publish posts.

I set up a follow blog widget for the very first time. I did, of course, know how to do it but I started using feedburner in the dark ages and I was too set in my ways to stop. Now my Followers have two options! DUH … why didn’t I think of that before? Could it be because I was too set in my ways? Oh yeah …

In short the Zero to Hero challenge has been exposing to me how very opinionated I have become about every aspect of blogging. Every time I do an assignment anyway in my private test blog because I don’t want to do it on my personal blog crusty scales are falling off me. I’m reviewing and/or trying this or that on for size with an open mind. I’m finding new blogs to follow in the Reader. Most of all, I’m having fun.

Week one of the Zero to Hero Challenge for me became one of sharing resources and how to instructions in Zero to Hero support forum threads and I like doing that, so I ended the week on a happy note.

Note: Regular Readers please do not give up on me.  I pick up my new computer glasses today (yay!), and after I do I will complete and publish the draft posts I have developed for both blogs. While you are waiting listen to Mariah and take note that a hero resides in you too.

Mariah Carey – Hero

24 thoughts on “Zero to Hero: The Inside Track

  1. This is a great post TimeThief and have if anything, you’ve given me more to think about in what I’m doing with my blog and future plans for it. Thanks once again!

  2. I know and learn about the Blogger World since June 2009,through a Facebook Account,before i become a Blogger,i was do many silly (Because I am a Reckless and Innocent Facebooker) on my Micro Blog (Facebook),then i decide for close my Facebook Account in July 2011,and made a Blog on Blogspot,however i still make some faults on my Blog and i am blind about SEO also,then my first Blog on Blogspot (suaramirza) got infection from Malware,then i must left my first blog. Actually i was made a Blog through WordPress on circa 2011,but failed fully (secepat). Now i try make a better blog use Blogspot (tunogngtagalog and cumanjepretan) and WordPress (perahucadik), i got experience from my faults and problem on my first blog,i think it’s a Blessing Disgusse too. I never give up and stay Stubborn as Blogger from Zero :)

    • Wow! Have you ever had some blogging adventure of the worst kind. I’m the determined type too and I’m wishing you all the best with this blog.

  3. I see you as an anchor or perhaps a hand holding mine that ensures I don’t get drowned or eaten by sharks. :-) I bet a lot of other people feel like that too. :-)

  4. I’m so relieved when I hear someone like you suggest it helps to refresh your skills and try new approaches. I still have so much to learn that I sometimes feel I should be further along than I am. Thanks for giving us a peak into your thought process.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy,
      I’ve been juggling a lot in terms of our business, contracted work and blogging too. I’m managing to follow the zero to hero challenge as best as I can and I’m trying to become more open-minded. It';s going about as well as I expected. If I would have had this month off I would have ROCKED! the challenge but I didn’t. Oh well. Mostly I’m helping in the zero to hero support forum threads.

  5. Thank you for all of your advice on the forum pages. Hope I master the art that you have of forever improving, and keeping blog fresh. For now, Ill be happy when I have mastered that header!

      • Relieved you think the header is conquered – it took me hours. So pleased I learned how to do it though – felt like a real achievement. And I am delighted that you enjoy the writing on the blog. Every time I go back over an old post I find a typo or some dodgy punctuation, but I am finding the more I write the better it gets. I guess like everything, practice makes perfect. Thanks for all your support, technical and other, it really really helps.

        • Your header image has an interesting granular quality to it and though it’s too “tall” for my taste, my taste isn’t everyone’s taste. You write well and my advice is don’t feel pressured and get too strung out by trying to do too much. You have a family and maintaining an offline and online life balance is important. Well written original content is what draws readers like me back again and again, so if you are short on time devote it to creating content.

    • Dear Katherine,
      I love you and what you are doing with your blog and I’m so chuffed that you feel the same way about mine. Thanks so much for the promotion. I appreciate it.

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