September 21, 2014

Silent Sunday: Three

chickenbutts

September 20, 2014

High Five: 9.20.14

Well now that the week has completely taken off without me I figured it’s better late then never to post my High Five on Friday  Saturday post.

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png

On Monday, I started my first of three Basic Photography Classes at Iowa State University’s Work Space. How fun is that! I told myself when I first moved to Iowa that I was going to try and put myself out there to meet new people and experience new things and well…. the first year I did awesome. I took a 5 week quilting class in Ames, I coached a U8 soccer team here in town, and I even joined a Hispanic soccer league in Perry with some of my students, which I absolutely loved. It was hard to put myself out there but once I did I really felt that my life was happier because of it.

In the past year I really haven’t branched out too much and can tell my sanity is starting to go. I’m in a rut! When I saw that the workspace was offering the class I thought it would be a great time to branch out again and G was all for it. This class I am taking is only $20 since I work at the University and it’s something I desperately need. I bought my DSLR camera two months ago and although I am reading about how to get off “automatic” it takes actually learning it hands on to grasp the concepts.

September 16, 2014

Techy Tuesday: My Blog Must Haves

Let’s get to it. In the past few weeks I have changed a few things around here on Simply Adapting.com and I’m here to tell you that the things that I have taken the time to change have created more views and clicks to various spaces on my blog which I find Fan-Freakin-Tastic!

A few Tuesday’s ago I spoke about adding the LinkedIn Widget, a Disquis Comment Widget, and of course buying my own domain name and getting rid of the.blogspot.You can read more about that here.

Today I am here to show to talk about a few of My Blog Must Haves. Let’s start at the top!

1. My blog header - What is my meaning behind “Simply Adapting”?

Back in the spring I purchased a blog template off of Etsy and also purchased the package to have the designer update the template onto my site. I thought at first I could do this myself but I wasn’t confident about it and so she did her thing and my new template was up and running. The thing about pre-designed templates is you get what you pay for. You aren’t going to get all of the details ironed out unless you pay more for a personalized design. This left me with no Subtitle to help my visitors understand what “Simply Adapting” meant to me.

After months I have come to two realizations. 1. I have Photoshop. 2. I have the downloaded template I bought. I can fix the problem myself.

From that point I downloaded the font that was used, opened my current header in Photoshop, and added the subtitle “To Where Ever Life Takes Me”. I now have a purpose and also love that it has taken up the “Empty space” that was previously there between my header and navigation bar.

OldHeader

 

new header 

2. Social Media Buttons + Navigation Bar

I knew that I wanted create a new navigation bar to take place of the existing one. The only issue was, everything I created, I hated, and ended up deleting. I really wasn’t feeling the navigation bar at the top either. It felt cluttered and to view the first part of my content you had to scroll down. Once I realized that I wanted to get rid of the top navigation bar I knew that this would mean creating social media buttons and replacing the old banners with what would be my new navigation to my Home page, About Me, Winston, Projects, and Contact.

Again, using Photoshop I used this tutorial to I found on YouTube to help me figure out how to create buttons that matched my blog theme.

vector-social-media-icons-s

Then I used this wonderful tutorial from The Blog Beautician to figure out how to properly link them to create the best search engine optimization for my blog.

After creating my social media buttons I got to updating the navigation buttons which are shown below. I then moved them to my right sidebar easily found under my About Me and Social Media Buttons.

Home Winston projects ContactMe

3. About Me Button – Again Where is the Purpose

I had been reading other blogs and one after the next spoke about having a great About Me page. When visitors come to read your blog they often want to know more about the blogger. They are searching for a connection to you. Having an About Me page and making is easy to find is also a must. I decided to not create an additional navigation button and instead took my Blog Welcome Photo and changed it to an Welcome/About Me Button. This item went from a “Hello There” with no purpose other than showing you my pretty face to a Hello, A photo, and my link to know more about me.

MADDIELOVE-ABOUTIMAGE-V                                 AboutMephoto

 

So here’s the deal. I’m not a big time blogger. I don’t have a huge following, that I know of. And after 3 years I’m stilling trying to figure this Blogging thing out.

BUT.

If you Build it, They will come!

Today I went to my blogger stats and was amazed at how many clicks I have gotten on my About Me Page & Winston’s Page. They both tripled since I last checked. People are visiting. People are now clicking! Please click away! I want you to know about me, my dog, my projects.

To recap here are my Blog My Must Haves:

  1. A header that gives your visitors/readers an understanding of what your blogs theme is.
  2. Get rid of the extra and Keep. Things. Simple. Try not to over do it with too many navigation options and if you can try and duplicate the functions of some of the items on your page.
  3. An About Me button and page that your visitors can easily find.

On one last note, I’m going to take more time to use “keywords” for search engines. I about fell out of my chair when I saw my page views from yesterday’s post on: Book Review – You Had Me at Woof.

2,335 Page Views

That is half of my overall page views in the month of August, let alone in one day. Content obviously matters. Thought matters. Search words matter. I’m learning, I’m continuing to put more thought and time into this space I’ve grown to love, and I hope that as you found yourself here once you will come back again.

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