Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Things I Learned In 2011

It’s that time of year where every time you turn around someone is recapping SOMETHING.

Surprise marriages and divorces, top cheating scandals, celebrities we lost in 2011, ten dumbest things congress did this year. 

I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.

For my last post (of 2011, don’t panic) I thought I would recap the top blogging things I’ve learned this year.  I know I’m probably going to sound really dumb when I reveal some of these things, keep in mind I didn’t know the first thing about blogging when I started.  And for the record, I prefer to think of myself as naive. 🙂

Categories.    Categories are words which you choose, that help people find your blog/blog post in a search engine.  For instance if someone googles ‘rescue dogs,’ somewhere down at the bottom of that list you will find one of my posts about Delilah. 🙂

Be The Change.  Be the change for animals is an event that happens four times a year in Blogville, on the 15th day of January, April, July and October bloggers EVERYWHERE write a pet related post.  It could be anything that has to do with making a change for the betterment of animals.  One of my first BTC posts was a copy of  a letter I sent to the Governor of CT regarding a change in law for rescue organizations.

Pingbacks.  Pingbacks are still a subject I’m kind of wonky about, but the best I can figure is if someone makes a reference to a post you made, you get a little note in your comment section letting you know that someone mentioned you.  So far most of my pingbacks are from myself 🙂 but that is something I hope to change in 2012.

Writing Prompts.  Yes there are blogs out there that will help you become a better writer (if that is something you are aspiring to.)  Write on the Edge is one of these blogs.  Every Tuesday and Friday there is a different challenge.  You can choose to participate or not, no pressure.  A few weeks back I did participate and wrote a short story that got a lot of comments.

Comfort Zones.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Try something new, this past year I participated in a “Back to school blog party.”  Hosted by Frankie and Sarge, this was something way out of my comfort zone.  The post was supposed to be from the pet’s point of view and I don’t normally write in that form.  But I took a shot anyway.  If you haven’t seen it, you can find it here.  I think it came out decent if I do say so myself.   

I also participated in the Social Media event hosted by Two Little Cavaliers.  It was a great event that got me a bunch more followers (mostly Twitter.)

I’m thinking for 2012 I will be taking part in the Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by Edie at Will My Dog Hate Me and Amy at Go Pet Friendly

Yup. Stepping. Out. Of. My. Comfort. Zone.

Linky Tools.  Linky tools is a blogging tool used in Blog Hops and links you up to other bloggers.  Linky Tools does NOT work with the free WordPress account.  Which leads me to kindness.

Kindness.  Bloggers are very kind people, if you need help or seem to be struggling with something, chances are there’s a blogger ready to lend a helping hand.  Case in point when I did my first blog hop, I couldn’t figure out how to make that Linky Tool work.  A very kind Pamela from Something Wagging This Way Comes sent me an e-mail explaining exactly how I had to use the Linky Tool.  How kind is that?

Blog Hops.  Blog Hops link you up with other blogs and help you easily manuever from one blog to the next, hence the term Blog Hop. 

Right now I know of three regularly scheduled blog hops.  The Monday Mischief blog hop hosted by Alfie’s Blog, Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Luna a Dog’s Life and My Brown Newfies.

The Wordless Wednesday blog hop hosted by BlogPaws.

And of course, the one that I struggled with in the beginning, the Saturday Morning Pet Bloggers Blog hop hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life With Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume.

I am looking forward to the challenges of 2012, and as we bid adieu to 2011, we pray you have a safe, healthy and happy new year!

You guessed it, this is the Saturday Morning Pet Bloggers blog hop, hop on.

Comments on: "Things I Learned In 2011" (32)

  1. Frankie Furter said:

    I am reminded of that old saying… You’ve come a LONG WAY BABY!!
    I know fur a FACT that YOU made the Back to School Bash.. A REAL SUCCESS!!!

    I have had this blog of mine… since Oct. 2008 and have NEVER seen or heard of a Ping Back.. THANKS… I love to learn somethingy NEW Every Day.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!! May it bring you every pawsible grrrrreat thingy.

    • Thanks Frankie, the back to school bash was fun to do! I appreciate your kind words and glad that I can help YOU in any way! If you need ANYTHING you just let me know and if I can help you I will do so gladly!

      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. A very happy New Year to you, and I hope you get all of these things to come true. woo woo woo!

  3. […] Things I Learned In 2011 ( […]

  4. This was a good read for me as I am pretty new to the blogging scene and still have a lot to learn. Pinkbacks, trackbacks, linky tools, and blog hops are not yet fully in my realm of understanding but I know what you mean about the kindness of bloggers!
    Oh, and I thought your Pawm Etiquette post was hilarious. 🙂

    • I admit I am still learning as well. I hope someday to be savvy enough to go toa paid wordpress account. LOL

      Glad you enjoyed the Pawm Etiquette, I had a fun time writing it.

      Happy New Year Shoes!

  5. Good post, some of those I had forgotten. I’m still not into social media. I guess there are more things that interest me more, and I’m not sure what I am supposed to do with all the new Twitter followers we’ve gotten. Anyway, have a great 2012 and keep blogging as we enjoy reading.

    • Back at you Jan! I have no idea what to do with all those twitter followers. My niece says it just has to be something you do, you can’t force it.

      I’m not great at posting status’ on facebook either so I can’t imagine tweeting will be much better. 🙂

      Happy New Year!

  6. What a great guide! Very useful for any new blogger, wish I had known about many of those programs when I started out last year too, and there was some in this post that i didn’t know of yet, so thanks for that too! Have a Happy New Year!!

  7. I am very glad this isn’t your last last post. I probably would panic if it was.

    There are a lot of things I learned about blogging this year as well, I love that you turned your lessons into a very helpful post! I am also proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. I know exactly how hard that can be. In fact, I kind of hate the term now since so many people have told me I need to do it so many times. So yay for you!

    Happy New Year! I am so proud to “know” you and can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring for us both!

  8. Thanks Kristine, I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support and encouragement!
    You are one of my very first readers and have been with me through it all!

    I think you are doing just fine in or out of your ‘comfort zone.’ You have done and achieved SO much since I’ve been following you, I just can’t imagine what you will do in 2012!

    I’m proud to “know” you too and Happy New Year to you as well!!

  9. I saw myself in your post. I remember learning all these things for the first time and now I’m amazed at what I do without even thinking about it.

    You’ve come a long way, baby!

    I also enjoyed going back and reading your Pawm etiquette post and your Christmas story.

    I’m glad you’ve gotten the hang of linky tech. It’s not so bad, huh?

    Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us.

    • I think most beginning bloggers can identify with that post. It’s funny how you just absorb things without really knowing you are, and then when you look back you can see how far you’ve come.

      That Linky tool is pretty easy if your blog format supports it, but very frustrating if it doesn’t! I still remember how touched I was when you reached out to me to help me. You were the first person to do so and I really appreciate that, thank you Pamela!

      Happy New Year to you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  10. Good post. I don’t get the linky tools thingy either. When I saw “stepping out of your comfort zone” it made me realize just how much I have done that over the last year or so, thanks for listing that otherwise I would have never thought of it.

    Happy New Year My Dear Blogger Friend 🙂

    • It is amazing how much we grow without realizing it. Just like your little puppies, when you see them daily you don’t see the change, but when you look back at the pictures, you can see just how much they have grown!

      I think the Linky tools is a wordpress issue, they do not support add-ons that aren’t designed by them, I guess they are proprietary. 😦 So I guess we just have to keep providing a link to someone whose blog supports it. 🙂

      Happy New Year to You my dear friend!

  11. Happy New Year Jodi. 🙂

    Great guide. I could have used it a year or so ago. 😉 The linky tool makes me nuts. For some odd reason, I can never get my info entered correctly and there is no way to edit. 😆

    • I could have used that a year ago myself! LOL

      I have not yet mastered that little area of technology so I cannot help you. 😦

      Happy New Year back at you! This is the year you get your puppy!!

  12. Happy new year! Now, could you please find out the difference between Categories and Tags for me in 2012.


    • I always thought categories were something you used to identify what type of information is in a particular post. For instance if I were writing a post specifically about a training session I would categorize it as “Training.” This identification on my part would be used when someone “googled” training, it would then be presented to them in the google search return. What position your post is presented is dependent upon what I believe is called “SEO” or Search Engine Optimization, which I haven’t quite figured out yet.

      In the wordpress tags, wordpress identifies common ‘tag’ words which you must then apply. When you apply them, wordpress automatically creates a hyperlink to those words. When you click the hyperlink, it brings you to Wikipedia where you find a definition of the word.

      I stopped using tags when one of my readers complained about all the links in my post. Since I didn’t know better, I thought I needed to apply the tags.

      Tags might be very useful if you were using a lot of technical terms that might not be familar to many people.

      Check out this earlier post I did where I applied the tags. If you click the links you will see what I mean.

      I also found this article on problogger, but his explantion didn’t sound right to me based upon my experience.

      I hope I helped! Let me know if something doesn’t make sense.

      Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

      • Wow! How’s that for service!! Thanks Jodi, that does explain things pretty well. I’m not sure I’m fully au fait with it all yet, but now I feel as though I’ve got a bit more of a handle on it. I might try and put some tags in over the next few posts just to see what happens. 🙂


  13. Nice post, Jodi. I can relate to what you are talking about. I feel like I learned a lot of these things also this year.

    I enjoyed reading your post that you linked to Write on Edge. You did such a nice job, and I hope to see more of your writing linked to that site. I am hoping to do more also!

    I know what you mean about going out of your comfort zone. I think that is the hardest thing about writing. Once we tackle that part, it gets easier. It is such a big step to put ourselves out there for all to see!

    So glad to have met you in 2011. I hope you have a great 2012!

    • Thank you Mary Ann, I’ve had so many people say they can relate to this post. I never realized all the technolgoy that went into blogging! I thought you just wrote!

      I was surprised by how quickly that Write on Edge piece just flowed out of my mind. I have been checking back there looking for other prompts that might interest me. I hope to read more of yours as well as I have enjoyed reading the ones you have written.

      You are write, putting yourself out there leaves you open to rejection, but I think most bloggers are pretty diplomatic with their comments which helps!!

      It was great meeting you too Mary Ann, I wish a happy 2012 for you as well.

  14. I think this was a very educational year for me too – although I admit I still get very confused about the pingback thing on a regular basis. I don’t know why.

    I love reading your blog, so thank goodness this isn’t your last post!

    Happy new year!

    • Thank you. The pingback still confuses me as well, and I wonder what’s the point of pinging me when it’s me who made the reference?

      Happy New Year Back at you!!

  15. […] Things I Learned In 2011 – Update […]

  16. […] the things she had learnt over the last year and one of them was about Categories – click here to view the post.  This was incredibly useful to me because I’ve always found myself a bit […]

  17. hey mom, i hope this helps clear some stuff up:

    pingbacks are a way to automatically notify you if someone makes a post with a link to one of your posts, kind of like they are making a remote comment on your post. this keeps you aware of who is linking to you and from where, which is important for security and also networking!

    tags vs categories: That blog is actually correct. are you sure you don’t accidentally have some wikipedia widget installed? this is the category vs tags breakdown on the simple:

    Categories should be broad and describe the type of thing you talk about – Like labeling packed boxes.

    Tags should be specific and describe the specific thing you are talking about in a post – like the inventory of what is in the box. you wouldn’t want to write that whole thing on the outside of the box, but you might include it in a list on the inside!

    both help you generate traffic on search engines! i wonder why that wiki thing is happening with your tags, it doesn’t happen on mine 😦

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