Back to School, Back to Blogging Kickoff & Pre-Work!

by Gigi Ross on September 3, 2010


Welcome to Back to School, Back to Blogging!


Hopefully you have all of your school supplies. Did you get a new Trapper Keeper? Some of you probably don’t know what a Trapper Keeper is, and that means I’m old enough to be your mom. Damn.

I am SO excited with the turnout for this event. I hope you all have some fun and improve your blog in the process. It’s not too late for people to join, so encourage your bloggy friends to sign up!

Anyway, this is our kickoff post that contains info on how we’ll get started, and what you’ll need to have done by September 12.

Overview of the Course:  this is a 6-week minicourse. Each week we will cover a different topic. If you don’t want to participate in one week, no worries. Each week is pretty self-contained, but all follow the same model:

Read:  Reading will be posted on Sunday. Finish it by Wednesday. Some reading will have suggestions and tips for your blog. You can pick and choose which tips you want to utilize (and when), and which you don’t. Totally flexible, totally optional.

Write:  The writing task is loosely based on the reading. Some will be simple, like the first week’s. Others might be more challenging or just plain fun. Post your writing task by Thursday of the week. If you don’t want to do the writing task, don’t do it. You won’t go to detention. But you may not get as many visits from other participants.

Share: On Thursday and Friday, we’ll be sharing our writing, learnings, and tips together in my BlogFrog community, on Twitter, etc. You can learn the most about blogging from other bloggers, so this is where I hope you’ll get the most benefit.  Don’t be afraid to get out there and interact!


This will really be pretty easy! Many of you will already have these done:

1. Join my BlogFrog. As mentioned, we’ll be sharing a lot of information via BlogFrog, so you’ll want to join mine before we get started.

2. Follow me on Twitter.

3. Subscribe to my RSS feed. All of the course material will be posted here on KludgyMom, so you’ll want to make sure you stay on top of every update.

3. Have a ReTweet or Twitter Share button loaded onto your blog. You should have a button on your blog for people to retweet or share your blog posts.The most commonly used one is Tweet MeMe (you can also use Topsy). If you have techno-fear, don’t worry!  I will give you resources and tutorials on how to install one of these buttons on your site. See the bottom of this post.  If you run the tutorials and still have problems, post questions in my BlogFrog!

4. Create a StumbleUpon Account. StumbleUpon is another great way to get additional traffic to your site. But, you need to create an account (make sure you put your blog URL in there!), and ideally download and install the StumbleUpon toolbar onto your browser of choice.

5. Create a Facebook fan page for your blog. We’re not doing much with Facebook, but while you’re at it, create a fan page for your blog there. It helps keep your personal FB account separate from your blogging, too. Just do a quick and dirty one is great to start. People from this challenge may want to “fan” you. See my tutorial and resources page if you need help.

That’s it! In Week 1, we’ll be talking about how to do housekeeping on your blog and finding enhancements to make your site perform better. There’ll be a great guest post as well! 

If you need help on Retweet buttons,  Facebook “Like” buttons or other questions, go to the Twitter & FB Resources Post for extra help! See you on September 12!


alicia September 3, 2010 at 7:33 am

You have been one busy girl. Can’t wait to try check out the twitter e-book.

alicia September 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

Sorry my brain hasn’t engaged quite yet… try and/or check out…

Have a great weekend!

Lindsay September 3, 2010 at 8:03 am

Yay! So excited about this and absolutely looooved your vlog! Thanks for heading this up for us :)


Jessica @Debt_Princess September 3, 2010 at 8:04 am

I’m in! Pre-work is done!

I need all the help I can get to build a better blog. Thanks for doing this, I can’t wait for the 12th.

Missy @ Wonder, Friend September 3, 2010 at 10:25 am

Such perfect timing. After an unintentional week off, I need to get back in gear. Can’t wait!

Way to vlog, by the way!

AZLB September 3, 2010 at 10:46 am

check, check, and check!

Liz September 3, 2010 at 11:46 am

Yay! I’m so excited about this…thanks for the email reminder!

Jennifer September 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Woo hoo! Getting started today. Love the new look of your blog, btw!

kasey September 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I am such a twitter phobe! I can’t wait to read your ebook… this should be fun!

Tina @ Life Without Pink September 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm

All checks – completed! Excited to get started!

Jackie September 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Check on all items! And I had a Trapper Keeper!!!

Mrs. Mayhem September 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Your site looks great! I like the change!

I really looking forward to these activities, but I’m not on Facebook or Twitter. I blog anonymously, and Facebook appears to require a real identity to set up a page. I hope I’ll still be able to participate.

kludgymom September 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

It’s okay. You can still participate in most of the activities. The real purpose in having Twitter and FB is to allow other users to “fan” you or retweet your posts. So you’ll get less exposure this way, but can still definitely do most of the challenge material! 😉

Steph September 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

All items checked off! :) So excited! My blog really needs this kick in the butt. 😛

Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli September 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Congratulations on writing an e-book!! That’s great.
I’ve signed up for stumbled upon but I have no idea how to use it. Looking forward to learning more.

liz September 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm

alright, so i have everything already! does that mean i get some kind of extra credit?

i do not use an RSS reader, though. just FYI.

one question, though. i do have a separate FB page for BBCD, but i never did whatever it was that could get rid of all the URL garbage and just say something like “ or whatever format it was the FB simplified to. does that matter?

kludgymom September 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

no, that doesn’t matter. But as an FYI, you just need 25 fans to quality for your vanity So if you have that many, you can go request that URL with Facebook!

ZippyChix September 3, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Your site looks great! We’re totally looking forward to learning lots o’ good stuff from you!
Stay light and breezy!

PaperFlora September 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm

looking forward to this!

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) September 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Ooh, exciting. Great vlog! Congrats on the e-book…very cool. I’ll be checking out your stumble upon tutorial and FB fan page…those confuse me for some reason. Going to do my best to keep up. Great job Gigi!

Cori September 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Wahooooo let’s get this party started!!!!

I’ll work on the homework tonight!!

julia September 3, 2010 at 9:59 pm

got everything done. only thing i needed to do was create a stumble acct. i hope you talk more about that cuz i really don’t know how to use it.

i subscribed by email cuz i don’t use my RSS reader.

kludgymom September 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

We’ll be talking about StumbleUpon hopefully in Weeks 3/4. :)

Ashley @ Just Another Mom of 2 September 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm

So excited! I’m all set to go :)

mecarol September 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Pre-work is done. And a thousand thanks for the twitter ebook! You have no idea how much I need it.

Alexandra September 5, 2010 at 3:12 am

Oh, you poor sweet thing, you still have hope for me.

I’ll try, my dear , I’ll try.

Yuliya September 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm

okay finally did all five steps…echoing the clueless to stumble upon sentiment…(and twitter too but will download your book to remedy this)
Gigi you are so so awesome for doing this!

kludgymom September 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm

We’ll cover Stumbleupon later in the course. Good job on doing all the steps. Make sure you leave your FB and Twitter (if using) IDs in my blogfrog!

Amy September 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Just found you on BF and am so excited to happen on this just in time!!!

– subscribe to RSS – check
-Facebook – check
-Twitter – to do
– StumbleUpon – check (though I’ve never stumbled) ; )


Kat September 9, 2010 at 12:31 am

I added a pretty little welcome page to my Facebook! Yay! Thanks for the info! I am all set to get started now. I am so excited to get started! :)

Jamie Bishop September 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm

This is what I get for waiting until the last minute. I knew I had done all the prework except the retweet button. I found out how to add it to the side of my blog, but not the individual posts. I followed the tutorial but can’t find anywhere in my html code – even when I expand the widgets. So…well…I’m giving up on it for now. I’ll just leave the widget on there on the side until I figure it out.

kludgymom September 12, 2010 at 8:10 am

you may want to reach out to Mama 2 3 Penguins…she figured it out and helped at least 3 other people get it installed. She’s on twitter at mama2_3penguins!

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