Drop a Link and Share Blog Party!

Breckenridge ice castle

Do you want more blog followers? Would you like to increase views on a post? Here’s your chance because it’s Blog Party Time in an Ice Castle!

Drop a link to ONE of your posts in the comments. Add a short hook enticing readers to read it.

Two will put you in Spam Prison. It’s so embarrassing for both of us. I don’t usually notice for hours or even days!

Then come back to the party and click on at least THREE others or read ALL of them!

When you comment tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they might click back to your place.

Here comes the part where your views may spike.

Share them on your favorite social media – Twitter, Flipboard, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Pin it, or all of the above.

This is a great way to build community. When you find a blog that you enjoy, follow it. They may subscribe to yours!

I’ve had drop and hops before where the main focus was to read and subscribe. This adds a little more fun to the mix by sharing the article. That way views will soar!

Breckenridge ice castle

This is party time! Let’s have some fun.

Explore the icy rooms of the castle. Keep warm with a coffee drink or hit up the bartender for your favorite beverage. Help yourself to the buffet including hot bakery from France and tapas from Spain.

These parties always become ragers and last for days so stop back anytime!

Most important?

Don’t forget to dance! Music courtesy of my son, AKA Chuck Shadow.

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

Ice Castle Photos and an Interview with Its Creator Brent Christensen

Explore an Ice Castle!

Blog Party Time: Build Your Readership!

How to Avoid Major Failure

skating and falling gif

Have you ever engaged in a difficult activity and lost focus when distracted by someone much better, then failed in a major way? I have. Many times when attempting to fulfill a goal and while ice skating.

Failure happens when we attempt to reach a super tough goal but focus our attention on something else.

It can be as simple as an off-hand glance or a quick comparison. A distraction that causes doubt can result in SPLAT! We hit the frozen lake HARD.

After watching the movie Hans Brinker when I was a kid in Madison, Wisconsin, I wanted to skate just like him. Santa provided the ice skates and Dad drove our family to Lake Wingra.

I was sure I’d glide just like Hans. My mom laced the hooks on my skates in the warming house while some skaters chatted on benches and others clomped past on their sharp blades. Once on the ice, I lost my confidence. My parents pointed out the sharp teeth on the front of my skates. I tentatively pushed ahead.

After a few steps, I looked up as another skater swooshed by. Down I went. I quickly learned that concentrating on my feet was necessary to complete my goal of staying in the upright position. This spared my poor posterior.

Changing my gear

Years later, I tried hockey skates. Seduced by the dark sturdy leather, I asked a friend, Jim Mullen, if I could try them. He and my friends cracked up laughing as I stepped forward and faceplanted on the ice. The toothless blades made pushing off so awkward. After a few quick smackdowns, I switched back to my old skates.

How to avoid crashing and burning

The Winter Olympics

A year later, Jim tried out for the Olympics. He drove to the trials with other skaters like Eric Heiden.

When Jim started his speed skating trial, he flew ahead of the pack. How far ahead, he didn’t know. With the finish line right in front of him, he looked over his shoulder to check. He wiped out and finished last.

Distraction can upend us. It takes us away from what we are doing. We lose focus. Are we progressing toward our goal or are we more concerned with what our competitors are doing? It’s a good question.

Negative comparisons

When we compare our progress to others and fall short, it can send us into a self-destructive tailspin. The absolute worst outcome is the loss of hope. We may feel like quitting.

Unrealistic expectations

This can happen when we have unrealistic expectations. We want to be like Hans or The Bloggess or some other person with celebrity status. It’s important and healthy to have goals but comparing ourselves to those who have already made it to the top after tons of hard work is unfair. Lower your expectations.

How do we pick ourselves up again?

By remembering why we started. Reaching our goal might take longer than we expect. Our baby steps have to align with our goals. We might need the help of a mentor or a bullet point journal. But if we keep putting one foot in front of the other, and really concentrate, who knows what we’ll achieve?

Did you notice my skates?

Ice Skating on the Pond

I recorded that gif file a few years ago. Danny read the article and said I had to use it. What a good sport! BTW, I haven’t skated since my knee surgery, but now I have knee pads. Luckily, I didn’t have to use them. 

What do you find the most distracting? Do your goals align with your baby steps? When was the last time you ice skated?

Into the Wind

Pantsing While Plodding Toward Publication

Super Easy Bullet Point Journaling

This New Approach to Resolutions Really Works!

How to Be Discovered on WordPress!

Featured on Discover is the blog award given by the WordPress editors. I’ve been honored to win five of these awards. They have brought thousands of views and lots of new followers to the Wild Ride. Today, I’ll let you in a little secret how you can be Discovered on WordPress too!

Editor’s Picks, Freshly Pressed, and Discover

My first Editor’s Pick was out of 375,000 other posts blogged on a day in October of 2011. I stayed on the editors’ radar and received two more in 2012. Back then, the WordPress awards were called Freshly Pressed. Now they are called, Featured on Discover.

 

 

Cue the sound of crickets.

One year almost to the day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I won another Freshly Pressed for An Open Letter to My Boobs. That was in April of 2014.

grabbing my boobs

Since then, blogging has exploded.

Very few can hear our tiny voices when they are lost in a hurricane of people shouting to be noticed.

“Look at me! Look at me!” I screamed while drowned out by the roaring crowd. “Woohoo! Over here!” I jumped up and down and burned a few calories. Exhausted, I returned to my desk to write instead.

How to be Discovered

WordPress hosts one-third of the world’s websites.

Billions of people blog. In fact, according to WordPress Facts, 409 million people read 21 billion pages each month! 21 billion?

Assuming my voice would never be heard by the editors ever again, I focused on building my blog readership and community instead. Along with writing about my wild life in Colorado, I studied the craft of writing books. There’s a huge difference between writing essays and novels. I’m still learning!

For a couple of years, I read a lot about how to increase views. Most of the articles said the same thing:

“Write quality content. Your readers will come.”

“The more you blog, the higher your views.”

The beauty of Isolation

I have never been a prolific blogger and as far as quality content, I always think my readers will enjoy my posts. Ha! There is no way to predict the hits and the HUGE misses. I continue to write because it’s my passion and I love my blogging community.

I began to promote my blog more consistently through social media. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Stumbleupon funneled a lot more readers to my blog. I still wasn’t on the editors’ radar. “Over here!”

Here’s the thing. WordPress Editors want to find quality content too.

Enter The Daily Post.

If you aren’t following the Daily Post, you should. Editors like Ben Huberman do a lot of work to help bloggers build community. There are Daily Prompts, the once a week Photo Challenge, First Fridays, (exclusively for new bloggers) and Community Pool on Mondays. The WordPress Editors peruse the blog posts. Sometimes one is Discovered. Imagine!

Once in a while, I responded to a Daily Post. The linkup always brought a lot of new faces to my blog. I’m all about new faces!

In 2017, I reduced blogging from two to three posts a week to once a week to concentrate on book writing. The Daily Post slid to the wayside. It was a helluva year with the death of my brother and then a demon washing machine determined my fate. I traveled for a month while the house was repaired.

When life settled down in August, I wrote my six-year blogiversary post, 18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog and Increase Traffic. I had upgraded to a Business site in January and finally tried a plug-in after scheduling the post for the following week. What I didn’t know was that WordPress.com sites change in structure when Business plug-ins are added. As bad luck would have it, the post didn’t show up in the Reader and the views were a yawnfest. I’d spent a full week writing that article. I cried. Seriously.

Then I remembered Community Pool! I brightened a bit. Surely, I could find some new readers. I left the link to 18 Best Blog Tips in the comments explaining how I’d written the post for WordPress bloggers but very few had seen it. I made sure to comment on a few bloggers’ requests to check out their posts or blogs. That’s what puts the Community in the Pool!

I got a notification that Ben Huberman “Liked” my post. My heart skipped a beat. Maybe I had been noticed! How ironic would that be?

Yep. Two weeks later, my views rose. I checked out Discover and there it was. A Veteran Blogger’s Advice on Growing Traffic and Finding Community – 18 Best Blog Tips. I ran around my kitchen screaming. It became a Featured post at the top of the feed for a couple of weeks!

Then I noticed a bump in views at the end of December. First, I checked social media since I spend a lot of time marketing old and new posts. Then I clicked to Discover. Ben Huberman had written a post about the most popular Featured Blog Posts of 2017 – 365 Days of Inspiration: Our Readers’ Favorite Stories About Writing and Building Community.

18 Best Blog Tips was #3. I couldn’t believe it! It still hasn’t sunk in.

One of the most interesting takeaways from the ten posts is that writing, blogging, and inspiration are what resonates with readers.

Should you start responding to every Daily Post to get noticed?

I didn’t. Instead, participate in Photo Challenges and Daily Prompts when it excites you. It’s when we are the most passionate, that the words flow and we inspire others. Check out the Community Pool to see how others use it. Drop a link once in a while. These three avenues might help you get noticed by a WordPress editor!

Here’s the thing. Standing out also means, standing out from yourself. This totally runs counter to the prolific writer opinion.

What?

If you write seven days a week, your super stellar post may not stand out. In fact, your readers may have stopped by the day before and the day after, missing your amazing essay. That would suck. Keep in mind if you start posting constantly on the Daily Post with average work, you risk being passed over for the same reason.

That said, there’s a lot of luck involved in all of this. And there are some amazing bloggers out there who never suck no matter how prolific.

A more direct way to be Discovered.

The other way to be Discovered is to nominate your very best post or another blogger on Discover’s About Page. Scroll down to the bottom to fill out the form.

Use your indoor voice.

Following the crowd by writing about the most popular subjects can also place you in an arena filled with louder voices. I hesitated when titling my 18 Best Blog Tips post for that reason. Luckily, Ben read it. He found my perspective after six years of blogging and building community unique in some way. Thank you, Ben!

I hope this gives you some clarity and lots of hope. In the meantime, keep doing what you love: writing and blogging. You’ll attract more readers, which is the ultimate goal. Perhaps an editor will find you too!

Do you read Discovered posts? Have you participated in The Daily Post? Have you ever been Discovered?

How to be Discovered on WordPress

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

Related Posts:

18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!

Discovered with 6 Ironic Twists!

An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers

365 Days of Inspiration: Our Readers’ Favorite Stories About Writing and Building Community. – The Top Ten List!

This New Approach to Resolutions Really Works!

resolution illustration

I’ve been through a few years of good intentions which paved my road to resolution hell. Even though I started on the right path to check them off my list, I wound up in the shadows of monolithic deadends while overwhelmed with disappointment. I’m done making traditional New Year’s Resolutions and have a new approach to share with you. It really works!

resolutions illustration

 

It all started two years ago when I topped my list of New Year’s Resolutions with a deadline to traditionally publish my first book. As the end of the year approached, I felt that super sick sinking feeling of failure by not achieving my top goal. My children pointed out that I can’t control my fate if it’s in the hands of others.

Last year, I made resolutions including all the projects I wanted to complete. This time, I was in control of the list. What could go wrong? I skipped down the verdant path under sunny skies until I lost my brother and a demon washing machine took control of my life. I missed most of the writing contest deadlines and bummed out.

Enter the Bullet Point Journal.

When I discovered bullet point journaling, I began to make short-term goals and planned 7-10 days in advance. Each week that I used it, I stayed on task and accomplished twice as much. Plus, I crossed off a lot of random chores and goals like meditating and exercise too.

Bullet Point Journal

Build good habits.

This year, I’m taking a different approach. Instead of finishing writing projects as a goal, I want to write more consistently, improve my work/play/exercise balance in life, and continue a routine which I started in the last quarter of 2017.

Create space for being creative.

It’s easy for me to crush writing deadlines, but I loathe forced wordcounts. Instead, I’m focusing on time management. With the help of that beloved bullet point journal, I carve out time to write every day. It really works!

Continue the challenge of becoming fit and strong.

One of last year’s goals that I actually attained was to finally rehab my knee after a partial knee replacement. I had tried physical therapy and working out on my own, but made very little progress. My legs atrophied after a partial knee replacement and became very weak. Without strong legs, the rest of my body weakened.

Then I hired a personal trainer to meet once a week. It made a HUGE difference! I’m still on Anastrozole to blow estrogen to bits (what my breast cancer ate), but it also blows up bone, so lifting weights has an added benefit for me. Weight training is important for everyone since it prevents osteoporosis along with burning fat and the obvious, building muscle. I weigh more this year, but grew a lot of muscle and lost some of the flab around my waistline.

This is the first year I can wrangle the humongous plastic bins full of Christmas decorations. I have enough for ten households. I surprised my husband, Danny, when I took down all of it in an afternoon and stacked those monstrous containers in the basement. He was pretty stoked! He used to be the wrangler of the household.

I won’t face monolithic deadends if I don’t build them.

New Years Resolutions 2018With this new approach in place, I won’t be disappointed with the twists and turns of life’s journey during 2018. I like the idea of building good habits, carving out creative space, and continuing to make exercise a priority instead. A bullet point journal full of activities and short-term goals will result in progress towards completion of projects at its own pace. As long as I keep moving forward, that’s enough for me!

Do you make resolutions? Have you tried bullet point journaling? Do you like the idea of short-term goals and habits instead of traditional resolutions?

Click for more of the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

A Tiny Tale of Terror or How to Train Your Resolutions

My Resolution Failures and Why You Should Join The Big Chill in 2017

Super Easy Bullet Point Journaling

I Celebrated a Birthday but Failed to Save a Life.

My Demon Washing Machine is Haunted

When Destiny Packs Your Bags

Need Inspiration? Read the Blessed Projects!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s Blessed Project. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these amazing, heartfelt, and inspirational posts. Each one uplifted me in its own unique way. They will inspire you too!

No matter what happens in my wild life, I have always been able to see the beauty of the world that surrounds me. Each smile, sunset, memory and light-hearted moment have reminded me of my blessings. I have a lot to be grateful for!

 

Here’s the list of everyone who participated and their entries. I know you’ll enjoy them as much as I did!

Count Your Blessings – Aggy from Inspired Life 101

Ode to 2017 – The Blessed Project– Fall Musings

The Blessed Project – Sarcastic Bohemian

Only Positive Vibes – Blessed Project 2017 – Rated by Hanna

My Blessed Project – Ivalaine Oracles and Adventures

The Blessed Project 2017 – Yogaleigh of Not Just Sassy on the Inside

The Blessed Project – Pain Pals

Christmas Blessings | 2017 – Phoenix’s Life

The Blessed Project: Holiday Season 2017 – The Good Life Concept

All The Ways My Cup Runneth Over –  Must Hike Must Eat

Blessings for All Seasons – Lynn Kelley Author

Grateful – Cozy and Sage

Warm and Fuzzies Comeback Blessed Moments – The Wish Factor

Hygge for the Holidays – Lutheran Liar

And mine! Join the Blessed Project and Get Featured! – Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride

It’s not too late to join us! Write a list of your blessings and drop the link in the comment section. Click on others and fill your heart with hope. We would love to read your Blessed Project too.

Don’t blog? Post your list on Facebook or Instagram. It’s a super positive experience. Everyone who sees it will feel good too!

Please share this post and spread the joy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Are you feeling blessed or stressed?

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride.

Related Posts:

Join the Blessed Project and Get Featured!

Join The #Blessed Project!

The #Blessed Projects are in! You will laugh and cry…

Join the Blessed Project and Get Featured!

Take a moment to join me in something truly positive: THE BLESSED PROJECT! Participants will be featured here on the Wild Ride.

Last year, I posted a list of blessings and included a few photos. The exercise took me to a place in my heart filled with love, gratitude, happiness, and sparkly things. My favorite! For the time it took to create the list, it banished bad news, headlines, and normal everyday frustrations like surfing to buy the perfect gift which is as slippery as Elf on a Shelf. I’m about to click to purchase and it’s gone! How does that happen??? Holiday preparations can be mind-numbing. By 9:00 PM my brain is fried.

How to join and get featured:

Write your list of blessings. Do whatever you want! Link it to this post. If you link it to susielindau.com, I won’t get the pingback and will have no idea you linked me. That would be so disappointing for you when I post the list of bloggers who participated.

Post yours by December 19th. On Wednesday, December 20th, I’ll post the list of entries.

With the newest word, Hygge in mind. I’ve compiled a new list focusing on family and beauty.

Here’s my Blessed Project!

I’m blessed with an amazing family.

Lindau Family 2017

Lindau Family in Breck

And new family! My grand-niece, Blakely.

Grand-niece

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this year!

30th Wedding Anniversary

I’m blessed to be surrounded by Colorado beauty…

Breckenridge sunset

And wildlife in my wild life!

IMG_2654

I’ve been blessed with a year full of travel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friends enjoying a Hygge moment.

Haunted book club

Furry friends.

Dogs in the car

Roxy and Lady

three pups in a tub

And blogging friends! The 2017 London Bloggers Bash.

Bloggers Bash Attendees

I’m blessed with good health. Knock on wood. I have nine months to go until I am five years cancer-free. I’m counting down! In the meantime, I’m working on becoming fit and strong!

Clowning around at 24 Hour Fitness

Write a post with a list of your blessings. It can be text, photos, videos, anything you like. Link it up here! Post it by the 19th. I’ll get the notification and will link you up on December 20th. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Click for more inspiration on the Wild Ride.

Related posts:

Join the Blessed Project and Link Up Your Blog

The Blessed Project – You will Laugh and Cry!

How to Have a Hygge Life

Do you feel blessed this holiday season? Are you up for making a quick list of blessings to get featured? I hope so!!!

Blog Party Time: Build Your Readership!

Blog Party Build Readership

It’s a Drop and Hop Blog Party!

It’s time for another Blog Party where you Drop a link and Hop to other blog sites. September is all about the change of seasons and the expectation of holidays. There’s a lot to write about so why not build your readership?

I love bringing my friends together so they can meet each other!

Here’s how it works:

CHOOSE ONE link to your blog and paste it in the comments. Include a hook where you tell everyone what you blog about. Then click on a few links and meet a few bloggers! Or meet all of them. It’s up to you. The more you click, the more friends you make!

Leave a comment on your new friend’s blog and tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they might click back to your place.

This is a social party so be sure to mingle in the comments. Make some new friends. Subscribe to their blog. They might subscribe to yours!

The party will roll all week so stop back anytime. This is all about you. Once it starts, I’ll let it roll!

Remember, if you leave TWO links, you’ll be thrown into the spam filter. That can be so embarrassing for both of us. The worst part? Your comment won’t post and I usually don’t notice right away. 

The drinks are flowing and the barista can whip up anything you like. The buffet includes exquisite treats from around the world.

DJ Chuck Shadow is in the house, so you know the drill… DON’T FORGET TO STAND UP AND DANCE!

Please tell your friends by sharing on Twitter and Facebook or go ahead and feel free to reblog this post. The more the merrier!

Click for more adventures on the Wild Ride!

Related posts:

Autumn And An Early Arrival!

Going for Gold – Fall Photos

Use Me and Abuse Me Day – Rolling into Roctober

I hope you’ll consider following my blog too. It’s always a Wild Ride!