Friday, January 30, 2015

Why I prefer blogging on Blogger

Sometime in 2013, I got the idea that I wanted to be a professional blogger. Yes. Me.

So to kick start this big dream of mine, I decided to create a blog using the WordPress platform because most professional bloggers I know created theirs on WordPress. I thought having a WordPress blog of my own would be impressive. I even have my own personalized domain name. (Reminder to self: cancel domain name!)

I don’t know what I was thinking really. Becoming a professional blogger is hard work. Like really hard work.

#1 Your blog content has to be good. Good enough so that readers are engaged and learn something new that would benefit them. In order to come across as a specialist in the field you blog about, you really have to spend a lot of time researching so that your content is unique and educational.

#2 You have to be consistent with updating your blog and aggressively promote your blog.

#3 You have to maintain your blogs appearance to keep it updated and mannnnn WordPress can be tough if you hate dealing with technical details like I do.

I, obviously, did not have the patience nor the time to keep up with my WordPress blog. Trying to become a professional blogger took the fun out of blogging for me. Suddenly I felt under pressure preparing my blog content because I needed to showcased what I specialized in. I started writing in a different voice and it didn’t feel like the writing was mine. Anyway I digress, sorry. I tend to do that a lot now.

It was during this time that I fiddled with WordPress. Whilst WordPress has its plus points I really didn’t want to spend too much time trying to understand how to use the platform to make my blog better. And trust me, if you are new with WordPress you need to spend A LOT OF TIME trying to understand the platform and how it works.

I realize from this experience that I love blogging for fun not to showcase my professional knowledge. I love writing and sharing my personal thoughts online and not my professional experience. I blog also because I wanted to connect with people who share the same interest I do. More importantly, I didn’t want to be bogged down with technicalities of how I can use the many plugins available to improve my blog. And since I now realize that I hate dealing with blogging technicalities, Blogger is a better platform because its easy to manage and it suits my objective.

Blogger to me is:
# Really easy to set up.
# Easy to customize. There are more blogger templates available out there that is free and/or cheaper than a WordPress template. Though I have to admit WordPress templates are much nicer.
# The Blogger dashboard is easier to manoeuvre (but this could be because I’m used to Blogger having been on it since 2013)

As much as I love Blogger there is one thing I’ll miss from WordPress and that is the ability to share post to more social media sites. Since I only recently came back to Blogger I can see some updated features but not many. I noticed that I can now automatically share blog posts on Google+ but not any other social media sites. Or is there an updated sharing option on the Blogger dashboard that I haven’t noticed yet?

Anyway, I’m happy with blogger for now. I can write as and when I please. If anyone reads this blog, great! If no one reads it, no problem! I can write whatever I feel like writing with no pressure. More importantly, I can maintain the blog without worrying to update this plugin or that plugin to keep it updated. Bliss.

For making my life easier, thank you Blogger! I absolutely love you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 EBook Reading Challenge

I recently posted about how I am now a digital bookworm and would really like to read more from my Kobo e-reader. So when I stumbled upon this challenge on Annette's blog I immediately decided to participate without any hesitation. Hopefully, taking part in this challenge would help me continue reading ebooks more consistently.

The challenge is hosted by Annette’s Book Spot. Here are the guidelines:

This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2015 – Dec 31, 2015.

Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).

Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.

You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.

When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.

Sign-ups will be open throughout 2015, so feel free to join at any time during the year.

1. Bits – 5 ebooks
2. Bytes – 10 ebooks
3. Megabytes – 25 ebooks
4. Gigabytes – 50 ebooks
5. Terabytes – 75 ebooks
6. Empty the Cloud – 100 ebooks

At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews for that month. The linky will remain open for the remainder of the year, so if you forget, feel free go back and add them when you remember.

I’m going to take it slow and commit to the Bytes level – 10 ebooks this year.

Thanks Annette for hosting this challenge. I look forward to reading more ebooks with my Kobo ereader this year.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Audiobook: The Little Engine That Could

Written by: Watty Piper
Narrated by: Cassandra Morris
Length: 7 mins

Everyone loves The Little Engine That Could, that classic tale of the determined little engine that, despite its size, triumphantly pulls a train full of toys to the waiting children on the other side of a mountain.


This was so much fun to listen to with my four year old. He paid full attention to the audiobook from beginning to end and kept saying “mummy, give toy before boys and girls wake up”. I think what he meant to say was “please make sure the toys reach the boys and girls before they wake up”. LOL.

Also, he was laughing hysterically when the little engine started chanting “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” over and over again. The way the narration was delivered just tickled him silly.

Hats off to Cassandra Morris who also did a great job with the narration, my son was glued to the story from the minute we pressed play.

He loved it so much that we heard it on repeat for like five times.

I think this is his new favourite; added on to his current favourite audiobook list of Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears which he listens to quite often.

A simple and easy to read book with a great message for any reader whether they are young or old. 

The Little Engine That Could was absolutely an enjoyable experience to listen to with my son.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 Audiobook Challenge

I participated in the same audiobook challenge last year and did the Weekend Warrior level which meant that I had to listen to about 10-15 books in a year. I did quite well and completed my challenge way in advance. *Patting myself on my back*

Anyway, I’ve decided to up the ante this year and will commit to the Socially Awkward level which requires that I listen to 15 – 20 books. Eeeks! Hopefully I’ll be able to manage this. I’ve already listened to 3 audiobooks this January already.

This challenge is hosted by The Book Nympho and Hot Listens.

The audiobook challenge details below:

Challenge Details
  • Runs January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2015 than you did in 2014.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

To join the challenge (I dare you if you haven’t) please click here.

Wish me luck!

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