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There's A Book

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I’m so excited to have the opportunity to host a Mini-Challenge for the 2nd Edition Bloggiesta put together by Natasha of Maw Books.

My blog was relatively new when I initially hosted this mini-challenge. But even then I knew how important it was to keep a back-up “cheat sheet” for all the little bits of random information that can pile up before your very eyes. When I started out, my intention was to write reviews and do a few features, but oh how they can pile up when you get bogged down with the “little things”. And I’m not talking about doing the dishes or watching the kids, although those I can’t really control. But here’s something you can control: A CHEAT SHEET!

Your assignment: Create a cheat sheet for your blog.

Your cheat sheet could contain url’s, links, and html code or it could just be a template that you use every time you want to write a review. It’s also a good idea to have one available as a text file on your computer and another as a Google Doc so you can access it online if needed.  The great thing about having it set up this way is that it’s searchable.  If you want to refer someone to a book review or a post that you wrote a year ago, you don’t have to search your blog every single time you’re looking for the URL.  Rather, you can just do a CTRL-F in your cheat sheet and have the URL in seconds. I’ve created a “mock cheat sheet” of some simple headings you can use to get started, but I suggest starting your own page just for your site. Use tabs you already have set up in your blog as an easy guide and list any documentation under each heading.

Here are a few questions to think about when creating a cheat sheet:

  • Are there URL’s that you are constantly looking for?  (Authors, publishers, archives, etc.)
  • Links that you are continually referencing? (Affiliate relationships, photo sharing sites, meme links, etc.)
  • Do you use the same format every time you post a review? Would it help to have a form/template ready to go?
  • What happens if you lose content, a side bar or my about page? Can you throw together a new page or would it be easier to have the code saved somewhere?
  • Do you have a template for author interviews or features you’d like to be more easily accessible?

I’m sure there are a lot of other questions you could think of when putting your own cheat sheet together. If you think of any or have any other tips let us know! I’d personally love more help on the subject, as someone whose fairly new and wants to get ahead of the game.

Natasha has some wonderful prizes for those of you who participate in these challenges so once you’ve put together your cheat sheet come back and let me know how it went in the comments. You have until the end of Bloggiesta to complete this mini-challenge and report.

When you’re done here make sure to check out the other mini-challenges new this go-around as well as the challenges of the past Bloggiesta events!

Enjoy the Bloggiesta festivities and ‘Ole’!

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83 Responses to Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: It’s Not Cheating

  1. Kristin says:

    Thanks for the great idea of the cheat sheet…I only started blogging 4 months ago and am still trying to get a system for all the posts I do. This will be so helpful!

  2. Kate says:

    Done! I made a *cheat sheet* full of my meme posts and review posting. Thanks!!

  3. I just finished creating five documents of my formats for my weekly meme’s. This is fantastic and I just never set aside time to do it before.

    Thanks for the great mini-challenge!

  4. Tracee says:

    Wow, yet another great idea that I never thought of, especially the links for memes and the review format. I have worked one up – thanks so much!

  5. Lisa says:

    I never thought of doing this before. It beats editing post and select all to copy paste lol Should have thought of this one before

  6. elizabeth says:

    Great tip! I created a cheat sheet for all the meme’s I participate in. It should definitely save me some time

  7. Vanessa says:

    I just created my cheat sheet!! Woot woot!!

    Thanks for hosting this!! :D

    ♥ Vanessa ♥
    Book ♥ Soulmates

  8. [...] host a mini-challenge myself. So make sure to check them out and do some sprucing up of your own. Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: It’s Not Cheating, for those of you in need of a “back-up” list, it’s perfect! And for those of you in need of [...]

  9. Erin says:

    I’ve done a little bit of this, but one of my goals for Bloggiesta was to make my system cleaner and more complete. I now have separate text files for each post type template so that I can copy and paste HTML easily; I’ve also created templates on my blog so I can just select them and be ready to go. I created a new document as well to store my links I use often. I really like the idea of putting that online, so I’m off to do that now!

  10. [...] It’s Not Cheating @ There’s A Book [...]

  11. I’m not sure if this counts as a “cheat sheet” but hoping you think so. I have a mail folder entitled “Blog Memes” where for each meme I participate in ex: A Bit Of Me. I have the HTML button code, hosted by (BLOGGER’S NAME) from (name of Blog) with URL. Directions from site. Copy entire template and then paste onto New Post and just fill in that day’s answer. I have a separate one for each meme I participate in.

  12. Alisha S. says:

    Got a nice little cheat sheet started based on your helpful info and suggestions. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  13. Heather says:

    I made myself a couple of templates for my different types of reviews – so that I may just fill them in when I am writing and save myself some time.

  14. Melissa says:

    I wanted to get more serious with my reviewing, before it was whenever I felt like it, and each review looked different, some had pictures, some didn’t, some linked back to goodreads others didn’t sometimes there was a blub other times just me posting quick thoughts….nothing consistent. 2 weekends ago I went in to each review (i’m still a newbie, so it took awhile but not my whole life lol) and edited them to all have the same element. This challenge has prompted me to take that idea and make a cheap sheet/template with the info I need and the way I set it up, so I can stop copying the post before and inserting the new info LOL

  15. Wuhuu!! I love this one the most.. I have written cheat sheet of for reviews and memes.. I have never thought of making ons for “back-ups for side bars. That’s a very handy tip. since, I tend to do reviews away from home and sometimes cutting pasting by digging through an old post is a hassle. This is easier =D I like! Thanks!

  16. Nicola O. says:

    OK. Did a cheat sheet for the Thursday Thirteen meme. Now to upload it to Google Docs!

  17. [...] (@trishheylady) Anchor text. – Michelle from GalleySmith (@galleysmith) Making a cheat sheet– Danielle from There’s a Book (@the1stdaughter) blog copyright– Pam from Bookalicio.us (@bookaliciouspam) On vanity alerts. – [...]

  18. [...] we’d all love to blog faster.  Using a cheat sheet is just one idea of how to save time. – Danielle from There’s a Book [...]

  19. I down loaded your sheet and printed out your column because I think there is gold in them thar hills. I just need a pic-axe and shovel because I’m not quite sure where to begin.

  20. [...] One thing I really want to do is make the cheat sheet. [...]

  21. [...] Cheat Sheets at There’s A Book – Blogging takes time & I’m sure we’d all love to blog faster. Using a cheat sheet is just one idea of how to save time. [...]

  22. I have something link this. A review template.

  23. I actually started doing this last week because I was wasting so much time going back and forth. But today, I finished! Well, at least for the last 6 months. So that feels pretty good. I am so glad I won’t be wasting so much time now. I also saved the html for my live signature so I can just pop it up there.

    Thanks!

  24. I’m late to the game, but I wanted to let you know I really appreciate this post!

    I keep a “Notepad” open on my desktop – it’s got a few basic HTML codes I use daily while I lurk around, as well as a place to jot down notes (books I want to read that I find on a review, discussion topic ideas, etc)

    I can’t believe how much easier this has made my blogging life!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

    • Thank you!!! I’m so glad it helped! This is something I still use on a daily basis, it’s just so handy to have those codes & templates around in a pinch. Glad to hear I’m not alone in my need for these! :)

  25. […] This one is a definite time saver. Danielle @ There’s a Book has a wonderful article about what cheat sheets are and how you can use them so I’m not going into details, but all I can say is, it works. I’ve started using it about one or two weeks ago but it makes blogging much, much easier! You’ll find the article if you click here. […]

  26. […] Hannah at WordLily (@Wordlily), and Jennifer at Teach Mentor Texts (@mentortexts).  And thanks to Danielle from There’s a Book (@the1stdaughter) who helped me input names into the shared RSS feed and to those who hosted the […]

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