Ask Callista (is back!)–6/29–Gardening, Beginning Blogging and Nova Scotia

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Ask Callista is my bi-weekly feature where I answer reader questions. kathleengarberI haven’t had one in 2 months though but it’s back now. I had switched to biweekly because I wasn’t getting enough questions and then I was busy planning the blogathon and I didn’t have a chance to do the posts.

I’d love for you to join the conversation in the comments by adding your thoughts on the questions and/or my answers.

Find out more and how to submit your questions here.

The Questions

Amie asks … I’m new to gardening and planting, I live in Hespeler ON. and I am wondering what is the best type of plants to plant in my garden?? One garden gets lots of sun and one does not

I definitely had to research this one as I know very little about gardening. I do remember that there are different zones that are good for different plants. According to HGTV you (and me) are in Zone 6. That link will give you an idea of what plants and flowers that grow well in our zone and some other information. HGTV Gardening section also has a list of easy-care plants and flowers for beginners.

Then you need to figure out what kind of sun exposure your garden has so you can figure out what plants would be best. Gardening Quick n Easy has information on this. Then go to your local place to buy plants (where they should have plants for your zone) and the plants themselves will have labels that say what kind of exposure they need.  Good Luck!

Miranda of Dustykatt’s Stuff asks… I would like some information on how to set up a blog for doing reviews, giveaways or just plain rants. To be honest I’m a little overwhelmed by all the different places that I see bloggers wanting their sites linked and or rated on. (Pinterest, GFC, Picket Fence, Etc.) What are these for? How important are they? I’m not even sure at this point how to get into each post on my blog individually. Everything just goes on the home page and that’s it.  I guess the bottom line is – I have a blog, now how do I “Make It Go”?

First of all, good for you for starting a blog, it’s a lot of fun. There is lots to learn when it comes to blogging and it takes time. To start with, you can find a direct link to each post by either clicking on the post title or date stamp and then copying the url in the address bar or just by simply right clicking on the title or date stamp and choosing save link as or copy link location.  Looking at your blog it looks like you have post titles turned off (up to you but I recommend turning them on and using them, a title tells people what the post is about.) However if you click on the time after it says posted by dusty katt you will see just the page for that post.

Social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest etc are used for a few different reason. They are of course fun but they can also be used for blog promotion. I add a link to my blog posts to my Twitter account, Facebook fan page and Google+ page to draw in readers. More people follow me on these accounts than actually subscribe to my blog. If you ever get into working with brands or monetizing your blog (making money) then you will want to build your follower numbers on these sites as companies look for this.

Picket Fence is a top site listing. Users get votes to move up in the list. The more places your blog is listed, the more links into your blog which ups your Google Pagerank (of importance when working with companies) as well as there are more chances for people to find your blog. The blogs that are higher on the lists get more clickthroughs (visits.)

Check out blogging tips and how to’s and keep an eye on what other bloggers are doing that you enjoy. Don’t copy their content or images but you can get inspiration from them. Join groups for bloggers for support and as a place to ask questions. I’m not sure which ones to suggest as your blog doesn’t say too much about you. If you are a mom I have a lot of suggestions.  For now, try the Better Blogger Network or Blogaholic Social Network.

Check this out too: 5 Essential Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers

Margaret of Soul-mate, Daughter, Step Children and Fur Babies asks… I noticed that you said you didn’t travel much but just wondered if you ever visited my home province of Nova Scotia?

Nope I have not been outside of Ontario with regards to Canada and I’ve only been to Michigan and Illinois in the states. I would love to see Nova Scotia. I’ve never been on an island, it must be beautiful!

Okay that’s it for today. If you submitted a question and I didn’t answer it, check back in two weeks! If you want to submit a question, go here.

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