Blogging 101 by a Farming Wife

Judy Graf

Judy Graf or “FarmNWife” at home with her John Deere Tractor

This week in my public relations class we had a guest speaker by the name of Judy Graf. She has built her blogging “business” from the ground up and is now one of the top agricultural blogs that are followed on WordPress. During her talk last Wednesday, she gave a lot of useful tips that we can use as beginning bloggers. One of those were the top five items that a blog should have: tag line, about areas, contact page, call to action and fast load time. These tips can go a long way in not only the ibloggingnitial design stages of a blog, but maintenance over time as well. The item that I did not think about when I was designing my blog was the call to action. Now that Judy has informed me of the importance of this, follow my blog! In addition, Judy gave unarguable statistics pertaining to businesses that blog. This especially is pertinent to me because I am in the process of revamping my employers’ marketing situation. I think a blog would be a good addition to the bowling alley that I work at, with tips on bowling, billiards and special events. The last item that really hit home for me during Judy’s talk was that she didn’t come from a “blogging” background. She decided to tell her family’s story simply for nostalgia purposes and created a web page that novices like myself look to for guidance. In addition, Judy blogs for her family’s farm, telling what goes on around the farm and what kind of production they do. Judy Graf has become an inspiration to anyone who thinks they can’t learn to blog.

 

Check out her page at: http://www.farmnwife.com

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How Social Media Has Changed Professionalism

This week I’d like to talk aboutwitter logot the affects that social media has on the professional world and how each person has a responsibility to take part in that idea. Social media has increasingly become popular with the rise of popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Most people use these websites for personal enjoyment, keeping up with friends and family or creeping on other people’s perfacebook logosonal lives. Recently we have seen a trend that has come about that has linked professional employers to Facebook. More businesses are creating Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as potential employers looking at your accounts when looking to hire. As a manager at the student union on campus, I have been one of those employers who look at the Facebook pages of my employees as well as potential new hires. When I was going through the profiles, I saw many pages that I considered professional and that I would consider hiring. On the flip side of that, I also saw many profiles that were covered in “filth” and that really hurt them when ranked on a list compared to their peers. I know in my sorority we strongly urge our members to keep their social media sites clean, as you never know who is watching, as well as they are representing our chapter as a whole. In addition to looking at social media outlets, professional networking has taken off with the creation of LinkedIn, a networking site that connects all of the professionals you meet across the world. This essentially creates a virtual resume for employers to see and gives an edge to that future employee.

Below is the link for the professional networking website LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/

Check out http://www.simplewash.com to “clean” your Facebook or Twitter account

The Blasted 7 Pin!

This week I’d like to talk about the experiences that I’ve had as a manager at the Level 1 Game Center at the Plaster Student Union on campus. I will admit that this experience started out a little rocky, and I didn’t perform at my best. Eventually I learned that the things that were holding me back were my lack of confidence in employee relations as well as the intimidation that the position brought. The manager is responsible not only for filling out necessary paperwork for the game center, but also disciplining employees, scheduling and working with higher management in team meetings. When I started at this position, I had high expectations of myself to be perfect.

The Level 1 Game Center from behind the lanes

The Level 1 Game Center from behind the lanes

As time went on, I saw that I was not performing at the standard I knew I could. If you were to compare me to a game of bowling, I would be leaving the seven pin, the impossible pin, at the end of every throw. I was letting things like being the youngest employee at the entire establishment and my inexperience in discipline getting in my way. Christmas break came and went, and after that it finally began to click. I became confident in my abilities, was asked to perform more management tasks, and now I am using the skills I have learned in my public relations class to create a marketing plan for this business. I could finally say that I hit that blasted seven pin at least on one throw, I was starting to get it.

This experience ties back to my agricultural communications degree program because that is what I hope to be doing when I graduate from college; organizational communication and public relations for agriculture companies. I know that having managerial skills and the will to persevere through the rough patch I had in the beginning will increase my marketability in the future for the career that I have decided to pursue.

The Almost Greek Life

This week I have decided to let people know about one of the biggest parts of my life that I try to balance. When I first came to campus there was no way that I was going to be “one of those girls” in a sorority. I knew that there was no way I was going to become one of the stereotypical girls who went crazy when they came to college. I had talked to a friend who was already a big part of campus and a part of the department that I was entering. We had talked about what kinds of clubs and activities she was in, and when she mentioned the agricultural sorority I instantly turned away fromsigma alpha crest it. I had the most closed mind that anyone could have about the subject. I instantly said that it wasn’t for me, but to humor her I said I would check it out come fall. When fall rush came for the social sororities I was confused because I didn’t see the sorority that she was in . I texted her after signing up for the other rush week and she informed me that I had indeed signed up for the wrong thing. Two weeks went by and my best friend was going to rush Sigma Alpha, the professional agricultural sorority. Though skeptical, I decided to give it a shot. I instantly fell into a group of girls with similar interests and most of whoea butts edit were a similar personality to myself. That group has become my close circle of friends that I can count on and hang out with in my free time. We have each other’s backs when it comes to relationships, homework, and professional opportunities. What I also found out is that Sigma Alpha is a professional sorority that focuses on careers and professional development. Sigma Alpha has become one of the biggest consumers of my time between planning events and serving as the rush chair for this school year. It showed me that it isn’t benefitting anyone if preconceived notions get in the way of taking advantage of different opportunities. I am very glad that I have the opportunity to work, play and grow with the group of girls in my sorority.

For more information about the opportunities Sigma Alpha offers and how to join, visit:

http://www.sigmaalpha.org/