Blogging Insights — Experience

Blogging insightsIn this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know…

What has your blogging experience taught you?

My first blog started back in 2005 and this blog is my fifth iteration. I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the past sixteen years. So here’s my two-cents worth. Take it or leave it.

  1. The blogging platform you choose is critical. I started out on Blogger (aka Blogspot), and was never able to establish much of a blogging community. Then, at the recommendation of a co-worker, I went to TypePad. Same experience. Not much of a community. Finally, I migrated my blog to WordPress and, bingo, I discovered an active and supportive blogging community. So, for better or for worse, WordPress seems to be the best blog hosting platform if you wish to be part of a broad blogging community.
  2. Size matters. Now bear in mind that this “insight” might be due to the blog hosting sites I’ve been on before WordPress, but when I first started blogging, my posts were long. Well, long by my standards. They often exceeded 1,000 words and one post would cover multiple topics. Very few people read or commented on these long, meandering posts. But since coming to WordPress, my average post length is less than 250 words and my readership has soared. Of course, this may be due to the fact that I had few readers on Blogger and TypePad, where my longer posts used to be housed. But I find that a lot of people (myself included), don’t have time to read a lot of really long posts, so if I can be concise and say what I want to and need to say in relatively few words, people seem to be more inclined to read (and not just skim) my posts.
  3. Images help attract attention. Blogging is all about words, but I always add an image (mostly one, but sometimes more than one) to each post. In some cases the image is used to illustrate my words. In other cases, it’s the image that prompts my words. Either way, having one or more images imbedded in a post adds interest and improves its appearance. In my opinion, anyway.
  4. Participating in prompts is fun. Sometimes you need a little inspiration to come up with something to write. And that is where writing prompts can be lifesavers…well, blog-savers. There are daily prompts, weekly prompts, word prompts, photo prompts, music prompts, question prompts, silly prompts, and provocative prompts. For those of us who enjoy posting at least daily, these prompts offer us a way to express ourselves in so many different ways and to ensure that we’re never at a lost for words.
  5. Hosting prompts is fun. I never intended to host a prompt when I started blogging, but when WordPress abruptly ended its daily post prompt in 2017, I was pissed, so I decided to start FOWC with Fandango, a daily one-word prompt. A number of other bloggers did the same thing. Now I host one daily prompt, and four weekly prompts and I am thankful that many of you have embraced them.
  6. Interaction is what makes blogging special. I used to say, back when nobody read my posts, that I blogged for myself and it didn’t matter to me that no one read or commented on my posts. That’s bullshit. I was thrilled when someone actually read a post I had written and left me a comment. So to all of you who say that you blog for yourself and that you don’t care about your stats, about your views, about your likes, or about your comments, I say get your heads out of your asses. If you want to write for yourself alone, keep a diary or a journal. But if you are a blogger, it’s all about interaction with other other bloggers and readers.
  7. Do you. What I’ve learned through my experience as a blogger is that I am who I am and my blog reflects that. I can’t be…and don’t try to be…someone other than who I am. Write about whatever makes you happy, whether it’s about your activities of daily living, flash fiction, poetry, current events, your photography, your hobbies, the world around you. But be genuine. If you try to be someone you’re not, it will eventually catch up with you.
  8. Have fun. If blogging ever becomes a chore, take a break. Blogging should be a fun and rewarding experience, not a burden.

Okay, there you have it. As I said at the outset, these are my opinions and I’m not an expert at blogging. So feel free to ignore everything I’ve written in this now 777 word post.

17 thoughts on “Blogging Insights — Experience

  1. Lou Carreras April 19, 2021 / 11:49 am

    Writing, writing and more writing – you learn to say more with less, and pare away a lot of what’s not needed. My early post were hundreds words longer than the ones I do now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mister Bump UK April 19, 2021 / 12:00 pm

    I certainly agree about brevity, and it there’s one thing puts me off it is a post that meanders across several topics – if somebody cannot be bothered to collate their thoughts before writing, then why should I bother to read?
    Interesting what you say about stats though. I think the crunch-time comes when you find yourself writing something you don’t want to write, to generate statistics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 19, 2021 / 12:12 pm

      Yes, that’s a good point. I’ve written a number of posts that, before posting them, I re-read them and realize that they’re crap and delete the draft.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor April 19, 2021 / 12:14 pm

    I agree with you 100% that the interaction is what makes blogging so special, but when I start writing a post, I am writing for my own enjoyment and maybe I do have my head up my ass, but I am not here trying to impress anybody.

    Like

    • Fandango April 19, 2021 / 12:31 pm

      I also write for my own enjoyment, but, at the same time, my enjoyment is enhanced when others like and comment on my posts. And with all that is wrong with WordPress these days, the fact that there is a large, supportive, and interactive community of bloggers who read and comment on my posts is the one thing that is keeping me here instead of going back to Blogger or TypePad or some other blog hosting site that doesn’t offer that community. Face it Jim, I’ve seen you complain when some of your posts don’t get a lot of views, likes, or comments. So, while you write for your own enjoyment, you also want to write for the enjoyment and appreciation of others. That’s one of the reasons you host the SLS, MLMM Music Challenge, and now Thursday Inspiration prompts.

      Like

  4. JT Twissel April 19, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    I try to keep my blogs concise as well … and if possible, entertaining. Which is probably why I can only manage a post every week.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. drtanya@saltedcaramel April 20, 2021 / 11:57 am

    There is such a lot of blogging advice and blogging tops in this post that I am going to save it to read again and again

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 April 24, 2021 / 8:09 pm

    Many wise words and ideas here Fandango! I know I have tried to rein in my A2Z post as I can ramble on a LOT when it comes to music.

    Liked by 1 person

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