Blogging Insights — The Long and the Short of It

Blogging insightsIn her latest Blogging Insights post, Dr. Tanya essentially asks the age-old question, “Does size matter?” Okay, that’s not really accurate. She’s actually asking about “long-form” posts (2,000+ words) versus “short-form” posts (1,200 words or less).

Here are her questions and my answers.

How long are your blog posts on average?

My average words per post has dropped precipitously since I first started blogging on WordPress, as you can see in the average words per post statistics below.

  • 2009 – 772 average words per post
  • 2010 – 699
  • 2011 – 684
  • 2012 – 724
  • 2013 – 718
  • 2014 – 556
  • 2015 – 437
  • 2016 – 367
  • 2017 – 255
  • 2018 – 235
  • 2019 – 237

In my early days of blogging, it wasn’t that unusual for me to hit 1,000 words or more in a post, although I don’t think I ever came close to 2,000 words. But since I started this blog in May 2017, my average words per post barely reaches 250. Given that I post a lot of responses to prompts with word limits, ranging from 280 characters to six-word sentence prompts, to five lines prompts, to 100 and 200 word max prompts, that’s to be expected, right?

Given the option, would you rather post long-form or short-form content?

The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” He quoted FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain, all of whom made comments about how difficult it is to be concise in one’s writing. Twain, for example, said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter.”

Who am I to argue with Neuharth, FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain? I’ll stick with short-form.

Time is short and the attention spans of social media users shorter still, why do you think the search engines prefer longer content?

Maybe the preference of search engines when it comes to the length of blog posts is more around commercial and political blogs than personal blogs. In any event, I don’t blog to get better rankings in Google searches, so I don’t care what Google prefers.

By the way, this post is 327 words, so it’s definitely above average.

Blogging Insights — Blogging in 2020

Blogging insightsDr. Tanya, at Salted Caramel, published another one of her Blogging Insights posts in which she poses one or more questions about blogging. In this case, she asked three questions about the future, specifically 2020.

Where and how do you see your blog in 2020?

Where do I see my blog in 2020? On my iPhone, the same place I see it now. How do I see my blog in 2020? With my eyes, duh!

Okay, I was being facetious. Sorry, that’s who I am. I anticipate no changes to my blog in 2020. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Are you going to make any significant changes?

Nope. I like my blog pretty much as it is. I hope you do, as well.

In your opinion how relevant or popular are text based blogs (as opposed to vlogs) going to be in 2020?

I think text-based blogs will continue to be relevant in 2020 and beyond. As an anonymous blogger, I can’t start a vlog or start posting my blog on YouTube unless I put a bag over my head to maintain my anonymity. And I’m not going to do that! So I will continue using this blog platform as long as I enjoy the experience.

SoCS — The Year in Review

B6DE1368-B4DA-43CC-9E2C-752AF907A35ALinda G. Hill gave us the word “year” for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Even though, including today, there are still four days left to this year, I decided to take this opportunity to offer up my top 10 posts of 2019. I’m doing this now because I’ve got surgery scheduled for Monday, December 30th and I don’t know, assuming I survive the surgery, when I’ll be recuperated enough to get back to my blog.

But, surgery aside, this list is not a qualitative one. It’s strictly quantitative, listing my 10 posts that received the most views in 2019, exclusive of any of my prompt posts (e.g., FOWC with Fandango). So here we go with the top 10:

#1. Remember last summer when a website called Tygpress was harvesting our posts and, without our permission, was publishing them on its own site? Well, my post, Tygpress.com, garnered 669 views this year.

#2. I guess a lot of people wanted to know more about Fandango because my Who Am I page got 566 views.

#3. When I created a badge for people to put on their posts so it would show up on posts harvested by Tygpress, my Feel Free to Use This Badge post was viewed 547 times.

#4. My post, Thoughts and Prayers My Ass, was a screed about mass shootings in the U.S. and how having politicians sending out their thoughts and prayers while refusing to enact common sense gun laws is totally useless. That post received 333 views.

#5. Another post related to mass shootings was Do People Really Believe This Shit? This post was about a state senator in Ohio who blamed the breakdown of the traditional American family, recreational marijuana, homosexual marriage, drag queen advocates, violent video games, open borders, kneeling athletes, and ignoring the importance of God and the church for gun violence in America. 244 people read it.

#6. Donald Trump, in a tweet, accused two freshman U.S. congressional representatives, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, of hating Israel and all Jewish people. 239 people read my post They Hate All Jews.

#7. This post, We Did It! — Maybe, was yet another post about Tygpress, but this was one to announce that our efforts to stop that site from harvesting the posts of WordPress bloggers had paid off when Tygpress shut down its site. Yay! The post received 196 views.

#8. Remember when WordPress used to have its daily word prompts? Well, my post, Snidely Whiplash, which was originally posted in 2018 but got more views (187) this year than in 2018, was written in response to the prompt word “cur.”

#9. A few of the on-air personalities at Fox News reported that liberals “want to change the name Thanksgiving. They don’t want to use the term Thanksgiving.” So of course when Donald Trump, who always watches Fox News, saw the story, he started tweeting about this bogus assertion. 166 people wanted to learn more about this so-called War on Thanksgiving.

#10. In my post WTF Blogger? I complained (or some might say whined) about the fact that I was unable to “like” the posts of Blogger bloggers who read, liked, and/or commented on my posts on WordPress. I also pointed out how difficult, if not impossible, it was for a non-Blogger blogger (i.e., a WordPress blogger), to leave a comment on a Blogger blogger’s posts. This post received 160 views.

There you have it: Fandango’s 10 most viewed posts in 2019 through midnight last night.

How about all of you? I’d love to learn about your 10 most popular posts for this year. Publish your own top 10 list and link back to this post.

It’s Good to be Recognized

90078FE1-5D40-43EE-903C-3701C03670FFBeckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess, was kind enough to recognize me and my blog with the Blogger Recognition Award. I’m very pleased and appreciative that she selected my blog as one of those she tagged for the award.

Of course, like every other blog award, there are rules to be followed.

1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. DONE.

2. Write a post to show your award. THIS IS IT!

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started. SEE BELOW.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. SEE BELOW.

5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to. FUHGEDDABOUDIT!

6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created. SEE ABOVE.

How my blog started

Once upon a time I told someone that I like to write. He asked me if I’d ever tried blogging. I said that I hadn’t. He said that, if I like writing, I ought to give it a try. So I did. That was in 2005.

Two pieces of advice to new bloggers

  1. Be true to yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Your readers will see right through that.
  2. Enjoy yourself. Don’t become obsessed with or addicted to your blog. And if it ever becomes more burdensome than fun, give it a rest for a few days so you can take some time to catch your breath.
  3. Bonus piece of advice: Blogging is not just about writing your own posts. There is a wonderful community of bloggers out there. Take advantage of that by interacting with your fellow bloggers. Respond to their comments on your posts and read and comment on their posts. That’s what makes blogging so rewarding. And addicting (see #2 above).

Anyone else want to play? This blogger recognizes you and to you I yield the rest of my time.

There’s a Lot Going On

A busy calendar.You may have noticed the I haven’t posted much today. Or responded to many of your comments. Or read many of your posts. But there’s a lot going on in my life right now. Some of it good. Some of it exciting. And, unfortunately, some of it not very good at all. I’m not going to bore you with the details, because you’ve probably got a lot going on in your lives right now, too.

So I most likely won’t be posting with my usual frequency for the rest of the year, at least. I do have my daily FOWC with Fandango prompt word posts set up for the remainder of the year, and I’ll try to find the time to push through one or two other posts a day, if I can.

I may also be hard pressed over the next two or three weeks to read all of the posts that those of you I follow publish. And I’m sorry for that. But it is what it is.

In the meantime, though, I want to wish each and every one of you Happy Holidays (for whatever holiday, if any, you may be celebrating) and a very Happy New Year.

And with that, I’ll see ya when I see ya!