Blogging Insights — Timing Is Everything

Blogging insightsDr.Tanya, at Salted Caramel, is looking for us to share more of our blogging insights. This time she wants to know our thoughts on timing.

1. How frequently do you post on your blog?

My posting frequency has dropped from 4-6 posts a day to 2-3 posts a day since having my ear surgery in late December and then moving into our new house in early February. At this point, I’m more likely to continue posting two to three times a day than returning to the four to six I used to post.

2. Do you believe there are optimum posting times and days?

I post two to three times a day, so everyday is optimal for posting. As to the times most of my posts my posts are published, I schedule my daily prompt word posts for midnight my time and usually have a post ready to go around 3 or 4 am and another one sometime later in the morning. If I’m feeling ambitious, I might post one later in the day.

3. Do you like to schedule your posts in advance? How many posts and how far ahead do you usually schedule?

EBDFE548-52BA-451A-B574-393EC64B3432I schedule my daily word prompts up to two weeks in advance. Most of my other prompts (flash fiction challenge, provocative question, Friday flashback) are scheduled a day or two in advance. Otherwise, all other posts are composed on the day they are published.

Double Your Pleasure

Blog Award NominationsWith all of the crappy news and the requirement to stay at home in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, I am happy to say that two bloggers have nominated my blog for awards.

Riya Gupta, at World of My Thoughts, nominated my blog for the Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award, which is, quite honestly, one I had never heard of before. Turns out that Vincent Ehindero is a self-identified “online influencer and inspirational writer who gives awards to bloggers and blogs to support their good works.”

I also received a nomination for the Mystery Blogger Award from DebbySEO, who apparently offers a complete range of low-cost SEO services.

Thank you, Riya and Debby, for the nomination. I do appreciate the recognition. That said, mine is an award-free blog, but not a question-free blog. So I’m going to answer the questions that Riya and Debby posed.

First Riya’s questions:

1. What’s the best thing you like about blogging? And your advice.

The best thing about blogging is the community of creative, imaginative, passionate, and compassionate bloggers with whom I interact each day. My advice to bloggers is to be creative, imaginative, passionate, and compassionate and to write about whatever interests you.

2. What do you do to relax?

With a mandatory shelter-in-place/stay-at-home order where I live, I’ve been doing a lot of Netflix and chillin’ and trying to avoid watching the news.

3. What is that one thing you are very grateful for?

I am very grateful that, to the best of my knowledge, no one in my family or that I personally know has displayed any of the symptoms of, or has tested positive for, coronavirus.

4. What is your happiest moment?

My happiest two moments were when our two children were born.

5. Would you prefer a cat or dog?

We have one of each and I love them both.

And now for Debby’s questions:

1) Have you ever smiled at a stranger and then wished you hadn’t? Why or why not?

I’ve smiled, nodded, and even said hello to strangers, but I’ve never wished I hadn’t. Why would I?

2) What is your favorite SEO plugin for WordPress?

At the risk of sounding like a technological neophyte, I have no idea what an SEO plugin for WordPress is or what it would be used for. So, no, I don’t have a favorite.

3) If you could shop for free at any store, which store would you choose and why?

At this moment it would be any store that has a decent supply of toilet paper.

4) If you could make one thing illegal, what would it be?

Hoarding toilet paper.

5) Have you ever had SEO work done, and if so were you happy with the results? If you did the work yourself how did you do?

I know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but I really don’t know what that’s all about and I’ve never had any SEO work done or done any SEO work myself. So I have no SEO results to be happy or unhappy about.

If anyone else wishes to take a shot at answering Riya’s and/or Debby’s questions, now is the time.

What Else Have I Got To Do?

680E81CE-3247-4B00-BD29-1F1BC13A0997I really was thinking about skipping this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge. But now, as I noted in my previous post, that my area has invoked “Shelter at Home” and mandated “Stay Home — No Gatherings,” what else is there to do?

So, since I am going to do this thing, today is the day we are tasked with posting a theme reveal. Because my blog is “This, That, and The Other,” as you might imagine, my theme is going to be “Other and Miscellaneous,” which means my A to Z Challenge posts will be whatever strikes my fancy.

Blogging Insights — Sizing Up Your Blog

Blogging insightsIn her Blogging Insights series this week, Dr. Tanya asks us about post length, which she explains is often characterized as either short form posts (typically 300 to 400 words) or long form posts (more than 1000 words). She asks us to share our perspectives by responding to these questions, some of which I answered in this response to a previous Blogging Insights post.

1. Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?

In my early days of blogging, it wasn’t that unusual for me to hit 1,000 words or more in a post. But since I started this blog in May 2017, I generally write shorter posts. My average words per post so far this year is just 250. And that’s up from 237 last year and 235 in 2018.

I think it takes more skill to write a compelling, entertaining, informative, and engaging post in a short form than it does in a long form. You need to write in a crisp, concise manner and you need to choose your words carefully in short form writing, whereas you can blather away when writing posts of 1,000 words or more. To that end, I’ve actually made a concerted effort to be more concise in my writing. I had always considered myself to be a writer who has a way with words, when what I should have been striving to be is a writer who knows how to do away with words.

2. How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?

To me, it’s not how short or long a post is as much as how engaging it is.

3. What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?

I hate to say it, but I have neither the time nor the patience for reading “long-form” posts. Unless it’s an extremely compelling post, I tend to prefer to read posts that are 500 or fewer words. But that’s just me.

4. What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

You know, this is an interesting question because I’m not sure that there are any specific topics that would prompt me to read blog posts of more than 1,000 words. Unless, as I’m reading a post where the writing grabs me. Then I’ll read it, regardless of its length.

Blogging Insights — To Prompt or Not to Prompt

Blogging insightsin her latest Blogging Insights prompt, Dr. Tanya, at Salted Caramel, wants you know how we feel about prompts. She asks:

1. Do you like to respond to writing prompts?

Of course I do. After all, I’m responding to this prompt, aren’t I? And I, myself, regularly post one daily prompt (FOWC with Fandango), plus my weekly photo challenge, provocative question, and flashback Friday prompts. I try to respond to prompts that other bloggers post when I have the time. Unfortunately, with my recent move from the city to the ‘burbs and all of the many things that such a move entails, I haven’t been able to respond to as many prompts as I’d like to, but I’m hoping that within the next few weeks I’ll be able to get back to responding to more of them.

2. Do you feel that they add value to your blog?

I suppose that should really be a question posed to those who read my posts. But as far as I’m concerned, prompts spark my mind, kindle my imagination, and hone my creativity. So in that sense, I personally think prompts do add value to my blog.

3. What are your favorite kinds of writing prompts?

I like both word prompts and photo prompts. And then there are Q&A prompts, like this one related to blogging, and like Melanie’s weekly Share Your World prompt, that I enjoy.

4. Which ones are you less likely to do?

I don’t know that there is a specific type of prompt I’m less likely to respond to. As long as a prompt inspires me to write, and, as important, if I have the time, I’ll respond. Unfortunately, there are prompts that I would love to respond to more frequently, but, you know, life occasionally gets in the way.