Blogging Insights — True Empowerment

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. She provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from Su Layug.

“We must not only blog what is popular. We must blog about our passions, no matter how quaint. This is true empowerment.

My philosophy about blogging is that you can and should blog about whatever the hell you want to blog about. Blog about what is popular if you want to. Blog about your passions, about politics, life, religion, science, entertainment, sports, your family, your pets, your job, your health. Express your opinions, share your perspectives, and elaborate on your thoughts.

Write flash fiction, poetry, display your photography. Respond to prompts. Host prompts. In fact, blog about whatever floats your boat. That, in my opinion, is what true empowerment is.

Blogging Insights — Message In a Bottle

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. She provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from American operatic tenor Robert Breault.

“A blog is a message in a bottle, both in purpose and likely readership.

Well, I suppose one can draw a loose analogy between blogging and a message in a bottle. When a blogger posts something on his or her blog, the blogger never knows for sure where it’s going to end up or who is going to be reading it. Nor do they now how the reader is going to respond to their message.

Most messages in bottles are distress calls or cries for help. I don’t think the primary purposes of very many bloggers are either of those, although some might be. At the end of the day, I think Mr. Breaut’s characterization of blogs being like a message in a bottle is a stretch.

Besides, throwing a bottle into a body of water constitutes waste that can harm the environment and marine life. I can assure you that my blog has caused no environmental hazards nor harmed any marine life. That said, some might argue that the posts on my blog do constitute waste.

Blogging Insights — Finger Exercises

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. She provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from American novelist Kate Christensen.

“Sometimes I think of blogging as finger exercises for a violinist; sometimes I think of it as mulching a garden. It is incredibly useful and helpful to my ‘real’ writing.

Were I a professional writer or novelist, as is Kate Christensen, I might be able to relate to this quote. However, the only writing I do is when I’m blogging. Thus, blogging, for me, is neither finger exercises nor garden mulching. Blogging is my “real” writing.

Blogging Insights — Walk Before You Run

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. She provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from American journalist Jeff Jarvis.

“The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them.

This quote reminded me of that old piece of advice that you need to learn to walk before you run. Back before I started blogging, I told an acquaintance that I enjoyed writing for fun. He suggested that I start a blog. He said it’s writing but you publish what you write and it’s out there forever in what he called “the ether.”

I asked him what people write about in blogs and he said they write about whatever they want to write about. I thought that was a cool idea so I asked him how to go about starting a blog and he referred me to blogspot.com (now commonly known as Blogger).

I opened an account at blogspot and followed the instructions on how to create a blog. It was pretty simple, and before I knew it, I had actually published a few blog posts. I asked my friend to read my posts and let me know what he thought.

In as a constructive way as possible, he suggested that I spend time reading other blogs to see the kinds of things other bloggers were doing. Not only what they wrote about, but how they wrote about their topics.

Reading the blogs of other bloggers, especially those who had decent followings, helped me quite a bit. I was able to discern what I especially liked or didn’t particularly like about the various blogs I read. And all that reading helped me define my own style and voice for my blog.

So yes, I fully embrace this quote. Take the time to read other blogs and then use what you learned. Don’t plagiarize or try to replicate another blogger’s style. But incorporate what you liked and think would work best for you. And then do your thing…on your blog.

Blogging Insights — One Click Away

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. She provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from Canadian-American economist, Alex Tabarrok

The first thing you learn when you’re blogging is that people are one click away from leaving you. So you’ve got to get to the point, you can’t waste people’s time, you’ve got to give them some value for their limited attention span.

The author of this quote is an economist, so I’m pretty sure he’s talking about commercial blogging and what it takes to get and keep readers reading their business blogs in order to generate some revenue. That said, I tend to agree with him with respect to personal blogs.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the first thing I learned when I first started blogging back in 2005. I used to write long (1,000 or more words on average), meandering posts. And my blog traffic reflected it, with few views and comments. It took me a while to embrace brevity and to write more concise posts. But these days my average post word count is just under 240 words.

I do attempt to come up with catchy titles that might motivate a reader to take a peek. And I appreciate that many bloggers have time constraints and, like me, have “limited attention spans.” So I definitely don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Hence, in addition to keeping my posts relatively short, I try to write in an engaging way, sprinkled with humor, so as to keep the reader’s attention.

Bottom line, I think there’s merit to the quote, even for personal bloggers. I know that some bloggers tend write longer posts, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t well written or add value. So, hey, they’re their blogs and, you know, whatever floats their boats, right?