Blogging Insights — Art or Science

Blogging insightsThe latest edition of Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights prompt asks us three questions about the nature of blogging

1. Is blogging an art or science?

Having a blog requires bloggers to possess the technical skills to use a personal computer, a tablet, or a smartphone and to access the internet and to use the website or app of the blog hosting platform to create and publish posts. That said, blogging, to me, is not a science. You can know how to do all of what I just described, but that doesn’t mean you can put two coherent sentences together or craft a post that anyone would be interested in reading. So my answer is that blogging is not a science, it’s art.

2. Can people without a “natural talent” for writing become bloggers?

I suppose it depends on the nature of the blog. If the blogger is using his or her blog as a personal journal or a diary of their lives, or if it has a very specific, narrow niche, then I’m not sure a “natural talent for writing” is a prerequisite. But I do believe that in order to be a successful blogger, you do have to have the talent to be a storyteller and you have to have a talent for telling your stories in a compelling way that grabs the reader.

3. Have you ever taken or taught a blogging course?

My one word answer is “nope.” Okay, that was actually a six word answer. No wait, now we’re up to 22 words. No, 24 words. Damn. 26 words. Fine, I need a blogging course on how to give a one-word answer. But there’s a pattern here. My response to Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompts are never just one-line. Anyway, my answer is still “nope.” It just took me 71 words.

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.

Blogging Insights — Getting Personal

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 four “personal” questions geared to find out who we really are.

1. Do you blog under your own name or do you use a pseudonym?

Me? Use a pseudonym? Preposterous! My real name is Fandango Fivedotoh and I really do look like:Grim fandango cropped

2. Do you share personal details like gender, nationality, race, or faith?

Yes. I’m male, American, white, and atheist. Oh shit. I bet now everyone knows my true identity.

3. How much of your personality shows through your writing?

I pretty much am in real life exactly who I portray myself to be in my posts: witty, intelligent, insightful, clever, honest, handsome, and with a full head of thick, luxurious hair. Okay, I can’t lie. Forget the hair part.

4. Do you share personal experiences to ilustrate your writing?

Yes, except the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

 

Blogging Insights — Looking Back

Blogging insights Dr. 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 four questions about what she calls “retrospective introspection.”

Here are her four questions:

How old is your current blog/website?

I started this blog in May of 2017. This is actually my fifth blog, thus “fivedotoh.com” (as in 5.0). My first two blogs were on Blogger, then my third blog was on a platform called TypePad. And before this, I had a different blog on WordPress.

Do you ever look back at your site (i.e., read through your old posts)?

Every Friday I publish Fandango’s Friday Flashback, where I go back and repost a post I posted on the same date in a previous year. I sometimes go back to old posts from before my current blog, so, since I started my first blog in 2005, I’ve got almost 14 years of posts to choose from. It’s amazing to me that, more often than not, I don’t even remember writing those old posts. It’s as if I am reading them for the first time.

How long ago did you update your About Page?

I haven’t updated it since I first composed it in May 2017. I haven’t changed much in two-and-a-half years, so why bother updating my about page?

If you were to start a new blog today, what would you do differently?

Not a damn thing! I like my blog just the way it is. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.