Blogging Insights — Comments

Blogging insightsOn this week’s episode of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know what we think about comments. Hmm. Comments, huh? I’d like to comment on that topic.

How important is the comments section to your blog?

I’ve heard a number of bloggers, particularly novice bloggers, claim that they don’t really care how many likes their posts gets, how many followers their blog has, and whether or not their posts get comments. “I blog for myself,” they’ll say. Well, I call bullshit on that. And I know it’s bullshit because I used to say the same thing myself.

But that was before people from all around the globe started liking and commenting on my posts and following my blog. If I wrote only for myself and didn’t care about what others thought, I’d just keep a private journal. But I have a public blog on WordPress and I love my blog’s comment section. I love reading what others have to say. It’s that sense of community and the interchange of ideas that make all the hours I spend writing and reading posts worthwhile. It’s that feeling you get when you know that something you wrote and posted resonated enough with someone else that they actually took their time to write a comment in response.

Do you read the comments on other people’s blogs/posts?

Not as much as I’d like to. Between drafting, editing, proofreading, and publishing my own posts, plus reading as many of the posts from bloggers I follow as I can, there just isn’t enough time in the day left to read all of the comments people make on other bloggers’ posts. Sorry.

Spam comments and spammers: we all hate them. How do you identify spam comments?

I have to say that Akismet does a good job of trapping most spam comments before they are show up in my comments section. The few that do make it through are pretty easy to spot and remove.

Have you ever “approved” negative comments?

I don’t moderate comments, so all comments that aren’t automatically sent to my spam or trash folders are posted. But, since I do occasionally express my personal opinions and perspectives on topics such as politics, society, and religion, I do occasionally get comments from people who take exception to my personal opinions and perspectives. But I have never deleted any comment, even those that can be, at times, a little nasty. Sometimes I’ll engage, but most of the time, I just ignore them and move on. After all, I’m a big believer in what Abe Lincoln once wrote on his personal blog: “You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.”

Time Flies

3A8A571B-BE87-4824-B6AC-3B794A1CD62DYesterday I received the above notification from WordPress. Wow, three years since I registered “Fivedotoh” with WordPress. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun, right?

I published my first post on this blog on May 14, 2017. It received five views, two likes, and no comments that year. Woo hoo!

Since that first post, I’ve published around 4,500 others, including this one. My blog posts have had more than 365,000 views from almost 100,000 visitors. My posts have received close to 114,000 likes and just shy of 68,000 comments, and my blog now has almost 3,200 followers.

All I can think of is that tagline for Virginia Slims cigarettes from back in the day: “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Thank you all for visiting my blog, reading my posts, liking my posts, and commenting on them. It means the world to me.

And to all of you mothers out there, have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Blogging Insights — Burnout

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 three questions about blogger burnout.

Here are her three questions:

1. What, in your opinion, is “blogger burnout”?

0D7E35C2-D78B-4F90-9322-1C824617CB1DI think blogger burnout occurs when you lose your motivation to blog, when the joy of blogging disappears, and it becomes a chore. It’s different, I think, from writer’s block, where you still have the desire to write, but are drawing a blank. In burnout, that desire to write has left you, temporarily, at least.

I suffered blogger burnout in 2015 on my previous blog, which , I abruptly shut down. I had become obsessed with my blog. I was always thinking about it, talking about it, and even dreaming about it. I was still working at the time and my work was starting to suffer because I was more focused on my blog than I was on my job. I was even more focused on my blog than on my family, and it was putting my marriage in jeopardy. I finally decided that I needed to regain control — and balance — in my life, so I just stopped blogging. I don’t know whether or not that technically was a case of blogger burnout. But I do know that I was having a life flameout and I needed to stop blogging in order to get my real world life back on track.

2. Have you ever suffered from blog related stress?

I suppose what I just confessed about why I shut down my previous blog was an example of blog related stress. I think another stress inducing factor in a blogger’s life is stats. I look at my stats on a daily basis and, even though I realize that they vary significantly from one day to the next, if my stats are down for a stretch of two or three days in a row, it does cause me stress.

For example, I was looking at my monthly stats today and, much to my chagrin, November was the third month in a row where my views dropped. In fact, I had fewer views in November than I had for any other month this year except for February, which had only 28 days. And my blog had more than 1,500 fewer views this November than it had in November 2018! So yes, when I saw this chart of monthly views, I felt stress.e2ab2a6a-6e75-4197-87b1-15f5d9ca3c69.jpeg

3. What steps could you suggest to keep blogging from becoming a stressful activity?

For me, the answer is simple. Stop looking at, being concerned with, or worrying about stats. I love to write. I rarely run out of opinions to express, perspective to share, or stories to tell. It’s fun. It’s fulfilling. It helps me to hone my imagination and creativity and to keep my mind active and sharp. So I need to do my thing and not worry about how many views, likes, or comments my posts get.

Blogging is not a contest or a competition. It’s an outlet for creative self-expression and to be happy with what I create. It’s the act of writing and publishing what I’ve written on my blog that provides me with a sense of accomplishment. If people read what I write, like it, and comment on it, great. But if not, I shouldn’t let that stress me out. At least not so much that it will result in blogger burnout!

Double Whammy

Stomach painYesterday I had to go for a CAT scan of my head because of a hearing issue. But the night before my scan, I came down with a pretty severe stomach ailment. I don’t know if it was something I ate (i.e., food poisoning) or if it was due to a 24-hour virus I picked up somewhere. But either way, it both literally and physically knocked the shit out of me.

I did manage to show up for my CAT scan yesterday, which turned out to be a bit of an ordeal due to my chronic positional vertigo ailment, but that’s a story for another day. By the time I got back from the scan, though, I was doubled over with severe stomach cramps.

I spent most of the rest of the day alternating between sitting on the toilet and sitting on the couch wrapped in a blanket watching the first day of the televised impeachment hearings. Oh the drama! Ultimately, having been pretty much exhausted from the continual stomach cramping during the previous 24 hours, I went to bed at around 8:30 last night.

The good news is that the worst of my stomach issues are over and, for the first time in 36 hours, I was able to eat (lightly) and drink something other than water. I even missed my daily fixes of Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream for the past two nights, so you know I was really feeling miserable. Fortunately, I’m doing much better now than I was yesterday at this time.

But my reason for writing this post is not to make you feel sorry for me or to get your sympathy, even though it might appear that way. Actually, my reason for this post is to let you know that from Tuesday evening through most of yesterday, and even until midday today, I wasn’t using my iPhone at all, which means I wasn’t on WordPress, either. I didn’t write any new posts on my blog, although my daily FOWC with Fandango prompt, my provocative question prompt, and even my One-Liner Wednesday post were all scheduled in advanced.

But more important, I didn’t get a chance to read any of your comments or links back to my post. Nor did I have a chance, since Tuesday night, to read any of your new posts that showed up in my Reader. And while I will try tonight, now that I’m almost fully recovered, to catch up on all of your comments and pingbacks, I probably won’t be able to go back and read 48 hours worth of your posts that I missed. And I’m very sorry about that.

I hope you’ll accept my apology.

What Did I Do To Deserve This?

F9D03D15-0CCE-4B18-8EC2-B4A8A67CAA61Okay, I started getting a bunch of comments from porn sites on my blog a few days ago. I don’t know why such comments would start showing up because I never ever look at porn on my iPhone. You believe me, don’t you?

Anyway, here are just a few of the “enticing” taglines that are contained in those comments:

  • Young Heaven – Naked Teens & Young Porn Pictures
  • Sexy teen photo galleries
  • Teen Girls Pussy Pics. Hot galleries
  • New sexy website is available on the web
  • Daily updated super sexy photo galleries
  • Nude Sex Pics, Sexy Naked Women, Hot Girls Porn
  • College Girls Porn Pics

Apparently someone thinks I’m into teenage girls. I will admit that I was into teenage girls — when I was a teenager half a century ago!

The good news is that all of these comments went into my spam folder. Still, I got tired of having to go through a few dozen spam comments one by one to make sure that no legit comments inadvertently got swept up into my spam folder.

So I went to my WordPress settings, and in the “Discussion” tab, added the word “porn” to my comments blacklist. Now all those porn related comments go directly to trash and I can delete them en masse without going through them individually. I still get about two dozen such comments in my trash folder each day, but I can permanently delete them with just one click.

So why am I telling you this? Just to let you know that if you include the word “porn” in a comment to any of my posts, your comment will go right to my trash folder and will never get read by me.