The value of a good headline/ title for your post

TODAY’S QUOTE 

“On the average five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” — David Ogilvy

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I think it was almost a year ago that Mason of Mason’s Menagerie, a blogging friend gave me very good advice. He remarked that when I titled my post with the name of the blogging challenge/ prompt I was writing for, it looked like I was reblogging that post and not an original response from me.

That got me thinking about how I chose a title/ heading for my post. I changed my habit of using the name of the challenge in my header and instead would use an interesting phrase for my title. Believe me, it changed my stats and more people started reading my posts.

I agree with this statement that an eye/ attention grabbing headline/ title to the blog post is more likely to attract readers. Just make sure that the headline should not be misleading.

So yes, it makes a great difference when you use an interesting title/ header for your posts. Make it intriguing, interesting, or catchy. It always should reflect the content of your posts but don’t go for ordinary!

Written for; Blogging Insights NF # 55 — Headlines, hosted by Tanya

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Friday Faithfuls – Writing for multiple prompts

This week Jim asks our opinion about writing a post using Multiple prompts;

“The whole purpose of a writing prompt is to inspire bloggers to write and be original and resourceful. If you write posts where you respond to multiple prompts, I would love to hear your thoughts on this

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When I started to blog and discovered the daily prompts, I really enjoyed using as many of them as I could in one post/ poem. It challenged my imagination and often the results were admired by my readers.

Sometimes the prompts were so divergent that they wouldn’t go together no matter what I did so I’d leave the ones which didn’t fit in. Same challenge was faced when I used to do the wordle, that was posted twice on the weekend.

By doing these multi-prompt posts, I learned a lot about writing. I learned to use my imagination to think out ways to fit in all these prompts. But when one does daily prompts, it can be stressful as some of the prompts came in very late for me ( I live in a different time zone) and gradually I stopped doing them. Another reason was that I cut down my daily posts from 4 to 2.

These days I do weekly, monthly or bi-weekly prompts and usually pre-schedule my post the day before. That way I make my writing stress free. At times I use two images in the same post if they fit together. Or one of the prompt image with my Wednesday quote post. The reason for this is that I don’t want to post more than twice a day. I sometimes do post more but it’s not my regular schedule.

Another interesting,g point that Jim brought up was that do I feel obligated to respond to prompts hosted by those bloggers who are regular participants in my 2 challenges ( WDYS and Sunday Poser)? Yes that is a consideration at times. It’s sort of a courtesy that many bloggers show each other.

So that is my take on handling multiple prompts. What about you? Do you write in response to challenge or prompts?

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Written for Friday Faithfuls- Multiple prompts, hosted by Jim

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Write about your passions

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

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When I started blogging, I had no idea what I was going to blog about. I was an empty nester and it seemed appropriate to talk about that. I also had medical background and thought I can share my knowledge to help others going through the problems women/ men over 50 face.

I never thought I’d blog/ write about popular topics! I don’t know what popular topics are, perhaps politics is a popular topic but it is also like a powder keg, can explode any time.

What I am writing these days is a hotchpotch of topics, some in response to prompts and others about what I think. And I feel that writing about whatever I want to write about is very empowering.

Blogging gives us the platform to express ourselves, and that is what empowerment means! To be able to say what we want, how we want, and when we want. No one to edit our thoughts, no one to tell us it’s too long or too short, and no one to tell us not to say this or that before we press that publish button.

So write away! Write what you feel or want to say to the world. Blogging is your soapbox.

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Written for;Blogging Insights NF # 54, hosted by Tanya

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Friday faithfuls- Blogging Challenges

For the Friday Faithfuls challenge this week I would like to know your thoughts on blogging challenges, which ones you participate in.

I love participating in different types of blogging challenges. There are two month-long challenges that I try to do every year;

JusJoJan in January, and A to Z in April. Other than these I do many weekly challenges/ prompts. Which are too many to list.

If you do like to get involved with these things, why you decided to participate in them.

I started daily prompts way back when I started blogging, ( four years now) it was a challenge to combine many words to write a cohesive post. It was a way to challenge my creativity and imagination. I learned a lot by doing these prompts.

If you are a host of any blogging challenge, that would be wonderful if you could talk about your challenge.

Around 3 years ago I decided to do on a trial basis, the prompt hosted by a very dear blogger, Helene who had passed away that year. My blogging friends gave my idea a warm welcome and now it’s almost been 3 years since I’ve been hosting What do you see, an image prompt that I post every Monday. This has been a wonderful experience for me. In addition I ask a weekly question, Sunday poser, every Sunday.

Also, I would like to know if you feel that the host of a blogging challenge has any responsibility to the participants.

I don’t know if it’s an ethical responsibility, but I feel the host should at least acknowledge the posts in response to their challenge and visit or comment on them. Though many hosts just post the prompt and have no other interest in the responses.

If you would like to talk about Mr. Linky, or the Blue Frog, or when you encounter trouble because the host is not automatically approving your comments or pingbacks, that would also be appropriate.

I only participate in one challenge which requires me to add my link to Mr Linky, the Six sentence story hosted by Denise. I’ve had no trouble with it yet! I think the idea is to have all responses in one place with their images. It makes visiting them convenient.

Written for MLMM- Friday faithfuls, hosted by Jim

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Is blogging akin to a message in a bottle?

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TODAY’S QUOTE 

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

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I must confess that this analogy is a bit above my head. It needlessly makes blogging seem like a flash in a pan kind of thing.

The only similarity between a message in a bottle and a blog might be the length of it. though you can have a blog post of more than a couple of thousand words.

A message in a bottle ( though I’ve only come across one only in stories) is a rare thing. Where a blog is mostly a consistent thing. A blogger writes with regularity on their blog, and the reader relies on this predictability.

As for the purpose of a blog, I think that the only way it can compare to a message in a bottle would be that we don’t know who will read our post, just like that message. Though with time we start to know our readership, there still are new people every day who can and do come across our blog and read our posts.

In conclusion, I’d say that a blog post is more like an article printed in a newspaper, which many would come across and read. The advantage of a blog is that they can give you instant feedback and we can have a conversation with them which, is an option no other media provides.

Written for;Blogging Insights NF # 53, hosted by Tanya

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How do you view blogging?

TODAY’S QUOTE 

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. ~Kate Christensen

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Perhaps for an author who is writing books regularly, blogging may seem like a trivial pursuit but to me, whose writing only consists of blogging it’s my ‘real writing’!

There is no doubt that it is a very useful exercise. The brain needs to be engaged as we get older. Writing involves thinking of a theme/plot, searching for appropriate words and then fitting them in a coherent and pleasing pattern. It keeps our mind sharp and on its proverbial toes.

Blogging is also a useful way to vent out against whatever is bothering us at the moment. In fact, paying the monthly $4-8, according to whatever plan you have is still a cheaper option than going to a therapist to deal with anger issues.

I view blogging as not only a precious hobby but also as a way to keep my mind active, connect with many friends all over the world, and learn new things every day.

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Written in response to Blogging Insights- NF #53, hosted by Tanya

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The first step in blogging journey

This week Dr Tanya has asked our impressions about this quote;

TODAY’S QUOTE:

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

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I made an account on WordPress to read Tanya’s blog because I couldn’t comment on her posts unless I was signed in. But I never visited any other blogs before I suddenly started to write my first blog post, almost 4 years ago.

So although this advice is good, I never followed this course. What I did was find bloggers whose posts I found interesting and started following them. Gradually I build up my blogging portfolio. I think the first bloggers I followed were Fandango, Rory, Paula, Marilyn, Tressa, Suzi, and a few more who have left WP now. What I learned about blogging was from reading the blogs I followed and experimenting with different genres. I found that poetry worked the best for me when I wanted to say something succinctly. My blogging friends gave me the courage to try my hand at writing short stories too.

In summary, I think we all take different paths to learning about blogging and not one way is the right one. Do what suits you the best.

Written for Blogging Insights- NF # 52, hosted by Tanya

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Sunday Poser # 95

Welcome back to another Sunday Poser

This week my question is;

There is an interesting debate going on in our corner of blogosphere:

On your blog post what you value more; likes or comments?

Though I like that my posts are being liked, I do love to have people leave meaningful comments on them.

In my mind a simple like without a comment means that someone visited my post, perhaps read it but didn’t feel inclined to leave a comment. Perhaps they were short of time or didn’t have anything new to add. It happens to me too. When I’m way behind in my reading of blogs that I follow, I usually leave a like.

Comments are the life of the blogging party. Comments give us instant feedback on our writing and that’s one thing that no other form of writing can give us!

So are you happy with likes on your posts or would you much prefer comments?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section or you can write your own post and link it to this one so that I can find it.

As usual, thanks of visiting and reading.

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How to write a compelling post!

This week, Tanya asks our opinion about this quote;

TODAY’S QUOTE;

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. ~ Alex Tabarrok

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This is fundamental fact of blogging;

There are way too many blogs posts to read and only that much time available to each of us to do that!

So the answer lies in writing content that is;

Interesting

Entertaining

Thought provoking

Enlightening

And concise

The trick is to engage the reader in the first few lines of the post. I personally think that too-long blog posts are rejected by the readers because no one has the time. Make it short and meaningful. Make it funny or entertaining, and make it informative, so that the reader wants to know all the facts.

I mostly write short poems. I rarely go above 250-300 words in any of my posts. I personally have little patience to read a very long post. Though there are a few storytellers that writes such entertaining stories the length doesn’t matter.

I like the phrase ‘Limited attention span’! This is the bane of our lifestyle. So adapt to it and produce writing that does not take too much of the reader’s time!

Do check out this post from Hugh on how to kill your blog!

Written in response to Blogging Insights- NF # 51, hosted by Tanya

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