The secret to a successful blog

Anyone who starts a blog, naturally wants it to be a success. Well, some would deny this, but most of us want what we write to be read, liked, and commented upon by others. Preferably, many many others.

So what is the secret?

I have been blogging for a little more than three years. And I will share with you what I think is the secret. Some may not agree with me but in my opinion, they are;

Write original content;

Don’t emulate others. Create your own style and content. Don’t think that it has to be a certain way to appeal to others. Like-minded people will find your blog and appreciate the originality.

Write in plain, simple to understand language;

I wrote about this previously as well. I think writing that is easily understood is always a winner. Prose or poetry, write everything clearly and plainly. It’s more effective than flowery language which is hard to understand on the first reading.

Create a feeling of camaraderie;

Create camaraderie among the blogosphere by visiting those blogs that you follow and leaving thoughtful comments on their posts. This I think is the most important step in making your blog popular and successful. Responding to comments left on your site is equally important. If you don’t build up the relationship between yourself and other bloggers, you cannot make a success of your blog.

Get to know your fellow bloggers;

It is important to get to know other bloggers. You can do this by reading their posts carefully and noting the information they share about themself. When you do this you’ll get a better understanding of the other bloggers as a person and it becomes easy to relate to the person behind the blog if you know more about them.

Check spam messages regularly;

Check the spam regularly so that no valid comment ends up in spam. People aren’t happy when we don’t reply to their comments. And one reason for that could be that their comments are ending in spam.

These are a few secrets of creating a successful and rewarding blog. You’ll be happy writing content that gives you satisfaction and sharing it with other like-minded people. And at the same time, you’ll create a community of bloggers who are like friends to you!

#Keepitalive

#SuccessfulBlogging

#Blogging

Some Sunshine after a long time

Ebar of a Girl with binoculars has very kindly nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award

My heartfelt thanks to Ebar for this nomination and these ver interesting questions. Please check out her blog where she writes about a variety of topics.

My questions:


1. How are you, really?

I am good. Contented with my life and at peace. There are always things that aren’t perfect in life but that is part of life. So, yes, I am good. Alhamdolillah ( Thank God)


2. What was the best age of your life?

Now is the best age of my life. As I believe in living in the moment, I feel what is now, the present, it’s the best time of our lives. Besides getting older, ( I’m almost 60 now) has a lot of advantages. You can dress as you like, act as you please, and say outrageous things because people will just shrug and say that she has grown old!


3. What is your best method of relaxation?

I like walking with music, and then the second best is blogging after I’m done for the day. It relaxes me and amuses me.


4. If you have a favourite movie, which one would it be?

There are so many movies I love that I cannot just pick out one. I would go and watch any of the Marvel movies, or a James Bond movie, or a good animated movie at the drop of a hat.


5. How about a book? Which one would you choose?

My most loved book is the Holy Quran. I read it daily and it gives me everything. Guidance, peace, and understanding of life.


6. What do you think of psychology and the way it can help people?

I think everyone should have a basic understanding of psychology. It helps in all walks and roles of life. If we all had a working knowledge of it, we wouldn’t be having so many issues with our relationships.


7. What’s your favourite food?

I am basically a vegetarian. I love well-cooked daal, veggies. The best vegetarian food I ate was from a restaurant in Seattle, veggie grill. They had such scrumptious veggie burgers there that like of such that I haven’t tasted since!


8. What’s your favourite social media platform?

Without a doubt, WordPress. If you call a blogging platform, social media!


9. Do you like hot or cold weather, and why?

I like cooler weather better than hot weather. I feel hot most of the time so cold weather works better for me. Spring and fall are great too because the temperatures are moderate.


10. What’s your idea of an perfect day?

A happy day, free from undue stress, with my family around me.


11. Finally, if you could change something in the past, what would it be?

I don’t want to change anything in the past as that is simply a recipe for disaster. Change the present or the future, don’t mess with what’s done and gone.

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The RULES are simple:


•Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

•Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

•Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

•List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog

I have answered the question and followed the first two rules. But unfortunately, I feel that nominating people for blogging awards is not easy. Most people have now a award free blog and are not keen to play this game.

So I am taking the easy way out. If anyone wants to answer the questions put to me by Ebar, please consider yourself nominated. Thanks for reading.

Many thanks to Ebar for nominating me for this award.

#Keepitalive

#AwardsAndNominations

#SunshineBloggerAward

Frustrated Writers- Turned Monster!

Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

writing quote franz kafka non writing writer

” A non writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” — Franz Kafka

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My personal opinion here is that this may apply to seriously committed writers, not bloggers like me.

I think this quote addresses the soul of an artist who for some reason stops creating.

A painter who knows he has a masterpiece hidden in his brain but is unable to bring it out on canvas, or a musician who has a melody humming in his soul but refusing to be played are the sort of people who can turn into a crazed person because of the frustration.

A talented writer needs to write. Though there are instances when a wonderfully gifted author just wrote one masterpiece during their lifetime, most of them are prolific writers. They produce book after book, all maintaining the high standard that people expect of them. And when any one of them faces circumstances where they are unable to write, they may experience extreme frustration.

Though I do hope that they don’t turn into crazed monsters!

Bloggers are a different kettle of fish. They can take it or leave it. Most bloggers write for fun or with a desire to share their life experiences. Though there are some bloggers here who are published authors as well, but others here are mostly blogging as a hobby. I know many bloggers who took long breaks from writing, but came back sound in mind (without turning into monsters ) to resume their blogging.

So while this quote may apply to people who are committed authors, we the ordinary bloggers are unlikely to face this fate!

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Thank you so much Tanya for this thought provoking quote.

#Keepitalive

#BloggingInsights

Blogging Insights – Showing not telling

Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

writing quote EL Doctrow

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” — E.L. Doctorow

I think this is what it means to “show and not tell”.
What do you think?

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First off, if you find the font in this post too small, it’s not a fault on my side. WordPress in its infinite wisdom has decided that it would be so!

Now on to the quote;

Good writing is supposed to involve the reader in the story/ poem in an immersive way. In fact, it is the hallmark of a good story or poetry that it evokes emotions in the reader which the writer or their character is experiencing at the moment.

But not everyone can do this. This needs a lot of practice. We also need to write straight from the heart. Writing with emotions and feelings that are real brings out this effect on the paper ( so to speak) as well.

One can write of a heartbreaking scene but if the writer is not able to transmit their emotions in the story/ poem then the reader won’t feel the intensity of the situation at all. The same goes when writing of a joyous or hilarious moment. And I believe that making a reader cry is easier than making them smile or laugh out loud!

These are my observations regarding this quote. What do you think?

Thank you so much Tanya for giving us the opportunity to express our views regarding this quote!

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#Keepitalive

#BloggingInsights

5 Things Tuesday – Feelings/ Emotions most felt during the pandemic

Tanya is the host of 5 Things Tuesday

5 ThingsTuesday: Feelings / Emotions you felt most often during the Pandemic

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As Tanya said in her post, covid-19 is a long way from being over. What emotions I have felt most during these 18-19 months are;

Uncertainty;

The first emotion I experienced during the lockdown was uncertainty. Everything in the future looked uncertain as I realized the extent of this pandemic. Never before had I experienced this situation before. Travel plans, planned outings even grocery shopping had to be put on hold.

Frustration:

Frustrating is the second most common emotion that I have experienced during the last year and a half. Frustration at people who refuse to accept the reality of pandemic, who don’t get vaccinated, and all those who don’t wear masks. These people are putting others at risk along with themselves and their families.

Self realization;

Time in lockdown allowed me to get to know myself better. The most important thing that I realized is that we don’t need all the stuff we think we do. We can do with a lot less and it has I think made me a better person.

Gratitude;

Gratitude is an emotion that I feel daily. We, the family are all vaccinated against covid and as yet safe from it. With so much illness, death, and misery that we saw during these past months, the value of counting our blessings daily and giving thanks for them has become very important.

Value of family and friends;

During Covid, we stayed isolated and didn’t meet our friends or the extended family at all. This has taught me to value my family and friends a lot. We indeed realize the importance of something when it’s taken from us. During the past 18 months or so I’ve really come to appreciate friends and family.

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#Keepitalive

#5Things

Blogging Insights # 11 – Writing vs Blogging

Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted

” Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.” — Jules Renard

What do you think?

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Do I agree?

Of course, I do. Any one would agree with this statement. But it’s not the complete picture, is it?

Writing is a lonely pastime. One can pontificate without being interrupted but we don’t get the benefit of debate. We share our opinions and that is it. What could be counterarguments, we don’t get the benefit of those as till the writing is read by others, they won’t be able to share their opinions.

In comparison, blogging is a different cup of tea altogether. When we write a post and state our opinions, stories, or poems, immediately after posting them, we get feedback from others.

Though we write without interruptions, we do get the advantage of counter-arguments when others share their views on our writing. I think this way we get the best of both worlds. We can say what we want without anyone stopping us or correcting us and yet if we are in the wrong, or our views are outdated, people out there help to set us right.

And thinking along these lines, I would say that blogging is even better than writing books because an author doesn’t know how people would react to their story till the book is completed, published, and sold. While a blogger gets instant feedback and has the advantage when any flaws or discrepancies are caught by their readers and corrected there and then.

Thank you Tanya for this interesting topic for today’s Blogging Insights

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#Keepitalive

#BloggingInsights

Stream Of Consciousnesses Saturday- Inspire/ aspire/expire

Linda is the host of Stream Of Consciousnesses Saturday

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “inspire/aspire/expire.” Use them in any form you like. Use one, use two or use them all if you want. If you use two, you get bonus points! If you use all three, Cheryl will put your next drink on David’s tab. Enjoy!

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Thank you Linda, for you inspire us every Saturday to write our SoCS posts. I think that to think up a new prompt every Friday is a Herculean task. Many people aspire to be hosts of weekly or daily prompts but only a few manage to stick it out for the long run. I have seen many prompts expire with time as their hosts weren’t prepared to take on this full-time commitment.

So I salute all these wonderful bloggers who have been prompting the community at WordPress for years. It is a difficult task and few people acknowledge the time and effort it takes to do it long term.

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#Keepitalive

#SoCS

Blogging Insights # 11 -Who do I write for?

Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

Today’s quote is from celebrated author Margaret Atwood. 

writing quote margaret atwood - write for no one

“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.” — Margaret Atwood

Who do you write for? Yourself, your readers, or posterity? I would love to know. 

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Who do I write for?

When I started writing for my blog, it was just to see if I could write. I started by writing on health-related topics because I knew that field. It was only later that I ventured into poetry and short stories, inspired by daily and weekly prompts.

Now my point of view has changed. Now I feel that I write for my readers as well as myself. It IS like scrawling my name in a random place so that some passerby would read it, the same principle does apply here. We don’t know when we put out our writing and views on the vast platform of WordPress, and through that, the WWW, who might read it and who might benefit from it.

Whoever is the target audience, writing is an exercise in self-expression and also a form of catharsis. Sometimes, when we are worried or irritated by something in life, writing about it helps us to see the problem more clearly and we can also see our way out of it.

Many thanks to Tanya for keeping this conversation going.

What or who do you write for?

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#Keepitalive

#BloggingInsights

Blogging Insights -Bad grammar

Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

I saw this on Instagram the other day and thought it would be interesting to discuss it on Blogging Insights:

” What I mind in modern society very much is the awful lack of grammar. ” — Ruth Rendell

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I think that bad grammar, used in any written document is very off-putting.

In literature, it is unforgivable. Badly written stories are so irritating and off-putting that people usually give up in the middle. The same goes for any inspirational article. If the usage of words, tenses, and grammar is not accurate, the meaning gets distorted and the purpose of writing that particular piece is wasted.

For people like me, whose first language is not English, we have to make more effort to see that when we finish writing, it all makes sense and is easily understandable. So I do make mistakes and try to proofread my posts before posting them.

Using bad grammar in talking is even more horrendous. I’ve seen teenagers using the word “like” ten times in one sentence when they are searching for the appropriate word to use. It was amazing for me when I first came to America to hear the youth here talking like that.

In social media, people use abbreviated text like grT or U or 4, and I don’t like that either. But we can ignore it because they may be in a hurry. But when they start using this form of writing in school essays, it becomes ridiculous.

“Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” by Lynne Truss is a fantastic book about the usage of punctuation. I think everyone, specially the young people should read it.

One such example lent the book its title:

A panda walks into a bar. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

“Why? Why are you behaving in this strange, un-panda-like fashion?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda walks towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

“Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

I rest my case!

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#Keepitalive

#BloggingInsights

What does a being prompt host entails?

I have been hosting What Do You See Prompt for almost 2 years now. In addition to it, for the last 40 odd weeks, I ask a question every Sunday, the Sunday Poser.

Since the day I started my prompt, I’ve made it my policy to visit all the posts that are written in response to that prompt.

In the beginning, I used to reblog all the responses but I found it hard to keep up with it and besides people over here weren’t happy with me flooding their readers with so many posts.

I feel that since people are writing /posting in response to my prompts, it is just common courtesy to visit these posts, provided that they have linked it back to my post. Specially if I ask a question, I like to read the replies from my readers!

Some hosts just give daily or weekly prompts but seldom visit the responses.

The purpose of this post is to ask you, if you write in response to prompts, that does it make any difference to you if the host reads and responds to you posts or not?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Thanks for visiting and reading!

#Keepitalive

#Prompts