Blogging Insights- Mistakes?

Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

She says;

Despite all the blogging advice and courses out there, many bloggers (myself foremost) feel that they made some mistakes when they started out. Today’s discussion involves a recap of the things that we did wrong and what we should have done instead. I am sure this will help lots of fledgling bloggers out there.

TODAY’S QUESTION 

What mistakes did you make in the first few months of blogging?

Did I make mistakes when I started to blog?

Yes, I did and that’s how I learned to do it right. Or I should say that that’s how I am learning to do it right.

It’s human nature to try to do things their own way. And that sets us apart from other humans. I did that too.

When I started to blog, I jumped straight in the deep end. No tutorials, no research, and had no idea about the technical side of blogging. The only help I got was from a dear friend and she helped me set up the menus of the home-page and the theme. Other than that, it was learn as I go.

• One very important thing that I learned was to check the grammar and spellings of my post once I’ve written it. Misspelled words and wrong tenses can be really off-putting. Some of my initial posts had typos too. Now I know to read through the entire post a couple of times before scheduling it. But even after two years of blogging, I still make mistakes because I am in a hurry and don’t recheck my text. I would advise all new bloggers to make a special point to do that before they publish it.

• Not a detailed description on my home page/ about page. This is important as everyone who wants to follow your blog will read your about page. Updating it frequently is also a good idea.

Other than these two points, I used all my other mistakes as a learning experience.

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Blogging Insights # 47- Stats and traffic

Tanya is the host of Blogging insights

TODAY’S QUESTION : 

How important is your blog traffic to you? 

When i started to blog, I’d check my blog stats daily. Each new like, follow, or view was a cause to rejoice. Now don’t get me wrong but these aren’t as important to me as they were in the beginning. The most important thing now are the comments. They may not affect the stats that much but they provide me with the incentive to write well.

How often do you check your stats? 

Very infrequently these days. As I said in my answer above I used to be really into stats in the beginning but now I never remember to check them at times.

Which part of your blog traffic, the views, likes, comments or follows, is important for you personally? Which of these do you think is most important for your blog? (these could both be the same)

If I had to choose something that I value personally, it would be the comments. Comments are the instant feedback that provides the motivation for writing more and writing well.

As for the blog, I’d say that the number of follows a blog has can be the criteria of how popular it is. I think the search engines also rate the blog by how many people visit it daily.

But frankly since I don’t earn any money from my blog, or plan to, in near future, this all is a moot point. The most important thing in blogging is ;

• How much fun I am having writing my blog.

• How much enjoyment others get from reading my posts.

The rest is not very important.

~*~

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Blogging Insights- Value of Comments

Dr. Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

She says;

The comments feature is one of my favourite aspects of blogging. I love interacting with readers and writers. Being only human, I have at times left comments like “Good one”, “Great Post,” or “Loved This”. It is the longer, “meaningful: comments that are the subject of today’s discussion. 

TODAY’S QUESTION

Do you think that comments add value to a blog post? If so, how?

There are some bloggers who have turned off the comments option permanently on their blogs. When I visit their blogs, I wonder why don’t they want others to interact with them and give feedback about their posts/ poems, etc?

I value the comment section on my blog a lot. For me, it is the best part of writing a blog.

There are many ways how comments on our posts add value to the whole blogging experience;

• Instant feedback is given when someone reads your posts and lets you know what they think of it.

• Some people helpfully point out the errors in my posts so that I can correct my blunders and omissions.

• Building great community relationships with other bloggers; It creates a sense of camaraderie and friendship when we interact with our fellow bloggers in the comments section of our own and their blogs.

• Dissenting opinions and discussions about some topics help to broaden our point of view.

• It’s a sure sign that the one commenting has read the post. Even simple one word comments can boost up morale.

• We can touch base with those bloggers who are not being active in the blogosphere. Ask about their health or other issues they may be facing.

These are the ways, in my opinion, that adds value to blogging. Thanks to Tanya for continuing this discussion.

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Blogging Insights- Ambiance

Dr. Tanya is the host of this series.

She says;

Some people can write anytime and anywhere. Others require certain pre-requisites such as the appropriate setting before they can get their creativity going. In today’s Blogging Insights we discuss the necessity or otherwise of the right ambiance for blogging.

TODAY’S QUESTIONS:

What, in your opinion, is the perfect ambiance for blogging/writing?

I just need free time and a free mind. Distractions like talking to someone, a conversation going on among others in the room, or a loud tv hinders my thought process. I prefer early morning or late at night when I am by myself for blogging.

Are you able to work in this setting on a daily basis?

Yes, I can and I do. Right now I am in the car being driven so taking this opportunity, I am writing this post. One thing that I cannot do is think while others expect me to pay attention to them.

Do you feel that the ambiance has any particular effect on the quality or quantity of your output?

I don’t think that ambiance plays a vital role in my writing. Peaceful settings, whenever and wherever provided, make it easy for me to write.

What influences my writing is my frame of mind. When I am relaxed, I find ideas and words come easily to my mind. If stressed out or hassled, I need to calm myself before I can write.

Thanks again to Dr. Tanya for these insightful questions.

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Blogging Insights- Drafts

Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

Today she asks;

TODAY’S QUESTIONS

How many drafts do you have in your ” Drafts Folder” right now?

I have 44 posts in my draft folder. Including a couple of ones, I am working on. Some of the drafts are from the time I first started my blog.

Do you always complete a post that you draft?

Nopes, I don’t. But I need to qualify this answer. There a lot of drafts from when I started my blog. I would jot down ideas in drafts and leave them for when I would get time to work on them. At that time I had no idea that I would be following so many prompts that all my daily and monthly quota would be taken up by them. So those initial posts are sitting there for me to come back and work on them.

Then there are my latest drafts, started within the last couple of weeks. These posts are going to be posted soon.

Is it a good idea to leave your unfinished drafts hanging around or should you delete them after some time, if so, how long?

It really depends upon the idea behind the draft. If I still want to work on it, I will keep it till I can do so. Sometimes one of the prompts that I follow, gels with the idea behind one of my drafts and viola! I will use that draft for that prompt. I have deleted a few drafts because they were topical or time-bound ideas that had lost their relevance. But the rest are there, waiting to be converted into finished posts.

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Blogging Insights- Providing Inspiration

Dr. Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

TODAY’S QUESTION

How do you think a blogger can inspire others in the blogosphere?

~*~

When a new blogger starts to blog they are mostly novices. They learn as they go along. On this journey to f learning, if they find someone to inspire and guide them, then the journey is made easier.

I think there are ways to inspire and motivate others;

Publish helpful tips on your blog;

Not everyone would do this but;

• those blogs which are either non-specific ones, that is they publish all sorts of content on their blogs,

• or those who post stuff only relative to blogging would do this.

Lately, there have been changes made to how we can write and publish our content on WordPress. This has made things quite difficult for some bloggers who are not familiar with the block editor. Many bloggers have taken up this issue. They have also posted how to use this new editor or ways to use the classic editor.

Prolific bloggers inspire others;

When I joined WordPress, I met many bloggers who were great writers and posted many times a day. Teresa of Haunted Wordsmith, Rory of a Guy Called Bloke, and Fandango are a few examples. These bloggers inspired me to write more and try different genres. Melanie of Sparks from a combustible mind and Kristian Of Tales from the mind of Kristian are great storytellers and they inspired me to write fiction.

Prompts;

Posting and following different prompts is also a great way to inspire each other. I follow many daily and weekly prompts and host one weekly prompt myself. Prompts help to ignite our creativity and channel our writing into unthought of avenues.

I follow;

3TC by Di

Raggatag daily Prompt

FOWC

Word of the day challenge

FFFC

FPQ

SYW

Eugi’s Causerie

Thursday Photo Prompt

Thursday Inspiration

Tale Weaver

And many others.

One can inspire other bloggers by publishing good content;

Good content, both technically and matter-wise, itself is an inspiration to others. If a blogger writes stories, poems, and/or informative posts on their blog, it will inspire your readers to write good and inspiring content!

Thank you Dr.Tanya for these interesting questions.

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Blogging Insights- Pearls of wisdom

Dr.Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

She said;

Many times during my blogging journey I have discovered some useful tips or techniques and said to myself, ” If only I had known this when starting out!” For today’s Blogging Insights, I ask you to share :

3 Tips For New Bloggers

• Be yourself;

Embrace your personality and write from the heart. It’s best to develop your own style and not to copy or emulate anyone else. Blogging is an ongoing learning process and the best way is to keep on trying to improve your own style of writing.

• Never be afraid to experiment

When I started blogging, I had no idea that I could write poetry or fiction. It was when I followed different prompts that I discovered that I can express myself better with poetry. And I am not bad at writing fiction! So flex those writing muscles, experiment with different genres, and explore your creativity.

• Interact with the community

WordPress is a wonderful community of bloggers. When you start to blog, think of it as joining a new community, like an office environment or an educational institute. And you would feel less of an outsider if you interact with people in your community. When you interact with other bloggers, it will help you to feel comfortable in the blogging world. People over here are friendly and generous. It is not necessary that each blogger you follow will follow you back, but visiting different blogs, reading, and leaving thoughtful comments will definitely ensure a visit back from them.

These are just a few things that I think can help a new blogger be more comfortable in blogging world. The rest comes naturally with progression of time.

Thank you Tanya for keeping this conversation going.

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Blogging Insights- 40- Scheduling

Dr. Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

TODAY’S QUESTIONS: 

How often do you use the “schedule” feature on Word Press and how useful do you find it? 

It’s a lifesaver (a bit of exaggeration here!) feature for me. I use it every time I write a post for it is very rare for me to publish my post as soon as I have written it. Scheduling posts takes out all stress from blogging for me and I think it is the best feature of WordPress for me.

How far ahead do you schedules going your posts?

For my regular posts, I schedule a couple of days ahead. But for my weekly, WDYS posts, I can schedule up to 4-5 weeks in advance. That is if I can find images that are consistent with my requirements for this prompt; to provide an image that can be interpreted in many ways! This search takes a lot of time, and so when I find appropriate images I usually do them in bulk.

Thank you so much Dr. Tanya for keeping this conversation going on.

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Blogging Insights# 39- Help from WordPress

Dr Tanya is the host of Blogging insights

TODAY’S QUESTIONS

How helpful did you find the WordPress tutorials on blogging?

Okay, I will sound like a noob ( as my grandson is fond of saying) but I didn’t know that WordPress has tutorials!

Now that I have been told about them, I might check them out.

Did you contact the WordPress support staff (Happiness Engineers), if that was included in your plan, and what was your experience with them? 

I did contact them a few times. Once regarding an issue with my plan and another time regarding the word-ads that I had on my site for a short time.

How was my experience?

The first time it was okay. They helped me with my paid plan selection and the help was given fairly promptly.

The second time with Word-ads, they were a bit lackadaisical and not very quick. When I discontinued the Word-ads for a while, they didn’t even respond to my request of starting them again on my site. So I would rate them a middling 4-5. Not great but not the worse customer support ever seen.

Thank you Tanya for this wonderful series.

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Blogging Insights- 38- Tech Savvy or not

Dr. Tanya is the host of Blogging Insights

TODAY’S QUESTIONS:

How technically savvy are you? 

I used to think that I was quite tech-savvy! But that was before I had to deal with technical issues on my laptop. I guess with age my patience has worn thin and I get frustrated too easily when faced with technical difficulties.

Did you launch and set up your blog on your own or did you need help with it?

A very good friend of mine helped me with the initial setup process. She told me about importing images, putting in links, and also with the theme of my blog. Later on I learned a little to manage on my own. But I still am hesitant about it all and very rarely make any changes to my blog pages.

Do you feel that it is more important to have a flair for writing or have good computer skills to be a successful blogger?

Blogging is a two-pronged process. You need enough tech know-how to get you through the technical aspect of blogging. But the mainstay would always be the writing for me. If I cannot write something well enough for others to understand, relate to, or enjoy, all the technical expertise won’t be of any help.

Thank you Tanya for these insightful questions every week.

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