“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
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!
“We must not only blog what is popular. We must blog about our passions, no matter how quaint. This is true empowerment.” Su Layug
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.
“A blog is a message in a bottle, both in purpose and likely readership.” Robert Breault
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.
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
Perhaps for an author who is writing books regularly, blogging may seem like a trivial pursuitbut 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.
This week Dr Tanya has asked our impressions about this quote;
“The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them.“~Jeff Jarvis
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.
This week Dr Tanya has asked our opinion about this quote;
Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about. ~Cory Doctorow
I do agree with this quote in the context of blogging. We blog and then we wait for others to read and comment on it. A blog post without any comments or reader interaction is just sad.
When I write a post on my blog, I have two things in mind. One is to convey a message of some sort. It could be to spread awareness, or to entertain. The other is to connect with my readers. The first action cannot be complete without the second half. When my post is read by others, they connect to me by giving their reaction to what I wrote.
This is the whole aim of blogging! This connection/ conversation is what makes blogging fun. The community here on WordPress is especially different in this respect that they are very friendly people and also encourage others.
You have to engage with your fellow bloggers before they come to your site and comment on your posts. I’ve read the comments from many new bloggers that nobody comes to read their posts or comments on them. I tell them often that it’s a two-way traffic street, and to get people to visit your blog, you have to visit their blogs too. And leave meaningful comments there.
This week Dr Tanya has asked our opinion about this quote;
” The difference between writers who finish books and those who don’t– is that the finishers don’t stop writing until they get to : THE END.” —- Brian Hutchinson, author of Writer’s Doubt.
To write a story or a novel, one needs to not only have a story in one’s head, and determination to write it, but also the persistence to get to the end.
In fact to complete any job or task, one needs the will to take it to the end. Many would-be writers with their half-finished manuscripts can testify to this fact. Just today I was Ritu’s blog where she wrote that she has already finished the rough draft of her second book in a few days. I know many bloggers who are successful writers and I think the difference between those who finish and publish a book and those who don’t is just this; the burning desire to get the book/ story out of their head and onto the paper/ screen.
I have a notion to compile a poetry book from the poems I’ve already written in my blog one day but since the drive is missing, I haven’t even started it yet.
The simple truth is that the doers do and others just talk, think or plan. I fall in the second category.
What about you? Any plans to write a book or have you already done that?
Today’s quote that Dr Tanya has presented to us for discussion is;
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” — Richard Bach
Although I agree with this quote in reference to writing in general, it hardly applies to blogging. A person who aspires to be a professional writer starts as an amateur and kept on diligently writing till they achieved success.
And as Tanya said in her post, any person who acquires success has had to work hard and consistently to get where they wanted to reach.
In blogging world, the success is measured differently. Some people want to be read and appreciated, irrespective of the number of followers they have. While others measure success by the number of people who follow their blog or leave likes and comments on their posts.
In blogging, there’s a world of difference between a professional blogger and a personal one ( non-professional), they aim for different things and the way they approach blogging is different too. A professional wants to make money from their blog. That is done by advertising, using sponsored links, and promoting other products that in turn pay them. While a personal blogger blogs for personal satisfaction only. They may dream of making some money by getting WordPress to advertise Wordads on their blog but that never amounts to more than a few dollars.
In conclusion, I’d say that gaining success in any field needs hard work. Writing is no different. And in blogging, if you want to achieve your personal goals, put in the effort!
Dr Tanya has asked our opinion about this quote this week;
” A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word to paper.” E. B. White
We all need to have conditions that are conducive to writing. They might not be ideal but they have to be such that writing comes easily to us.
I prefer an environment free from distraction of people talking. Be it real people or on tv. That just distracts me so much that I cannot form a thought to put in writing. I like to be by myself and with some soft music playing in the background when I write.
Good writing is much more than our environment and surroundings. Good writing is basically a good idea. And a good idea can come to us at anytime. The trick is to write it down so that we don’t forget it, which is often the case with me.
And writing needs commitment. Without commitment, writing a short post isn’t easy. If we are serious about writing, we need to follow through our resolve to write.
I’ve known bloggers who post sporadically, because there is a lot going on in their lives. But basically it comes down to how committed they are to their writing. I find time to write on days even when I’m very busy because I am committed to my blog. If I know I’ll be unavailable, I pre-schedule posts for those days. And I do try to keep my posting streak unbroken.
In conclusion, I think that writing needs a basic level of comfort where one can write without interruption, a good idea to write about and a commitment to o writing.
Today Dr Tanya has asked our opinion about this quote;
“Twitter is like a calling card. Facebook is like a phone call. Blogging is like a full-fledged conversation!”
I’m not much into social media, and I don’t count blogging as social media. So I don’t think that they can be compared as it will be like comparing a visit to a friend to looking at pictures on a website.
Perhaps, I am handicapped by my lack of knowledge of how to use social media, but I do know that blogging is a whole different ball game. It is an exchange of ideas, information, and also of personal views and opinions. I think it combines a phone call, a quick visit and reading a letter from a colleague or a friend.
There are blogs where you gather information about something you want to know about or perhaps a place you want to visit. That too is quite detailed and enriches your mind. For instance, when I was going to get my ankle surgery done, I read a few medical blogs, detailing the procedure and its after effects. It was an enlightening experience and was nothing like reading something on Facebook or Twitter
So I would disagree with this quote as it doesn’t take the whole blogging experience in its totality and its comparison to social media is not relevant.