Monday, March 14, 2011

On Blogging (my two-cents worth)


I’ve been blogging in one community or another since 2005. Here are 8 things I’ve learned along the way, as well as a few (don’t hate me) pet peeves.


1.      There are thousands of bloggers out there (maybe millions); you’ll never get around to them all. I choose to focus on a handful of blogs that I, personally, enjoy reading. My favorites may change from time-to-time, which is OK. Life is about seasons, after all.

2.       Write in your own voice. To me, that’s what makes blogging interesting. The best way to find your own voice is to write as if you were chatting with your best friend.

3.       Use photos. Pictures make blogs more interesting. Period.

4.       Be friendly. Leave meaningful or funny comments. Interact with other bloggers. If you don’t visit other people’s blogs, why should they visit yours?

5.       To serenade or not to serenade, that is the question. I’ve never used music on my blog and prefer blogs that have no music. The reason is twofold. I’m retired and often blog hop late at night, and it’s not pleasant to be blasted with a stanza from Chicago’s Greatest Hits at two o’clock in the morning. Quite frankly, it nearly gives me heart failure and causes me to click out of the blog immediately. That's not to say there isn't some wonderful music out there, but music is such a personal thing and your taste in music isn’t necessarily anyone else’s. I’ve actually stopped visiting a few blogs because the music that greeted me was music that I simply couldn’t tolerate.

6.       Many bloggers use what’s called “word verification,” which means anyone commenting on their posts must fill out a field that contains strange letters like, "faSlkPj" before a comment can be posted. Can I just say UGH! It’s believed that such safeguards cut down on any spam comments, but I’ve tried it both ways and never had a single spam comment in the last six years—with or without using “word verification.”

Using (or not using) “word verification” is a personal decision, of course, but if I have to enter strange letters in a field, in order to leave a comment, I may just let my two-cents go without saying.

If you aren’t willing to let go of the “word verification” feature, then may I suggest that you set your “Comment Placement Form” to be “embedded in post,” instead of a pop-up window. This makes it a little more tolerable, as the reader can see, prior to posting a comment, that he or she must complete “word verification” before the comment will be posted.

7.       Too many bells and whistles and flashing ads are not my idea of blogging, but of attempting to make money while blogging. Nothing wrong with that, if that’s why you blog, but understand that it’s a real turn-off to many readers. I’ve stopped visiting a significant number of blogs, due to the fact that it was hard for me to actually find their post, because of so many ads and banners littering their wall.

8.       Have fun! If your blog has ceased being fun and is, instead, a burden, consider giving it up for awhile. The world won’t come to an end. I promise.




31 comments:

  1. Hi Dayle...Oh, I loved reading your post today. I agree with you just about 100 percent, particularly on the music. Although, if the music is soft , like flute or harp music, or mellow, like Eva Cassidy, I enjoy it. But some of the music on blogs, ooooo weeeee, it's just not my style. So take care and thanks for your thoughts on blogging. Susan

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  2. Good blogging advice. The book arrived in the mail today. Rebekah was here for a few minutes and I gave it to her. She started reading it before she left the house. (I'll get my hands on it when she finishes. I can't pass up a good book, new mom or not! Thank you!

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  3. I actually like your "2-cents worth". Thanks. I also will not participate in "linky parties" that require you to follow, or post their button on your blog, or leave a comment just to play along. One should want you to follow and comment because you enjoy. Well, I won't get started on my soap box on your blog, lol. Have a great day.

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  4. I was nodding my head through the whole thing. I actually don't notice a lot of music because I usually have my volume muted until I need it. I think I'm too easily distracted because I find myself humming or singing along when I'm trying to read.

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  5. Thank you for sharing! I'm like you...no music please :)
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  6. Thank you for listing, I agree with all of these and I consider myself a new blogger, so it is great to read it from a seasoned blogger.

    I have muted my volume because I too have been scared to death and I just can't read and sing a song at the same time...must be my age.
    Thanks...I enjoyed this!

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  7. Hi Dayle!

    I have been meaning to disable word verification for a long time but just didn't get around to it. I just did. Thanks for the reminder.

    I appreciate your thoughts!

    Kindly, Lorraine

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  8. Dayle,
    I am a regular reader of your blog(You are on my blog I follow list).
    I find myself self busy reading blogs & not posting as much as I should, so I am going to work on that...beginning with yours. 8-)
    I keep my computer speakers off most of the time, so I may or may not miss other blogs music, so I don't really have a comment on that.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Take care,
    Mommy 2
    aka Nancy

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  9. A much needed post and great advice, I am in total agreement on all that you have shared Dayle. Thank you for sharing this insight.
    Sue

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  10. Dayle:

    I enjoyed this post and I agree with you. Some music is okay, but I often keep the mute button on my computer so that I don't have to listen to it. Until recently I had dial up internet service and music particularly made web sites take a longer time to load.

    Regarding the word verification, I had been thinking of getting rid of it and your post reminded me to do it.

    Speaking of music, one night I was sitting in a quiet room and I went to a web site (not a blog) and suddenly was greeting with the Beatles singing "Help". Not that I minded the song, but when the word help came suddenly from silence, I almost needed help! :)

    I always enjoy reading your blog posts.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  11. Dayle,
    My blogger daughter suggested I drop word verification and I'm glad I did...and I haven't noticed any more spam than I had previously. Music is such a personal thing and that's why I chose not to include music on my blog. Good advice.

    ~Jean

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  12. Great word of wisdom here Thank you for sharing!! I totally agree with the word verification thing too

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  13. Dear Dayle,

    Thank you...thank you...thank you! I believe that blogging is a fun, interactive, encouraging forum for us women to share a bit about our day and to lift each other up when needed.

    I have made such wonderful friendships through the blog that I write on. I also tend to follow just a few that truly interest me. In the beginning, I felt compelled to follow everyone, but I must share, that this is just not possible. In terms of music, I agree with you. I have music on mine now...but I am thinking on just making it quiet.

    Words are there to be read and you can not read with music blaring from the speakers...

    Phew! Too long of a comment. Sorry about that! :)

    I so enjoy stopping here and reading your words.

    M.

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  14. Great tips! Thanks for #6. I like the suggestion of the embedded post if one is insistent on having WV.

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  15. Hi Dayle I agree with everything you've said here. Although I no longer use word verification because I know it annoys people, I do get tons of spam because of it. I'm constantly having to delete spam comments and spam email when I don't have word verification on. When word verificaiton is on, I get no spam. I'm not sure why some people get spam without word verification and others don't, but it is a real pain! So, I'm pretty patient with word verification because I know the hassle of getting the spam. I've just chosen to live with it to make placing comments easier on my readers. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Hi Dayle! Glad I found you over here. I will have to start reading again...you always have such good things to say. Regarding blogging, mine is just...well...probably not doing much, very boring, just a journal of sorts, but I do enjoy cataloguing things of our life and including pictures; they will all be there if the kids ever need them or want to read about our life. I should get more creative, but just trying to survive is about all I can manage for now! Love your pics and stories. - Janie

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  17. Thanks Dayle,

    You're right, it's supposed to be fun! Thanks for your sage advice for those of us who are newer to all of this. A handful of really good blogs works!

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  18. A super gigantic "ditto." I have such limited time on blogs period, but I like to enjoy the process whenever I browse.

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  19. I'm in agreement too with all you say. Blogging is for fun first and foremost and not to be taken too seriously. As regards music, I just always read blogs with sound muted. I enjoyed reading your post and all the comments too.

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  20. Can I get an AMEN to this post, people?!
    YESYESYES!
    I wish I'd known all these things when I first started blogging.
    May I put the link to this post on my blog under my RESOURCES page?
    It is very helpful and poignant!
    I, too, have gotten a blasted heart attack when going to a blog I didn't know had music until it was too late!
    I keep my laptop's sound on mute now.
    I love blogging and I can't NOT write :)
    Hugs to you sweet lady!
    ~me

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  21. I couldn't agree more, Dayle...with all of it.

    The music thing also makes the page download slower and for some bloggers that is a huge problem.

    Writing in your own voice is the only way to go. Sometimes I question it because I want to sound more eloquent, but I've always written as I speak so I prefer to be comfortable.

    I focus on a handful of blogs too--my favorite regulars are on my sidebar--including yours. The rest are on my dashboard and I only see those occasionally. I'm more interested in a community of encouraging neighbors whose names I know the minute I see the blog title, not just numbers. :)

    Thanks for sharing.

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  22. Thanks for the advice ! I need lots of it

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  23. I am new to your blog, I came via a link on tickleberry farm.

    I agree 100% with all you said. You touched on my two pet peeves, music and word verification.

    I know some people just mute their speakers but I share a computer with my husband and sometimes I forget and get the jolt of my life!

    And sometimes I am listening to online music that I *chose* to listen to and will blog-surf with several windows open, and if several of them have music on them I have to search and scramble to turn off all the music. NOT fun at all!

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  24. here, here! now, i'm off to take that stupid word verification off mine! lol seriously, though, i loved this, dayle.

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  25. Dayle,
    Excellent points! Blogging should be fun, not a burden. It's great to meet people who share things in common with you.
    I'll see you for Simple Pleasures!

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  26. Hi Dayle
    Thank you for the blogging points.On March 25th will be a year since I started my blog.I really have Enjoyed it and unlike Facebook I seem to be more open with what I put on my pages except with Family Photo's.I have 10 Followers and I get very excited when I see that I have a New One or where people are from that look at my blog.Thank You Again!!! DeeDee

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  27. Enjoyed your take on the blog scene as I'm a relative newbie as bloggers go...enjoyed visiting and would love to have you drop by, Along the way!

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  28. Dayle,
    I came across your blog through Maria's Humble Cottage blog...this list is so good,
    although I do have classical music on.
    I wish I had seen the list sooner as
    I love your practical advice! Although I have only blogged for one year, I have learned so much. I am taking a blogging break and was glad to read the last reminder...so true!!!
    Blessings and Spring Cheer!
    Joanne

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle