In my last post, I commented that I wanted to change the way that I handled my blogging activity. I am trying different ways of building a website. I want to be able to keep it fresh with regular updates, but because of the intricacies of web design, these days, it’s a lot of work. I also fell that I need to work on my creativity to ensure a pleasing look. This is where WordPress helps with the pre-defined templates. So I want to create a blog-based website.
To a great extent, this started out as a practice exercise. However, I found my blogs being commented on and followed by a surprising number of people; and not just people trying to enhance the reputation of their own blog. Yes, I’ve had my fair share of offers, but there have been many more genuine readers. How do I know? Because of the obviously sincere comments that they have made. Some have commented in such a way that it is obvious that they have read some fairly lengthy posts. There have even been a few who have read through my entire collection! So, to those who have taken the time to like, follow, and especially read my blogs, thank you for your support and encouragement.
What have I learned about writing and blogging, this week?
First, you have to be regular. On those days that I have failed to publish a post, the number of views has dropped off, sometimes to nil, and I start to struggle to find something to say because of the discouragement. This has not always been for lack of ideas, though, which leads me to the next thing that I have learned.
You have to try to write something every day. You may not publish it, but putting some words together makes a big difference. Writing a few words, even those you do not post, can help to keep your mind active and clear, ready to create something of value. I have a number of draft posts in my file waiting for the inspiration to get them right. And that’s my third lesson.
Don’t post just for the sake of posting. Mediocre material will get noticed, but only for the purpose of being ignored. There’s nothing like checking your notifications for several hours only to find that not one person “liked” your post. It sends the wrong signals. You start to feel that you are useless, when, in actual fact, you made the mistake of posting second-rate material.
As part of getting it right, it’s essential to proofread your post before submission. I have read over some posts that could be really good if only they had checked the spelling. Grammar, too, is a consideration. However, remember that both spelling and grammar can be localised. Today,I considered using the colour (color, US) grey (gray, US) and realised that you cannot get it right for everyone all the time. But the basics are still there and should be observed.
I have also learned that I am more comfortable writing unplanned. This may go against the grain for many people. Yet many professional writers will tell you that the first draft should come from the heart before the head processes the corrections for the second draft. As I said, I prefer the heart first approach even though I often find myself halfway through a pathetic attempt at a post struggling to decide which direction my heart is taking me. Some things have to develop; others need to be planned.
Obviously, there are some posts that need planning. Take my haiku, for example. Haiku rules a fairly restrictive. So if you don’t plan a haiku, or at least re-write it until it is satisfying, you will never get it into the correct format.
This week, I have posted two haiku, on in the Haiku group called
No Hiking Today
. . . and another in the Photography group called
It’s also important to keep your eyes open for useful photos. Although this shot of Rowan Berries is not brilliant, the contrasting colours are well worth a look and I decided to include a cropped version in my photography blog.
I do have one regret, this week. I failed to post anything to my blog, Sufficient for Each Day. But I worked so hard on my post, Lost, which I wrote for the Daily Post weekly challenge that I found it difficult to put together anything that would be good enough to publish. As I said, I have a number of draft simmering away in the background.
So what is my conclusion after this week’s blogging?
To be a successful blogger you have to:
- Publish regularly
- Write daily
- Check it thoroughly
- Make it worthwhile
If I have achieved all those, this week, then I am happy. If you think I have achieved them, then I am ecstatic.