Thoughts on blogging

After almost five years of blogging every week I feel like I have blogged about everything I know.

Then something new happens (like a serial sperm squirter).

Sometimes it isn’t quite new but different from what happened before.

I recently wrote a post (Pulitzer Prize winning of course). After I finished it I had this nagging feeling of familiarity (the same feeling I get when a purchase a book I already have). I know what that means.

Using the search feature on my own blog, I found that I had written about it before. It was different but the same if that makes any sense.

Sometimes there is a new slant or perspective. Sometimes it’s too similar and I delete or revise it. Many times I lose interest and have a beer. Then the cycle starts again.

I try to keep post-it notes with ideas or thoughts. When I read them I have no idea what I meant. Currently I am using complete sentences instead of a word. It’s only slightly more successful.

Here is some advice for other bloggers. Don’t get caught up in the statistics. Readership depends on many things. Start with quality writing. Don’t write crap so you can post every day. You lose readers.

Statistics are reflective of your niche. If you are eclectic (or eccentric like me), people are never sure what you will post. Every day will be a disappointment to some readers and a joy to others. (Seriously, there are people who don’t enjoy my adorable cat photos. So hard to believe.)

Views don’t always equate to readers either. You can use intriguing tags to draw the more questionable readers to your site. Using a tag like “sex toys” may attract but you better deliver!

Right now if your blog posts (in the US) includes politics with a pinch of satire, you are enjoying sky-high numbers. What’s not to love about our presidential race from a comedy standpoint?

Statistics never make sense. I get the most clicks on the inane. Despite the adorable pictures I post, my biggest clicks are the photos of toe cleavage, frog laying on back and an airplane clip art.

Toe cleavage? Seriously?

Toe cleavage? Seriously?

(Morgan, the cat, is seriously annoyed about this. She doesn’t like playing second fiddle to a stupid frog and wants to know why I would ever post toe cleavage. Whaaat?)

While writing this post, I got three new ideas. Two flew out of my head as soon as they landed. (My brain is a practice area where ideas land and immediately take off.) The third is represented by a two-word post-it. I better put a whole paragraph there before I forget.

Now what was I going to do?

Toe cleavage or piggy crack

Toe cleavage or piggy crack. People groove on this.

 

 

105 thoughts on “Thoughts on blogging

  1. I am definitely with Morgan on the toe cleavage thing and Roxie wants more cat photos. It’s almost my first year anniversary a s a blogger and I usually post every week. I never know what I’m going to write about until the weekend arrives. But I have to say, five years has me in awe.I was going to say something about your memory issues, but I’ve forgotten what it is. Now on to another of your posts. I have five years of them to catch up on.

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        • Only time will tell. My plan wasn’t to blog forever. It was to establish a “business” following to get gigs after I retired. I trashed that idea before I pressed “publish” the first time. Almost all the bloggers I met then are gone. Too many bloggers try to blog daily or too often and it becomes too hard to sustain. I keep wondering when I’ll run dry but not enough to worry about it.

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  2. Well I try not to write about the same things all the time. But if I do, I try my best to make them weird and unusual. I think beer always helps, though, no matter what. And I won’t say I’ve lost interest in stats, and views, but I peek occasionally—but Debra alluded to it being all a bit confusing, and I agree. Toe cleavage photos, huh? Hmmm. Well a woman’s toes can be very sexy, but I doubt my wife will let me photograph her feet in heels—and guys, women don’t think their feet are sexy. But, who am I to argue with success. By the way, Kate, I like your new photo. :O)

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  3. “Many times I lose interest and have a beer.” I love that line, Kate. You do make me laugh! I couldn’t agree more about statistics and all that goes with being too focused on creating readership. I rarely even check my stats any more, but when I do, they are hard to understand. I have never really understood the tally of “views.” I think the main thing is to have some fun with it! 🙂

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    • There are bloggers who are very focused on stats. They post about them often. When I started I was happy to average 20 views a day (and most were people I knew). If you write, they will come as you have found out. You (and Woman in the Middle) make me want to move to California (except for that drought thing).

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  4. Kate it is a fascinating world this blogging gig and I am amazed at how many posts you do. I read but don’t comment on all of them. But you do consistently entertain and crack me up. Morgan is gorgeous by the way.

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  5. Five years of blogging is pretty impressive, Kate. Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with ideas but then a presidential election year like this one comes up and you find there are more possible ideas than your mind can handle. Until you realize that writing about it just depresses you even more. That’s why toe cleavage is so important to bloggers.😊

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  6. I am too lazy to bother looks at stats. But I suspect your point about cat pix is true, but then those people suck. Cats cats cats. That is the meaning of life.

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  7. I never pay any attention to my stats… I’m not even sure if I know how to look them up. You are so right about the struggle to come up with new ideas. I don’t think you need to worry about repeating topics. At least for those of us “at a certain age,” I’m not sure we’d remember. You always write with humor and just the right amount of snark so keep ’em coming!

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  8. Note to self: hold off on using the sex toys tags. Great advice from you. I definitely agree (and with the others who commented) about quality rather than quantity in publishing posts. I struggled with that at first, but have finally gotten into a groove that I’m comfortable with. And like you point out, most of the effort is coming up with a unique idea. Writing it isn’t as hard as thinking it up first!

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  9. Love this post ~ such good advice. I don’t pay much attention to the stats, but the comments make it all worthwhile. And keep the cat stuff coming!

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  10. Even if I don’t like WHAT you’re writing about (e.g., shopping for girlie stuff) . . . I like HOW you write. That keeps me coming back.

    Keep on Snarkin’ !

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  11. I can relate to a lot of this. But I wouldn’t worry about repeating yourself. Seems to me that no one goes back and reads older stuff of new blog friends, so why not revisit the classics for those of us who haven’t been around from the start? I personally would appreciate that!

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  12. Kate, the average blogger gives up within a year or two. If you are at five, that’s great. I know what you mean about brain-drain. Sometimes you can take a different approach to a topic you’ve already written about. Go back and read your own stuff and usually you will find something else to say.

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  13. I love your take on blogging Kate! Last night I had an idea for the title of a photo. This morning the title flew away. Ideas for posts come and go as quickly as they arrive. Sometimes (most often) I think my life is too boring to write about. Maybe so. Maybe so. But even though I am not a cat person, I love reading about your kitty adventures.

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  14. I haven’t noticed repeats on your blog yet! Maybe if the marauding deer comes back this spring.

    I guess that’s the nice thing about having a memoir blog — it’s mostly linear, and so it’s hard to tell the same story twice. Although sometimes I feel like I AM telling the same story: my in-laws are impossible and I want to throw things at them.

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      • It works if the original was from the days when I had 5 followers but I like to be fresh even if it’s just a perspective. Morgan continues to be the model of the family. Hard to take a bad picture of her even with only one eye. Hazel however, is the challenge. Mollie, who was the former model, just looks grumpy on pictures these days. You know how models get all moody.

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  15. Blogging is tough! Coming up with topics…if it’s something I found amusing it’s usually easy to write but then there are times I can’t come up with anything. I’ve learned to ignore stats, likes, and number of comments, because there seems to be no rhyme or reason to any of them. You get an impressive number of likes and comments. Mostly I keep blogging because my mom calls and yells at me if I don’t. And for the record, I love love love your cat posts and pics, and especially Morgan’s sweet little face!

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  16. Well, I personally love your cat pictures, which is how I discovered your blog (searching cats). But I stayed because your other posts are great! I’m new to WP — been blogging for a little over a month now. And I have to admit, I find myself looking at the stats page. I also think it’s partly because I want to see which posts do well. But as you point out, that might not mean anything anyway! Here’s to your next 5 years of blogging!

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    • At first you do get intrigued with the stats. You try to figure out best time, best day, best topics. I found out the best time/day was connected to when I posted so essentially meaningless. You have a good niche. Animal lovers are loyal and frequent visitors. I follow one cat site that routinely gets over 200 likes on every post. I moved my cat posts to Fridays because I got a few comments from friends that I was posting too much cat stuff. I didn’t want to lose them so they can easily skip Friday posts. Occasionally, like today, I work in a little cat in a post but it’s not the topic.

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  17. Hello…I never knew there was a name for it…but toe cleavage is such a sexy feminine thing. I don’t know why either. I think it gives a certain grace and sophistication to the lady wearing the shoe. Unfortunately, bunions make having toe cleavage out of the question! 😦

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    • Toe cleavage is best left to 20 year olds! However, I would kill to be able to wear those high heels again. Bunion surgery took away the pain but I’ll never wear anything truly high again. Easy Spirit here I come.

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  18. I think I actually found your blog because of the “cats” tag. So, obviously I love your cat photos 🙂 Comments are the life blood of blogging to me. I don’t pay attention to anything else really. I really wonder about the people who post everyday. And especially the ones that post multiple times a day. I feel like the majority of them (I’m not saying all!) take a hit to the quality of their posts. I mean… how do people have so much to say?? I blank just writing 4 times a week lol. It’s insane!

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  19. I cared about stats at first. And then I got Freshly Pressed (for a not terribly good post) and I got 2,000 views in one day. I will never top that, so I rarely even look.

    For the record, I like your cat pics very much. I get to oooh and ahhhh and not have to clean the litter box!

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    • Same thing happened to me when I got Freshly Pressed (for not one of my best either). Funny thing about FP, I got an increase in traffic but some were trying to sell me services and others were begging me to read their post and tell them why they weren’t FP’d. (How the hell do I know? I don’t know why I was selected!) Anytime you want to come to clean the litter just to feel more a part of things, I’m willing.

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  20. Congrats on being around the blogosphere this long! People come and go so often that I adore knowing someone who has stuck it out. I’m not big on stats either. I’m in blogging for many reasons, but primarily to start conversations, not ruminate on numbers.

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    • Brilliant! For me it’s about the comments. If I can’t get a good number of comments, I know whatever I wrote wasn’t provocative enough. Most of the bloggers I started with are gone. Some really great writers too. If you set your goals too high you can burn out.

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    • Yes there is that. I admit that at first I didn’t understand the importance of that. In the beginning I read everything WordPress wrote on blogging. It was very helpful and one way to get the conversation going is to be a part of it. The other is to comment on other posts if you are touched in some way. Yes, we bloggers are a needy bunch.

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