Blogging – the agony and the ecstasy

This post has nothing to do with the book or movie.

This post has nothing to do with the book or movie.

I’m old. I don’t like reading on my cell phone. My fingers aren’t nimble enough to do much correspondence there.

It’s an important tool for peeps on the go (I’m a “butt on the chair” type of person myself).

I’m a diehard desk top computer person. I prefer that to a cell phone or laptop. It’s in a place always ready. No hunching my back with stuff on my lap (except occasionally a soft grey kitty).

All my blog work – reading and writing – is done there. Big screen. Nice keyboard with fat keys. Ergonomic chair (that I never sit correctly in). Spot for my mocha latte. All good (except for soft grey kitty that plays with my touch screen).

This week I visited a new blogger. Yikes. I hated the theme. Couldn’t find my way around.

There are blog themes that look like a cellphone. I don’t like them. (Call me old-fashioned!) I can’t always tell when they were posted, not that it’s important but I like to know.

Perhaps it’s too busy and overwhelming. The blog I visited today was the cubic theme. I couldn’t find a tab for blog posts. I had to go back to an email to click on a different post. Dumb! (That’s true either of me or the theme.)

Those flickering pictures – you know the ones I mean. They are always moving, like a fast video. Makes my (old) eyes nuts. Unless the blogger is really good I just scroll by.

Blogging challenges aren’t my favorite either.  You are expected to make it interesting and unusual but it ends up with the same stuff everywhere. (There are some bloggers who do nail it and I’m impressed!)

This week a blogger posted a link to a website that analyzes your blog title. I did two of my recent ones. One was weak and the other was weaker. Obviously I am no good at titles.

(This blog title was created by playing with that tool. Sounds a little silly to me but what the heck! Let’s see if there is a difference in searches.)

Titles should be around six words including important “emotional” keywords. The title should make sense rather than a collection of words that will trigger search engines. I need a class in that.

Whimsical titles aren’t good. Nor are lists. I don’t know how to make a title interesting to both a reader and a search engine. (Perhaps I need to take the search engine out for a drink and we can discuss.)

It’s been almost five years and I’m still learning. Perhaps there is a remedial class I could take.

Care to share something you love or hate about blogging?

Morgan: Let's see, what can I screw up....

Morgan: Let’s see, what can I screw up….

 

116 thoughts on “Blogging – the agony and the ecstasy

  1. Hi Kate, I found your blog through Paul’s over at In My Cluttered Attic and I wanted to come by to say hello and check out your site. This is such an interesting discussion and so many of your readers make some valid points. I’d like to know how people with thousands of followers manage their accounts. I’m old school in that I have to interact with each individual without automation. As far as SEO I understand its importance but it gives me a headache and it seems that one really does need to be a rocket scientist to understand it–what happened to just writing and networking for the enjoyment? Sites that load slowly or as you indicated, have crazy colors aren’t very user friendly unless of course you’re under 30 years of age. Sorry for the mini rant. ~Steph

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    • Rants are always welcome because there is a lot of truth in them. Mostly I focus on writing. Once in a while I’ll see if there is something I can do differently to encourage more readers but in the end, I much prefer to write.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Here’s To Exposing My Readers | In My Cluttered Attic

  3. What do I like about blogging? Well, for starters, making my own brand of COMPLETELY NOT APPROPRIATE POST TITLES! Srsly. I’ma go check some of them on that site you posted, see what the analysis says. brb

    Liked by 2 people

    • My problem is that I read this stuff, then ignore it. I can’t help feeling that if I do something I am happy with surely there is someone else out there who is similar and will enjoy. The first few months I posted without pictures because I had such a hard time uploading them. (It’s really simple! I’m just inept.) After a while you get the technology and WordPress has done a lot of improvements too.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, this is fun to read. I prefer to blog/write/read blogs on my desktop also. I suffer through it on the cell phone if I’m traveling. As far as the ‘best’ title and search engines etc., I say hogwash. I just write what I want to write about, think up what I’m saying for a title that makes sense to the subject, and hit POST. You have a wonderful blog here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, you hit the nail on the head with # of comments on this one Kate! Interesting post and comments. I read blogs on my phone lots because I don’t seem to have the time to sit at my computer. If I do I don’t get up for hours. I also post lots from my WordPress app. I’ve learned its easier to write a post from there and add the pictures, then go on my computer to edit and schedule. I’ve also found its easier to comment on my phone than on the computer. Things keep freezing up on the comments section on there. I do not read books on my phone though as my kids do!
    Your blog is easy to read on a mobile. I think mine is. I’ll have to go back and check. I hate when I get one that has words so tiny you need a microscope to read. I also dislike the fact it’s sometimes hard to find a follow button! I discovered recently if there is no like button below the post, if you click on the title it will take you to the page with a like button. Also helps if you can’t find where to comment. If you ever get a chance to take the Blogging 101 class – free – on WordPress, do it. I loved it when I took it. Google it. ~Elle

    Liked by 4 people

    • You know I keep thinking about doing that but just haven’t. I’m not sure if it was available when I started. At that time I read everything I could about blogging and learned a lot. I remember that I could write a post in 15 minutes but it took me an hour to post a picture (partly because I never had a good one and partly because I was inept!).

      Liked by 2 people

      • I still can’t post a video. Something about plugins and that’s way above my head! They offer that a few times a year I think and if you go in and sign up for the next one you should get an email reminder.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Kate, I’ve been at this for a year and I don’t change many things. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). I do change my header picture to match the season. I like to go to a site that’s easy to navigate, and like you,want to know when it was posted. Color and photos are appreciated, but not always necessary. I find my biggest problem is with the longer length of some posts. Those tend to cause me to reread a few times. And sometimes, I hate to admit, I just give up mid-way and look at the pictures. As I began to get followers, I worried about keeping in touch with all of them and found a system that worked for me. I blog once a week (usually). I answer all comments ASAP. Then I go to the commenter’s blog and read one of their posts and comment. I also go to the people who have “Liked” my post and do the same for them. Sometimes, i check in with old friends I haven’t heard from in a while. This seems to be working well and I can keep up with my regular followers.
    (Also, I’m an avid Comment reader on other’s blogs. You have lots of good people following you, but there is no way to “Like” their comments.)

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I love how friendly people have been in the blogging world. It’s fun to hear different viewpoints and to learn from one another, whatever part of the world we come from.

    The title can provoke someone to read, but ultimately, what is more important is the content and connecting with your readers. I’ve found that posts that have something to do with the human experience and discuss a subject to which all of us can relate tend to get readers and comments.

    Kate, if you’re interested, Lynda.com offers a course in blogging. There’s a free trial. Copyblogger and Problogger are also good sites to visit. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I always think my titles are soooo clever. Then I go back a week or two and even I don’t know what the blog is about from the title and I wrote it.

    What I dislike are blogs telling me how to be me, only better. Who says their way is right? They don’t know me (or you) and my (or your) quirks and talents. Just maybe my ‘talent’ is obscure titles.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. #1. One thing I hate is black pages with white or yellow or red type. Argh! #2. I’ve stopped commenting on blogs that ask you to read the messed up letters. (What are they called?) On one blog I won’t identify, no matter how many times I try, it always tells me to try again.

    So… We’re supposed to have titles with six words, including something emotional. Good tip. The big challenge, of course, is pleasing both search engines and readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have difficulty reading some colors too. I try to keep my site basic so it’s easy. There are a few blogs I read with the “messed up letters” (love that phrase). I don’t often leave comments unless I feel I have something important to say. If I don’t get threw on the second try I often give up. I know originally some of my friends complained that they were required to give information before they could post a comment so I checked my settings and switched around so they could do it anonymously. I still require the first comment by a reader to be approved so I don’t get spam.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! I feel like I’ve just completed a mini course on blogging. Lots of good input here. I’m a desktop user too and the big drawback is too much sitting, as someone mentioned above. Just lately I began using the Reader to read the blogs I follow and that has saved me time vs. clicking on email notifications. I like a simple page with lots of white space. As far as titles, I love a little whimsy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am definitely a desktop person when writing my posts (first in Word, then cut and paste into WordPress), but I’ll read them either on my desktop or on my tablet (rarely on my phone – too small). I try to be a generous commenter because I LOVE when I get comments, and it’s fun to interact with others. There are a couple of blogs I follow that get very few comments, but I notice that A) they don’t leave comments on other blogs, and B) they don’t respond to comments left on theirs. What goes around, comes around I guess. I love the support and friendship that is available in the blogosphere. If I visit a busy, confusing blog page, I often don’t stay. Don’t make me jump through hoops to leave a comment… sometimes I feel like I have to provide three forms of identification first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I laughed at your last comment. There are some blogs (maybe not sponsored by WP?) that require all sorts of shenanigans so I only comment when I really feel moved. I am like you. I have a fancy Kindle instead of a tablet. Easy for checking on things but not for typing.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m completely with you. I have a laptop, but I use it like a desktop. I need to be sitting in a chair and my laptop sitting on a table for me to think and type. My wife has made the transition to using her phone for almost everything personal (just not her work). I can’t do that either — even for reading other blogs or e-mail, or especially doing online banking, I still need that desk and chair!

    I agree about “busy” pages. I still believe in lots of white space for the eye to scan. I’m thinking it’s time to possibly change-up my theme and do a redesign, but I’m also lazy as sin. Your page is very clean, and I still like the cat pictures on top.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I worked for years in Public Relations and it was all about white space (or people don’t read it!). There are some clean new themes. Also lazy. One of these days. Don’t like using my cell but I can read on my Kindle. It’s too hard to “type” so it will never be my choice for anything but checking on things (or reading a book).

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What I don’t like about blogging is the constant sitting. Yes, I know I have the option to stand up, but….. something keeps me glued to the chair anyway. This is unhealthy I know and I may try a friend’s recommendation and put a cooking timer on the desk to go off in an hour with a signal that says, “Get up and move.” Hopefully I won’t ignore it though. I agree with all your complaints about the new blogger’s theme! Great post Kate. 🙂

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    • Thanks. While I don’t like all that sitting either I’m not doing anything about it. Come warm weather I will spend more time outside (I hope). That’s if it ever gets warm for real.

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  14. I’m still trying to figure out the blogging world. Sometimes I would follow, but I can’t find the follow button, or comment but I can’t find the comment link. I finally found that little pop-up thingy in the bottom corner of the screen. *sigh* I only wish people would make it as easy as possible for folks like me.

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  15. I was always a desktop person for many of the same reasons you mention, including eyesight. (I absolutely hate having to put glasses on for everything I read) But since I started blogging I’ve found there’s just no way for me to keep up with reading and responses without going portable. Initially it was my iPad but now I almost exclusively use my phone for everything but posts. I still do those on a desktop, though my Mac is ten years old and getting slower by the minute so I think I might go with a laptop. I love the portability.
    As for the sites, I love sites that are clean and easy to read and I enjoy posts that won’t take up a whole morning to get through. Some of these things are two thousand words long. While I appreciate the writer in everyone, sometimes it’s just a time issue for me.
    I also love humor, which you deliver in a regular basis…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your eyes are better than mine although I’ll use my Kindle at night if I want to check email and my blog but I won’t respond on it. Long reads aren’t my fav either. I miss the word count that WordPress would include in their reader or emails. That helped me manage time better. I could save a longer post for when I had time rather than skim it.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hmmm. I was playing around with my blog’s tag line the other day to come up with something more representative of the content. I have a new one but I don’t love it. That being said I try very hard not to look at or care about stats. I mean, my mom likes it; that should be enough…

    I’m commenting using my phone. Everything in WP works properly with my phone but I still write and post my blog using a laptop.

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    • Your blog is the weirdest. Not because of the content (or the writer….maybe) but it’s one of two blogs that reject my comments on the first try. I don’t know how critical a tag line is for search engines. I’ve been thinking of shortening my blog name to reflect my url. I was so young and dumb when I started this thing……BTW I like your blog, isn’t that enough?

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      • You are definitely enough! I wasn’t worried about search engines, just figured it should be more descriptive so people would know what to expect. Or something. Damn! I wish I could resolve whatever the issue is with commenting on my blog. Grrr. Looks like I better keep at it…

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  17. Deep, deep inside me somewhere is a writer. A novelist, a blogger…but me being me, I just enjoy writing a short blurb comment to your blog. I don’t care about the title, I care about the content. So, when I see something from View and Mews …I will open and read it before anything else in my inbox. The title for me, is an after thought.

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    • I appreciate your short blurb comments! Titles are something that people who care about exposure agonize over. Personally I can’t quite figure it out but I keep working on it. Like I said before, I’d rather play to the people than the search engines.

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      • By way of a different perspective, I have to question any Post that has a “grabber” subject line. This is simply because there is a strong possibility that “numbers” are a high priority. Given that rationale, there is a good chance that the raison d’etre for the blog is either a total numbers obsession, or there is a financial driving force. Either way, it brings into question the authenticity of the Blog. As one of your other commenters has noted, you quickly learn which Blogs have an appeal, and then the subject line is irrelevant. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • So true. When I started I was grateful to get a handful of readers. I’m not a numbers person because as you know they are meaningless. I saw a blogger with over 5K followers but her posts would get 20 likes and maybe 10 comments. What good is a large following if they aren’t really reading? And those tricky hooks? I used to get roped into them on Facebook. The last one implied that a famous actress (I think it was Sally Fields) had died so I clicked on it. They wanted to sell me some face cream that was guaranteed to make me look younger — no mention of the actress at all. Fool me once and all that.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m with you on the computer. I read blogs on my laptop/ipad (phone is way too small for my poor eyesight) but I always sit down at a desktop to write. I feel like it’s a more organized area and I can focus a little better. I dislike the blog challenges too, especially ones where so many people are doing it it gets redundant. There are certain bloggers that nail it though and make it interesting. Kudos to them! I also dislike when people don’t respond to comments. If they don’t respond, I probably won’t bother commenting again! My titles are pretty random and short, I wonder if I should make them longer… hmm

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  19. Don’t feel bad – I don’t even own a cell phone! As for laptops on your lap…. this is a definite NO! Laptops, by their nature generate a fair amount of heat, as does your lap. Putting them together may well be nice and warm on your legs, but will likely decrease the life of your laptop! 🙂

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    • Agreed, it shows a distinct lack of courtesy. However (isn’t there always one of those?), while I believe that my track record is pretty good, there are times when I have forgotten to check that box that requests notifications of future comments. When I do not get a response from somebody, I will generally assume that they also forgot… unless it happens on a regular basis, in which case I will perhaps Unfollow! Power! 🙂

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  20. I’m with you about reading blogs on the computer — and I would say I’m in a generation that probably prefers tablets and smartphones over a clunky desktop (think the oldest age that can still be considered a millennial) — so it’s not an age thing, even if you do consider yourself old. 🙂 I like to see something full screen, and in my opinion, how it is supposed to look. I never really thought about blog titles (only been blogging for a few months), but I guess I should consider that! Since most of my posts are about other people or organizations, I just use their name to be straight to the point. But for the posts I write from scratch, I do try and be a bit more creative. I’m also with you on the themes… I chose one that is basic and straightforward because I personally like easy navigation when I go to read a blog. I don’t want to have to be searching all over and wasting my time to try and find something.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. There are so many blog themes that make reading the words nearly impossible. They are either impossibly busy or colors that bother me to read and I will often click away. I prefer simple uncluttered pages.

    I wish I could read everyone inside the reader itself, because that’s how I keep up with everyone.

    I never give much thought to my titles. Whatever strikes me – without any real thought to whether it will strike a search engine. I assume that my blog would fall on 50th page of anyone’s search anyone, so…

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    • To be honest, I don’t spend a lot of time on titles either. It’s hard to please both people and the search engines so I try to go for things that I would find interesting. I don’t like busy or a lot of flickering, flashy things.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I agree with most of your dislikes, Kate. When blogs are hard to navigate, I lose interest. When bloggers put in too many animate pictures, I get dizzy and lose interest. When bloggers don’t seem “real,” I lose interest. When bloggers don’t make me laugh, smile, or think, I lose interest.

    I do like the title of this post, Kate.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Huh. I will have to try this title analysis. Sounds sketchy. When in doubt, put in “naked” and “death.” That should do it.

    Yeah, I avoid Tumblr because all the flickering and confetti give me a headache. 🙂

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  24. LOVE: the connection with people and the insights into how other people think.
    HATE: the trend toward only “liking” a post, instead of stopping to write a comment. Related: bloggers who no longer respond to comments because they’re too busy/important/ungrateful to bother. Tacky, tacky…

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    • Love the connection too. I feel like some of you are truly close friends. I know stuff about you (that your mama don’t know!) yet I don’t know where you live. (No, that’s not meant to be creepy!) I will like a post without comment if either there are tons of comments and I am being redundant or maybe I like the post but it doesn’t spark a response in me. Not responding to commenters is tacky. One of my favorite parts is the ongoing dialog in the comment sections. I learn so much there.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Love: Interaction! When I wrote my novel it was such a solitary activity… no one even knows what you are doing. But blogging is social. You write and immediate you are in a conversation.
    Hate: When a blog you really love flops. I know it doesn’t matter in the whole scheme of things, but how could I have been so wrong?
    By the way.. on titles. Some of my blogs are picked up by the Huffington Post. They almost always change my title, but usually for the worse. One of my most successful blogs of all time was “The Old Woman I Will Be.” Huffpost renamed it “Why I Am So Obsessed With Turning 65.” It completely flopped. No wonder.

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  26. Well, I am not blogging lately, but what I love about blogging is the people I meet. I don’t know what I don’t like about blogging but I wish I would figure it out because, not blogging. I think one of the things I don’t like about blogging which is not blogging’s fault but mine, it takes me so long to get a post around and up and posted. And it’s good if there is a picture and I am not motivated in the clicking pictures department right now. Sweet Morgan!

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    • Interests wax and wane. The great thing about blogging is that you can go back anytime. It’s all on your own terms. I love that you still read. Many bloggers ditch the whole blogosphere completely but you have kept your fingers in the pie with pithy comments.

      Liked by 1 person

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