Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Blogging Go?



I'm interested to hear from other bloggers on how they go about writing their daily, weekly or monthly sagas. I'm going to ask a whole lot of questions and hopefully you will be willing to take the time to give me some feedback.  The questions are in black, my answers are red italics.  If you just want to respond to some, or all answers, just give me the numbers and your brief answer in the comment section.

1. What is your process?

  Because I am primarily a gardening blog, I like to get photos from my garden first hand.  I edit the photos and stick them into a named Blog file.  It may take a couple of weeks or months to collect all the necessary  photos.  Genealogy is a different matter.  I have books of photos, and a computer files of stories.  These I need to scan and edit and then write the story.  The cooking blogs are another process.  I gather all the ingredients, and photograph the process, then go in after the meal and type the instructions.


2. Do you have a bunch of ideas ahead?

I have some concepts ahead all the time.  Every morning or two, I take the camera and go for a walk about the garden and snap whatever new blooms are in season.  Then every couple of days, I transfer everything to the computer, and slot the pictures into appropriate blog headings.

3. Do you have a bunch of completed blogs ahead?

Right now I have about 10 blogs pretty much ready to publish.  I like to have enough ahead, so that I can publish a few days, perchance I do not get the opportunity to do further writing.

4. Are there many works in process?

I probably have thirty blogs in various stages of completion, from just a title to a bunch of photos with no captions.

5. What motivated you to blog first of all?

I read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and one of her suggestions was to start a blog.  I've kept a daily journal for 37 years, so this is a natural extension.

6. What are your rewards from blogging?

I've met some new people that I would never have otherwise.  I have a 'pretty' journal, complete with pictures in an easily accessible format.

7. How is blogging different than your perceptions?

I thought you would write and they would come.  I didn't realize how difficult it is to attract readership, and how competitive it is for blog time. 

8. How do you start a blog?

I usually come up with some sort of title (subject to change).  Then I type in the following template:

aaaaa


And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.
                          ****************

I put in the letters to begin with, so that I can change it to text later.  I then leave a couple of spaces to start inserting photos as I take them or find them.  For a while it seemed impossible to get text above a photo if you didn't type something in prior to the import.  The last two lines appear in every post, so that is just a cut and paste event.

9. How has your blog evolved?

Well I started out not really with much of a plan.  I'm not sure I intended it to be a daily event, but it has become that.  I have definitely got to the point of using a lot more of my own photography.  Photography has become a new passion, because of my blog.

10. Are there any blog etiquette tips you have learned along the way?

Give credit where credit is due. 

11. Are there any rights or wrongs in Blogland?

This is a learning process for me.  Okay what is Wordless Wednesday about and who decreed it such?

12. Where do you see blogging in 5 years, 10 years?

I'm looking at this as a one year project right now.  I will review my readership and page views etc, as well as my degree of satisfaction in the effort at that time.  As I see blogging and the technology world, five years from now, I will take my credit card sized IPAD-like device to the garden, snap a photo, and the computer will generate text, based on samplings of my past writing, and my job will just be to edit it.  I will also be able to take you on live, real-time skypes of the garden, and we'll carry on a conversation (hopefully you can pull weeds from your remote location). 

13. What are your long term goals?

As I said this is a one year project in my mind right now, but of course subject to change.

14. What features attract you to someone else's blog?

I like the following:
  •    daily entry
  •    at least a couple of visuals (I'm a visual learner) and a picture is truly worth a thousand words.
  •    short paragraphs, breaks
  •    something written from the heart in your own voice
  •    correct grammar and spelling (sorry GG, your content is always good enough for me to overlook the occasional slip)
  •    occasional videos
  •    interesting deviations from the norm, that give insights into the author's life and character
  •    humour 
  •   directions teaching me a new trick or idea

15. What ideas have you used to increase readership?

This is something I need to work on.  I want to spend some time on a header gimmick of my favourite photos.  I may look at a competition of some sort.  I have a game simmering on the back burner too, just not sure how to execute it.


And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

10 comments:

  1. 1) I don't really have a process. I am not a daily blogger, but rather do about two a week, sometimes three. I look at blogging as fun, but if I felt I had to create something every day, I would feel pressure and stress. I don't want to look at this as a job.

    2) Seldom, my ideas usually come about because of an event or situation. However, sometimes an idea pops in my head at night when I am in bed, and I quickly write it down.

    3) I have quite a few half written ones that I leave in draft. I may have not liked the way it was going but they might one day give me another idea.

    4) No

    5) I was writing funny e-mails to my family and my son suggested that I blog them.

    6) There are a few. As you said, getting to know people from all over the world.

    7) I had no pre-conceived perceptions. I am always surprised that so many people read my posts.

    8) Of course, I start with a theme, and then think of where I am going from there and hope it evolves.

    9) In the beginning, I just wrote funny stories. Now I realize that every paragraph does not have to have a joke. However, I usually want to put a comical slant on things.

    10) It is nothing I have learned through blogging - but I think good etiquette is never be unkind and be sensitive to other's feelings when you write. If I blog something about my family, I always get their full approval before publishing.

    11) I love those Wordless Wednesday posts and also the ones on shadow pictures. I guess someone started it and other's followed.

    12) I don't look that far in the future. It is about the here and now.

    13) None really, just to enjoy myself while blogging and stop when I feel that is enough. However, blogging is addictive.

    14) I like to read posts by people with subjects that interest me; posts that introduce me to new worlds and ideas, posts that are light and funny; and most important, posts that come from the heart.

    15) I am not interested in numbers, this is not facebook. However, I always love when I get a new follower and know that if they enjoyed my take on things, they may have a similar blog. I see many people enter contests (ex. A to Z) and their readership always increases. I chose not to do this, as again, I would feel some stress. I have such nice people that follow me now and I love reading their posts. Some of my readers came from one of my followers and then sign on to mine.

    I have been tagged for awards if I write a specific blog. I just did my first one this week, but I have turned other's down. This one was fun because I got to re-read some of my first posts. Usually, though I don't have the time or energy to do these.

    Well teacher, I have now completed my homework. I may have typo here and there, but my fingers and mind sometime get disconnected.

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  2. Too many questions - sorry I can't get to them all. In a nutshell I blog when inspired by something in the garden, something I've read, something that I think others will be interested in. I know its a chance to show off things that you have going for you like how your garden is looking or producing but sometimes I feel that's too much bragging so I don't. I got started when daughter started and I thought it would be neat. It's been easier to do on a regular basis now that I'm retired. That's it from me.

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  3. 8. I was required to start a blog for a college class I was taking. I had thought about it before, but just never acted on it. It was fun to have a captive audience of folks whose grade depended on their giving feedback. Obviously, not the real world of blogging.

    9. It has evolved from required responses and assignments to the randomness of me.

    7. I think what is an opportunity and a frustration is that there is so much access to readership but so many voices. It seems almost random that blogs catch on and gain a following. I have a friend who is a literary agent, and one of his clients has a book on the New York Times best seller list. She is a homeschool mom in Canada with insights and a poetic voice, and she just caught on. He has another one that is just about to make the leap to books, as well. But me, I can't even get my family to read, so I hold little hope for the New York Times best seller list. But posthumous works is still a hope. My kids are going to be so rich! (Except that right now because they don't read my blog, I'm planning to cut them out of my will!)

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  4. I am game for this one.
    1.I sit down and fill the screen, then delete and rewrite. Often a photo will remind me of something:)

    2. Ideas yes..blogs written no.

    3.and 4. No

    5. Long Minnesota Winters and time to write what I felt about the world around me..and oh yes my opinions..all for the Grandchildren to read someday.

    6. I have met some wonderful people and visited places that I can only dream about. I learn something everyday by reading blogs.

    7. I did not think I would get so attached to people..in my second year of blogging a good blogging friend died..that was very difficult for me.

    8. Same as you!

    9.Like you photography has become a passion for me since the blog.

    10. I sometimes say exactly what I feel..sometimes I shouldn't.
    11. Some people have Wordless Wednesday..just photos no words..it gives them a day off. When I first started blogging everyone took the weekends off. ( except me) I started Wistful Wednesday..my version of looking back at old photos. I am not good at wordless:)



    12.I would just like to speak and the words would appear spelled correctly and in coherant paragraphs:)

    13. One day at a time.

    14. Honesty..common people..blogs that are written from the heart. Women and Men that have similar interests but may have a slightly different point of view.

    15. I have not worried about it..visit lots of blogs, if you like them leave a comment. They may visit you and be wowed by your Morning Glories:)

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  5. You will get more comments without the word verification..with the spam filter that Blogger has most of the spam will be blocked..if some sneaks through you can just delete it:)

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  6. How do you disable the word verifiation?

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  7. Hey, good to know, Far Side of Fifty. I think I'll try killing off the word verification!

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  8. ANd MG, I will get to those questions. :)

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  9. 1. What is your process?
    Open blog. Look for some pics to post. Go from there!

    2. Do you have a bunch of ideas ahead?
    Nope, but I sometimes take pictures knowing I will post them in my blog later.

    3. Do you have a bunch of completed blogs ahead?
    Nope, only when I'm going away on holiday!

    4. Are there many works in process?
    None right now!

    5. What motivated you to blog first of all?
    I love to write, I love to write letters, and I love to take photos. I figured blogging would be a way for me to do that regularly and share what I have to say with a wider audience.

    6. What are your rewards from blogging?
    Meeting some fascinating people, finding some great blogs, seeing the world in a different way, and feeling like I am sharing something with the world that's positive. And it gives me an excuse to write nearly every day, since I am a writer at heart.

    7. How is blogging different than your perceptions?
    It's not!

    8. How do you start a blog?
    Slap in some photos and then the writing just pours out.

    9. How has your blog evolved?
    Hmmm, well, I feel like I know my audience now. I also share more than I used to about personal stuff. But not too much! It is a public place, after all.

    10. Are there any blog etiquette tips you have learned along the way?
    I think it just pays to be polite and respectful of everyone who might be reading your blog, even if you have differing opinions. That depends on the type of blog you have, though. Mine is pretty person (not political, for example) and I like to be welcoming!

    11. Are there any rights or wrongs in Blogland?
    I think it's wrong to be blatantly rude and disrespectful of others. That said, I do have my rants!

    12. Where do you see blogging in 5 years, 10 years?
    It's a good question. I'm not very good at predicting technological change. But I do know I'll be a writer until the day I die.

    13. What are your long term goals?
    Writing the books that are lined up in my head, waiting to be written.

    14. What features attract you to someone else's blog?
    Sense of humour, photos, great writing (if the writing is really great, I can do without the photos!), people who write with compassion and intelligence, and I have a thing for blogs about animals, farms, bees, and gardens. :)

    15. What ideas have you used to increase readership?
    I think people like it when you respond to their comments. I also like to leave comments on other people's blogs, but I don't do that with the goal of getting readers. If it's a post I really liked, I'll say something, and I find that often leads people back to my blog.

    The hen haiku contest almost DOUBLED my hits. Go figure. An ENglish blogger friend of mine mentioned it on his blog, and wham. I am also getting hints because I share a name with the ENglish dominatrix currently in the news!! Not sure WHAT kind of readership I'm attracting with that.

    Hope you keep blogging!I love your style.

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  10. Thank you to all who took the time to answer my blog questions - I was curious about other people's processes and thought.

    Thanks

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Much appreciated comments from my friends: