10 Tips to Make Blogging Enjoyable. Traps to Avoid.

Sometimes you start to blog, not having blog tips as warnings, you are all excited and you do things to your blog or that involves blogging that ultimately end up being traps that are like quicksand. They drag you down and deplete you of energy as you work to pull yourself out of what has happened.

What you do with your blog is ultimately up to you, because you want your blog to BE you. It represents part of you that you want to put out there.

Today I want to cover 10 things, traps if you will, that will cost you time, cause you weariness, and create misery. Knowing these things ahead of time might be able to save you. As a blogger now, you can maybe head these things off before they get out of hand. Or if you’re neck deep already, perhaps these 10 tips will give you a start on figuring out what has happened to you.10 blogging tips image#1 Sidebar Craziness or Widget Weary

Whichever you want to call it, those sidebars with all those widgets can have side effects you never thought of.

  1. So crowded no one can see what’s there.
  2. So many graphics it slows loading of the blog page down.
  3. Your page looks like an ad for everything, even though you’re not selling anything. Big turn off.

But does that mean sidebar widgets are bad? Of course not.

  1. If you’re advertising something, go for it, like authors want to get their books out there. But some advice to authors: Switch up those images and their order. Maybe even change the side of the screen your sidebar is on. Why? It makes return visitors look around for what might have changed.
  2. The same thing goes for book reviewers or people who have guests on their blogs.
  3. But if your blog is geared toward images, then widgets won’t make a difference.

Remember, graphics on a blog slow it down loading and slow loading may lead a reader to do one of two things.

  1. Leave because they clicked you on impulse.
  2. Leave because they think something is wrong with your page or their browser and then they’re gone.

One thing about your Widgets you may not realize is that many are never even clicked on. I moved my Widgets to my footer areas and I am still working on their order. But my main goal is to make them useful ones. Which ones do I think are most useful?

  1. Most Recent Posts
  2. Most Popular Posts
  3. About.me
  4. Follow me
  5. Search

Those are off the top of my head. Why am I not going to look for other Widgets? Because those are the ones I remember, which says a lot to me, and look for on other blogs. For some blogs the only way I can find their posts is by using their Most Recent Posts Widget.

#2 Image is Everything, or so your Blog says.

Yes, I am still on images. I try to go minimal with images in my post these days unless I’m just having a moment and decide to go crazy. We all do that at times. That’s fine. Images is a sometimes food. Wait, that’s cookies. I warn you, I’m very visual media oriented today. Weird quotes may show up at anytime. Forgive me in advance.

But regardless, keep in mind that many or most of your Widgets are never clicked on. I like the Most Recent Posts and perhaps the Favorite Posts Widgets. Of course you want a Follow Me Widget and a Search one. Notice these are not graphic intensive and are useful.

A tip about Images: Keep in mind how large your image is in reference to how much storage space it uses such as 250 kb or something like that. The larger the file, the more time it takes to load. Sometimes you need to use high definition image. But then there are times you can optimize your image size and still have great definition. Visit 5 Image Things to Know for SEO for more information about this.

#3 The “I want to be cool” blog moment.

We’ve all done it. Okay, so I’ve done it several times. We do these crazy color schemes and then the possible results begin.

  1. People are scared and run away, okay they click away.
  2. People can’t read because of the color scheme. Check out what color blind people can’t see. A tip here. If you have links make sure to underline them and possibly bold them to signify they are links. Most people understand underlined words signify a link is in those words.
  3. The look doesn’t match the content. By this I mean the feel you have created just doesn’t fit.

Your theme style, color and header need to match what you are promoting. Promoting? Yes, you are promoting your posts, as in you. Will my current theme, layout and everything work for what I am promoting? Maybe, maybe not. I experiment. That’s one thing those of us who for some odd reason think we can give blogging tips do, we are the experimenters. I even have a test blog where I play around with themes to see what they look like and can do.

#4 The Following Frenzy

Yes, we follow, follow and follow even more. For some it’s a trick to get followers and for some it’s a reflex in following people in return. What do you end up with?

  1. If you are WordPress then you have a Reader so full you can’t get through everything.
  2. You have so many “friends” you can’t make any FRIENDS.
  3. You get caught up in the needing to get more and more followers as the Following Frenzy engulfs you.

If you’ve fallen into Follower Frenzy spend 10 minutes each day cleaning up that Follow list. (I might actually take my own advice.) Also you can make sure to follow those ones you really do like by subscribing to their email notifications until you do clean up your list.

#5 I’m Gonna Be Better Than That Guy

Competition in blogging is a thing. You may experience it for a brief moment. Once you do believe me when I say that your readers will notice and some might get turned off. There was a time, prior to two years ago when I had a concussion that brought some reality to my world, when I was competitive. It worked for the big job I had way back when, but for life in general, blogging specifically, it just doesn’t work for me.

  1. Most bloggers are not here to, or at least don’t start out to, be some guru or god of blogdom. Sure, we all want to be read and be popular to some extent but in the beginning we all have that little bit of reality, until we begin to see followers happen and the comments and then we see someone else like our blog who is sort of competition.

They aren’t. You just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.

#6 No One Really Likes Me (Insert Frowny Face, Tear.)

We don’t get the views each day, the follows, the likes. We begin to think no one likes us. We visit blogs and we think how much better our posts are than those. We wonder why no one likes us.

  1. You’re new. Be patient.
  2. Veteran blogs sometimes put out content that is perhaps not as well done as their usual content. Why? Time. Goofiness for the day. Lack of inspiration after blogging for so long.

Don’t worry about them. Don’t WORRY about anyone, including yourself. Just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.

#7 But I HAVE to post because my readers will miss me.

Man, this is a tough one, for new and veteran bloggers alike at times. There is this sense of responsibility to our readers. We think they are just waiting for us to post something and if we don’t they may never visit again. Um, do you do that to blogs you follow? Chill dudes and dudettes. I’ve been in the hospital, been sick, had a laptop go down and people still find me, and they still return. Why? I think in part because I’ve built a community that have my blog in common and met through my blog. Did it happen overnight? Nope. It takes time. Patience. What do I do to build a community and keep readers?

Just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.

#8 Size Matters! BIGGER IS BETTER

We discover how to change the font size and we go crazy at first. It’s not a good thing. You should really only use a different sized font for a heading of a section/topic. Think of how I have been using font size in this article. I know sometimes we will use all sizes of fonts, but make that a rarity. Looking at a page full of every size of font imaginable gets eye weary. Also by using your font sizes in a uniform way throughout your articles, you somewhat train your regular readers to know what to expect. And you do need those section headings at time to break up long passages of text.

#9 My Writing Is Amazing and I am an Original and need not worry about standards.

Have you run across those blogs where the entire thing is one paragraph and about 700 words long? Punctuation is by accident? Capitalization happened because of auto-correct somewhere along the way? Do you know how many times I return to those “I am an Original”?

I’m not saying don’t do it that way. If that’s what you are wanting to do and are going for a certain atmosphere, go for it. Some make a success of it. But it takes a certain type of writing to make it work. For most blog readers, they want to click and be able to read and have a pleasant experience without having to figure out what in the world or how in the world they are reading.

#10 I have to write like this because they expect it.

No, I’m not referring to #9. This is about writing about certain topics or in certain styles. There may come a time in your time blogging that you no longer want to blog about whatever it is that got you started. You have two choices.

  1. Start another blog.
  2. Or just start writing what you want to on your current blog.

I’ve written about just about everything here on Ronovan Writes. But then I did choose a good title for the blog to be able to pull that off. I have hits and I have misses and misses and misses. I’m not trying to build a blogdom here.

I simply write what I feel like writing in that moment.

That is the greatest blogging tip you will ever get from anyone. That’s not a brag. That’s telling you like it is. If you write things you don’t care about you are faking it and faking it can be picked up on quickly by blog readers. Some people write about blog tips every day. That’s something they find fascinating. I couldn’t do that and keep it sounding real. Well I might, if I had broken this one down into one per day.

That’s it for me today. 10 things bloggers get trapped into at some point. 10 things to watch out for and avoid. Avoid those traps and you’ll have a pleasant blogging experience for a long time to come.

This article goes somewhat hand in hand with another of my articles I wrote sometime ago called How to Survive the Blog Life. It’s the number one article on my blog.

Much Respect-Much Love

Ronovan

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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5 New Things About RonovanWrites Blog and Why. #Blog #Tips

It’s time to take a look around the blog. I know those of you who regularly visit have noticed the changes, but here is the official unveiling, and shame to those who peeked.

First, why the change?

Everyone needs a fresh start at some point and it was about time. I could get into some marketing and even managerial reasons, and I might as we go, but for now, let’s leave it as I just needed a change. Maybe as I talk about each change I’ll mention the why.

The Header

I have a header finally. What? Ronovan Writes didn’t have a header before? Nope, it was all in the header image. Now I have the image from my Haiku Challenge that I like so much gracing the abode on a grander scale. Well…at least until I get to learning how to be artistic with my new laptop!!! Why did I change? I decided it was time to be less me centric in the look and I wanted a brighter feel to things. My purpose for this blog isn’t such that it requires anything specific. I’m going to have fun.

No sidebars here.

But all the old information is still here to find, just scroll to the bottom and it’s all in the footers now. Did you really think I would do away with talking about myself and advertising ME completely? Shame on you. No sidebars gives a larger feel to the reading area, cleaner appearance, and simply has that inviting look as far as I am concerned. But then again, to each their own.

Blog Tip

One thing to think about if you change locations of your Widgets and that is the  width of any of your Widgets that have images related to them. If they are too wide then they throw everything off. If you don’t see your Widgets when you change, check that width and reduces to a small size for the moment. Then check your main page again.

Only 5 Posts on Main Page

With the Footers added I decided to limit the number of posts appearing on the landing page to 5. This allows for quicker loading time for the blog and isn’t too much to look at. Also, a reader can get to the Footers a bit faster.

I’ll be doing some other changes slowly to move to as professional and peaceful appearance as I can. That’s what I am going for. I want peace. With a dash of explosions and excitement at the same time. Kind of like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot. Hey, I saw what I saw in that movie, you see what you want to see. Agreed? Good.

Want to read my best Blog Tip article lately, How to Hashtag Blog Tweets? Click here to visit my guest post on Hugh’s Views & News where you can also check out some great tips of his own while you’re there.

Much Respect-Much Love

Ronovan

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

A Blogging Tip.

It’s time to take a step back. I notice a lot of people looking at wanting to know how to increase the number of people that follow them on a blog or on Twitter or some other social media outlet. Is that why you first created a blog? Or first chose THAT name for your Twitter Handle? Did you choose @psychochix666 hoping it would attract people to you? Your blog is called myrandomthoughtsaboutstuff. Very enthralling and makes me want to head right on over.

Ronovan Writes is not exactly a “come and meet me” blog title. It’s just what I do. But we all get caught up for a time in the numbers for a moment as people start following us and we see our numbers get close to a certain cool looking number. Then we go nuts.

For a time we begin writing anything we think will draw people in. There is a problem in that. Once you do that you have to keep doing it. Do you really want to write about different ways of using pickles in a dish every Thursday? “Here’s the Dill.” You could call it that. But then you are stuck with it.

At some point this place you created to be you, to share you ends up being a job. You have to do things on certain days. If you don’t do things just right you get people complaining. The place for fun and pouring yourself out has turned into another box/cage to keep you held down and away from the freedom you first felt as you published those first couple of weeks.

It’s not all your fault. You blogging support encourages it with goals and awards. They make out like creating a following is what blogging is about. They make you think blogging is a game of who can get the most followers. To win you must have big numbers.

When you forget why you came here is when you lose. You have fallen in to the trap.

Do you have fun with your blog? Is each post something you want to do? I have a Haiku Challenge I hold each week and I wonder at times if the people really want to do it or if they do it because they have been. That’s a dangerous thing to say because if they are reading this and then decided it is just a habit and not a joy, they will stop.

But I want people to enjoy blogging, even if that means they don’t read my posts or participate in my challenges. Happiness is the purpose of writing. Even if we are writing the most miserable things imaginable we are doing it to get it out of our souls to make room for positive things.

I am well aware there is no time for negativity, misery, or anything like that in life. We are here for a limited time, and there are moments when you come close to that time being up and you realize you should not let anything pull your joy from you.

Sharing you and your honest self will bring people to you—if that’s what you want. I blog with the philosophy of writing what I want to write. My choice of theme for the recent A to Z Blogging Challenge for April is proof of that. I’ve been enjoying it so much even though there are moments of frustration and I will be happy when it is done. I have ideas for it.

I haven’t caved to the numbers game. I’ve written what I like and moved on to the next thing I want to write that I like.

Like what you write. That’s all that truly matters in blogging. Anything else you do is fake.

With all of that being said, for this, my personal blog, with these personal posts, I’m doing away with my traditional “Let’s connect”, ending with my twitter, facebook, and google+ addresses. Those things are elsewhere to find on the blog. I’m here to enjoy.

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

Are you ready for it? Only @RonovanWrites 4 Days

Are you ready for it?

Only here, on RonovanWrites.

4 Days

 

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Sincerity & Integrity in Blogging & Life

sincerity-integrity

This is a rather unusual Thought this week. It rambled in my mind over so many areas that I decided to see how it rambled out in words. This will be about Blogging and about Life. For me the two are mostly the same. What dictates what appears on my blog is also what dictates my life.

The Reason

I don’t know about you, but I receive emails asking for tips on how to build a successful blog. They then go on to define successful by how to increase Followers, Likes, people to Comment on their blogs. Well they normally do it through the comment form on my About page but it shows up in my email.

Success is a term that is defined differently by each person. For some reason people think I  have successful blog. I am not exactly sure why. I don’t know really what measures you would look at for that. And in all honesty, I don’t concern myself with it unless I am doing tips. It’s not something I think about every day. People don’t know my numbers so I suppose they have an impression of what they must be. If you have been following me long enough you will have noticed I don’t do Follower milestones any longer. It’s just not a thing. Perhaps I should do Comment milestones but I don’t think WordPress has those.

The Secret

Anyway, here is something people might find surprising that I have done. I don’t look at my stats any longer. Well, I did once this past Thursday because of a recent hashtag movement I started and wanted to see what happened, but that was more out of curiosity than hope or gauging success because the hashtag part is secondary to what I am doing on Wednesday.

How do I know if I am doing okay with my blog in regards to reader visits? I look at ‘Likes‘ and ‘CommentsIF I have a desire to know. And I notice in the notifications if I have people ‘Following‘.

What does this have to do with a Sunday Thought?

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”~Titus2:7-8

How I write and what I write about I do with honesty, sincerity. I don’t do that intentionally most of the time. I write what I think and see what happens. If I have an opinion I write I will go and check some facts before I move on with it.

Sincerity

I can read a post by someone and tell if it’s sincere or not. Or I suppose I should say I can get a feel of sincerity or not.

How? Well there is something you have to consider, does the post match the personality that’s been displayed? There are some great posts out there but when I read them I can’t quite fall in to the grasp of them because it doesn’t fit with the regular content or the actions, or the comments of the person. There is just something missing.

Integrity

Another part mentioned above is integrity. There are just so many ways you can say something about blogging. It’s difficult to be original, however I don’t steal ideas. I experience the things I put out there and then write about them. In fact I intentionally don’t read the experts blog tips because I want to discover things on my own.

And if you really want to know the truth, those experts aren’t so expert at times. I like to give tips the real bloggers can do, not those with nothing but blogging to do in their lives.

I write novels, so I can’t blog all the time. It seems like I am around a lot but I’m not here as much as people think. Also with my health issues I am actually unconscious for more hours than I care to comment on.

Many people can read tips from me and know who wrote them when they are on another person’s blog. Imitation is not the highest form of flattery when it comes to things like that. At least not so much to me.

The Work

Sure, people notice I can write an article in 10 minutes and put out 20 of them in a day with no problem so they don’t think I work at it, the thoughts behind it.

I think all the time. It has taken time to develop my style and voice in my writing and although I don’t say anything to people that copy me, I still am not a big fan of the blatant copying. You know, if you do something, if you copy an idea, if you even copy phrasing, why not put a footnote in the post giving credit? I’ve done that. (Yeah, remember I was a History teacher that graded reports and gave a zero to a kid for taking a book and writing word for word. And yes, it was 40% of his grade.)

I wrote a poem once that was inspired by two other posts I had read. I gave the two bloggers credit and linked back to their blogs right at the beginning.

The Why

Why do people click Like or Comment on my things and perhaps not the copycat’s? Everyone that visits my blog knows that I put every ounce of heart into every sentence. Even if it might make me look bad or it means the reader doesn’t agree with me, they are fine with it because they KNOW I am for real. That’s the only reason I can think of.

Sincerity and Integrity goes a long way in your life. If you follow those two things it’s difficult to be spoken against. We all mess up, but we all should try to get back to the S&I in our lives.

I’ve messed up over time but I’m good now. I stick to what I am and don’t stray from it, even when people are angry at me for being the who I am now.

Ronovan Writes

 

 

 

 

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