blogging, Community, Motivational

Blog Conversations

Are all Bloggers would-be storywriters, in disguise?

Disguise

I had to think a little more about why bloggers are attracted to write in the first place?

Is it because we have a desire to express ourselves and communicate to others, using the written word?

Blogging is like a Facebook post on caffeine!

Writing Your Own Story

I believe the stories we, as bloggers, write are to entertain or inform. Whether that is a work of non-fiction or a completely fictitious story, it can be entertaining for the reader.

Mostly, for the reason that people ARE interested in the details of other peoples’ lives and happenings. If you are in doubt, just look at how many Reality TV shows are on TV.

It can be a levelling experience for us to be watching or engaging with others. In doing so, we also learn about ourselves, as well as the journey through life.

Attracting More Blog Followers

Sandy and I have been discussing the art of blogging and the purpose of maintaining a blog after WordPress kindly reminded me I had begun this gig, ten years ago! This revelation was, for me, a little embarrassing when I looked at some bloggers who had acquired massive followings, in that same period of time. [And I say this trying hard to not focus on that number that pops up in my sidebar or notification lists.]

I do not blog to gain more followers, but I have to be honest: I do look at that number for feedback. I question myself: Am I writing something of interest to another person? Was my post boring? Is anyone listening to what I am saying? Did I communicate that well?

Blogging Feedback

In our Conversation, Sandy mentioned:

I worried too that my blog wasn’t focused enough, that I hadn’t found my niche. The thing is, I don’t know my niche.

Sandy from Thesandychronicles.blog

From the comments on these posts, it seems many of us, including me, might have this niggling doubt that our blogs. We worry our writing is not focused enough to gain interest, that is, unless we are a committed food/photographic or travel blogger, who posts solely on the one chosen topic.

Then I thought about the fact that we DO have people visiting and taking the time to post a comment, so that seems to prove otherwise. Thus, I’d like to challenge this almost subliminal notion many of us have, that our blog should be more defined.

Does it really matter if our blog is diversified in its topics?

I have some followers that enjoy my Sunday quotes, others who only like and comment on the photographic challenges and still others who will presumably only read the art, or lifestyle, posts.

With just a single focus for blogging, I would miss out on, “chatting” to this wide spectrum of readers via their own blogs and the comments they make.

Each and every one of my readers bring, with them, their own individual opinions and thoughts, which results in a wonderfully rich tapestry of backgrounds and perspectives that can only be beneficial for me, as a writer.

The number and content of comments on our posts, are perhaps the real litmus test for any Blogger. Growing a dedicated Blogger community will never happen overnight. In the meantime, we can continue to hone our craft and have a lot of fun in the process.

What is it that attracts you to a certain blog?

Join the Conversation with Sandy and Amanda

This post is a part of a new series of CONVERSATIONS between Sandy and myself. Over the next little while, we’ll talk about a topic, compare notes, share Q&A and invite you to join in.

Do you have any topics to suggest for our Blogging Conversations?

Pingback to join in and write a conversation post.

Still in disguise
Australia, blogging

Maintaining a Blog

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

WordPress recently told me it was my Blogging Anniversary. Really? What of it?

It has been almost ten years since I first created Something to Ponder About, after trying for a few miserable months with the Blogger platform. I never really got how you connected with other people on that platform, so quickly moved to WordPress, as a penfriend in Norway recommended it.

Purpose of Blogging

I really had to think about whether I should celebrate this Anniversary, or commiserate that I haven’t done better over the years? Some Bloggers have used their blogs as a venue to receive all kinds of free gimmicks, products and even discounts on holidays. What have I been doing?

Contemplating my navel in a semi-public way?

Don’t be misled into thinking I have been writing solidly for ten years. I have taken many a blogging break, here and there, when I have been on extended vacations and for the first three to four years, my frequency of posting was ‘hit and miss.’ That is, it wasn’t really conducive to comment conversations, or consistent readers.

In all honesty, I wasn’t a serious Blogger early on; merely posting interesting information to do with nutrition or D.I.Y. Craft that I might reference later, or using my blog to document my travels to, what I thought, were special parts of the world.

But then, something happened.

I began to connect with people worldwide. I started using my words in a way that was more constructive, ostensibly I wished to share information that might help others. The Blogger community responded with kindness and open arms, enveloping me on a truly wondrous journey that I am happy to say, continues to this day.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Connecting with Other Bloggers

Many of the early Bloggers I connected with have now left the blogging world. A few remain, including Leya, Tina and Cyranny. In the early days, Christian Mihai ‘liked‘ every one of my published posts, but never ever did he post a comment. He is a huge Blogger now.

Strangely, I noticed I have only recently connected with fellow Aussie bloggers, but rather most of my readers were in locations around the world. That may be a comment on where my interest is directed, perhaps? I am not sure.

blogger friends
Way back in 2010

Ineke, in New Zealand, but from South Africa, has been a blogger friend and reader of mine from the start. She was the first Blogger I chatted with and the first Blogger I met, in person. When we met up in her home town, it was like we were already old friends.

It seemed easier to communicate with her over the blogosphere, as we were in a closer time zone, generally speaking. She was always, always supportive and assisted me in various Blogging challenges and joint projects in the blogging community. I thank her for her friendship and hope we will meet up again someday.

WordPress Challenges

Living as I do in this far-flung corner of the earth, the long delay in sending and receiving comment replies on blog posts does hamper the flow of conversation, at times. Thus, it was highly unlikely that I would sync with Snow, in Finland – yet something clicked between us. After a time, I discovered she had a similar childhood to me, growing up in Australia! We could share memories and she seemed to understand my typically Aussie ways.

Together, Snow and I launched the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge, which I now run with the extremely resourceful Sandy, in Canada. I love the Global connections blogging affords from all corners of the world!it is a truly multicultural phenomenon.

A pivotal moment in keeping my Blog active was starting the now-defunct ‘Monday Mystery Photo Challenge,’ which ran for close to three years. I had a lot of fun interactions and learnt lots about blogging, in general. Photography was definitely a major way I found and connected with other like-minded folk.

Motivation to Keep Blogging

A key to maintaining my motivation for blogging is to write about things I am passionate about.

If you really are passionate about something, your writing comes alive and your Blog will be interesting for others to read.

I like to use humour or satire in my posts, although I cannot claim to be any good at that. Keeping posts topical to some extent, seems to me, to be a way of starting and maintaining a conversation with readers.

An early criticism I received from another Blogger was that my Blog lacked focus. The comment was that I had, “a lot going on,” at StPA. Back then, travelling was something I posted frequently about, but I also wrote about craft painting, nutrition, mental health, traditional sayings, quotes and cooking. Given the current global situation for Travel Bloggers, I am very grateful my Blog was diversified in its focus.

Something to Ponder about. Blog about Arts, crafts, Cooking Travel and Photography
Denmark

So, somewhat embarrassingly, I am still here, ten years later, at Something to Ponder About, prattling away to anyone who will listen. Blogging still provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. As more Bloggers fall away or take an extended break due to Covid or Blogger fatigue, new Bloggers begin their journeys with WordPress, filling that void. That bodes well for WordPress and for Bloggers, in general.

I hope to still be around in another ten years, but who knows? What will WordPress and the world itself, be like then?

Start a Conversation

What about your Blogging journey?

How did you start Blogging?

Have you ever considered giving up, and if not, why did you perservere?

reflection
Community

Is Your Blog Your Story?

Whether you are new to blogging or have been writing for some time, blogging is, or can become, a personal branding story, a legacy of self. What does you blog say about you and the personal brand behind the blog? These six questions helped me unpack the purpose behind my blogging journey.

Mt Pilatus
Yay for blogging!

Why write A Blog?

Q: ” The best posts and stories make the audience’s benefit amazingly clear. What is the real benefit of your writing?”

A: I read to learn or gain knowledge, and I write to share information, for education or entertainment. I also write to document things that are important to myself and hopefully others. It makes me happy to write and I feel compelled to put words down on paper or in blog format.

Conveying Relevance

Q: How does your story fit into the world? Is your blog helpful to someone?

A: Is my writing relevant to others? I don’t know but I hope my words are useful or entertaining, in some way. I write with the objective to share knowledge and to further my own self-inquiry. Perhaps writing stems from an inner urge to find meaning with external matters. The spinoff for me, is the surprising development of a nurturing and positive blogging community.

My story – take a seat and join me.

Structured posts

Q: Do your blog posts walk readers through a learning curve of information and share how issues discussed might impact them?

A: That very much depends on the topic of the post. This sort of blog posting is more suited to a tutorial style, and I tend to speak generally about potential impacts in posts. I gain a lot of inspiration for topics from the blog community.

As blogger Marlene from InSearchotItAll posted: “A negative mind will never give you a positive life.” How could a positive life spring from a negative mind? I like to think positivity is infectious.

Positivity is infectious

Emotional connections

Q: Beyond education, the best stories forge a bond between the story-teller and her audience. Whether through vulnerability, candor or shared experience, stories where the audience walks away with heightened emotional intimacy are the stories that win. How do you foster an emotional connection with your readers?

A: I do hope the tone of my posts is personal and conversational but I am no story teller. Writing a blog post is like confiding in a dear friend, but a friend that lives far from my location. By being honest, thoughtful and thinking hard about situations we might all find ourselves in, I’d hope I relate to and connect with those who read and comment on my posts.

Tin Can Bay
I would hope I promote an emotional connection with those who read and comment on my posts.

Past or Future?

Q: Is your blog about the past or where you are headed? Does your writing examine the past whilst reflecting the future, in terms of dreams, hopes and the future?

A: Both. There is so much we can learn from the past it would be stupid to focus solely on the future. In particular, I enjoy discussing traditional proverbs that have sageful advice anyone can use. no matter their stage, or walk, of life.

Differentiate You

Where am I
Where are you headed?

Q: What makes your blog stand out from others?

A: I think that is a question for the readers of my blog. I could not be objective at all in answering this, and thus I’ll politefully decline.


How would you answer these six questions?

You are welcome to re-post with your own answers, but are under no obligation to do so.

Here are just a few blogs, (in no particular order), who’ve been inspirational to me, in my blogging journey. Thank you WordPress community!

Yvette from Priorhouse Blog

Pooja from Stories from Europe

Moon from ACacophonous life

Manja from ManjaMexi

Snow from TheSnowMeltsSomewhere

Donna from Retirement Reflections

Lorelle from A Mindful Traveller

Ineke from Scrapydo2

Sabine from InCahootswithMuddyBoots

Chris from lifeofrileyow

Ally from Thespectacledbean

Mydustyflipflops.com

Ju – Lyn from AllThings Bright and Beautiful

Anne C – from To See the World in A Grain of Sand

Mabel Kwong

Climate Change Australia

logo
Australia, Community

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

We all love to take photos of sunsets and sunrises, and even better the chance to share them. I feel sure that you have loads of photos to contribute to this Daily post from WordPress

 

Tin Can Bay

That was some morning there at Tin Can Bay, watching the gorgeous sunrise! I often ponder about it.

 

Related Blog Posts:

http://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/

politonomicsandtravel.

perceptivepotcluelesskettle.

Morning Glory  has incredible sunrise photos all the time, but the latest one blows my mind!