Sunday, February 28, 2010

Older and Wiser


Since yesterday was my birthday and I'm now another year older and wiser, and I've been blogging for just over a year, I thought I would make a list of all the things that I've learned in the year since I've been blogging. Feel free to add any tips or hints in the comments.


1. I really don't like it when I have to type in word verification to leave a comment on a blog.

2. I also don't like it when some blog "formats" (for lack of knowing the real word), make me fill in my name, email and web address to leave a comment.

3. I don't like blogs that are all about giveaways and advertising.

4. It's not essential to blog every day. Your readers will still be around even if it's been a while since you've blogged.

5. Don't write your best content on the weekend. There is very little blog traffic on Saturday and Sunday.

6. I miss my favorite blogs when they don't post for a while. And I'm always so excited when they do post.

7. I really enjoy bloggers who write insightful and thought-provoking posts. That being said, I enjoy the occasional meme or silly post as well.

8. I don't need to comment on every post that I read. I leave a comment when I have something intelligent to add to the "conversation".

9. I wish everyone who left a comment on my blog had their email address attached to their profile. That way I could reply to them directly. I always feel bad when I'm not able to thank a new commenter for visiting or to further the conversation with them. Do you know if you're a "no reply commenter"? Check your dashboard. You may be missing out on some of the fun of blogging.

10. I love the little community of bloggers that I've met on my blog. Some of us run in the same circles and it's fun to see them around the blogosphere.

11. I love the friendships I've found "behind the scenes" with some fellow bloggers. (This is why it's important to have your email attached to your profile. See #8). I've gotten some great advice, support and encouragement behind the scenes and I consider these women to be my friends. You know who you are.

12. I love having the opportunity to express my thoughts here on my blog. So many times throughout the day I'll read something or hear about something and feel as though I have a strong opinion or reaction to it that I'd like to share. And a blog is a perfect platform for that. So thanks for listening and participating.

13. As much as I love SITS and the fact that I've found several great blogs that way and I owe many of my followers to the fact that I was a featured blogger, I wish there was a SITS style blog that featured more "serious" blogs. Bloggers who are all about content. Who make me think about the world in new ways. Who make me sit up and take notice and want to comment and further the discussion. Does this make any sense? Do any of you feel the same way? Do you know of such a blog? Many of you write this type of blog. How have you found other blogs of substance?

Edit:

After reading Stroke of Living's comment I just had to add a couple more items to my list of things I've learned this year. Thanks to her for her insight.

14. Don't get too caught up in Awards. I will admit that when I first starting blogging and I saw all those Awards flying around I was very anxious to receive one. And then I did. And it was so exciting and flattering. And a lot of work. The first few I received required you to answer a bunch of questions and then pass the award on to a certain number of people. YIKES! Choosing who to pass them on to was so difficult. And I would spend up to an hour copying and pasting and linking and stressing. Finally, I went Award Free and I have not looked back. I will admit that sometimes I feel a little sad when I don't get awards, but that it NOT why I started blogging in the first place. Getting comments and feedback on my posts is award enough. And that brings me to my next point:

15. Followers. Don't get all worked about how many followers you have. Trust me on this one. I have 182 followers and I appreciate each and every one of them. But you know what. Only a handful (and I do mean a handful) actually ever comment on my blog. I have no idea how many read my blog, but it's no where near 182. I get around 30 visitors a day to Pam's Perspective. So really, it's not about the followers, it's about the comments. And most of my posts get less than 15 (or maybe even 10) comments. Remember blogging is not a popularity contest. Or at least it isn't for me.

16. One more thing about following. I learned quickly to follow anonymously. The bad part of that is that the blogger's followers count doesn't go up. But the good thing is that if you decide to stop following (for whatever reason), no one's feelings get hurt. Believe me it happens. And it's uncomfortable when someone calls you out on it. And along those lines, don't take it too personally if you lose a follower or two or three. I know that's harder said than done, but remember it's about commenters not followers. Losing a loyal commenter is something to spend time wondering about. A lost follower... not so much.

On another note...

Imagine my surprise this morning when I sat down to read my favorite blogs and found out that I am being featured at A Peek at Karen's World. I nearly fell out of my chair. I love Karen's blog. I found her not too long ago when she was the SITS featured blogger. She and I have a lot in common - our love for Bon Jovi, books, movies, Lost and we share a birthday! Of course, she's still young and I'm starting to feel my age, but that's beside the point. So, thanks Karen, and if you don't already know her, you might want to check her out.

34 comments:

WaistingTime said...

This is a great list and newbies like myself can learn a lot from more experienced bloggers.

I think my blog requires you to put email and a name - sorry. And I have also many times gone to a blog and looked for a way to contact the blogger.

I love the community I have found through blogging (my own blog and reading others). Really, really LOVE it!

injaynesworld said...

I agree with much of your list. Especially the commenting. I use Disqus. Here is the link if you want to check it out. No typing in info, no hideous WV. East to comment and reply. http://disqus.com/overview/

I agree that content is the key and look forward to reading really good writing. My content is sometimes serious and sometimes silly, but even in its sillier posts, like my one on the double-standard of nipple exposure, I do try to provoke thought about the issue. What I love about blogging is that there's something for everyone out there.

Good post, Pam.

injaynesworld said...

What I really hate is making a type in a comment and then pressing submit before I see it. That was meant to be "easy", not "east."

Jayne

Freely Living Life said...

Your list about blogging is right on! :)

I have recently started to blog and have already made so many unique connections through my writings. I just came across the SITS site today which lead me to yours.

I like what I see and I will be back to check in on you!

Best wishes,
Freely Living Life

strokeofliving said...

Pam,

Happy birthday and thank you for introducing us to APIKW. It's nice to read a new non mommy blogger.

1- 13
Word verification blows, for sure.

I agree, to have to work in order to leave a comment makes commenting less fun too.

I'm not a give away blog either but rather than a blanket dislike of blogs that do that. I tend to peek at them to see if they ever offer words of wisdom or new ideas. Give away blogs tend to draw in large amounts of followers. And bloggers love large numbers of followers. That is most likely why awards started to appear. Awards are a popularity contest and again I was passing awards around to friends and popular blogs as well to gain some of their followers. That is cliquey and exclusive. Awards are very sweet and greatly appreciated [I am surprised when I receive one] but I prefer accolades based on my writing and thought process rather than popularity. Not based on the pressure of passing the torch. No disrespect to award creators at all. Do you agree?

I was about to be drawn into that hype as well but I draw followers that actually read my stuff which is more authentic. So now my numbers aren't so important as engaging my followers in conversation. If my thoughts are interesting enough, the readers will come. And they do come slowly but surely.

Advertising blogs seem to want to be the next 40K per month sensation like Dooce or Pioneer Woman. More power...

Why don't you begin a 'thought provoking' SITS type of blog yourself. It'll be quite the undertaking but at least it'll involve the community you and many of us seek. It's a great idea that will draw all types of people 'serious' and otherwise.

I'll add another thing. I love to read daddy and most types of writings by males bloggers. Their voices are unique and rare.
It's also pretty interesting to go through the reading lists of your favorite bloggers to see what they read.

Jo said...

Hi, Pam. I couldn't agree with you more about the giveaway/advertising blogs as well as SITS. I find they mostly seem to honor the 'Mommy Blogs' out there (not that I don't support the Mommy bloggers need for an outlet, I just wish other bloggers who write a different kind of content would be as frequently recognized) whereas I find many of us have just as much to share.

I try to break it up on my blog (recently I've been posting, for example, some classic movie reviews for the Academy Awards countdown) but primarily I post about our bankruptcy proceedings and my recent need for therapy after a depression and anxiety diagnosis; I think there are many bloggers out there who could relate -- I attempt to include some humor and lightheartedness.

I appreciate that someone else acknowledges the need for some perspective.

I'm thrilled you have had such a mostly positive experience in blogging and have found such connections.

I wish you further success and happiness in the 'blogverse'.

Happy belated birthday.

Peace and serenity,
~Jo
"The End Of The Rainbow: Life After Bankruptcy'

Sandy said...

You know I am in total agreement with you on all points; we've talked about them over the last year. When you find that 'tribe' please let me know, I want to be a charter member.

And once again I wish you a Happy Birthday.

nan said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Pam! Good list. I am on year 4 of blogging - and I actually follow people through Bloglines (so I never show up as a follower, but in fact I read about 50 blogs . . . and bloglines shows me when each has new content.) My blog is "unlisted," so I know that whomever finds me has done so through common interests in the blogger profile or by following a comment (crumb) thread I've left somewhere. I actually like it that way, and find that the six degrees of separation is SO true in the blog network. Keep up the good blogging!

Sue Jackson said...

Happy Birthday, Pam, and Happy Blogiversary! I didn't realize you just started blogging a year ago - your blog is always enjoyable and insightful!

I don't like doing word verification either (I sometimes have to try twice!), but it's a necessary evil. When I remove it from my blogs, I end up with lots of spam comments (including dozens written in Chinese!)

I'm with you on just about everything you said, especially about giveaways and awards.

Keep up the good work, Pam - your blog is one of my favorites!

Sue

Janie B said...

Happy Birthday, Pam! Also, happy blogaversary! My blogaversary was Friday. I love your list and feel the exact same way about most of them. I get tired of the giveaways and the word verification, too. I love having a bunch of followers, but I feel obligated to follow them back (even if I don't want to sometimes), and I love getting awards, but I don't keep them going anymore...too much work.

Mary K Brennan said...

Great post Pam. I began blogging a little over a year ago as well. I was so excited at first. I got caught up in the award thing as well. And before I knew it, I just couldn't keep up. I didn't even have that many readers...I just had life. Finally, I decided to relax, and stop trying to keep up with something that had no end. I love blogging now. I don't write everyday. Sometimes only once a week. But I enjoy every minute.

Karen said...

Pam, this is such a great post! I hope you had a fabulous birthday and I can't wait to hear all about it!

And you really deserved to be featured. Your blog is awesome and I always look forward to new posts from you. Thanks so much for the kind words you wrote.

(And thank you for reminding me that I'm young. I'm surrounded by twenty-somethings and sometimes I feel like I'm getting old, even though I really know I'm not.)

Debbie in Nashville said...

Happy Birthday Pam!

Great list. Yes, I hate typing those stupid words, but it is even worse when I misspell the crazy word and have to do another one!

I am still pretty new to blogging (less than an year) and I have learned so much.

Gail Foelsch said...

Hi Pam! Happy Birthday again. As a non-blogger (is that even a word?) I follow and read very few blogs (3 or 4 only) but I wanted to let you know that yours is the first one I read every evening when I sit down to go through my list. I love being able to connect with you again -- even if I don't reciprocate!

Gail

P.S. When I do comment here I do it with just my name and I usually have to do it twice in order for it to be accepted.

Mommakin said...

There is an awful lot of silliness out here in the blogosphere, isn't there?

I agree with your list completely (and am currently in the process - literally, right now) of paring down my reading list. I'm not being as brutal as I'd hoped, but I'm at least doing something. I miss the blogs I like to read, but when I open my reader and it says 1000+, I say, 'screw it'. I just can't weed through it for the good stuff. So I'm TRYING to just leave the good stuff on there. It's hard.

JoeyRes said...

SITS drives me crazy when "SITStas" only comment is "stopping by from SITS". I do like to find people that will actually read my blog, not just go through some harried lunch-time blog commenting copy/paste session.

I came by through Karen's blog and I hope you had a wonderful birthday too!

Tiffany said...

Hi! Stopping over from SITS.

I love your list, I too hate the verfication random letters/numbers, but my blog is also one of those who requires name/email to comment, sorry about that one. ;)

When I first started blogging I also got worked up over awards. Now? You are right, too much work!!

bluewhitelife said...

this list describes my thoughts almost to a T! good job! :)

Jennee said...

great post and list! I always have to remind myself that I chose to blog for me and not for the followers, comments and popularity. Sometimes I get caught up in the jealousy of people having cooler blogs than me. I keep trying to get featured for SITS, but it's true, they always pick the moms...and I'm not one! Hope you had a great birthday!

Marie said...

What a great post. You have such a balanced and mature approach to blogging- I wish I were like you! LOL and I hate capcha fills-in too!

Dalia (Generation X Mom) said...

This is a great post. I agree on everything. Glad you put it in writing. These are all the things I have been thinking about since starting blogging. Well, I will admit I have one of those crazy word verification things on my blog, sorry. So agree about the giveaways...love when I find real blogs. And, so agree that it is not a popularity contest, although sometimes it can really feel that way. Really, like you said how many of those followers really read, a handful. I haven't really grasped the idea of follow me-follow you type of things for this reason. I prefer true readers and for true readers you really need to be writing good content and the content has to be something that individual person wants to read. Everyone is different with different likes and different interests. Great post!

arlee bird said...

Happy birthday and all that!

I agree with just about everything here and just came from your stepmom's blog where I agreed with her too.

One thing though is #5 -- I post my best stuff everyday! Seriously, I have something kind of different everyday and I try to make it all good if I can.

On Sundays I post a Bible study that basically coincides with a study that I lead at the church where I attend and I use the notes from my blog post for that.

On Saturdays, I recap what has been in the previous week's posts in case anybody missed anything and might what to go back to check on what sounds interesting. Then I preview the week to come which also provides me with a guide to remind me what I'm supposed to post about. And then if anybody has given me an "award" I put it on the Saturday post. The awards are a little bit of a hassle but it does give me an opportunity to recognize those loyal to my site and other sites that deserve some recognition and added readership.

Good luck to another year of blogging ahead.
Lee

Christine said...

Happy birthday to you! I wish you much joy in the upcomin year. Thanks for this helpful post. I think when you are first starting out several of the things you mentioned help people gain traffic (awards, SITS) and then as your blog evolves and you create relationships you find you need them less. I'm constantly reminding myself why I blog and try to stay true to it's purpose. I appreciate your tips and suggestions, some great points to keep in mind.

I wonder about the word verification. If you don't use it does spam go up?

blueviolet said...

I too have made incredible friends through blogging, many of whom have crossed over to real life. That's the joy in blogging for me!

Michelle said...

What a great post! I especially like 1 and 3. Or dislike...whatever, you know what I mean.

Hey, I see you have the same Asian friend here..too bad I dont speak or read that language...I'm sure he's trying to sell some "aid" that I desperately need.

Did you know you can do comment moderation on JUST the old posts? FYI. I hate comment moderation.

Star Forbis said...

Happy Birthday! Hope it was a great day.

Great list. I agree with all of them except the E-mail thing. If I comment on someone's Blog, I would love the favor returned with a comment on my Blog, not just a generic E-mail. (Which, by the way, you did when I first commented on your Blog! Thank you.:)

Gamma Sharon said...

Oh... Happy Happy Birthday to YOU!
I love this post! And, oh how I hate those word verifications and the fill in formats as well!
Hope you had a great Birthday... and btw, I am going back to work, I really need to get my time managed or manage my time! Lol

Anita said...

Hi Pam, I could c&p this and they would be thoughts exactly. Well except that I didn't learn things at the same pace you did...ha ha.
I hate word verification, and those fill in boxes, and shoot SITS even has one now.
SITS has led me to many blogs and some I've stayed with and some I've read and left along the way. I do know of a blog you may enjoy, I'll email you. If only we had a more substantial SITS type system. I feel my blog is a mixed bag......but I guess it's like my life.
I have adjusted to a short list of followers, but a good group of commenters. I'd almost rather everyone didn't post every single day, as I don't have enough time....LOL!
Lovely post, and look at all the attention you've received.

Bethany said...

I agree with ALL of these points! I actually stopped doing SITS.. it just got to be too much. I still enjoying some blogs I found through it though! :)

deiala said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. What you're writing about blogging is so true. I'm quite new (only started in September last year), but I've also experienced some of the things you said above...
I'm also doing SITS, but not regularly. I've found some lovely blogs, but sometimes it's a bit too much...
I've never thought about thanking people by Email, if they leave a comment. I usually visit there blog (if they have one) and leave a comment myself or I just answer directly in the post...
I'll leave you a link to my blog, so you can stop by and take a look if you like what you're reading...

Have a great weekend...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thanks for posting this to BPOTW -- I agree with much of what your said and found some things here to learn more about.

BTW, I blog on Typepad and it's very difficult for me to comment on your site, the way you have the comment form set up. I have to go through a bunch of extra steps. (It's a compliment to your blog that it was worth it to do so, but I'd love it if you used the other format that some other BlogSpot bloggers use!

FranticMommy said...

Great post! My peeve is when i comment on a blog and unknowing forget to check the "follow these comments" and end up with a bazillion emails that are comments from unknown people. Drives me nuts.
I just figured out how to put a email subscriber button on my blog! I feel all growd up! Thanks for always being my "bloggy buddy"

Esther said...

Happy birthday and happy blogoversary!

Like everyone else has said, this is a great post covering the essentials of blogging.

I've cut down a bit on my posts just because of time - I tend to include a lot of links which is time consuming. Also, a lot of my theatre blogging friends have been doing more tweeting than blogging just because it's quicker and easier.

But I think the key is, just find something you're passionate about, write in your own voice, make it conversational, which you do.

And like you, I've made some wonderful friendships through my blog. So I'll always be grateful for that.

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