blogging for beginners

Real Neat Blog Award

7 questions for the nominees to answer:

I have been in a bit of a slump over the last week or so, health, blogging, writing blah blah…. Something nice happened today though.

The blog has been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by Carol from ‘Time for my Thoughts..’. I really enjoy reading the musing and inspiring quotes that frequent Carol’s blog. If you haven’t already done so, please go check it out.

Thanks for the nomination. It is really nice to know that some of you out there are enjoying my daily dribble. The award has come at the right time for me, i’m back!! 🙂

So, onto the award post:

Real Neat Blog Award Rules:

1. Put the Award Logo in your post (done)

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you (see below)

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs (done)

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs (see below)

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.) (in progress – possibly already done)

My seven questions:

Who is your favorite author and why?
Good question, there are so many. But, given the upcoming Australia Day Weekend, i will show a little patriotism. John Marsden. I loved reading the ‘Tomorrow When the War Began‘ series as a teenager. Have revisited it again as an adult, still just as good as i remember it. For those interested in postapocalyptic / invasion type stories it is well worth a look. They also made an Aussie film for the first book which was awesome, and true to the tale. Sadly, they will not be making the others. Marsden is more of a children / teen author, but has also recently released an adult book, ‘South of Darkness‘, which i am yet to sink my teeth into.

If you could travel through time (forward or back), when/where would you like to arrive?
Can i pick both…? Guess not, keeping true to the question i will say i’d love to travel forward in time. Although, i couldn’t say when. I would like to see when / how we make first contact with an intelligent extraterrestrial race. What an amazing time that will be to be alive. If that never eventuated, then still forward in time, to when we are exploring the outer reaches of our galaxy, perhaps others. Probably the dreamer in me, i have always been fascinated with the universe ever since i was young.

Why did you decide to start blogging?
Still not 100% sure why. It has something to do with my bad run of life over the last few years. But also because i feel like i have something to say. I am typically a little introverted, so i figured blogging would be a good way to get out what i need to in a public forum. To be honest, i SHOULD have started blogging years ago. I am finding the experience very rewarding.

Who/what were the biggest influences on your life choices?
Damn, hard question, i have many, and i am still young(ish). Here is a few, perhaps i will post about this one day.
– Living in a village in Western Samoa when i was 17, no money, no electricity, no running water. People had nothing, but were still willing to help me. Beautiful people, beautiful country, changed the way i view the world.
– My home. I was lucky enough to grow up on the south coast of NSW, Australia. This shaped my love for nature, my love for the ocean, and my taste for adventure. Not sure who i would be without it.
– Watching a dear friend and colleague get eaten by a crocodile. Yep, that happened, i have never been the same again.
I have many more, like i said. Expect this to be a post in it’s own right. (Thanks for the inspiration Carol!)

If you could change something in your own past, would you?
I don’t believe in changing anything. Sure, there are moments i wished never happened. However, those moments are what shapes you as a human, taking them away would be taking away a piece of yourself. In my opinion anyway. 🙂

What is your favorite season, and why?
Winter. Funny that, i lived in the tropics for 4 years, no winter…. I love it though, love the snow, love the crisp cold air in the mornings. Love the nice smell in the house when the fireplace is burning. I love the silence of the world when it’s snowing, for those that have experienced it, you know what i mean.

If you could have one superhuman/superhero ability, what would you choose?
I’d be Spiderman. Because with great power comes great responsibility. 😛

Seven Questions for my nominee’s to answer

If you could be a sound, what would it be?
What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you?
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
If you could invite any three people (living or dead) to dinner, who and why?
What is your ideal sandwich, and why?
What is true about you today that would make 10 year old you cry?
What do you get out of blogging, why do you continue to blog?

My Nominee’s

If you get a chance, please check out the blogs i have nominated. They are all awesome reads in their own right. I have kept the list pretty short, as i have noticed some i would have nominated had already been. So, i am sharing the love around.

HypeDad
FunkyDaddy
A Girl Named Wanda
Ah Dad….
Humyn

For the nominee’s: Feel free to disregard the award if you like. It does take a bit of work to get through. Either way, thanks for blogging and sharing with all of us. This is our way of saying thanks. 🙂

Have I hit the Blogging Wall?

May be the codeine, might just be the time of the year. Could be my general shitty mood as of late. Could be the fact that i subconsciously feel a little apprehensive. For some unknown reason my Samoyed post went somewhat viral. Too many people……

For the first time since the blogs inception, i have hit a writing wall. I have more than a few topics i want to cover right now, but i can’t bring myself to write about them.

I am new to blogging. But, i have learnt that trolling online for help likely wont get me any answers. So i am asking you guys.

Have you got to a point with your blog where you just can’t write? Writer’s block, or something to the effect?

Do you have a process to get back into tune?

Please share your thoughts and experiences, i would appreciate the help. Perhaps others in a similar slump will also benefit. 🙂

Two months of Blogging – Four more things I am STILL learning

Today is my last day of work for the year. I will be taking two weeks off from the world to spend time with my family, my dog, and to drink beer and watch the cricket. I will also be taking two weeks off blogging. In light of that, i am going to share more of what i have learnt about blogging with you. For those of you who have read my last post, One month of blogging – Five things i have learned so far, you will know I am certainly no expert. So i advise that you take these new  tips with a grain of salt. 🙂

1. Longevity in a Post vs Posts that will get traffic
I know, it is kind of funny that i would be writing about ‘longevity’ given that the blog is now only two months old. However, i have noticed some trends on my blog that i think are worth sharing. Getting your voice out there is our goal right? And i have now come to realise there is a fine line between getting traffic to your blog, and keeping readers. Interestingly enough, i have seen a trend with some of my posts that reflects this. Posts like, LITERALLY, I CANT (BELIEVE IT’S NOT BUTTER) – REDFOO, AND THE DOWNFALL OF MODERN ‘MUSIC’ , seemed to shoot me up in views almost instantly, but given the subject matter, have not stuck around. Where as posts like ,Insulted by a Toddler, and Toddler Potty Inception, have been consistently viewed and commented on. My new theory is there needs to be a balance with posting. I think there is value in posting things you think will get some readers in short-term, but it is perhaps more important to have some other posts, that although they will not boost your views over night, they will continue to serve you well. I think…?

2. Power of Menu’s
I know, i am a bit of a derp, but i only recently discovered how to use menu’s. I was finding that my views/visitors were almost one and the same over my first month. My assumption was that my blog was difficult to navigate. So i tried this menu business. I have seen my views/visitors stats change dramatically as a result. Helping your readers to find other similar posts they like is the key. For my example, i am now using only 4 or 5 categories and using those categories as menu items to split up the blog. Appears to be working, i think it is well worth a look if you have not done so already.

3. SEO v2.0
So, on my last post, i said i had been reading ALOT about SEO. To be honest, i still have no idea, but i have learnt a little more. I will break down a few things into sections below:

i) In addition to my get Menu revelation of 2014, i also discovered the power of links. I read somewhere (forget where now), that search engines like links, between posts on your blog etc, and external resources. The idea is that a viewer wont return to the search engine from your blog, but to another place on the interwebs. So, i have been linking to relevant things where possible.
ii) Register your site with Google Analytics. Still unsure why, but it appears to be helping me. You can also target a country from in there if you like.
iii) The sitemap. I was unaware, but WordPress actually creates a sitemap for you. This is something you can register with Google Analytics, which somehow (don’t ask me 🙂 ) helps with indexing your blog. For those who don’t know where or how to find their site map, it is pretty simple. The address to YOUR sitemap will be http://yourblog.wordpress.com/sitemap.xml.
iv) Robots.txt… This is some odd-looking HTML thing i also know little to nothing about. But every site has one, and Google likes it. There are some pretty good templates robot.txt files out there online if you don’t know HTML, like me. Here is a link to my one if you want to have a look.

So, i have learned a little more, and i keep reading more. So i will let you know. But, as an example, with those things above, i have exponentially increased my blogs traffic from search engines. In the first month i think i had about 5 hits, This month to date it is much higher.

4. Keep Having Fun
I said it last time, and the message still stands. Have fun! I have found my experience so far so rewarding and i hope you all do too. I have received some really lovely, confidence boosting feedback from several bloggers, thank you so much! So, have fun, enjoy blogging, and spread the love around yo! 🙂

See you next year all! 🙂

Merry Xmas etc etc

One month of blogging – Five things i have learned so far

So i started my blogging journey a month ago now. So i thought i would recap on where i started and what i have learned to date. Maybe this will assist some of you out there who are just starting out like me. In the first few days i read alot of things online about tips for starting out, some good, some really not applicable to me. I wasted time thinking about things i don’t really need to, just yet. This might save you some time. 🙂

I am not sure what a ‘successful’ blog is meant to look like at this point, but i am pretty proud of myself. A month ago i had an idea, and month on i have this blog. I have been lucky enough to now have 33 followers and i am averaging about 40 views a day. Thank yo to everyone who has been following and reading so far! (to be honest i expected 0 from what i had read online…. 🙂 )

I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it is better than a month ago! 😛 Let me know how you are going with your new blog, also feel free to link it in the comments. 🙂

1. Quality over quantity
I read somewhere online that posting regularly is important. So when i started i was trying to post something every day. While i agree that it is important to post often, i am finding that posting something of value less often is far better than throwing something up just because you have not posted anything that day. The goal is for your message to get out there right? Personally, i stopped setting a daily or weekly goal for posting in my first week. I now just try to post something when it comes to mind.

2. Tags, SEO etc
I read ALOT about SEO during my first days. I also tried to adopt a little of it to try and get some traffic to my blog. So far i have little success with this one. I found i have spent too much time worrying about it, and now put that to one side. I figure if i am creating something of value, people will find it. Probably not the fastest way to go about getting readers and traffic, but slow and steady seems to be working ok for now.

3. Read other blogs like yours and comment when you like something!
Seems like a no brainer, but i cant stress this enough. I have met some awesome people through this activity already, also found some really cool ideas and thoughts on things. Spend some time on this, well worth it! 🙂

4. What is your message?
To be perfectly honest, i still don’t really have one. Reading online about this in the beginning got a little overwelming. I kept thinking to myself, ‘shit, i need to have a theme, or a message for my readers’…. i stewed on it for a while, and i have still come up empty. For now, i have forgotten about this and i am just posting what i feel like, when i feel like it. I have a pretty wide scope of things on this blog already, and i am kind of enjoying the no direction thing. Not suggesting you do this too, but if you are still scratching your head about a theme, then don’t worry about it. My assumption is that this blog will take its own shape eventually as long as i give it time. Likely i will turn out to be wrong, but who knows. (not me, that is for sure)

5. Have fun
Above all else, have fun with your blog. I know i am. I found it a little daunting at first just throwing my thoughts up here for the world to see, but i am not so worried now. I kind of like it. I was a bit tentative at first, really careful not to offend anyone etc. But, i have found that my more contrversial posts have been the most popular. Makes sense to me, i know i don’t enjoy reading monotone dribble, do you? So my advice is to be daring, if you offend someone so be it. At least that means someone has engaged with what you are saying. That is your goal right?