Imagineer-ing got to 500 likes earlier this week! Really happy about that, and looking forward, now, to getting it up to 1,000…
I’d like to thank everybody who took the time to click the Like button, especially those who actually read what they clicked it on! I regard these milestones as very important indicators of progress. Like most bloggers, I would guess, when you start a new blog, you always wait nervously to see whether you will gain an audience. To gain a good sized audience is an even greater achievement. Every time you hit a milestone, you get the courage to continue. You no longer feel that you’re talking to yourself!
To Blog Or Not To Blog…
When you first venture into the world of the internet, you learn that certain things seem to hold great sway. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are forever being quoted as sources, interconnected and feeding off each other like cannibalistic bacteria. You join Facebook and soon discover that, in the jumble of pictures and outbursts, many folk are repeating their Twitter tweets, or those of others. Then there are those other posts, directing you to other web sites. Some of these just go to ordinary sites, but many more go to blogs. A quick search reveals that “blog” is the shortened form of Weblog, and that a Web log is a kind of journal site, ranging from simple diary types to very professional journalism. Many are also out there to sell. They may be selling anything, from some very dubious products to a the idea of buying services or products from a company.
After you’ve been around a while, and discovered that your hobbies interest others, you begin to consider the idea of a blog. That’s when the first headache hits! There are numerous blog platforms to choose from, and being a novice, you have no idea what to choose. Sensibly, you do a quick survey of the blogs popping up on your Facebook and Twitter feeds. In all likelihood, two platforms will stand tall: BlogSpot/Blogger and WordPress. The first will probably outweigh all the others, so you toddle off and join there. If you’re like me, though, you’ll soon discover the limitations and restriction. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t get a really nice looking blog that suited my wishes. I abandoned blogging because of that experience. Years later, I had WordPress recommended to me. Oh boy! What a difference!
WordPress comes in two flavours: a .com and a .org. The first means you don’t need a web site or domain of your own, but there are rules that must be obeyed and the space is restricted (not that I’ve gotten anywhere near closing on that maximum space allowance), plus certain things are not possible – such as most affiliate selling and full customisation. The second is the framework platform which you can upload to your own site, meaning you’re only limited by whatever your hosts stipulates. Personally, I believe that WordPress, in either form, is the best blog platform available.
Whatever platform you do choose, you have made the decision to write a blog!
The First Blog
You’ve got your platform chosen, and you’ve made it look as good as you can, using the themes that are available. You have replaced any sample pages with your own writings. Now, the big moment comes! You have to write your first blog post. Let’s say that you elect to write about the thing you love, your hobby. Empowered by your feelings for the subject, you write something you’re really proud of, maybe even including some pictures. You’ve finally entered the ranks of the bloggers. You sit back and wait for the eager hordes to flock to your post and hit that Like button… and nothing happens. Not one visitor! You’ve just discovered why bloggers use Facebook and Twitter to advertise their blogs. Without such advertising, no blog would get off the ground. Those who fail to grasp that fact seldom remain bloggers for long. And even with the advertising, it takes time to build a following. You have to be prepared to be patient, to watch visitor numbers go from a flow to a trickle and back again, until you post something that hits a chord with people and you suddenly have a real influx. With some effort, you may even keep these new visitors, and perhaps even see their numbers increase as they start spreading the word about your excellent blogging. And that’s one of the big secrets of blogging – getting others to talk about your posts.
To Blog Readers
I appeal to blog readers, especially commenters: please remember that a real person sits behind every blog! They are human, fallible and unique, capable of great thoughts and subject to human emotion. They have views that are their own and may express them, and you may not agree with them. That doesn’t mean that you should use the anonymity of the internet to attack them or their views! If you have differing views, express them, but in a quiet, reasoned, unabusive way. And even if you wish to express agreement or appreciation, keep your tone at a sensible conversational level. Remember that you are reading the words of a courageous person, who has dared to put themselves out there and attempt to share something that they feel is worthwhile, and perhaps even helpful. That doesn’t make them any less sensitive than you. If you can think of nothing but inflammatory remarks, it is best to leave saying nothing.
A blog is often a very personal thing. It may, deliberately or inadvertently, expose the blogger at a deeply personal level. Blogs can be a rich resource not only for those sharing an interest, but also for students of human nature. I know nobody who doesn’t say something about themselves whenever they write anything. Blogs are wonderful places for amateur, and professional or prospective, psychologists. And here I will reiterate. Don’t abuse the blogger! Remember, if a blogger’s posts are so revealing of the writer, then so can your comments be of you, the visitor.
- Which Platform is Better? Blogger or WordPress (bizsugar.com)