Blogging tips

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Tiny things can trip us up!

Bloggers who write well, and create sites of beauty, may miss simple details.

Below are some examples:

 

(Tag-tastrophies!)

1)  Under-tagging.

It’s sad, finding good posts, neglected, and barely viewed.
Because they were cast, under-tagged, onto the WordPress Reader feed.

2) Over-tagging.

At the opposite extreme: other posts fail after adding too many tags.
Getting classed as spam, and excluded from the Reader.

3) Narrow-tagging.

Picking tags so limited that perhaps nobody follows them, reduces views drastically.
(OK: I invented a word, but hope you understand the idea?)

 

Tag tips:
Choose a minimum of one category (“Uncategorized” is the vacant default state)
and between 5-12 tags, per post.
Yet do not exceed 15 categories and tags, in total.

Devise tags which are liable to be searched for, or popular.
Unusual tags normally gain least traffic.

 

4) Blog-link your Gravatar.

Don’t be hard to find!
An unlinked avatar is like sending cards with no return address.
Your image should give curious people a route to your site.
(I discover much interesting work via new “likes” on my blog.)

 

5) Slabs of text?

Paragraphs and spaces aren’t just for wimps!
Why make it tough on your reader’s eyes?

 

6) Post bloat?

Less is often more.
If you’ve ever skimmed, skipped sections, scrolled toward an end,
or given up partway through a post, you probably know what I mean.

(Which leads me to…)

 

7) Blog-stravaganzas?

These risk overstimulation:
with multiple subjects, digressions, visual effects, GIFs, links, audio/video, etc.
Unappreciative visitors could seek a plainer read, elsewhere.

 

Of course, long-form pieces can also be great!

 

8) Check your spam.

Genuine comments get filed there, occasionally.

 

9) Timing matters!

For attracting new followers: best avoid publishing when they are at work or asleep.
I post Sunday evening, from the UK, because America is 5-8 hours behind us.
(Hence, at midday, here, it would be only 4 a.m. in California.)

 

 

Apologies!

To those familiar with the above points already.
I intended saving a few less-experienced bloggers my own, painful, learning curve.

What blogging tip do you wish you had heard sooner?

Comments are VERY welcome!

(Please feel free to share, if you think this might help others.
My audience is so small, hardly anyone will access the information, here.
In fact, not a single person, who could benefit, might see it.
But, hey, I tried.)

 

Thanks for reading.

 

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 


( art / beauty / blog / blogging / culture / ideas / inspiration / life / opinions / prose / reading / thoughts / writing )

Blogstars!

 

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Oh, to be a blogstar!

Yet that requires an audience.

Which is where
(for me)
the problems start…


 

But I’m taking a festive break, from sad poetry, this week.

To celebrate the role models and supporters, who have enhanced my time on WordPress.

 


 

Role models

 

Blogging guru Cristian Mihai is a great source of advice. ( Though I don’t know how he produces so much high-quality content, while also finding time to eat and sleep!)

 

Poet stars!

First to enchant me with her words was Candice Louisa Daquin at The Feathered Sleep .

Next came

Tosha Michelle at Everything I Never Told You .

Elan Mudrow

River Dixon at The Stories In Between .

Linda R Davis at Bits of Poetry .

Miriam E at Another Wandering Soul .

Devika Mathur at My Valiant Soul .

 


 

Art stars!

Josephine R Unglaub at Lemanshots .

Mike Campbell at bongdoogle doodles .

 


 

Stalwarts!

These are the most vital people of all.

Without their continued support I might have lost heart long ago, and given up blogging.

By liking my work over an extended period, they encouraged me to go on.

 

River dixon, Josephine R Unglaub, and Mike Campbell are already linked, above.

Thus I shall begin the section with:

Wendi at Simply Chronically Ill .

Dawn Autom.

(Those two ladies are my “Comment Queens”.
Their feedback has been very valuable.)

 

Other important stalwarts include:

Gary J Steele at outofwak (artworldwar) .

Pooja Gudka at lifesfinewhine .

Luna at lunaiswriting .

Megan O’Keeffe at Debatably Dateable .

V at MillennialLifeCrisis .

Claudia at Between the lines .

Peter Edwards at Little Fears .

João-Maria at Caliath .

Chris Nicholas at The Renegade press .

Michelle Nguyen at elleguyence .

Caralyn at BeautyBeyondBones .

Larisa at Ebony and Crows .

Yassy at Yaskhan .

Yazzeus at ALYAZYA .

Tetiana Aleksina at Unbolt me .

Word Fandom .

(THANK YOU, ALL!)

 


 

 

I hope readers will discover a new blog to enjoy, on my list.

Lots of writers could be added, but I won’t make this post too large.

 

(If I’ve left you out, please mention yourself in the comment section.
Or cite your own favourites.)

Feedback is always welcome.

 

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! 🎅🏻

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 

Thank you for reading.

 


 

(PS, I shall be spending the 28th Xmas alone in my room, due to chronic illness.
It would be nice hearing from anybody else on WordPress. 🙂)

 


( art / blog / blogger / culture / drawing / illness / life / mental health / poetry / poets / reading / thoughts / writing )

Ballad of a Guardian reader

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I’m a Guardian reader.

Hence you see
can use a Mac

and stay
PC.

 

Consuming
sourced organic food.

To Wimmin
never being rude.

 

(Though wooing ladies
I’ve no gift for.

Some assume I’m a shirtlifter.)

 

 

Oft ready with new
le mot juste.

(My favourite writer’s
Marcel Proust.)

 

At the Right
I effing swear.

About minorities
I care.

 

Why cling to either
faith or leaders?

Get born again
as Guardian readers.

 

We’ll make this world
controlled

yet fair.

 

Look upon us
(any Philistine)

 

and despair!

 

 

 

 

 


 

(2012)

 


 

 

 

Usually, I strive
to avoid confines

of rhyme.

But gave in
(one time)
for a cause.

Evoking purist
moral bliss.

From overwhelming
righteousness.

 

Then

(assisting
virtuous lines)

 

Went a bit
“full poet”

on your asses!

 

 

(Like a bold American

In English classes.)

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

Hi everyone!

Finding the above verses written under an old prose piece,
I felt they were not quite bad enough to discard.

Do any other people think banter, fun,
or having a laugh at one’s own expense
seem rather lacking, in our current political culture?

(And should there be a “British irony” alert, with this post?  🤔)

 

Comments are always VERY welcome!

 

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 


PS, I’m hoping most readers may know The Guardian is a Left leaning UK newspaper?


( art / blog / blogging / culture / humor / life / mental health / news / poetry / politics / reading / thoughts / writing )

Horny toad

konica128520.jpg

 

 

 

“The night had gone OK, until Dave tried getting his knob out.”

“Cringe!”

“Where was this?”
“The Horny Toad.”
“Crap pub.”
“Yeah, he knew somebody in the band, though.”
“When?”
“Friday.”
“Was it The Tampons?”
“Who?”
“They got a fit bass player: she’s proper stacked!”
“No. And I prefer flat-chested.”
“Wuss!”

“Do you wanna hear the story, or what?”

“Alright.”

 

“The group were late…”
“Hey, was it Sword of pork? They just released Wedding tackle.”
“Can’t remember. We mainly scoped the local talent in there.”
“Thought you preferred The Newt & Gherkin for that?”
“Well, he’d told me their singer attracted women like flies round shit.”

“You felt up for some rock chick style poon?”
“Full tattoos and chlamydia, mate!”
“Lol!”

 

“Six pints on board, Dave’s messing about in front of these girls.”
“Are you pretending he isn’t with you, by then?”
“I’m looking the other way, as he gets hit.”
“Bit of handbags?”
“I only saw him fall across a table, hand down trousers.”
“Did they have boyfriends in tow?”
“Thankfully, no.”

“What was he doing?”
“Said one of them asked who Mr Percy is: he offered to show her.”
“Lucky you never had more trouble.”
“Cider drinkers, eh?”

 

“So how big is it?”
“What?”
“His donger. Vlad the Impaler.”
“Don’t know.”
“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Why would I be interested?”

“Because you are gay!”

 

“F**k off!”

 

 

 

 


 

(2010)

 


 

Hi everyone!

Though I have avoided alcohol for 40 years and rarely spend time in bars,
this piece attempted to imitate a type of non-PC banter, once overheard among young men, after several drinks.
For the crudity, I apologise.

Please do not take it seriously.

Most profanity has been edited out; but some retained, for the sake of authenticity.

 

It was also a writing experiment: at using only dialogue, with no added description.
I hope you found it intelligible?

 

Comments are always VERY welcome!  😊

 

 

Visitors may now be relieved to hear I did not produce much prose after 2010, and thus,
shall soon resume blogging my more usual musings, and depressive poetry.

 

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 

Thank you all for reading.

 

 


( art / blog / culture / depression / fiction / fun / humor / life / mental health / music / reading / story / writing )

Disorientation

 

1.

 

 

 

 

 

Why she picked me, I don’t know.

Across the crowded square a woman heads my way.
Then stops.

“Where is hospital?” She demands, abruptly.
Sounding irritated.
Like somebody whose day is being made unnecessarily difficult.

“Just up there,” I point.

“You come with me!”
“Sorry, I have to go in the opposite direction.”

“Where do you live?” she asks.
“Around the corner…”
“In Kingsdown?”
“Yes.”
“We live there.”
“Oh.”
(I wonder why a local would need guiding to the hospital dominating our skyline.)

“What do you do?”
“Er…”

Finding her attitude confusing, I consider whether to attempt explaining my illness, or seek refuge in vagueness.
She immediately changes the subject, again.

“Where is Dighton street?”
“Behind these offices.”
“You show me!”
“Really, you can’t miss it,” I gesture.

“Where is police station?”
“Along that road…”
“Take me to police station!”
“But it’s quite easy to…”

“No!
You come to police station with me!”

 

I’m even less keen on this request, than previous ones.

 

While searching for some polite remedy, I suddenly become aware of a short man, and  young boy, standing next to me: sharing embarrassed smiles.

Turning, the woman begins angrily scolding them.
“What is your problem?!”
She exclaims, as if they are persistent nuisances.

The child’s look seems to say:
“Thank you, but she is a little crazy. We’ll take over now.”

Noticing she appears to have forgotten about me, I move away.
Still hearing her berate the silent males.
“What is your problem?!”
She repeats, loudly.

 

I felt relief mingle with shame.
At my failure to reduce the suffering of others, around me.

The city held so much unhappiness.
Including mine.

Depressed and sick, I viewed myself as useless:
saw my helpfulness as vain.

 

Thus I walked, more sadly, on.

Toward the distant mall.

 

 

 

 


 

(2006)

 


 

Hi everyone!

Hope you are well?

My old prose resisted another transition to poetry, during editing, this week.
Though the writing seemed tempted that way, slightly, at the end.

(Any art on the blog is mine.)

 

Your comments are always VERY welcome! 🙂

Thank you for reading.

 

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / culture / depression / life / mental health / poetry / reading / story / thoughts / writing )

Giving up?

5

 

 

Do you sometimes feel like giving up?

I do.

Almost every week.

Here is my 200th post.
Which finds me, again, unsure, over going on.

 

This blog was started, as it will probably end, in sadness.
From being unwell, and the last of our family line.
Painfully alone.

Realising the flat would simply be cleared
(thus art, poetry, writing, totally destroyed)
after my death,
I decided to commence a cyber memorial.
For lost life, ruined by chronic illness.

 

I did not know enough about blogging to notice the flaw in my idea.

People normally only visit around the day of publication.
Then, until adding new material, views fall away toward zero.
Resulting in that very oblivion I hoped to avoid:
A dead site.
Sinking, forgotten, beneath the vast digital ocean’s surface.

 

Recently, I have another worry: political correctness and censorship.

Since thrown (by poverty plus sickness), into an inner city underclass environment,
my prose reflects lived experience.
Language is often raw.
Subjects include anti-social behaviour, abuse, aggression, bullying, crime, noise nuisance, stupidity and violence.

I’m a victim of all these.
(Eventually driven from three different homes as a consequence.)

 

Now, perceiving such topics contain potential to offend,
when preparing to edit past work involving them most
(while seeing reports of entire sites deleted without warning),
makes me quite anxious concerning how much I should self-censor?

 

As this blog is my sole public voice, I don’t wish to endanger its survival.

Fearing a return of that silent isolation, where the journey began.

 

 

 

 

 

It would be interesting to hear your opinion?

 

 

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 


 

( anxiety / art / blog / culture / depression / life / mental health / photography / poetry / prose / reading / thoughts / writing )

 

Fearsome horizon

Konica128515

Like some echoing internal voice
this urge grips me.

To force my way upward,
conquering fear.

 

Lying in the shallows; that daunting horizon beckons.
Beyond these annoying insects, skittering across surfaces.

 

I’ve seen others, also, drive against the shore.
Though quickly cease, when sensing eyes fixed on them.

 

Destiny calls. And yet I feel
too paltry a means, for any great end.

Just an ordinary specimen of our kind.
My boldness could even cause offence.

As might confessing strange desires
which make their bearer tremble.

 

At least duller species, sharing the depths, notice no tensions.
Bivalves and crustaceans, forage vile morsels, unaware.

(One suspects they’d eagerly spread gossip about us
all around the sea.)

 

Legends claim those lands, before me, were
once overpowered by mother ocean.

 

Previously, I dashed myself on mud or rocks
without success.

But here the sand is soft
while slopes are low.

 

Thus, unsure what lurks behind defiant bounds
to inhabited waters

I make ready
for a new attempt.

 

 

First, short prayers, request good fortune
from a goddess.

(Our lady
of the shining gills.)

 

Then, deciding time’s now ripe.
I’ll use the next large wave.

 

 

My tail is poised.

 

My fins begin
their beat.

 

 

 

 


 

(1979)

 


 

( Hi guys!

This piece imagines an impulse driving ancient aquatic creatures to occupy dry land.
Recast with human-type thoughts.

Not my usual thing: but part of the collected past work I’m gradually blogging on here, to avoid its loss, via illness, age and death.

Certain poetising tendencies crept in, again, during editing.

 

Comments are always very welcome!

Any art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

 

Thank you for reading.)

 


 

( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / culture / drawing / fiction / humor / life / mental health / poetry / thoughts / writing )

This captive mind

scan 9

Lostness    ( 106 )

 

 

Back at the doctor’s waiting room, again.

Below its clock’s slow tick
this captive mind starts
wandering.

 

As
an essay title
pops into my head:
“The control delusion”

(on how little power
we really have).

 

And being straightaway
distracted
by one open magazine
discussing female
tribal menstrual synchrony.

“Did their men then go off hunting?”
quips an inner comic voice.
( He undermines all tact
hence best I let the topic drop.)

Another page exclaimed:
“religious symbols banned!”

(I’d rather be prewarned
about who’d want me sent
to hell.)

 

 

Next my mental jaunt
asked
whether excess information
might cause some
feeling faintly jaded
when around the fully known?

 

Or if beliefs which shed humility
should thus appear less credible.
Though dogma seeks submission
from our soul.

(And doctrines often act ungenerous
post-victory: suppressing
even grief among
opponents overthrown.)

Perhaps a rigid faith demands
acceptance too extreme?

 

 

Then these thoughts switched onto
“Dragon slaying”
as a metaphor of
anxious fights against
the ancient “reptile” brain that
generated automatic stress…

 

 

But suddenly
she calls my name
(long past appointment time).

 

Soon I step inside
the door and
pause there

standing quite
subdued to
face

her smile’s
lit eyes:

 

a new GP
so
beautiful

I struggle with
remembering

what

it was

I came
here for.

 

 

 

( 2012 )


 

( Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

Comments are very welcome!

Thank you all for reading.)

 


 

( anxiety / art / beauty / blog / blogging / culture / depression / life / lostness / mental health / poem / poetry / thoughts )

 

 

Posturing

 

Konica128512

 

 

  Lostness    (103)

 

 

It hurt: admitting deep belief
got built upon
some shifting sands
that proved unstable.

But many things were learnt before
skilled reasoning was primed.

 

Illusions may be preferable
compared with harsher truths.

I wondered:
had kind ancestors
less chance of spreading traits
in ancient days when strangers
carried spears or axes?

 

Even now, on darkened streets
if lacking ways to guess
at inner natures
stereotypes alert survival
biased judgements happen fast.

Those who act beyond the norm
surprise more careful minds.

Hostility might swiftly flare
from standing in supposed reproach
to other’s sensed esteem.

 

 

Resentment
being simply stirred
finds politicians seeking votes
by posturing as punishers
for group morality.

Lauding money-saving cuts
they channel latent spite against
the unfit and the sick.

 

Such tactics sparking parody, I wrote:

“Behold!
A righteous call is heard to
“rise up from thy bed
and work.”
Declaring thousands newly well
in single pen-signed
miracles.

Once doubters then spoke cautiously
predicting public backlash
voices countered any qualms
upbraiding:
“Oh, you faint hearts
trust the masses side with us!
These broken ones are quietly despised.
Expect responses satisfied, at
watching shirkers stressed.”

 

So all softness became scorned
replaced by mirth
imagining
the lowly get chastised.”

 

 

Wealth had gentler treatment, though

on seeing how
our state
controls
its rich with
dangled “carrots”

 

while the poor
receive the
stick.

 

 

 

(2011)

 


 

(Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it!

Comments are exceedingly welcome!

I have been feeling very low recently, and it’s so nice when someone breaks the silence…

Thank you for reading.)

 


 

( art / beauty / culture / drawing / illness / life / lostness / mental health / philosophy / poem / poetry / politics / thoughts )

 

 

 

Behind the mask

 

Konica128522

 

 

           Lostness    (101)

 

 

Sexualized offers soon began to arrive
after opening an e-mail address.

Promising male enhancement
firm arousals.
Even dates with eager
women.

I claimed to be a bit disturbed
being targeted these ways…

“How come total strangers know my wishes so well?”

I complained at chess club
in mock anxiety.

Attuned to such deviant banter
guys returned only laughs
not advice.

 

My humour, also, may fall flat…

“You shouldn”t put yourself down!”  Had been a response.

“Why let others have all the fun?” I answered.

Growing up much criticised I found
when later aiming barbs toward myself
internal voices slightly mollified.

 

Identifying as a loser reduced effort, generally.
Achievement tended to involve discomfort.

Shared failures
soothing wounded egos.
Seeing great success can grate
upon defects
comparisons adding irritation.

Fame attracts new tides of gossip
keenly seeking hidden flaws.

 

But then, versus appearance
run desires to strip away
our social roles
uncovering who we “really” are.

 

Though analogy would yet mislead
if beyond such roles
lay increased nullity.

Results thus
less like shedding clothes
than tearing at the skin.

 

Or perhaps I’d just
wrongly imagined
again?

 

Creating
this fear
for removing a mask

that might lift off
some part of
my face.

 

 

 

(2011)

 


 

( Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it.

Comments are very welcome!

I always look forward to hearing from visitors.

Thank you for reading.)

 


 

( anxiety / art / beauty / culture / depression / drawing / humour / life / lostness / mental health / poem / poetry / thoughts )