Blogging Insights #48 (28 September 2020)

This prompt is the brainchild of Dr Tanya over at Salted Caramel. I’ve recently started following Tanya and her questions are really good. This week, she asks:

What mistakes did you make in the first few months of blogging?

Okay, I don’t say mistake, for starters, rather it became more refined. One of those is brevity, it is something I am still learning.

YearPlatformAverage Words Per Post
2017Blogger279
2018Blogger397
2019Blogger / WP442
2020WP294

The brief storyline is that when I started the blog, it was as a diary, to chart my recovery. Posts tended to be “I walked to the shop today”. I had no readers. With no readers anyway, the length hardly matters.

I discovered I quite enjoyed blogging, and in 2018 the posts became broader. Two big themes were politics and job hunting. The posts became longer, but there were still no readers.

2019 started off much the same, with posts on the same subjects. Brexit was a big issue here. Midway through the year I found some WordPress blogs, and in September, I moved my own blog to WordPress. I started getting an audience.

2020 will be my first full year on WordPress. The subject matter is now all over the place. I enjoy taking part in prompts, but I figure that if I have got something interesting to say, then other respondents might have, too, so I try to read other responses. I’ll do so with this question towards the end of the week. If I haven’t got something interesting to say, then why am I posting at all?

As a reader, if their are 20 other responses, and each is just a 3-minute post, then that is an hour to go through them all. Largely because of my eyesight, an hour is a long time to be dealing with a single topic.

So I feel that, as a writer, I should keep my responses short, just in case there are other people like me out there. I don’t know how many people read other responses, I suspect on the smaller prompts, we do. Most of us tend to follow each other, anyway.

You’ll notice that my 2020 number of words per post is dramatically lower, largely driven by this newfound audience. For starters, it is largely international so I tend to (mostly) avoid UK politics. And there has been precious little job hunting to report in 2020, so another topic avoided! But also, I have become better at editing my posts. I like that my posts now have an audience, but I can’t really expect those people to be unconditional. If I want people to read my posts, the very least I can do is to put some effort into making them thrifty with words.

The nature of my blog is different, 2017 to now. I don’t get so hung up about health/progress and use it more as a day-to-day medium. I started responding to a word of the day prompt at the start of UK-lockdown. Posting daily was another way of saying I’m okay and this prompt was the ideal vehicle. As it happens I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and I’ve gotten into the habit of responding to the prompt using poetry. For one thing, people seem to like them (no idea why), but for another, they are 1-minute posts. So, another example where brevity has been a factor.

It is not necessarily the length of the post. If we’re discussing a detailed topic, then the posts will be long. It is this thrift thing. We could all use a good editor.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

14 thoughts on “Blogging Insights #48 (28 September 2020)”

  1. Blogging Insights #48

    I made the mistake of writing long political posts, and philosophical ones too. I started blogging this time last year, just about the time of Brexit. I had a few readers but nothing significant. I’ve taken a break after a close family bereavement, and have thought a lot about where I want my blog to go. Like you I have decided on brevity, in other write less but of more value. I have MS, therefore concentration is a problem. I do read other blogs but I struggle with really long posts. I agree with everything you have said and I’m definitely going down that path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked the political stuff because it helped me make sense of my thoughts. They were in my head but not really coherent. But at the same time, I can’t write those posts and expect anybody else to be interested.
      I find that listening to posts instead of reading helps (my browser allows this), but ever so, there is a limit.
      I remember somebody posted a few times on here, they were just analyses of songs. Nothing important. Each was a thirty-minute post. When you think, the song itself would only have been three minutes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re looking for brevity. you got it. Having destroyed that poke, I have to say, I don’t mind a longer post. In fact rather like one well-delivered, especially from those I know in the first place usually worth reading. I bemoan those readers who cannot handle more than 25 words, those writes who can’t deliver decent content in any word count. Then, I’m also put-off by the “My watch ran fast. The peanut butter was gone. So the moon fell slowly.” You know “poets” of that ilk. Yours was a good write. I was poking at your “brevity” launch. I missed the mark, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It hits home when I sit down at 9PM, my eyes are tired, and I try to get through the day’s FOWC responses. If somebody asks for 10 or 15 minutes of my time, I will likely skip. With your other prompts, I can look at them when I have a moment in a few days time, but FOWC has to be a daily thing else it’ll run away.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, thanks for putting those words out there. Actually I had been planning on withdraw from prompts in general since the worst of the virus was over, but I’ve enjoyed taking part so much…. It has stretched me – six months ago I had never really tried fiction or poetry.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with both you and Fandango about the TIME factor. Brevity, I feel, is something individual. Some of us just have more ‘mouth’ (aka word) diarrhea than others and it takes longer for us to say what we want to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose that once people get to like our posts, they will read them anyway. But I do think it pays to be brief whet we have new readers. It’s difficult for me to judge because my vision problems are pretty unique. I certainly appreciate “thrifty”.

      Like

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