Saturday, April 28, 2012

JUST TRYING TO HELP

DSC_8921

Long post tonight so I will get right to it......I wrote, re-wrote & revised the original following post a few years back with the thoughts of new Bloggers in mind. I had been Blogging for a couple years & after reading many Blogs & interacting with other Bloggers I felt I had a reasonably good understanding of what just might make up a good RVing Blog. My following thoughts & opinions are only suggestions. They are not to be taken personally by anyone. I can tell you that many of the things I suggest  to do or not to do, I have gone through myself at one time or another & it was fellow Bloggers & Readers who thankfully brought my follies & miss-steps to my attention. Ok, my turn, so here goes……………
---
- I recommend not putting music on a blog. It can be annoying. If you insist on music then offer it as an option. Put a button at the top of your blog which people can click on if they really want to hear your favorite tunes. Some people put in a video option but the key word there is 'option.' I wouldn’t recommend making it a default video that people have to sit through. Same thing with 'Slide Shows.' Remember, there are still a lot of internet folks out here with slow internet speeds plus all the Air Card people with their 5 Gig limits. That audio visual stuff just totally chews up download times & bandwidth.
---
- I suggest not loading your site with aggravating advertising, regardless of how much you think you need the .49 cents a month extra income. If I click on a site that is loaded with stationary or pop up advertising I immediately pop right out of there & I’m not likely to return. I remember seeing one blog so full of advertising that it was hard to find the actual post itself.  Advertising can be OK but the key words here are, ‘not loading your site’.
---
- Try not to fall into the rut of starting your blog off everyday with the same words & morning routines you used the day before or the day before that, or...... Be creative, be imaginative. You do not have to start your blog from the very beginning moments of awakening. The blog does not have to have a standard beginning or ending. Again, be creative & think outside the box. Start each day from a different perspective. In any book, that first paragraph can make or break the reader's interest in the rest of the story!! I had to drop a blog last summer because after about 3 months I could not get past the first paragraph anymore because of basically the same routine every morning. Nice people I'm sure, but after awhile I just referred to it as, 'the coffee blog' & moved on. I have to be careful with my own Blog in not starting it with a weather report every day. But hey, I’m Canadian:))
---
- If you don’t like a Blogger or a Blogs content, just don’t read it. How simple can that be. There are those who will read blogs for no other purpose than to find fault & ridicule the Blogger with rude & sarcastic comments. I have dropped some Blogs because of content & one Blog so far due to the personality of the Blogger.  Don’t let yourself be goaded by so called Anonymous commenters.  I have fallen into that baited trap more than once. 
---
- Suggest you stay away from all that glitz, glamour & glitter stuff. Dancing bears, frolicking flamingos, Las Vegas billboard lights, reams of happy faces & flying Brazilian billboards proclaiming that you, 'Have A Nice Day!!'
---
- Suggest you not ramble on with long drawn out blogs like I do sometimes. Make them shorter & keep them interesting. And yes, I know my blog photos are too big & messes with people’s slower connections.  I have made a lot of changes to my Blog but have been unable so far to make myself make that photo size change. 
---
- Write your post in short paragraphs & avoid running your whole blog into one big long rambling hard to read block of wordy mush. I used to do that until a couple readers straightened me out. I may not be grammatically correct with my paragraphing but it is much easier for readers to read & that takes priority.  In fact, readers have straightened me out on a lot of things so I suggest you listen to readers & make changes where applicable.
---
- Try to vary your blog topics every day & avoid getting tunnelled into the same project, mood or subject matter over & over. Yes, I know this is another one I fall into occasionally, especially on the moody side of things. In other words, keep people guessing as to what your next post is going to be about. Make tomorrow's post different from today's. Try to avoid a repetitive daily routine.  Make yourself unpredictable.  Just my opinions of course.
---
- A step by step, blow by blow description of a button factory tour can get pretty dry pretty fast. Add a link to the button factory & let the reader click on that if he wants' to know how many colored buttons are sewn backwards onto a checkerboard jelly bean shirt on assembly line B.
---
- If your going to add photos, treat them the same as your writing & make them the best they can be. Take a few seconds in your photo editing program to straighten out those annoying tilted horizons for example. A tilted horizon is not how you saw the picture & a tilted horizon is not how I want to see it either. Spend a little time & get to know your photo editing program & make your already good photos…..better.
---
- Some folks have a habit of using short forms. Fine for them & maybe a few close friends of theirs who have the inside track but it sure doesn’t work for me. How much more effort & time to type, University of Western Ontario as opposed to UWO. Or, how about GTSIBTMBICGU…..??
---
- Remember to add your thoughts, feelings, & opinions about what you are seeing & doing. I feel it adds character to a Blog instead of just, "well, then we went to Bill's Bargain Mart & I got a fly swatter & then we drove to Ambercrombieville & Hank got an ice cream cone with birdseed sprinkles on it & then we decided it was time to go home so we went home & George drove the car but not too fast because we met Ralph and Alice, Ed & Trixie and Bert and Ernie and Fred & Wilma and Rosie & Rufus and, and, and, and, etc. etc. etc!! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz:(( Be creative & use your imagination. Throw in some humor, add some feelings. Again, get yourself outside the box & push some boundaries.
---
- And, I wouldn’t recommend doing as I have done in the past by poo pooing certain areas of the country or States just because they are not in MY area of interest. Be understanding & considerate of other people's choice of RV vehicles or style of RVing. Because you don't agree with or care for certain things does not mean you have to put it in your blog. Some things are best left un-said. Trust me on this one folks.....I know what I am talking about:))
---
- If you must take a fellow blogger to task over something be respectful & sensitive enough do it in a private email & not in your blog. I have never used my blog to criticize another Blogger nor have I ever left rude or sarcastic comments on a fellow Blogger’s post. Disagreeing with a Blogger’s opinion is normal & acceptable, but to trash a Blogger personally, using ridicule & sarcasm, to me, is totally immature & egotistical.
Remember, principles before personalities.

---
- Some Bloggers answer each & every commenter. That’s a nice personal touch of course & I think I might have tried that once in the early days.  It’s a way of having folks return to your site to see how you have responded to their comment. Nice way to interact with folks & increase your Sitemeter daily visits number as well, if your into numbers that is. But remember, it does mess up the accuracy of your numbers if your trying to get a true Sitemeter feedback count on your Blog. If you receive 20 comments & answer each one then your counter will state you have received 40 comments. Mighty impressive & a quick way to boost your numbers…..but not accurate if you are interested in actual incoming comment numbers. All depends where you place your priorities.
---
- Be creative with your comments on other people's blogs. Make them original, sincere, helpful if possible, & heartfelt.  And, don’t forget the humor.  Remember, the more comments you leave on other people’s Blogs, the more comments you are likely to receive on your own Blog. But, don’t get caught up in the numbers game here again. Make your comments meaningful to the Blogger. On a side note….I see some really fine Blogs out here but often times they do not receive a lot or any comments simply because that Blogger is not in the habit of leaving comments on other people’s Blogs. Always felt this was unfortunate but it just seems to be human nature. Kind of like, ‘if you do something for me I will do something for you’.
---
- Some folks write a few lines, publish it & then come back a few hours later, write another paragraph & publish that. This is a supposedly clever method used by some to keep people coming back again & again clicking on their site maybe 5 or 6 times a day & that way increasing the numbers & advertising revenues on that particular blog. Again, probably nothing wrong with that except to me it is putting the numbers or advertising dollars first instead of the readers. Not in my nature to do that.
---
- Suggest making your blog printing font size large enough for weaker eyes to read. Not everyone has eagle eye vision out here anymore. And don't let your font color bleed into your background color making it nearly invisible.
---
- And remember, our blogs are mainly geared to the RV Lifestyle & related matters. Like minded people come to our Blogs because of that. If one starts preaching or pushing their religious or political views it only encourages some types of personalities to come roaring out of their caves with flame throwers in their hands & jump all over you.  You may find your Blog numbers rapidly falling off.   And no, this is not one of the many Blogging mistakes I have made.  (well OK, with one little slightly political rant last summer) If you want to blog about politics & religion I suggest you start up a second blog & target those particular audiences accordingly.....and good luck with that!!
---

---
Well, there you have it. Just wanted to share a few opinions on blogging with the hopes I may have said something here that may help someone. At least get people thinking on how to make some improvements to their Blogs & maybe generate more interest & traffic. Remember, there are no hard & fast rules for Bloggers, just opinions:)) Oh, & GTSIBTMBICGU…..’Got To Stay In Bed This Morning Because I Can’t Get Up. But you already knew that……right:))

---

THE LAST PARAGRAPH:  OK, here’s the bottom line & probably the most important line in this whole post…..It’s your Blog & it’s up to you to write it the way you want:))

DSC_0028-3

GROANER’S CORNER:(( It takes a thousand workers to build a castle, a million soldiers to protect a
country, but just one Woman to make a Happy Home. Now there’s a thought eh:))
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
stargeezerguy@gmail.com

47 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to share these helpful hints.
    Betty

    ReplyDelete
  2. You make good points that are worth re-reading now and then. Thanks for sharing them again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You made some excellent points. I know there are blogs I thoroughly enjoy and am very surprised that there are no comments...Any rving pet gets my attention.
    Al you are the sage of the rv world.
    I personally get really irritated at the cowardly anonymous comments that are nasty..why bother just dont read that site again if you dont like a persons blog...its their creative expression and link to others.
    Keep up the good work

    Donna W

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, did you ever nail this topic down! You got every point exactly right, too. (In my opinion!)
    'Tain't no accident that you have such a big audience!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for taking the time to lay all that out, Al.

    As you are the blogger with the most followers, well, in my little world, anyway, we should all heed your suggestions.

    I read yours every day as I cannot travel in my RV anymore, so I like to see where you have been, and because I love to read about your critters, too. Even if they are also the ones in your yard.

    Happy Tails and Trails, Penny, TX. www.pennys-tuppence-blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good blogger ideas to live by if taken with a grain of salt. We all have our foibles.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank You Al. You made some excellent points. Well done.

    Sharon at Princess and Cowboy

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post, and good advice for any blog, not just RVers. As for the site meters, Blogger lets you turn off the counter for yourself so you're not skewing your own numbers. If I didn't turn it off, my count would be really high, as I'm compulsive about rereading it for typos, etc. (not that I catch them all anyway).

    The music thing is SO true - I can picture someone surreptitiously trying to read a blog at work and getting lots of looks when some wild music blares out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wonderful post....really enjoyed the read and most especially the advice!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts( really interesting blog). Would be great if you could visit also mine...Thanks for sharing! Keep up the fantastic work!

    ReplyDelete
  12. If there are rules, you can count of me to disregard them...But...you outline some very important guidelines to think about when blogging...If only I WOULD think about them...I hate restrictions, but I do know when to "throttle it back"...Thanks for the guidelines...I really should try to follow some, eh??

    ReplyDelete
  13. We need to keep these in mind when we blog.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A lot of words and thoughts to think about for sure and I agree with the majority of your points. Everyone loves 'Mom and Apple Pie'.

    The one word that I didn’t see in your post that I think is of the utmost importance to all Bloggers is ‘Honesty’. If a blogger is honest with his readers then everything else pretty much falls into place.

    Also, the word ‘numbers’ was mentioned at least a half-dozen times and I have to wonder why? I don’t think most Bloggers really give a hoot about that. Forget about ‘numbers’!

    Finally, blogging should be fun – if it isn’t fun, why would a person continue to do it?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good points, and I was relieved to find that nothing applied to me...ahahaha! It's funny what a small world our RVing blog family really is, because I could think of an example of all of them (okay, okay, mine too).

    It occurred to me, thinking about the commenting "tit for tat," that seeing someone comment in my blog will remind me Oh yeah, I haven't clicked on her blog lately! What is she up to? I don't think that I keep score, but sometimes I just forget a blog temporarily.

    Thanks for rewriting and reposting this advice.

    Roxanne
    The Good Luck Duck

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh yeah, and mean, trolly comments are the sign that you've hit the bloggy big time. :D

    Roxanne
    The Good Luck Duck

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post Al, most of your points are well written and if my short term memory was better I would even remember to use some of them from time to time.

    Mine started out as an RV blog but it has morphed into something else I think. Maybe a horse riding, family bragging type of blog with a RV thrown in once and a while for good measure.

    I agree with both you and Rick from Duncan on the be true to yourself theme. I guess I write what I want when I want and if somebody wants to read it that is a bonus that makes me a little happy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Excellent summary of what makes good blogging... I didn't realize I was screwing up my numbers every time I go to me blog. Are you sure? I'll have to check that.

    I hope readers realize that if they go to a blog where the type is too small, all they have to do is click on the task bar to move 100% to 125% or even 150%. I do that to get more enjoyment out of photos.

    Breaking one of the rules here... rambling on and on ...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Instead of a post to try and help fellow bloggers this seems to be a list of your personal grievances, supposed slights and complaints.

    Your differences with unnamed bloggers are personal and I don’t see how that helps new bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Al, thanks for the insights and suggestions. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very well put...some excellent food for thought!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Amazing...I guess Anonymous would rather read some clinical critique from some writer's workshop--some screed with no tolerance for the entertaining persona expressed in your writing, Al, which I shall refer to as the "essence of Bossence." Ha! Anonymous should be so lucky to have a persona; my guess is he doesn't, hence the gift of obscurity he gives us.

    ReplyDelete
  23. For Mr Anonymous, Al states right up front that these are his opinions of what makes a good blog. So if his opinions are a list of grievances, so be it. But what he is offering is the things that has made his blog successful. And to that end, perhaps it will make someone else's blog successful as well! But I do understand what Rick has pointed out as well, because if blogging was just about numbers, I would have quit long ago because my hit counts and readers have always been fairly small. Oh, well....... Rod

    ReplyDelete
  24. great list of advice you have published once again Al..I remember reading the one about how to increase traffic on your blog is to visit and comment on others....it worked for me..so that in turn would be the numbers factor..Margie was a great commenter..always so positive and encouraging!..I learned from her.....I am of the old way of thinking..if you don't have anything nice to say..just don't say anything..
    to each their own...
    are the numbers what make a blog successful?..or is it just feeling right about what is written?..I vote for liking what is written!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've been guilty of using the abbreviations once in a while (TCTCBN = "The company that cannot be named") but that's usually because it doesn't matter in the first place. Anything else, I spell it out. Just have to be careful when it comes to stuff that's not directly about me. Sounds egocentric I know, but there's a whole world of hurt involved if I start getting into the corporate end of things.
    There is at least one turn off that you might I'd like to mention: There's at least one blog out there that's kind of interesting, but if I want to comment, I somehow have to sign up? And not just for a google account either. Never did figure that out.
    I'm also guilty of not using a photo editing program, but I'd evaporate even MORE time trying to spit something out if I started wallowing in that sort of perfection. Has to be brain dead simple for me I'm afraid.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Especially agree with comments about advertising on blogs. Real annoying. Even more annoying are those who pander for money with paypal tabs.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Lots of good advice, Al. I guess many of us bloggers have at one time fallen into one of the pits. I did for sure and I know it. But if one gets into a pit, the best thing to do is climbing out of it again. Your post will help to identify these pits. Thank you Al to take the time to bring this up. Re.advertising I think many people think that they can make a viable income from it and finance their travels. But it takes much more than an RV-blog to make money. And it takes hundredthousands of clicks a month to make that goal reachable. No RV-blogger I know has those numbers. Maybe because our blogs are not read by the 'geeks' but by older people like us who are not into clicking on some dumb ads.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Excellent posting. All the tips, the downfalls, and great pointers. I know I have made all of those mistakes and with your help can maybe avoid making them again.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Gee, I was a little afraid to read that input - but to my great relief it is not frightening at all. I learned a lot and now can go and check what I do right and wrong.
    Thanks, Al, for the gentle way of guiding into the right direction!
    If some people haven't got the hint - I feel sorry for them. They who don't LISTEN won't LEARN.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I thought of something else ... I try to answer every comment on my blog, not to get people to jump back to my blog. It's just the way I am. Maybe I have to have the last word! Ha!

    Wordpress has it so the blogger can have a place below the comment box for the person to check if they want to be notified by email when the blogger responds. I have that on my blog. It's especially good to have when people ask questions about full-timing or rving in general, whatever. I don't know if Blogger has that.

    Great post, Al!

    ReplyDelete
  31. You are my favorite blogger Al and I check in every day. I appreciate your honesty, humility, photos, and the stories of the day of The Bayfield Bunch.
    Gene S. in Ohio

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hey, Al -- yeah, you've said most of this before, but it is a good reminder. By the way (or is it BTW?) I see you got one Mr. Anonymous to hack at you! Maybe these ARE your own dislikes, but by the comments it's easy to see that most of us have similar dislikes. Good post as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have been reading your blog ever since RVSue told me about it last fall! I read it every morning with that first cup of coffee! I love the photography and appreciate the honesty. I don't really blog much. When I started to blog ot was to show the grandkids where we were and what we were doing. It's evolved a bit since then, but not by much! But I will take your advice to heart the next time I post! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks Al - from a fellow blogger! I don't think I'll be able to do another post without thinking about your list! ha!

    Happy Spring to you and Kelly!

    Teresa

    ReplyDelete
  35. You make a lot of good points, and most of the reasons I avoid reading certain blogs.
    We aren't concerned about the numbers, though, and really only write our blog to help us keep track of our travels and let our friends and family know where we are. What I think is funny is our old friends and family rarely ever comment, it's usually people we've never met or became friends with on the road.
    I say write what you want, and if no one reads it, or someone leaves rude anonymous comments, who cares!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Alice & RudySunday, April 29, 2012

    Even though we're not bloggers my husband & I read and enjoy yours every day. You are so right about font and colours and your choice is SO easy on these elder eyes. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Al, thanks for your personal insights on blogging. I read your blog all the time; I love the way your personality shines through your posts, a real person not just a writer. It is like being there with you. I agree about a lot of ads. And it is pretty easy to tell that a blogger is trying to generate readership when they make comments in their blog that they know will generate a rash of comments back and forth. Keep up the great work and give the Pheebs a hug from the weenie dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Essence of Bossence - snortle!

    I hope it's okay to say this; I think it would make blog surfing much more pleasant for people: if you just can't bear to see ads, you can install AdBlock Plus, a free extension/plug-in for whatever your browser is. It obliterates those Google ads, and most all others, too.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've been dancing between "should I or shouldn't I--who cares--etc" on starting a blog so I am researching "Blog". I'm chuckling :-)) Here's one of the sentences: "Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules." Meeting you and Kelly makes all the difference when it comes to appreciating your blog..you're great ppl!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great blogging tips, Al. I especially like your tip about font size & wish all bloggers would take that advice to heart. And, in case they don't, here's a tip for blog readers: If the type on a blog is too small for your eyes to read comfortably, just hold down the CTRL key and tap the + key two or three times to enlarge the type. That said, maybe I should take another look at the type on my own blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Just really don't understand why people use annonymous. All you have to do is use Name/URL and type in your name and the blog you are posting to will come up and say
    Sherry says: Or do like Gene S and sign your blog if you want it to use annonymous. You have a BIG following so these tips must work pretty dagone well is what I think.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yours is one of my favorite blogs out there! Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I know I've made some blogging mistakes in the past and it's something that I am working to fix. You make some good points, that's for sure.

    Kevin

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. You Rock Al! Thanks for the great advice and tips.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I've stopped reading a particular Blog because the content was a gazillion U-Tube music videos ! Too bad 'cause the Blogger is a Fellow Rider and waiting to go full-time.

    Like many other Bloggers I don't get caught up in the "tit for tat" comment thing either. "You comment on mine and I'll comment on yours". A load of baloney in my opinion. LOL

    Nor do I get caught up in the 'numbers'.

    I started my Blog to keep a record of my travels and for a central place for any Friends or Family Members to check in on me.

    The 'counter' and who does or does not comment is not important to me.

    ReplyDelete