Tag Archives: networking

Blogging: Why It Makes Me Smile

9 Mar

It is rarely a day passes when we don’t get to read posts from bloggers discussing their facts and figures behind their blogs.

WordPress have now launched another little gadget that helps us to analyse who is reading our posts, through the new ‘Views by Country’. You can find the details on your stats page.

Basically, this little gadget tells you where in the world your readers are. I am delighted to announce, my blog is global. Sure, the majority of my readers are in the UK and USA, as expected, but we can also count countries such as Chile, Estonia, Jordan and the Philipines.

How mad is that?

Sure, I imagine that these stats do not disallow for those amazing spammers so I am slightly dubious, but OMG (yeah I did just use that) my little map is super colourful. I am just chuffed – how could you not be?

But it isn’t just the new little gadget that makes me happy, just stats in general. watching the numbers increase on almost a daily basis. I mean that is just amazing in itself. If ever you are feeling slightly doubtful about why you blog, and then you have a day where your blog has beaten your last busiest day it’s like wow, maybe I should keep this up.

Nothing makes your smile broader than your number of followers. People who have said, ‘hey, I will pop by again’. I have been blogging for about 18 months, well on this blog anyway, and I now have 390 followers. Less than many, but more than I ever anticipated.

What makes me even prouder about this figure is that I have done it on my own. As in, I have never been freshly pressed – I know many people have said they have had over a 1,000 new followers on one post (one wonders how long they stick around for). I have never won an award from another blogger (but I have had mentions on other blogs) and I never spam (not sure that it is very effective).

Talking of spam, I love checking my spam messages, they are just so…random. and I know we all get them, and some are better than others, but even just the five pure gibberish ones that appeared today are worthy of a little twitch of the mouth.

Search engine terms are a highlight. Do you remember that interview I did with Stuart Heritage of the Guardian? Well I get some crackers terms for that content, most assuming the man is gay. I can assure you, he is not.

The best search engine terms however are when they have searched for your name, whether that be your name or the blog name or your latest project. Someone actually wanted YOU, just YOU and no one else.

The best part of blogging though, and without sounding cheesy, is the friends you make. Friends is probably the wrong word, but hey, I know what I mean. I have blogging buddies that have been part of my life since day one, and others, that I met just last week, and I eagerly await their latest post. there are those that take the time to read your entire back catalogue, those that just like everything (just a nod that says ‘hey, I hear ya’), and those that take the time to write well-considered comments. Some come, some go, many return. all of us linked, all of us actually giving a damn.

I smile every time I have a little number in the box, when someone bothers to respond to my comment, when I realise we all have our own misgivings for why we do this, when I discover a like-minded person.

Thank you.

You don’t want to miss this…well you might.

29 Oct

Do you ever read a post and think ‘What the….?’

This happened to me this week. I was reading Christo the Nomads post on chairs, yes that’s right, the uncomfortableness that is the workplace chair.

By the time I had finished reading, I was overwhelmed by the cleverness of the writing, or more to the point, the ability to write about the everyday, in a way that was not everyday at all. Seriously, if you realised you were reading about a chair, would you continue?

Anyway, it got me thinking. My chair is slightly amazing. It is very much an ordinary chair, in an ordinary room. ordinary people sit on it, and more often than not, watch ordinary TV and occasionally eat ordinary food. (I say occasionally eat, that is a lie, all the time we eat sat on the chair, but we aren’t supposed to admit to this).

It is an ordinary colour, black. It isn’t feather filled, just ordinary foam….thats all to it really.

So what makes it amazing? Well I spent most of my uni time sat on this chair writing assignments. Most of my current WIP (yeah OK, what is supposed to be the current WIP) has been created on this chair, and, A Cuppa has seen most of its progress happen right on this chair.

So?

So the most amazing thing, I sot on my chair every night and it does something most would moan about, and it isn’t that great I can tell you, but worthy of discussion, IT EATS TIME!

Seriously, I lie not. I sit down around 8pm and then BAM, its 10 o’clock and I really should be thinking about bed sometime soon.

Now I know if I sit on the chair across the room with the slight bounce I would be aware of every minute passing. Does this happen to you, do you have a chair that just makes time disappear?

Talking of time eaters, Alexis wrote this post on social media, and how we get easily distracted. It is definitely a well-worn discussion, but Alexis shared some of her writers friends tactics to avoid the pitfalls of social medias consumption of time.

One of the commenters, Anthony Lee Collins, made a suggestion that having a friend change a password until a certain deadline had passed maybe the way forward. Seriously though, could you do this? As much as I like the idea, I doubt I could very much.

Now I have had friends that have closed accounts such as FB and managed to refrain for several months at a time, but they always return…and they aren’t writers. I would be too worried I would miss something vital, a competition, a friends new release, but would anyone else notice, or even care?

Anyway, just to push you towards another post I want you to read check out Christos post on Roys of Wroxham. I am sure I missed the irony of the post but it brought back so many memories….enjoy.

Confessions Of A Lazy Blogger

19 Oct

OK so this image is stolen but if you click it you will be taken to the original site - I'm not all bad!

 

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will be aware that my posts are pretty random. Not just the frequency of posting, but the length, pace, and most importantly the topics I discuss.

Now if you are a new reader, in the last few weeks or so, you may disagree. This blog is about A Cuppa and An Armchair with a rough opinion of this weeks reading thrown in every friday…

Ha ha ha, how I have lulled you into a false sense of security.

You see, lets just rewind 7/8 months, and this blog was about self-publishing – over a year ago it was writing tips. And in-between? Well it has been a variety of topics that have taken my fancy.

So why am I lazy?

It is not just about what you see on the page, it’s about interaction, planning…thinking outside the box.

Lets start with that weekly reading. I never write my opinions when I finish the book. I tend to save them up and then write a bulk load. The current ones you receive each friday are from my pile of ‘reviews’ (and I do use that term oh so lightly) that I wrote about seven weeks ago. I think I have enough done to last until Christmas. As for books that I have read since, they are all piled next to bed waiting for me to have the ‘oomph’ to sit down for a mega writing section.

I’m not lazy in that I haven’t got this sections content, just that if I pulled my finger out and wrote about each book as soon as I had read the last page, a) it would be written oh so much better b) I wouldn’t have that great big stack of books and c) I might disregard those books that don’t really call for a mention.

Important MEGA CHEAT for seeing your daily stats rise. Each time I post a review and link back, I notice how much traffic the author’s name and book title bring to my site. I am cheating my figures. I am a happy daily counter, not the monthlies, or the returnees. Oops!

But I do have subscribers..

I know each of my subscribers. I say I know, I know what they are writing about, if they are writing, and many of them I engage with happily. I love knowing that they are by my side, the frequency with which they comment, the quick emails/tweets to check all is ok if the blog has gone quiet.

But…I am not very good at this. Oh I do for some, I notice they are missing before they have even had chance to themselves, but others… (I am pulling that eek face!) It’s not that I don’t care, I am the same in my ‘real’ life. (That would be the life that makes me a lazy blogger) Just to give an example about how bad I am, a friend of mine had an op on Monday and I still haven’t called or msg to see if all is OK. I know, it doesn’t get much worse than that!

But how do I get those subscribers, where are my readers coming from?

This is the point where I want to ‘ROFL’ Seriously. I should be saying, ‘On a daily basis I will read freshly pressed and other great blog finding sites and find bloggers that interest me, that I find their content engaging, and I strike up conversations with them. I enjoy regular interaction and if this is not reciprocated, this is just fine. I regularly join in group discussions on Twitter, and I have a list of fB pages that I follow. I share the great content that I find and hope that everyone else finds it as interesting as I do. I see myself as a provider of information…..’

Are you yawning too?

I sign up to problogger and receive regular emails about how to improve your blogging, how to get the most out of it…The best advice I have seen to date, is do what feels write for you. Yes you have to consider your audience, but if it doesn’t work for you, it wont work fo them.

Yay!

Don’t get me wrong, this does not give me license to not engage with other blogs but it does take the pressure off somewhat. I read my subscribers blogs (and others I subscribed to but is not reciprocated – which I am FINE with) and at this time, this is enough…

No, who am I kidding?

My point is my workload, as it would seem everyone elses workload, at this point is so great, we haven’t got the time, let alone the energy to keep up with the rules and regulations of being a successful blogger. Lets face it, even if we did, isnt blogging a bit about breaking the rules? I have regulations I have to adhere to at work, I don’t want them when I am supposedly doing something for leisure.

Does this make me lazy?

Possibly not. Let’s add a few more naughty bits and then we shall decide…

* Images – I don’t always use them and when I do you can guarantee I have used google images

* Spell check – OK I do use this but I tend to ignore passive language because this is something I am not sure I fully understand (langauge specialist please tell!)

* Leaving your work to breathe – Doing what? I have written a post I want it published NOW. It is part of the fun. Writing in advance and allowing them time to mature just doesn’t work for me. When it comes to blogging, I am after instant gratification….oh I am such a kid!

* Creating a blogging schedule – Urgh! As above!

There is one other really bad thing I do when all else fails…I write a post like this!

On a positive I have one thing I am really proud of. 95% of the time I respond to my comments with a ‘real’ reply. Not just a ‘thanks for commenting’. Urgh, when I get that I feel like I have been slapped in the face, like a ‘oh I am far too busy to deal with you but the rules say to keep my billions and trillions of fans happy I should…’

I guess I have never had too many to respond to for my comments to mean anything more than, ‘oh my goodness, they wanted to comment, they must have liked it yay!’

So what about you? Have you anything that you do/or don’t that breaks the rules? Maybe you thought something wasn’t worth doing and then once you implemented it you just couldn’t understand why you hadn’t done it sooner?

Share your thoughts. Tell your tales. Join the conversation.