Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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How Spinach Can Make You A Better Blogger

Ever come back from lunch with a piece of spinach stuck between your teeth? You didn’t know anything about it. For hours. Just greeted everyone with your dental greenery. Because : 1) You didn’t check, or 2) No one said anything.

That can happen in the blogging world, too. Example? This recent conversation between Mom and Kimber the Wonder Dog:

Kimber: Mom! Mom! You gotta optimize us!

Mom: Don’t bother me now, Kimmi. I’m writing.

Kimber: Mom! Mom! You gottta find a responsive theme and layout for our blog so we’re mobile friendly!

Mom: Kimmi. Can you give it a rest already?

Kimber: Mom! Mom…!

Kimber Continues:

It’s tough being brilliant all the time. But somebody’s gotta do it.

Well, I try to go easy on Mom. After all, she still remembers typewriters and carbon paper. White-out and 8-track cassettes. (I’m pretty sure she was on a first name basis with that Abe Lincoln guy. Don’t tell anyone, okay?)

As I was saying, I try to go easy on Mom. About the time she got the hang of desk top computers, they came out with those mobile device doo-hickeys. Then she had to figure those out, too.

So I wasn’t going to push her too hard on optimizing her site for mobile. Or switching to a responsive theme for the blog. Every time I brought it up, Mom said:

 

Go lie down, Kimber. There’s a good girl.”

So annoying.

Eureka!

Then Mom had a Eureka! Moment. (About time.) “Kim,” says Mom. “I’ve been doing this blog thing all wrong!”

Duh.

That was the day Mom finally figured out that her blog had to be “mobile friendly.” It wasn’t. So she made some changes.

Can you see? Can you see? Can you tell the difference? Huh? Huh? Huh?

If she’d only listened to me sooner. But you know how moms are.

Anyway, this is what one of us learned:

  1. Writing for the internet is different than writing for print
  2. A good print writer does not necessarily a good blogger make
  3. Desktop computers aren’t the primary way most people access the internet anymore. They’re using mobile devices more and more. So make sure your blog is optimized for mobile. If you don’t, you’re likely to get left in the dust.

Remember the spinach-in-the-teeth thing? Mom also learned that some of the Biggest Blogging Mistakes Ever include:

  • Thinking you know it all
  • Being unwilling to change or adapt for new platforms and audiences
  • Assuming that providing brilliant content alone will catapult you into the blogger “A List”

The truth is, reading on-line and reading print are two different critters. They require two different approaches. Mom used to think that because she’s a multi-published author, she could easily turn and pivot into blogging.

Ha!

A Whole New Approach

She had to learn a whole new approach for a whole new platform, including:

  • Brief, pithy sentences
  • Eye-catching graphics
  • Bullet points
  • Short paragraphs
  • Make sure your blog is Mobile Friendly. (Find out how to do that here.)

Mom didn’t know about that last one until someone finally told her. Like getting rid of that pesky bit of spinach stuck between your teeth, sometimes you don’t know what’s wrong until someone and points it out. So hurray for spinach!

Go lie down, Mom. There’s a good girl.

One last thing. What’s a “typewriter”? (Askin’ for a friend.)

XXOO,

Kimber

  


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Is This Blogging Thing Going to Work?

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Are you a newbie blogger struggling to find your voice? Have you been blogging for awhile and are discouraged? Wondering if it’s worth the effort?

 

Have you asked yourself:

  • Am I wasting my time?
  • Does anybody care?
  • Is anyone listening?
  • How come I don’t have more readers?
  • Do I have what it takes to be a “successful blogger”? (Whatever that means.)
  • Is this going to work?

 

These questions aren’t about education level or computer skills. Prior knowledge or experience or anything like that.

 

Nope. If someone’s asking if they have what it takes to be a “successful blogger,” what they’re really asking is:

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My Biggest Blogging Mistake – And How You Can Avoid It (Part 1 of 2)

 

Do you know what you’re doing when you’re blogging? Ever wonder if all that time and effort is worth it? You have things to say. Share. Express. But you’re not sure if anyone’s listening?

 

When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. I heard that blogging was The Way to develop a sturdy online presence and convert blog readers into book buyers.

 

I’ve been writing professionally since the 1980s. And yes, blogging is writing. But it’s a specific kind of writing.

 

For one thing, no one has the time or the patience to plow through the blogging equivalent of War and Peace. You only have a few seconds to grab a reader’s attention. And keep them reading.

 

So, your content can’t be just good. It has to be great. But what qualifies as great blogging content?

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My Biggest Blogging Mistake – And How You Can Avoid It (Part 2 of 2)

Whoa! Hold on there, pardner! Before sashaying into today’s post, check out part 1 by clicking here.

That’s okay. I’ll wait.

So. When it comes to blogging mistakes and what not to do, I learned that “A list” bloggers – those with tens of thousands of readers – have one thing in common:

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