Thursday, 28 August 2014

A bit more about blogging

Hello. Now where was I, oh yes. Have you figured out how to get your blog up and running? Have you written a post yet? You might want to start adding photo's, this is easy as long as you have them stored on your computer. Click on the little picture icon on the top of the new page, it will open a new box telling you to choose the pictures you want. Get the folder with your pictures in on the screen and choose which ones you want to upload. Upload singly or hold Ctrl while you highlight up to five. This may take a couple of minutes, I usually do something else while I am waiting. I upload all my pictures first before I write anything. I position them in the centre of the page, and leave a space between each one. Then I resize to large, and add the words in between them.

Best to use your own photo's if you can, if you use any others from the internet be careful of copyright. Don't steal photo's from other people's blogs, that's naughty, ask permission first and accredit the owner. There are some sites which have free picture sharing, include a link to where you got them.

If you post a lot of photo's you will eventually reach your storage limit. The photo's are stored on Picasa, a picture hosting site, you don't see them go there first, blogger do it automatically. I reached my limit at around the two year mark. From then on you have two options, you can pay Google if you want to continue using the same system, or you can open an account (free), with another picture hosting site like Photobucket. If you go with an external site you have to copy and paste the links across, too much faff for me. I have stuck with Picasa and Google, the current price is $6 a year, hardly a spit in the ocean. Beware though if you don't want to pay, and go into Picasa and delete some photo's to free up storage space, they will also be deleted from your blog.

You blog content should be all your own work, unless you accept guest posts. Do not copy and paste words from elsewhere unless you have the owners permission. If you suspect something you are reading has been published elsewhere, you can check by inserting a couple of lines from the text into a Plagiarism Checker. Be aware that there are a lot of people out there who start a blog with the sole intention of making money. These are not genuine bloggers. They will take bits from here and there and cobble together their content from other sources.

When you are feeling confident about your blogging skills you can add extra stand alone pages. If you want to group topics together so they are easily found you can open a new page and put it all there, and put a link at the top of your home page. Always go to your dashboard and it will show you how to do it. You can also add elements to your sidebar, move elements around and change the order that they appear.

It's very easy to deceive on the internet as you will already know, I hope no one has transferred sums of money to an African bank account, on the promise that thousands more will arrive from cloud cuckoo land. I think we all know that scam. Use your gut instinct to tell you what you think is genuine and what you think is not. Bloggers usually follow a pattern. When I read them I recognize a certain style of writing, I pick up on certain phrases they use, and detect mood changes. Over a period of time a picture emerges. It may be anything between a true picture, or pure fantasy, or anything in between. Fact peppered with fiction or fiction peppered with fact. Inconsistencies alert me, don't be taken in by them, and be consistent yourself.

The question most people ask is how do I get people to read my blog. The easiest way is to read other people's blogs and make comments there. That will leave your footprint for others to click on if they so wish. It depends on how desperate you are to increase your readership. If you want to promote your blog you could join other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and plug yourself there. There is also something called Search Engine Optimization, SEO. To get search engines to find your site and to push it towards the top of the page, you need to include a lot of buzz words relevant to your content. For instance my buzz words would be frugal, thrifty, penny pinching, cheap, bargain, money saving, scrimping, tight, etc. They do crop up in my blog, when they fit the piece I am writing.

Another question is how often should I post? Well, as often as you like, there are no rules. It depends on how much time you want to give to it. I missed yesterday because I was busy with other things, and didn't have much to talk about. This morning I am getting on with this post because I want to finish framing the picture and start organizing a holiday. What I would say is, if you start blogging and then decide it isn't for you, don't just abandon it and stop. People will wonder what has happened to you. Best to say on your last post that you are giving it up. No need for an explanation.

On the previous post about blogging there was a comment from someone who was put off by the possibility of attracting trolls. That's a shame, but I can understand that some people would not want to put themselves in that position. I don't know how many troll comments other bloggers get, maybe someone can enlighten me. I only have the one, but I am strong and can handle it, water off a ducks back. Sticks and stones will break my bones but calling words won't hurt me. What you have to remember is that the troll has the problem not you. By the way, a troll is normally someone who does not know the person they are trolling. They do it out of devilment, to cause upset and anguish. My troll is someone known to me, and is therefore a bully. I am waiting for their comment on this post to come into my 'Awaiting Moderation', box. In all cases stick two fingers up at them and hit the delete button.

Any more questions on blogging, just ask. I don't know all the answers though, especially the technical ones. There is a Help button on the dashboard which will take you to a bloggers forum, where you can put your questions there. It's quite busy so you won't have to wait long. In fact it's interesting to just read the forum to pick up some useful tips.

Any new bloggers tempted to give it a go?
Toodle pip  

18 comments:

  1. I love it when new bloggers are inspired to give it a go by reading mine, or one of my Blogging Buddy's blogs and let me know that they have, it's always nice to give newcomers some publicity and encouragement.

    I hope these posts by you do just that :-)

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  2. Got a lovely invitation to open a bank account in Nigeria with a sum of $10,000, so that the manager of a large bank could transfer lots of "homeless" money into it with a view to sharing it between us.

    I replied that I thought this was a wonderful get-rich-quick idea and would be happy to co-operate, but sadly didn't have enough funds at the moment, but since he was the manager of a large bank with so much money in it, perhaps he could open the account in my name and transfer the $10,000 to it and let me have the details, then when it was all set up, I would transfer it back, it should be easy for a man in his position.

    Funny enough I never got a reply.


    Had another one, claiming that I'd won some huge amount of money, but needed to send a fee to enable the holders to release it, £200 if I remember correctly.

    I e-mailed back straight away and thanked them profusely, £200 was a small price to pay for my £thousands in winnings, and I'd happily pay them another £500 for their efforts as a small token of my appreciation. If they would just pay the £200, I would send them £700 as soon as the winnings were in my bank account.

    Never got a reply to that either.

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    Replies
    1. Great! Good way to handle that.
      JanF

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  3. Someone known to you, geez, people need to get a life.

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  4. Being a bit new to blogging myself, I really appreciate your coaching for new bloggers. I managed to find out lots of things on my own, but it can be a bit intimidating getting started. Good job!

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  5. I enjoy reading many wonderful blogs, yours included Ilona and I thank everyone for their time and effort in producing these.
    The dedication required is admirable, the writing, skilled and interesting and the pictures, well, for a transplanted Brit like me, just wonderful.
    I thank you all, very much.
    Pam in TX.xx

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  6. Hi Ilona, my first blogs I started reading was yours and frugal queens, I have started one today, not sure what to blog about though, x

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    Replies
    1. Welcome to Blogland. Write about anything you fancy. Your blackberry recipe is a good start.

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  7. "When I read them I recognize a certain style of writing, I pick up on certain phrases they use, and detect mood changes. Over a period of time a picture emerges. It may be anything between a true picture, or pure fantasy, or anything in between. Fact peppered with fiction or fiction peppered with fact. Inconsistencies alert me, don't be taken in by them, and be consistent yourself." MQ

    I agree with this. I pick up on things. There are a couple of blogs that I stopped following because a few things just didn't add up and I noticed inconsistencies in their opinion. I guess we all have the right to change our minds, but if it is done frequently it can seem disingenious. As a reader I also read the comments, I am interested in other people's opinons and thoughts. If a blogger is rude or snappy towards a visitor (just because they have a difference of opinion) I never go back. There is a whiff of ego about them. (Not you MQ - you are always consistent and always polite!) Good luck to any new bloggers. Debbie

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  8. I agree with Debbie above, you are always consistent, always polite and often take the trouble to reply to reader's comments. Not even a faint whiff of ego here! Sorry I don't reciprocate with an interesting blog for you to read...but you are much appreciated!

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  9. I was inspired by your blog Ilona and just started a blog this week. Thanks for your help!

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    Replies
    1. Off to a good start, Janice. I can see that your blog is going to be very interesting.

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  10. There is prolific blogger in the South that espouses a frugal lifestyle. I've read her blog for sometime. Poor! I don't think so! Having a log burner and a dryer. Poor means fastening your shoes with rubber bands and sleeping underneath coats. I enjoy your blog Ilona and you are consistent.

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  11. Ilona, I love your blog and it is one of my first go reads of the day, I don’t think I have commented before, have been a lurker! Your advice to new bloggers is wonderful. Your comment about being consistent is spot on. To be that, you have to be passionate about your blog. If it is specialized like mine, you have to love the activity, and you will attract like mined souls. It took me a while to realize that. It took a troll to make me see. I originally had art blog and a frugal blog. I was passionate about me art, and had lots of followers. My frugal blog was more of something I felt I could do as I live frugally. It attracted a troll (who also was known to me, whom unfortunately suffers a mental illness). In the end I shut my blogs down in February and started new ones under a nickname. The focus of my frugal blog changed and became more about my crochet, handcrafts, garden and cooking. It is doing well because I am passionate about those things. My art blog suffered a bit, my followers and I didn’t get on with new image, so last week I went back to my old blog (I had just made it private) and my first post there got 24 comments. Hopefully my troll will stay away, she was more interested in the frugal blog, and comment moderation will keep a handle on things. Wow what a long comment, to cut it short you need to be passionate and most people out there are decent people, trolls are rare and sick people. Thanks for such a wonderful blog, long may you continue!

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    1. Hi Zana. Thanks for your comment. Shame that the troll made you close your blogs. Next time, stick two fingers up at them and just delete the crap they spurt forth.

      Love your crochet and artwork, you are very talented.

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  12. I love your blog - I find it really inspiring. In fact so much so that I've started my own frugal/veggie blog. The advice that you give about blogging is really useful. Must admit that I found the Troll bit is a little scary and the photograph limit is certainly something that I didn't know. The way I look at it is that if no one reads my blog it'll at least be a bit of an online diary for me to look back on and I might even get to meet some like minded people.

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