Tag Archives: blogging

Say what?? Tiresome blog spam

gives your eyelashes a capital way to commence when they travel into a pedigree job or change of integrity of your be. 

Say what??    The above is how a spam message began – a message waiting for my approval.  Funny, isn’t it? And I did laugh, but there are some days I am so fed up with spam it is no joke!

What gets me is … What are they thinking?! What kind of message is that? And who in their right mind would approve it?

There are some pretty legit-looking comments that are left, though, and a person has to be really on their toes to discern which ones are to be denied as spam. It does get tiresome.

I am thankful for Akismet used here by WordPress, but even then the spam messages pile up in my spam box. I’m very glad they don’t get through to my actual messages, though, so, thanks WordPress team!

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by spam? Has spam ever become more than an annoyance to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

A few interesting blogging facts

Recently, I read some interesting facts about blogging but I don’t recall where I saw that. I had made note of a few things which stood out to me, and which I will share here in case you might like to know.

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Were you aware that 64% of bloggers blog as a hobby? Only 27% of bloggers write full-time at this. I think I would consider myself, at present, full-time – or the closest thing to it. I don’t blog every day but I try to keep up a manageable routine and schedule – however haphazard that can be at times. :)

I learned that 21% of bloggers have been blogging for more than 6 years. I started blogging in September 2008 on another site, which makes it five and a half years ago for me.

Do you know what are the major traffic sources for blogs? I’ll tell you: Search Engines make up 48% and Social Media make up 28% – which would consist of Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and other such places. My posts are noted by me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and anywhere else I or my readers choose to mention my posts.

In January 2010 I moved to WordPress. I am pleased to be one of the 40% of bloggers who are using WordPress as their blogging platform.

Another interesting fact is that 30% of bloggers are 25-34 years of age, while 27% are 35-44 years old, and I don’t fit in either of those age groups! Oh well, I still feel at home here.

How do you rate with regard to the above facts? Do you have any other interesting things to add to this information?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

 

 

 

NaBloPoMo – I am participating for the first time!

NaBloPoMo?  what is that?

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National Blog Posting Month. It was started in November 2006 as a counterpart to NaNoWriMo. Each day in the month of November bloggers post something new on their blog. (They actually keep going for the whole year if wanted, but it seems November is a busier month because of NaNoWriMo.) It can be as simple as a photo or a quote, or as lengthy as they want to take the time to write.

Do I have enough to do this month? One would think so, but here I am adding another challenge to my already quite full list. I decided since I will likely be posting here every day, anyway, keeping updates of my NaNoWriMo progress, I could attempt to add a little to each post for this challenge, too.  So, crazy or over-extended — or both! — here I am. By the time my blog appeared on the long list this morning, it is number 1258 with over two hundred after it!

To console those who don’t like tons of posts from me, I seriously doubt I will continue every day after this challenge ends. And I will try to make it interesting for the next 28 days.

If you love to blog and would enjoy this challenge, go here for information, then sign in and sign up! Or simply cheer me on.  :)  That would be great, too.

Are you doing this challenge, have you ever, or would you like to another month? How often do you usually blog?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

10 points on how to create a welcoming blog

I have been working on cleaning up my blog. Again.14502340-orange-cartoon-character-with-dust-mop-and-bucket-on-the-white-backgroundI read somewhere that the less clutter there is the more pleasant it is for visitors, and maybe they will return more often. I like that idea. What blogger doesn’t like repeat visitors? So, as a visitor of many other blogs, and keeping that advice in mind, I have tried to make my blog esthetically pleasing – easy on the eyes, interesting to view, and a snap to navigate.

Here are my ten points on how to create a welcoming blog:

  1. WordPress has many themes, most of them free, a few I have tried and liked a lot but I’ve decided that my choice of three columns is a convenience for me. I like that I have my written content in the middle and on either side I can choose widgets to contain the extra things I want to share, things I hope my readers will benefit from and enjoy.
  2. I have tried to keep it as simple as I can, removing the extra unnecessary items that really don’t do much to enhance what my blog is about. That has evolved over time and is ongoing.
  3. I chose a theme with adjustable background colours I can change if I want to; right now light blue is working well. It’s calming and, I think, makes the writing easy to see. Plus, for the month that WordPress has snow falling on my blog if I want it (and I do), I can adjust the colour to see the snow more clearly.
  4. I recently discovered menus! All my page names are in the top bar of every page and now you can mouse over them for drop-down menus. Fun! I enjoy that feature on blogs I visit; it’s like finding hidden treasure. :) And it’s a convenient way to see what’s offered without having to take forever to search for it, such as writers helps.  Another great thing is that using drop-down menus, I listed all my individual book reviews posted here so far, but – being concerned about monitors that have smaller screens – I divided the list into two per year where necessary so the reader can access every review. One long list could mean the reader might miss the books at the bottom, and they’re too good to miss. The menus can be layered to accommodate what I needed to do.
  5. The calendar in my left column has the dates of my blog posts in each month underlined.That way it is a reminder to me that I need to get busy writing, and an easy way for visitors to see if there is a post they may have missed.
  6. Because I find it difficult to keep to a tight routine, not as many posts are written as I would prefer, but I schedule posts ahead if I have been able to get them prepared. That’s another great feature on WordPress. It is very easy to use, along with drafts to save for later use.
  7. I wanted a countdown clock so did an online search for one. What I discovered is that WordPress has one right here! It’s called Milestone, which is why I didn’t recognize it as a countdown clock. It doesn’t even look like a clock but I like it; it’s easy to use and program. Now I have it in my right column to count down to writers workshop dates and to introduce upcoming topics. I also put up a second one when I have a scheduled author interview or book giveaway to announce. How simple, fun, and convenient!
  8. There are many other items offered by WordPress that are very helpful and some of them you can check out here on my blog. I mentioned only a few of the ones I chose and enjoy the most. I like that WordPress is so user-friendly and the team is always working to improve and add to what they offer. And one of the best things is most of the themes allow the user to personalize their blog, which is what a blogger really wants. Making your blog represent who you are can only enhance it.
  9. I am very grateful for the spam filter (Akismet), used here. It has been 99.87% accurate on my blog! The team is always aiming to stay ahead of that battle. Along with that, I’m happy with the way the comments section is set up as I have the choice to approve or deny comments as they come in. I choose to require people to fill out their name and email address in order to comment, but that is to be sure they are sincere. I also DO NOT give that information to anyone else, but I do use it to notify the person if they have won a book. :)  If that setting is discouraging you from leaving comments, please be assured that I am safe.  :)  In my opinion, that setting qualifies as a good feature once the blog feels safe to the visitor.
  10. Perhaps the most important point in creating a welcoming blog is to BE welcoming. So simple a thing to do. My way of doing that is to try to be myself with everyone. I share what’s on my mind, what’s going on in my life – while trying to not go overboard with that, along with posting what my blog is mainly about … which is WRITING. I am delighted to have YOU visit me and let me know you have been here. I love it when you leave a comment or “like” a particular post.  Oh, there’s another fun feature. :)

These are a few things I hope will help you a little in creating a welcoming blog. They are what I have figured out over the three years I’ve been here on WordPress. In fact, January 9 was my third WordPress birthday.  Thank you for making my blogging an adventure I truly enjoy. (most of the time) :)  Oh, and if you want to subscribe to receive notice of new posts, you’ll find an easy-peasy widget at the top of my left column. It’s automated and free to sign up! :)

What blogging features or tips have you found that work for you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this New Year do you resolve to, or hope to?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Can you believe this is “the year of our Lord, two thousand thirteen“?  2013! To me, that seems a strange number; it feels different somehow.

2013 with bamboo

I think the beginning of a new year always brings with it that ‘starting fresh’ feeling, the way the outdoors looks after a fresh fall of snow — all sparkly and clean. The new year comes in like that — sparkly and clean with nothing marring it or tracking it up. We want our new year to be that way … unmarred with no tell-tale tracks. We want to start fresh, leaving the mistakes and disappointments behind.

Have you made any resolutions?  For the past several years I have not recorded or purposely written a list of New Year Resolutions. The many times I fell short, and then felt guilty about failing, led me to give up that emotional self-abuse.

Or are yours more like “hope to’s”? What I usually do is simply think about what I want to try to change in the new year, which is sort of making resolutions but it often happens less deliberately. It could be called my list of “hope to’s” instead.

My goals this year are centered around reading, writing, and attitude – none of which should be a surprise to you. :)

  • READING: You have no idea how many books I have collected over the years with the intention of reading them someday. The problem with that is my TBR (to be read) stash continues to grow as I keep adding to it and have less time to read. The older books are still waiting and the newer ones keep coming. My husband gave me an e-reader for Christmas (a Kindle) so now I have a growing digital TBR book stash! (What complicates it further is that I found a “free e-books on Amazon” daily list. Oh woe is me! but how delightful at the same time.) To say I love books is almost an understatement. My plan is for some of them to be reviewed on my blog, a few old ones, but mostly new titles. I have a waiting list.
  • WRITING: Of course I hope to continue writing picture book drafts and working on the ones I already have. I also hope to finish writing my novel this year. As for my blog, I’m now trying to formulate a better plan regarding my posts. I will still be writing book reviews, interviewing authors, posting about other things in between, but possibly something else will also take shape on my blog if I can get it worked out. Being better organized along with the habit of scheduling would be very beneficial.                                                             I have not signed on for the extra writing challenges this year that I enjoyed the past few years, as much as I would have liked that. Perhaps it will give me more chance to catch up on emails, blogging, and the book writing I mentioned. Maybe next year I will be able to try some of them again.
  • ATTITUDE: As you know, my word – since my birthday in November – is GRATEFUL. I have not made it my habit yet, but that is something I am aiming for – to become consciously grateful every day for something. And to say out loud (to God as well as to myself) — “I am grateful!” I believe in every circumstance there is something for which to be grateful, and once found it changes one’s attitude and perspective, and releases the stress – at least a little. I believe an attitude change will help me handle things much better, including the combined challenges as a wife, caregiver, and writer.

Perhaps I have set resolutions for 2013, but I prefer to call them goals … goals that I hope to achieve – not just in 2013, but as positive long-term life-affecting choices. 

How about you – what resolutions or ‘hope to’s’ have you made for 2013?

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Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

A B C’s: Alzheimer’s, Blogging, Cancer?

I have been missing in action again. Well, not really missing, but absent from blogging. It was not intentional. I just need sleep, I think.

Since NaNoWriMo ended I have been trying to do a little catch up on other things. This is my week home from caregiving (Alzheimer’s) and even though I have had some time, I’m finding it hard to accomplish much extra. My blogging has suffered (again!), and for that I apologize to you, my readers.  My stress level is climbing and I’m quite tired, but Christmas is coming and I have to get busy!

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The added stress is that recently my dear husband was diagnosed with level 2 melanoma, skin cancer. (I had to pause before typing out that hated word.) My husband told me he doesn’t care if I talk about it here; he says many people know anyway, and it is what it is and will likely become obvious. I am sharing this information in the hope that Believers will pray for him. He has had one minor surgery, and on December 18 he will be undergoing a more involved one. After that one and before doing reconstructive surgery the surgeon will be searching for lymph nodes in order to remove some for testing. This all will happen within six hours on the same day. Test results are to come back four weeks later.

That happens to be my week at Dad’s, so I am working out details to have someone there in my place while I am with my husband for two days. Once he is doing okay then I’m back to Dad’s for the rest of the week. Plus, it’s going to be crazy trying to get everything ready for Christmas during all this. We have been attempting to get our shopping completed in preparation, and I got my ‘away’ gifts all mailed yesterday.

A fun thing for me is that on Saturday I met a new author who is a bit of a celebrity. She signed her book for me and after I finish reading it I will be doing a review here .. after the others I have lined up.

** If I told you I would read and review your book, please send me a quick email and remind me. I must have misplaced my list (can’t imagine how!) and really have to get a better system together. I hope you understand it’s been difficult to get into reading and reviewing lately. There are some exciting books lined up for me to review, though, and a couple of giveaways are included. Please stay tuned! :)

I cannot end this post without saying that in the long line of people waiting for the signing of books on Saturday, three people behind me was none other than the lovely and talented author Laura Best! Remember my review of her book Bitter, Sweet and our interview? We had a chance to chat a little which was enjoyable for me, with comedy added since her husband was her “professional photographer” and quite a kidder.

I suppose most of this reads like a “woe is me” post. Admittedly, I’m feeling rather blue right now, but after a good sleep things should look a little better. Truly, I rely on the Lord although it may not seem like it right now. My human nature is to look at the situation and then have to remind myself to look to the One who knows all. One of my life verses is Romans 2:28: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

I hope you are not stressing, but if you find life to be overwhelming … look to the One who knows all. :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

 

Why don’t you leave a comment?

I have one question: Why don’t you leave a comment?

I’m wondering if my readers who don’t leave comments are put off by having to sign in with their screen name and their email address? This is for my blog’s security, not for information gathering. I don’t sell your information, nor do I have any wicked plans for it. Please rest assured that when you fill in any information requested it is just WordPress’s way of making sure you are not a s p a m m e r.  Together, WordPress and WordPress’s bloggers (I being one) work to keep it fun. Anyone with questionable intentions is rightfully blocked with an accuracy rate of 99.88%, but we (WordPress and WordPress bloggers) don’t have any evil intentions for our readers.

Just so you know. :)

I look forward to reading your legitimate comments! 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

PS:   Watch for more fun content coming right up!  Next is an author interview.