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I am not sure what’s happening to my wordpress.com account, but for a couple of days I’ve been unable to post comments on other blogs. I enter a comment, then click the “post comment” button… and nothing happens. I am back to the top of the post, and when I scroll down, my comment is not showing. I hope it’s just a glitch and not a conspiracy 🙂 My sincere apologies to all the bloggers whose posts I read regularly and leave comments for; I am not ignoring you. I suppose it’s a wordpress issue and I hope it will be resolved soon. 🙂

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image via morguefile

After actively blogging for about half a year and having tankloads of fun, I suddenly got hit by blogger’s blues: I am not as enthusiastic about blogging as I was just a couple of weeks back; an occasional thought of throwing in the towel crosses my mind; I ask myself once in a while: what’s the point? And is it really worth my while? In other words – I FEEL TIRED.

I understand it’s just a phase, which shall pass, and all the colours of rainbow will return to my blogging puddle. Eventually. Meanwhile, I am trying to think of remedies for this condition.

  1. Time-machine: Going back in time to the blog’s humble beginnings and recalling the motivation and inspiration behind it. What was the blog’s initial focus? – To provide a creative outlet and find a spot under the blog-o-sun. I don’t think I lost my focus. What’s lacking then? Maybe because some days it feels more like a chore than fun?
  2. New direction: Writing a post on a different topic or posting a video or doing something totally different than usually. I could write about topics I haven’t touched yet like fashion/makeup/politics/dating/war criminals/cooking/celebrities/religion – but the problem is I don’t feel like it. A video might work, although that would take more time than any other type of post and I will end up even more tired.
  3. Fresh look: I have already made some changes to the right-hand side panel and poked around trying on new themes. I may try changing the header, although I really like the swans. Or is it too much water? According to some oriental views, excessive water can make you feel depressed.
  4. Editorial schedule: Writing NO MORE than two scheduled posts a week can provide some sense of control. And only after that writing more if time permits. But the very fact that I am writing this unscheduled post (while thinking of another two) demonstrates how hooked on blogging I am.
  5. STOP WATCHING THE BLOG STATS and FRETTING OVER THE BLOG TRAFFIC.
  6. Partner(s): I’ve been mulling over this concept for quite a while, but I am still not sure whether I like the idea of partners or multiple authors. It certainly works in business, but does it work for personal blogs? I’ve seen some examples, and I think where multiple-author blogs gain in numbers, they lose in individuality. I also noticed that blogs run by sisters, brothers, a married couple or two friends are doing better than blogs with three or more partners/contributors. If you’ve got any good examples of multiple-author blogs, please do share.
  7. Guest posts: That may work for blogs that already attract huge crowds. Mine is not there yet, and I doubt it will ever be. As a reader, I actually tend to skip guest posts (same as reblogged content), believe it or not.
  8. Reblogging: That’s like re-tweeting, although less conspicuous. It would surely look odd if two or three blogs that I follow reblogged the same post. Plus finding posts on other blogs worth reblogging may take some time. Yet there is no denying that reblogging can be useful.
  9. Awards: I have a very positive view on awards as they help build a sense of community and strengthen ties with other bloggers. On the flip side, the process itself may become quite onerous. I totally understand why some bloggers don’t do awards. And I totally understand why other bloggers enjoy them. There are a lot of creative ways to show your appreciation for the award, ranging from a simple thank you comment, to reblogging the award post, to including award badges with links on a separate page or side bar, to writing a full-fledged post that follows the rules to the letter. I also noticed that some bloggers ignore nominations entirely. That’s fine with me: bloggers are very busy people and I know it firsthand.
  10. Taking a break: As simple as that. You might lose some traffic and comments in the process, but when you are ready to return, you and your readers will really enjoy your fresh perspective.
  11. Things that make me tired: I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately. And I have to admit I avoid really long posts like a plague. This post is about 800 words. And it already feels long to me. So, if you are still reading it, you are my hero! Thank you!!!
  12. Things that don’t make me tired: Punchy headlines; inverted pyramid format (used by journalist when the most important information comes first, less important second – it doesn’t always work though); intriguing opening with a hook; great photos or art; sound bites (a short quote and a photo to go with it); and simply awesome (not very long) posts.

Do you get bogged down in some aspects of blogging? How do you conquer blogger’s blues?

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Inspiring and Inspired

It hasn’t been long since my first blogging award, yet again I have a reason to celebrate: Through the Lens was so kind as to bestow The Very Inspiring Blogger award on my humble puddle. Thank you, dear Through the Lens; I appreciate your generous gesture. You have an awesome blog, and I am flattered that you cared enough to include my blog among your inspirational resources.

Without further ado, I would like to present seven inspirational blogs that inspire me one way or another:

Colline’s Blog (collinesblog.wordpress.com)
MindMindful (mindmindful.wordpress.com)
Scriptor Obscura Writes (scriptorwrites.wordpress.com)
Creativity Aroused (creativityaroused.wordpress.com)
Edward Fraser (theedexperience.wordpress.com)
A Window into the Woods (awindowintothewoods.com)
My Story to You (dragoneystory.wordpress.com)

Congratulations and thank you!

According to the rules, I am to supply seven random things about me. I’ll try not to repeat myself and will tell new stories, lest you should be bored. So here we go:

(1) Growing up I wanted to be either an interpreter or an actress. (2) The interpreter part materialized, but (3) I never got even close to becoming an actress, and (4) my mother didn’t approve of it anyway 🙂
(5) When I was four, I loved cartoons. One day, to my mother’s great bemusement, she found me in tears in front of our black & white television set. It turned out I was crying over a little cartoon chicken that appeared to be completely motherless, and this sorrowful fact broke my little heart. (6) Around the same time, when we just moved into our new apartment, I found a hatchet in a pile of dad’s tools that were strewn on the floor. I grabbed the hatchet and went on to display it to my parents. I was proud of my achievement and eager to find more hatchets, hammers, or screwdrivers, but to my utter disappointment, the interesting tool pile vanished from the floor in a blink of an eye. Needless to say, it’s become my mom and dad’s favourite joke around dinner table. (7) You might think with such predilections I would be quite handy, but that can’t be further from the truth. 🙂

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Photo credit: Jarod Carruthers (Creative Commons)

Since my blog is a fairly new addition to the myriad of existing and already established blogs, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information and the very process of blogging. Although classes and books are helpful, I believe the only way to learn is by doing it (rather than talking about it), as well as by trial and error, and from experience of those who are successful in the field.

I have no problem taking care of the doing part and learning from success of others, but first I would like to get a better understanding of what success looks like in personal blogging. At this point, the concept in my head is somewhat fuzzy.

So, I would appreciate if dear fellow bloggers could share some of their knowledge and answer some questions:

What does success look like in personal blogging?

What are the most important indicators of a successful blog?

  • Is it traffic?
  •  Search engine rankings?
  • Number of comments? Quality of comments?
  • Number of Likes?
  • Community?
  • Awards?
  • Ability to profit?
  • All of the above?

It sounds like a lot, but in fact all I want to know is when I land on a blog’s home page, what is the most important indicator that would tell me that the blog “has made it”? Or, is it even fair to ask such a question? Do you think there is a common denominator of success, or maybe there isn’t?

I will greatly appreciate your thoughts and comments. I understand that blogging is becoming more competitive, everyone has his or her own priorities, there are no formulas and recipes for success, and you would certainly want something from me in return. I could offer to follow your blog, read your posts and provide my comments, but you likely already have more followers and comments than you can handle. Yet I think it’s still a win-win, because if you reply to my post or press the Like button, I get an opportunity to learn from your blog and join your community, and you get an opportunity to demonstrate your magnanimity, the spirit of sharing, and sense of community. On top of that you’ll have my sincere gratitude and appreciation.

As a side note, I realize that some bloggers do it full-time, some – as a hobby. So, here is my last question: Where is the line you must cross to call yourself a pro?

I look forward to hearing from you!

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