And Your Name Is?

It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in Dr. Tanya’s “Blogging Insights Series.” Notwithstanding my absence over the past few months, this topic seemed like it was a good one to jump back onto the bandwagon with.

The topic Dr. Tanya is tackling this time is “Your User Name” when blogging.

She’s given us a bit of look at it like this:

The name that you blog under is the calling card which introduces you to bloggers and readers across the globe. Some bloggers use their first name and some use their full name. Others prefer to keep their identity unknown, blogging under a cool made up name.

As such, we have three questions to ponder:

Do you use your own name for blogging?

If you use a pseudonym, what are your reasons for this and what led you to choose that particular name?

Is there an interesting story behind your User Name?

My go at it.

Do you use your own name for blogging?

Not specifically.

Like many starting out, I wasn’t sure what to do about anything back in the “dark ages.” I understand that many may blog and not use their real name for a variety of reasons, including anonymity, safety concerns, branding and a host of other reasons as well.

Having said that, I sure people know my full name or at least my first name from reading posts over the years. The one thing I try to do however, is keep our home location fairly general in nature as the “old homestead.”

If you use a pseudonym, what are your reasons for this and what led you to choose that particular name?

Is there an interesting story behind your User Name?

I’m going combine these two together.

Like I mentioned in the first question, I fumbled around in the beginning trying to figure out this “blogging world” stuff. What to do; what not to do; how to do things….the never ending list of questions and issues.

I had only looked at one or two outdoor related blogs when I was setting mine up. Both used pseudonyms or semi-pseudonyms if you like. Their blog names were directly related to their specific blog niche.

As such, I took the simplest route possible – that’s what I should do also. Come up with a name that related to what the blog is all about.

The name “justabitfurther” came to being, as a result of how Lynn and I often hike and explore in the wilderness.

We often are chugging along and say to each other, “let’s go just a little bit further – there might be something exciting just around that curve over there or at the top of the next hill.”

Over time, I discovered that the blog title “justabitfurther” works nicely and fits well into living and life. I’ve written several posts on how often we need to persevere and go “just a bit further” to see what the dawn of tomorrow holds for us. As people we tend to often quit before taking those few extra steps needed to go from darkness into light.

There you go.

That’s the name and how it came into being.

A big thanks as always to Dr. Tanya for hosting this series for over a year now.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

It’s A Bit Drafty Here

Blogging at least from where I sit, involves few if any deadlines at all.

A wonderful and thought provoking post gets crafted and when it reaches the point of no more revisions, magically the “publish” button gets pushed. We sigh and gush with pride as our post heads into the blogosphere to be devoured by hordes of eagerly awaiting readers.

Or something like that.

Realistically though, there are deadlines and other issues involved when it comes to producing a really top-notch blog post. Time and writing quality are two of the more important issues when it comes to producing a superior end product.

Due to the fact that time and quality weigh heavily when writing and composing blog posts, often our work(s) end up sitting in a drafts folder until, both “time and quality” can be sufficiently addressed before hitting publish.

Dr. Tanya in Blogging Insights 44, takes a somewhat personal(lol) peek into our “draft folders.”

Three questions to look at.

How many drafts do you have in your ” Drafts Folder” right now?

Do you always complete a post that you draft? If not, why?

Is it a good idea to leave your unfinished drafts hanging around or should you delete them after some time, if so, how long?

Here ya go:

How many drafts do you have in your ” Drafts Folder” right now?

Not including this post, the magic number is fourteen.

Do you always complete a post that you draft? If not, why?

The short answer is – no.

Although my answer is “no”, I would like to say or at least think that someday those fourteen “draft posts” will see the light of day in the blogosphere.

Inspiration for a post can be a fickle companion at the best of times. It often presents intentions that are both admirable and honourable, but sometimes it lacks the commitment to hang in until the end.

What seemed like a earth-shattering and life altering idea in your mind for you next post, grinds to a screeching halt after the first three lines get typed using the new WordPress editor.

Hence, into the “drafts folder” for some undeterminable time warp until your “fickle companion – Inspiration” re-appears to lead the way to the next classic and hopefully “view exploding” post.

And there they sit……and sit……and are still sitting, awaiting for their “first love – Inspiration” to reappear out of a foggy mist and make them complete.

Realistically, if posts don’t get finished and published within a day or two, more often than not, they end up sitting in the “drafts folder” until I get the nerve to say goodby to “my old friends” and hit the “trash” button.

Is it a good idea to leave your unfinished drafts hanging around or should you delete them after some time, if so, how long?

Not sure.

I think this can be a personal choice or preference. Some people may look at the drafts and know that at some point in the near or distant future they will find the right words and emotions and finish them.

On the other hand, some bloggers will keep the “drafts folder” next to empty.

For myself, I have on one or two very rare occasions(over a four year period mind you), gone back and finished a post that had been sitting in the “drafts folders” for say longer than a month or so.

So, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer for this question though.

“To draft or not to draft” – that was the question. And once again, a big thanks to Dr. Tanya for her neverending work on the “Blogging Insights” series.

Great stuff and great information.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Sharing Pearls Of Wisdom

One of the wonderful things found throughout the blogging world(at least from my experience), is the willingness of many bloggers to share “pearls of wisdom” or tips regarding “anything blog related” with just about anyone who asks.

Dr. Tanya in Blogging Insights #41 asks us to share some tips for new bloggers. I guess the tips could be used for bloggers at any stage.

Nevertheless, she does hope we will “share three blogging tips” for those just getting started on their blogging journey.

Many times during my blogging journey I have discovered some useful tip or technique and said to myself, ” If only I had known this when starting out!”

Let me first say, that when I started out back in the summer of 2016, I didn’t do any or next to nothing in terms of seeking advice or tips from established bloggers.

We slugged through it all on our own.

My Three Blogging Tips

Tip 1

This will be a popular one for sure, but have fun working and doing your blog.

I assume that at this stage at least, blogging will be a hobby for most of you. You may have wonderful aspirations of blogging being a new career and that’s great, but regardless of whether that is the goal or not, it should in my opinion always be something fun.

Cause if it isn’t – it becomes simply another chore to tick off each day on some neverending list of things that need to get checked off.

Have and make it fun.

Tip 2

Focus on your content

This one gets mentioned a fair bit. In fact, it gets mentioned all the thing.

Content is king.

People come to blogs(ie your blog) for information. How you define information is perhaps better discussed in another post. But, people won’t come back a second time, if the content is…..well simply not very good.

Books can be and have been written on why content is king.

If you do nothing else in terms of content – check grammar, punctuation and the somewhat “boring writing type things” in your posts.

Tip 3

Be yourself.

Don’t try to be or emulate the style or tone of another blogger. They’ve already done that.

In my opinion, your writing and overall blog will be exponentially superior, if you simply be yourself.

Let your writing reflect who you are. It can be a tough thing to do, given the fact we often don’t want others to see the real us. But, the real us is often what the world needs to see and read about.

You’ll be a better blogger, if you simply are who you are. Be yourself.

Once again a big shout out to Dr. Tanya for keeping the weeks going on the blogging insights series. so much great information.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Scheduling Posts

Depending on your blogging frequency, using the WordPress scheduling device can be a blessing in getting posts “live” when you’re not able to actually push the “publish” button.

Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) in the next Blogging Insights #40 delves into using the scheduling feature that is built into the WordPress platform.

She poses two simple questions for us to examine.

How often do you use the “schedule” feature on WordPress and how useful do you find it?
How far ahead do you schedule your posts?

So, here ya go….

How often do you use the “schedule” feature on WordPress and how useful do you find it?

I use the schedule feature for all the “Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt” that I’ve been hosting for the past few months.

I try to schedule posts for this at least a four weeks in advance. They go “live” Tuesday’s at 7:00am. Often I’m at work then, so the scheduling application really is a great benefit. In this case, the scheduler allows me to be consistent in the posting times, so readers know the prompt can be found at that time every Tuesday morning(or afternoon; or evening – depending on where you inhabit on our little planet).

When I fall into a “blog creation frenzy” and crank out three or four posts in a short time period of a few hours, I use the scheduler to space the publishing times out during that day or to space them out over a the next few days.

How useful is the scheduling feature? I think for most, the scheduling feature allows us to be consistent when posting something that needs to go live on a regular basis at specific times. Like daily or weekly prompts for example.

It can also allow you to post at your most popular time. WordPress says my most popular time is Friday’s at 9:00am. It would suggest(at least I think it does) that this would be the best time to post stuff in terms of views and visitors.

I should actually try this to see if it makes a difference to a posts activity.

How far ahead do you schedule your posts?

See above.

Depends on what I’m posting. Up to three or four weeks or as soon as an hour from now.

A continued big shoutout and thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and specifically looking at using the WordPress scheduling feature.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt Week 8 – A Reblog From Greeny Rudbeckia

Our next prompt provider for Week 8 is Greeny Rudbeckia.

This is her second visit with us and leaves a great response to the prompt this week, based on a memory of a trip to a small island she made a few years back.

Sun Kisses The Sea gives a great taste and feeling of a early morning dawn on the water.

Once again, a big thanks to Greeny Rudbeckia for the wonderful addition to the landscape of this week’s prompt.

Stay tuned for our Week 9 prompt scheduled for this Tuesday, August 11.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Help From WordPress

Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) is back with the next installment in all things blogging with Blogging Insights #39

In this installment, she asks our experience(s) using WordPress tutorials or help from WordPress whe getting started back in the beginning.

Once you make a WordPress account and launch your blog, you become entitled to some WordPress features. Some of these work on the free plan while others can only be accessed on the paid WordPress plans. Today we discuss their usefulness or otherwise.

TODAY’S QUESTIONS

How helpful did you find the WordPress tutorials on blogging?

Did you contact the WordPress support staff (Happiness Engineers), if that was included in your plan, and what was your experience with them?

Here’s what I remember..

How helpful did you find the WordPress tutorials on blogging?

When I signed up back in the summer of 2016, I got started using the free plam.

I remember signing up for some weekly email things in kind of a online class format. But, since that was over fours years ago, remembering what they were on has sadly slipped away from the recesses of my past memories.

Overall, I do think they were helpful at that time.

Like many, I came into the WordPress world with no knowledge at all on how to set a blog or the finer details of working with the various blog attributes contained in the WordPress platform.

So, they did help to some degree.

Did you contact the WordPress support staff (Happiness Engineers), if that was included in your plan, and what was your experience with them?

Nope. Don’t think so.

Never heard of the phrase “Happiness Engineers” until now.

As I mentioned in Blogging Insights #38(To Tech or Not To Tech), I found the overall process of setting up my blog reasonably straightforward and now four years later running and maintaining it on a daily basis, pretty much the same – straightforward.

I don’t make many changes to the format or look of it, other than changing and mixing up the gallery of pictures on the sidebar from time to time. As well, I may change up the header photo, if and when I remember. Which happens perhaps two or three times a year.

A continued big shoutout and thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and specifically looking at “WordPress tutorials and WordPress support.”

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

To Tech Or Not To Tech?

Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) is back with the next installment in all things blogging with Blogging Insights #38“Techie or Non Techie.”

The issue at hand is pretty simple, “how technical savvy are you?”

TODAY’S QUESTIONS:

How technically savvy are you?

Did you launch and set up your blog on your own or did you need help with it?

Do you feel that it is more important to have a flair for writing  or have good computer skills to be a successful blogger?

Let’s see…

How technically savvy are you?

Not terribly unfortunately.

I guess “my savviness” is directly related to what needs to be done or what is the issue that needs to be resolved.

Our MacBook Air is pretty simple – generally speaking.

But, with issues that dod pop up from time to time, we’ve turned to a friend of Lynn’s who can generally help us over the phone or via text.

I fully understand those who find the computer/techie stuff overwhelming and often intimidating. I feel like all this “computer stuff” is at times, nothing more than a foreign language that you’re trying to learn on the fly in order to solve some computer or programming issue that needed to be dealt with yesterday.

Did you launch and set up your blog on your own or did you need help with it?

I set it up and launched it by myself.

I found the entire process setting up my blog using the WordPress platform to be not that bad.

I tend to operate in the “WordPress world” using a “hit and miss” approach. In other words, I see something I might like to try or do; give it a go; if it doesn’t work as planned I might try the “help” function; and then give it another go.

Most times that approach works for me. I don’t worry too much if something doesn’t work as it should or at least as I think it should. If a WordPress issue was troubling me that much, I’m sure I could find someone out there to help figure it out.

Do you feel that it is more important to have a flair for writing  or have good computer skills to be a successful blogger?

I can’t speak to other blogs or blog formats, but I think it needs to be about one hundred percent “flair for writing” and an additional one percent “good computer skills.”

It won’t matter a “hoot” if you’re the “worlds best WordPress blog techie person”, but can’t create content that people want to read.

Most bloggers I interact with are in the “business” of creating great content, not necessarily in the business of “good/great computer skills.”

Yes, there needs to be some balance between the two, given one needs to physically create and publish a post. But, great content will always win over the computer stuff or at least it should.

As time moves along and at least for myself, I’ve learned some new things on the WordPress platform that has helped to enhance the look of my blog and such. But, to be honest I rarely even consider the “technical stuff.”

I would a fair statement to say that many of us started blogging because we had or needed to say something important. We wanted to tell and share with the world what was deep within our soul and burning to get out.

Why would or should that change?

A continued big shoutout and thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and specifically looking at “how technical savvy are you when examining your blog?”

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt #6 – Reblog From Tanya(Salted Caramel)

Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) is next up in our Week 6 prompt.

Thanks Tanya for taking time and leaving us with a question we all may be asking ourselves during these challenging times.

Her poem asks one question that floats out there during the pandemic. And that is, “what does or what will the future hold for all of us; will things ever be the same?

Have a look here at Tanya’s entry here

Thanks once again Tanya, for adding great insight to this week’s prompt.

Stay tuned for our Week 7 prompt, dropping next Tuesday, July 28.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt #6 – Reblog From Sadje

This week, Sadje(Keep It Alive) is first across the finish line with our Week 6 prompt. Once again, thanks Sadje for taking time and giving us such a important reminder about the doors of opportunity as they confront us during our life.

A poignant reminder that life isn’t meant to be lived hiding behind the physical and mental doors in our world. We need to be aware of when circumstances present themselves and simply open them to the possibilities of new and exciting opportunities.

Have a look here at Sadje’s entry here.

Thanks once again Sadje for adding such depth to this week’s prompt.

Stay tuned for our Week 7 prompt, dropping next Tuesday, July 28.

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Hosting A Blogging Prompt

Many bloggers out there in the “blogging universe” take part in weekly and/or daily blogging prompts hosted and organized by other bloggers in the “blogging cosmos.”

What many don’t do(and I assume this to be true), is host their own prompt(s).

I would think there a bucket full of reasons why most don’t host or run their own prompts. The time involved in organizing it each week(or daily); deciding on a format; or even coming up with a prompt concept in the beginning are all valid reasons.

In addition, many bloggers may also feel and rightly so, that their own blog/niche isn’t suitable for blogging prompts.

Dr. Tanya, in the next installment of blogging insights takes a look a what value or rewards are there in hosting and running your own blogging prompts. in Blogging Insights #37 – Hosting A Blogging Prompt

She gives us a bit of a preamble:

We discussed writing prompts earlier in the Blogging Insights series too, you can click here to read that post. In response to that post, lots of bloggers shared how and why they respond to writing prompts. Today we look at the question from the other side of the table.  Many bloggers organise prompts on their blogs and today we invite them to share their experience.

Question

What is the value of running writing prompts to your writing in general, and your blog in particular?

Three months ago, if anyone said to me, “you’ll be hosting a weekly blogging prompt on your own site” I would have thought them to be “just a bit off their rocker.”

But then, the universe does have a unique sense of humour.

The thoughts of actually hosting a blogging prompt had never entered my mind, until another blogger suggested that I should post pictures that Lynn has taken as a blogging prompt along the lines of “what do the pictures mean to you” sort of thing.

And thus “Lynns Tuesday Picture Prompt” was born. Here’s a link to the Week 6 prompt. I’ll give you extra marks if you can also name who the famous Canadian painter is.

Developing the prompt and hosting /running it wasn’t part of an elaborate plan to increase traffic, views and visitors to my own blog. Although, I understand if that is the motivation behind why others may host prompts.

My motivation was from the perspective of that art should “evoke emotion(s).” I was interested in what are raw and gut emotions or what does the picture speak and say to readers when they look at it.

As well, I felt it might a nice way or another avenue to introduce people to Lynn’s talent as a photographer.

To date, the responses to each weekly prompt has been fantastic. Every person who has participated has submitted poetry, but the wide expanse of feelings and emotions, along with what the particular photo is saying to them has been more than worth the effort.

More importantly, hosting the prompt has provided me the opportunity to meet some new writers and their work, which has been the best value and investment in the whole process.

For some weird reason, I haven’t to date taken part in any of “Lynns Tuesday Picture Prompts.” I’m not sure if it is even “proper etiquette” to submit a post to a prompt you’re hosting. This assumes that is even is a “proper etiquette” to follow in terms of hosting a prompt.

Looking back in retrospect to my own blogging life, it is without a doubt been a “blogging journey.”

Perhaps one could think of blogging, as a life unto its own. As we grow, change and mature, thus our blogs can and I think should also grow, change and mature.

At least that’s how I view my own journey.

What this blog started out as four years ago, is now but one facet of a number of things within the whole “justabitfurther” life cycle. Adding a weekly prompt is just another chapter being written as part of the whole story.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, but a continued big shoutout and thanks to Dr. Tanya(Salted Caramel) for her neverending work on this “Blogging Insights Series” and specifically looking at “Hosting Blogging Prompts.”

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —