Dr. Tanya Wants to Know

How important is your blog traffic to you?

I write for my own satisfaction, but having people look at my writing is very important to me, as it brings me some satisfaction and makes me content when people click on the Like button or leave me Comments.  I am going to write anyways, even if nobody reads my stuff, or bothers to hit the Like button, or leaves me a compliment on what I write, but knowing that someone visited my site makes me feel better.

How often do you check your stats?

I probably should do this more often, but I would say that on an average, I check my stats about once a month.  This is my 2,567th post since I started writing here on WordPress and my All-Time stats say that I have gotten 139,695 views in the period since I published my first post on April 23, 2017.   My site received the most Views on November 17, 2019 where 453 people stopped by.  This is my first post today, but my stats say that I have already received 77 Views today.  From November 2019 through August 2020, I have received over 5,000 Views every month, although it looks like I may fall a bit short this month, as I only have 3,889 Views for September so far, even though I had 338 Views yesterday.  I am on a site titled A Unique Title For Me, my user name is newepicauthor and my tagline is “Hoping to make the world more beautiful”.  I have the Premium plan which I pay $99 a year for, and this prevents WordPress from adding commercials to my posts.  I currently have 1,197 followers.

Which part of your blog traffic, the views, likes, comments, or follows, is important for you personally?  Which of these do you think is most important for your blog?

I feel that Followers is a useless statistic, as I am more interested in Readers than Followers, but logging a View does not say that this person read my post.  The only way to tell that someone opened up my post is by Likes and or Comments and out of these two statistics, I feel that Comments tell you better who read your post, so this is the most important statistic to me, even if they are just a smiley face emoji.  I wish WordPress made it easier to check which of my posts got the most overall Views, Likes and Comments, but you can’t do that without a plugin, or upgrading to the Business plan, or writing in some complicated code.

Written for Blogging Insights # 47 – Traffic & Stats.

The Value of Comments

Dr. Tanya at Salted Caramel asks, “Do you think that comments add value to a blog post?  If so, how?”  In my opinion, comments are the most satisfying part about blogging, but since people are different and they may get different meanings from your writing, comments can be rewarding and well as upsetting.  Followers is a useless statistic and that can’t be controlled.  Views is another almost meaningless statistic, as you have no way to determine who has viewed your blog.  The Like button is an important statistic, but it does not tell you all that much about your writing, as some people just click on it to be polite and they don’t bother reading what you wrote.

I am guilty of clicking on the Like button for some stuff where I feel the writer didn’t do a very good job, but I did read their post and the reason that I Liked it was because of the effort that they put into it.  If I am not completely bored reading a particular post, I will click the Like button as it does not take all that much effort on my part to do that.  I don’t give critical comments, so my comments usually say how much I enjoyed reading a post, but those here who I consider to be friends, I may make some sarcastic statements.  I appreciate Followers, Views and Likes, but when somebody takes the time to write a comment, that makes me feel special.  What I don’t get is the bloggers that do not feature the Like button or a Comments section on their posts, as that always adds just a little bit of light to make your post a bit sweeter.

Written for Blogging Insights #46.

Computer Savvy

How technically savvy are you?

I know my way around computers although I am not an expert, but I do get by.  I taught myself and I got my first personal computer in 1990 with Microsoft Windows 3.0 installed on it.  The first versions of Windows (1.0 through to 3.11) were graphical shells that ran from the MS-DOS operating system, so I also learned DOS.  I started out with WordPerfect which I used to update my resume and write cover letters, but I soon moved to MS Word.  Next, I learned Excel and then I learned Access.  I also learned AutoCAD and MS Paint.  There is always something to learn and that is what makes computers fascinating.


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

I wrote a couple of books and when I was trying to market them, I read that it was good to have a platform, so that is why I came to WordPress.  I had no idea that I would end up becoming a blogger at the time and I knew nothing about having a website.  I signed up for this thing called Bluehost because I thought it was necessary and it was expensive and I never used it.  I wrote a few posts before I met this blogger named Sight who told me what I was doing wrong and he helped me a lot.  He gave me his email address, but he never told me his actual name.  He told me that I was part of the JFSS family which included me J for Jim, F for Fandango, S for Sandy and S for Sight.  Sandy was the first to leave and Sight is gone now and that is what happens to families.


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 worked as a technical writer for years, producing technical documents that are basically boring to anyone other that the people that they were produced for, but through this experience, I learned how to do research, so I am a research writer.  Unless it is Stream of Consciousness Saturday, I look things up before I try to write about them.  I am not really interested in being a successful blogger, as I don’t plan on trying to make any money out of this.  I write for my own enjoyment, but blogging is great for developing writing skills and improving your vocabulary.  I have made 2,433 since I started my blog on April 23, 2017 and my stats say that I have 1,153 followers now, of which I only feel like I know very few of them.  On November 17, 2019 my posts received 453 views that day which is my best ever, mostly because of my Song Lyric Sunday post Done with the Verb Do got 249 views that day.  I try hard to make good posts for SLS, but nobody has ever commented on anything that I write for these posts, even though they do get a lot of likes.  Since success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, in blogging that means getting a reaction which relates to comments and I have since given up on success.

Written for Dr. Tanya of Salted Caramel Blogging Insights # 38: Technical Aspects of Blogging.

I Am a Host

I have never responded to a Blogging Insights question before, but most of the other hosts seemed to have answered this question posed by Dr. Tanya which is: What is the value of running writing prompts to your writing in general, and your blog in particular?

I host two prompt challenges which are both music challenges.  I took over the very popular Song Lyric Sunday challenge which receiver 31 Likes and 51 Comments last Sunday.  This challenge was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time who fell ill at the end of 2019 and I volunteered to take over the hosting duties for her.  Helen provided me with a list of the Song Lyric Sunday themes that she had already used and she had been running this challenge since June 19, 2016.  What would this world be like without music?  I have been a huge fan of music for my entire life and I also participate in this challenge every week and many people are happy to see me keeping this challenge going.  This challenge draws in a lot of regulars and they have all become like an extended family for me, as I read every post that is submitted and I get to listen to a lot of music where I learn new things.  Next Sunday July 26, 2020 the theme will be Different/Same and everyone is invited to join in on the fun.  I will write about the Beatles song ‘Rain’ this week.

I took over the MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie MM Music Challenge from Mandi of Mandibelle16 who was from Canada after responding to a Writers Wanted post and I made my first post for this challenge on April 19, 2019.  This is a bi-weekly challenge, so every other week I switch off with Dylan Hughes who hosts First Line Friday.  I became part of the MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie team, which consists of the Sunday Writing Prompt and Monday Wordle which are both hosted by Yves.  The Tuesday Photo Challenge is hosted by Nekneeraj.  Wednesday Heeding Haiku is hosted by Chèvrefeuille and Thursday Tale Weaver is hosted by Michael.  Dylan Hughes and I alternate every Friday with her First Line Friday and my MM Music Challenge.  The Saturday Mix is hosted by Sarah Whiley.

This week 7/24/20 I will write about the Sade song ‘Smooth Operator’ and then I will make my own post about the Blondie song ‘Call Me’.  Participation is open and free to all and although this challenge is not very popular, I think it is more fun, as it has very few restrictions.  Mandi used to number her music posts and I think that I will start doing that now.  My first post should have been labeled Week 51, but since I just decided to do this, my next one will be labeled Week 84.  I have found a lot of writers here on WordPress who really know a lot about music and I seem to learn something new every day here.

I feel that there is value in running writing prompts, as it gives the WordPress community something to share together.  It is fun to see how others respond to prompts and in general any type of writing is good mental exercise.  For my blog in particular, I have responded to many types of prompts and writing keeps me out of trouble and it prevents me from getting bored.  I write about music, because I find that to be satisfying.  When I chose a song, I look for significant facts that I feel will make an interesting story.

Written for Dr. Tanya of Salted Caramel Blogging Insights # 37: Hosting a Writing Prompt.