This post is part of the blogging fundamentals tutorial offered by WordPress. If you are a regular follower of my blog, you are probably not interested in this path. I will try to remember to title all related posts with Blogging Fundaments so you can recognize and skip them.
Day 4 and the tutorial continues with the directions below.
Today, publish a post you’d like your ideal reader to see, and include a new-to-you element.Here’s how:
First, brainstorm the kind of person you hope will read your blog. What do you want to say to them?
Next, start your new post by clicking on the button below. Remember to include a media element (an image, a video embed, etc.) you haven’t experimented with yet.
Finally, give your post a few tags, including bloggingfundamentals, and publish it.
Writing with a specific person in mind is a great way to focus your thoughts and goals. Exploring new media elements adds more tools to your storyteller’s toolbox and helps engage your readers.
So… Audience and media.
The perfect reader of my blog…
To whom, exactly, am I writing? It is not something I have thought about too much lately. A few of these tutorials back, I was pretty proud of myself for identifying what I want this blog to be about. Somehow, I thought of the blog as being my thoughts on the two topics of aging and writing. Both are processes. Both are important to me. So I started this blog site with the idea that I would be writing mostly for myself. Audience was incidental.
And now I have added the relationship of drawing and writing as complementary art forms… For a while, at least.
But what is the purpose of blogging if the site is used more as a personal journal than as part of a discussion with others? Even if people don’t comment on or respond to the topic of the day in the comments section, they might think about what was said and create their own meaning, or incorporate what I wrote into their own worldview. The best I would hope for is that the reader would think about what is written here.
That doesn’t answer the question of who my ideal reader is. Let me think on that…
And the media element…
Some time ago I learned that 1) readership increases if the post includes an image (especially a featured image); 2) including more than 3 links may cause others’ security protocols to reject your post from inclusion to their Readers–and even from notifications of posts–because much spam contains more than three links; 3) if a blogger has slow or limited internet service, featuring an embedded video may tie up their systems and you will lose a potential follower; 4) large pictures (in MB) have the same effect on a reader as embedded videos.
Also, if your site contains a pop-up window that basically forces a viewer to register for your newsletter or as a follower, it is difficult to “like” a post, or even read it, without changing one’s options and/or security settings. Often, the pop-ups make reading a post difficult, and large pop-ups block everything. Personally, I have stopped reading blogs I follow that started including any of these options. I was always security conscious, and living on an island where pirating is de rigeur makes security an even bigger concern. Well, at least their views counter increments.
Another thing you won’t find on my blog site is one of those sliding Windows (I don’t have the name for them) that provide sharing options or other features. There is one blogger whom I have been following for quite a while. Recently, he added this option on his posts. On mobile devices, the WP apps don’t let you suppress these. The windows don’t stop you from liking or commenting, but they are not transparent so they remove a strip of the post from easy visibility. You can move the page up and down so you can read the whole line of text, but it’s a nuisance. Many of his posts don’t get read if I am using a mobile.
Because our best internet connections are slower than what we are used to, anything that ties up internet resources or my ability to read a post gets skipped. Since I have a pretty long list of blogs I follow, I simply ignore these blogs and move on to the next item in my Reader.
WordPress provides lots of sophisticated do-dads to lend interest to blogs. What the reader experiences may not fit with the level of interest in your site.
Bottom line: Keep it simple.
The post to my ideal reader will have to wait for a while. It will take me longer than one day to determine a fixed audience, especially since this site undergoes changes of focus as I pursue different types of topics. I try to keep posts over time consistent within a time frame, but topics change as I move on. One thing that does not change is that I continue to experiment with written forms. I think about how I am writing–or, more likely, how I wrote the last post.
On media elements, I will stick to pictures that do not take too long to load. If I find elements too intrusive, chances are pretty good that others will feel the same.
As to tagging, I tag each post based on its individual topics. As an example, in my current regular posts, I am working through learning to create Zentangles using a how-to book. I always include the book title as one of my tags. When I am done with the book, I will drop that tag. With this strand of posts, when I move on to the next tutorial, the bloggingfundamentals tag will be retired. We all grow. Growth means that focus changes, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. I have been blogging long enough to be aware of the changes.
(Note to self: Keep it short. Simplify! Practice!)
Until the next lesson post, Happy Blogging!