There are lots of things about blogging that are hard. Coming up with ideas probably ranks as #1. Most of the posts I’ve read on here deal with the anguish of trying to come up with something to write about. I’ve certainly had my share of posts about that! But there are other things about blogging that are hard, too. And here is a list in no particular order.
Coming up with a pithy title. You wouldn’t think something as insipid as “Blog Slog” took a lot of time to come up with, but it took an embarrassingly long time. Minutes, in fact. It was just the best I could come up with and I eventually gave up trying to come up with something better. I’ve seen other bloggers get around this problem creatively. They simply number their posts. Or just use the date. I envy them. It’s such a neat, easy-to-implement solution. And yet, I keep trying to come up with titles that will attract readers. So far, apparently, I haven’t come up with such a title. They are as elusive as a unicorn
Finding good artwork. I believe that a post with a good graphic will attract more readers than that same post without the graphic. But finding something to use as a graphic is difficult. Most clip-art sites now blanket their artwork with watermarks and logos and all manner of devices to keep people from using them without paying for the privilege. So that just leaves the sites that have free clip-art, but their artwork looks like it was drawn in the 1970s and offered up for free because it was rejected by the PBS show “The Electric Company” as being too weird. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Biff, just take your own pictures.” But I am strange in the fact that I don’t really like pictures on my blogs. I like artwork. But finding good artwork, especially FREE artwork, is very difficult.
Using Tags. I tag the heck out of my posts. I’ve read tutorials that say to use tags sparingly. Still other tutorials say you should use tags like rice in gumbo: just toss as much in there as you can. To date, I can’t tell that they are helping much. They work better than not having any tags at all, but having 10 tags doesn’t seem to work any better than just having one. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Are there some standard tags that people use to find things they like to read? I always feel like I’m just floundering when I’m tagging things.
Figuring Out What People Like. I haven’t figured this out yet. I check out the “Featured” blogs or look at blogs with hundreds of followers to try and figure out what people like to read. That hasn’t been much help. I can’t picture myself writing about fashion (no one wants to read about gray slacks and solid-print button-down Oxford shirts). I will not suddenly trek across Europe or Africa or Antarctica, taking pictures all the way. I can’t blog about food because no one cares much about Spam-based recipes and I’m pretty sure everyone already knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I am not good at woodworking or glassblowing or painting or sculpting or … or really anything that anyone would care to read about or look at pictures of. I don’t follow celebrities or popular movies or TV or popular music. Political blogs are an instant turn-off for me. So as you can see, I have sort of boxed myself into corner … or rather, out of the area “Where the Popular Blogs Are”.
Okay, I’m done ranting. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll go look for some great artwork while I’m thinking up a pithy title for my next post.
Meanwhile, here’s a bad graphic of a grilled cheese sandwich to tide you over until then.