Almost eleven years ago, I began the Wiseblooding blog with my younger daughter’s encouragement. If you’ve been on the internet at least a week or two, you know anyone can “publish” a blog. Figures differ on the total number of blogs worldwide (500 million? 600 million? More? Less? Honestly, who can say for certain?) Did I mention, anyone can blog?
Interestingly, there’s a website which counts the number of blog posts written today! The website asserts their statistics are based on blog activity published by WordPress.com (WordPress is the platform I use for my posts.) As I type these words, the number of “blog posts written today” blog-blasts its way toward 5,000,000! The website explains this is only an estimate.
My mission (since I chose to accept it … tip of the hat to the Mission: Impossible genre) was designed to be a place (maybe even a showcase?) for my writing. Because I’m a person who can’t NOT write, I’ve filled notebooks and file cabinets full of my writing. (As I got older, that seemed a pointless exercise.) For me, blogging has scratched my itch (so to speak).
Over the last decade+, I’ve cataloged almost 800 posts. During this time, I’ve learned a host of things and I’ll quickly enumerate several items, not in any particular order.
- Some blogs are “free” while others can be costly
- Many people write blogs to generate income
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for traffic and SEO ranking
- Keyword research helps target what phrases assist people in finding your blog among the millions
I know, I know. It seems like a bunch of gobbledegook, right?! I receive regular emails from people pitching offers to “improve your ranking,” “start hitting $300 paydays,” “hand-craft a local SEO strategy,” and “advertise your website for nothing!” All of these pitches are mildly amusing. I always wondered what they had to do with the actual joys of blogging … the writing, editing and posting.
Once upon a time, I agreed to a “free keyword search.” Certainly, if you know people on the internet are searching for certain words, it would be reasonable to salt posts with those specific words, right? In the case of wiseblooding.com, oft-used words include Bible, Jesus Christ, New Testament, Bible verses, etc. By “incorporating keywords” such as these, my blog is positioned (theoretically) to reach more readers who will, in turn, become clients.
But … I’m not looking for clients. Yes, I did install a Buy-Me-a-Coffee widget not long ago – because I love coffee. (Fact: I’m the only person who has purchased a cup! And that’s okay. I like the button anyway! For now, it will stay.) So I repeat … I’m not looking for clients. Simply, my blog has never been about generating income.
I’ve come to understand my personal blogging model goes against the standard blogging mentality in almost every way. A couple interesting observations (from a blogging website) are instructive. (1) Blog articles with 3,000+ words get better results. (2) Longer posts (3,000 to 10,000 words) get the most shares. (3) Blog titles with a minimum 8 words have 21% better click-through. (4) Seven minutes is a preferred reading time of blogs.
I laugh at these suggestions. I don’t think I’ve ever posted longer than a thousand words nor are my titles long and wordy. Because I respect readers and their time, I believe most all my posts are easily readable in less than 7 minutes. (But I am curious. How does one expect a reader to view a 10,000 word post in less than 7 minutes? Hmm?)
Some years back, I offered a glimpse at my writing habits, as well as my overall blogging philosophy. One particular post dates back to May, 2014. The sonnet below reflects on the concept of needless words. Thanks to Strunk and White in their excellent guidebook, The Elements of Style, I’ve tried to emulate their precision: don’t use two words where one will do. It’s great advice! There’s much more wisdom in that book as well.
The sonnet below also provides a caveat. Notwithstanding Strunk and White’s fine guidelines for writing well and clearly, writers will transgress those rules on occasion. The best writers first master the rules so they know when it’s okay to disregard certain rules.
And remember, anyone can blog.