Category Archives: Blogging

Blogging tips, ideas, how-to

yawn waking up good morning

Good Morning

I’m writing this while I am waking up.  Sleeping in is not a usual thing for me.  I prefer to get up early because I do my best work in the morning, whether that is design work, blogging or house work.  As the day goes on I get lazier.  And by 3 or 4 in the afternoon I am ready for a glass of wine and sit down time.  Or maybe I take a walk or bike ride, but that is the time I stop “working”.

steaming hot coffee
Morning Coffee, Photo by Jill111 @ Pixabay

Today I was still in bed at 9.  Awful.  But I didn’t sleep well, and I usually do.  I don’t feel guilty, but I know my day will seem short.  That’s okay because it’s a Saturday.  The day most people (I guess) go out and do fun things.  I stay home on weekends.  I hate dealing with crowds, and I really don’t have anywhere to go.

It’s a good day to work.  I believe that working and advertising / promoting on weekends is what helps my sales to increase on Mondays.  So promoting often is my goal for weekends.  I also Tweet, add to my FaceBook stores, do some blogging, and so on.

Today I visited some blogs as I checked my e-mail.  Occasionally bloggers will come by and read my blogs – mostly my Seashell blog – and leave comments or “like” a post.  I have more followers and readers there because it’s an older blog.  I’ve updated it recently because I’ve been able to get out to the ocean and collect shells.

I will follow blogs that are good.  Many are photography bloggers, and I do enjoy photos from around the world, and of course pictures of flowers and nature.  If you want to see some nice work, visit Pete Hillmans Nature Photography blog.  That’s where I was earlier today.

I’m tired of food blogs.  Food is everywhere online.  It almost makes me sick of eating… almost.  And animal picture blogs… enough already.  Nature is one thing I never tire of.

And I’ll follow blogs that are written well about subject matter that interests me.  I also like personal photos.  Now that I use my iPhone, it’s simpler to add my pictures.

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My Garden March 2nd

This hydrangea blog is less and less about hydrangeas, sadly.  So I must fill up the pages with gardening information.  And my garden is growing nicely.  I’ve eaten 2 big red tomatoes from my plant this past week.  Oh, were they good.  I’ve never eaten homegrown tomatoes from my yard in April!  In New Hampshire they can’t even go in the ground until Memorial Day weekend, and even then, it may be too cold for them to grow much.

I wasn’t eating ripe tomatoes until August in New England.  The cherry tomatoes were ready sooner and that’s why I always grew them as well.

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I make simple salsa with my tomatoes, and use my own scallions, parsley, and basil.  I’m trying to grow garlic, but I’m not sure how it grows in Florida.

My potatoes have about gone by and it’s almost time to dig them up – or dump them out really, since they are growing in bags.  I wonder what they will look like?

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Yes, People May End Up Reading Your Blog, So Write Well!

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 2.16.54 PMMy very first blog posts were horrendous. I began writing at Blogger, and never did get the hang of it. The platform was difficult for me to understand, and then I heard about WordPress. I found it easier to write there, and it’s where my main blogs live. It didn’t mean I could write any better though! That is something I have been learning as I go.

Blabbing on about something on a blank page on a computer screen led me to believe that no one at all would ever even see what I wrote. I knew nothing about SEO or social media or tagging. I just wrote whatever came into my head, and it wasn’t very good, but it was honest and probably a bit unique (maybe not in a good way).

People I knew didn’t read my posts, but absolute strangers did, and they sometimes left comments. Those comments gave me the incentive to continue, and to give my readers something worthwhile to read. I wanted to become a better writer, and I had to learn how to do that.  For many years I was too busy raising my kids to read a book much less practice any type of writing!

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Once you write, get the post out to the world by having posts automatically linked to your other online places.

Then, out of the blue, I was asked to be a guest writer at a site connected to (the now defunct) Squidoo writing site. I had to write a review of a Squidoo page of my choice (not my own), and have it ready to post on a specific day of the week. We each had our own day to publish. It was stressful, because I was not a good writer. Over the course of the week eventually I got the short article (300 words minimum) ready to submit. Then I would sort of cringe on the day I knew it would go live.

Eventually I had to stop guest writing because my own online business needed more of my time.  But, that stint as a guest writer was very good for me. It honed my writing skills a bit, as I had to try to live up to the expectations of the other writers. I wanted to write well. And I knew for a fact, at the very least, the other contributors would be reading it!

Writing with others also taught me what is expected for search engine optimization (SEO).  Each post / article had to be a minimum of 300 words, well written, easy to read, and  contain original text. This is what I think about when writing these days.  That is not to say  that I don’t slip out of that routine every now and then.

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Everything I write contains at least one photo or picture to go with the story. Occasionally the photography is the story, but blogs won’t get far without some text as well. At first I used only my own photography when writing, but eventually I learned how to use public domain images to enhance my posts, like the awesome photos in this article (credit: Pixabay.com).

I have been overlooking the “featured image” option which shows on WP’s improved editor posting page.    Now I am going back through my blog posts to add a featured image to the top of each one.

 

Here’s to You, the Woman Gardener

woman gardenerHere’s to you, the woman gardener, but only if you do it ALL on your own.  It doesn’t count if you have a hubby who builds the raised beds for you, or lugs the soil to refurbish the beds.  It doesn’t count if he lifts the heavy stuff or does the weeding.  This post is for the women like me, who do everything, from the planning,  buying and planting, to bug control, watering, picking, cooking and preserving on their own.

I wonder how many of us there are out there.  I’ve read, and followed, plenty of blogs written about gardening.  Men and women both like to write and share photos of their gardening endeavors, but I can’t remember ever reading a blog by a single woman who does it all.  Maybe that is because single women don’t ordinarily like to advertise their aloneness on the internet.  And I am not alone, just when it comes to gardening! Continue reading Here’s to You, the Woman Gardener

blogging, work at home, themes

Changing the Site Theme For Better Viewing

Hydrangea and lily bouquetI was happy with my old theme here on the hydrangea gardening blog, but I noticed that it was not compatible with hand-held devices.     Finding a new theme for this blog wasn’t difficult because I had recently update two of my other WordPress blogs with a theme I liked.  It’s called Twenty Thirteen.

I need simple. I once purchased a $79 theme with high hopes of creating a beautiful site. It looked easy enough, but I had trouble. WordPress offers a refund if you are not happy, so I got my money back and found a free theme instead. I’m sure there was nothing wrong with the theme I bought, but my knowledge of computer technology is next to nothing. I can figure some things out myself, but I have no desire to get into the coding and css stuff needed to configure a nice site. Free themes are also nice. And this free theme can be updated with custom fonts if I so desire.

After test driving a number of free themes, I decided to use Twenty Thirteen for many reasons. It has a nice clean look that is easy to read. I like that it offers rotating header pictures too. I am all about the pictures! (Haven’t loaded any to this site yet, but you can see them on my Seashells Blog. The header changes with each page / post click.)

If you’ve been using the same theme to blog for a long time now, it may not be compatible with iPhones and such. That means your readers won’t see the whole page when viewing your blog on a mobile device. They will bounce off your site and go someplace else. You can find out if your site is good for hand-held devices in your appearance section, under customize, or in the preview of a blog post.

My hope is that with this new theme for my gardening blog, I can find more readers. Of course I also have to have some gardens to write about, and that may not be as easy to fix.