Bloggering About

Write a blog, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. And they were right.

I was casting around for things to do that would make some money – mostly because my husband walked away from our marriage – and amongst all the other stuff (get a job, sell on ebay, sell on Folksy, get a lodger…), one of the ideas was to start a blog. Some people make lots of money from it, so why not me??

41 people (so far) follow this blog – not as many as Stephen Fry has on Twitter, but you’ve got to start somewhere. There must have been a moment when he had 41 followers too. And youre here, reading mine and not his…

In the first month (May), my posts were viewed 699 times. In June that figure was blown out of the water with nearly 4 times as many views. 2,662 people somehow found the time to have a little peek at my corner of the internet in June. Or possibly one person has viewed it 2,662 times… Which would be weird.

I blog about my life as a newly single person. I’ve blogged about issues that are important to me (happiness, plastic waste, loneliness, body image), and I’ve blogged about rubber chicken, and stress incontinence, and making butter. I’ve blogged about my favourite chair and changing my name.

It’s a rule of mine to not blog about other people. There’s the risk of my blogs becoming all about Me, Me, Me, but I don’t feel I have the right to tell other people’s stories. That’s for them to do. So, tempting as it is to give you an in-depth account of why my husband left, it isn’t going to happen.

I post every other day – which I now realise is a bit intense, but I have a routine and I haven’t missed a deadline yet!!

My posts are scheduled to publish at 8 in the morning. And after I’ve published, I see ‘posting day’ as a bit of a day off – I check for comments, and I like to see how many visitors and views I’ve had, but I don’t feel that I have to write.

That feeling is wearing off by evening, so then I decide what I’m going to write about the next day. I have a list of stuff that I think you might be interested in, and try to have a few ideas put by for the next few posts.

And I start writing. This isn’t the finished article by any means – it’s really just the start of working out what I want to say and why I want to say it.

The next day is when the fun begins – I make the final decision as to what I’m going to write about, and I write about it. Sometimes I’ll spend ages writing something, then change my mind completely and write something completely different. That happened with ‘It’s OK to be Happy‘, big time – just about ready to publish something else, then I felt the need to swear loudly and completely re-think what I wanted to say. Twice. It was emotional.

When it’s just about finished (and I’m never totally satisfied with it), I copy it into WordPress and start fiddling. This is the stage I’m at now with this blog post. Although by the time you’re reading it I’ll have finished the fiddling and it’ll have been published. I need to think of a title and find suitable photos. For this post I’ve taken my own – you can see that I changed my mind about the title after I’d taken the photo!! You can also see that I’m in my favourite writing position, laid on the sofa.

Doing the writing is only part of the story. The next job is to work out the keywords – those are the words that people might type into Google if what they were looking for was my post. In other words, if my post is the answer, what’s the question? And you can take it a step further and think, ‘what questions are people asking at the moment, and could I write a post that might be the answer?’

And then finally I preview it – I look at a screen that looks as it would appear to someone reading the blog, with the pictures and without all the extra paraphernalia down the sides. This is my chance to proofread it too. It usually results in a few more changes, because what looked good in the draft version often doesn’t quite work in the ‘real’ version.

When I’ve done all of that, I schedule it – I basically set things up so that it will publish automatically at 8 the next morning. It means I don’t have to remember to do it the next day, and it wouldn’t matter if I slept in (not that I ever sleep in!!). What normally happens is that I wake up ridiculously early, and have one last fiddle with it before it goes global.

And it really does go global – countries reached so far: Sweden, Ireland, Australia, Canada, the US, the Philippines, Bermuda, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, India, Thailand, Finland, Spain, Kenya, Barbados, Bahrain, Italy, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Malaysia!!!

Hi everyone. *Waves and blows kisses.*

And then it’s out there, fending for itself. I check the analytics now and again. And again. Once it’s posted, I share it on Facebook and Twitter (because if it’s worth writing, it’s worth sharing). You can share it too, using the Facebook and Twitter buttons way down there at the bottom (keep scrolling), or you can email it to a friend. And then I have a bit of a day off before I start thinking about the next one.

I made it into Feedspot’s ‘Top 20 bloggers for women over 50 to watch in 2019’ list a couple of weeks ago – which is a bit niche, but I’m ridiculously chuffed about it. And I’ve had a few people visit the site as a result. Amazing!

The whole ‘making money from it’ thing is a long way off. But who knows? People do make money – so why shouldn’t I be one of them? In the meantime, I’m finding it very cathartic. It helps to put my thoughts in order and to work out how I really feel about things.

It’s nearly two months since that first tentative post on the 8th of May. That post was viewed by three people! One of them was my son – he helped to set it up. One of them was me. And one of them was Someone Else!!!! Thank you, Someone Else! Thank you to all the Someone Else’s who’ve joined us (more than 200 people viewed my last offering).

Thank you for coming along with me to find out what the hell happens next. We’ve come a long way in two months. I wonder what the next two months will bring?

If you’re reading this, and you live somewhere in the world, could you write a quick comment saying which country you’re in? Just for fun? Ta!!

Scroll down to Follow, Like, Share or Comment.

I always reply to comments from nice people. Stephen doesn’t. But then, he’s got 12.7 million followers. Maybe I’ll be the same when I have that many, so make the most of it!!!

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Joan Mudd says:

    I never knew it was so technical! I really enjoy your blogs. I am in England but I am actually Canadian. Does that count as 2 countries?

    Like

    1. It absolutely does count as two countries!!

      Like

    2. oldhowie says:

      Hi I’m from Yeadon UK mmm and nowhere else. But I do know a french lady who’s husband invented the orange filling in a Jaffa cake so there!

      Like

      1. That just takes the biscuit!!

        Like

  2. anglosvizzera says:

    And I’m in Somerset, as I once mentioned, and half Swiss (other half English) as I think I once mentioned too.

    I love your blog – it’s ‘easy on the eye’ too, as they say, and is witty and intelligent. I have friends who are witty and intelligent dotted around the country, not near enough to get together as often as I’d like, so I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog as I haven’t met anyone really ‘like-minded’ in the area where I live 😦

    So, keep going and I hope one day you do make it profitable – or maybe use your undeniable writing skills to publish something that will be! x

    Like

    1. I’ve just worked out what your name means – Anglo/Swiss (feminine form)!!! But not sure what language it’s in?? Really pleased you enjoy these blogs of mine. Sending them out into the world is very much like dropping a small child off at a party – you hope people enjoy having them around, but you also hope they don’t show you up!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anglosvizzera says:

        It’s in Italian, although my dad was Swiss-German, but my parents never thought to teach me that, preferring to use it to discuss things they didn’t want me to understand. My mother went to Switzerland to marry my dad when she was 19 or 20, when war broke out, and learned it by living there for 15 years. She became fluent, but had a mixture of dialects as they moved around to different areas, so people never knew which part of Switzerland she was from…which she wasn’t, of course. She was never able to write it though – or, presumably, read ‘High German’ (which was just ‘German’) the written form used officially.

        As Swiss-German is basically a dialect, there is no written form so the best I could do was learn German at school, which I gave up after O level and was never really able to ‘convert’ it to Swiss-German. I also learned French up to A level but was never able to understand the literature part of it, so only got another French O level at that stage.

        However, years later, after a holiday in Italy with my (then) husband and the children, I had a sudden inspiration to learn Italian at the age of about 45, and because my memories of French and German at school were so bad I chose Italian. As it is one of the official Swiss languages, I thought that would be better than nothing. After my first lesson I was ecstatic and found it really easy to learn, probably as I had a basic knowledge of French which has similar grammar.

        After that ‘introductory’ evening course, I went on to do GCSE Italian, also at evening class, once a week for further year, and got an A* – then went on to do an “AS” equivalent course over yet another year.

        By then I was able to have a decent conversation with real Italians and used to do Skype exchanges with a couple of them who were trying to learn, or improve, their English. In one case I would read some extracts of a book about Italy in the 1930s, get feedback on my pronunciation and learn meanings of certain obscure words, and then my language partner would then read some Harry Potter (his choice) and I’d do the same with him. It was a lot of fun!

        When my (now) husband and I go on holiday to Italy, now and again, I can still get by even though I haven’t really kept up with it. I would still like to learn to speak to my Swiss relatives who don’t speak English though…I have a set of Swiss-German language CDs which I must try and use which teach the basics, then I suppose I could call upon my nephews, who do speak English, to practise with.

        My children have all inherited dual British-Swiss nationality via me, so maybe one of them will learn it too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. elizabeth28263 says:

    I’m from Yorkshire. I echo the other comments and look forward to your posts.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much!! I’m Yorkshire born and bred myself!!

      Like

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