Tuesday, April 2, 2024

a guide to blogging and tips & tricks

 


Happy Tuesday, friends! I don't know who would be interested in today's topic, but on the off chance that it's you, I thought I'd share a guide a few tips and tricks I've learned in the last few years, and also talk just a tiny bit about blogging consistently. Some of the things I've mentioned before, but I also have a few newer things to add! 


On scheduling blog posts...

You've heard me talk about using a calendar and scheduling posts, but another thing I do is work on lots of posts at once throughout the week and month for those link parties that I love to join. I like to at least get a start on all the weekly posts at some point over the weekend, or at the very least, I'll work on Monday's and Tuesday's. I have time in the afternoons on those days to work on the later posts, but this gives me a head start on the week. I like to post everyday, because I am me. It's not that I feel pressure to post or that I'm trying to keep up with anybody, it's just that I genuinely love to write; this little slice of internet brings me so much joy! That's my reason, simple as that. Of course I also love to encourage people and to maybe even inspire them in some way, so I always hope to do those things as well. 


As for my blog scheduling notebook, here's what I use and what the inside of it looks like. It's just a regular composition notebook that I picked up several years ago from Target. 




I use it for notes throughout the year as well, for each month when I do year end recaps.







I always get a head start on planning posts early in the year, and then I fill in as I go along. You see lots of scratching out and double posts; I tend to make lots of changes throughout the month, but at least this gives me some sort of thought on what I'll be writing in a week. I also use this notebook to keep up with the books I read. In case you haven't picked up on it yet, I'm a list-loving girl! Isn't my J bookmark adorable? My dear friend who knows me so well bought this for me. 


Now onto a few tips and tricks...


Did you know you no longer have to double space after punctuation? It's true! This is something I've picked up on in being an editor for things that have been published. Once you get used to writing with no double spaces, it's so easy to spot it when someone does that in their writing! It's funny how hard it is to unwire our brains from how we were taught, right? 


Did you know that em—dashes are the "new" parentheses? Do you know what one of those is? It's that long dash you see in the sentence above. Editors love to see these nowadays! There is also something called an en — dash that is the same thing, but with a space before and after the dash. You don't really see those in publications, though, but you do see tons of the em—dashes! 


You know how when you're reading a blog post, and someone has a link? And then you click on the link and it opens up in the same window of the blog you were just reading? And then you have to go back and find the blog post again? And maybe even click out of all the ads at the bottom once again? (Can you tell I hate those??? It's true.) Did you know that when you link to something, there is an option to "open in new window" so that your readers don't have to jump through all those hoops? I may be the only one that was late in finding out about that, but I thought I'd enlighten you in case someone doesn't know. 


I may have mentioned this a while back, but did you know that you can right click to gain access to emojis? Try it, it's true! 😉 (I just did that very thing right there.)


Do you have any pet peeves when you read blogs? I would say that my number one pet peeve are the ad sense ads that you have to click out of to keep reading. I know people want to make money, but I'll confess that when I see those, a lot of times, I'll quit reading immediately. All of the "bigger/popular" bloggers have lots of those, and it drives me bananas! Another big pet peeve is seeing lots of grammatical mistakes, or poorly written sentences. Every once in a while I'll come across a blog full of those, and I just can't take it! I understand mistakes happen sometimes, especially on my own blog, but they always happen when I don't take the time to go back over it with a fine tooth comb. Reading it aloud helps! I often do that, but I can tell when I've skipped that step.  


It's your turn! I'd love to hear about your tips and tricks, or any pet peeves you may have. My inquiring mind loves to know! I'm linking up with Joanne today for this blog post. Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. 



20 comments:

  1. Love this and I am slow to come around to the "newish" techniques for sure. Not sure I will ever be able to re-wire my brain to not do double spacing- ha!

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  2. I was the same way, Holly, and mine was born from necessity in writing something that was going to be published. Nothing will get you used to doing something new than having to implement it all the time! That's one of the hardest things- rewiring our brains. It's hard teaching wise "dogs" new tricks!

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  3. Loved this and I need a blog notebook, but I pretty much just do my "ideas" just in Wordpress. I will write a title of an idea. My routine really helps - Monday is always weekend, Thursday is always fashion, Friday is always favorites. I sometimes get stumped about Tuesday and Wednesday. I would like Tuesday to always be a "tip" but I just don't always think I have enough of those?
    My pet peeve is small photos. That is really weird, right? I also am annoyed by the way some people put links in and the ads and the writing style. In fact, I have stopped reading some due to that.

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  4. Do you still need a double space after a colon? And yes, after typing for 50 some years, it's very hard to change something like that and I'm not even sure that I want too. But I guess I don't want to look old. And yes, I had to go back and take the extra spaces out of this comment before posting. 😁 Oh, and thanks for the tip on the emojis, as I just used it.

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  5. Lots of good tips. I will have to read these again (slowly) in order to digest them. I'm pretty sure I am old school (or old!) enough that I will keep double spacing forever. But I'm totally okay with that. And, if there are ads...I'm out. Sad but true. Thanks for your help today!! Happy Tuesday!

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  6. I am a double spacer, but I have read that there is no need anymore a few times. I am going to work on it! I am with you, I hate when the link doesn't open in a new tab. I also agree about all the pop up ads! I am ok with a few ads on the side or the bottom but the popups make me bonkers! I use the monthly calendar in my Erin Concfen planner to plan out my posts. I like to see everything planned out and it helps me see what I need to document ahead of time-if I remember to look. Ha!

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  7. Love the tips! I need to do a schedule to help me stay accountable.

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  8. Amy, back in the days when blogging first started, all of my pictures were small! I don't think there was an option to make them larger like there is now, though. I agree that a routine helps! I always know what Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays will be; it's the Tuesdays and Wednesdays that get me. Thanks for the encouragement on this type of post!

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  9. Cathy, you no longer have to double space after colons either! I always find it interesting to learn of new writing and grammar rules. I don't blame you one bit for not wanting to change, though; if I hadn't written something being published in print to last forever, I probably wouldn't have bothered learning something new!

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  10. Thanks, Jennifer! About those pesky ads- right?? I don't mind if they're there on the side, it's when they block half the page or all of the bottom that drives me bananas. I have seriously stopped reading just because of them. Happy Tuesday to you!

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  11. Sarah, I feel that same way about the ads; I don't mind if they're on the side, but it's when they take up more than half the page that it makes me crazy! I refuse to read some blogs today because of that. I like to use the notebook for my blog for that same reason! It helps me so much from month to month.

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  12. Thanks, Marilyn! It really does help; I started blogging more regularly when I planned in advance. I got the idea from Andrea at Momfessionals!

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  13. Fun post to read! I use the em dash quite a bit- I don´t know if you´ve noticed it or not (ha, ha see what I did!). It´s one of the only times that I have been a trend setter! An overabundance of ads is super annoying.

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  14. Thanks, Maria! You know how much I always appreciate your humor. You always bring a smile to my face! I was praying for you this morning! I hope you're managing okay with your recovery from surgery.

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  15. I installed an ad-blocker on my laptop so I no longer see most ads. It did cause a bit of a problem with a few bloggers that plug in their link parties or their comment section under "ads" though because a few I could not see for days until I remembered that ad-blocker was there and I turned it off then hit refresh only to find it had been there all along! That said I rarely comment on those blogs now... I hate ads but I get it and why they are there. I almost always right click any link and select open in a new window just in case they didn't set it to "open in a new window" (like I always try to do; though I can't seem to find that option when I blog on my phone.

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  16. You blog on your phone?! I tried to do that once, but I quickly gave up. I get why the ads are there, too...but depending on how bad they are, I can't handle trying to read a post when it keeps popping up. Thanks for hosting today, Joanne!

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  17. I really need a notebook like this. Love your tips and tricks. I can't get out of the double space mindset - too many years in the federal government.

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  18. The notebook is such a good idea. I have many of the same pet peeves and still do a double space. Thanks for all the tips.

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  19. Thanks, Pamela! It really does help me organize a plan to write so often...but also, it makes me so happy to write out the weeks/days and check off all those little boxes. You know how much I love lists!

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  20. Tanya, it works so well for me! I totally get that double space mindset. It took me a while, but it was right when I started a big writing project, so I'd gotten used to it by the time I finished the writing. Now it feels like second nature to just single space!

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