Blog Management: One View

With 423 posts and counting, this blog is beginning to get a bit out of hand. Trying to go back and check posts, restore lost You Tube clips, and answer previously unseen comments, is becoming an almost impossible task. I try to put some time aside for this each week, but it doesn’t always happen that often. New posts, and life in general, just gets in the way.

This blog has changed remarkably, from the original idea of a country diary, something to look back on in years to come, and serve as a record of my move to Norfolk. I did not anticipate ‘followers’, or all the (much-desired) comments. I really just expected that a few friends and family might drop in occasionally, simply to see what we were up to. I had no idea that I would become part of a unique blogging community, one that follows each other around the select circle of some very different blogs.

I’m not complaining. The blog has become my voice to the world, and the community is as close to me as electronic companionship can possibly provide. I have even managed to cross that divide, and met actual people, known from the blog. I just never counted on it taking me over to the extent that it has. I worry about the ‘lost’ posts. Some of my (for me) best stuff, so far down the line now, that it is never read by fresh eyes. Let’s face it, who ever looks back over a couple of years, when you discover a blog that you like?Β  My solution, strange as it will seem, is to read them myself. Not only randomly selecting posts from my own back catalogue, but looking at what others cherry-pick to read on occasion, and re-reading it personally.

Many people manage their blogs well, and with systems and plans. WordPress Advice will suggest that you delete old comments, un-follow flat and tired blogs, and use moderation to allow only certain comments. They also suggest that you might consider deleting older posts, and those that have never been read, commented on, or liked. I thought about this, but ultimately, it felt like being asked to choose which child you loved best. It’s just not possible. Even the first few hesitant posts, devoid of literary merit, lacking entertainment value or any opinion worth broadcasting, they are still dear to me. Like my first driving licence, or a baby’s shoes, they seem to need to be kept forever. From them, I can see the development, chart the progress, and discover what has changed, to make me more confident as a blogger, as well as getting re-blogs, and articles published on other websites.

One thing that I have discovered, is that little has changed. Some of the posts that I consider to be my best work, were written soon after starting out. I do find the whole process easier now. I use notes less and less, and I am able to write most posts completely off-the-cuff, as soon as the idea or inspiration occurs to me. I tend not to write posts in draft so much, somethingΒ  I used to do a lot. Start them, save them as a draft, and go back and work on them, over and over. I have more or less abandoned this now, and just write, check, and publish immediately. I do use video clips for film and music posts these days. They give the reader an idea of what I am on about, and save them the chore of finding the right film, or song, themselves. Still no photos. That will never happen now. I have set my mind on a photo-free blog, for many reasons already discussed at length.

Perhaps I should manage my output. Not less posts, as I once promised, and failed to deliver. I took the suggestions that less is more; quality, not quantity should be my desire. I thought about it for a while, then something came to mind, and I wrote yet another post. It happens that way, and try as I might, I just can’t stop it. What I feel that I should consider more, is variety. I am aware that my posts tend to be published in cycles. Lots of Ambulance Stories were followed by lots of film and cinema posts, then in turn by many vignettes of my life in Norfolk. Just lately, the Significant Songs section is overwhelming me, and also the blog. I will endeavour to arrange the posts in a more varied fashion, so as not to alienate my much-valued regular readers. No promises though.

So, what about Blog Management; what have I managed to glean from my couple of hours sorting through all my stuff? Well, if you want to ‘prune’ something, get a rose bush. If you feel it is OK to delete old comments, why ask for them in the first place? If you thought something was good enough, or relevant in some way, that you pressed the ‘Publish’ button, why delete it now? Live with what you have done, accept the weight of your blog, and above all, don’t stop blogging. Oh, and don’t even think about ‘Managing’ it.

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10 thoughts on “Blog Management: One View

  1. Already been said I think. I have reblogged a couple of my old posts when they have been suitable for a challenge. My recent road-trips are getting some nice comments so I’m thinking of reblogging my South Africa trip which was at the start of my blogging career (yes, I look on it as a new career πŸ˜‰ ) which hardly got a look at, or maybe redesigning them with more photos and publishing them as new.
    I do often schedule posts such as trips as I get into the zone and write them all at once!
    Take care πŸ™‚
    Jude from the cold and very windy west xx

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  2. I think Sophie has it covered. You could also link back to your old posts when you mention them; hyperlink back to the category when you mention ambulance stories for instance.
    As for deleting old stuff, don’t do it Pete!

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    1. Hyperlink (?) That’s what I meant when I said I need better computing skills to make the blog more accessible. I think I need to go to classes, or employ a teenager. I won’t be deleting, I have decided that.
      Thanks Eddy.

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  3. As for myself (blogging for only a couple of months now), I limit myself to promoting my books (or the books of people I personally know), writing limericks to entertain the rare follower, publishing lyrics when the time is right, and discussing the occasional film. I do publish my own photos, but only those that I can somehow make relevant, even if only slightly, to the blog. I guess you could say that my blog follows a certain formula. Pete, your “musings” cover a vast array of subjects. I think that makes your blog more successful, as it appeals to people with different interests. However, the real key to your success as a blogger is that you write so well. There is also a personal touch that goes a long way towards “befriending” your followers. I have to admit, I’ve neglected the significant songs topic, as I’m more interested in your film reviews, travels, and daily life. As for old posts, I don’t really have any solid advice. Perhaps publishing them again is a good idea, though. I tend to read the latest blog entry. And if that happens to be an older post, I’ll read it (it’s new to me). I truly enjoy your blog, and appreciate the fact that you visit mine often. Keep up the good work. Your followers will go with the flow! .

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    1. Thanks for your always kind words yet again David. I had never thought about re-publishing old stuff at all, until Sophie suggested it tonight. I simply thought that new readers might search the blog, for topics or keywords that interested them. It is only recently, that I have come to realise that almost everybody (including myself here…) reads the most recent post only, and perhaps others in a category that is of interest.
      Don’t worry about the songs, they are very personal, and also very much a matter of taste and choice. Something of an indulgence, that seems to have taken me over!
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

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  4. πŸ™‚ I feel you on this one Pete- that reader is swamping me again despite being selective so I’ve not been as active lately. May I suggest a tab at the top -or wherever it goes on your theme -with a number of links to some of your personal favourites? You can chop and change them whenever you like or just add to them as you go. That way newbies will have easy access to them πŸ™‚ the alternative is to reblog your own posts now and then- thus saving yourself a fresh post and bringing some oldies to the top πŸ™‚ – just a thought πŸ˜‰

    Also with managing – if you WANT to mix it up a bit with your content perhaps you could do an ambulance Monday, song Wednesday and life on Friday? (Etc) You can write in advance and then schedule them to stagger them into the future – again giving you more time to write and shuffle as you see fit πŸ™‚
    Either way I like your posts as and when they come – when I get around to reading them properly πŸ™‚ xx

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