How/Why I Got Into Blogging

Wow. This was over 10 years ago. I still haven’t found a following. I’m not good at that and my blog isn’t good enough to draw in readers based solely on content. I don’t think I’ve reached the goal of redeveloping my writing skills. I still stand by the final answer of writing what you know and what interests you. Also, I still think you shouldn’t stress about writing every day even though I do. I should take my own advice on stressing about readers.

 

I was tagged in the latest blog meme going around by baldgeekinmd.  So, here goes:

How/why did you get into blogging:

Many moons ago a friend of mine started posting his book reviews and other musings on LiveJournal.  I was interested in what he had to say, so I started reading and then set up an account so I could comment.  I decided since I had an account I should start posting.  Most of my posts there were rants about my personal life and family issues in general.  After a while, I got tired of having a whiny online journal and stopped posting.  My next blog I did for work and the 23 Things training and only posted what I had to for homework.  It was a very boring blog and I stopped it as soon as I could.  I started writing here because I still feel like I occasionally have something to say and want to have somewhere to say it.  I also used to be a decent writer and have ignored writing for so long, that I seem to have lost the skill. I’m hoping writing here will help me redevelop my writing skills.

How Did I Gain an Audience?

I haven’t.  I have my blog set up with FriendFeed and Twitter to announce a new post and I registered at BlogCatalog.  Until recently my most read post was read 14 times.   I recently posted thoughts on an issue in the religious community and it has been read 50 times.  That and my TV reviews seem to be what people are interested in on my blog. Most of my hits on those came from tags.  So, based on my experience, I would say tagging your blog posts will increase your readership quite a bit. It also helps to be writing about a topic of interest to the people reading blogs.

What advice would you give to new bloggers who want to make a name for themselves in the biblioblogosphere?

Being a new blogger myself, I’m not sure I can answer this one.   I would say write what you know and within your interest areas.  Don’t be afraid to go days without blogging if you have nothing to say.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a wide readership right away.

I think anyone who will read this and blogs will have already been tagged, so I tag no one.

Nothing New to Say?

When looking at TimeHop today I saw I had written a post about pet peeves during a writing challenge. I thought “Maybe I should revisit those and talk about how it has changed.” Turns out it hasn’t changed. I listed three: lateness, bad drivers and people who say they don’t have time to read. All still accurate. I’m sure there are more as well, but I had nothing new to say about any of the pet peeves.

There is now in the forecast for today. Not enough to close anything, but enough snow talk to bring snow days to mind. I had some thoughts about the difference between a planned day off and an unplanned snow day. Guess what? I’ve written about snow days and how special they feel. I think I’ve written about it a few times.

I’m in a stretch of time where I have nothing of note on my schedule. I will go to a Ravens playoff game Saturday night. I guess that is noteworthy. Otherwise, I have no trips planned. I have no days off planned outside of the random winter holidays and eventually my birthday leave day. I will likely spend those sitting at home watching TV. This stretch of nothing of note will continue to summer when we have our trip home to Kentucky. I don’t anticipate anything happening that will inspire a post.

I need to take the time tomorrow to plan out some writing ideas or just give up on expecting a new post from me every day. The planning part needs to start with a decision on what I want to write about.  This was easier back before I had written so much.

Post 1001

After I published my last post(My Christmas Vacation) I received a notification from WordPress that I had reached 1000 posts on this blog. At one point not too long ago I realized I was close and thought that I should come up with something special for the 1000th post. I then completely forgot and had a boring recap of my Christmas trip for my milestone post.

I have no idea what I would have done differently if I had remembered that it was a milestone post. I have no idea what I plan to do now that I am starting my second thousand posts. All I know is that I want to get back to posting on a regular basis. I know I want to get back to more of my “Tater Takes” on news and pop culture. I know I want to spend less time writing about how much I dislike my real job and how desperately I wish I could retire early. I know I want to be better about not just reading but interacting with the other blogs I read. I know I want to figure out how to extend my reach and get more people reading what I write. I know I want to work on trying to write something more than a standard blog post. I don’t know what that would be, but I have a lot of time alone these days and I feel like I could use it for more than watching TV. Maybe I discover this is all I can do, but at least then I would know.

So, thanks for being here for my first 1000 posts. I hope you stay with me on my journey to discover where my next 1000 will take me.

If you would like to support my journey to the next 1000 you can click here.

My Year in Blogging 2019

I’ve decided to go ahead and do a recap of my blogging year since I doubt I will post much before I head to Kentucky next week.

First, my overall stats for the year. They are actually not bad for my boring little blog. I’m still ahead of last year even though I stopped posting regularly last month:

Views – 8467 Visitors – 5104 Likes 2310 Comments – 566

Visits by Country – USA – 5661, UK – 859, India – 781, Canada – 251. No other country broke 3 digits.

Top 5 posts:

  1. The Lori Loughlin Scandal in Full House GIFS – It is what the title says. The college admissions scandal in GIFS from Full House.
  2.  I’m Done: A Tater Rant – A profanity-filled rant inspired by me being done with a lot of stuff. I’m still done. Probably more done than before.
  3. Tater Talks the Crazy Disney Mom Rant – My thoughts on the mom who ranted that people without kids should be banned from Disney. Spoiler alert – I disagree.
  4. Tater Talks Teachers – A post for National Teachers Day where I talk about some teachers who made an impact on my life.
  5. Tater Talks Leadership – Some thoughts on what I think it means to be a leader.

I was on a roll there for a while. I was writing stuff. People were actually reading my stuff. I thought maybe my blog would grow a little bit. Then a lot of my little daily frustrations exploded and left me is a state of mind that took me out of the blogging mood. I’m still pretty pleased with my stats. I’m sure most bloggers get 10 times the traffic, but it was a good year for me.

I’m thinking that whenever I start up again I might go toward more thoughts on TV and current events and less on my actual life. It might make it easier to want to write.

I guess this is a good time to post the link again where you can give me money to support the blog or to buy me a cup of coffee to drink while I’m writing. So, click this sentence if you feel the need to give a random blogger money.

 

Some Mondays are Very Monday

I stayed up late last night watching the Ravens beat the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. I got a little less than seven hours of sleep. That’s not terrible. I would like to get eight hours, but if I can hit seven I feel like I’m OK. A little less than seven and I’m verging on struggling the next day. So, I started out the day in a less than stellar way. It went downhill from there.

I just deleted a paragraph because I don’t think I should write about why this Monday was a very Monday Monday for reasons mentioned here.

It’s very hard to come home and write anything when your day sucks. It used to be that the blogging helped me deal with the stress of the day. Now the stress of the day is winning and I spend a lot of time staring at a blank screen. It’s also hard to write when you are boring. If I could think of interesting stories from my past it would be easier. I have no interesting stories left.

So, I can’t write about my stress because I’m not anonymous. I have no interesting stories to tell. I guess I need to do more posts about politics or TV or just give up.

Why I’m Not Writing…I Think

You’ve probably noticed that not been writing a lot lately. You might be happy that I’ve not been writing a lot lately. Maybe you didn’t notice. I don’t know what you do with your time. In case you missed it – I have not been writing a lot lately. Lorna over and Gin & Lemonade asked on Facebook who was up for a blog a day challenge and I decided to join in. The problem is – I still don’t really feel like writing. So, I decided to use the first post to try to write about why I’m not writing.

Part of the problem is as simple as a change in schedule. Not my schedule. My wife’s schedule. I was in a groove of writing after work instead of in the morning. I would come home, change clothes, take the dog for a walk and then watch a TV show while vomiting up a blog post. The last few weeks my wife has been home on Monday and Tuesday so I didn’t come home to an empty house. That’s a positive for the most part, but it is not conducive to writing. I find it hard to write when others are here. She’s here now, but she was on a call, so I had time to start this. Now it sounds like she is done, so who knows when I will write the rest.

The bigger problem is frame of mind. My days can be mentally and emotionally draining. Part of it is the public. Most of it is a particular person who makes my days more stressful and toxic than should be allowed. It’s hard to come home and do anything after dealing with a toxic person who has control over your days. I just want to watch TV and not think. This is also a hard time of year for me. Tomorrow is the anniversary of my mom’s death. This time of year was when I was driving home a lot to see here when I knew my time with her was limited. I still struggle with my decision to not go home to be there at the end. I wanted my last memories to be better and I’ve always felt bad about that. Like I failed her. So, depression, grief, and mental exhaustion makes it hard to feel like vomiting words on a blog.

Finally, I’m boring. I don’t have the type of life that gives me a lot of stories for a blog.  It’s hard to be a blogger when you’re boring.

So, that’s why I’m struggling to write. Who knows if the blog a day challenge will work. We will see,

I Wish I Was Anonymous

I think one of the biggest drawbacks of this blog is that a lot of people who read it know who I am in real life. A long time ago I created a Tater page on Facebook as a joke. I used it to sometimes post things that I thought might be too much for my general collection of friends on Facebook. My closer real-life friends knew I was creating the page and liked it. This lead to a few more of my Facebook friends liking the page. There was no anonymity. I eventually decided I might as well just post what I want on my personal page and people who didn’t like it could just hide or unfriend me. The page is active again as Facebook won’t allow WordPress posts to autopost to a personal profile anymore.

When I started blogging more regularly I turned on the auto-post to Facebook and Twitter. I never hid who I really was. I have scrubbed my Facebook clean of my workplace. It says I work for Tater World Headquarters and a Common Tater, but I share posts about classes at work, so I’m not fooling anyone. I would say half of the 20 or so people who read this thing are people I know in the real world. Even so, I still feel like I’m generally open about things. For the most part, I don’t hold back.

Unfortunately, there are things I really need to say that I can’t say because there could be repercussions. If  I were anonymous I think I could post a little about the stuff that is happening that is making my life miserable and be vague enough that it wouldn’t come back on me. I don’t have that option. There are some people who can apparently spend years doing whatever they want without any repercussions. I see it on a daily basis. I don’t think I am one of those people. I think I’m a person that people are itching to catch and punish. Getting rid of me would be a positive. I don’t live a Teflon life.

So, there are things that will be left unsaid. There are rants that will only live in my head while I increase my efforts to get to a place in life where I can spend my time at a place where I am respected and appreciated. I’m afraid I’ve reached a point where that will never happen and my only option is to retire to a secluded, hermit life.

The Best of Tater

I’m stuck in a phase of having nothing to write. As I mentioned before it’s hard to be a blogger when you are boring. So, while I struggle to get back to writing something, enjoy the five posts I like the most or at least the ones I can remember this early in the morning.

On Marches and Life  I still think this is the best that I’ve written. Maybe I should write on little sleep more often.

I’m Done: A Tater Rant – A recent one where I ranted about all the stuff I’m done with. A lot of profanity included because I was also done with caring about how people felt about that.

Michael Vick – An early one that got a lot of views because a Twitter celebrity retweeted it. I need more people with lots of followers to retweet me.

Exploring Career Options– I thought it was funny and it was good to use humor to deal with my career blues.

Ten Positive Things About Tater – It was good to think about good things about myself for a change.

The Lori Loughlin Scandal in Full House GIFS – This one also got a lot of views. I still think I should do a perioidic “Tater GIFS the News” feature.

Those are the ones I can find/remember. I hope you enjoy the best of Tater.

This is where you can click to donate to support my blog and/or buy me a cup of coffee.

 

Saturday Rerun Day – Some of My Least Viewed Posts So Far This Year

I’ve posted my most viewed posts already. Now I will see if anyone wants a second look at what they didn’t read.

Good Omens! – In which I talk about my love of the book and my excitement about the TV show. I’ve watched it and am now re watching with Mrs Tater.

Alternating Dreams – In which I talk about stress dreams about applying for a promotion. I was correct in my assumption that I would interview and not get the job. It’s a pretty easy assumption to make.

Some Ideas I’ve Had Recently – the post is what it says. Some ideas I’ve had. I still think they are very good ideas.

Going it Alone – I’ve since gone to the concert alone, gone to lunch alone a lot and gone to a movie alone. Still debating going to another concert alone in a week.

A Tuesday Tater Update – in which I talk about the ALA conference where I met Frank Miller and Henry Winkler.

Tater Tours Istanbul – pictures from Istanbul!

We Are the Villains – Humans are the villains of the story. Not exactly shocking news. It gets clearer every day.

Maybe you will like them better this time?

And if you would like to Support the Common Tater you can click here.

How to Fail at Blogging(Like Me!)

Not a lot of time nor energy to be original today, so I thought in honor of my blogiversary week I would reshare my advice on how to be a failed blogger like me. Enjoy!

The World's Common Tater

There are plenty of posts out there about being a successful blogger. This one will show you how to fail. Enjoy!

Start a Blog and then Ignore it For Years – I signed up for WordPress a long, long time ago. I posted a few times a year and never really thought about it. I started posting regularly a couple of years ago.

Once You Start Posting, Be Inconsistent – When I say I post regularly, what I really mean is that I post more often. There is noting regular about my posts. If you want to be sure no one will read your blog post at odd times, on different days and with no regularity at all. No one will ever know when to look for one of your posts.

Don’t Find a Niche – Be stubborn like me and post about random stuff with no consistency. One day…

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