I was curious whether any of my fellow WordPress bloggers have ever used a blog optimization service?
As my blog has grown, it has gotten to the point where I am constantly being contacted by companies and people offering these kinds of services, promising they can improve your blog traffic and help you to rank higher in Google searches. I haven’t hired any of them, but I’ve wondered at times if it would be worth it.
They are rather expensive, and many seem to want a monthly recurring fee to keep your blog “optimized”, which I kind of balk at. This month for the first time, I will actually meet the $100 WordPress ads minimum threshold and get a payout, so I definitely don’t make a lot of money off this blog. Occasionally I have done paid posts and links, but very rarely because I am picky about that kind of stuff and will only host things I believe in or that are directly related to my blog themes.
If anyone has used a blog optimization service, I would love to hear about your experience, and if there are any specific services you would recommend or warn away from!
Lately I have really been struggling with motivation to blog. Due to a depressive slump, I’ve been having trouble with the desire to do much of anything, but blogging especially has fallen by the wayside.
It makes me feel bad because I truly do appreciate this community and love the interaction I get with all of you, but when the whole world feels dark, it is hard to even try to reach for some light.
I’m not sure if my current state is just a continuation of the depression I was already feeling, or if it is worsened by gradually switching mood stabilizers (Seroquel to Lamictal), but I am hoping the situation improves soon. I have only been on the Lamictal since Monday and am only on the first dosage level, with at least two increases planned, so maybe my brain is just struggling to adjust.
I’m hoping my passion for blogging will return eventually, but for now, I’m trying to hang in there. If I’m not as active as usual, all of this stuff is probably why.
Man, WordPress got my hopes up today and then just dashed them. I came to my blog site as I normally do and saw this on the side panel:
8,974 followers??? Yesterday I had around 1,700!!! Of course, after the elation swept through me, my common sense kicked in and I wondered how I could have possibly gotten over 7k followers in one day, especially when my other numbers (post likes, comments, etc.) look about the same. So I checked my blog stats page and I’m still at between 1,700-1,800 followers. Oh well.
Thanks for the heart attack WordPress…and the letdown.
Hi everyone! So, I had a nice week off from blogging. I needed the break to give myself some time to relax and focus on other things.
While I was away I asked myself some hard questions. Do I still enjoy blogging? Why was blogging stressing me out so much? Should I change some of my blogging habits?
I came to the conclusion that while I do still enjoy blogging, my “routine” related to blogging was wearing on me. By routine, I mean the OCD things I felt like I “had” to do every day. You see, I had gotten into a pattern where I actually spent more time trying to keep up with everyone’s else’s blogs than I spent on my own blog work!
Don’t get me wrong, I love supporting other bloggers. But I would often put unrealistic expectations on myself for how many blog posts by other people I needed to read, like, and comment on. It had become a habit and like the autistic person I am, once a habit is established, it can quickly become a taskmaster.
From now on, I’m going to try to change that habit. I will still support other bloggers (especially those who support me), but I’m not going to assign myself quotas! Honestly, some people I supported regularly I never hear from anyway lol. I’m ok with that, but why stress myself out for people I don’t even really communicate with?
Maybe you all can give me your insights and methods for supporting others. Do you mainly try to return comments/likes? Do you try to keep up with too many other bloggers like I was doing?
How do you respond to “mean” or seemingly insulting comments that you receive on your blog or social media? Sometimes I’m not even sure if a reply is meant to be insulting, so I try to give the person posting it the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes there is no doubt. Here are a few specific comments I remember getting over the years:
About my art:
“Go back to playing with your crayons.”
“How is that even art?”
About my writing/poetry:
“Every human being has something valuable to share. However, not every human being was meant to do so through poetic means.”
“Cliched and unconvincing. Boring.”
About me personally:
Various accusations of being immature/childish, overly sensitive, “stupid”, ugly, unattractive, etc.
The problem is that I never really know how to respond to these kind of comments. Should I ignore them? Delete the comment? Block the person? Write a snappy comeback? Try to reason with them? At different times I’ve tried all these tactics, and I’m still not sure what the best course really is. What has worked best for you?
First off, I want to thank the person who made a supportive donation to my blog through Paypal today! I believe this is the second donation I’ve received that way and I really appreciate the support! If you are interested in ways to support me, please check out the Support My Blog page on this website.
Also, I got some good news today that I don’t have to do the second part of the MRI that went disastrously last week. That is such a relief. I was afraid if I did the rest of the MRI it would just trigger another migraine. The MRI results I did receive were pretty good, with no seeming worsening of my cervical issues! Thank goodness!
I did have to visit the GI doctor today and found out I need to have an endoscopy, which I am nervous about, but I realize it is important if they are to find out why I am having such horrible bouts of esophageal pain and difficulty swallowing. At least I will be sedated for the procedure and hopefully won’t feel or be aware of what they do. My appointment for that test isn’t until next month, so at least I get a little break from medical tests.
It took me a couple days to come up with something this week for the Twittering Tales hosted by Kat Myrman, but I finally have something. As I explained before, this writing challenge is to simply write a short story, or poem, or whatever you want as long as it is under 280 characters (the length of a tweet).
Here is this week’s picture prompt and my entry for this week below (photo from Pixabay):
“Route 66? I remember that road.”
“Great, thanks for the reminiscing, but that doesn’t tell us how to get there.”
“That is a road you only find by following your heart, not a map.”
“Thanks Big Bird, but we aren’t exactly looking for Sesame Street!”
I must admit that I stole these 6 word story writing prompts from one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, Therapy Bits. I’m not sure where she gets these prompts, or if she makes them up herself, but I thought they looked like a lot of fun, so I started borrowing a few of them just to see what I could come up with. Personally, I tend to think of these 6 word stories as a minimalist form of poetry, even tighter and more concise than haiku.
So here are a few of the prompts and what I came up with:
Her curves couldn’t outweigh her personality.
To hold a belief is self-delusion.
One doll, with third degree burns.
Mundane, but still better than Monday.
A cat is a maddening creature.
Make an offer, I can refuse.
Perhaps plausible, but is it infallible?
Rebel against your own poor expectations.
I hope you guys enjoyed this. Let me know if you did and maybe I’ll do more in the future. If you want to share any 6 word stories you come up with, feel free to do so in the comments!
Recently I was reading a book about glamour magic. I read a lot of books about paganism and mystical spiritual paths, because even though I consider myself an agnostic, I also believe there are many, many things we don’t understand and I enjoy delving into the mysteries and deeper meanings found in spirituality and mythology.
Overall, the book was a bit of a letdown, it seemed fairly shallow in some ways, but I guess I should have guessed that since glamour magic itself is generally about surface level changes. However, there was one meditative exercise in the book that I did find meaningful. This part of the book emphasized the importance of figuring out what your great work will be.
As the book went on to explain, in order to get anywhere in life, you have to know what you are aiming for. You have to know what is most important to you in terms of achievement and meaning. You have to figure out where your energy, passion, and hard work should be directed. So, I meditated on this subject for a while and here are the three things I came up with that I currently would consider my own “great work” in this life:
My writing/blog. Guess what? You guys are all a BIG part of my great work! I write because my soul cries out to share my experiences, feelings, hopes, and dreams. Having people who actually want to read about those things is truly a magical gift in itself!
My art. I often feel insecure in my artistic abilities. I feel like there are so many artists out there that are far more talented and definitely better trained than myself, but I LOVE art and sometimes I genuinely love the stuff I make. My art may not be top of the line, but I do think many of my creations are unique artworks that only I could make.
Advocating for others like me. This kind of ties into #1 and #2, since I often use my art and my writing to advocate for others who have autism, mental illness, or chronic pain/illness. People like me are often marginalized, ignored, looked down upon, and mistreated. I want to help stop that. I want to help the world to become a kinder, more empathetic place for those who struggle.
Now that I have shared my own great works in life, why don’t you spend a little time figuring out your own? You can pick just one, or you can have several like I did. Think deeply about it and question your purpose in life. If you would like to share what you come up with in the comments on this post, I would love to hear it!