Friday, December 2

Some Helpful Tips For Blogging Success

I have been blogging for over 10 years, my first website Bekkie In Wonderland (this very website), was started at Windows Live Spaces and later moved to Blogger after Live Spaces ended. My biggest problem was writing posts that engaged my readers' encouraging comments and discussion.

Doing research on popular blogs I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to be successful at blogging I needed to do more than just talk about myself and my day. It takes hard work, clever planning, a sense of humor, brilliant writing, and the right moves to become a successful blogger. We can always improve, can’t we?

Remember it's not just what you write either. Do the extra work and make your site something to look at. Make it entertaining and fun. Do some research on using color and movement to engage your readers. Watch what fonts you use for your site what looks good to you might be hard for others to read which would ruin the whole idea of having people read what you have to say.
Most of all, you should have fun with it and look forward to it. If you aren’t enjoying yourself maybe blogging isn’t for you.

Tips For Blogging Success

  • Publish Consistently
Daily posts are important! Content should be consistently posted because readers like predictability and will look forward to new posts from you on a daily basis. Figure out a publishing schedule you can live with and stick to it. Once a week or twice a month, whatever your blogging time permits stick to it. You are only as good as your last post.
  • Co-Blog with A Partner
Regular posts for blogs can be a hassle for some bloggers to manage solo. If you know you will not have the time to blog yourself, invite a co-worker or a friend who shares the same passion and dedication as you and ask them to co-blog. It keeps your regulars on your website instead of looking elsewhere and a different perspective never hurts.
  • Get Your Site On The Search Engines
When you start a blog fifty is a magic number in blogging terms. I don’t know why the number 50 was picked but after 50 posts your website will start to be picked up by the search engines and the page views will begin to increase. The page views will grow exponentially with the increase in search engine queries. The more searches your site shows up in the better. 
  • Use Original Photos Or Images
It has been reported that blogs with original photos earned twice the number of page views than those articles with license-free images. Take the time to pick the right images to complement your blog content and your blog will bring even more page views. I find that using animated GIF files grab people's attention immediately.
  • Use Keywords In Your Titles And Captions On Photos
Keywords (or labels) help people find your posts through your photos and captions give an extra anchor for readers because humans are naturally visual animals. It’s a little extra work but before you upload a photo for your blog, title each image with a keyword or label. It ensures that the search engines optimize these keywords so your website can be found by either the photos or posts on your blog. Do a search on yourself to see how you’re doing.
  • Comment On All Comments
Be social and grateful to your readers that leave comments. Most readers will not respond to blogs, even if they like them. I receive a lot more page views than comments because readers take the information and move on. So when you get a comment respond promptly. Address them by name, add to the discussion and invite them back. Thank them for their time and readership.
  • Read And Comment On Other People’s Blogs
Following someone’s blogs isn’t enough. You expect your Followers to read and comment on your blogs so it’s only fair play to visit, read, and comment on your Followers blogs. Do this on a daily basis and they will return the favor.
  • Publish An Honest, Complete Profile
When you like a website the first thing you wonder about is who's writing this stuff? Websites introducing some facts about the author's work or life you're Following seem more legit than those with a frivolous profile page. People like to know things like where you’re from, your interests, around what age you are, where you live, etc. Don’t be shy, I can tell you from experience that an honest profile with a real picture of yourself goes a long way.
  • Guest Bloggers
Find a blogger that you think is brilliant? You can learn from them by asking them to guest blog on your site. Ask them to write about a certain subject or leave it up to them. Thank them for participating, give them credit and a link back to their website. Guest bloggers can help you with exposure. When you link to that blog, many of their Followers will come to check out your site. Depending on the number of readers they have it’s a great way to boost your page views or find new Followers yourself.
  • Be Interesting
Readers want to find fresh, valuable, entertaining and remarkable information. Make an effort to deliver more than just the facts. Make it about your subject matter, not you. It doesn’t hurt to be personal but avid blog readers won’t find blogs that talk about the weather everyday sound that interesting. Just like you, they want some meat on those bones.
  • Get Your Point Across
Style, grammar, spelling, layout, all count for nothing if your audience doesn’t get your meaning. Make yourself clear and understood. Watch your spelling and use a friendly font on your posts that's easy to read.
  • Hold On To Passion
Keep the fires burning, don’t let your blog subject turn into a chore. It’s important to recognize when you need to scrap a blog too, sometimes they just aren’t good enough to post. Learn the difference.
  • Make A Good First Impression
Do new visitors know what your blog is about in under 10 seconds? Can they navigate your website easily? Make sure your blog is set up professionally so that your readers can clearly understand your subject matter and find what they are looking for.
  • Build Momentum And Optimize Your Posts
Keep posting daily and take advantage of popular subjects that your readers like. It's not easy to do but pick a writing schedule you can deal with and keep it up. If you tell your readers to expect daily posts about a certain subject in the future and they don't show up that's a bad thing. It takes less effort to keep going than to stop and start again. Your readers are what makes your website popular so do what you can to keep them coming.
  • Look Good And Be Unique
Appearances count, in terms of your blog design and your posts. Make your content stand out by using the template designer in the advanced mode and make it your own. Make your color and font choices easy to see and read. Pick great images or better yet supply your own artwork.
  • Using Blogs Of Note For Ideas
Look at your Blogger Dashboard for “Blogs Of Note” and check out the blogs there. These blogs are the crème of the crop and have loads of Followers on them. Find the ones that interest you or are similar to your blog and learn from them.
  • Monitor Your Stats
Stats tell you the health of your blog and where the traffic is coming from. Keep an eye on your statistics to make sure you are writing content that brings new readers in while keeping your old ones. Your stats will also tell you if your blog strategy is solid or if you need to make some changes.
  • Communication Fascination
If you love your subject matter then let your readers know it. If you share your enthusiasm it becomes contagious and makes your readers excited about it too. Give them a reason to want to leave a comment.
  • Explore And Experiment
Blogs that make an effort to stretch, to break the mold or provide something unique are the blogs people flock to, chat about, and return to. Be inspired to have your blog under “Blogs Of Note.”
  • Poll Your Readers
Run different polls, the results are newsworthy and fun. Have a fixed date for the poll to be finished and blog on the results. Find out what your readers think about the subject you pick. Make your poll fun and interesting so your readers take part in it and want to know the outcome.
  • Join Forums
Break out of your blogging bubble. Network by meeting potential readers online, discuss cool subjects and make new friends. You can learn a lot depending on the forum you are taking part in and you may find something awesome to blog about at the same time.
  • Get More Experience And Develop Expertise
Do new things, broaden your horizons, practice your writing and stretch your limits. Practice makes perfect. In no time you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You will develop a good idea as to what to write about to bring the readers to your website (blog).
  • Toot Your Own Horn
You worked hard for it, your blogging success will grow as you do and you’ll have more Followers then you ever imagined. Good for you!

As I've said for years. Keep On Bloggin’!

Friday, October 28

To Code Or Not To Code

I coded this.

What if you could design and publish HTML websites without writing code or using templates to do so? A website where you can focus on creativity alone to put exactly what you want on your website. Adobe has made this possible with (codename) Muse.

Muse, now in public beta, is for graphic designers that want to design and publish unique, professional HTML websites without worrying how to write code. So far 300,000+ designers have already downloaded Muse and have been very pleased with the results.

Check it out for yourself at the Muse website. First, watch the video called Meet Muse for an introduction to Adobe’s brainchild. On their site, you can also Get Muse to try out and they have video tutorials to watch if you need any help learning how to use it.

To see what can be done without code take a peek at the Muse Site Showcase to see how others are using this program to make fantastic one of a kind websites for themselves.

Right now to design your own website you have to know one of the many programs (besides HTML) to do so. As well as Blogger works when you design your site you still have to work with a choice of already designed templates that they offer and follow Google’s policies.

There have been plenty of times I tried to embed content or applications on my websites and had problems. Wouldn’t it be great to forgo this and put what I want to on my website with nobodies policy but my own? If you have a website or are thinking of starting one then I’m sure you agree.

Keep On Bloggin’!

Sunday, October 9

The Blue Angels-Fleet Week Photos 2011

The Blue Angels come to my area once a year and the whole Navy puts on a show over the San Francisco Bay Area (and they get to buzz the city itself for a week before the show.) Practice makes perfect and they have never had one crash in all these years.

The men are excellent pilots whether they are flying the plane that refuels the jets or doing fancy flying in a jet itself and we were lucky to be in San Francisco today so I can share my pictures we took with you.

In the past when I lived in San Francisco I could take pictures of The Blue Angels practicing around the city from my kitchen window.

The Columbus Day Parade was going on at the same time.

They actually had to call the show off today on Sunday (but it went off on Saturday) so we’re lucky we got the shots we did. But everyone still poured downtown and there were a million things going on at once! See the street name?

Keep On Bloggin’!

Friday, October 7

Home Sweet Home

Take a look at what some people call “home sweet home.”
How did they build it and look at the way to the grocery store!
Here’s a close up of the cable car; to nowhere! Look at the door way into the rock below with stairs.
ATT00002  Look at this place with the car in front of it. No room for a garage? A road?
A lighthouse for a home would be nice but it looks like it’s sitting on Tinker Toys.
Now this is the best! I have always wanted to live in a tree house and this one has a garden on the top. Think it’s real?
Does this house look like it’s sagging a little in the middle to you?
Cave living at it’s best. Where’s the faux bear rug and club?
This lighthouse is having a very high tide. The sea wall is full of sea!
I think they used the top of our state capitol for the roof. This one gives me a funny feeling, like; “Don’t lose any weight!” That’s one long latter! Ha ha, I can’t help myself!

Now they went too far! Okay, you guessed it. These are probably all done with Photoshop. This place comes with a natural air conditioner and makes its own ice…until Spring!

These pictures were sent to me in an email so I thought I’d share them with you this Friday night. We actually have our telescope outside right now and are doing a little star gazing while chilling at home. It’s a warm Fall evening.

It’s a little early for giving thanks but I’m thankful my cats and I have a home to call our own so that we might enjoy a night of looking at the stars. Especially after the last year I had! If only life could always be this simple!

“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” Confucius

Keep On Bloggin’!

Wednesday, September 14

Twenty Brilliant Quotes

I love good quotes! I have an application on my Android phone called “Brilliant Quotes” and it’s free so if you have an Android you may want to check it out.

Get inspired!

1. “Advertising is legalized lying.” H.G. Wells

2. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

3. “Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln

4. “Ideas come from everything.” Alfred Hitchcock

5. “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” Bill Gates

6. “I accept chaos, I’m not sure whether it accepts me.” Bob Dylan

7. “Moral indignation-jealousy with a halo.” H.G. Wells

8. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

9. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

10. “To be honest, one must be inconsistent.” H.G. Wells

11. “You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” Charlie Chaplin

12. “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Woody Allen

13. “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.” William Blake

14. “The schools ain’t what they used to be and never was.” Will Rogers

15. “Cynicism is humor in ill health.” H.G. Wells

16. “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” Walt Disney

17. “It is good to love many things, for therein lies strength, and whatsoever loves much can accomplish much, and what is done with love is well done.” Vincent Van Gogh

18. “Hell, there are no rules here-we’re trying to accomplish something.” Thomas A. Edison

19. “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” Douglas Adams

20. “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Plato

Do you know a good quote? Share it with us in comments so we can read it.

Keep On Bloggin’!

Steve Kreuscher Illusion Pencil Drawings

Check out these wondrous paintings by artist Steve Kreuscher. This may make your Wednesday a little more fun!


Aren’t these just beautiful? You can find more of Steve’s art (over 100 more images) by doing an online search for his website. I sure do love art, don’t you?

Below is an optical illusion called: Benham’s Disk. It was invented by C.E. Benham and it’s actually a black and white color generator! See how many colors you can see by staring at it. This was sold as toy by Benham in 1894.

340x  Keep On Bloggin’!

Thursday, September 8

Illusion Carpet in The Game Store

This optical illusion carpet spotted in a Paris video game store provides an illusion of a vortex floor. The effect is achieved by printing bent lines in a chaotic manner just like what we have already seen in Apple’s executive garden. Not only does this carpet mess with your mind, it might also make you actually trip while trying to walk across it!

If you see the woman spinning to the right you are using the right side of your brain. If she spins to the left you are using the left side of your brain. Practice seeing if you can use both sides of your brain to make her spin both directions. Practice makes perfect.

With Monday being a holiday this week is going even faster! Soon the weekend will be upon us again, it’s already Thursday! Hope your week has been great!

It really works, try it!

It's a trick. The dots at the edges of the GIF are already moving faster than the center. If you block the center with your fist, all you see are the outer dots which are already moving faster making you think they are moving faster with your fist there. Pretty cool, huh?

Keep On Bloggin’!

Thursday, August 18

Woke Up With An Old Love On My Mind

I woke up this morning without remembering any dreams but I did have something on my mind that I hadn’t thought of in a long time. The love of my life.

In 1997 I thought I was happily married. We were living in beautiful Foster City in a large 2 bedroom apt. right on the slue. I had already bought the car of my dreams and with no kids I had what most people might consider a “dream life”.

Amongst the regular household chores I had the best patio garden in our complex. I had an art table where I worked on whatever I wished, I could do anything I was interested in and just like I am today that was quite a lot! So why did I feel there was something missing?

My now X and I moved in together in 1977 and got married in 1982. By the time 1997 came around I found to my dismay that I was living with a drunk and worse. Not the lose your job, bail out of jail, violent type drunk oh no! I may have realized it sooner. But he was a sneaky quiet drunk who after much alcohol became like a living statue that would not speak or move. Not much fun.

He was a hard worker that never took vacations much once we were married. Our sex life that used to be rich and rewarding was totally lack-luster. We didn’t do much together anymore and he was fast becoming a fat snoring slob to me in bed or out!

I was only in my early 40’s and I was so lonely. I decided to have an affair to infuse my life with some much needed attention from a man. I met a few men here and there but nobody stood out. I was just looking for an affair. Then, a friend from the city called me.

My friend had heard about a huge club in San Francisco where you could hang out all day, they had free bands, food and everything. It was actually a medical marijuana club and I already had a card. She said it was three stories of party time with plenty of bodies. I went the next day.

When I walked in what a sight this place was and full of people like she said! All kinds of amazing people! Two floors had couches and chairs all over and I used to sit up there and listen to the bands that played there in the evenings. This place was not for pot only so no alcohol was allowed and that was fine with me. I was pulling away from my interests at home and was spending more time in the city. I would go home at night.

I started meeting people at this club. We had a cozy little group of us that would meet there at a certain time or we’d just run into each other there. One of my friends Doc, told me about a friend of his who was going to play there so I decided to check it out. I was terribly excited and got there early.

It seemed liked forever but it was time for the bands. A man walked out on stage with his guitar under the spot light. I could tell he had some American Indian in him. He looked to be about my age with dark brown eyes and longish brown hair that fell over his forehead. Kind of like a Beatles hair cut but he pulled it off. He was muscular in his jeans and T shirt. He looked good enough to eat.

He finished a short set, packed up his guitar and came over to our table hailing Doc. As he sat down Doc did the introductions. Our eyes met and I KNEW I was in lust. His name was Chris and like a high school girl I was smitten! We all talked until closing parting ways. As I drove home I knew I had to have him.

The next day I waited but no Doc and no Chris. I visited with some other acquaintances but my heart was not in it. This continued for a week and I figured he had a girl friend. Still, I could not get him out of my head!

The next week I was sitting by myself and it was early. I picked a table this time and as I sat down I saw him. He smiled and rushed over to sit down with me. I was hoping I could remember the English language as I said hello. He was wonderful to look at and I really got lost in his eyes, his mouth, and his smile. I could tell he was very interested in me.

It got louder as the day went on and we had our heads together talking. His hair brushed my face once and it was so soft. I didn't dare touch it. He asked me if I wanted to go down to Ocean Beach to watch the sunset. I told him I had my car and top down we sped to the beach. I had a blanket in my trunk and we had sex for the first time on the beach. Did I say sex? More like nirvana!

I was so fulfilled and happy that I didn’t question anything after that. As long as we were together was ALL that counted. The next night I stayed in the city with Chris crashing on a futon at his friend’s house (who I never saw) while we had the best sex I ever had on this earth.

This guy owned me and maybe that was part of it. We would stay at hotels or on the futon on Bush Street. In the morning we would have more sex, take a shower together have breakfast and he showed me San Francisco his way. It was over the top romantic and I never went home again.

At the time I was so happy I still wasn’t questioning anything nor was I thinking of the future. I was sure a love like ours was so awesome that the world would have to be kind to us and that the future would work out all on it’s own.

Our love making was full of passion with Chris showing me positions he said that American Indians used during sex. He liked his sex the way I did, hot and lots of it. Wild, earth shaking organisms were had by both of us and we became inseparable. It was like a dream I had never had.

While we were together he was playing in two bands with friends. He played bass and sang backup in one band and in his own band played lead and sang. We would come down to Foster City for two practises a week and spend the night at a hotel then head back to SF for the other 5 days.

By now I had left my husband, my two cats and everything I ever knew or owned behind. I did make a few trips to pick things up but I left most of it. My best friend at the time told me I was making a big mistake. I told her to mind her own business and that was the end of that friendship. I just didn’t care.

In 1998 Chris and I moved in together on Leavenworth Street in San Francisco. We were both in our 40’s and he was one year older than me. I was floating on air.

Then I missed a period. I had never been pregnant but I knew that I was. I went and got a test and OMG, I was two weeks with child. For an instant I thought about how beautiful our child would be and that I was in my 40’s. It was the last time I would ever have this chance to have a child. Chris was my baby’s father how great is that?

Then reality set in. I had never wanted kids before and I didn't now. He already had a girl he never saw. I told him I was getting an abortion. Of course he didn’t argue a good thing. He already had one child in Oklahoma to pay child support on.

He was very supportive about the abortion. We resumed our sex life and were closer than ever when one day he started talking about family in Oklahoma. He was telling me he wanted us to move there. He went out there alone for a week first. He called every day until he came home and I was so happy to see his smiling face at the airport.

Life as we know it can be so cruel. It was now December of 1998. One day a woman called from Oklahoma and asked for Chris. I should of paid more attention but I was love-struck. That, and I didn't want to move to Oklahoma but I was getting worried. The woman didn't seem like anyone to him just an old friend, but what if?

I had a right to be worried. Chris told me right before Christmas that he was leaving me and going back. I think I was finally waking up from my dream as he didn’t ask me to come along. I was relieved about that but I wanted him so bad!

He quickly moved out stealing a lot of my things. Why wasn't I shocked? (It was some Tshirts and a guitar.) When he got back to Oklahoma he was calling me every week still telling me how much he missed me. Finally in 1999 I got no more calls. I still missed him and he told me he was coming back until the calls stopped.

After that I got my divorce in 2000. I didn't want to go back to my X but I had totally screwed up my whole life for 2 years of nirvana. My girlfriend had been right after all.

I agree that I should of known better. I really shouldn’t have messed my life up at that age for any one man. My marriage would have been over with anyway but I wouldn't have lost everything.

If was to see him today I’d be happy to. He was handsome with a nice laugh. He gave me the best loving I ever had, got me pregnant for the first time and if I ever found this kind of relationship with a man again I would chain that man to my bed and swallow the key! Tee hee!

I don’t know why I felt compelled to blog about Chris today except that I still think of him often as he will always be unforgettable but sort of regrettable, to me.

Keep On Bloggin’!

Wednesday, August 17

Mid-Week Musings

Meeting Your Maker

Diversionary Tactic

Words Of Wisdom

A Fortune To Remember

Stay Off The Course

Not My Job

Cool T-Shirt Design

Fridge Magnet

Good Reason To Learn English

Hope you had a few chuckles on your Hump Day. Be patient, because the weekend approaches faster than you think!

Keep On Bloggin’!

Friday, July 1

X-Rays On Photoshop

To get these elegant X-Ray pictures of everyday stuff Photoshop was used to tweak the X-Rays after they were taken by the artist. (Artist unknown.)

Keep On Bloggin’!