Blog views and other obsessions – random thoughts

Hi Everyone! Today I’m sharing some random thoughts about blogging.

The blogging world is constantly evolving, whether we like it or not. Technology has changed dramatically since I started my blog seven years ago. I’ve always been interested in how things connect and for me, blogging and connecting though other social media is fun, but time and patience have their limits, don’t they?

I’m not dreading the new WordPress editor. I’ve already used it on my new blog, Books to Pen, but I’m in no hurry to convert Book Club Mom.

My blog has grown slowly, but steadily over the years and my focus has changed during this time. I’d like to have unlimited content ideas, but I don’t! That used to bother me, but now I don’t worry about it and wait for an idea to come to me.

I have a good idea for a new YouTube video, so stay tuned for that.

As for growing a blog – I wish WordPress would make it easier to follow and be followed. Even when I search for blogs and get a list, it’s still cumbersome. And it would be nice to see what blogs my favorite bloggers follow. Twitter has it all figured out in that department IMO.

I see a lot of swishy new blogs out there and I’m always looking for ways to update my look. I like my basic blog design but I’ve recently changed some of my banners. Last year I tried displaying book covers in more creative ways, but I moved away from that. I like the creative displays, but doing them myself felt like a force.

I’m getting ready to start an Instagram account. I resisted at first, but now I’m ready.

What’s new with your blog?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

70 thoughts on “Blog views and other obsessions – random thoughts

  1. Unlike you, Barb, I haven’t been blogging much recently. In the same vein, I haven’t worked on growing it either, but would like to do that. Of course, new content would help! I like WordPress a lot but haven’t tried the new editor yet. Interesting to hear you’re going to open an Instagram account. I keep hearing good things about Insta, but only know the most basic things. Maybe this fall… In the meantime, I look forward to your YouTube video.

  2. Good to hear your views on blogging Barbara thanks. I’ve been wanting to update everything for a long while but … but what? I need to spend a good deal of time and effort in making this happen and I’ve just have to MAKE the time. Yours is great by the way 🙂

    1. Oh, thank you Susan. Right back at you! Making blog and website changes takes a lot of time and effort. I don’t think I’d ever totally revamp mine for that reason. But it’s nice to give it a new coat of paint! Thanks for the visit 🙂

  3. Are we going to be forced to use the new editor on WP, Barbara? Mine still seems the same, and I haven’t received any notices? I’ve been rethinking the content I post on my blog. I love to host other people, so that won’t change. Apart from a release announcement with closed comments for my books, I plan to share most of my book news in my newsletter. I know there are many who read my blog who really don’t have an interest in my books, so I’ll spare them! LOL! 🙂 I resisted Instagram, but I love it as I’m a visual person. I’ll look forward to your next YouTube video.

    1. Hi, Barbara and Jill – I recently switched from the WP Classic Editor to Guttenberg and was surprised how smooth that transition was. I just received a notice from WP on my dashboard saying: “From August 11 on all accounts will start to switch from Classic editor to the new Block editor. It will happen in phases, and you’ll get an email to let you know to expect the change.” You can read more here: I hope that this is helpful. Donna

    2. Thank you for all that, Jill. I will start Instagram pretty soon, but I want to think out what I’m going to use it for. Like you said about your newsletter, it’s good to have different things for different platforms. So I have to make that happen instead of just doing a mass share across all my social media. I love your blog and how you host visitors. That’s what makes blogging fun!

  4. Hi Barbara, I’ve revamped both my blogs while sitting in admin Zoom meetings over the past 5 months. Usually, in a physical meeting I can’t do this for obvious reasons, although I find it much harder to focus if my hands are not busy. I prefer doing two things at once, provided they are not both high concentration events. Anyhow, I have updated all my pages and my banners. I like your new banners and I had noticed them. WRT content, I am a bit of a hit and miss blogger and I don’t generally have much of a plan. I aim to do a book review on a Wednesday and Thursday Doors on a Thursday, but if I miss it, I don’t stress out.

    1. Hi Robbie. Thanks for your comments – I like that you’re a multi-tasker and that you do that during Zoom meetings. I must try that but don’t tell anyone! As for content, I like to just have an idea come to me and not be locked into a schedule. Always enjoy your posts – and I love the doors ones!

  5. My format and look has been the same for a while. I am resisting the block style that WP is insistent on marching toward. It just never seems like the right time to make a switch.

    1. I know – I was gung ho for a bit, but I haven’t been on my writing blog in a while so I’m totally out of practice. I will wait until the last minute to change this blog over. Thanks for the visit, John 🙂

  6. I’ve tried the new editor. Not impressed. Jumping through lots of new hoops for very little gain. Bookstagram can be a lovely community!

  7. You and I am practically cyber sisters at 7 years blogging and counting. Blogging is my “fallback” when I feel stressed about writing book 2, if ever.

    My blog is neither swishy nor new. As you know, my brand is nostalgia, but I throw in other stuff that interests me: say, current events mixed with a clipping from my great grandfather’s 80th birthday party.

    Your following is growing here. I admire your efforts at posting so often. Brava, Barbara!

    1. Oh thank you, Marian. You have a good sense of brand and that’s what makes your blog so attractive! I think it’s good to know what’s going out there in the blogging design world. I think a lot of young bloggers have great eyes for what looks good and attracts readers, so I pay attention to those blogs too. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. I share your random thoughts. The longer I blog, the more relaxed I get about the mechanics and the more I focus on the people. (Though I’m not looking forward to the new editor.) 🙂 Happy Blogging!

    1. Hi Diana – yes, when I started my blog I wasn’t working so I had more time, even though my house was full of kids. Now, if I’m working I don’t stress about getting a post out or reading a book in time. So my attitude has definitely mellowed (with my advanced age too). 😉

  9. The new editor is a pain in the patootie. I haven’t changed much – maybe when things calm down out here in Cali I’ll be motivated to do something other than fret.

  10. I haven’t done anything! I change my little images occasionally but it’s always been a platform to write when I want to. It’s also just for me. I only have blogging friends! None of my ‘real life’ friends, as it were, know. X

    1. Hi Books and Bakes – that’s so nice to have a blog “just for you!” I’ve considered having a separate one like that. I’m glad you’re sharing your thoughts with the blogging world 🙂

  11. Good to hear your blog is growing, Barbara. Let it grow slowly is good so you can go on your own pace to make any changes. I came back from my trip and now pick up my pace.

  12. I recently changed my WP Theme and switched to the new block editor – it has been fairly intuitive so far,but I have not yet used all of the features available. I love Instagram but rarely link it to my blog posts. It is mostly for displaying my photography. I use my blog to ‘connect’ with other retirees who blog and share life experiences. It’s a good hobby. I like your clean, uncluttered look.

    1. Hi Suzanne – thanks for the visit and for sharing your blogging experiences. I think I will keep my Instagram posts distinctly different from my blog – yet still book oriented. I don’t want to repeat myself too much acrosss platforms. Glad you like Instagram and thanks for the compliment 🙂

  13. I’ve been wanting to update my WP theme, but my problem is that I’m not visually gifted and have a really hard time looking at theme previews and imagining how they would work for me. I’m just looking for a nice clean design — I like yours! I’m okay with the new block editor. I use it for my review posts, but so far use the classic for everything else. I think I’ve been spending a little less time on my blog over the past couple of months, and that may be related to working from home and feeling like I’m spending all my time in front of screens.

    1. Hi Lisa. Thanks for the visit and for commenting. I know what you mean about working from home and not blogging as much. I felt that way until I went back to work at the library. I have been blogging for the library too which made it feel like I didn’t have time to blog for me too. It’s much better now that I can separate my work from the rest. I like your blog design but I understand the need to give it a new look. I’m also not good at picking things. It takes me a long time! Hope you’re working on a fun puzzle this week 🙂

    1. Oh I like your blog design! I don’t think I’ll ever change themes unless something better comes along. Just a few graphics is enough for me! Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie 🙂

  14. I know what you mean about the difficulty of finding new-to-you bloggers. I’ve blogged for a long time and remember back to when we all had Blog Rolls on the sidebars of our blogs. That was an easy way to meet new bloggers who were already vetted by your blogging friend. The closest thing I find to it today in WP is the My Community widget that lists who has commented recently on your blog. I love meeting new bloggers, but it is a challenge to find them– or at least ones who aren’t trying to sell me some service guaranteed to increase my readership. 🙄

    1. Hi Ally Bean – I know what you’re saying. I’m going to look for the My Community widget. I feel like I used that at one point…I can’t spend my days following and hoping for follow backs, and I have no interest in connecting with the selling or other promotion blogs. So it basically has to happen organically, which is okay too. Thanks for the visit – hope you are doing well 🙂

      1. I’m the same way as you. My blog following has grown organically. We are well here, avoiding people as much as possible, not doing all the summer things but thankful to be healthy.

  15. I haven’t really been actively trying to grow my blog, as I’m happy with what I have now. But I haven’t let learned to use the new word press editor, and am holding out until it is foisted upon me. I believe I’ll figure it out, it’s just that with so much other stuff going on right now, I don’t have the emotional energy to learn something new.

    1. Hi Ann – maybe that’s why WordPress isn’t being aggressive about it. I’ll deal with the new editor when it comes. I’m sure it won’t be that bad, but there are too many other things to think about to jump in ahead of things. Thanks for the visit 🙂

  16. I’m also sticking with the old WP editor for my blog. I just started a new “Author Website” as I published my second book and I boxed myself in with the name of my website/blog being the name of my first book. So I thought I’d take the leap with Gutenburg – it was a week of pulling my hair out, but I managed. Then I noticed how other authors had a streamlined “Buy now” with links directly to all the versions of their book, and I thought that would work with me, particularly because I have a good percentage of readers in Canada, Australia and Italy. Somehow, people don’t want to google it themselves – much better if you have a page that lays it out there for them. Okay.
    As for growing my blog, it has its ups and downs but I find that my strongest feed is Facebook. I don’t get much out of Twitter and I’ve been doing Instagram for a while, where I’ve found too many, “I’ll follow you if you follow me.” Sure, there are many good people on Instagram, but I wish there was more space in the profile to say, “Don’t follow me just to be followed back, ’cause it ain’t gonna happen… and put some clothes on.”

    1. Ah yes, the frustrations, and varied goals of social media! I think the “Buy now” link is a good idea. I have that on my father’s website and agree that people want a fast link rather than having to Google it. thanks for stopping by, Karen. Hope you are doing well.

  17. Barbara, I’ve been using the new editor for over a year and got to grips with the basics easily enough but only now getting to understand the more in depth elements within it! Unless I’m missing something I’m infuriated by the fact that I have to change each block individually to eg. Increase font size, do italics etc!

    I’ve just had fun creating a whole new look to my site, something that’s been long in the planning and was quickly executed! A relaxed approach to blogging is key for long term success and to avoid burnout! Good luck with your instagram site. I haven’t got there … yet! 😀

    1. Hi Annika, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, I’ll let you know about Instagram. I really just want to learn how to use it because we may do an Instagram at work. I hear it’s pretty easy so that’s fine, but I want to think about my content before I jump in. Hope you are doing well and relaxing after revamping your website! 🙂

      1. Thank you, I’m keeping well but a lot busier now I’ve started blogging more! It’s a matter of balancing one’s time during a day but a lot of fun to reconnect with everyone here!😀

      2. I know how it is, Annika. I’ve been busier at home and work and sometimes I have less time to devote to my blog, but I always enjoy coming back to it and connecting with great people like you! 🙂

  18. Nothing really new. I think I don’t like the WP changes because they aren’t things that help. I can’t manage what I put in my blog like I used to. So in my opinion, it is ‘less’. Leave the basics alone. Add things… you I wish it were easier for people to follow, like and comment. WHY do they have to have a WP account? There are so many who read but don’t wish to be signed into yet another program.

    1. I know – I have some family who follow by email, but I think it’s dumb that those people aren’t listed in the followers number. Not that I care that much, but I am a stat person ;). And not everyone wants to clog up their email with posts. Ah well… Thanks for the visit!

  19. Thanks for sharing your blogging thoughts, Barbara, and I think your site looks great. I love the book header. I’m not crazy about the new WP editor, but maybe if I read more about it, it would seem easier. I’ve been blogging for almost ten years now and haven’t changed my blog layout because I really like it. But when I returned after an almost 2-year break, I updated my tag line and my “About Me.” I’m not just sharing poetry; I’m sharing more personal writing and photos. I would like to increase traffic and wonder how to make that happen.Then again, I’m grateful for my loyal followers and for those who continue to leave their beautiful and insightful comments. So, I’ll take it one post at a time. I haven’t ventured into Instagram, yet, or you tube. With work right now, I barely have time to blog. 🙂 But good luck with all you do and I look forward to more wonderful posts from you. 💗

    1. Hi Lauren – thanks so much for reading and commenting. I think we are of like minds in so many ways. For now, I just have to grow my blog organically as I have limited time to spend on it. Like you, I am grateful for my loyal followers and, as we all say, that’s what blogging is really about. Thanks for the visit – hope you have a great day!

  20. Sometimes change is good, like when you make a few tweaks on your blog that please you. I recently went back to calling my blog Jennifer’s Journal again, instead of Jennifer Kelland Perry, Author. As for the new editor, I don’t like it! Everything works perfectly fine in classic editor, which I haven’t lost yet. I tried using the block editor a couple of times and failed. All I hope is that friends like you don’t stop blogging because of being forced to use it.

    1. Hi Jennifer – thanks for stopping by. I will adjust when it’s forced on me. I initially thought I would just switch over, but life can get so busy, I just wanted some things to stay the same. I’ll always be a blogger – hope you will too!

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