Best posts of all time

Well, I was curious. Just what do my readers like best about this blog? Well, I looked. Here are the top 5 posts of all time in this humble little blog.

(credit:All Things Curly)

5. Snow is coming…and I’m not happy. – Where I ramble about snow and winter.

4. 5 Worst things you can do if your internet is running slow. -True and still appreciated by readers.

3. #1000 speak for compassion. -Wonderful and still loved.

2. The amazing abilities of akitas. A ramble about doggies I had no idea would be so well received.

1. The importance of tags: for bloggers. The best of the best, this one still gets viewed, years after it was written.

There you go, the top 5. What do you think? Are they overrated or justified?

Do you ever…

Recycle posts?

I ask this after reading this wonderful post on Hugh’s News and Views. I’ve never recycled a post thinking that I’d bore my readers. Then I read that post and thought, should I recycle one?

Hm…

Well, I did a little digging and found the most popular posts in this humble blog of mine.

This one: The Importance of Tags: for bloggers is the mother of all posts getting hits even now.

This one: The Amazing Abilities of Akitas, is one of my favourite rants…and apparently yours too.

What do you think? Is it a good idea to recycle old posts? Or should we stick to new material?

Top 10 posts for January

January was a busy month at this humble little blog. In fact, it was the busiest month so far. I have no doubt it’s thanks to the incredible support of the awesome bloggers and readers I’ve met online. So, without further delay, here are the top posts according to you.

10. This one comes in last. It’s about my two akitas and their one fight. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since. *Knocks on wood*.

9. Tags is a very important topic for bloggers and this post was a hit for that exact reason.

8. I found this in our house and it’s sort of…creepy. The warning inside gave me the chills…and I still haven’t written in it.

7. This one was a complete surprise. I was rambling about my bad habits with those blog stats and it was a huge hit. People everywhere shared how they deal with the temptation of those stats. I found those comments so helpful!

6. I started Posts I loved this week on a whim. Since then, I’ve thought about changing or doing something else but, every time I consider it, someone tells me that they like those posts. So I keep doing them. The truth is, there are amazing posts out there from really talented bloggers. Somehow, my saying that I love those posts seems to hit a chord with people. It humbles me to see it.

5. Pay It Forward was something I made up because I’ve received so much support from others online. Natasha Guyot is an incredibly multi-talented person and this post about her was a huge hit with readers.

4. I was owning my stuff in this one. It wasn’t easy to say and I avoided doing it until I saw a very special post by D. Emery. His courage boosted mine and I finally wrote this post. I’m still struggling with the editing but at least I’m being honest about it.

3. More than a year after it was posted, this post became a hit again.

2. I know for a fact this one was a huge hit because of the support of other bloggers online. I’m thrilled though, because the cause that started the post is a fantastic one and great ideas deserve all the help they can get.

1. This one was my number one post for January. Funny, eh?

One final note of thanks to everyone, bloggers, indie authors, readers or just people who happen to chance by my blog for making this month such a success! You guys are awesome!

Testimonial

Dialogue tags

He said, she said…dialogue tags. We put them in during dialogues to tell the reader who is talking. Easy right? Hm. Not so much.

If you repeat them too often, it sounds monotonous and pretty artificial. That’s bad. If you don’t put them in, no one has any idea who’s talking any more. You’ll lose your reader and that’s bad too.

It’s tricky.

To try and avoid repetition, I once tried to replace the famous ‘said’ with something more…flowery. I got horrid things like: ‘sarcastically rebutted’. It wasn’t pretty. So, I started reading and seeing what the pros did.

Some work it in. Watch.

Here’s an example with the tags.

‘”Have you seen the man who works on the third floor? Who is he?” Anna asked sipping her coke.

“I have no idea,” Michael said, seating back on his chair and scratching his nose.’

Here’s an example without the tags.

Anna sipped her coke. “Have you seen the man who works on the third floor? How is he?”

Michael sat back on his chair and scratched his nose with gusto. “I have no idea.”

In the second example. We know who’s speaking, even if the writer doesn’t actually say it.

Did my example help or make things worse? No worries, here come the experts! 🙂

Jodie Llewellyn has a great post about dialogue and tags here.

Here are three other great links about dialogue how-to’s and questions I never dared to ask; scary things like hyphens, comas and ellipses.

http://www.youngwritersonline.net/showthread.php?t=20

http://jordanmccollum.com/2009/05/verbs-dialogue-tags-stop-smiling-words/

http://clevergirlhelps.tumblr.com/post/61370173627/how-to-write-dialogue

The importance of Tags: limits on tags

I wasn’t very clear yesterday when I posted that WordPress will penalize bloggers for using too many tags. I wasn’t clear because I didn’t know what they meant. I looked into it (and got some help from Gene’O) and finally found this in the WordPress help:

“However, you don’t want irrelevant content showing up on the topic listings or search, and neither do we. That’s why we limit the number of tags and categories that can be used on a public tag listing. Five to 15 tags (or categories, or a combination of the two) is a good number to add to each of your posts. The more categories you use, the less likely it is that your post will be selected for inclusion in the topic listings.”

Here’s the link to where I found this quote: http://en.wordpress.com/help/search/tags.

Please note, the warning is in bold. I didn’t add it, WordPress posted it like that. Personally, I think they mean that more than 15 rags will be penalized by not including the post in searches and they want bloggers to understand the consequences (therefore the bold). I don’t think they’re very clear as to how they’re going to do that and if it’s a 15 tags you’re okay but 16 and you’re cut off (No more soup for you!—Ah…Seinfeld) and I’m too chicken to do any tests or runs and see how it works.

Using tags is completely optional. WordPress says this several times but they also encourage bloggers to use them.

“Your posts will appear in the topic listings of any tags or categories you use. Therefore, assigning tags and categories to your post increases the chance that other WordPress.com users will see your content.”
Link: http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/tags/#topic-listings.

I think they just don’t want people to abuse the system. And that sounds fair to me. I’m still a little scared. I mean, what can they do? Could they delete someone’s blog? Or put them at the end of the search algorithms? No! Noooo!

The horror.

(credit:petsbest.com)

(credit:petsbest.com)

One more note on tags.Veda’s Blog has this great post on questions and answers about tags. Answered a lot of my questions.  http://joinvedahorner.com/category/blogging-tips-2/

The importance of Tags: for bloggers

I used to think tags just came on clothes…ah, the innocence. Tags are an important part of  blogging. A very important part. Apparently, the search engines out there use tags to send traffic to blogs. Sooo, if you want to have people come to your blog, you want to tag your posts very carefully. In fact, you want to tag your post under the topics people are most interested in.

WordPress can help. It has a Tag cloud with all the most popular tags in different sizes. The larger they are, the more popular they are (I honestly didn’t know that at first. No laughing).

If you want more traffic, you can go to the cloud and ‘tag’ your post under one of the largest categories. Be warned, if you have a post on baking chocolate chip cookies and you tagged it under ‘Top Stories Travel’ just to get traffic, that same traffic might get ticked that you’re misleading them and your idea might backfire.

If you want more traffic, you can also use more tags but there’s a catch here too. WordPress will penalize you…more on this later.

Now, you might be wondering how on earth does a newbie blogger like myself come to know this great info? Well, I can’t take any credit for any of this. Nope. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants (or one giant as it happens). This all comes from a great post by Gene’O in his great blog: Sourcerer. He has a post with the link to the WordPress Tag Cloud, a clear explanation on the number of tags you’re allowed and great tips for bloggers who have no idea (like me!). Here’s the link: http://sourcererblog.wordpress.com/tags-are-your-friends/

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