Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Random ramblings ~ Blogging

So, my last Random Ramble was too random and too rambling. Gotcha.

I'll try to organize my thoughts a little better this time. *Try*
"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
Thanks Yoda.

This ramble seems to be mostly related to blogging topics. It's certainly not short, but I hope the subheads will help.


Cromely so nicely nominated me the Arte y Pico award. Thank you. And what was extra nice, was he took the time to write what he likes about each of the sites he nominated. Here's what he wrote about this site:

Cromely's World
is always one of my must-visit sites. You'll see him listed in the "Blogs I'm Following" sidebar. He works as a training manager in the technology sector, so he travels A LOT, bringing a really cute stuffed penguin with him. And he has an apartment with really cool views of the Seattle fireworks display. I think some of the things I like about his site are the same things he likes about mine, except insert the occasional William Shatner reference and substitute Seattle for Chicago and air travel for writing.

And while I certainly don't travel a lot for business myself, I know enough people who do, so I enjoy reading Cromely's adventures. His stories strike a special chord with me because (tangent time) I grew up in a household that was very airline intensive. My Dad was a pricing "specialist" for United Airlines, which means that he was one of the few people in the world who actually understood the logic behind the airline fare structure, and he actually loved that part of his job. Those funky rules were his specialty (end tangent).

As for the Arte y Pico award, I'm not sure I'm going to pass it on. There are so many blogs that inspire me in so many ways, I don't want to be limited to five for the sake of a meme. I think I'd like to find other ways to recognize those blogs. More personal ways. I'll put my thinking cap on for this one or open it up for suggestions.

Meanwhile, follow this link to read some interesting thoughts that the Dead Rooster blog had on the Arte y Pico award.

Blogging landmarks

If you look at my right column, you'll see that I have a "Blogoversary" approaching. It'll be three years. I've never celebrated any milestones in this blog's life, so I'm trying to figure out what I want to do to mark the occasion.

Plus, at the rate I'm going, I'll hit three years, and 10,000 unique visits, and 500 posts all within a month of each other.

Ideas? Suggestions?


You know what I like about EntreCard? There's incentive to keep checking back with sites. Sure, a lot of hits are just click-and-move-on, but I've found that some sites require frequent visits to really appreciate the voice of the blogger (I suspect this blog might fall into that category). So, each time someone clicks and moves on, it's another opportunity to convert that person into a regular visitor.

I also like the ability to drop my card on the site and say, "Hey, I stopped by." I could do that by leaving a comment, but, truthfully, I'm not the most prolific commenter. Some days the commenting neurons just aren't firing, so dropping a card is the next best thing.

And I appreciate the people who keep their EntreCard widget up, even when they are no longer active in EntreCard, because it's a way to reward the EntreCard visitors (with credits for clicking the widget). I follow a lot of blogs through my RSS reader. If they have a widget, I make a point to click through and actually visit their site. If they don't have the widget, quite often I'll read it in my Google Reader and move on.


I know that people who use BlogRush have really debated the value of the widget. Does it take up too much space for the number of clicks it brings to the site? Maybe.

I've experimented with the widget a bit. At first I signed up for the "personal" widget, but I thought the links were too random.

When I switched over to the "writing and literature" widget, I did it with a specific strategy in mind. Since this blog is only partially about writing topics, I didn't want all my non-writing stuff getting syndicated, so I actively use the BlogRush filters to control what posts of mine go out.

Occasionally a non-writing post slips through, but I'm pretty good at filtering, for the most part. I don't get huge returns, but I do get some clicks. Here's a print screen of my most recent report. What do you think? Is it worth the real estate?

Not-so-crazy searches

With a nod to the master of this, The Hunter's Wife, here are some of my not-so-"Goofy Googlers".

For the person looking for the "meaning of stick figure doodling", I'll have to point you toward the experts, Claire and Laura, the doodle-masters behind Doodle Week (which is coming up very soon, by the way).

For the people looking for "perfect erotic", "steamy romance", "steamy romance online books", "erotic getaway", "online romance novels", "romance fiction free online", "steamy novels" -- You're certainly not afraid to ask for what you want. I have a writing appointment with my computer this weekend. Perhaps yet I'll write what you're looking for. Except for the free part. I want to make a living at it, you know. :)

For the two people looking for "Writing 'love scenes' neck kiss" and "writing flashbacks", those sound like good future post ideas. I have some experience in those areas, but my resume doesn't qualify me as an expert. That's where my reporting background comes in, though. Perhaps I'll interview some other writers on their thoughts to supplement my own. Any writers reading this who want to send me their thoughts?

Web hosting

I've owned my own domain, haleyhughes.com, for as long as I've had this blog, but I've always just forwarded the address to this Blogspot address. Any insights on staying with Blogger on the back end but using my own domain name?

More blogs?

I know that the most successful blogs are focused in subject so that you, the readers, have a pretty good idea what to expect when you visit. And I know that this blog does not do that.

I think sometimes that I should have a specific writing blog, photo blog, dog blog, personal blog, but then I slap myself and remind myself that I spend far too much time just keeping this site updated on a regular basis.

So, consider this me slapping myself publicly. No. Bad Haley. Do not even think about it.


  1. I still show Entrecard on my blog but haven't done much with it. It seem to be very time consuming. Not sure if I will take it off my blog or not.

    As for hosting, not sure about blogger but get yourself on a hosting. You can do so much more with your blog.

    I love those silly searchers. There are some winners out there that scare the heck out of me.

  2. Whew! That's a page full! :D I didn't think your last rambling was too random... considering it's called random?? lol Great work on this post! =D

  3. I bought a domain to use with Blogger but it didn't work. About half the time the domain would not load my blog. I gave up on it, for awhile at least.

    Thanks for the mention of Doodle Week. :)

  4. @The Hunter's Wife -- Entrecard has given me amazing results. You seemed to already receive good traffic, so the results may not have been so noticeable. And, yes, it is time-consuming, but rewarding.

    @Fragileheart -- Thanks for the compliment and the Stumble! (Oh, and FYI, update your blogger profile so it links to your current blog)

    @Laura -- Your experience was on my mind when I wrote that section on using Blogger on the back end. Oh, and I can't wait for Doodle Week!


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