Day #5 – 10 Days to a Better Blog
Today we are looking for patterns and behaviour. I’ll be surprised if I find any patterns at all. My initial thoughts, without starting the assignment, is that my posts are completely random, disjointed and senseless at times (you might remember that I wrote yesterday about my style and that I was OK with it). Worse still, this probably applies to the categories and tags I use as well… a MESS! Back in that really small part of my brain, where I put things I immediately forget, I filed a thought similar to this assignment. This is exactly what I needed to start the deep dive/cleanup. As an added bonus, now that I’ve freed up some space in that small part of my brain, I can put something else there!
Tags & Categories
There are currently 100+ tags in my cloud with so many duplicates, recurring themes and other nonsense I had to cringe. I wonder why I even show my tag ‘cloud’, what purpose does it serve? I personally never use it, maybe I think it ‘cool’ but it’s certainly not bringing any value to my blog.
I found an interesting post Best Practice for Using Tags in WordPress and the quote below struck a chord with me, I thought to myself really?. That’s my tag cloud!
“tags can be extremely effective in improving the user experience. However, when used incorrectly they are nothing but a cluttered and bloated navigational tool that can have an adverse effect on user engagement.”
2015 will be the year I get a handle on my tags, I’m going to come up with some meaningful tags and cleanup my past posts. Fortunately, categories are not as bad, I currently have eleven but will reviewing those as well.
Writing Patterns & Behaviour
One of the most irritating patterns I found were all the ‘resolution’ posts. Some bad behaviour I’ve notices are projects that I haven’t even come close to finishing (see Project365), long periods of inactivity (Feb 8 to Dec 28, 2014) and various meaningless reviews.
I’ve discovered a lot of ‘wrong’ with my blog and that I keep trying and making the same mistakes. I was surprised, really surprised, to find out that I have made several New Year resolutions that I’ve never kept, yet I can point to other activities where I’ve made a commitment and kept it. Finally, when I look back to the posts that I’ve been most proud of (and had the most visitors), they are almost always the ones where I’m relating something personal. A story, a thought or something about my travels. The resolutions, reviews and photo projects just didn’t get the same attention. If I had to guess why, I’d say it was because there was no ‘passion’.
It all comes down to that; passion. Write about what you are truly passionate about, stay organized and be honest about your abilities. It looks like I have lots of work to do.