Seventy-three?

A little while ago a friend shared something with me about blogging, a list of seventy-three (73) different sorts of blog. My first reaction was amazement, my second was to glance through and see how many I could tick off as having done or often do…

So, glancing through I picked out sixteen different subjects or types of blog I have done, occasionally do, often do. When I first started blogging I was totally new to it and had not even read that many different blogs. As with any writing it took me a while to find my voice, and I looked at and read what other people did and had a go at emulating them, picking up on their ideas and trying to do something similar. For example, at first I had a few gallery posts – a  selection of images from places I had been, or themed such as doors, pools, seaweed… However, I soon realised that my amateur photos were maybe not of much interest to anyone else, and also I am a writer! I do illustrate what I write with my own photos, but the photos are just an illustration!

I guess all bloggers sometimes sit down with an empty mind and have to struggle to think of what to write – when that happens I look at news stories, look at other blogs (not to copy but to trigger an idea) and yes, on the ’73 list’ there is ‘search Twitter for inspiration’. Search sounds very determined and focused, with me it is more wandering through the tweets, my mind open to something which might set me off writing – and what I end up posting maybe very far from the original post I spotted!

Similarly, I might pick up on what someone else is writing about – anywhere, newspaper, blog, letter to the editor, and from that follow my own ideas; I always share a link to what set me off, but on the ’73 list’ it says ‘share what others are saying’ and I don’t do that… Profiles – I might add some biographical notes to something I’m writing but I wouldn’t say it is a profile! Then there is the curious word ‘listicles’ – I had to look it up to check it’s a thing, and yes it is… well, very occasionally I might include a list – let me rewrite that, occasionally… well, actually quite frequently I include a short bullet-pointed list of something, but I don’t think it counts as a listicle really.

Thankful posts – I do mention how lucky I feel I am, how fortunate but I wouldn’t say I write thankful posts, especially as the author of the ’73 list’ means a post thanking readers, contributes and sponsors… I don’t have contributors or sponsors, but I do have readers, and I am very thankful to them for reading and responding – so maybe I should write a thankful post, because I am thankful!

From the ’73 list’, I have pulled out the top ten which I might fit (is this a listicle?)

  1. auto-biographical post
  2. think out loud posts
  3. share recipes
  4. share recent travel experiences
  5. holidays
  6. quizzes
  7. reviews
  8. current events
  9. rants
  10. criticisms and open letters

However if I were to write my own top ten as I see it of things I write about:

  1. my books
  2. writing
  3. other books and writing
  4. autobiographical/family history/memoir
  5. food and drink, recipes
  6. pub life
  7. names/naming/words, people and places and things
  8. travel, places, holidays
  9. ponderings
  10. news, events, history

… and mentioning my books, here is a link to them:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_6?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=lois+elsden&sprefix=lois+e%2Caps%2C137&crid=6NHAWMNC5D8Z

and here is a link to the ’73 list’:

http://optinmonster.com/73-type-of-blog-posts-that-are-proven-to-work/

What to write today

I write here every day and most of the time I just write, but every so often I admit, I do get stuck and my mind seems empty, all inspiration fled… what I usually do then is look around me and get ideas from the ordinary things I see – ‘oh, the carpet needs hoovering, I know, I’ll write about cleaning carpets and how my granny used to do it’ or I’ll look out the window – ‘that lady has a funny hat… I’ll write about funny hats, that’s an unusual bird – I’ll write about birds, that chimney is smoking, I’ll write about coal fires…’ I also have my pile of old and very old cookery books beside me so there is always inspiration there!

A fellow-blogger sent me a site which has seventy-three suggestions for blogs and topics!! Yes, seventy-three! I looked down the list and there were quite a few which were not appropriate or useful to me, business and commercial ones and suggestions for professional bloggers for example.

However I extracted a dozen which I actually do use:

  1. Listicles – I have never heard an article about lists called ‘listicles’ before, but I guess it works. I admit I do use lists – I might be writing about something, a flower, a type of food, an unusual name, and in my research come across items which I then list – and I confess, I do like a bullet-pointed list!
  2. Reviews – yes, I review things I have read, heard watched, been to
  3. A glance “behind the curtain” – I don’t write what I think the article intends which is to do with big business and successful commercial practices – this is behind my curtain and the way I write and think about writing
  4. Quizzes – occasionally I include a quiz – but frequently I write about the quizzes I attend!
  5. Think out loud posts – yup, that’s me! Every other day I ramble on about something!
  6. Rants – not so often, but occasionally I jump onto my high horse and gallop about a bit
  7. Criticisms and open letters – just recently I wrote a couple of ‘To whom it may concern’ letters about bad drivers!
  8. Share recent travel experiences – yes, I often write about places I have been to – day trips, holidays and longer visits
  9. Auto-biographical post – yes, all the time!
  10. Share recipes – almost every other day!! I love food and everything to do with it, buying, preparing, eating, talking about it, reading about it… everything!
  11. Holidays – yes, as with travel above
  12. Recycle old posts – I confess I do – but I don’t just repost them, I always add something extra, otherwise what is the point?

If you want to look at the whole list, here is a link:

http://optinmonster.com/73-type-of-blog-posts-that-are-proven-to-work/

… and if you want to look at what I write and publish, here’s a link to my e-books and my recently published paperbacks, ‘So You Want To Write?’ and ‘Radwinter’: