Are you sprouting something new under your mask?
- Grooming or the lack of it under our anti-COVID masks.
- Words so special to a country that we borrow theirs, such as “Schadenfreude.”
- Blogging tips.
What do they have in common? They’re among the activities that have unexpectedly cropped up since we’ve been sheltering-in-place.
- Hair: Some friends are letting theirs grow. Others have shaved their scalps. A bunch are letting their color and texture go natural.
- Authors are digging into writing and stats show that readers are reading for fun again. That’s how I discovered “Schadenfreude.” It’s an English noun borrowed from two German words, Schaden ‘harm’ and Freude ‘joy.’ Combined, they refer to pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.
On my Facebook page, I invited friends to riff on “Schadenfreude”…
Pam Christmas: I enjoy singing it to the tune of Danke Schoen. Schadenfreude, darling, schadenfreude. A favorite word and feeling.
Angela L Brown: Holy crap! Did that dude who keeps yelling about my dogs just get bit by his own?! Schadenfreude, sucka!
Stella B. Katz: Here’s a GREAT example of what Yuman is feeling. My Yuman will be experiencing Schadenfreude when Drumpf loses in November.
Chrys Mumma: I hope when I experience schadenfreude, that I recognize it as hateful.
Robb Fulcher: Carl Jung surpassing his former mentor gave me Sigmund Schadenfreude.
Tao Walker: I cannot help but have this feeling of schadenfreude over the Jerry Falwell Jr. scandal.
Bonnie Noble Pacego: Lily felt schadenfreude when she secretly found the loot the robber dropped as he fled the bank!
Beth Pottiger Gorman: The schadenfreude on Johnny’s face was obvious when he found the baseball someone else left lay.
Corky Anderson: Rump = Schadenfreude “joy at the misfortune of another.”
John Saffery’s link here.
Carol Snyder Jarvela: I prefer the southern belle term “mean bitch thrill.” It’s easier to spell and is self-explanatory.
Peter Basson: Me and my friend, Sigmund, were very hot so we stood in the schadenfreude.
Susan Sobon: Trump is a master of schadenfreude.
- Lastly, people are doing more blogging, vlogging, and podcasting!
I listed some of what I’ve learned about blogging in a prior post. In no particular order, here are more tips I’ve gathered while working on my own blog and visiting other sites. Feel free to add your own insights in the comments section.
- Nothing detracts from a post as much as poor writing. The software that comes with a word processor isn’t enough. Fortunately, lots of useful apps like Grammarly have decent free versions.
- Reading aloud helps tremendously. Sometimes I even have my word processor read to me. That way, I can hear how my writing sounds without my own inflections.
- Finding an empty ‘about’ page feels like maybe there isn’t a real person managing the site. And when there’s no photo, I hope the blogger isn’t worried that their looks will frighten people.
- It doesn’t take much to keep a site’s background theme from looking cookie-cutter by adding photos and changing colors.
- Composing a post: sometimes WordPress leaves important messages in the right column.
- Ideas are precious. I capture mine by texting myself or jotting them into the notes section of my smartphone.
- Before publishing a post, I check how it looks on a smartphone, desktop, and tablet. Sometimes I need to replace a photo and break up my text more.
- Dimensions for photos: this is a fabulous link.
- Featured photos: a) make sure to select one, and b) lately, I’ve noticed that people who’re successful on social media add text to their main pictures. Canva’s free version does an adequate job.
- My workspace: desk clutter saps my creativity and efficiency. I try to keep only what I’m working on in front of me, and every night I tidy up.
- Sound: A fan, such as the one inside my compact space heater, is impressive at muting noise pollution.
- SEO, a.k.a. “search engine optimization”: to help get at the top of internet searches, use keywords in post headings and first sentences.
- Heading: again for SEO, keep them 70 characters or shorter.
- Categories: select less than ten.
- Tags: five is plenty.
- Visitors enjoy interacting with their fave bloggers. Ask readers to subscribe and share. End posts with something they can comment on.
- Invite visitors to look around your site by linking posts to other posts.
- Images: only use ones you have legal rights for (royalty-free is fab) and always credit where you got them from.
- Befriend other sites like yours — visit, comment, link, and meet their fans.
- Reblogs are lovely—and even nicer when introduced with comments of your own. Add your thoughts when you click “reblog” or later within your site’s editor.
- Composing Posts: Begin them with a sense of where you’re going, and conclude them with a quick review.
- It takes time and care (a.k.a. love) to compose a blog post that’s worth reading.
- Good writing is all about rewriting. Let a post sit, then review it a couple of hours later or the next day.
- Continually study how to use social media more effectively.
- Hosting: Self-hosting works for some. In my case, I use WordPress dot com and find that having them host my site is inexpensive and easy.
Also, most of my followers come to me via the WordPress Reader, which I don’t think is available on self-hosted.
- It’s never too early to start collecting an email list — ugh! — in my case, I’m learning this far too late, so I’m now researching how best to start mine.
- WordPress Editor: Frustrated by WordPress’ block editor? I still mostly use Classic and here I explain how.
Let me know how you like my first attempt at adding a poll…
What tips have you learned? If you’re using self-hosted WordPress dot org, do you have a way to get your posts listed on the WordPress Reader?