Howzat! Blogging: Content and Imagery?!

I’ve been blogging for over three years now and I’m still amazed at some of what I see when searching for interesting original content… and I don’t mean in a good way!

I’ve always said that “My blog might be rubbish but at least it’s my rubbish!”. The content is mine and the images are mine. Yes I’ve often been inspired by a headline or even an article though if the headline’s inspired me I try to avoid reading the article, at least until I’ve written my own. Regular readers will know that my recent content has been Cricket 19 dominated and not actually opinions on the real game. Life, errr… and Cricket 19 can get in the way. Of course part of my inspiration and style of writing those posts stem from being inspired by reading match reports online etc but just like some people have trodden a fine line on “Being inspired” by my content there’s no patent on writing about cricket. I wasn’t the first person and I’m not the only one allowed to produce Cricket gaming content. Just head over to YouTube! Anybody writing a cricket match report is likely to script a familiar chronological format at the very least before we consider applying any original flavour. The perspective from which it’s written will of course effect the narrative. I’ve particularly enjoyed the genuine first hand write-ups that I’ve done having attended a match. I’ve avoided reading another report when doing so only confirming a few details from the scorecard.

When I first started blogging the leading cricket bloggers on WordPress seemed to just copy and paste articles from major sites, amend the headline and claim the post as their own. Some just direct you to another site entirely. Where’s the pleasure? What’s the point?

Then we come to imagery. The amount of bloggers who are naively, sinisterly or foolishly and illegally using images that they don’t own stuns me. As for streaming live footage, I’m no running water expert but I’m going to hazard a guess that it isn’t all legit.

What do people think? Am I over reacting? Are these professional and polished images from top matches actually free for all to use? Where do other bloggers get their images, their content, their inspiration from?

What’s the Point?

WARNING! This is a random blog related moan!

What exactly is the point of writing a blog but not allowing comments?

Nothing on this website baffles me more than such a thing. Aren’t articles meant to be thought provoking and… provoke a response? So why do some people leave that option unavailable? I’m like Billy Crystal in When Harry met Sally. I’m going to go to the end first and if it won’t allow me to comment then I won’t bother reading!

Come on fellow bloggers! Enable comments. Even if you don’t want to reply or even read them, let us vent our frustration or even… agree with you!

10,000 Visitors!

Yeah I know, another one of those posts but it’s always an excuse!

We’re still a few months short of three years since I started this blog. This is where I usually ramble on about not being on social media and tagging things incorrectly (I did more than fifteen. Should’ve read the bloody advice!) for about two years or how I thought I’d be writing about me actually playing (I’ve definitely retired now).

Anyway, 10,000 unique visitors from United Kingdom to USA, Thailand to Trinidad & Tobago, Vietnam to Oman and beyond!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

A Moan About WordPress

I’ve noticed, but forgot to do something about it when I posted my last article, that often when you publish an article you’ve drafted a long time ago, it slots in on the date that you first created the draft. You then have to manually change the date and as a result, I don’t think that it shows up on the Reader so you miss out on potential views.

I’ve previously provided tips based on my blogging experiences and of course want to maximise exposure and views etc received. This little nuisance is particularly annoying!

Following On

I thought that I’d provide a little insight into how I acquire a following on my blog…

I’ve written nearly 600 posts now and have a pitiful (No disrespect!) 120 or so followers. My fatal two-year tagging error cost me dearly but I’m writing wrongs this year. My subscriptions go something like this.

580 cricket articles: 85 followers (Including forced family as well as those marketing and utter nonsense followers you get!)

10 book reviews: 15 followers

10 poems: 15 followers

1 blogging tip article: 5 followers

Now those poems and book reviews are cricket themed of course but it’s a little disproportionate for my efforts. Maybe I should stop writing about cricket altogether and just write poetry and book reviews!

A man in a field/car park holding a jug

For no reason at all, here’s a picture of me (Excuse the tint, we’ve all been through that phase!) winning a cricket trophy. I didn’t bat, bowl or take a catch in the final. I didn’t even stop the ball but did pick it up twice. Still, better than my previous efforts in a final… run out having been sent back (Quite rightly) first ball!

Blog Review: Advice, Tips and Some Cries for Help!

It’s over two years ago now that I started this blog and I’m still going… strong?!

In the past couple of days, I (Or you) have produced record-breaking performances on both the views and likes front.

I added audio to my blog not that long ago and have recently debuted on YouTube. Making my way to the crease on YouTube has led me to review a few things, the most crucial of which has been tagging. So it turns out that I’ve been tagging all wrong! Well not all wrong but here’s a crucial thing that I’ve discovered by actually bothering to read the advise on WordPress

Don’t put anymore than a combined fifteen categories or tags otherwise your article won’t show up on Reader.

I thought that tags were how people found your writings on the internet but no, the internet can actually identify the content from your writing, I think that this is called meta. I’m aware that my absence from platforms such as Twitter limits my reach but as much as I’d like to communicate with a larger audience, I don’t want to spend my entire life in front of a screen. I could help myself by tagging correctly though!

My YouTube videos aren’t quite as polished or spectacular as I’d like them to be. A limit on both time, opportunity and crucially location in such a small and busy environment restrict the quality of my finished product but enough excuses… I’ll get better!

Back to tagging. On YouTube the suggestion seems to be that you wouldn’t just tag ‘cricket’ or ‘joe root’ but ‘how to play cricket’ or ‘batting tutorial’. The fact that most search terms that people have used to find our blogs display as ‘Unknown Search Terms’ really isn’t helpful. If we could see what people have keyed in then it would be extremely beneficial. Of course my articles aren’t generally ‘How to…’ videos. Most people seem to come to my blog for my Don Bradman and Ashes Cricket computer game articles. They seem to have typed for example ‘Don Bradman career mode’ or ‘Ashes Cricket PS4’ into a search engine and found my work. Ultimately those games are a niche area with, in the grand scheme of things, limited content on the world wide web. If somebody types in ‘cricket’ or ‘Virat Kohli’ then they’re unlikely to find my blog at the top of Google!

I’ve always said that “My blog might be rubbish but at least it’s my rubbish”. The content, though sometimes inspired from other written work is my research and content. The photos, though occasionally a photo of a trading card or a calendar are my photos. I stopped following the copy and paste addicts a long time ago but I do think that a lot of bloggers need to educate themselves on use of images online.

I hope that one or two things I’ve written above are helpful to other bloggers and if anyone can help me with tagging tips and general advice on gaining exposure then please let me know… but please don’t tell me “Social media”… I know!