Saturday, February 26, 2022

A Poll

In order to help me know how to move forward, I would appreciate it if as many of you who visit my blog over the next ten days or so would take a few minutes to answer two questions for me.

1. How do you view my blog?

- On your laptop/desktop computer   


-On your phone

2. Do you utilize the links that I have in the side bar?

Yes  / No

I recently had a friend tell me that my blog was not "phone friendly". I've looked at my blog on my phone before, and I agree. But since I don't use my phone to read blogs (mine or any others), I just blew it off. But since being published in Bella Grace, now I'm hearing that my blog should really be my name and much less busy, and while I can understand this line of thinking, that also sounds very sterile to me. I'm toying with the idea of having two blogs, one for writing and still keeping this one. However, even my writing blog would need to have some blogging content, and I absolutely do not want to keep up with two different sites and varying content.

Admittedly I am not like other bloggers. I never intended for this blog to generate an income of any substance. I write for the sake of writing, and in spite of the fact that blogging has evolved into a business, I still much prefer the old-fashioned style of sharing, along with all the pretty graphics, etc.

When I included my by-line in my article with information on where to reach me, it never occurred to me that I needed to have a user-friendly site. And again, while I understand the reasoning behind it, I'm not sure I'm on board.  I am over the moon to be published, but some of my greatest inspiration for writing comes from the lovely aesthetics of this space. 

I could see cleaning up the sidebars and lessening the busyness, and I created a "test blog" to see what that might look like. Here's a sneak peek. 

As you can see, this layout only has one sidebar and I've eliminated a LOT of links. I took this image from a direct link on my phone, so I'm guessing if it looks like this on my phone, it does on every phone. To be honest I'm not sure how that works. It looked like this on my friend's phone, although she felt that this was only "slightly" better. She advised no sidebar at all so that my posts will appear much larger, and include links at the bottom?

All of that to say, I'm in a bit of a conundrum, once again with an internal battle whether to conform to "standards", or stick with what I love. It has NEVER been about numbers for me. I write because I feel that Holy Spirit leads me to write, and He has blessed that. I don't care if 10 or 10,000 people visit my site, so long as at least one person is blessed by my offerings, and based upon what I've been told by my readers thus far, that is happening.

One thing I have already decided is that I am not changing the name or the header. It's actually part of my "branding", if I even have a brand! :) I do own the domain name and that is my name, so I'm comfortable with that. But as for the layout, I have to decide whether to follow my heart and continue on, or change things up, which for me, would be eliminating a lot of things that I love about this space. Who knew you could get emotionally attached to a list of links you provide?

So, if you would take a few minutes to answer those two questions by leaving your answers in the comments, I would appreciate it. I will sincerely consider all opinions and then decide how to move forward. I find blogging so odd in a way. This is my space, my writing, my graphics, and yet I feel pressured, much like I did in my childhood, to conform and to present myself as others would prefer, rather than as I truly am. And therein may just be my answer. We shall see. I've added a link to this post in the left side bar to make it easier to find. My plan is to allow a week to ten days for responses. Thanks so much for your input!


Patti said...

First of all, I was initially drawn to your blog because of its name. Its cozy warmth drew me in. I would never have visited if the name of the blog was your name. I'm okay with the URL being a person's name, but the name of their blog needs to be something else, something that shares a bit of what the blog is about.

Actually, I have very strong feelings on what has happened to blogging---I detest the way it has become a business. When I first started blogging back in 2006, I blogged at a sweet little community called Homestead Blogger. It was a lovely community, and bloggers visited one another in return. When Homestead Blogger broke up (in about 2011), I moved over to Blogger, and in the beginning, there was a great community feel. For at least the last 5 years, though, there is virtually no community or friendship. Everyone is interested in growing their own blog, and seldom do bloggers ever return my visit. It has been disheartening to me, and for that reason, I have stopped blogging many times in the last several years. I always return, though, simply because I like writing, and I feel that I have something to say.

That said, I refuse to join the ranks of the "business bloggers," so I remain at Blogger instead of WordPress. And I have a decorative header and a sidebar, unlike "business bloggers."

I don't like blogs where you have to click the "read more" button to finish the article. I like old-fashioned blogs, where the whole post and maybe 5 more are on the same page. In fact, I don't linger at blogs where I have to keep clicking to read the post.

In the end, you have to do you. What makes you happy with your blog is what you need to do. Your friend's opinion is just that---her opinion. Only YOU know the goals and dreams you have for your internet space.

thanks for listening to me ramble. As you can tell, business blogging is kind of a soapbox issue for me.

Patti @ Leaving a Legacy

Patti said...

I rambled on without answering your questions. I use my laptop. I don't read any blogs on my phone, as I choose to use my phone for mostly just talking and texting. I have used a few of the sidebar links, but not all of them.

Kimberly Lottman said...

Oh Patti, Thank you so much for your "ramblings" as you referred to them. I feel exactly as you do, and I so attached to this little space. Not to mention how many hours I've put into all the graphics, etc. I'm thinking right now that I may just keep two blogs, this one for personal things and another for my professional writing. I made one up today and I have to say, I really do like it. But, now I'm conflicted because my domain name is here, so I may end up just switching them, but before I go to all that trouble, I'm going to wait and see if it's even going to work. My thought is that will just post some of the same posts in two places. I kept the color scheme close enough that I think I can easily cross-post. I may, from time to time, have something there that is not here, or visa versa. More likely than not I won't post there as often as I do here. But it may all prove to be too much in the end, and then I'll have to decide. But I have to sit with a thing for a while before I get a feel for it, so we'll see. I'll post a link to it in case anyone is interested when I'm finished, and you can give me your feedback. Thanks so much for chiming in, it really does help!

Anonymous said...

I am in exactly the same camp as Patti!

I am old school, and like the old school bloggers. I read blogs only on my laptop, so your format is perfect for me! I use some of the links on your sidebar. I strongly dislike (ok~ hate). blogs with all the advertising. I hope nothing about your format changes. I love your "branding'" header (but we've chatted about that) and I am so glad you are keeping it.


Kimberly Lottman said...

Thank you so much for your input, Pam. I think I kind of already knew which way you would lean, but it's good to know. :)

Kimberly Lottman said...

Patti, I wanted to let you know that I tried leaving a message on your post, "Too Much of A Good Thing" three different times and I got an error message each time. Its say, "oops, something went wrong, try refreshing the page" but that only refreshes the error message. I don't know what end the problem is on, but did want to let you know!

Melissa said...

Thank you for asking what your readers would like. I use my laptop when I want to read Blogs, I take the slow route and enjoy the quiet time of reading and looking at photos. Yes, I use the sidebar, it's a "things I like that you might like also" way of talking to each other personally. I also feel it's nicer when the writer takes the time to post a link with a picture at least, to see if I am interested in that item. Others say, "continue reading, click further" I don't particularly enjoy that.
I know some Bloggers are now making their living from their Blogs and the beautiful e-books and videos that they put together. I have mixed feelings on that, but I do realize people want to be able to stay at home and make a living also. Which is the beauty of the pay want you want to read, so ok!!
Thank you for sharing.

Kimberly Lottman said...

Thank you for your feedback, Melissa. I'm really so happy to know that most of my readers appear to use their lap top. I do as well, but you just never know.