Tag Archives: Advice on Blogging

Murder, Migraine and La Manzanilla

Murder, Migraine and La Manzanilla


Feet up at the Tequila Sunset Bar!

Murder, Migraine and La Manzanilla

When I was asked what my three most successful blog postings have been, I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to find out for sure. I knew it had something to do with the stats page, but I didn’t know how to go about finding out the total of views for each post over the years. I accepted the challenge, however, and found that the three topics that have created the most views over the two years plus that I’ve been blogging all start with the letter “M!”

First of all, as my title so clearly states, anything having to do with La Manzanilla, Mexico, where I spend two months of my year, garners immediate views. This is probably because most of my postings about La Manzanilla have been linked to their incredibly popular message board which has a loyal following. If you need something in La Manz from a ride to the airport three towns away to the loan of a charger for your camera to information about your computer, your house or your life—go to the La Manzanilla message board. And, for sure, if you took pictures all along the beach of different campfires and parties on New Years Eve and posted them on your blog, mention it on the La Manzanilla message board.

The third most views I garnered for any one post was a piece I wrote about the murder of two friends, and as the investigation into their murder continued, the international interest in my blog continued. I think the dearth of other information (since the murder occurred in Mexico whereas their families and lifelong friends were in Canada) contributed to people picking up on my blog from Google and Facebook. This is a sad way to earn views and of course that was far from the reason why I continued to write about this most tragic occurrence, but for some reason I wound up as a liaison between Mexican and Canadian friends of the couple, local police and higher up government officials and one local woman who relentlessly pursued the ones she knew were responsible. In the end, one of the men  was caught and sentenced, but I keep hoping that one day I’ll surpass the day’s total for views for one of the days I wrote about their deaths, as every time I see that number in my “top three,” I am reminded of the sad topic of that post.

Also high in the ratings over the past two years was a blog I wrote about migraine headaches. I remember my friend, proof-reader and fellow blog administrator Skyping me that I’d had hundreds of views from Great Britain in the last few minutes and upon investigation, I decided that this must have been due to a web crawler picking up on the work “migraine” and distributing the URL for my blog to its participants. I hope in writing this that I’m interpreting correctly how and why a web crawler works. I can only say that it is exciting to see the numbers mounting, but I don’t delude myself that it was anything but a fluke.

In summary, I guess what I’ve learned from surveying my stats is that what is most important in attracting views is to write about a timely topic you have personal knowledge of—especially if no one else is writing about it. Or, to choose a topic of particular and clearly-defined interest and to find some way to get news of your posting to the particular group that has an interest in it. This might be through your choice of tags, where else you establish a link to your blog or the luck of being picked up by some service that disseminates information to its subscribers.

Ironically, this is something I rarely do and which in all of these cases happened more or less by accident. I think if I were to make these concerns my main consideration in blogging that all of the fun would go out of it. I love the more hit-or-miss option of writing about the Daily Prompt and posting pictures on the daily or weekly prompts given by a handful of prompt sites. If you look at my blog, you will clearly see which ones they are and I furnish links to all of them at the bottom of my posts. It is wonderful to be widely-read but I’d rather have the freedom of writing about what I want to write about and in the style I want to write. In my case, I think the label of my blog could best be described as eclectic. That’s how I like my life and that’s how I like my writing and photos.

The starlings come back to La Manzanilla. (Perhaps they’ve been here all along, but a lack of a stunning sunset in the west last night brought our attention to the southeast, where a lot more was going on thanks to the clouds and the murmuration of thousands of starlings, which I took for bats until Daniel straightened out my thinking by saying they were birds. Meanwhile, he took a break from smoking his cigar to smoke his cigarette.  More about this in a later post!

(Click on first picture to see enlarged photos.)


A generous friend with time on his hands sent me links to my top eight most-viewed blog postings.  These are the links he sent:

#1  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/10/24/la-manzanilla-after-hurricane-patricia/
#2  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/01/01/sand-in-my-sangria-happy-new-year-2015/
#3  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/02/11/upon-the-violent-death-of-a-friend/
#4  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/10/25/two-more-videos-of-hurricane-patricia-in-la-manzanilla-mexico/
#5  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/02/13/nina-discombe-and-edward-kulars-deaths/
#6  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/11/29/internet-infraction-bogged-down-in-blog/
#7 https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/08/13/dizzy-representative/
#8 https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/03/19/post-migraine-depression/


The Prompt: Go to your stats page and find your three most successful posts.  What do they have in common? https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-stat-connection/

How to Write a Blog with Bite!

How to Write a Blog with Bite!

Have you ever had a hot dog without mustard, onions, relish?
What is a hot dog, after all, but something to embellish?
The same is true of blogging. It has to have some spice––
an interesting title is my opening advice.
Remember your first sentence should invite us in.
An opening poorly stated? The worst blogging sin.
Don’t start you blog apologizing you have naught to say.
If you have nothing for us?  Just don’t write today.
Make your first line snappy, original and clear.
Don’t show your indecision, for you’re the expert here!!!
Nobody else can possibly know where you’re going to go
if you write about a topic where you are in the know.
Hook them with your opening–confident or funny.
Your readers are the buzzing flies. Give them a little honey!
Start right in with your topic with no wandering around.
We shouldn’t have to search for where the real message is found.
A blog is like a fine-tooled belt that you have carved from leather––
not just a pile of sentences that you have heaped together.
Do not use tired comparisons that you have heard before.
Each sentence that you write should be like opening a door
and finding yourself in a world that’s fresh and new and bright.
And then you’ll have a hot dog blog that we will want to bite!!!

Here are some links to just a few of the exceptional blogs that never give short shrift.  Read them every day and their excellence will pull you along with them. Set your standards high and you will soon have a readership that will make you want to excel,  just to keep them happy!! (photo is a stock photo from shutterstock.)











 The Prompt: What’s the key advice you would give to new bloggers:?