Reader appeal

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Image: CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay.com

 

Blogging 101 – Exercise 4 (identifying my ideal audience)

My ideal readership falls into 2 camps. Both camps comprise of those who are teachable. Within the first camp, my ideal reader is:

  • a committed Christian who hungers for deeper intimacy with Christ
  • someone seeking greater conformity to Christ’s character
  • an individual pursuing consistent and ongoing success regarding God’s pre-ordained purpose.

The other camp relates to those who are not Christians… those who are genuinely searching for both a revelation of and, a relationship with God. They are individuals who are seeking to know the meaning and purpose of their lives.

And within both these camps, there is a further group of people who feel devastated by what life has thrown at them. They have been so trampled by circumstances, they have almost stopped believing that anything good will happen to them… that meaningful opportunities will come their way… that cherished dreams can become reality.

I tailor my blog and craft each post towards these three groups of people. I write in the hope that my words will touch a deep cord within the hearts of this target audience. I write, trusting my posts will inspire, or revive any flagging spirits within the circle of my readership community.

Dear ideal reader, I pray my blog will encourage and equip you to become a purpose-driven achiever. If you are new to this blog, please take a moment to acquaint yourself with me the author, and with the ethos of this site by reading my About and Intro pages). But if you are already familiar with the focus of my writings and you know anyone within your circle of influence that could benefit from my posts, please do not hesitate to share and spread the word.

Returning to the subject of my ideal audience, I must add that my target readership will be appreciative of the time taken to write my posts. They are therefore supportive and demonstrate this with their comments and likes. May I therefore take this opportunity to encourage your participation? Would you grant me and other readers the honour of engaging in discourse? If you enjoyed reading my post could you let me know? If you agree with a post can you say why, or is there something further you wish to add? Did something I say resonate with you? Have my words triggered a memory? Have you read a helpful book, appropriate to the topic of my post, which you can flag up to this community?

Finally, my ideal readership comprises those who are kingdom trailblazers. At present, they may not look like the world’s definition of success from the outside, however, they have great potential within them. They are committed to developing their potential, to pursuing their purpose. I believe that through courage, patience and persistence these individuals can achieve greatness, they can fulfil their God-given destiny.

Now because this exercise requires me to include an element I have never used before in my posts, I close with an embedded video, which I trust will inspire you on your journey as a purpose-driven achiever.

 

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Reading the Reader – Exploring this Cyberspace

Exercise 3 – Follow 5 new tags and 5 new blogs in the Reader.

 

CC0 Public Domain - Image from Pixabay.com
CC0 Public Domain – Image from Pixabay.com

 

Easy-peasy I thought when I saw this exercise. This should take me next to no time. Well was I wrong!

I’ve spent several hours looking for suitable tags and blogs with content I wanted to browse or read regularly. Through comments from others on the course who’d completed this exercise, I was aware that some people are following so many blogs it seemed practically impossible (and certainly unlikely) that they were actually reading them all. But, if I’m wrong and they are, then I wonder how they find the time to write for their own blogs. Oh well, that’s a matter for Mystic Meg and her crystal ball to figure out, so I won’t worry my little grey cells about this any more.

I could have taken the fast and easy option by selecting tags indiscriminately plus the first 5 sites that presented themselves in the Reader. However, I also didn’t want to follow merely for the sake of saying I’ve completed the exercise. I saw this as an opportunity to check out the contours of this exciting blogging world that I’m now a part of. I saw it as an opportunity to explore this alien terrain, check out unfamiliar voices and venture into new avenues, in the hopes that my views will be  expanded, clarified, even challenged. After all, it is only when your own convictions are questioned that you are able to test whether you stand firm in your self-confessed beliefs, or whether the contrary opinion of others has the power to push you away from your standpoint and over the cliffs of uncertainty.

This veritable expanse of the blogging universe sat unexplored, compliant and waiting – its delights ready for the taking. It promised fresh (even jaundiced) perspectives. It hinted at colour, spice, va va voom! I imagined pleasurable forays into unknown worlds of aesthetic culture, creative endeavours, exotic travel, gourmet delights and literary opinion. And so I sought erudite voices, vicarious experiences. I relished the idea of undetected and unashamed voyeurism into the lives and souls of others.

The first thing that came to my notice was that the Reader has been taken over by a bunch of people referring to themselves as “Blogging 101”. Honestly! The Reader was completely hi-jacked by authors of posts framing cries for help on technical issues; bloggers making outright pleas or subtle overtures for site visits. Both self-assured calls and tentative requests were being made to other course participants, asking for feedback on completed assignments. There were tales of frustration or woe over technical issues encountered, or whoops of delight as people provided updates on their attempts to fulfil assignments.

All this made interesting reading but don’t they know I’ve got work to do? An assignment to get on with? I cannot allow myself to be distracted.  With firm resolve I begin exploring potential tags and posts with gusto. Despite my highfalutin ideas, I was drawn to what I know… to what sits comfortably within the confines of my personal interests and passions. I’ll leave exploratory trips of the Brave New World to someone else.

Meanwhile, in case you’re interested in which new tags and blogs I’ve decided to follow, details of these are listed below. And if the fancy takes you, feel free to hop on board.

Tags:

  • Christian Book Reviews
  • Exotic Travel
  • Friendship
  • Lifestyle
  • Street Photography

Blogs:   

  • Daily (W)rite – damyantiwrites.wordpress.com (popular blogger and fiction writer who shares both blogging advice and insights into her daily ritual of writing)
  • Live to Write, Write to Live – https://nhwn.wordpress.com/ (group of professional writers share their experiences and tips regarding the writing life/career)
  • Passionately Pursuing Christ – dharrisdevotionals.wordpress.com (a published poet whose stirring words evidence passion and commitment for Christ)
  • True – shoppetrue.com (Website showcasing tasteful home furnishings and unique ideas for interior design)
  • Storyshucker – storyshucker.wordpress.com (talented story-teller shares poignant tales from memories of bygone days).

And you know what? I’ve even been able to complete the extra exercise set with this particular assignment, which was: Feel free to publish a post in addition to completing this task.

Voila!

Granted, I’m posting 2 weeks after the course concluded but I’m not going to let that concern me. Phew! That’s three exercises done and 12 more to go – so watch this space!

 

Titles and Taglines

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Have you ever experienced a ‘brainstorm block’? Never heard of it? Not surprised! I’ve just invented the phrase. Brainstorm block has just got to be the most frustrating nightmare of any creative writer/blogger.

I’m behind with my exercises for the Blogging 101 course. I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed and anxious about the fact that it is Day 5 and I’ve only done one exercise. One! Talk about being a slow coach!

Ok, so I can’t quite shake off this perfectionist thing and my personality (or is it pride?) won’t allow me to just put something out there (anything as long as I hand something in). Nope, it’s got to be my best, which means as near perfect (in my estimation) as I can make it. But at this rate, week 3 (the end of this course) will come and go and the week 1 exercises will only just have been completed.

But what to do? My brain had seized up. Brainstorm block had taken over my mind with a vengeance draining it of all capacity to think, or conjure up even a mediocre idea.

Exercise 2 requires me to come up with a tagline. I have two blogs, therefore I need two taglines. But hard as I tried, not a single idea sprang to mind! How can this be so? Prior to this, ideas for a number of potential posts had inundated the little grey cells (as Hercules Poirot would say). But now, when all I want is a teeny weeny phrase to use as a tagline on each of my blogs there is nothing! Not even a naff idea!

For the uninitiated, a tagline is a short phrase that sits within the heading section of your blog. Together, the title and tagline provide visitors with clues as to the blog’s purpose and message.

Now, when I set up and launched my blog, I had absolutely no idea what a tagline was, or what it was supposed to do. So, when prompted to add one, I ignored the direction. After all, I have the name of my site and that’s the most important part – right?

I wasn’t convinced that my blogs needed this extra element but since I’ve enrolled on this course in order to learn, I felt the least I can do is seriously consider the suggestion and give the exercise a shot. So I read and re-read the exercise script and supporting articles. Light dawned. Yet still I found myself in not-a-shred-of-an-idea valley. This worrying condition lasted about 3-4 days. Had my brain cells shut down for the winter? Perhaps I should skip this and move on to the next exercise. Then all of a sudden – bingo! Ideas came for both of my blogs.

After adding the taglines, I could see how just that simple addition not only clarified my stance and purpose for both blogs, but also aesthetically improved the look of each site. I hadn’t appreciated that the title on its own looked naked, bereft. Now, it looks finished, complete. A win-win situation!

With exercise 2 completed, I can now happily move on. Let me guess… you’re curious to know what my little grey cells came up with aren’t you? Well, a glance upwards to the top of this page should reveal: Pursuing my destiny – Maximizing my potential and the Women of Warfare site states: – Victim or Victor – You can choose!

And so, to all adult learners and apprentice dream-achievers – the moral of my experience is: be humble, be open-minded, be teachable.  As the good book says:

 A wise man will hear and increase learning,

And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5).

Who I am and why I’m here

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Ever since I can remember, I have loved reading.   As the eldest in a family of 7 children, books allowed me to escape into a world I thought was better, more exciting  than my own.

I also suffered from chronic insomnia – quite why that should be so at such a young age (around 11-15yrs), I have no idea.  Stories therefore helped me to cope with the long hours of sleepless nights, the frightening dark which cast sinister shadows upon my walls, the eerie creaking of our house, which came alive at night, stretching and spreading its fear-inducing aura throughout my bedroom, feeding my already over-active imagination. And, as if all that were not enough, to top it all, there were the infernal scratching, scuttling noises made by mice, who apparently suffered from insomnia too!

As a book lover, voracious reader and incorrigible word addict, it is not surprising  I developed a real love of words and that as time went by, I would seek to express this love through my own writing. Decades later, I grasped an opportunity to study a degree course at university as a mature student. My subject? English literature of course!  I was in seventh heaven.  I could eat, sleep and of course, read books to my heart’s delight.

This blog has come about as a result of a best-selling publication: The Purpose Driven Life, written by Rick Warren. It has stirred up a desire within me to discover and fulfil my God-given destiny. It has stirred up a passion to live a faith-infused, God-glorifying and productive life – a life that inspires others (particularly women) to maximise their potential, a life that touches those within my circle of influence with the fragrance of Christ. 

This blog then serves to combine my commitment to God and desire to pursue a purpose-driven life, with my long-held aspiration of becoming a prolific, published writer.

With regard to my writing aspirations, I’ve wasted enough time and procrastinated for more years than I care to remember. The following quote discovered recently, acts as another spur: “opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor”.

So, without further ado, I’ve decided to vacate my position as a sad, dissatisfied wallflower who sits at the sidelines of life pretending not to mind that I’m constantly being shunned or passed over whilst I wait in vain, secretly hoping success will single me out and waltz me into the world of my dreams.

I‘m joining the realm of go-getters and opportunity seekers. I’m joining the throng of thriving, jiving participants on the-world-is-my-oyster stage.   Do you wanna join me?