A blog by an historian, Pagan and fanfiction writer, with left-wing leaning politics. In short, I could be waffling on about anything.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Creating My Blog

bluebirdI want a job that makes me leap out of bed with joy in the morning. I want my waking moments filled with excitement that what I call 'work' actually pays the bills. I want to pirouette on the carpet, batting away the little bluebirds and other woodland creatures, that apparently always gather in times of great happiness. (Unless the cartoons lied to us.) In short, I want to be a writer and get paid for it!

So I have my blog. I hummed and arred over the title. This is the semi-professional blog. The one where I write about interesting things, but I'm also free to do with without the formal tone of, say, my articles on Suite101. Jo speaks of formality to me. It would be better to skip to one of my other names.

I've had several nicknames in my time. I think the largest number of people call me Matilda Mother (or Matti) after the Syd Barrett song; either that or Merch Gwyar, my Runescape pseudonym. But the former might give the impression that I write stories in less than sober conditions; while the latter already has a large blog attached.

At University, there were a lot of people called Jo. It's a very common name. I hadn't even heard any Syd Barrett at the time, so Matilda Mother was not yet the alternative. But the Waterboys had recorded 'A Girl Called Johnny' and Jo is short for Joanne (male form: John). There are many people who still call me Johnny, including myself sometimes.

The very first thing that confronts me is that, though blogs are all about writing, you need to be an artist before anything else. I can write great walls of text (and frequently do), but if the look of the page is wrong, then only really good friends and my parents might linger to read it. Then there's the lay-out, stuff like that.

I sighed. I played in the design screen. I silently wept.

Fortunately, I have artist friends! Thank you very much to the lovely Alex Lardar, who arranged things, mixed colours and cut out photos of me to get the aesthetics just right. Of course, there were no adverts when she did that, so it looked even smoother.

All I had to do was waffle on about Grace Petrie and the blog was launched! It was even better when Ms Petrie picked it up and Tweeted it to all of her fans. My first proper blog entry suddenly had a lot of hits.

Hits. Hits are good. Hits are what could potentially turn this blog into a winning line of work. I just had to add adverts. But I'm so terribly British about this. My first insertion of blocks of advertisements were very discreetly placed. Half way down the blocks to the side and coloured in to make it compatible. I was partially hoping that no-one would notice them there.

Then I rushed into Runescape and grabbed a panel of (mostly) teenage male gamers to be my first market research panel. Good blog? Fantastic blog, they reported. Then one lone voice called up. And you're monetising this how precisely? *sigh*

I watched videos on YouTube about how to place my adverts. Better? Yep, I am asking for feedback here. Beyond this, I'll be writing proper blog entries, so this is the moment to speak up; and thank you in advance if you do. :D

Disclaimer: Please do not click on any advertisements unless you are a genuine buyer. Invalid clicks will get me closed down.


  1. While I don't necessarily like ads on a website, the locations you picked do work and are easily ignored, so I think this is a good thing. C:

    I think that, as long as you don't place the huge ugly ads in the middle of an entry, you'll be fine. (This, of course, changes if you're writing a review on something and have a link to where that thing can be bought! :3 )

    ::two cents!::

  2. I think the ads are okay. I mean, I hardly noticed till you mentioned them and I checked. I must say that I'd prefer if the big ad box (Google ads) were not on top of the blog entry, but I don't know if it can be helped.

    So you need hits? I'll try to think of some advertising, though, you know, most people I know face to face are not really interested if is not in Spanish...

    And well, for me you're Matilda, or Mati, but n ot Matti. Jo sounds just too short to me (Have I ever told you what "jo" means in Spanish?)

  3. Alex - Thank you very much. All of the sites were saying to put adverts in the middle of an entry. That's the only one that I didn't do.

    Xizarx - I'm so dying to know what 'jo' means in Spanish. I could turn the big box into link ads, instead of picture ones, if that would be better. If any of your friends/family would be interested, I'd love for you to pass the links on. Gracias. <3

  4. Well, actually "jo" means nothing, but is an interjection. Delete if you find this inapropiate. "Jo" is the short, less rude and more childish form of "joder".
    It express surprise, dusgust, etc. It's very mild, nobody finds it offensive, and is pronounced totally different than your name.

    Well, as I said, I was not noticing the ads till I read about them, so I think it looks good as it is, but maybe you could try that, to see result.

  5. LOL Hilarious! And something to note should I ever come to Spain. <3

    Ok, thanks, guapa.