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The Connecting Power of Coffee Shares

Greetings this beautiful Friday morning in Prescott, AZ,

March has been a busy month. This post will act as a month end record both for photography, and WOTY. My Word of the Year is CURATE. The purpose is for me to curate and create order, functionality, education, and beauty out of my life.

LAST ON CARD PHOTOS

My walk with Puppy Girl on March 30 after a rain. The clouds were so beautiful. It’s hard to capture the magnificence of nature.

March Weather in Prescott

We had a smattering of both snow and rain and a ton of wind.

WOTY Curate

Creating order in photos alone is a big task. It’s boring to write about, and yet it pulls me. This week Google informed me that 80% of primary Gmail account is full. Did you know that if you eliminate the new photos from June, 2021 forward on the Google Photos app on you iPhone, it deletes them from all your phone and iCloud files? I can’t even see them to delete them on my computer. It only costs $20 per year to have all the storage I’d ever need, and I’m debating with myself over $20. Is that crazy? I did not ask Google to back up all my photo files.

Books I Ordered for April’s Reading

Curating for Better Blogging

As part of the curating process, the curator puts their organizational efforts to good use. For me, that is blogging. March had the least number of views this year, 600 less than the high in January. I didn’t feel the pain. It’s most likely because I did not try to blog every day with challenges like Bloganuary and Squares in Feb. As much as I love Squares, blogging every day wears me out, and trying it for two months in a row is more than I can do and still have a life. March Story Chat kept Yvette and me super busy, but so did my other regular challenge posts.

Better doesn’t necessarily mean more posts or more likes or visitors. I think it means more enjoyment and more engagement. Who cares if you get more RV dealer, or toilet paper sales blog likes!

One of Yvette’s commenters on Story Chat got lost in spam. The two of them chatted and she urged me to look through my spam files to find his comments. I did – all 701 of them, and he was somewhere in the middle. She asked if there was another spammer who liked her post. I hadn’t bothered to check, but at her insistence, I reported him as spam and deleted him. She worried that he had her email address. I don’ know if that happens when you answer a comment.

Result: I also closed comments after 30 days on Always Write. So if there is a post you like from the past, just write your comment on a recent post unless you are a spammer.

More March Pictures for Thursday Doors and Monday Windows

Some sad March doors in Urban Prescott on Granite Street were very close to where the wonderful murals were that my friend Monica and I saw. What a contrast to the beautiful pillared bank doors with smartly clad windows.

According to Hugh Roberts and many blogging experts, titles make the biggest difference in how many visitors your posts get. If you host a challenge, your title needs to include the Challenge Name in the title plus a description. “How Do You Make Green Coffee? was my top March post that was not one of my challenges. It was a post for Natalie’s Coffee Share which gave me an opportunity to post photos from our main March trip: MIM – Musical Instrument Museum. It also met the Six-Word Challenge by Debbie from Travel with Intent.

More Musical Instrument Magic

I wonder what happened to those extra 400 January visitors, though. That will be part of my curating process. Are they spam or friends that lost interest? How much effort should I put into finding out? Or should I ride off into the night with the Einstein of my life without a care in the world?

We had a wonderful young driver, and the four of us fit nicely in the bicycle taxi to go a few blocks to our car.

I celebrated 10 years of blogging in March.

Debbie Harris of Deb’s World also celebrated 10 years of blogging. Hugh has a great post on this topic when he examined his 8th year anniversary.

Quick Analysis of 10 Years

  • In 10 years Iโ€™ve published 1,482 posts and have 39 drafts.
  • I’ve had a few private photography lessons from some of the greatest bloggers on the planet, Cee Neuner and Leanne Cole.
  • My biggest years in terms of the number of posts published were: 2013, 2016, and 2021, with last year being the highest by about 100 posts.
  • The number of likes in 2021 was about three times as many as in 2013 when I was new yet super enthusiastic but was still struggling to find my focus.
  • Last year was amazing because I had started a series of interviews about people who hosted and participated in challenges in 2020. It built in 2021. I’ve always loved challenges but had never studied them.
  • When I started hosting three challenges, my blog gained the structure and the outward focus it missed in my early years.
  • Terri Webster Schrandt (Sunday Stills), Cee Neuner, Miriam Hurdle and I are discussing a possible meet-up in the Portland, Oregon area in August or September to visit the dahlia fields which are open from August 1st into October, weather permitting. If you haven’t seen pictures on Cee’s site of the dahlias, it’s worth the click on her name to go search for them.
  • My posts have gotten longer going from an average of 533 words in 2012, to averaging 500 words per post for the first five years. In 2022 I averaged 848 this year bringing my last 5.25-year average to 720 words per post.
  • I landed a book deal because of my blog in 2014, Images of America Woodlake. Proceeds from book sales all go to the Woodlake High School Foundation.
  • I’ve made some forever friends over the years – too many to even list. I still think about some of my first friends that no longer keep in touch and hope they are well and happy.
  • I met four bloggers in real life over the first five years of blogging along with one spouse, parents, sisters, nieces, cousins, friends, and a daughter and her husband. (From my three-week trip to Australia to meet Leanne Cole and Carol, (the Eternal Traveller.) You probably know those relationships have lasted and are forever friends.
  • I’ve met four bloggers in the last five years. Thanks to zoom, I’ve talked to so many of you. Cee Neuner organized a successful weekly Zoom blog meet-up that went on for a year until we all got distracted by real-life after COVID let up.
  • This week I discovered several people who publish a weekly chat, and I saw comments from so many of my friends on my new friend’s posts. Reading comments on a blog is like mingling at a party. You never know who is going to be there, and seeing friends I know where I did not expect them puts a big smile on my face. If I put a like on one of your comments on someone else’s post, don’t get offended. It’s my way to smile at you and wave hello without trying to barge into the conversation.
  • In real life a blogging party looks like my first AZ Blogger meetup. We all felt like we had known each other for years. And then their friends started becoming our friends, too.
Janet, Donna, Marsha, Lynn in front, John in back.

March Click (not clique) Leaders on Always Write

Challenges That Inspired This Post

#TheChangingSeasons, #MonthlyPhotoChallenge, WOTY, What’s on Your Bookshelf, Six-Word Saturday, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #192 Earth, Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share, If We Were Having Coffee, A Chai and a Chat #179, #Thursday Doors, Monday Windows, FOTD, Last on the Card

Now It’s Your Turn

Do you have an accountability post for March? The challenges I listed above are good ways to highlight them and are reasons to write them. You’ll be glad you did. Happy blogging. No Fooling!

99 replies »

  1. So much to love in this post Marsha, you are a talented and clever blogger who makes friends everywhere you go it seems! Congratulations on your 10 years of blogging and thanks for the mention, I hope you enjoy your meetup.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a milestone, Marsha! Congratulations on a decade of blogging!

    I love glimpses of the desert through your lens … so beautiful ….
    and the additional peeks at the instrument museum – so much fun!

    And thank you again for linking up to The Changing Seasons – we love having you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi I enjoyed your post here and your curate word really fits what you do.
    I read the part about where you found Mahesh’s comment in spam (thanks again for finding that – and it does make me wonder how many spam comments get missed) and I don’t mind so much about the email if the other spammer got it (the one that made it through to leave a comment)I was just noting that I think it is one more way spammers try to access that info (but I think my email is pretty well known) I also think they might access something else when we reply – like more details and so I just wish I never replied to their comment –

    but with that said – it is a small non issue and hopefully your tips will help others.

    wishing you a nice day and a great month ahead

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Yvette. I think it’s always a good idea not to answer anyone who 1. doesn’t have a working WP site or 2. whose WP site is in a language you don’t know, or 3. has no followers you know, or 4. has content you object to. I don’t know what can happen to you if you don’t answer, or even if you check on them. I did check on that person before I deleted him and marked him as spam. I get quite a few people that like my posts and I don’t respond to them because they don’t comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on your blog’s 10th Birthday. I found lots to read and look at here today. I have been blogging since late 2010 and it’s self hosted blog. Over time, I have deleted many posts and the bulk of the photos as it reduces the ‘weightiness’ of my blog’s back ups (and cost!) on my host. I also found so many of those posts and photos were no longer ones I wanted to share. For a number of reasons.

    Since the beginning of this year, I have chopped and changed a bit as my devotion to my weekly link up over 280 weeks (since Sept 2016) was waning.

    I proposed a change to a Once a Month link up on a Monday when the weekly one was too much for me. That lasted one time.

    I “missed” my Monday connections so now, it’s fortnightly.

    It’s called Life’s Stories. And you are, of course, always welcome to add a post …Monday 11 April is the next one.

    As we move into Autumn, and you into Spring may it bring us happiness and health.

    Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on 10 years of blogging, Marsha! Your blog stats are impressive. Love your cloud and Prescott weather photos. Curating photos is a big job. I try to tackle it in small chunks. Thank you for the mention. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Am I now. Carol and I spent several days with her in Melbourne. She drove us to the Healesville Sanctuary. We took pictures in Docklands. It was an amazing trip. I also met her for a few hours when she came to San Jose and I had been at a meeting there. Since then we have just chatted on Facebook. You can search any of my posts about Australia and see where we went, if you are interested, but she asked me not to take pictures of her, so you won’t find any.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this update Marsha. Your photos were fun. I have yet to visit the Dahlia farms even though dahlias are one of my favorite flowers. It was fun reading through your 10 years of blogging walk down memory lane and I really enjoyed the information about curating when it comes to blogging. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Where to start!!!
    OK thanks for being past of Last on the Card with fabulous clouds.
    I check spam every day now and if there’s no icon I just speed along, usually only two or three pages over twenty-four hours. Also a lot are using the same post so elimination on that makes it easy as the post is old. That wouldn’t happen if I closed a post.
    Love the photos of Prescott and the rainy ones.
    For Squares, I try to get organised when I find out the theme, square up some photos, give them names and a date or number and put them into schedule for that date. When Becky does a post I put that post’s link onto the scheduled one for the next day so no daily posting wear out.
    It would be fun to do a look at my stats. I used to have the what’s going on stat fretting but now don’t care I am here to have fun, hopefully make people smile and enjoy my part of my world as much as I do.
    Phew, sorry to have a long comment Happy blogiversary Marsha ๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your wonderful comment. Being an educator, stats were very important. What we found from stats, even onces that couldn’t show the whole picture is a taste of reality. For example, if I’m spending hours putting together a PPAC post and no one visits it, then it might be fun, but why post it? I could just as easily keep it to myself. Even though this is fun and just a hobby, I want to post what interests people rather than just burying my head in the sand and pressing publish. That’s why I find stats interesting not fretful. I know others might have more or less visitors, and that doesn’t worry me in the least I only compare my stats to myself. How am I doing based on how well can I do? If that makes sense. I tried doing the posts ahead of time, and I did for a while, but eventually I ran out of time and pictures that had been finished. Nonetheless, I’ll do it again because I adore Becky and she has good themes, and a lot of people play and I get to meet them too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy blogaversary! I use Dropbox to store all my photos, but recently cleaned up those on my laptop and phone. It’s a massive job and I sometimes wonder what the point is of keeping the ones I keep. Then I begin all these grand plans to keep up with physical photo books and yadda yadda yadda. My numbers (never really massive) have been down this year and I’m yet to work out why. Maybe that can be my job for this afternoon – taking a deep dive into my blogging stats. I’m still trying to find that sweet spot of what I want to writ about and what people want to read about and whether it’s worth juggling different blogs. Hey ho.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have several blogs. I used to keep up three on a regular basis and then had one more for Woodlake History. I still have them except for the one that cost me money and had oodles of problems. I also maintained websites for Kiwanis, the Woodlake Chamber of Commerce, the Botanical Garden, California Council for the Social Studies, and San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies. Not to mention Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for most of them. Now that was insane! Keeping this one personal blog is like a walk in the park compared to managing all of that and reporting the progress to the people in the organization! Anyway – long response, too! My main reason for doing what I do is that I enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy 10th! I hit that milestone later this year, but Iโ€™ve been much more erratic and less productive than you! Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Marsha, that Forever Was Boutique photo is epic. I could not figure out what was going on until I enlarged it..and then it got even better. You need to do something with it. Frame it or enter it into some competition.
    Did you all agree to wear blue for your AZ blogger meet-up?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I started my first blog in the summer of 2012. It is no longer public. You commented 52 times. The first comment was about your 3 cats and a dog.
    And the next 5 I had to unspam. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I’d say, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a record of my progress, LS. How funny! I remember a lot of us ended up in Spam in those days. WP has gotten better at identifying real people. Why did you make your first blog private? When did you start the new one?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had no idea what I was doing with the first blog. Started again in 2013 with the same set up and theme etc – but a bit more organized.
        I still have the first blog. I still use it to test out some new posts and play around with the block editor.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. A tip of the hat to you, Marsha. As I was getting ready to finish up my next post for Monday Window, I scanned through my incoming mail and saw a notice that you liked a post of mine. A very old post. That caught my attention. I stopped what I was doing to follow this new trail. Well, I will be sending you a message to find out how you got to that old post. I have some curating to do to, but you got me intrigued …

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a dark and stormy night, and I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to find a window, and low and behold I found your first post of Monday Windows. It was a trick of the WP gremlins.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Janis. Yes, clouds attract me, too, and I just have to snap their pictures. In my last ten years I’ve been “retirementally challenged.” I’ve finally come into my own now, I think. It’s hard to go from 60+ hours per week to 0.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, Marsha. It looks like you kicked March to the curb in style ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the photos, especially the Whatever it Was Boutique. That’s such a cool name. The flowers and plants are so nice to see (we only have a few hints of spring here) and I love seeing water drops on the leaves. Thanks for including Thursday Doors in your mix.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations on 10 years, Marsha! This post is chock full and thank you so much for the shout out! I WISH that was my totem. I need to start painting when we get back next week. Hans just finished putting in a 40×40 area of sod in our backyard, more area than our former backyard! Took 3 weeks, etc and he lost 8 pounds!

    He gets distracted with all his male neighbors who like to chit chat. My point is that most of my friends are online because of blogging, and a phone call away, like you, and many are forever friends.

    Your rainy day and weather pics are beautiful! Prescott is such a nice place to live.

    That’s crazy about the spam comments. I did the same thing by limiting the time to Comment. My theory about January is I believe many people get re- excited about blogging as a NY resolution, come out the gate too fast then stop when they fail to get a lot of followers. We all know it doesn’t work that way. Takes time to curate as you describe and consistent writing and follow up. I bet this post took you a while. Great reading. We’ll chat soon, finishing my packing for an early start tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad your friends are online. Not that you don’t make new friends everywhere you go, but it’s so nice to keep in touch. That lasts no matter where we live or move. I think I will come up and work for Hans. I could stand to lose back the 5 pounds I’ve gained since I was sick. A lot of heavy work would certainly do that! Have fun packing. You’re going to have to take things for all kinds of weather!

      Liked by 1 person

        • You are right. I’ll hang on to my back and my pounds. Literally you have to weigh the cost of doing manual labor. Vince is finding that out as he’s working on the house in Scottsdale. He is exhausting himself, even with a young man who helped him. But, on the other hand, he is pleased with himself and his project. He’s done this all his life. I came across some old pictures of him with his second wife, and there was the house all torn up in the bathroom and kitchen. LOL

          Liked by 1 person

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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