I spent some time tonight going through my WordPress subscriptions for blogs I follow. Through this process a few thoughts, observations and suggestions arose I thought worth sharing. Some of them are repetitive from comments of other longtime bloggers – many share similar suggestions.
I started this process because I was missing updates from several bloggers I admire. So into the WordPress reader I went. If you have not done this, it might be well worth your time. (The Reader is an aggregator of blogs you follow – they can be WordPress or other blogs as well.)
The initial screen looks something like this.
Now, click the red MANAGE button. You will get a screen that includes all of the blogs you follow.
Now if you click the settings button, the settings window will open. From here you can select whether or not you want to receive notifications of a new post, if you want them emailed to you and how frequently, and whether or not you want to be notified of new comments via email.
For some reason, when I follow new blogs, WordPress now seems to default to emailing me all posts. I follow too many blogs to receive and manage that many emails. So, I choose which blogs I want to be emailed about and which ones I will keep up with in reader. My settings were all discombobulated, thus me losing posts I really wanted to read.
Now onto my refresher points about blogging in general.
- Comments. Askimet does a great job in catching most spam. But that does not mean it is perfect. Often times, comments from blogging friends get swept into the Spam folder. Check your Spam folder often. Make sure there are no comments you want to approve, then do a bulk edit and delete the remaining comments. On average, I get 30 or so new Spam Comments every day. It is easier to delete them a few at a time.
- If you have a harassing troll, you can always block them from your blog. You can always block words, too, and send those comments directly to trash. I block certain words. I still check the trash before I delete it.
- Please do not leave me a comment every day asking me to follow your blog. I won’t. I decide what blogs to follow based on what a blogger writes about. I rarely follow business blogs unless it is something of great interest to me. Blogging is my peaceful place.
- Gravatar. If you do not have one, create on. This is generally one of the first places we look to decide if we think a comment is legitimate. If you have a Gravatar, look and see if it needs to be updated.
- I have two follow buttons on my blog. One allows a follow that goes directly to the WordPress reader – this is intended, I think, for WordPress followers. There is another to strictly follow by email. Having only the email follow may discourage someone from following your blog.
- Think about added a search Widget to your blog. It is a nice way for followers to find a post they may want to re-read.
- Consider adding the Widget which allows your blog to be translated into other languages.
- Leaving Comments. If you follow a blog, leave thoughtful comments. And if others comment on your blog, respond in kind.
- When to stop commenting. Each blog only allows for a certain number of nested comments. This can become, who says the last word – or like my southern rooted family trying to say goodby – it goes on forever. I would love to know when you decide to stop replying. Thoughts?
- Lastly, there are a number of bloggers who no longer write posts and no longer comment. Let’s face it, blogging is not for everyone. The question becomes, do you continue to follow blogs that appear to be abandoned? Be careful before deleting. One blogger I admire had heart surgery and was gone for an extended time, so I was happy to see them back. At some point, though, maybe they moved on. I have a few bloggers who are deceased, and I keep them in my follows because some are nice to revisit from time to time.
As always, I enjoy reading your perspective. Now I am off to update my own Gravatar!