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Blogging Advice and Questions

As I read through comments and deleted spam this morning,  I thought it was time for some tips and questions. Please feel free to chime in with your comments or suggestions.

Advice

  1. Create and/or update your Gravatar. Upload a photo. It does not need to be of you, but upload a photo. Also, put a link to your blog in your Gravatar profile.
  2. If you hope to have a global readership, add a Google translate widget.
  3. If someone leaves you a thoughtful comment, leave a thoughtful response.
  4. Think about mobile users. If you  display every post on your home page, it will be almost impossible for a mobile user to scroll to the bottom to see your sidebar or to find the follow button.
  5. Refrain from leaving comments asking a blogger to follow you. Most likely they will not.

Questions

For all my fellow bloggers, I thought these questions and your responses might help new bloggers along the way. Pick one or two or answer them all! Respond in comments or create your own post and create a link back to this post.

  1. Do you respond to every comment, even if it is just an emoji?
  2. Are there styles, colors, or fonts that make reading a blog more difficult?
  3. Under what circumstances would you block a user?
  4. Are there certain topics you refuse to engage with?
  5. How do you feel about blogging awards?
  6. How old is your current blog?
  7. Do you respond to prompts?
  8. Do the number of your blog followers matter to you?
  9. What motivates you to follow or unfollow a blog?
  10. What is your blogging pet peeve?

My responses:

  1. Do you respond to every comment, even if it is just an emoji? I try respond to every comment, but if they are simply emojis I will just ‘like’ the comment and move on.
  2. Are there styles, colors, or fonts that make reading a blog more difficult? I find white fonts on dark backgrounds harder to read and I like an average size font. Too small and I squint too much, too large and it makes the flow of reading more difficult.
  3. Under what circumstances would you block a user? I would block for constant spamming, or offensive behavior.
  4. Are there certain topics you refuse to engage with? I try to stay away from arguing politics or religion. I will post my own opinions on my blog from time to time, or write about my life experience. I will comment on those topics on other blogs, but I try to keep a rational and cool head.
  5. How do you feel about blogging awards? In the beginning, I felt validated as a new blogger. Now I do not give them much credence but I am happy for those who do.
  6. How old is your current blog? 3 years plus.
  7. Do you respond to prompts? Yes, from time to time.
  8. Do the number of your blog followers matter to you? Not really except as a way to see if new people are finding my blog and following.
  9. What motivates you to follow or unfollow a blog? The subject matter and the writing style usually draw me in. I unfollow bloggers that are unjustly rude to other bloggers, or whose content I personally find offensive. I like kindness.
  10. What is your blogging pet peeve? WordPress unannounced or unwelcome change and glitches.

70 thoughts on “Blogging Advice and Questions”

  1. 1) Yes. I ‘like’ emojis, but only from people I know.
    2) Red text on a black background.
    3) I have not needed to block anyone yet. But I do Spam single-word comments.
    4) Evangelical religion. I Spam those comments.
    5) I answer the questions on their blogs, but do not pass them on.
    6) 10 years in June.
    7) No.
    8) No, because 75% of them are fake followers.
    9) If they do not post for more than six months.
    10) Followers with no link to their own site.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great blog post. I love the questions and I will try answer them myself in a future post. I too dislike when WP makes suddenly changes but I cannot get my head around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent post, Maggie.

    1) Comments — I try to respond to every comment. If it’s just an emoji, I might just click “Like” – it has to stop somewhere.

    2) Styles, collors — I am partially colorblind. Similar colors, say dark blue text on a light blue background are almost impossible for me to read. Black and most dark colors on white are easy. Gray text is very hard for me to read, as I tend to see a lot of colors as gray. For example, it’s hard for me to read the titles on my own posts, butI haven’t gotten around to changing the CSS.

    3) Block users — Hmmmm. I have only blocked a couple users. Their comments were racist, but I would likely block anyone who persists in leaving offensive comments.

    4) Topics I avoid — Politics and polarizing topics

    5) Awards — I’m not interested in awards. I think they are good for new bloggers (and I think that’s why they were created).

    6) Blog age — 12 years

    7) Prompts — I do respond to regular prompts

    8) Followers — I’m not overly concerned with the number of followers.

    9) Follow/unfollow — I follow blogs I enjoy. Either the subject matter or the writing style.

    10) Pet peeve — All WordPress related

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great responses, Dan. I have enjoyed reading other people’s points of view. Twelve years is a long time. Good for you. I did not realize you are colorblind. I can see how that might present challenges reading some blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mentioned it to one woman. I loved her blog, but to read it, I had to select all the text with my mouse so it switched to inverse video. I knew she put a lot of effort into her blog, but the combination of text and background colors were impossible to read.

        I also keep meaning to add Alt-text captions to my photos, but there’s never enough time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Alt-text was a big thing when I took my web design classes. That is the field the caption readers use for visually impaired readers. I am not good about using it either. I should create a list of suitable captions and just copy and paste them. Of course you post a lot more photos than I do..

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I had a blind follower for a while. We actually contracted with her to review our company website. Her screen reader could read any captions, but the alt-text would be more descriptive than the comments I usually leave – like “tall blue arched wooden double doors” I almost never add them.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great, Ally. A few people have made observations I had not thought of. The exchange of information is helpful I think. I look forward to your responses.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. Are there styles, colors, or fonts that make reading a blog more difficult?

    If the layout is too busy, or fussy, such that it is difficult to see which is the most recent post I find it very off-putting. Weird colour combinations, especially light coloured fonts on dark backgrounds make it difficult to read. Your having asked the question has made me realise that I tend not to follow such blogs!

    2. Under what circumstances would you block a user?

    If they became extreme in their output, rude, aggressive, overly political or religious, commercial rather than social, or if they only re blog rather than create original work. Mainly – if I stop enjoying their blog!

    3. Are there certain topics you refuse to engage with?

    Anything that makes me feel uncomfortable.

    4. How do you feel about blogging awards?

    My blog is Award Free. To my mind blogging awards are akin to giving every child a prize in case anyone is hurt or offended.

    5. How old is your current blog?

    2,703 days – 7.4 years (I love spreadsheets)

    6. Do you respond to prompts?

    Some regularly, others occasionally.

    7. Do the number of your blog followers matter to you?

    I have 1,504 followers, most of whom are commercial, or rogue followers, so generally NO. The small number who regularly follow and interact on my blog matter a great deal.

    8. What motivates you to follow or unfollow a blog?

    Whenever someone follows my blog, I check out their profile. If there is no detail I block any further access. If there are details, I will read and look at their blog. If it is of no interest to me then I block further access. If it looks interesting, I will read a random sample of their posts and decide whether, or not, to follow them. There are no scientific criteria, just a gut feeling which normally proves correct!

    9. What is your blogging pet peeve?

    WordPress fixing problems that never existed in the first place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just proof read – too late, and found that I missed number 1 and then misnumbered every question. Oops.
      As to the real question 1 – I try to respond to every comment in a positive manner but it can sometimes be difficult to know when to stop and just acknowledge with a “like”.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Maggie, I ALWAYS appreciate your advice on blogging. My PC recently died, and my husband and friends convinced me to switch to a Mac. I’m still learning to use it for the most basic things like email and Word. I have yet to compose (much less post) a new blog on my Mac. Wish me luck.

    Also, thank you for your prayers for my sister and me as she goes through post-mastectomy therapy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Debbie, once you are beyond the learning curve I think you will enjoy your MAC. I use all Apple products and I love them.

      I will continue to hold you and your sister in my prayers. It is times like these that Covid makes everything so much harder.

      Like

  6. Oh yeah, I realised that having the infinite scroll feature turned on wasn’t the best thing when it came to allowing mobile users to access the menus. Great reminder there, and I’m very captious when it comes to emoji- or one-worded-comments. Those never get approved, let alone replied to, lol. Anyway, thanks for this post, Maggie!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great questions and especially about creating and creating the avatar. I read your questions and thought they were quite useful to readers, so composed a post in response, as a comment was likely to be particularly lengthy. I then can back and again read your responses and it seems we think similarly on most of the points. If you don’t mind, I have posted the link here, so you may read it if you wish. https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2022/02/04/blog-advice-and-questions/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read your post and left a comment. I am hopeful others Can find something of value in the various responses. Thank you for responding.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi, Maggie-
    I’m not really interested in increasing views on my blog, I guess, so I don’t get that many comments, aside from pushing my blog out to my FB feed, but here are my answers to your second set of questions.
    Do you respond to every comment, even if it is just an emoji?
    Yes.
    Are there styles, colors, or fonts that make reading a blog more difficult?
    I haven’t found any particularly difficult.
    Under what circumstances would you block a user?
    Anything objectionable.
    Are there certain topics you refuse to engage with?
    I focus posts on nature and gardening. Very rarely do I do a political post, and then it’s directly on FB.
    How do you feel about blogging awards?
    They’re OK. I’ve accepted them.
    How old is your current blog?
    My first blog, Natural Gardening, started in 2007. My second, Places of the Spirit, began in 2018. I continue to post on both, but more on Places of the Spirit.
    Do you respond to prompts?
    No.
    Do the number of your blog followers matter to you?
    No.
    What motivates you to follow or unfollow a blog?
    I only follow blogs that I know who is writing them. I think you, Lauren, and another friend are it.
    What is your blogging pet peeve?
    I can’t really think of one — but my FB post pet peeves are posting too frequently. I have a lovely garden blogging friend who has migrated to FB and posts ALL the time. They’re usually quite interesting but crowd out my newsfeed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for adding your thoughts, Lisa. I follow white a few blogs but I am not traveling and getting out like you are. I always enjoy reading about your gardens and your travels.

      Like

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