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Blogging Thoughts and Tidbits

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!

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Blogging Bric-à-Brac

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Day 329

Last night I spent some time tweaking some settings in WordPress. At some point I will move my blog to my own domain, but for now, some adjustments were needed. This made me think perhaps it was time to share some of my own blogging tips and some tools I use to make my blogging life easier.

Who Are You?

  • Create or update your Gravatar using your WordPress login. Link your blog or other online platforms or social media pages you wish to share.
  • Invest some time in an ‘about me’ page. Readers like to know a little about you.
  • Be consistent in your writing and be earnest and authentic in what you write.

Learn Your Blogging Platform (I will focus on WordPress here)

  • Don’t be afraid to ask. The WordPress blogging community is made up of generous people.
  • Search YouTube or bookmark sites like WPBeginner. There is a ton of information there.
  • If you are not using the WPAdmin dashboard, you are missing access to a great deal of functionality.
  • Experiment with settings. Learn how to handle comments, adjust sharing parameters, check your spam folder and alter the appearance of your blog.
  • Learn how to add media, and adjust settings for alignment, captions, and slideshows.
  • Learn how to reblog or create links to other blogs or to your own older posts.

Be Part of the Community

  • Read other blogs.
  • Leave thoughtful comments.
  • If you leave a comment that says “follow my blog” most likely the reader will not.
  • If you choose to monetize your blog, understand it may affect your readership.
  • Respond to the comments others leave on your posts.
  • Be respectful.
  • Do not plagiarize.
  • Link to blogs outside of WP Reader. It helps reveal the personality and creativity of the writer.

Useful Tools

  • We all love Wikipedia, but if you use their photos, attribute them properly. I frequently use this link: Wikipedia Attribution Generator.
  • There are many free suppliers of stock photos. Be kind and attribute when requested to do so.
  • Find a photo editing app for your computer or mobile device. They make it easy to add copyright or captions to your photos and allow you to merge photos together. I use the free version of Over to create banners or create memes or photo quotes. There are a lot of free options out there. Find one that works for you.

Moving On

Yesterday was hubby’s mom’s birthday. It was the first since her passing. Different members of the family react differently to her active social media accounts. To some they bring comfort and to some despair. Have you thought how you want your social media footprint to be handled?

  • Most social media companies have policies about the handling of accounts when the owner passes. WordPress has a policy but just who do you want to act in your behalf once you pass?
  • Here is a recent article out of Canada discussing other social media policies around handling of accounts posthumously: The Walrus.

I hope this has been helpful. As much as we might like to complain from time to time, we are fortunate to have such a robust platform at our disposal.

Do you have tips to share? Feel free to share in the comments.