Flash Fiction Friday – The Bread Plate

January 30, 2023, prompt: Write a story about the dishes in 99 words (no more, no less). It can be an every-single-day activity, a precious collection, or any other interpretation of dishes as objects or activities. Who is stuck with the dishes and why? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.

The Bread Plate – by Hugh W. Roberts

While daydreaming, admiring the dishes on the table, Madeline watched the dapper servers rush by holding trays of plates covered with metal domes. Nobody would miss a small bread plate if she secretly hid one in her purse, would they?

She’d add a dinner service like this, without the name, to her upcoming wedding gift list.

An unexpected rattling of the dishes, cutlery and glasses made as they shuddered broke her daydream.

“What’s causing everything to clatter, Madeline?” asked her mother.

“I don’t know, Ma-ma,” Madeline replied, wondering if the word ‘Titanic’ would easily rub off her bread plate.


Image of plates, dishes and glassware on a table
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

Click here to view last week’s entries.

***


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘More Glimpses.’

***

32 short stories and flash fiction pieces take the reader to the edge of their imagination.

More Glimpses

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Light Shades #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Wordless Wednesday – No words, just pictures. Allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Photo of a stained glass window with different shades of light coming through.
How many shades of light can you see?

Linking To Sunday Still hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt. Theme: Light

Not sure what Wordless Wednesday is or how to participate? Click here for full details.

Are you participating in Wordless Wednesday? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, and I will try and visit it and leave you a comment (provided the post and pictures are Wordless and do not contain any words). I will also share the post on Twitter, provided you have connected your Twitter account to your blog.

Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click on the links below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Did You Miss Any Of These? Monthly Round-Up – January 2023

These 12 blog posts got people talking. Were you one of them? If not, join the conversations and share your thoughts.

  • Have you been to the pantomime?

Pantomime #WordlessWednesday #Photography

  • Have you ever come across blank screen syndrome? Or is it just another case of writer’s block? How I overcome it.

Throwback Thursday – How Not To Allow A Blank Screen To Defeat You When The Words Go Missing

  • Do you think this person deserves a sabbatical?

Flash Fiction Friday – How To Take A Long Break

  • Are you new to blogging or thinking of starting a blog? Are you already a blogger who wants more readers, followers and success for your blog? These 9 tips will guarantee you success.

9 Popular Blogging Tips To Kickstart Your Blog For The New Year

  • Who’s looking back at you?

Looking Back At You #WordlessWednesday #Photography

  • Can you solve the murder mystery?

Flash Fiction Friday – Year Of The Rabbit

  • Are you sure it’s easy for new visitors to subscribe to or follow your blog? This new method ensures visitors won’t miss how to follow or subscribe to your blog.

How To Add A Subscribe Button To All Your Blog Posts And Gain New Followers.

  • What’s one of the rarest things you have witnessed?

Frozen #WordlessWednesday #Photography

  • Does your shadow ever talk to you?

Flash Fiction Friday – Shadow Talk

Are you mistakenly stopping some visitors to your blog from leaving comments? Check these settings now.

Do You Crave More People To Engage With On Your Blog? Check These Settings Now.

  • How do you workout in the winter months?

Winter Workout #WordlessWednesday #Photography

  • Four people. But which of them has the best optimism?

Flash Fiction Friday – Futures

Comments are closed here. Please leave any new comments on the original posts.

***

Banner for the blog post 'Monthly Round-up - January 2023

Follow Hugh On Social Media.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction Friday – Futures

January 23, 2023, prompt: Write an optimistic story in 99 words (no more, no less). Feel free to explore optimism in all its forms, from a positive mindset to toxic positivity. Is it a heartfelt story or a devious one? So much wiggle room for the optimistic writer. Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.


Futures – by Hugh W. Roberts

Jackie was optimistic that she’d see at least one more Christmas. She wasn’t going to allow a dodgy heart to beat her.

When her mother’s last days arrived, they celebrated Christmas in February. Her mother’s wish was to celebrate Christmas optimistically before she departed this world.

Everyone was shocked when Jackie’s heart finally gave up in April when Jackie joined her mother on the next adventure.

In December, Jackie’s husband celebrated Christmas with his new wife. While her optimism for never getting caught for what would be a triple murder gathered momentum, she knew she had the best sanguinity.

***

Image of some meadow flowers in the sunshine.
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

***


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘Glimpses.’

***

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Winter Workout #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Wordless Wednesday – No words, just pictures. Allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Photo of a young man shovelling snow off a path
How do you workout in winter?

Not sure what Wordless Wednesday is or how to participate? Click here for full details.

Are you participating in Wordless Wednesday? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, and I will try and visit it and leave you a comment (provided the post and pictures are Wordless and do not contain any words). I will also share the post on Twitter, provided you have connected your Twitter account to your blog.

Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click on the links below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Do You Crave More People To Engage With On Your Blog? Check These Settings Now.

How easily can all visitors engage with you on your blog?

Is it as easy as you think it is?

Banner for the blog post 'Do You Crave More People To Engage With On Your Blog? Check These Settings Now.'
Did you know that you could be preventing some visitors to your blog from leaving you comments?

After receiving an e-mail from Jean, who blogs at DelightfulRepast.com, who had seen one of my posts at the Senior Salon Pitstop weekly linky party hosted by Esme and Julie, I was somewhat concerned when she mentioned that it wasn’t easy for her to engage with me on my blog.

Jean explained that she didn’t want to leave her e-mail address, create a WordPress account or use social media to be able to leave me comments. I understand why she didn’t want to leave any of those details. After all, our information is private and shouldn’t be given out if we don’t want to give it out.

WordPress offers ‘Discussions‘ options where users can decide how easily readers can engage with them without leaving any personal details. I thought I already had this option switched off, so nobody needed to leave any personal details, and I was right, but it didn’t explain why Jean thought she had to leave her personal details if she wanted to comment on my posts.

Upon further checking my discussion settings, I saw where the confusion was coming from and want to highlight it so those who wish to engage with me without personal details can still leave comments knowing they do not need to give any personal information.

Let’s Look At The Discussion Settings On WordPress.

  • Ensure you’re viewing your blog’s dashboard in the Default view. To do this, click on the View button in the top right of the screen when viewing your blog’s dashboard.
  • Go to Settings – Discussion.
Screenshot highlighting the discussion setting on the dashboard of a WordPress blog
Make sure you’re viewing your blog’s dashboard in the Default view.
  • On the Discussions Settings page, look for the Comments box.
Image highlighting the Comments settings on the Discussion Settings page of a WordPress blog.
Look for the comments settings box.

As you will see from the above screenshot, I have turned off both the ‘Comment author must fill out name and e-mail‘ and ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment‘ options. So why wasn’t Jean able to leave me a comment?

It seems that, for whatever reason, in their wisdom, WordPress has decided to still show visitors a login box when these options have been switched off. This is what Jean and visitors who are not logged in see.

Screenshot highlighting the login box when wanting to leave a comment on a WordPress blog.
The log in box tricks visitors into believing they have to leave personal details to be able to leave comments.

And this is what WordPress say –

Comment author must fill out name and e-mail: When this setting is on, anyone leaving a comment will be forced to leave a name and a valid e-mail address. If the setting is off, visitors can leave anonymous comments. While your commenters do not have to fill in the e-mail field if you’ve turned this setting off, it will still be visible to them when they comment.

So I understand why Jean thought I wasn’t making it easy for her to engage with me.

If you only want readers to engage with you who must leave their name and email address, ensure you have this option switched on.

If you only want comments from readers who are logged in and registered, ensure you have the ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment‘ setting switched on.

If you want comments from both, ensure both settings are switched on.

However, if, like me, you’re happy to allow anyone to leave you a comment, then switch both of these settings off.

Don’t forget to click the ‘Save‘ button in the Comments settings box if you make any changes.

Are There Any Disadvantages To Switching These Discussion Settings Off?

The main disadvantage is that it could open the gates for spammers and trolls to leave you comments. However, the Akismet antispam software on WordPress catches and places the majority of spam into your blog’s spam folder, so you’ll never see it unless you check what’s in it.

Further down on the Discussion Settings page, there is more help to filter out spam and troll comments.

  • Look for the ‘Before A Comment Appears‘ box, and you’ll see these two options.
  1. Comment must be manually approved: If this setting is on, all comments will go into moderation, and they will need to be approved by you before appearing on your blog.
  2. Comment author must have a previously approved comment: If this option is on, any visitors that have had a comment approved on your blog in the past will get a free pass through approval and only comments from new visitors will go into moderation.

As you will see from the following screenshot, my blog is set for manually approving all comments before they appear on any of my posts.

Screenshot highlighting the 'Comments moderation' settings on WordPress
Decide which level of protection you want to stop the comments of spammers and trolls from appearing on your blog posts.

This helps me stop unprofessional, rude, nasty comments from appearing on any of my posts, even if they’re from somebody who has previously left a friendly comment.

My thanks to Jean for contacting me about discussion settings on blogs. And apologies for the confusion WordPress causes in insisting a login box shows when visitors do not need to leave any personal details when wanting to engage or leave a comment.

If you see a login box or are asked to leave your name and email address when leaving a comment, try leaving a comment without filling in personal details or logging in. If the blogger you’re engaging with has switched off the ‘Comment author must fill out name and e-mail‘ and ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment.‘ options, your comment will go through.

If either or one of those options is switched on, you’ll need to follow the instructions to be able to leave a comment.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • Check the discussion settings on your blog to see if you’re preventing visitors from leaving comments.
  • Decide whether you want only certain visitors to be able to leave comments or if you’re happy for all visitors to leave comments.
  • The majority of spam comments will go straight to your spam folder. Remember to empty your spam folder regularly.
  • To stop comments from trolls appearing on your blog posts, switch on the ‘Comment must be manually approved‘ setting.
  • Consider whether comments from those who have previously left you a friendly comment do not need to be manually approved by you.

If you have questions about the discussion settings on your WordPress blog, leave them in the comments section.

Layout, content, settings, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click the buttons below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction Friday – Shadow Talk

January 16, 2023, prompt: Write a story about a lady shadow in 99 words (no more, no less). Who is this person, and why do they lurk in the shadows. What is the tone and setting for your story? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.

Shadow Talk – by Hugh W. Roberts

I followed the lady’s shadow on her journey. She took me around the house and waited for me when I fell behind.

If rooms were dark, I’d flick on the light to see her. She talked to me on our journey and reassured me that everything would be okay.

When I heard the key in the front door, she had to leave, but another shadow took her place.

As I quickly took off my mother’s dress, pearl necklace and high-heeled shoes, my father’s voice called out.

“Are you ready, William? Time for you to hit the under-elevens football pitch.”


Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

Image of the shadow of lady on sand
Image credit: Charli Mills

***


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘More Glimpses.’

***

32 short stories and flash fiction pieces take the reader to the edge of their imagination.

More Glimpses

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Frozen #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Wordless Wednesday – No words, just pictures. Allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Photo of the frozen sea and beach at Swansea Bay
The frozen sea and beach at Swansea Bay

Not sure what Wordless Wednesday is or how to participate? Click here for full details.

Linking to Sunday Stills, hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt. Theme: Gray and white.

Are you participating in Wordless Wednesday? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, and I will try and visit it and leave you a comment (provided the post and pictures are Wordless and do not contain any words). I will also share the post on Twitter, provided you have connected your Twitter account to your blog.

Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click on the links below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Add A Subscribe Button To All Your Blog Posts And Gain New Followers.

How easy is it for new visitors to subscribe to or follow your blog, so they are notified of all your new blog posts or see them on their WordPress reader feed?

Banner for the blog post 'How To Add A Subscribe Button To All Your Blog Posts And Gain New Followers'
Are you missing out on getting new followers and readers?

WordPress has several ways to follow a blog.

The most popular is clicking the ‘follow’ button in the bottom right corner of a blog. However, the button only appears when scrolling ‘up’ on the site, so it can be missed. And if you install any plugins on your blog, it disappears completely (as does the reblog button). It’s not visible on self-hosted blogs.

Another option is for bloggers to place a subscription or link to follow on the widget bar of their blog. I have one on the widget bar of my blog.

However, some themes don’t come with widget bars. Some themes hide the widget bar behind a button, so unless you click the button, you won’t see the contents of a widget bar.

For those themes that offer a visible widget bar (like the theme I use), visibility is only available when viewing the blog on a desktop or laptop computer, not on a tablet or mobile phone (where they’re hidden behind a button).

Given that many people read blogs on a mobile phone or tablet, I realise that I could be losing hundreds of new followers because it’s not clear enough how to subscribe to or follow my blog when viewing it on a mobile phone or tablet.

WordPress.com now has newsletter capabilities.

All you need to do is add a Subscribe block to all your posts. Readers who enter their email addresses will get an email notification when you publish a newsletter. And to make those Subscribe blocks look a bit jazzier, WordPress has added some newsletter-focused patterns to their library.

You’ll also find some subscribe to/follow my blog blocks amongst the newsletter subscribe blocks.

Here’s how to access and create them.

  • In the draft page of a post, click the ‘add a new block button’ (the + sign) located on the top left of the page.
  • Click on Patterns and then on Newsletter.
Image highlighting Patterns - Newsletters on a WordPress blog
Click on Patterns – Newsletter to access the subscribe/follow templates.
  • A list of subscribe/follow templates will open up. Scroll down the list to view all of them.
  • Some of the templates will be personalised with the name and tagline of your blog.
  • All of the templates have settings/options that you can change. For example, I enlarged text on some of them where available.
  • Choose the template you want to use after any changes you’ve made.
  • Add it to all your posts.
  • Now readers will be given an easier option of following your blog when reading your posts.

May I ask for your help?

Help me choose a ‘follow’ template for my blog by voting for the one you prefer. The poll is at the end of the list and will remain open until 23:59 GMT on Monday, 23rd January 2023. Any votes cast after the deadline won’t count.

A

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Join 20,476 other followers

B


Subscribe for more posts like this

Join 20,476 other followers

C

Join 20,476 other followers

D

E

F

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!

Join 20,476 other followers

Read all posts ↓

Voting has now closed. Thank you to everyone that voted.

  • When choosing your template, remember to make it a reusable block so that you don’t need to look for it every time you create a new post. Click here to find out how to create a reusable block.
  • Remember to add your new subscribe/follow template to all your posts.

Once I know the poll results, I’ll add my new follow template to all the posts I’ve published in 2023 and to all new posts.

How easy was that?

If you have questions about adding a subscribe/follow block to your blog, leave them in the comments section.

Layout, content, settings, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click the buttons below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction Friday – Year Of The Rabbit

January 9, 2023, prompt: Write a story that includes rabbits in 99 words (no more, no less). Is it a family? A strange planet? Some crazy bunny person’s pets? Who are they, and what are they doing? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.


Year Of The Rabbit – by Hugh W. Roberts

As she carefully avoided stepping into any blood on the blood-splattered, white-tiled floor, she thought she’d ask the question again.

“So nobody was here at the time of the murder?”

“Not according to the CCTV footage from outside the room. The murder occurred six to eight hours ago, and nobody came in or out until Professor Doebuck discovered the body.

“Inspector. Hop to it! Bring the forensics out here now, please,” yelled her boss.

Nobody noticed the unlocked door to the cage containing a new rabbit breed as they left the animal-testing laboratory.

The case, now closed, remains unsolved.

***

Image of four rabbits munching on carrots.
Image credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

***


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘Glimpses.’

***

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Looking Back At You #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Wordless Wednesday – No words, just pictures. Allow your photo(s) to tell the story.

Photo of a sheep looking back through a wire fence in a field
Who’s looking back at you?

Not sure what Wordless Wednesday is or how to participate? Click here for full details.

Are you participating in Wordless Wednesday? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, and I will try and visit it and leave you a comment (provided the post and pictures are Wordless and do not contain any words). I will also share the post on Twitter, provided you have connected your Twitter account to your blog.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

9 Popular Blogging Tips To Kickstart Your Blog For The New Year

These 9 popular and easy blogging tips will help bring you and your blog success. Are you missing out on any of them?

Banner for the blog post '9 Popular Blogging Tips To Kickstart Your Blog For The New Year'
Are you missing out on any if these popular blogging tips?

1. Add Excerpts To Your Blog Posts.

Excerpts are a great way to entice readers to click the ‘read more’ link to your post.

Did you know that WordPress offers bloggers a way to add excerpts to posts?

If you don’t add excerpts to your posts, WordPress takes the first 55 words of the post and uses them as the excerpt. This can often cause confusion to readers, especially when sentences are cut off midway.

If the opening sentence of your post does not entice readers, you could be missing out on many more new visitors reading your posts and engaging with you.

I added the following excerpt to this post.

Are you new to blogging or thinking of starting a blog? Are you already a blogger who wants more readers, followers and success for your blog?

These 9 tips will guarantee you success.

Adding experts to your posts is easy and an excellent way to promote and entice readers to want to read them. Here’s how to add an excerpt.

  • On the draft page of a post, scroll down to the except box in the setting section of the post.
Image highlighting where to add an excerpt to a blog post on WordPress
Add an excerpt to your blog post before publishing it.
  • After adding the excerpt, publish or schedule your post.
  • The excerpt will be displayed on WordPress notification emails.

Tip: When drafting excerpts, ask yourself what excerpt would make you want to read the post.

2. Change This Setting And Watch Your Blog Stats Boom.

  • Ensure you view your blog’s dashboard in Default View (not Classic). To do this, click the View button in the top right corner of your blog’s dashboard.
  • Go to Settings – Writing on your blog’s dashboard and look for the Feed Settings box.
  • Turn on the Limit Feed To Excerpt button. Users will then need to visit your site to view the full content of every post.
  • Click the Save Settings button.
Image highlighting the Limit Feed to excerpt only' button on WordPress
Ensure you slide the Limit Feed to excerpt only’ button to the ‘on’ position

3. Engage With Your Audience And On The Posts Of Other Bloggers.

I recently came across a blogger who complained that everyone ignored her. She claimed that nobody left comments on her posts. However, I’d left comments along with other bloggers. The problem was that she only replied to comments with a ‘thanks.’ No wonder other bloggers and I got fed up with leaving comments.

Engagement is a two-way thing.

If you don’t engage with more than a ‘thank you’ to every comment, then visitors will soon get fed up with trying to engage with you.

Make your comments and replies to comments count. Instead of telling a blogger their post was great or that you loved it, expand on why you thought it was great. Most bloggers want to engage, especially when leaving comments that offer feedback and discussion.

By fully engaging with your readers, you’re likely to get them and more visitors wanting to engage with you. They’ll likely follow your blog if they want to engage and see that you engage with others who leave comments.

However, don’t leave dead-end comments where the only response can be a ‘thank you.’ If you’ve nothing of value to add, click the ‘like’ button and move on. Never feel guilty for not leaving dead-end, pointless comments.

The more you engage with your audience and other bloggers, the more you’ll reap the rewards of your blog becoming successful and a place other bloggers will want to visit and engage.

If English is not your first language, then don’t be afraid to leave a comment in your native dialogue. Free online translation tools, such as one from Systran.Com, are available, so bloggers can translate your comment. My thanks to Renard Moreau for recommending Systran.Com.

4. Reduce The Size Of Your Images Before Publishing Posts.

If a blog post takes too long to download, most visitors will likely get fed up and move on.

One of the biggest causes of a blog post taking too long to download is that the images and photos within the post are too big. They also take up lots of space in the media library.

Before placing an image or photo in a post, reduce its size.

The majority of the photos and images in my posts are no more than 900 x 675 pixels. I’ve found that the quality of images and pictures this size are still excellent, plus they take up much less space in my media library.

Many apps and software allow you to reduce the size of images and photos, but many are not free to use. So be careful when choosing.

To reduce the size of images and photos on an iMac, open the image, click on Tools and then on Adjust Size (both found in the toolbar).

Click here to find out how to reduce the size of images and photos in Windows 10 and 11.

How do you reduce the size of images and photos on your blog? Tell us in the comments section.

5. Categorise Your Blog Posts.

Categorising your blog posts is essential when helping visitors find information.

Never categorise any of your blog posts as Uncategorised. It’s not helpful and only makes the blog’s owner look lazy and not care about their followers or visitors.

However, don’t use too many categories. A long list of categories can confuse readers. Cut categories down by adding sub-categories. Click here to find out more about categories and tags.

Important information: You may have already heard the cardinal tagging rule on WordPress.com, but it’s worth repeating: you should never add more than 15 tags and categories (combined) to your post; otherwise, it won’t show up in the WordPress Reader. This cap is used to keep out spam blogs — you need to ensure that your tags are only those most relevant to your post.

6. Blog Post Titles

I’m always shocked by the many boring and dull titles I see bloggers using for their blog posts. They don’t give me any incentive to want to read the post. Other than those who read every blog post some of these bloggers publish, nobody will be enticed to read posts that don’t draw you to click the ‘read more’ button.

Given that the first thing the majority of readers see is your blog post titles, make the titles count. If the titles of your posts are bland, dull, and uninviting, they won’t entice readers to want to read the post. You could be losing out not only on lots of new followers but lots of engagement.

When thinking of a title for your blog post, ask yourself what would make you want to click the ‘read more‘ button.

If you struggle with thinking of good titles for your blog posts, use a Headline analyzer such as Coschedule.com. It’s free to use and challenges you to come up with the best titles for your blog posts.

The title of this blog post scored 92 out of 100. That’s the highest score I’ve achieved when creating a blog post title.

Important Tip: Never duplicate your blog post titles or use the same titles as other bloggers. Why? Because SEO, such as Google and Bing, rank blogs lower that contain duplicated blog post titles.

7. Ensure Links In Your Posts Do Not Close Your Blog Down.

Do you find it frustrating when you click on a link in a blog post and a new window opens on the same page you are reading? When this happens, most readers won’t return to the page they were reading, thus losing the possibility of leaving a comment.

When creating pingbacks or links in posts, ensure you turn on the ‘open in a new tab’ button by sliding it to the on position.

Image highlighting the 'Open in new tab' button on WordPress
Ensure your readers don’t lose the page they’re reading when clicking on links.

Visitors won’t lose the page they’re reading when you switch on this button when creating pingbacks and links.

Not sure how to create a pingback? Click here for details.

8. Don’t Become A Blogging Spammer.

What do I mean by a blogging spammer? Somebody who leaves uninvited links to their blogs, blog posts or products in the comments section. This also includes bloggers who leave a link to their blog in all their comments.

Fortunately, the antispam system on WordPress sends the majority of these types of comments to my spam folder.

Only leave links in comments when invited to do so by the blogger you’re leaving a comment for. If you need more clarification, ask first before including any links.

I get comments every day that include uninvited links. Most go straight to my spam folder, and I mark as spam the ones that don’t. You’ll never find comments that include uninvited links in the comments section of any of my blog posts.

9. Slow Down

I’ve witnessed many bloggers become overwhelmed with blogging because they try to do too much in the time they have available to blog. It often results in what is known as Blogging Burnout.

Blog at a leisurely pace. You don’t need to participate in all those blogging challenges. You don’t need to read and leave comments on all the posts of the blogs you follow. You don’t need to follow the blog of every blogger who follows you. Only read and comment and follow the blogs that interest you.

Never feel obliged to read, comment and follow because they read and comment on your blog posts.

Slow down. Enjoy blogging. Never allow it to overwhelm you or make you feel guilty or stressed.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • Rather than allow WordPress to choose what words to introduce your posts, use your own excerpts.
  • If you want people to visit your blog, don’t display your whole posts in the WordPress email notifications. To get more visitors to your blog, switch on the ‘Limit feed to excerpt only’ button. Users will then need to visit your site to view the full content of every post.
  • Engage with your audience when replying to comments and when leaving comments on other blogs. Avoid leaving short, pointless comments that add no value. Always say more than a ‘thank you’ when replying to comments.
  • Reduce the size of images and photos before placing them on blog posts; otherwise, your blog may download slowly and force visitors away.
  • Categorise all your blog posts. Never categorise them as ‘Uncategorised,’
  • Make all your blog post titles count by giving them titles that will entice readers to want to read the whole post. Consider using a Headline analyser for them.
  • When adding pingbacks and links to your blog, always switch on the ‘open in new tab’ button so that readers do not lose the page they are reading when clicking on links.
  • Don’t become a blog spammer by leaving uninvited links in the comments section of other blogs.
  • Take blogging slowly. Don’t try doing too much in a short space of time. You’ll only end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed or guilty if you try to fit everything in when you don’t have the time.
  • Keep blogging a fun and enjoyable experience. If it becomes a chore, step back and take a good look at how you are blogging. Make changes. Only consider quitting blogging if you lose interest.

Are You New To Blogging Or Thinking Of Starting A Blog?

Click here to read an excellent blog post by James Lane that is full of essential information for new bloggers and acts as a gentle reminder for those who already blog.

What’s the best blogging tip you have? Do you have any questions about the 9 tips in this post? Leave them in the comments section.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Follow Hugh on Social Media. Click the buttons below.

Want more posts like this? Enter your email address and click Subscribe.

Join 20,476 other followers

Copyright @ 2023 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.