5 Ways I’ve Become A Better Blogger

At the end of July 2019, I came back from a six-week blogging break. It was, without a doubt, the most rewarding blogging break I had ever taken.

Here are the actions I implemented upon my return to blogging.

#blogging #bloggingtips #bloggers #blogginghelp

1 – Extending the time between writing and publishing posts.

Do you ever come across blog posts that you know have been rushed and published too quickly?

Looking back at some of the posts in my archives, I felt exactly that. When I reread them, I thought I had not given most of them enough time between the first draft and the publication date.

Had I taken my time and not published them for at least a few days after beginning them, I could have added so much more content and made changes to the post that I thought would have made it an even more interesting and engaging read.

Now, instead of writing and publishing a post on the same day, I’ve introduced a five-day window between the first draft and pressing the ‘publish’ button.

I’ve been amazed at how I can now transform a post I consider to be excellent, to one that goes even further in making it stand out from the thousands of other posts all published on the same day.

Has it worked? Yes, with great results. Since coming back from my blogging break, my recent posts have generated lots more traffic and comments to most of those I published before my blogging break.

I believe that much of that is down to the time I now give to drafting new posts.

How long do you take to write and edit a blog post before publishing it?

2 – I have unsubscribed from receiving emails from bloggers who publish more than one blog post a day.

It may sound harsh, but as somebody who does not particularly like reading posts on the WordPress Reader, I’ve always preferred getting emails when new blog posts are published. However, this can often have the result of making me feel overwhelmed by all the new emails coming into my email box.

I decided to unsubscribe from receiving emails from bloggers who regularly publish more than one blog post a day. This has drastically cut down the number of emails I now have in my email box.

#email #blogging

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

Now, I catch up with those bloggers via the WordPress Reader. I do have to be on WordPress and scrolling through the WordPress Reader at the time of their publication to catch most of them, but it’s working for me, and that’s what’s important.

Why has this helped? It’s taken away that feeling of being overwhelmed by emails from WordPress.

I admire those bloggers who can churn out post after post, day after day, as I know it’s something I couldn’t do.

How do you deal with reading and commenting on the blog posts of bloggers who regularly publish more than one blog post in a day?

3 – I only read and comment on blog posts that interest me.

‘By far, the most crucial part of a blog post is its title.’

Well, that’s according to me. But, why?

If it doesn’t make me want to click on the link to read more, then I’m unlikely to read it. It’s a little like choosing which cake to eat with my afternoon cup of tea. If it looks good, I’ll try it. If it doesn’t, I’ll move on and have my tea with a cake that looks good.

What do you consider to be the most important part of a blog post to get people to read it?

I was spending far too much time reading blog posts that either did not interest me or that had titles that were not appealing enough.

I put down much of this in believing that I had to read and leave a comment. I realised what I was doing was something just for the sake of doing it. Where’s the fun in doing that?

Blogging should always be about fun and enjoyment, shouldn’t it? It should never become a burden or make us feel stressed.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Not only did I find myself not enjoying reading some blog posts, but I realised it was also wasting a lot of my time – time I could have spent doing stuff I enjoy doing.

It was only when somebody said to me ‘would you read or continue to read a book or magazine that didn’t interest you?’ that something clicked with me. Shouldn’t I be treating blog posts the same way?

One of the results is that I now have much more time to read and comment on the posts that do interest me.

Just like a book that I can’t get into, I’ll stop reading a blog post if it does not interest me. Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But why would anybody read something that they were not enjoying?

For the first time since I can remember, I’ve actually started searching for blog posts about subjects that I know will interest me by searching for them on WordPress.

The result – I’m discovering more blogs and blogging communities, some of which are publishing content that I enjoy reading a lot.

Do you continue to read blog posts that don’t interest you regardless of who has published them? If so, why?

4 – I’ve stopped commenting for the sake of leaving a comment.

Connected with the pervious point, I’ve taken the pressure off myself by thinking that if I don’t leave a comment, then I will be upsetting somebody who may think I haven’t read their latest post.

I saw too much of that on Facebook. It was one of the reasons why I left. WordPress isn’t supposed to be like Facebook, where everybody likes and comments on each others posts, is it?

Take the following comment from Chris at Twenty First Summer, left on my post Is Now The Time For WordPress To Remove The Number of ‘Likes’ From View On All Blog Posts?

#WordPress #Facebook #blogging #socialmedia

Chris wasn’t the only one to mention in the comments on that post that WordPress is becoming too much like Facebook.

Do you think WordPress is becoming too much like Facebook?

But what was it that possessed me in thinking that I had to leave a comment on every blog post I read? Nobody expects that, do they?

While I have always recommended that one of the best ways to get noticed in the world of blogging is to leave good, meaningful comments on the posts of other bloggers, nobody should ever feel the need to have to leave a comment of any kind on any blog post they read.

For me, one meaningful comment every now and again is worth a hundred comments that add no value to the posts they’ve been left on. I certainly never get upset with anyone who doesn’t leave a comment on my blog posts.

And, if somebody gets upset because you didn’t leave a comment on their new post, are they somebody whose blog you should be following?

There will always be readers and bloggers who don’t mind getting or leaving comments that add no value to a post, but I’ve decided that by stopping commenting for the sake of commenting, I’ve become a better blogger.

I feel much better for it.

Do you feel obliged to leave a comment on every blog post you read or of those of certain bloggers regardless of what they’ve published? If so, why?

5 – I’ve cutback the number of blogs I follow.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve cutback on the number of blogs I follow; that list always seems to increase again quickly. Now, however, I’ve introduced three further guidelines when choosing which blogs to follow.

Image by ijmaki from Pixabay

  • They must have an ‘about me’ page that tells me what I can expect if I read their blog posts. Otherwise, other than reading lots of their blog posts, how will I know what to expect?
  • They must respond to all comments. After all, there’s no point leaving comments if they’re not returned or acknowledged, is there? And, as somebody who enjoys interacting with people, I don’t particularly enjoy being ignored.
  • I must be interested in at least some of their content. Probably, more importantly, I don’t want to follow blogs that I never return to and which clutter up my email inbox or WordPress Reader. If I don’t go back, I will unfollow.

What guidelines do you use when deciding whether to follow a blog?


What could you do to become a better blogger? Let me know by leaving a comment.

#blogging #bloggingtips #bloggers #blogginghelp

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136 comments

  1. Thanks Hugh! It’s amazing how little things can free up our time and make blogging more meaningful and fun. A while ago I also cut back on the emails I was getting and it relieved so much pressure. I like your idea of a cooling off period between drafting and publishing, sometimes we need to sit on it for a while! Also the guidelines of who to follow are important too – so much good advice again Hugh, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    1. You’re welcome, Debbie. Freeing up more time is something I always find very positive to do. It always makes my day even better. It’s as good as getting rid of clutter from around the house by taking stuff to a local charity shop or selling it online. Iy always makes me feel so good.

      My latest blogging break was defiantly the best one yet. I learned so much from it.

  2. I’m not a blogger (yet, but I may be starting one when I have time to commit to it). In the mean time I’ve been doing my research about blogging and even writing some future posts and tutorials.

    So for what this is worth to you, I start following a blog because the topic/content are interesting.

    I don’t always comment on a blog but if I do I expect a response. I only comment when I want to. If I don’t get a response I may stop following immediately, or when a second or third comment is not answered. It just depends. I don’t expect a response every single time, but never answering a comment is rude.

    There are a two blogs I follow that the blogger has never responded to a comment I’ve made. I know they are busy, they share a lot of great info that has value to me, and it’s fine with me if they don’t answer a comment. But these are the exception more than the rule.

    To me blogging is about relationships with other bloggers and their readers who aren’t bloggers, as well as the information I get.

    There is one blog I follow that if I don’t get an e-mail for a while I’ll check my spam folder. She is a skilled writer, extremely open and vulnerable in her writing, down to earth, kind hearted, has great content and shares fabulous tutorials. Yes, this stuff matters to me. Oh, and she responds to comments.

    If I get an e-mail every day from a blogger I’ll stop following them. To me it’s about quality, not quantity.

    1. Thank you, Lea, for sharing your thoughts with us on blogging.

      I wish you lots of success if you decide to start blogging. The best piece of advice I can offer you is to always make sure blogging is fun and enjoyable. If it becomes a burden or starts stressing you out, then either change the way you blog or seriously think if blogging is meant for you.

      Good luck!

  3. Hi Hugh,
    1. I hope I made the cut and you still follow me. You have me worried now =).
    2. Happily, I do NOT regularly publish more than once a day! I heard some VERY successful bloggers do though.
    3. Congratulations! Your post was chosen as the most popular at last week’s Inspire Me Monday Linky Party. If you didn’t know, and I gave you a spoiler alert, SURPRISE!
    Janice

    1. Hi Janice, your blogging and social media tips are far too important to miss. I’ve learned so much from you. So, yes, I’m still following you.

      I admire those who can write and publish more than one blog post everyday. However, it can make some of their readers feel somewhat overwhelmed. That’s why I have unsubscribed from receiving emails from those blogs. I now catch up with them on the WordPress reader.

      I won again! My blog post titles must be working with your readers. That’s great to know.

      Thanks so much. Have a great week.

      Hugh

  4. Welcome back, Hugh and as always talking sense…I love my comments and always respond however I only comment on other blogs if I have something to say…Nice post doesn’t really cut it with me…I also don’t do follow for follow..I thank followers but unless their post grabs me and is of interest then why follow?…. Have a great weekend 🙂 #SeniSal

  5. All valid points. I enjoyed this post. A lot of food for thought. Interesting observation about using likes on WordPress. I honestly never pay attention to likes on WordPress. I barely pay attention to likes on FB. In both cases comments are the only thing that matters to me.

    Like you, I don’t put any energy into those blogs where the author doesn’t acknowledge comments.

  6. All very valid and important points, Hugh. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amounts of blog posts some people publish. I use a combination of WordPress reader and visiting those who have left comments/share to social media and those who swing by a lot… Ooh, so much to think about here. As for writing, sometimes I may even miss a week or two before doing a post… When I don’t have anything to write myself, I use the time to catch up with other bloggers or get in a bit of extra reading. 🙂

    1. That’s a great way to use up the time you’d have spent writing a blog post, Kevin. I’ve cut back on the number of blog posts I write and publish. Just by giving each post more time seems to be working better for me. I’ve been amazed by just how the blog posts I’ve written and published since coming back from my recent blogging break, seem to be doing so much better than previous ones I’d given little time in preparing. I think I may have stumbled upon something that was always there, yet I never saw.

        1. Good for you, Hugh! My own break was rather extensive… well over a year, but I don’t regret it. What I did regret was deleting my blog and having to start over when I decided to come back… Live and learn! 😀

        2. I did give my blog a proper cleanup while on my break, which included deleting lots of old blog posts. So not only was I all refreshed when I came back but so my blog.

          It always good to start with a clean sheet though, isn’t it, Kevin?

  7. “How do you deal with reading and commenting on the blog posts of bloggers who regularly publish more than one blog post in a day?” I don’t. I can’t even deal with blogs posting several times a week. I rarely visit a blog more than once a week. On my weekly visit I will scan the posts they’ve published over the week and choose one or two to read and comment on. I’ve noticed many times that a frequent poster never seems to respond to comments or return a visit. If they’re only interested in slapping up constant content and not actually engaging with the their audience, well, I don’t have time for that!

    1. I believe many are in the same position, Jean, although I do see examples of where individual bloggers will like and comment on each other’s posts regardless of how many new posts they publish in a day/week. I think that is what Chris was referring to in his (Facebook) comment (which I included in this post). For me, that’s more of what Facebook is about than what blogging is about. Sure, it’s great to build up a community of followers (some of which we may become friendly with), but blogging should not be about thinking we must read and comment on each other’s posts just for the sake of doing so. Leave that for Facebook.

      And you’re right about those bloggers who choose to ignore the comments left on their blogs. To me, it’s the height of rudeness. Would they do it in person? I don’t think so.

  8. I removed the Like button from my posts and more genuine readers left comments. I only recently reinstated it after learning that my Reblog button had gone with it, but I try not to simply ‘Like’ posts I read.
    I also delete a lot of posts at the email stage – life’s too short. I often now get a weekly digest for the more prolific writers but, like you, I’ve stopped following those who blog several times a day.

    1. I discovered the same thing when removing the ‘like’ button from all my posts. It’s why I also reinstalled it. However, I take no notice of who ‘likes’ a post. It’s the comments that are far more important. Those, I do take note of.

  9. A lot of bloggers do publish posts every day or even a lot. My emails have 2 divisions…important..from friends etc and then others…which is where all the blog post emails go. I have a quick look at them…then I scroll on wordpress to see whats going on. I think what you have done is great. #SeniSal

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