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

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

136 comments

  1. Relevant a always. You have certainly grown and developed your own blog style since we started, and isnt’ that why we do this? Hope life is treating you and yours very well Hugh.

  2. Hi Hugh! I agree with your points. I’m a little over a year blogging. At first I followed everyone who followed me. Now I’ve cleaned through that and stopped following people that I don’t have a real interest in their blog.

    I follow you because I love your stories in Glimpses 1 & 2. Your tips on blogging too are fantastic! Many blogs I find are too personal about their mental health. I really get sucked into their issues and I don’t need that for my own sanity. I’m what’s referred to as an “empath” and these posts stay with me way longer than they should.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Have a great week!

    1. I have to be careful about which blogs I follow if they write a lot about personal problems or their life, Debbie. You’re right in that you can get sucked into their world which can then bring you down. Same goes for bloggers who keep publishing silly videos of their pets, or posts that contain nothing exciting about what they did yesterday or the week before. So what, if their cat took a nap in the laundry basket, or the next doors neighbour’s fence got blown down by high winds? It’s not that I’m not interested in what they have to say, just that I think those kinds of posts are meant to be on sites such as Facebook. I know some would disagree with me, but that’s how I see it.

      Thank you so much for your kind words about why you follow my blog. I appreciate it very much.

      You, too, have a great week.

  3. I must admit, Hugh, that I blog for pleasure. I leave comments on most posts I read because I usually engage with the content of the post and have something to add or say. I agree headings are important as they indicate the content of the post. I blog with numerous poets, writers and book bloggers so we generally have a lot in common. I do my best to make my posts interesting but they are individual to me and express my interests and tastes.

    1. I never mind those comments which add value to the post, Robbie. Like you, if I’ve something of value to add, then I’ll go ahead and leave a comment. I don’t know about you, but those types of comments make blogging even better. When somebody connects with what you’ve written about (by showing it in their comment), the skies the limit (as far as I’m concerned).

      And you do right by writing about what interests you. I agree that not everyone will be interested in what we write about. However, that’s why it makes those meaningful comments so important.

  4. As always your posts makes me stop and think. I enjoyed this

    1) I have had a few post where i have given a gap of 3 days from drafting and publishing. It really is a great way posts write well. But, I tend to post on the same day most of the time. But, i rather have a gap between draft and publishing as i think that is better discipline to have.

    2) i started with emails then moved to reader. I have unfollowed for same reason.

    3) yes title matters. But there are bloggers who I love and I read regardless of title or topic.

    But the thing that puts me of is long long blog posts.

    4. Me too. But that is where i might then just like. I think it better than nothing. However, after your post on liking i kinda think twice now.

    5) I have reduced who I follow too. I like you follow, only those who interest me. Most people return comments i leave.

    Your blog post always are so helpful, and make me stop and rethink the way i blog.

    Great share.

  5. So much food for thought here but since I don’t want to bore you with a whole essay kind of comment I’ll just pick up on a few points.
    – Fortunately I don’t follow any blogs that publish multiple times a day. I do have a number in my reader that publish every day. Often I feel they are publishing just to publish rather than because they have something to say. Since my field of interest is book blogging I see too many bloggers simply post an image of the cover of a newly published book and say how excited they are blah blah. Where’s the value in that? I can get the same info from the publishers.
    – I won’t follow blogs where its clear the bloggers doesn’t care enough about their followers to respond to comments. Its as if they’ve got so big they no longer care

    1. I agree. I do see many bloggers publishing a post just for the sake of doing so. It’s not all of them, although I can often tell when reading many of these posts just how rushed they were when putting them together. I discovered that the magic ingredient is to give blog posts time before publishing them. That way, I believe readers get an even better read out of what the author wants to say. After all, nobody would publish the first draft of a book, would they?

  6. I think authenticity is super-important when it comes to blogging – so I personally only leave comments that I actually mean (even if that means leaving random observations about strange ideas that come into my head from time to time…) that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the post! I’ll share and/or like (depending on what’s available,) and if I liked the post, I may very well come back and read some more.

    In fact, I’ve been reading you’re blog for a long time, and I’m not sure whether I’ve ever commented here before… not often if I have!

    I admit to being one of those without an ‘about me’ page *hangs head* – I put in a little paragraph in the sidebar, and told myself I’d get back to it… I think it doesn’t help that talking about myself is one of my least favourite things! (Good job I became a blogger… #sarcasm) 🙂

    1. Well, thank you for leaving a comment here and sharing your thoughts with us on this subject. I’m glad my post got you motivated to leave one. I should also say thank you for following my blog.

      As for the ‘about me’ page, it doesn’t need to be long. At the very least, I’d say give people a name by which they can call you (bloggers who do so come over as more approachable and friendly) and a little bit about what they can expect from reading your blog. I hope that helps.

      Best wishes,
      Hugh

      1. Ha, thanks but I think it’s going to stay a paragraph for the time being! Eventually it’ll end up on a page of its own… maybe! (I *really* don’t like talking about myself!)

  7. Well Hugh you’ve done it again! Everything you have said here makes me nod in total agreement. You make such sense. My way of coping with the ‘anxieties’ of blogging, (which, as you know, I experienced when I first started), is to blog on a part time basis or to just take a step back every now and again, that way I don’t get ‘bogged down’ with it all and I can get on with the other things going on in my life. This means I have also cut everything back, such as reading other blogs, commenting, liking, social media etc etc and I feel so much better. I have only really written blog posts as and when I’ve felt I had something to write and always taken my time with them so that hasn’t really changed, but it was all the other ‘stuff’ which was making blogging an unhappy place for me. I like your guidelines you’ve put in place Hugh, excellent!

    1. Sounds like you’ve found the perfect balance for blogging and social media, Sam. I’m so pleased to hear it. Sometimes, the blogging world can feel like it’s closing in on us. I’ve experienced it a number of times. That proves that the balance can sometimes shift. Keeping it all about fun and enjoyment is the best route. When it starts to become a burden, it’s time to take a break or stand back.

  8. Once again, Hugh, you have totally hit the nail on the head for me. A lot of your post deals with things I find are taking up a big chunk of time which can be spent writing, playing with the dog, sitting with my wife. Great post and I really mean that. lol x

    1. Thank you. I’m glad it has helped. None of us should allow blogging to take over those other parts of our lives. We should enjoy every part of life while, at the same time, ensure blogging never becomes a burden. It’s all about finding that perfect balance.

  9. Excellent advice, as usual Hugh. I have been practicing a lot of these points for a while now, not through any conscious decisions, but because of a complete lack of time. My once a week photo challenge is really all I can muster and there are weeks when even that is a bit of a stretch for me.
    As much as I love blogging and the real friendships that have developed because of it, time spent on the blog is time not spent doing things that actually help pay the bills.
    Unless I can make it a source of income, the blog has to be here for fun, and not to become a hindrance or a chore.

    1. That all makes perfect sense, Norm. Blogging should never become a chore or make us feel stressed out. It’s one of the reasons why I cut back on the number of emails I get from WordPress and how many blogs I follow. Our time is precious, and we should use it wisely.

      If blogging continues to be fun and you are enjoying it, then you’re doing it right.

  10. All really good points Hugh. I’ve become very selective about the blogs that I read and subsequently comment on. And yes, the title is a big part of that. It has to catch my attention. Though I don’t spend as much time on WP I still really enjoy reading quality content. Thanks for an informative and relevant post.

    1. Hi Miriam, I’m glad I’m not the only one who says the title of a blog post has to grab my attention before I consider whether to read it or not. I see so many dreadful blog post titles that have probably been rushed in their thinking. It’s such a shame, given that under that title could be an excellent blog post.

  11. Hi Hugh – I blog on blogger … and at the beginning wanted to be on WP … but the Blogger one was the one that eventually worked … I have accounts with both – and thus can comment easily on both … the other interfaces I try and support as and when.

    I enjoy learning about other areas of life and am interested in learning about writing – so pick and chose. I do get frustrated with some bloggers – but if they comment then I’ll go over. It’s a challenge finding the right balance … I spend quite a lot of time drafting my posts up … but am glad of the interaction I’ve had over the years … and the friendships I’ve made.

    I struggle with FB – but so many make it their home, and often things I join in are added in there … which I’m not happy with – but that’s life.

    One has to find one’s own way – I use Feedly as it allows me to use it for bloggers and for finding out what’s happening … eg at museums, et al … so I don’t comment there – but the prompts are there for me to sometimes get up to London to visit. Those kind of articles keep me informed ..

    Cheers and thanks for your informative and useful ideas – Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary, thank you for sharing your comments with us.

      I know what you mean about Facebook. I, too, come across many articles that say ‘Facebook’ only, and think to myself why are they only allowing Facebook users to enter that competition or read their post or join their group? They must be missing lots of followers and traffic by doing that.

      You’re right in what you say about finding one’s way. It’s all about finding that perfect balance. That’s why I always share what works and what does not work for me. I hope that be doing so, it will help others who may find themselves in the same position.

  12. 🙂 We should never push ourselves to put out a blog post in an extremely short space of time because rushing articles can lead to typographical and grammatical errors.

    From a realistic perspective, we can only read a certain number of blog posts from the bloggers that we follow; I also do not follow everyone who follows me.

    And, you do not have to unfollow me because I have developed the habit of posting on a weekly basis.

    Do have yourself a fabulous week, my friend!

    1. Agreed, Renard. I come across too many blog posts that feel like they’ve been put together just for the sake of getting something out there. One piece of advice I was told when I first started to blog was ‘Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.’ So very true.

  13. As someone relatively new to the blogging world, I appreciate all of your suggestions, Hugh. I don’t follow that many bloggers, and yet it seems like there are days when it takes me a few hours to get through all of the content. I’ve arrived at some of the same conclusions you’ve reached. There is no way that I’m going to write as much as some of the people I follow, and I’m okay with that. If this thing ever becomes less than fun, it will be time to move on.

    1. I remember those days you describe very well, Pete. Sometimes, whole days of doing nothing but reading and commenting on other blogs. It may have been fun, to begin with, but it soon lost its enjoyment. And, when that happens, you either have to make changes or, as you said, move on.

  14. I, too, have felt overwhelmed and have made many of the adjustments on your list. I used to feel compelled to leave a comment on every blog I follow but now I allow myself to pick and choose both which posts I read (not all topics are relevant to me, even if I generally like what the blogger writes about… and that’s ok) and which posts to comment on. I have found – in general – that bloggers who post every day, let alone more than once a day, aren’t as interesting (to me, anyway) as they may think they are. That may sound harsh, but I prefer posts that are thoughtful and well-written, and that’s hard to do on a daily basis. It’s the same way with those who over-share on Facebook.

    1. No, you’re not harsh, just truthful in how you feel. Thank you for being so frank and sharing with us how you feel.

      I’m glad that I no longer feel the need to comment for the sake of commenting. I much rather leave an excellent meaningful comment every once in a while. Not only does that save me lots of time, but it takes away that feeling of having to do something just for the sake of doing it. There’s no fun in doing that.

  15. Hi Hugh,
    Reading this post is perfect timing. I have been meaning to revisit your blog for blogging tips as yet again I feel at stalemate and want to redesign my blog. A lot of the ideas in this post answer most of my questions and I will revisit this post and your blog.
    Thanks again for your inspiration 🙂

  16. I love all of these. I find unread email very stressful. I also read most of my blogs via WP reader, and I’ve gotten very selective about which one’s I’ll click through to.

    I know not everyone hates email like I do, so I do send out a weekly roundup of all my blogposts (1-3). With the content IN the email, rather than links.

    When you DID consume your blogs that way, which way was preferred?

    1. I much prefered getting a weekly email with all the links to the posts that had been published that week. By looking at the titles of each post, I could then select which ones to read and leave comments on, although I did not always leave a comment or read to the end unless what I was reading was interesting.

  17. Great advice Hugh. Opening that inbox overwhelms me everyday. I don’t like the Reader, I kind of have a handle on those who post multiples daily – I check off ‘daily’ to receive those multiple posters and pick and chose 1 or 2 to read. Something for everyone! Not perfected yet, and still overwhelmed. I’ll hope to catch up to your protocol eventually. 🙂 x

    1. Thanks, Debby.

      I often compared opening my email inbox to a nightmare. Now, after the action I’ve taken, it’s no longer a nightmare.

      I admire those who can publish post after post daily (as it’s something I’d never been able to do), but it can make some readers feel very overwhelmed with all the information they are sending out. Cutting the email tie has worked for me. I now catch up with them on the WP Reader. I know it means I may be missing some interesting post, but so be it. Getting rid of that feeling of feeling overwhelmed is far more important to me.

  18. By the scads of comments, Hugh, your topic again has given we bloggers more food for thought. I think a blogging break is a great way to gain perspective and during that time, I rarely read the e-mails that come. I’m with you on the number of posts per day or per week. While working on my fitness book, teaching, and living the leisure lifestyle I need, I mostly blog once a week for Sunday Stills. Re-instituting that photo challenge was the best thing I ever did when I came back from my blogging break in 2018! The challenge inspires me and gives me the opportunity to connect with photoblggers and share their work on social media. Once a week is all I can do for now, although I like to add a post for my monthly fitness feature. WordPress does feel a little like Facebook sometimes. Honestly, though, most of our readers/audience are other WordPress readers and unless one has an amazingly influential blog, readers from outside of WP will be few and far between. I’m just happy when I get a new Sunday Stills participant each week! I will say that I do read and comment on blogs of those I have met in person or have formed a personal relationship with, because those friendships really inspire me. My hubby thinks it’s cool that I have met other bloggers in person and my life has been changed for the better because of it! Always great advice from you, the blog guru 🙂

    1. I admire you hosting the Sunday Stills weekly challenge, Terri. I know how much hard work is involved in running a weekly challenge for other bloggers. When I ran my photography challenge, I soon discovered it was something I could not keep up with. It was great meeting new bloggers, but I found myself running out of time to do a lot of other stuff. And it seems I did not learn my lesson, as I went on to create additional features which required me to publish weekly.

      You seem to have found the perfect balance for running the challenge and doing all the other stuff in your life. I know, too, just how much other bloggers appreciate you for hosting a challenge. I firmly believe that by participating in various blogging challenges, they got me lots of followers (some of which I have gone on to meet in person).

      I don’t read and comment on the posts of those who I have met and who I may have formed a friendship with. Why? Because, sometimes, they may publish a post that does not interest me. I found myself often commenting just for the sake of commenting. Now, rather than do that, I will leave what I consider to be a good meaningful comment that adds value to a post. It not only frees up more time but also seems to work best for me.

  19. I agree with your points. In some cases I feel like being obliged to read and comment in order to show them my appreciation… silly, I absolutely know. Because I too feel like wasting my time when some bloggers are writing endless posts in repeating themselves over and over again, sharing repeated details, or informing when their hamster was sneezing, and think everybody wants to know.
    I basically only go to read posts over the reader and only as much as I can handle. E-Mail notification flooded my inbox. I only subscribe for notifications of blogs I don’t want to miss (regardless of how often they post during the day) and that is a handful. That works fine for me for several years already.
    I think I never posted too quickly since I am preparing and scheduling my posts on the weekend about a week ahead. There were many posts which got edited over and over again until the were published and I realized what a good thing it is to take my time.
    I also try not to overwhelm my blogger friends in posting too much and I basically stick with my regular posts. My quote and song posts are quick to read. So there is only my Monday post and my Tuesday poem. Should be bearable.. hehe. Also, I refuse to ramble about myself or when my turtle woke up today… lol
    Sorry for this long comment but you really strike a chord here, Hugh!

    1. I’ve always thought those kinds of posts about ‘silly’ pets are meant for sites such as Facebook, Erika. When I first started blogging, I used to publish those kinds of posts. It wasn’t long before I knew they were not the kind of posts my readers wanted to see. I don’t mind a bit of humour if it’s included in an otherwise interesting post that has a good subject, but blog posts that contain nothing but ‘silliness’ are not to my liking. Whereas, if I were on Facebook, I’d probably appreciate seeing them.

      I don’t mind the odd bit of reputation as I think it can help remind readers of what they should be doing. For example, I’m always delighted when somebody reminds me to back up my blog content because it’s something I keep forgetting to do. I also think it’s something new followers to that blog may appreciate. However, it has to be done with a significant gap between each post; otherwise, it can look repetitive.

      Until my recent blogging break, I never put much thought into how long I should give a blog post before I publish it. I used to write and publish on the same day. Then, I had a few instances when I got interrupted and went back to the post the following day. I was amazed by how ‘sleeping’ on those blog posts meant I was able to turn them into something I considered even better. And, not only that, my readers seemed to respond more to those posts by leaving more comments that added even more value to the posts.

      Like you, I also refuse to ramble about myself. In fact, it’s rare that I write and publish posts about what I’m up to outside the world of blogging. Likewise, I don’t believe my readers want to hear about any personal problems I may be having. That would be something I’d be more likely to share on Facebook (if I had an account).

      Thank you for such great and interesting comments on this post, Erika.

      1. I posted about Rule Number 6 a week ago on Monday and the trigger for thar post was how I couldn’t look at all of those self-exposed posts on Instagram and Facebook. As you said, it actually belongs to those platforms but it is not material for blog posts. It took me some time until I figured that I had lost my track and I am glad have found my way back. Your post is very confirming that way. It also made me smile right because it was so timely for me.. Lol
        Let’s simply do what we feel to do and let others do their thing😄

  20. thanks for such a thoughtful and informative post. I am guilty of making sure I publish something every day, many times simply for the sake of keeping my streak going. But my fear is that if I were to stop, I would not be as motivated to keep on blogging. And it has become almost a second job trying to keep up with other bloggers and try to post meaningful comments, so I appreciate hearing how you have handled such issues.

    1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with publishing every day, Jim. If it works for you, then great. However, it can become overwhelming for some of your followers, especially if they receive email notifications of new posts from you. For me, that makes blogging less fun because I don’t enjoy feeling overwhelmed. And that’s why I took the action of unsubscribing from email notifications of those bloggers who publish more than once a day.

      I found your comment in my spam folder. Not sure why, but you may like to check with other bloggers if your comments are ending up in their spam folders too.

      1. thanks for your reply, Hugh. and yes, sometimes I do feel overwhelmed with the whole world of blogging, but at the same time, I think it’s a better use of my time than some alternatives. As to the spam issue, yes that has been a problem. WordPress told me that I might be commenting too much in a short period of time, and so it thinks I’m a spammer. On the other hand, it may simply say something about the quality of my comments!

        1. That’s an extraordinary response from WordPress, Jim. To me, it sounds like they are fobbing you off. Many bloggers (including me) have had problems with all our comments going into the spam folders of other bloggers. It’s been happening over the last few years. I include a link to a post I wrote about it and how I got it fixed. It may be worth you pursuing, but I’ll leave you to make that decision.

          https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/09/25/what-to-do-if-all-your-comments-are-ending-up-in-the-wordpress-spam-folder/

        2. Hugh, thank you so much for pointing this out. I left a comment on your post as well. I did fill out the form you mention on your post, and I’ll let you know if it fixes the problem. This is what I love about WordPress though; the community of people that wants to help each other!

  21. I’ve turned off my blog to email notifications and solely use the Reader now. I’ve added news blogs to the rest and it reads like a newspaper for me, which is kind of fun. I probably follow way too many, but only like the ones I read and comment on those that catch my interest- like yours! 🙂
    Great post, Hugh, thanks.

    1. Thanks so much, Jacquie. I’ve never been a fan of the WP Reader, but am now giving it another chance to catch up with those bloggers who publish more than one blog post a day. As a result, my email box is looking a lot healthier.

  22. Some posts I am happy to wait for, others I like to read when they come out, but I still get my notifications via email… even from blogs with a magasine-format or challenges and who publish even more posts than I share. I do, however, take the time to choose how emails are delivered… instantly, daily, weekly…the choice is there is the followed blogs section of the reader. That way, I still only get one email from a blog with large numbers of posts and reblogs.

    1. Thanks, Sue, I tried the weekly method, but seeing the number of links in an email was just as overwhelming for me. The WP Reader seems to be the best method for me. If it doesn’t keep working, I may go back to receiving weekly emails.

  23. Hi, Hugh – The theme of this post has been the number one discussion topic at all of the Blogger Meet-Ups that I have ever attended. Although fellow bloggers and I have discussed this topic endlessly, we have never come up with perfect solutions to the overall burning issue of blogging time management and burnout. Your tips are very meaningful and doable. I believe they do make for better blogging. Thank you for sharing them so articulately!

    1. I expect everyone would have different methods of how to become a better blogger, Donna. Some of those ideas may overlap, but I think it’s helpful to talk about them. I’m glad your Blogger-Meetups do just that. I often see the occasional plea for help when blogging becomes stressful. By talking about it to each other, we can help each other.

  24. All excellent points, Hugh. Some days I feel completely overwhelmed when looking at my inbox. If I had as many as Darlene, I’d have to consume a pound of chocolate just to get the energy to begin (which isn’t entirely a bad thing, but we won’t get into that discussion here). I’ve been trying to come up with ways to get it under control, and you’ve given me some ideas. Thanks, Hugh!

  25. Excellent advice, Hugh. I would not want anyone following or hitting like who did not at least intend to read some of what I publish. I’m with you on the multiple posts. I do continue to receive e-mails, but it is a quick matter of deleting (I get over 180 a day). I do not like the reader, so if someone has a follow button without an e-mail sign up, I won’t follow them. A far as content is concerned I publish seven days a week with an exact schedule of what to expect on each day. I never expect someone to read every post and if there is no interest please say goodbye. I work hard on content and would really hate to have someone “walk through the motions.”

    1. Thank you, John. That’s an awful lot of emails. I’m afraid I had to end them coming into my email box. I was starting to dread turning on my computer every morning and opening my email box. I now find myself in a far happier position with it.

      I’m with you on the WP Reader, especially that I’ve often had it happen that a post won’t appear on it. WordPress has never been able to explain why it happens, so I now check any newly published blog post from me is on there.

      I admire your blogging schedule. In fact, I don’t know how you manage to keep up with it and write books. If it’s the perfect balance for you and you enjoy it, then keep on doing it.

  26. Those are all good points. Re Number One – I may have a couple of weeks before I post, as I only post once a week (Wed/Thurs) and usually have 2 or 3 blogs done ahead…..and I’m still editing it right before I post! Unlike many people on here with backgrounds in English or journalism, I’m not a natural writer, (having spent 40 years in a scientific job), so I find that fallow period useful while my subconscious mulls things over. A comment once in a while on some of the blogs I follow is all I can manage, and all people should realistically expect from their followers, as life is busy! I do follow a few bloggers where I read every post. I’ve stopped worrying about likes or followers, and am having fun with the writing again, because that’s what it’s all about. I go through my follow list once in a while and delete people who don’t blog anymore, although I’ve left a few who I miss, hoping they will start again someday.

    1. Same here, Joni. I started writing this post two weeks ago and was still editing it an hour before I published it. In fact, the last thing I did was I inserted the questions under each point. There comes the point, though, when I know it’s time to launch the post into the blogosphere.

      For me, a few good meaningful comments once in a while are far better than leaving lots of comments that add no value to the post. I no longer see any value in leaving comments just for the sake of leaving them. I’d much rather leave a comment that I hope the author of the post knows I’ve read and really enjoyed what they published (and by that, I don’t mean an empty comment like ‘Great post’).

      I’m delighted you’re having fun with blogging. That’s what it’s supposed to be all about. Keep on doing that, and you won’t go wrong.

  27. I love your approach to blogging, Hugh. I’ve either implemented or in the process of doing so for all key points you’ve shared. It’s like I was reading my thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing your insights. 🙂 Cheers!

    1. That’s very kind of you to say, Natalie.

      I write it the way I see it. I think many feel the same as I do but may be a little nervous about publishing a post about it. I know that some readers won’t agree with what I’ve said (and there is nothing wrong with that), but I didn’t want anyone going through the same problems I had with blogging thinking they were alone. I’ve recently read a few comments on social media and on WordPress from bloggers who feel guilty or stressed out about blogging and knew this was the right time to approach some of the subjects they and me had concerns about.

  28. Great points, Hugh. I regularly have a cull of the blogs I follow, the list just gets too long and some don’t even show up in the reader. It does get overwhelming sometimes but I’m learning not to feel obliged to comment or read posts if I’m pressed for time.

  29. Hi Hugh, I am approximately at the one year blogging Anniversary and I do feel overwhelmed with all the emails. There are many great blogs “out there.” I am aware a great deal of effort is often put into creating a post and I want to read them carefully. Thank you for making me aware how long term bloggers still face this challenge.

    Initially I was reading many “how to” blogs. The recommendations were to post often and on a regular time schedule. This advice did not work for me. My timing is approximately publish two times a month. Timing can vary since life is unpredictable. I have found a few blogging mentors and genuine people that I like to follow. A common thread running through their posts is that there is no right or wrong. Be creative, have fun and your writing genre can be eclectic and evolve.

    Re: commenting and liking: I do believe in commenting on every single post I read. I learn something new. I am inspired. I am entertained. A beautiful photo is shared. The writer has shared a personal part of themselves. I have entered their home and I want to thank them for letting me in.

    I may have an entirely different opinion one year from now:)

    Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking post and your wisdom, Hugh!

    1. Hi Erica,

      Happy upcoming blog anniversary. Over the five years I have been blogging, I have often encountered other bloggers and readers who feel overwhelmed by all the email notifications of new posts. I’ve experienced it myself, and it can take away some of the fun and enjoyment of blogging. When that happens, action needs to be taken; otherwise, it’s more than likely that we’ll stop blogging (and I’ve seen many great bloggers come and go in my five years (because the fun in blogging had gone). Blogging should always be about fun and enjoyment. It should never become a burden or something that makes us feel guilty or stressed out.

      I’ve also read many blogging tips advice posts that recommend publishing lots of blog posts a week. One I recently read said to publish at least 10 blog posts a day to become a successful blogger. However, they also went on to say that the number of hits a blog got was the correct way to measure its success. So, the recommendation was more about getting hits rather than writing and publishing something that got people talking.

      Thank you for answering my question on leaving comments on all the blog posts one reads. It was a great answer.

  30. Great advice, Hugh. Many of your points, I had already or will implement for myself very soon. I do have one question. I am one of those bloggers who post more than once a day. I have known for awhile that doing that is considered a bad idea by many. I have never followed anyone by getting their emails so I had not considered that posting more than once a day would overwhelm people following by email. I would be overwhelmed as well.

    Here is my conundrum that I have wondered about even before reading your post. My site is all about photography with very few words at all. It is not uncommon for me to go on a daily hike and take hundreds of photos. I have found that if I publish one post with two or more shots, most people do not even open the post to see more than just one pic. Even if I stopped taking photographs today, I’d probably have enough in my library to continue posting one photo a day for the next couple of years at least.

    If . . .
    1. Photographing nature as I hike on a daily basis is what I love to do and
    2. I enjoy sharing my pics through blogging and
    3. Motivation for blogging has never been the number of likes or followers and
    4. Photography is not a business for me as I do not sell my photos

    Why should I be concerned about whether or not posting more than once a day is hurting or helping my stats? Having said that, for me the reality is that on the days that I do post more than once a day my stats increase. Post once a day or miss a day and my stats go down. I looked this up after reading your post.

    My question is this, if I chose to follow someone by email why is it their fault that I get too many emails? What should they change how they handle their blog site because I am overwhelmed? The number of people I follow is probably few and it is through the WP Reader that I read their posts on my time (whenever it is convenient). I think that for myself, if the number of followers or likes becomes the primary reason I do or do not post, it may be time to step away from the world of blogging for a time.

    I hope you don’t see this as an argument against your POV because it is not meant as that at all. Maybe just a different side from a photographer’s perspective. 😊

    1. Thank you, Irene, and I appreciate the great comments you have left on this post.

      You should do what feels best for you. I never intended to make anyone think that publishing more than one blog post a day was something any blogger should not do. In fact, I did say in the post that I admire those bloggers who can publish lots of great quality posts daily.

      Anyone who publishes more than blog post a day is likely to have higher stats than somebody who publishes maybe just once a week because of the number of entries for that blogger on the WP Reader. It kind of makes sense that stats would be higher given that they have produced say five posts in one day compared to somebody who has published just the one. However, how do we measure the success of a post? For example, is a post with 200 likes and only two comments, more successful that a post with 50 likes and 30 comments? I’ve written about this subject before and got an array of answers, but most seemed to agree that it was the number of good quality comments that made a post more successful than one that had hundreds of hits and likes with few if any comments.

      Personally, for me (and you mentioned it too), too many emails is too overwhelming and make blogging less appealing. There is an option to only receive email notifications once a week, or once a month, but when I opened the email and saw all those links to the blog posts that had been published, I was just as overwhelmed.

      However, when it comes to blogs which are focused more on photography, we probably spend far less time on them than we do with those that are written. I know that it would not take me long to open and look at 10 blog posts that contained photos, compared to the time it would take me to open and read 10 blog posts that had more than 200 words in each post.

      It’s nobodies fault as to how many blog posts somebody decides to publish a day (and you never think that). If it works for you or anybody else, then carry on doing so. My post was more about highlighting those bloggers who can feel overwhelmed by getting too many email notifications of a new post from the same blogger. It’s something I have come across many times when reading blog posts and something I’ve experienced. For some readers, it really can take away some of the enjoyment out of blogging.

      I hope that helps, but please feel free to come back with any further questions.

      1. Hi Hugh and thanks for your response. You are absolutely right that photo sites are a lot quicker to look at than a well written post. It must also take a lot longer to actually write a post than to download a photo. Thanks for helping me see this from a writer’s perspective. 😊

  31. I agree with all your points Hugh. The longer I have been blogging, the more ease I want in my reading and writing. I don’t get e-mail updates on blog posts these days. I prefer to just go through my Reader, and I am now very picky about who I follow.

    1. Sounds like a good plan that works best for you, Brigid. The only thing I dislike about the WP Reader is that by the time I open it, posts may have already disappeared way down the list. However, I decided that was something not worth dwelling on.

  32. You’re absolutely right, Hugh. I have hundreds of emails every day from WordPress bloggers I follow who publish more than one blog per day. I tend to read and comment on just one of them I am interested in, and leave the rest, otherwise it’s just too much!

    1. Agreed, Stevie. However, I found it too overwhelming seeing all those emails from WordPress, so I decided to catch up on the WordPress Reader instead. I know it may mean I miss some great posts, but so be it. I feel better about what action I have taken. Six weeks in, and it seems to be working for me.

  33. Very early on, I realised now overwhelmed I was getting with the email notification posts. I now only subscribe to the emails of the blogs I really don’t want to miss.
    And I can only comment if something hits me and I need to say something.
    You’re right, time is precious to us all, and it is hard to spread yourself thin enough to appreciate everything out there…though you know, I try!

    1. You hit on something I mention a lot when writing about social media – ‘spreading ourselves too thinly.’ You’re right, it doesn’t work. In fact, I think it has the opposite effect on what a person is trying to do. If we cutback and work and concentrate on the things we enjoy more, it brings in far better results and rewards for us and our readers. When it starts to become a burden or something we feel, has to be done or we need to rush (because of lack of time), the results can hold us back from producing the very best we have to offer. For me, that’s a great shame to both my readers and me. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve cut back on the number of blog posts I now publish. And, I delighted to say, it seems to be working for me. I certainly feel a lot better for it, but know it wouldn’t work for everyone.

      1. I am definitely using that approach more with my author blog. I only post once a week, or even once a fortnight, when there is something to write about. I enjoy the challenges which I post entries to on the other, and my musings. But it definitely helps to have a plan.

        1. Participating in writing and photography challenges is an excellent way to get noticed and find other blogs that may interest us. I’ve even tried running my own challenge, but it took up a lot of time. I admire those who run them and who don’t give up like I did.

  34. I think to call it a glorified Facebook seems appropriate to me! A few days ago, I did a blog cleanout too, because my emails used to be flooded with multiple posts from the same blogs and I had stopped reading some of the same stuff served on different blogs. I really enjoyed this piece of yours! Thanks for sharing.

    I also believe it is really important to write when you feel creatively inclined. Just churning out posts for the sake of it, results in sub-par post quality. I myself write and post when I am really in the mood. The algorithms do not like bloggers like us that have no rhyme or rhythm to their work, but I prefer doing it on my terms. Have a great day 🙂

    1. Yes, I agree with what you say about only writing when you feel creatively inclined to do so. It should never become a burden to feel you have to write a blog post. I used to publish upwards of four or five blog posts a week. After rereading them, I could tell they came over as ‘rushed.’ I was publishing blog posts just for the sake of doing so, without really anything interesting to say.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us on this subject.

  35. I agree with all these points. I must cut back on the blogs I follow, especially those that post too many times a day. I was unable to access my email for almost two weeks. When I was finally able to read my emails, I had 2200 in my inbox. Talk about overwhelming. xo

    1. That would have totally freaked me out seeing that number of emails, Darlene. Of course, you can also schedule to receive emails from certain bloggers weekly, but despite trying that, I still pressed ‘delete’ after seeing all the links to the new posts they’d published. For me, it was just as overwhelming seeing all those links.

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