Sometimes, the world of blogging can seem like a terrifying place.
With pitfalls, slippery slops to guilt, stress and bloggers’ burnout to avoid, it can make any blogger want to make a hasty retreat.
Fear not! I am here to help you avoid and overcome 7 scary things you may encounter in today’s blogging world.
I’ve had my fair share of visits from internet trolls. They get a lot of enjoyment from spreading their venom around the world of blogging.
Not only have the trolls aimed their nasty comments at me, but they also try and trick other commentators into getting into a battle with them.
After an incident which involved a troll attacking another blogger within the comments section on one of my posts, I switched to moderating all comments.
It’s a simple process to set up on any WordPress Blog.
- In the lefthand menu of the dashboard\admin centre of your blog, under ‘Manage’, click on ‘Settings.’
- A new menu will open. In the top menu, click on ‘Discussion‘.
- In the new menu that opens, look for the ‘Before Comments Appears’ section, and turn on ‘Comment must be manually approved.’
- Click ‘Save Settings‘.
- If you’re happy to allow comments from those who have commented before to appear without any moderation from yourself, turn on ‘Comment author must have a previously approved comment.’
However, be aware that there’s always a chance that a friendly blogger can suddenly turn into a troll. I’m talking from experience here. Yes, it happened on my blog when somebody who had left lots of seemingly lovely comments suddenly turned into a troll and personally attacked another blogger.
The best way to deal with trolls is to never respond to their comments.
Mark the offending comment as spam, and mark any further comments from them the same way. Once you do so, WordPress will soon get used to sending all comments from the troll to your WordPress spam folder.
Tags and Categories
I’ve seen many bloggers become terrified when it comes to using tags and categories on their blog posts.
They start to panic when deciding what keywords to use as tags.
Some even go as far as using keywords that have nothing to do with the post they’ve just written.
The best tags to use are one or two words long. For example, if you’re tagging a blog post for a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, use tags such as baking, bake, cookery, food, ingredients, cookies, chocolate biscuits, etc.
When somebody searches on WordPress for keywords you have as tags, your blog post will appear in the search results.
Here are some recent results my blog has had from searches done by readers on WordPress.
Pitfall alert – never use more than 15 tags on your blog posts. Why? Because blog posts containing more than 15 tags do not appear on the WordPress Reader. Click here for more details.
Not categorising your blog posts is like throwing your post onto the top of a colossal mishmash pile that nobody will want to try and wade through.
Always categorise your blog posts. Not sure how? Click here to find out.
What’s the most terrifying category any blogger can use?
When I started to blog, I was terrified that nobody would read any of my blog posts. I visioned myself on a stage in front of a large theatre full of empty seats.
That’s how it begins for many bloggers, but there are ways to start filling up your blogging theatre.
- Leave good meaningful comments that add value to the blog posts of other bloggers.
- Participate in blogging challenges such as Sunday Stills, WritePhoto, or Thursday Doors.
- Participate in a blog party where you can meet other bloggers.
- Look for opportunities to write guest posts for other bloggers.
- Open up the opportunity for other bloggers to write guest posts for your blog.
- Ensure you promote your blog and blog posts on all your social media accounts.
This blog post is my entry for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge with the theme of ‘Something Scary’. Click here to join the challenge.
Once you start to become part of blogging communities, people will come and visit your blog. Not all will follow you back, but interaction with other bloggers is a great way to build a readership.
Before you know it, the seats in your blogging theatre will start filling up.
I was lucky that I had already encountered the frightening world of social media when I started blogging. However, I still hear many bloggers say how terrified they are of it.
Yes, social media can seem like a big, evil monster, but the trick is not to spread yourself too thinly by thinking you have to have an account on all social media platforms.
If you allow it, social media will take up much of your time. It does need some hard work and dedication for it to work correctly, but limit yourself to two or three social media accounts at the most.
Begin by trying some of them out. You’ll soon discover which ones work best for you.
For me, Twitter brings in a lot of traffic to my blog. It now has a new look, which I love, and I enjoy interacting with other users.
It’s nothing as frightening as this scene from one of my favourite scary movies.
Over the last month, I’ve increased the number of followers on Twitter by over 1,000. Much of that is down to interacting with other users on it (mainly other writers and bloggers).
However, Twitter isn’t for everyone. I know some bloggers who prefer Pinterest, Facebook, and Linkedin, to name but a few.
Once you know which social media platforms you enjoy using the most and which work best for you, remember to ensure you have sharing buttons on all your blog posts so that readers can share your posts on their social media platforms.
Click here to find out more about sharing buttons.
Following Too Many Blogs
Not only do I occasionally get shocked by how many blogs I am following, but it can become a frightening prospect knowing that there is no way I’m ever going to be able to read all the blog posts of all those blogs I follow.
Following too many blogs can become overwhelming, especially if you receive notifications of new posts via email.
For various reasons, I cut back on the number of blogs I follow every few months.
Reasons for unfollowing can be anything from no longer finding blog posts interesting, no new content published for a long time, or unfollowing because a blogger does not reply to any comments.
It’s easy to manage the blogs you follow. Here’s how to do it.
- Click on the ‘Reader‘ button towards the top of your blog.
- Click on the “Manage‘ button on the screen.
- You’ll then see a list of the blogs you are following.
- You can sort the list by ‘date followed’ or by ‘site name.’
- Go through the list and decide which blogs to unfollow.
- To unfollow a blog, click on the word ‘following‘ next to the blog you want to unfollow.
- Once you’ve unfollowed a blog, the word ‘Follow‘ will show next to it.
- To refollow the blog, click on ‘Follow.’
How easy was that?
The Spam Monster
Many bloggers have become a victim of the spam monster.
When it captures you, all the comments you leave on other blogs go straight to spam.
Worse, you don’t know all your comments will be spam until another blogger tells you that they found your comment in their WordPress spam folder.
I’ve been captured by the spam monster three times!
If you find a genuine comment from another blogger in your WordPress spam folder, un-spam the comment and inform the blogger concerned.
Who knows? They could have become the spam monster’s latest victim.
The Gutenberg Editor
When I first tried using the new Gutenberg editor, I was soon transformed into a monster that has followed me for much of my life.
I only tried Gutenberg for five minutes but soon became the ‘hate change’ monster.
Nothing was going to make me start using something that promised to change and improve the way I blogged or that promised to save me time when drafting new blog posts.
Then, during a particularly dark, dull day at the end of December 2018, I read some tutorials and watched videos on how Gutenberg works. As December faded into January, I gave Gutenberg another try, only this time, I gave it more of my time.
My blog posts suddenly took on a new look that made them more appealing, striking and impressive. Gutenberg was changing the way I blogged.
I soon started to save myself lots of time drafting blog posts as the benefits of using the Gutenberg editor began to pay off for the time I had spent learning how it works.
Almost a year on, not only do I consider the switch from using the classic editor to using the Gutenberg editor the best change I’ve ever made on my blogging journey, but I’m delighted that I never gave in to the ‘hate change’ monster.
Rather than allow things to happen, make things happen while you have the time.
With WordPress having confirmed that the classic editor will be discontinued from 31st December 2021, don’t allow yourself to become a victim of the ‘hate change’ monster.
Set up a draft post on your blog where you can play with the Gutenberg editor. Even if you only play with it a few times a week, it’s better than being one of the many bloggers who will find themselves with no time to start trying it out before the classic editor is discontinued.
As author and blogger, Colleen M. Chesebro said in one of her blog posts about using the Gutenberg editor –
it’s not hard to use; just different.
Are there any scary things in the world of blogging that have you closing your eyes in the hope that they are not really there? How did/do you deal with them? Share the details in the comments section.
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