What To Do If You Find Any Of These 7 Scary Things In The World Of Blogging

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 come across in today’s blogging world. 

Seven scary things in the blogging world

Trolls

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.’ 
Click on ‘Settings’
  • A new menu will open. In the top menu, click on ‘Discussion‘. 
Click on ‘Discussion’
  • In the new menu that opens, look for the ‘Before Comments Appears’ section, and turn on ‘Comment must be manually approved.’ 
Look for the box highlighted in the above image
  • Click ‘Save Settings‘.
Don’t forget to save what you’ve changed
  • 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.’ 
Turn on the button highlighted in the above image

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 you can 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. 

#night #photography #SundayStills
Trolls can come in all shapes and sizes

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 does a search on WordPress for keywords that you have as tags, your blog post will appear in the search results.

Here are some recent results my blog has had form searches done by readers on WordPress.

Popular tags and categories on Hugh’s Views And News

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 is going to 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?

Uncategorised.’

No audience

When I first started to blog, I was terrified that nobody was going to read any of my blog posts. I visioned myself on a stage in front of a large theatre full of empty seats.

Image by Deedee86 from Pixabay

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 on the blog posts of other bloggers.
  • Participate in blogging challenges such as Sunday StillsWritePhoto, Thursday Doors, or Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Poetry challenge.
  • Participate in a blog party where you can meet other bloggers. Click here to join Janice Wald’s Halloween Blog Party. I’ve already visited.
  • 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 which has 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 start building a readership. 

Before you know it, the seats in your blogging theatre will start filling up.  

Social Media

I was lucky in that I had already encountered the frightening world of social media when I started to blog. However, I still hear about so many bloggers who say how terrified they are of it. 

Photo by Corey Sitkowski on Pexels.com

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 a lot 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 on it.

It’s nothing as frightening as this scene from one my favourite scary movies.

The birds are coming

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, 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 notification of new posts via email. 

Every few months, for various reasons, I cut back on the number of blogs I follow.

Reasons for unfollowing can be anything from no longer finding blog posts interesting, no new content published for a longtime, 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 located towards the top lefthand of your blog. 
Click on ‘Reader’
  • Click on the “Manage‘ button on the screen.
Click on the ‘Manage’ button
  • You’ll then see a list of the blogs you are following. 
  • You can sort the list by ‘date followed’ or by ‘site name.’ 
How to sort the blogs you’re following
  • 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. 
Click on ‘Following’
  • To refollow the blog, click on ‘Follow.’  

How easy was that?  

The Spam Monster

Many bloggers have become a victim of the spam monster.

#monsters #scary #monster
The spam monster – not something any blogger wants to encounter

When it captures you, all the comments you leave on other blogs go straight to spam. 

Worse still, is that you don’t know all your comments are going to spam until anther blogger tells you that they found your comment in their WordPress spam folder. 

I’ve been captured by the spam monster three times!

However, there is a way to escape the spam monster. Click here for the details. 

If you do 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.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

I only tried Gutenberg for five minutes but soon found myself turning into 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 some 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 given to 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.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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 are going to 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. 

Click here to read Colleen’s first post on the baiscs of using the Gutenberg editor.

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.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

147 thoughts

  1. Hello. Thanks for this post from October but which has come up in a search today.

    I’m disappointed to read WP will be dropping their classic editor. Do you know if this includes the HTML editor?

    I write and edit on an iPad and the app has an easy one key toggle between classic and HTML editors which is the best control you can hope for with off the peg sites.

    The Gutenberg must be what’s called “Block” editor on the app; I don’t know how much of the app is WP or a third party. On the app, I’m finding Block editor clumsy, not intuitive, and not wysiwyg. Oh well, these things are sent to annoy us… still, 2021 is a year away and you never know what’s around the corner.

    1. Hi Ian, you’ll still be able to access the Classic Editor by using the Classic block in the Gutenberg Editor. It’s already there, and I know of many bloggers who are using it.

      WordPress is still working on making the Gutenberg editor more user-friendly on their app. Next year will see the full launch of the app which they claim will be as easy to use as it is to use Gutenberg on a desktop computer.

      Many people claim that using the Gutenberg editor is cumbersome and not easy, but it’s all about practice, using it, and building one’s confidence in using it. When I started using the Gutenberg editor ( a year ago), I disliked it, but now I can confidently say that I’d never go back to using the Classic editor.

      1. Thanks for the reply, Hugh. I appreciate it as it was an old post.

        I can update my experiences with the Block editor having just dug out my old laptop, strained my brain cells for my log in data and ran up a post using the desktop block editor version.

        I eat my words. Didn’t find too much to grumble about. It’s just the mobile app which is lacking many of the desktop options. I trust they will bring it up to full spec before long.

        I think it helps tremendously if you’re already computer savvy. I’ve used one most of my working life – retired now, thankfully – and I can code a bit of HTML. Someone who simply blogs and browses the web may find it irritating to pick up, and may test reward vs. effort severely, but you’re on the money, Hugh, with practice we’ll all get there. 😀

        1. You’re welcome, Ian. I forgot to mention in my previous comment that I also took some time to watch and read some tutorials on how to operate Gutenberg. They helped me a lot during my journey, plus I also set up a test draft post where I can practice using Gutenberg to my heart’s content.

          Given that WordPress (like many other companies) are gearing towards users using their software via mobile apps, I’d be shocked if WordPress does not make using Gutenberg on their app an easy process for all its users. There’s still another two years before the Classic editor is retired, so they’ve plenty of time to get the app user-friendly. No doubt there will also be lots of other changes that will occur to the platform during the next 24 months.

        2. Yes, I too played around with it on a spare blog I have. It’s a good idea to create an extra blog for such a use, and it’s free. Just set it to “Private” or “Hidden” in the set up. I find it useful when considering changing themes on your main blog, before taking the plunge.

          The mobile app has Block Editor as default. If you don’t want it it needs to be switched off in settings. The trouble is with the mobile app, Block is very much in beta, not fully developed. I reckon it only has half of the functionality of the desktop version. I’m sure it will get there eventually, as you say.

  2. Hi Hugh,
    When I first read your headline, I couldn’t think of anything scary in the world of blogging except for spammers and spam comments. Your post is excellent. You provide excellent tips with impressive graphics.
    Janice

  3. Very informative post Hugh! For now my social media is mainly Face book and Twitter, I haven’t got time to organise Pinterest properly. My audience is growing very slowly, one problem I have is two blogs.. people following one are not really following the other (some do). I comment and keep changing my blog address on the comment if I can but it really is hard work. For now just got to keep the faith that there are people who read and enjoy them. Thanks! #senisal

    1. The most important thing is that you have an audience which you do. Providing your posts are attracting good meaningful comments, then you’re doing great. Keep up the great work you’re doing, but remember to also take a break and have some blogging free time.

      I do admire those who can run and maintain more than one blog. I know it’s something I could not do.

  4. Hello and thanks, Hugh, for the great tips. I moved from Blogger to WordPress in June this year and just jumped into using the block editor (Gutenberg) right away as I’ve read that the classic editor would be discontinued. I enjoy using it and haven’t had any issue so far. Fingers crossed. #senisal

    1. That’s great to hear, Natalie. I’m sure many new bloggers to WordPress who were never given the option of trying the Classic editor will find the Gutenberg editor easy to use once they’ve had a chance to get to know how it works. Like anything else, practice makes perfect.

    1. Afraid so, Teri. I’ve also been reading some blog posts saying that WordPress is now concentrating more on bugs and errors with the Gutenberg editor. Therefore, any problems with the Classic editor may take a long time for them to fix.

      Give yourself a lot of time when trying the Gutenberg editor. I recommend you set up a draft post and practice using it on that post. It’s what I did, and I soon got used to it. Don’t become one of the many bloggers who get left behind when the Classic editor is no more.

  5. Thanks for the tips. You are absolutely right. I have to begin categorizing my blog posts. To go back and do all the posts I’ve written in 2 years is a daunting taks, but I think it would be worth it. Thank you!

    1. I’d suggest you look at which of your posts are still receiving traffic and to categorise them first, Laurie. Perhaps do five a day over the next few months rather than trying to categorise them all at the same time? You’ll soon be caught up.

  6. Hello Hugh. I think you’ve hit on all the biggies. I was frightened by Gutenberg too, but am now enjoying it after taking a course. There are still a lot of great features I’m not using yet. Baby steps. I also get overwhelmed sometimes by the amount of time I spend visiting other bloggers. On the other hand, I’ve learned some pretty amazing things doing that and made some good friends. It has also helped build my audience. Though I’m still relatively small, at least my stage is no longer empty. Some of my biggest blogging fears have centered on the technology, but I have found a good support system in BlogAid, so I’m even feeling better about that too. And when I do fix (or improve) something on my own, I feel so proud! Thanks, as always, for another enjoyable, informational post. I’m coming to you from the Blogger’s Pit Stop this time.

    1. I’m delighted to hear that you’re enjoying using the new Gutenberg editor, Christie. In the beginning, I was very much like you in that the new editor scared me. Now I look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. I wish I hadn’t wasted as much time as I did in getting to try it out while watching tutorials and reading some guides on how it works.

      I’m so pleased to hear that you’re enjoying the whole blogging experience. Changes are bound to happen in the blogging world. Usually, for the better, but we should never be afraid of them.

  7. Brilliant tips Hugh. It’s so easy to get caught up and obsessed with different aspects of blogging but I think a moderate approach to every aspect is the best way to go, for me certainly. Interacting with other bloggers through commenting and social media is the best way to increase your audience plus it’s actually interesting and good fun. Before long these other bloggers feel like friends and are extremely supportive when necessary.

      1. It’s not easy if you follow too many blogs though is it? I always feel bad if I’m away for a while and miss out on fellow bloggers posts, try and catch up but it’s tough sometimes to keep on top of them all.

        1. I don’t worry about it anymore, Jonno. Most bloggers know that not all their followers will read and comment on all their posts. And if they do, then maybe we shouldn’t be following them anymore. Blogging should always be about fun and enjoyment.

        2. You’re so right Hugh. We just try and post when we have time and not get too wound up in stats or monitoring the blog too much. It’s a great hobby though.

  8. Where do I start … thank you so much Halloween has built a scary Guttenburg monster in my head and thanks to you and Coleen I will kill it off. I have pinned this , as I often do. Your great posts need keeping for just in case! And I love your simple teaching style. Thank you.

  9. Useful tips and some I hadn’t known I could do. I will look into those.
    With regards to ‘unfollowing’ though, I tend to go into ‘Settings’ first (under the ‘Unfollow’ button) and just stop getting alerted of every post. That way I can still run through those posts in my Reader from time to time in case the blogger posts another one I find useful – after all, there must have been a reason why I Followed in the first place.

    1. True, although I do give those that I follow a chance to publish something I know I will enjoy. As somebody who dislikes clutter, I don’t like my WordPress reader being cluttered up with blog posts I know I’m not probably going to enjoy. That way, it gives the blogs I follow and who publish more than once a day a chance of me catching one of their posts.

  10. Excellent advice and information, as always, and well-written and presented, Hugh. I’ve found that Word Press usually catches any trolls that attack my posts before I even know about it, which I appreciate. Thus, I rarely look at my Spam folder, but you have convinced me to go look there. Once, about a year ago, I was sending out comments to other bloggers and they weren’t being put in! I was frustrated. Then I asked a blogger if she knew I’d commented, and she found my comment in her Spam folder. I had been Spammed. I contacted WP and they unspammed me (and their reason for spamming me was that I had commented on too many blogs in an hour). But for me, I like to take an hour every few days to read blogs and make a comment. WP says I have to only do a few at a time. Interesting stuff.

    1. Thank you very much, Pam.

      I check my WordPress spam folder at least once a day and always inform people who have left a genuine comment if I find their comment in there. Most have no idea that it may be all their comments that are ending up in spam. Having happened to me three times, I always appreciate it when somebody tells me they found my comment in their spam folder. Fortunately, the spam monster has stayed away from me for the last couple of years.

      I did ask WordPress why my comments were all going to spam, but they could not give me an answer. I heard from another blogger that it happens when WordPress does a security update on their platform and that some bloggers comments are then all marked as spam. The reason they gave you sounds like a poor excuse, but at least they fixed it for you.

      1. I checked my Spam folder and was, ahem, rather shocked. No relevant person in there and some really yucky stuff. I also saw the button in which I could forever ‘block’ user, so I did that also.

  11. Excellent Halloween special on blogging Hugh. Lol, had to laugh at the ‘uncategorised’ section. It’s astounding how many keep that tag going strong, lol. Great tips as always – loved the spam tutorial too ❤ Happy Halloween! 🙂 x

    1. I see bloggers categorising posts as ‘uncategorised, almost every day, Debby. I think some must have it set up as the default category in their blog settings. It doesn’t help anyone not categorising a blog post. And even if you can’t think of how to categorise a blog post, anything is better than ‘uncategorised.’

      Happy Halloween.👻

      1. Hugh, I do believe ‘uncategorised’ is a default setting on WP. Astounding how some people don’t realize to untick it. And not only does it help others to search through out posts with tags – it helps US when WE are looking through our own posts for something particular. 🙂 x

  12. Hugh, these are very helpful hints and I especially appreciate the encouragement to use Gutenberg Editor. Thank you for sharing Colleen’s post. I am going to take her advice and set up an experimental ‘test blog.’ After three years of blogging, I have yet to scratch the surface of the behind the scenes tricks and tools, but I manage to figure out what I need, when I need it. Glad to know there are folks out here like you and Colleen to rely upon for advice. Excellent graphics and illustrations to support your text here. Thanks for making it all a bit less scary!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad this post has helped, Suzanne. I also like to include screenshots, as I really think they help readers. Otherwise, readers may give up on what I’m trying to explain.

      Setting up a test blog is an excellent idea from Colleen. The Gutenberg editor does have some faults with it (mainly the picture gallery blocks), but I know that WordPress is always trying to improve features. Just yesterday, I was amazed by how many new blocks they’d introduced. There’s a lot more for me to explore.

  13. Great points, Hugh! My biggest problem with blogging and social media is the time suck. In a way, I miss the times when I had my sailing blog, It’s Irie, and there would be no “pressure” when to write and no “obligation” to follow people back, read their blogs, and leave comments. Of course, the times have changed (I had my other adventure blog from 2007 – 2015) and with it, the community (and expectations) as well. On the other hand, I LOVE the blogging community and the friends I’ve made through it.

    I was just thinking about writing a post “Is social media toxic?” reflecting on what social media means to me or how it has affected me. I think we should all not only restrict ourselves to social media forms, but also to the time we spend on it.

    After using Gutenberg for a while now, I still don’t like it. My issue is the way it deals with photos and photo collages, for which I have to keep using the classic editor to make it look the way I want. I should look into it all again, in case they’ve changed things for the best in regards to photos.

    1. I agree with what you say about social media, Liesbet. I’ve heard stories of cyberbullying through it and even users who go on to end their own lives. It’s become a monster of the 21st century, although I also know of many people who get a lot of benefit from it. I restrict the time I spend on it (and on my blog), but you do have to have the will power to keep to it. So far, so good for me. I manage to fight off the urges I sometimes get to check my phone or computer when I know I’ve gone past ‘switch-off’ time.

      Is it just the photo gallery options you don’t like on Gutenberg, or is there anything else? I must admit that after playing around with some of the gallery blocks yesterday, I saw at how poor they are. Fortunately, for me, I don’t use any galleries on my blog posts. I tend to use just single images (which I think the image block works well). Of course, there is the option of using the Classic Block for galleries. What I’m not sure about is whether WordPress plan to delete that block when they switch off the classic editor for good in 2021.

      1. Yes, it’s just the galleries I don’t like in Gutenberg, Hugh. The single photos worked fine, I believe. And, you’ve proven that they look good. It was you who told me about the ability to use the classic editor for just my photo collages way back when, which was a brilliant idea. It’s what I’ve been doing since the beginning of using Gutenberg – blocks for the text and “old style” for my photos. WordPress will probably get rid of this as well, but I hope by then, that they’ve come up with a brilliant replacement. 🙂

  14. I’ve been lucky not be trolled – though I dare say it could still happen. I noticed in the comments about reciving invitations to follow a blog. I’ve had a couple of emails inviting me to follow a blog, which I’ve ignored but have no idea how they came about.

    1. I wonder how they got your email address to send you an invitation to follow their blog, Mary? I know that when somebody leaves a comment on a blog post, the author of the post can see the email address of the person leaving the comment, but if they’ve never left a comment, how do they get it? Maybe WordPress has a feature that allows bloggers to send out invitations? If I do get one, I’ll approach WordPress to find out how it was done and how any future emails of that kind can be blocked.

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