Sometimes, the world of blogging can seem like a terrifying place.
With copyright pitfalls, slippery slopes to guilt, stress and bloggers’ burnout to avoid, it can make any blogger want to make a hasty retreat.
But fear not! I am here to help you avoid these 7 scary things I’ve seen bloggers confess they are terrified of.
I’ve had my fair share of visits from internet trolls. They get a lot of enjoyment from spreading their nastiness around the world of blogging.
Not only have the trolls aimed their nasty comments at me, but they also try to 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 WordPress.
Here’s how to do it
- In the menu of your blog’s dashboard admin centre, click on Discussion (under Settings).
- On the Discussion page, look for the ‘Before a comment appears‘ section and turn on ‘Comment must be manually approved.’
- Click the Save Settings button.
- 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‘ (just under Comment must be manually approved).
However, be aware that there’s always a chance that a friendly blogger can suddenly turn into a troll. I’m talking from experience. 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. Ignore them.
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.
2. Tags and Categories
I’ve seen many bloggers terrified when it comes to using tags and categories on their blog posts. Some are so terrified of them that they don’t use them.
They start to panic when deciding what keywords to use as tags and whether to categorise their blog posts.
Some even go as far as using keywords that have nothing to do with their post, thus fooling readers to their posts.
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.
When adding tags or categories, ask yourself what tags and categories you’d add to a search bar when searching for the information in the post you’re about to publish.
Here are some recent results my blog has had from user searches on WordPress.
Pitfall alert – never use more than 15 tags and categories on a blog post. Why? Because blog posts containing more than 15 tags and categories (combined) can be classed as spam by WordPress and will not appear on the WordPress Reader. Click here for more details about tags.
Always categorise your blog posts. Not categorising is like throwing your post onto the top of a colossal mishmash pile that nobody will want to try and wade through.
Not sure how to categorise your blog posts? Click here to find out.
Question: What’s the most terrifying category any blogger can use?
3. Nobody will read my blog and engage with me
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.
- Read and leave beneficial, meaningful, helpful comments that add value to the blog posts of other bloggers.
- Participate in blogging challenges such as Sunday Stills, WritePhoto, the 99-word flash fiction challenge or Thursday Doors.
- Participate in a blog party or link-up 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.
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.
Warning – do not leave uninvited links on other bloggers’ posts begging people to visit your blog. Many bloggers classify uninvited links as spam that belong in the trash bin.
4. Social Media
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 an evil monster, but the trick is not to spread yourself too thin by thinking you must 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.
Once you know which ones you like, be strict with how much time you spend on them. Don’t allow social media to suck your time away.
After using most of today’s social media platforms, I discovered I enjoyed using Twitter the most. It now brings in a lot of traffic to my blog.
Which social media platform brings your blog the most traffic?
Once you know which social media platforms you enjoy using and which work best for you, remember to ensure you have sharing buttons on all your blog posts so readers can share them on their social media platforms.
Click here to find out more about sharing buttons.
5. 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.
I’ve noticed bloggers who follow too many blogs only leave short worthless comments because they don’t have the time to leave thoughtful, helpful comments. They’re in too much of a hurry to get around to reading all the new blog posts of all the blogs they follow in fear that if they fail, they’ll offend someone or lose followers.
Remember that Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!
I cut back on the number of blogs I follow every few months.
My reasons for unfollowing a blog can be –
- I no longer find the content interesting.
- No new content published for a long time.
- Unfollowing because a blogger does not reply to comments.
- Too much poor-quality content.
- Publishing too many blog posts in a short space of time.
It’s easy to manage the number of blogs you follow.
Here’s how to do it.
- On the My Home page of your blog, click on the ‘Reader‘ button (next to My Site).
- On the Reader page, 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 ‘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.
Ensure you review which blogs you follow at least once every six months.
6. The Spam Monster
Many bloggers become a victim of the scary spam monster.
They get stressed out by the huge amounts of spam they get and become so overwhelmed with it that they do drastic things, such as closing the door in their readers’ faces by turning off comments on their blog posts.
I’ve also witnessed bloggers turn off comments on all their blog posts and request that readers leave comments on social media or via email. That’s not how blogging is supposed to work.
There are ways of dealing with the spam monster. My blog post, How To Deal With Spam Without Closing Comments On Your Blog Posts, has all the details.
Never allow the spam monster to win.
7. The Block Editor
Although it’s been on WordPress since the end of 2018, the block editor still terrifies some bloggers.
Some stopped blogging even without reading and watching WordPress and other bloggers’ free tutorials on how to use it.
I was soon transformed into a monster when I first tried using the block editor.
I only tried the block editor for five minutes (without reading and watching tutorials) and 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, I pulled up my big boy trousers, read some tutorials and watched videos on how the block editor works.
Click here to watch the latest video on how to use the block editor.
I gave it another try, but I gave it more time.
My blog posts suddenly took on a new look that made them more appealing, impressive and unique. The block editor was changing the way I blogged.
I soon started to save myself lots of time drafting blog posts as the benefits of using the block editor began to pay off.
Now, not only do I consider the switch from using the classic editor to using the block 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.
Set up a draft post on your blog where you can try the block editor.
And if you’re still not convinced, the classic editor is available via the Classic block. Sadly some bloggers refuse to use the Classic block because it means using the block editor. Don’t become one of them.
Let’s wrap it up
- Don’t be afraid of anything in the blogging world.
- Do not engage with trolls. Mark their comments as spam and consider moderating all comments on your blog posts.
- Always add tags to your blog posts and categorise them. However, never use more than 15 tags and categories (combined) on any blog post.
- Engage with other bloggers by leaving thoughtful, helpful comments that show you have read their posts.
- Participate in blogging challenges and ask other bloggers if they’d be interested in writing a guest post on your blog.
- Promote your blog posts on all your social media channels. However, stick to one or two social media platforms and set a strict time limit using them.
- Don’t be frightened of unfollowing blogs you are no longer interested in. Remember that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Don’t become a victim of the spam monster. Check your blogging spam folder often and empty it.
- Watch and read free tutorials on using the block editor before attempting to use it. If you still do not like it, use the classic editor via the Classic block.
Are there any scary things in the blogging world 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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This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated and republished.
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