Do You Crave More People To Engage With On Your Blog? Check These Settings Now.

How easily can all visitors engage with you on your blog?

Is it as easy as you think it is?

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Did you know that you could be preventing some visitors to your blog from leaving you comments?

After receiving an e-mail from Jean, who blogs at DelightfulRepast.com, who had seen one of my posts at the Senior Salon Pitstop weekly linky party hosted by Esme and Julie, I was somewhat concerned when she mentioned that it wasn’t easy for her to engage with me on my blog.

Jean explained that she didn’t want to leave her e-mail address, create a WordPress account or use social media to be able to leave me comments. I understand why she didn’t want to leave any of those details. After all, our information is private and shouldn’t be given out if we don’t want to give it out.

WordPress offers ‘Discussions‘ options where users can decide how easily readers can engage with them without leaving any personal details. I thought I already had this option switched off, so nobody needed to leave any personal details, and I was right, but it didn’t explain why Jean thought she had to leave her personal details if she wanted to comment on my posts.

Upon further checking my discussion settings, I saw where the confusion was coming from and want to highlight it so those who wish to engage with me without personal details can still leave comments knowing they do not need to give any personal information.

Let’s Look At The Discussion Settings On WordPress.

  • Ensure you’re viewing your blog’s dashboard in the Default view. To do this, click on the View button in the top right of the screen when viewing your blog’s dashboard.
  • Go to Settings – Discussion.
Screenshot highlighting the discussion setting on the dashboard of a WordPress blog
Make sure you’re viewing your blog’s dashboard in the Default view.
  • On the Discussions Settings page, look for the Comments box.
Image highlighting the Comments settings on the Discussion Settings page of a WordPress blog.
Look for the comments settings box.

As you will see from the above screenshot, I have turned off both the ‘Comment author must fill out name and e-mail‘ and ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment‘ options. So why wasn’t Jean able to leave me a comment?

It seems that, for whatever reason, in their wisdom, WordPress has decided to still show visitors a login box when these options have been switched off. This is what Jean and visitors who are not logged in see.

Screenshot highlighting the login box when wanting to leave a comment on a WordPress blog.
The log in box tricks visitors into believing they have to leave personal details to be able to leave comments.

And this is what WordPress say –

Comment author must fill out name and e-mail: When this setting is on, anyone leaving a comment will be forced to leave a name and a valid e-mail address. If the setting is off, visitors can leave anonymous comments. While your commenters do not have to fill in the e-mail field if you’ve turned this setting off, it will still be visible to them when they comment.

So I understand why Jean thought I wasn’t making it easy for her to engage with me.

If you only want readers to engage with you who must leave their name and email address, ensure you have this option switched on.

If you only want comments from readers who are logged in and registered, ensure you have the ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment‘ setting switched on.

If you want comments from both, ensure both settings are switched on.

However, if, like me, you’re happy to allow anyone to leave you a comment, then switch both of these settings off.

Don’t forget to click the ‘Save‘ button in the Comments settings box if you make any changes.

Are There Any Disadvantages To Switching These Discussion Settings Off?

The main disadvantage is that it could open the gates for spammers and trolls to leave you comments. However, the Akismet antispam software on WordPress catches and places the majority of spam into your blog’s spam folder, so you’ll never see it unless you check what’s in it.

Further down on the Discussion Settings page, there is more help to filter out spam and troll comments.

  • Look for the ‘Before A Comment Appears‘ box, and you’ll see these two options.
  1. Comment must be manually approved: If this setting is on, all comments will go into moderation, and they will need to be approved by you before appearing on your blog.
  2. Comment author must have a previously approved comment: If this option is on, any visitors that have had a comment approved on your blog in the past will get a free pass through approval and only comments from new visitors will go into moderation.

As you will see from the following screenshot, my blog is set for manually approving all comments before they appear on any of my posts.

Screenshot highlighting the 'Comments moderation' settings on WordPress
Decide which level of protection you want to stop the comments of spammers and trolls from appearing on your blog posts.

This helps me stop unprofessional, rude, nasty comments from appearing on any of my posts, even if they’re from somebody who has previously left a friendly comment.

My thanks to Jean for contacting me about discussion settings on blogs. And apologies for the confusion WordPress causes in insisting a login box shows when visitors do not need to leave any personal details when wanting to engage or leave a comment.

If you see a login box or are asked to leave your name and email address when leaving a comment, try leaving a comment without filling in personal details or logging in. If the blogger you’re engaging with has switched off the ‘Comment author must fill out name and e-mail‘ and ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment.‘ options, your comment will go through.

If either or one of those options is switched on, you’ll need to follow the instructions to be able to leave a comment.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • Check the discussion settings on your blog to see if you’re preventing visitors from leaving comments.
  • Decide whether you want only certain visitors to be able to leave comments or if you’re happy for all visitors to leave comments.
  • The majority of spam comments will go straight to your spam folder. Remember to empty your spam folder regularly.
  • To stop comments from trolls appearing on your blog posts, switch on the ‘Comment must be manually approved‘ setting.
  • Consider whether comments from those who have previously left you a friendly comment do not need to be manually approved by you.

If you have questions about the discussion settings on your WordPress blog, leave them in the comments section.

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How To Add A Subscribe Button To All Your Blog Posts And Gain New Followers.

How easy is it for new visitors to subscribe to or follow your blog, so they are notified of all your new blog posts or see them on their WordPress reader feed?

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Are you missing out on getting new followers and readers?

WordPress has several ways to follow a blog.

The most popular is clicking the ‘follow’ button in the bottom right corner of a blog. However, the button only appears when scrolling ‘up’ on the site, so it can be missed. And if you install any plugins on your blog, it disappears completely (as does the reblog button). It’s not visible on self-hosted blogs.

Another option is for bloggers to place a subscription or link to follow on the widget bar of their blog. I have one on the widget bar of my blog.

However, some themes don’t come with widget bars. Some themes hide the widget bar behind a button, so unless you click the button, you won’t see the contents of a widget bar.

For those themes that offer a visible widget bar (like the theme I use), visibility is only available when viewing the blog on a desktop or laptop computer, not on a tablet or mobile phone (where they’re hidden behind a button).

Given that many people read blogs on a mobile phone or tablet, I realise that I could be losing hundreds of new followers because it’s not clear enough how to subscribe to or follow my blog when viewing it on a mobile phone or tablet.

WordPress.com now has newsletter capabilities.

All you need to do is add a Subscribe block to all your posts. Readers who enter their email addresses will get an email notification when you publish a newsletter. And to make those Subscribe blocks look a bit jazzier, WordPress has added some newsletter-focused patterns to their library.

You’ll also find some subscribe to/follow my blog blocks amongst the newsletter subscribe blocks.

Here’s how to access and create them.

  • In the draft page of a post, click the ‘add a new block button’ (the + sign) located on the top left of the page.
  • Click on Patterns and then on Newsletter.
Image highlighting Patterns - Newsletters on a WordPress blog
Click on Patterns – Newsletter to access the subscribe/follow templates.
  • A list of subscribe/follow templates will open up. Scroll down the list to view all of them.
  • Some of the templates will be personalised with the name and tagline of your blog.
  • All of the templates have settings/options that you can change. For example, I enlarged text on some of them where available.
  • Choose the template you want to use after any changes you’ve made.
  • Add it to all your posts.
  • Now readers will be given an easier option of following your blog when reading your posts.

May I ask for your help?

Help me choose a ‘follow’ template for my blog by voting for the one you prefer. The poll is at the end of the list and will remain open until 23:59 GMT on Monday, 23rd January 2023. Any votes cast after the deadline won’t count.

A

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

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B


Subscribe for more posts like this

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C

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D

E

F

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!

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Voting has now closed. Thank you to everyone that voted.

  • When choosing your template, remember to make it a reusable block so that you don’t need to look for it every time you create a new post. Click here to find out how to create a reusable block.
  • Remember to add your new subscribe/follow template to all your posts.

Once I know the poll results, I’ll add my new follow template to all the posts I’ve published in 2023 and to all new posts.

How easy was that?

If you have questions about adding a subscribe/follow block to your blog, leave them in the comments section.

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9 Popular Blogging Tips To Kickstart Your Blog For The New Year

These 9 popular and easy blogging tips will help bring you and your blog success. Are you missing out on any of them?

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Are you missing out on any if these popular blogging tips?

1. Add Excerpts To Your Blog Posts.

Excerpts are a great way to entice readers to click the ‘read more’ link to your post.

Did you know that WordPress offers bloggers a way to add excerpts to posts?

If you don’t add excerpts to your posts, WordPress takes the first 55 words of the post and uses them as the excerpt. This can often cause confusion to readers, especially when sentences are cut off midway.

If the opening sentence of your post does not entice readers, you could be missing out on many more new visitors reading your posts and engaging with you.

I added the following excerpt to this post.

Are you new to blogging or thinking of starting a blog? Are you already a blogger who wants more readers, followers and success for your blog?

These 9 tips will guarantee you success.

Adding experts to your posts is easy and an excellent way to promote and entice readers to want to read them. Here’s how to add an excerpt.

  • On the draft page of a post, scroll down to the except box in the setting section of the post.
Image highlighting where to add an excerpt to a blog post on WordPress
Add an excerpt to your blog post before publishing it.
  • After adding the excerpt, publish or schedule your post.
  • The excerpt will be displayed on WordPress notification emails.

Tip: When drafting excerpts, ask yourself what excerpt would make you want to read the post.

2. Change This Setting And Watch Your Blog Stats Boom.

  • Ensure you view your blog’s dashboard in Default View (not Classic). To do this, click the View button in the top right corner of your blog’s dashboard.
  • Go to Settings – Writing on your blog’s dashboard and look for the Feed Settings box.
  • Turn on the Limit Feed To Excerpt button. Users will then need to visit your site to view the full content of every post.
  • Click the Save Settings button.
Image highlighting the Limit Feed to excerpt only' button on WordPress
Ensure you slide the Limit Feed to excerpt only’ button to the ‘on’ position

3. Engage With Your Audience And On The Posts Of Other Bloggers.

I recently came across a blogger who complained that everyone ignored her. She claimed that nobody left comments on her posts. However, I’d left comments along with other bloggers. The problem was that she only replied to comments with a ‘thanks.’ No wonder other bloggers and I got fed up with leaving comments.

Engagement is a two-way thing.

If you don’t engage with more than a ‘thank you’ to every comment, then visitors will soon get fed up with trying to engage with you.

Make your comments and replies to comments count. Instead of telling a blogger their post was great or that you loved it, expand on why you thought it was great. Most bloggers want to engage, especially when leaving comments that offer feedback and discussion.

By fully engaging with your readers, you’re likely to get them and more visitors wanting to engage with you. They’ll likely follow your blog if they want to engage and see that you engage with others who leave comments.

However, don’t leave dead-end comments where the only response can be a ‘thank you.’ If you’ve nothing of value to add, click the ‘like’ button and move on. Never feel guilty for not leaving dead-end, pointless comments.

The more you engage with your audience and other bloggers, the more you’ll reap the rewards of your blog becoming successful and a place other bloggers will want to visit and engage.

If English is not your first language, then don’t be afraid to leave a comment in your native dialogue. Free online translation tools, such as one from Systran.Com, are available, so bloggers can translate your comment. My thanks to Renard Moreau for recommending Systran.Com.

4. Reduce The Size Of Your Images Before Publishing Posts.

If a blog post takes too long to download, most visitors will likely get fed up and move on.

One of the biggest causes of a blog post taking too long to download is that the images and photos within the post are too big. They also take up lots of space in the media library.

Before placing an image or photo in a post, reduce its size.

The majority of the photos and images in my posts are no more than 900 x 675 pixels. I’ve found that the quality of images and pictures this size are still excellent, plus they take up much less space in my media library.

Many apps and software allow you to reduce the size of images and photos, but many are not free to use. So be careful when choosing.

To reduce the size of images and photos on an iMac, open the image, click on Tools and then on Adjust Size (both found in the toolbar).

Click here to find out how to reduce the size of images and photos in Windows 10 and 11.

How do you reduce the size of images and photos on your blog? Tell us in the comments section.

5. Categorise Your Blog Posts.

Categorising your blog posts is essential when helping visitors find information.

Never categorise any of your blog posts as Uncategorised. It’s not helpful and only makes the blog’s owner look lazy and not care about their followers or visitors.

However, don’t use too many categories. A long list of categories can confuse readers. Cut categories down by adding sub-categories. Click here to find out more about categories and tags.

Important information: You may have already heard the cardinal tagging rule on WordPress.com, but it’s worth repeating: you should never add more than 15 tags and categories (combined) to your post; otherwise, it won’t show up in the WordPress Reader. This cap is used to keep out spam blogs — you need to ensure that your tags are only those most relevant to your post.

6. Blog Post Titles

I’m always shocked by the many boring and dull titles I see bloggers using for their blog posts. They don’t give me any incentive to want to read the post. Other than those who read every blog post some of these bloggers publish, nobody will be enticed to read posts that don’t draw you to click the ‘read more’ button.

Given that the first thing the majority of readers see is your blog post titles, make the titles count. If the titles of your posts are bland, dull, and uninviting, they won’t entice readers to want to read the post. You could be losing out not only on lots of new followers but lots of engagement.

When thinking of a title for your blog post, ask yourself what would make you want to click the ‘read more‘ button.

If you struggle with thinking of good titles for your blog posts, use a Headline analyzer such as Coschedule.com. It’s free to use and challenges you to come up with the best titles for your blog posts.

The title of this blog post scored 92 out of 100. That’s the highest score I’ve achieved when creating a blog post title.

Important Tip: Never duplicate your blog post titles or use the same titles as other bloggers. Why? Because SEO, such as Google and Bing, rank blogs lower that contain duplicated blog post titles.

7. Ensure Links In Your Posts Do Not Close Your Blog Down.

Do you find it frustrating when you click on a link in a blog post and a new window opens on the same page you are reading? When this happens, most readers won’t return to the page they were reading, thus losing the possibility of leaving a comment.

When creating pingbacks or links in posts, ensure you turn on the ‘open in a new tab’ button by sliding it to the on position.

Image highlighting the 'Open in new tab' button on WordPress
Ensure your readers don’t lose the page they’re reading when clicking on links.

Visitors won’t lose the page they’re reading when you switch on this button when creating pingbacks and links.

Not sure how to create a pingback? Click here for details.

8. Don’t Become A Blogging Spammer.

What do I mean by a blogging spammer? Somebody who leaves uninvited links to their blogs, blog posts or products in the comments section. This also includes bloggers who leave a link to their blog in all their comments.

Fortunately, the antispam system on WordPress sends the majority of these types of comments to my spam folder.

Only leave links in comments when invited to do so by the blogger you’re leaving a comment for. If you need more clarification, ask first before including any links.

I get comments every day that include uninvited links. Most go straight to my spam folder, and I mark as spam the ones that don’t. You’ll never find comments that include uninvited links in the comments section of any of my blog posts.

9. Slow Down

I’ve witnessed many bloggers become overwhelmed with blogging because they try to do too much in the time they have available to blog. It often results in what is known as Blogging Burnout.

Blog at a leisurely pace. You don’t need to participate in all those blogging challenges. You don’t need to read and leave comments on all the posts of the blogs you follow. You don’t need to follow the blog of every blogger who follows you. Only read and comment and follow the blogs that interest you.

Never feel obliged to read, comment and follow because they read and comment on your blog posts.

Slow down. Enjoy blogging. Never allow it to overwhelm you or make you feel guilty or stressed.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • Rather than allow WordPress to choose what words to introduce your posts, use your own excerpts.
  • If you want people to visit your blog, don’t display your whole posts in the WordPress email notifications. To get more visitors to your blog, switch on the ‘Limit feed to excerpt only’ button. Users will then need to visit your site to view the full content of every post.
  • Engage with your audience when replying to comments and when leaving comments on other blogs. Avoid leaving short, pointless comments that add no value. Always say more than a ‘thank you’ when replying to comments.
  • Reduce the size of images and photos before placing them on blog posts; otherwise, your blog may download slowly and force visitors away.
  • Categorise all your blog posts. Never categorise them as ‘Uncategorised,’
  • Make all your blog post titles count by giving them titles that will entice readers to want to read the whole post. Consider using a Headline analyser for them.
  • When adding pingbacks and links to your blog, always switch on the ‘open in new tab’ button so that readers do not lose the page they are reading when clicking on links.
  • Don’t become a blog spammer by leaving uninvited links in the comments section of other blogs.
  • Take blogging slowly. Don’t try doing too much in a short space of time. You’ll only end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed or guilty if you try to fit everything in when you don’t have the time.
  • Keep blogging a fun and enjoyable experience. If it becomes a chore, step back and take a good look at how you are blogging. Make changes. Only consider quitting blogging if you lose interest.

Are You New To Blogging Or Thinking Of Starting A Blog?

Click here to read an excellent blog post by James Lane that is full of essential information for new bloggers and acts as a gentle reminder for those who already blog.

What’s the best blogging tip you have? Do you have any questions about the 9 tips in this post? Leave them in the comments section.

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7 Things You Can Do To Help Your Blogging During December

This is my ninth December in the blogging world, and it’s turning out to be as similar as others.

I see a familiar path. As the days in December tick by, the blogging world gets quieter and quieter.

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Don’t allow blogging to lose its sparkle in December.

I’ve already witnessed bloggers signing off their blogs for Christmas, wishing their readers a Merry Christmas and saying they’ll be back early in the New Year. Others have announced the dates when they’ll take a blogging break.

Just because the world of blogging gets quiet doesn’t mean you don’t have to stop blogging, but I’ve always found that this time of the year is perfect for doing blogging jobs many of us were meant to do during the year but never quite got around to doing.

1. Fix broken links.

I use the free version of Brokenlink.Com to check and fix broken links on my blog.

It can be daunting if you’ve never checked for and fixed broken links on your blog but don’t be put off doing it.

Fixing broken links helps the SEO score of your blog and also helps to reduce spam. Did you know that spammers are attracted to blogs with many broken links?

Your readers will also be happier because they’re not taken to pages, posts and links that no longer exist.

Top tip for checking broken links: Don’t try and tackle the list in one go. Do a few every day. Before you know it, you’ll have smashed it.

Click here to start checking for broken links on your blog now.

2. Update the About me page.

Every blogger should have an ‘about me’ page on their blog. Why? Because not only do most readers like to know a little about the person behind the blog before following, but it’s also one of the most visited parts of any blog.

When did you last update the About me page on your blog?

Not sure what to put on the About me page? Click here for recommendations.

3. Do some blog housekeeping.

From sorting out the tags and categories on your blog to updating the menubar, housekeeping your blog is vital if you want to keep your blog fit and healthy.

This time of the year is perfect for performing blog housekeeping. My blog post, 4 Tips For Housekeeping Your Blog And Improving Its SEO Rating, gives details of some housekeeping jobs you can perform.

Blogs, where no or little housekeeping gets performed, lose more followers and readers than well-maintained blogs.

Get your blog ready for the New Year by performing some housekeeping on it during December.

4. Explore the Block editor.

Are you still terrified of the Block editor? As the number of bloggers using the Block editor continues to climb, now is the perfect time to explore the Block editor and join all those already using it.

WordPress has excellent tutorials on how the Block editor works and how to use it. Click here for more details.

If you’re still using the Classic editor, WordPress recently announced that they’ll continue supporting it until either the end of 2024 or when necessary. However, don’t forget that you can still use the Classic editor via the ‘Classic Block.’

5. Unsubscribe from blogs.

Following too many blogs is not good for your mental health. It can cause some bloggers stress and guilt from being overwhelmed with too many posts to read.

There are many good reasons for unsubscribing from blogs. Here are just a few.

  • No longer interested in the content being published? Unfollow that blog.
  • No new published content for many months? Unfollow that blog.
  • Not read any of their posts for the last year (also known as ghost-blogging)? Unfollow that blog.

Check what blogs you are following by clicking on the ‘Reader’ button at the top of your blog. Click on ‘Manage‘ (next to ‘Following‘). You’ll be presented with a list of blogs you are following. Go through them and unfollow the blogs you’re no longer interested in.

Image highlighting the Manage button on the Following list of blogs followed on WordPress
Click the ‘Manage’ button to see a complete list of the blogs you’re following.

6. Choose a new theme for your blog.

If the WordPress theme you are using has been retired, you are likely (or soon will be) having problems with your blog.

Once WordPress retires a theme, they remove support for it. Don’t waste your time trying to find workarounds. Choose a new theme.

To choose a new theme, go to your blog’s dashboard and click on Appearance – Themes. You’ll be presented with lots of current themes to choose from. However, my advice is not to spend too long choosing one. As soon as you find one you like, go with it.

The current theme I use for my blog is Toujours.

7. Delete old blog posts.

Did you know that keeping old, out-of-date posts can damage the health of your blog? These out-of-date posts are often the source of many broken links.

Not convinced? My post, ‘Are Your Old Blog Posts Damaging Your Blog? How To Stop It From Happening,’ gives full details.

All the above tips can be performed at any time of the year. But make the most of the quietness the month of December usually brings to the blogging world. Keep blogging from losing its sparkle in December.

Am I planning a blogging break?

Yes. I’ll take a blogging break from December 23rd – January 3rd.

I won’t be publishing any new blog posts during this time apart from my monthly round-up post on December 31st. I won’t be reading and commenting on blog posts during this time. However, I will be responding to comments left on my blog posts.

What will you be doing with your blog during December?

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

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Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Are You Terrified Of Any Of These 7 Scary Things In The Blogging World?

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 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.

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Are you scared of anything in the blogging world?

1. Trolls

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).
Image highlighting where to find Discussion on the dashboard of a WordPress blog
Click on Discussion
  • 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.
Image highlighting the Manually Approved button and Save settings button WordPress
Turn on ‘Comment must be manually approved.’
  • 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

Many bloggers are terrified when using tags and categories on their blog posts. Some are so terrified of them that they don’t use them.

They 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.

Image showing the most popular tags and categories on Hugh's Views And News
What are your most popular tags and categories?

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?

Uncategorised.’

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 StillsWritePhoto, 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 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.

Image highlighting Twitter has bringing in the most traffic to my blog
Twitter brings in the most 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. 

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).
Image highlighting the Reader button on a WordPress blog
Click the Reader button.
  • On the Reader page, click on the “Manage‘ button on the screen.
Image highlighting the Manage button on a WordPress blog
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 ‘site name.’ 
Image highlighting how to manage blogs on WordPress
Sorting out the blogs you follow
  • 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 the classic editor to 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.

Image showing where to find the Classic block on WordPress
Where to find the Classic block

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 like to write 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.

Layout, content, settings, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.

This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated and republished.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

These Secret Gallery Blocks On WordPress Are Easy To Find. How To Use Them.

There are many gallery blocks on WordPress, but did you know WordPress has added some secret gallery blocks and that you can add captions to them?

Banner for the blog post 'These Secret Gallery Blocks On WordPress Are Easy To Find. How To Use Them'
Have you found these secret Block galleries on WordPress?
Here’s how to find and use them.
  • On a draft post, click on the add a new block button (the ‘+‘ symbol) and click on ‘Patterns.’
Image highlighting the Patterns option on WordPress
Click the ‘Patterns’ option.
  • Either click on the Featured box and select Gallery or click on the Explore box. In this post, I’m using the Explore box.
Image highlighting the Featured and Explore box on WordPress
Use the Featured or Explore box to find the secret galleries
  • Select Gallery from the new list that appears.
Image highlighting the Gallery option in Patterns on WordPress
Select Gallery.
  • Select one of the galleries. In this post, I’m selecting the Large image and grid gallery.
Image highlighting the large image and grid gallery in Patterns on WordPress
Select the gallery you want to use.
  • The gallery and images are inserted into your post. Note – the images already on this block are not downloaded into your media library.
  • To change the images to your own, click on an image and select the Replace button from the image toolbar that appears.
Image highlighting the Replace button on the large image and grid gallery in Patterns on WordPress
Click the Replace button.
  • Click on the Select Image button and the button where your image is located. In this post, I’m selecting images from my Media Library.
Image highlighting the Select Image button in Patterns on WordPress
Click on Select and then on the button where your image is located
  • Select an image from your media library. Don’t forget to align the image to centre the caption. Click here to find out how to align photos and images.
Image highlighting the align button in Patterns on WordPress
Don’t forget to align your image and caption
  • Do the same for the other images in the block.
  • Captions will display provided you have added them to the photos and images in your media library.
  • Your gallery is now complete. Here’s mine.
Photo of the Welsh Valleys showing mountains, fields and clouds in the sky
The Welsh Valleys

When readers click on any photos in the gallery, any watermark or copyright information you have added will be displayed on each photo in the slideshow. Go ahead and click on one of the images in my gallery to see the watermark.

There are options available to change the background and text colours in the gallery I have used in this post. Click on the block and then on ‘Block‘ (in the top right corner of the draft page) to change them.

Other galleries available in this gallery block are –

  • Gallery
  • Organic gallery with intro text
  • Gallery with description and a button
  • Three images side-by-side gallery
  • Two images side-by-side gallery

Give them a try, and let me know how you get on by leaving me a comment.

Click here to find out why you should always watermark your photos and image.

If you have questions about these secret galleries and how to use them, leave them in the comments section.

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Access The Blocks You Use The Most On The WordPress Block Editor

Do you struggle to find the blocks you use the most on the Block editor? With over 160 (and rising) blocks, it can be a daunting task.

Do you want an easy way to see the blocks you use the most, so you don’t have to find them?

Of course, you can use the search bar, but there is an easy way to show the blocks you use the most on WordPress.

Banner for the blog post 'How To Access The Blocks You Use The Most On The WordPress Block Editor'
Always have easy access to the blocks you use the most

Here’s how to do it.

  • On the draft page of a blog post, click on the kebab menu (located in the top right-hand corner), and on the new menu that opens, click on Preferences.
Image showing the kebab menu and 'Preferences on the Block editor on WordPress
Click on the kebab menu and then on Preferences
  • In the new window that opens, click on Blocks.
Image highlighting the Blocks button on the Preferences menu
Click on Blocks
  • Slide the ‘Show most used blocks’ button to the on position.
Image highlighting the 'Show most used blocks' button
Slide the ‘Show most used blocks’ button
  • When you click on the add a new block button (‘+’), the blocks you use the most will now be displayed at the top of the blocks library list.
Image highlighting the most used blocks on Hugh's Views And News
Most Used Blocks On the blog Hugh’s Views And News
  • Job completed.

My thanks to Jen, who blogs at WPcomMaven, for passing this information on to me.

Layout, content, settings, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

If you have questions about how to easily access the blocks you use the most on WordPress, leave them in the comments section.

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

This Is How Easy It Is To Centre Captions Underneath Images And Photos On WordPress

Once upon a time, getting captions to centre underneath photos and images on blog posts involved adding complicated CSS code to your blog.

I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t look right to me whenever I see uncentred captions. It gives blog posts a messy look.

However, WordPress now makes it much easier to centre captions under blog posts, images and photos.

Banner for the blog post 'This Is How Easy It Is To Centre Captions Underneath Images And Photos On WordPress'
Are your captions centred?

Here’s my simple guide to centring captions.

  • Add an image or photo to a blog post.
  • Click on the image to open the image toolbar.
Image of a photo on a WordPress blog highlighting the image toolbar
How to centre a caption

You’ll see that the caption is aligned to the left under the above photo. Arghhhhh!

  • On the toolbar, click on the ‘Align‘ button and on the dropdown menu that appears, click on ‘Align Centre.’
Image highlighting the Align Centre button on WordPress
Click on the Align Centre button.
  • The image or photo will now be centred on your blog post, as will the caption.
Image showing a centred caption under an image on a WordPress blog.
The caption is now centred underneath the photo.

How easy was that? No more ‘Arghhhhhs.’

The example I have given above works on the Block editor.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Of course, if you prefer captions on your blog posts to be aligned to the left or right, you can ignore everything I’ve said in this post.

If you have any questions about centring captions, leave them in the comments section.

Looking for more blogging tips? Click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ and ‘Block Editor – How To’ buttons on the menubar of my blog.

Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

4 Tips For Housekeeping Your Blog And Improving Its SEO Rating

Performing housekeeping on your blog has many benefits. After all, who doesn’t want their blog to look like a friendly, easy-to-use and inviting place old and new visitors will want to keep coming back to?

If you’re a blogger looking to expand their readership, performing housekeeping on your blog is something you should seriously consider.

But what blog housekeeping jobs should you consider doing?

Banner for the blog post '4 Tips For Housekeeping Your Blog And Improving Its SEO Rating
This is why blog housekeeping is essential.

During a 4-day heatwave last month, I couldn’t venture outside, so I took the opportunity to do some blog housekeeping. Here’s what I did.

1. Delete old, out-of-date blog posts.

I always feel that old, out-of-date blog posts that can not be updated or rewritten do nothing but drag down my blog.

They hang around like some uninvited members of the family you hardly ever see or have contact with. You know they are there but feel afraid to ask them to leave.

I had over 400 blog posts on my blog, some of which were doing nothing apart from attracting spam comments. They were dead ducks. They were not attracting any new views, visitors or comments.

I ended up deleting over 80 posts. Not only did I feel good getting rid of what I considered clutter, but I was also able to cut the number of spam comments by deleting those old posts.

After deleting them, I felt a lot better about my blog. I felt much more positive knowing I had removed all the deadwood.

Some bloggers claim that deleting old posts is not a good idea because they can look back and see how much they have improved since those early posts. But when you’re somebody who never goes back to read old posts, mainly because you don’t have the time to do so, deleting these old blog posts is like cutting away the string tied to the brick holding your blog down.

2. Fixing broken links.

A downside of deleting old blog posts is that any pingback and links you have to them will become broken.

I used Broken Link Check to run a report showing me broken links on my blog. It’s free to use.

Since SEOs like Google rank blogs lower that have broken links, cleaning up and fixing broken links is a job every blogger should consider.

That first broken link report could be long and overwhelming, but once you start running a broken link report every month, you’ll soon conquer that job.

Fixing broken links was the best bit of blog housekeeping I did because it improves your blog’s overall ranking, meaning more traffic and visitors to your blog.

3. Categories and tags

When I checked how many categories and tags I had on my blog, I was shocked by the number.

What amazed me was that many categories and tags were no longer active. Like some of my old blog posts, they were deadwood.

Checking which categories and tags are no longer active is easy.

Follow this guide.

  • On your blog’s dashboard, click on Posts and then Categories. (Click on Tags to manage Tags).
Image highlighting where to manage categories and tags on your WordPress blog
How to manage categories and tags on your WordPress blog

A list of all your categories will show how many posts you have under each category.

  • To delete a category, click on the meatball menu next to the number and click on ‘delete.’
Image showing how to delete categories on a WordPress blog
How to delete categories on your WordPress blog

Follow the same process for managing the Tags on your blog.

4. Menu Bar

I also took the opportunity to tidy up the menubar on my blog. Although it was not what I considered ‘top heavy’, I moved some items to sub-categories.

Here’s an example. I moved some fictional stuff to sub-categories under ‘Fiction.’ When you now hover over ‘Fiction‘ on the menu, you’ll see the sub-categories pop up.

Blogs with top-heavy menus can look overwhelming and messy to visitors.

Click here for more help with menus on your blog.

Once you start housekeeping your blog, it will make you feel much more positive about your blog.

Try and get into the habit of housekeeping your blog at least once every six months, although I’d recommend running a broken links report at least once a month.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Performing housekeeping on your blog is something every blogger should perform at least once every six months.
  • A well-kept blog is a blog that old and new visitors will want to keep coming back to.
  • Fixing broken links on your blog will improve your blog’s SEO rating.
  • Run a broken link report for your blog once a month. Fix any broken links.
  • Delete categories and tags that are no longer being used on your blog. Too many categories and tags can confuse readers.
  • Delete old out-of-date blog posts, especially if all they are doing is attracting lots of spam.
  • Try and keep the menu of your blog to a minimum. Top-heavy menus can look messy and overwhelming.

How often do you perform blog housekeeping? What do those jobs involve? Do you have any simple tips for housekeeping your blog? Share them in the comments.

Remember that a well-kept blog is a positive and friendly place for your visitors and readers.

Follow Hugh on social media. Click on the links below.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

79 Ways To Kill Your Blog

Have you ever killed your blog?

Did you know that a blog can be killed other than by just deleting it?

While not all of the items on the following list will kill your blog instantly, some are what some call slow burners, where the killing of your blog will take much longer.

Banner for the blog post '79 Ways To Kill Your Blog'
Are you thinking of killing your blog?

Are you responsible for doing any of these to your blog?

  1. Don’t have an ‘about me’ page on your blog.
  2. The ‘about me’ page takes visitors more than a minute to find.
  3. The ‘about me’ page starts with these words – ‘this is an example of an about me page…’
  4. The number of followers is more important to you than what you write and publish.
  5. Publishing too many poor-quality posts due to rushing them.
  6. Believe you have to publish content several times daily; otherwise, nobody will visit your blog.
  7. Have links on your blog that you have no idea are broken or can not be bothered to fix.
  8. You do not respond to comments.
  9. You do not respond to questions or queries.
  10. Don’t allow anyone to leave comments on your blog.
  11. Ignore your readers.
  12. Do not treat visitors to your blog as guests.
  13. Don’t give yourself a name by which you can be addressed in the comments section.
  14. Do not read other blogs.
  15. Do not leave comments on other blogs.
  16. Believe that blogging is going to make you rich.
  17. Believe your blog will make money within the first year.
  18. Leave links with no relevance (usually to your own posts) on the posts of other bloggers when not invited to do so.
  19. Don’t believe you need to promote your blog.
  20. Refuse to use social media to boost your blog posts.
  21. Refuse to keep up to date with blogging technology and changes.
  22. Think readers will find you rather than you find your readers.
  23. Do not use enough ‘white space’ between the paragraphs in your blog posts.
  24. The paragraphs on your posts are too long and blocky (more than 5 sentences long).
  25. Have no way readers can contact you on your blog other than by leaving a comment. (No ‘contact me’ page).
  26. Do not thank people for sharing your posts on their blogs.
  27. Do not use images and/or photos in any posts.
  28. Use images, photos and words (including lyrics) on your blog which are copyrighted and not free to use.
  29. Do not ask permission to use photos and/or images owned by other bloggers before using them.
  30. Ignore all copyright advice.
  31. Respond to constructive, negative comments in an unprofessional and unfriendly manner.
  32. Allow other bloggers to spam your blog with links that have nothing to do with the post’s content.
  33. Keep begging other bloggers to reblog your posts, visit, or follow your blog.
  34. Leave worthless comments on other blogs.
  35. Leave worthless comments on other blogs which clearly show you’ve not read the post.
  36. Do not take time to edit posts before publishing them.
  37. Do not preview your posts before publishing them.
  38. Inundate followers with too many posts in a short space of time instead of scheduling them out.
  39. Respond to comments left by trolls in the comments section of your blog, where all can read them.
  40. Allow trolls to leave comments on your blog.
  41. Allow trolls to attack other bloggers who have left comments.
  42. Personally attack other bloggers in the comments section on your own or different blogs.
  43. Steal the ideas of other bloggers and publish them on your blog as if the content is original and has been written by you.
  44. Fail to maintain and house-keep your blog regularly.
  45. Keep reblogging or rescheduling your own posts which are less than a few months old.
  46. Do not have a ‘landing’ page that will keep visitors returning.
  47. Ignore advice and feedback from other bloggers.
  48. Believe that blogging will only take up a few minutes of your time every week.
  49. Wake up and dread opening up your blog because of all the comments you will need to reply to.
  50. Keep telling your readers that you are giving blogging up, and keep coming back.
  51. Allow blogging to stress you out.
  52. Allow blogging to make you feel guilty.
  53. Your blog and/or blog posts are poorly laid out.
  54. Choose a font and background combination that makes it hard for visitors to read your posts.
  55. Fail to categorise all your blog posts (including reblogs).
  56. Fail to add ‘tags’ to your blog posts.
  57. Don’t understand ‘pingbacks’ and how to use them.
  58. Have no ‘search’ bar on your blog.
  59. Have a menu that is too top-heavy, making it overwhelming to readers.
  60. Fail to add your blog details to your gravatar.
  61. Fail to connect your social media accounts to your blog.
  62. Have pop-up boxes on your blog that can not be removed unless somebody subscribes to your mailing list.
  63. Have pop-up boxes on your blog which keeps popping up every time someone visits or until they have subscribed to your mailing list.
  64. Keep suffering from blog envy when you read a post you’d wish you’d written.
  65. Regularly publish posts that tell your readers to buy your book(s) or other products and services you offer rather than allow them to decide if they want to buy them.
  66. You believe that blogging is all about the number of blog posts you can publish daily rather than what you are writing about.
  67. You think you have the power to read and comment on every new blog post on all the blogs you follow.
  68. Fail to update your readers that you are about to take a blogging break and how long it will last.
  69. Lose motivation and a desire to continue blogging when your blog stats take a nosedive.
  70. Believe that everyone will enjoy reading every post you write and publish.
  71. Believe that all your followers will read and comment on all your posts.
  72. Get upset when your blog loses followers.
  73. Argue with bloggers and readers for failing to read and comment on all your blog posts.
  74. Follow other blogs in the hope that they will follow back before unfollowing them again.
  75. Believe all your readers will agree with everything you say in your blog posts.
  76. Think nobody will dare to disagree with what you have to say by leaving a constructive comment telling you why they disagree.
  77. Criticise other bloggers behind their backs (in the comments section of your own blog or on other blogs) for wanting to help other bloggers.
  78. Maintain too many blogs, thus spreading yourself too thinly.
  79. Fail to take some time away from blogging (knowing that you need to) because you believe the blogging world can not survive without you.

What about you? What would you add to the list? How would you kill your blog other than by deleting it?

This is an updated version of a post I wrote and published in 2017.

You can find the answers to solving many of the above issues by clicking on ‘blogging tips’ in the menu at the top of my blog, but feel free to leave any questions in the comments section. I’m always happy to help.

Whatever you do, keep Blogging Fun!

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Help Prevent Somebody From Stealing Your Blog Posts And Photos

Have you ever had any of your blog posts stolen? What I mean by that is literally copied word for word to another blog.

It’s happened to me a few times, and it’s also happened recently to James, who blogs at Perfect Manifesto. Read his post here.

Reading James’s post prompted me to update and republish this post from 2019.

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Are you protecting your blog posts and photos from being stolen and used without your permission?

Some of my blog posts have been copied and published on other blogs. The thieves gave full credit for the work to themselves. When it first happened to me, I was utterly shocked and angry.

Unfortunately, with the internet being such a vast, open space used by billions of people worldwide, the chance of having your blog posts or work stolen is high.

Don’t think your blog is too small to have its contents stolen. As you’ll see in the comment image below, James felt his blog was too small for anyone to want to steal his blog posts, but he was wrong.

Screenshot showing comments about stolen blog posts
Never assume that nobody will steal your blog posts, images or photos

Whether it’s photos, fiction, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.

What should you do if you discover one of your blog posts or photos have been stolen?

Contact the blogger concerned and ask them to remove what they have stolen.

If that fails, contact the blogging platform hosting the blog and file a copyright claim against the blogger. Whenever I have filed a claim. I’ve been lucky that the offending blogs and their contents were deleted.

Click here to find out what to do if a WordPress.Com user has infringed your Copyright.

What Can I Do To Protect My Blog Posts And Photos Being Stolen?

What I am about to advise you to do may not stop somebody else from copying your work, but it acts as a warning to anyone thinking of copying or duplicating your work without your permission that they could face the possibility of prosecution, a fine, both, or having their blog deleted by their host.

1. Display a copyright and disclaimer notice

I recommend that anybody with their own blog or web page clearly display a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice.

Some websites offer ‘Copyright and Disclaimer’ notices free of charge and give instructions on how to copy and paste one of these notices to your blog or webpage.

WordPress offers excellent advice and instructions on displaying a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice. Click here to view it.

Click here to use the free copyright notice I use on my blog. Instructions on copying and pasting the warning onto your blog are included.

2. Widgets and menus

If you use a theme on your blog which displays widgets, I recommend you display your Copyright and/or disclaimer notice as one of your widgets. I use the Toujours theme on my blog, and the widgets I use are displayed on the sidebar to the right of my blog posts.

My ‘Copyright’ notice is the last widget at the bottom of my sidebar, while my disclaimer notice (Disclaimer & GDPR) can be found on the menu at the top of my blog. Take a look at them.

You are welcome to use them as your blog’s copyright and disclaimer notices. All you need to do is copy and paste them to your own blog and, where necessary, change some of the wording to reflect your own name and the name of your blog.

If you’re unsure what ‘widgets’ are or how to add them to your WordPress blog, click here for full details.

3. Copyright every blog post

I always add a copyright mark at the end of all my blog posts. All my posts finish with Copyright © (Year) hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved. Doing this also helps as a deterrent against copying my posts. Remember to change the year when a new year begins.

You’ll see I’ve placed a copyright notice at the base of this post.

When a bot or spambot copies one of your posts, it won’t remove the copyright mark. Therefore, anyone reading the post may become suspicious and realise the post has been stolen. It also acts as a warning not to follow the blog that has stolen the post.

4. Protect your photos and images

Many bloggers also include photos and pictures in their posts.

While you may display a Copyright and/or disclaimer notice on your blog, I recommend you also watermark your photos and images.

Most computers come with software that helps edit photos you have loaded onto your hard drive, but there are other ways to watermark them.

I use an app called ‘Photobulk’ to watermark all my photos. It’s easy to use and costs around $9.99, but it can often be found on offer or free to download from the developer’s website. Click here to visit the website. (The link is not an affiliated link, so I do not receive any payment from it.)

I simply drag any photos I want to watermark to Photobulk, type in the text for the watermark I use (in my case, I use © hughsviewsandnews.com), and press ‘start.’ My photos are then watermarked with my details.

There are free watermarking apps for Apple products, too many to mention here, so check the Apple App Store for more details.

What about Android users?

Click here for a free photo watermarking app for android. As an Apple user, I’ve never used the app, but the reviews for this particular app are excellent.

Don’t forget you can also add copyright notices as a photo caption. Your copyright details will then show under the photo, but it is best to watermark the photos, making stealing them more difficult.

5. Remove the reblog button from your blog

If you don’t want your blog posts stolen or shared by other bloggers, consider removing the reblog button from your blog. My post, Is Reblogging Dead? Why I Have Removed The Reblog Button From My Blog, details why you should remove the reblog button and how to remove it.

If you have a reblog button on your blog, readers will assume you’re happy for them to reblog your posts. So, remove the reblog button if you don’t want any of your posts reblogged.

6. Remember to update

Finally, always ensure you download the latest updates for any apps or software you use; otherwise, they may not work correctly. This includes antivirus software for your computer and the latest updates for the blogging platform you use.

Of course, if you’re not worried about your blog posts, work, photos or images being copied or used without your permission, you can ignore all the above advice. However, I’d be surprised if any bloggers are not concerned about their posts, work and photos being stolen.

Remember what I said earlier? James thought his blog was a low target for thieves to steal his blog posts, but it happened.

If you have any questions about displaying copyright and/or disclaimer notices on your blog, please leave a comment.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Don’t assume your blog is too small to have anything stolen from it. It can happen to anyone.
  • Display a copyright and disclaimer notice on your blog.
  • Copyright every blog post by adding a copyright mark at the end of every post.
  • Watermark photos and images with the name of your blog before inserting them into posts.
  • If you don’t want other bloggers reblogging your posts, remove the reblog button from your blog.
  • Remember to update apps, antivirus software and any updates your blogging host releases.

Have you ever had your blog posts and/or photos/images copied and used without your permission? What do you do to help stop your blog posts, photos and images from being used illegally?

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Is Reblogging Dead? Why I Have Removed The Reblog Button From My Blog

How often do you click on the reblog sharing button?

Are you somebody who reblogs every day or, like me, no longer uses the reblog button?

Banner for the blog post 'Is Reblogging Dead? Why I Have Removed The Reblog Button From My Blog
Are you still reblogging?

When I first started blogging in 2014, I was amazed by how many bloggers used the reblog button. Fast forward to today, and I see little use for it.

It’s one of the reasons why I removed the reblog button from my blog. Not only have I seen a sharp decline in the reblogging of my posts, but I’ve seen the same in the reblogging of the posts of other bloggers.

Looking Back

I remember the first time one of my blog posts got reblogged. It was one of the highlights of my blogging journey. Funnily, it marked the beginning of my believing I’d become a successful blogger.

For years, my blog posts got reblogged almost weekly. It helped put me and my blog in front of new readers and did wonders for the number of followers my blog gained.

When Followers Are Not Followers

Of course, not all followers are followers.

I soon learned that people followed my blog but never returned to it.

I knew that some unfollowed my blog as soon as I followed them back.

I couldn’t figure out why anyone would unfollow my blog as soon as I followed them, but a couple of years into my blogging journey, I discovered that some bloggers are more interested in numbers than content. They don’t hang around in the blogging world for long.

What’s The Most Significant Risk In Reblogging?

When I first heard of bloggers receiving fines for reblogging material that included copyrighted material, my love of reblogging began to dwindle. Seriously? Are bloggers fined for reblogging? Yes, it’s true, and that may be one of many reasons why many bloggers no longer use the reblog button.

When author and blogger Deborah Jay wrote a guest post for me, she shared her story of how a simple reblog ended up with her being threatened with legal action and a fine. Click here to read the post.

But it’s not only Deborah who has faced legal action and a fine for reblogging another blogger’s blog post. Several bloggers have been fined for reblogging blog posts that included copyrighted photos or images.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you. It can happen to anyone who shares copyrighted material on their blog.

Removed The Reblog Button From Your Blog? Your Posts Can Still Be Reblogged!

Did you know that just because I have removed the reblog button from my blog posts doesn’t mean nobody can no longer reblog them?

One of the few flaws of WordPress that annoys me is that readers can still reblog any of my posts from the WordPress Reader. That doesn’t make sense to me when I’ve removed the reblog button from my blog.

Fortunately, it hasn’t happened to any of my blog posts since I removed the reblog button.

However, I am still delighted when somebody shares my blog posts via a ‘pingback‘ the ‘Press This‘ marketing (not sharing) button or on social media.

Feel free to share this post via one of those methods.

How Do I Remove The Reblog Button From My Blog?

If you decide you would rather not offer the option to reblog your posts, you can disable the button by navigating to My Sites → Tools → Marketing. Then click on the Sharing Buttons tab. Disable ‘Show reblog button’ under Reblog & Like, and the Reblog button will no longer appear on your blog posts.

Image showing how to disable the reblog button on WordPress
How to disable the reblog button on WordPress

Did You Know This?

Blogs that are full of reblogged posts are known as ‘Reblogging Farms.’ Is your blog a reblogging farm?

Do you still use the reblog button? If so, what do you reblog?

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