Are You Making The Most Of The Powerful Sharing Buttons On Your Blog?

Are you looking for more visitors to your blog?

One of the best ways to promote your blog for free is by sharing your blog posts on social media. 

Social media has helped bring my blog thousands of visitors, with Twitter bringing the most.

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Sharing Buttons: One Of The Most Powerful Tools Available To A Blogger.

WordPress offers sharing buttons so visitors can share your posts on social media.

These buttons are the best-placed option to encourage visitors to share your content on social media.

Where can sharing buttons be found on WordPress?

It depends on the WordPress theme you use, but most show sharing buttons at the end of blog posts which are the best-placed place for them. I have these sharing buttons on all my blog posts and pages.

Image of sharing buttons on a WordPress blog.
Sharing buttons are influential in bringing traffic to your blog.

What sharing buttons are available on WordPress?

All of the above. Some of them are already available on your blog posts when you create your WordPress blog.

How do I add more sharing buttons to my blog posts?

I’m using WordPress’s ‘default’ view in the images and instructions for this demonstration.

  • Just under the sharing buttons, click on ‘Customize buttons.’ You can reach them via your blog’s dashboard if you cannot do this. Go to Tools – Marketing, and click on the Sharing buttons tab. 
Image showing where to edit the sharing buttons on your WordPress blog.
Where to edit sharing buttons on your WordPress blog.
  • Click on Edit Sharing Buttons.
Image highlighting the 'Edit sharing buttons' button on WordPress.
Click the ‘Edit sharing buttons’ button.
  • Click on any of the sharing buttons to add or remove them. Ghosted-out sharing buttons are inactive and not displayed on your blog. 
Image showing Edit visible sharing buttons on a WordPress blog.
Ghosted-out sharing buttons are not active on your blog.
  • Click the Reorder button to move the sharing buttons to the order you want them to display on your blog and pages. 
  • Click the Save button at the bottom of the page to save any changes you have made. 
  • Click the Close button to close the Edit visible buttons window. 
  • The Edit More button allows you to place sharing buttons behind the More sharing button. I’ve put the Email and Print sharing buttons behind the More button. 
  • The Edit label text button lets users put their preferred text above the sharing buttons. Click on the button to open the text box. Mine reads, ‘ Please feel free to share this post.’
Image highlighting where to add text to encourage people to share your blog posts.
Add your own text to encourage visitors to share your blog posts.

Button styles – why you should not use the icon-only option.

WordPress offers users several styles for sharing buttons.

I recommend you use an option that offers text. Readers who use speech software on their devices will then know which social media platform each button is for. 


Remember that visitors can still share your blog posts on any social media platform, even if you don’t have a specific sharing button for it on your blog. However, if you want to discourage readers from sharing your posts on social media, you can remove the sharing buttons from your blog.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Sharing buttons are a powerful tool for sharing your posts for free and bringing traffic to your blog.
  • Sharing buttons can be edited on your blog. Choose which ones you want to appear on your blog posts and pages.
  • Ghosted-out sharing buttons mean that they are inactive on your blog.
  • Make sure you choose a sharing button style that contains text, as this helps visitors who use speech software identify the sharing buttons on your blog.
  • You can discourage visitors from sharing your posts by removing your blog’s sharing buttons. However, your posts can still be shared on social media.

If you have questions about sharing buttons or want to share which ones you have on your blog, please leave them in the comments section.

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What Is A Reusable Block On WordPress? How To Create One And Save Yourself Lots Of Time

In today’s fast-paced world, there’s no doubt that time is of the essence.

As bloggers, we’re all looking for ways to streamline our workflows and get more done in less time. This is where reusable blocks on WordPress come into play.

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Save time by using reusable blocks on WordPress.

What is a reusable block on WordPress?

It’s a block of content you can save and reuse in multiple places on your site. This means that you don’t need to recreate the same content over and over again.

They are easy to create and save you lots of time when you need to edit something that can be found all over your blog. Any changes you make to a reusable block occur wherever it appears on your blog.

Let’s say you are an author with a collection of books that you have added to a block on over 500 of your blog posts. You decide to cut the price of all or one of your books for a limited time.

You could advertise the price cut on a new blog post, but what about all those blog posts that now contain the incorrect price of your books?

Turning the current block advertising your books into a reusable block allows you to edit the block, and the changes occur on all the posts where you have inserted it.

If you’ve never created a reusable block, follow the guide below. For this demonstration, I’m using the social media block containing links to all my social media accounts and WordPress’s ‘default’ view in the images and instructions.

How to turn a block into a reusable block.

  • Find the block you want to turn into a reusable block.
  • Click anywhere in the block and click on the three dots (kebab menu) icon in the block’s toolbar.
  • Click ‘Create Reusable block.’
Image highlighting where to turn a standard block into a reusable block.
Creating reusable blocks is easy.
  • Give your reusable block a name to quickly locate it the next time you use it.
Image showing where to name your reusable block.
Give your reusable block a name.
  • That’s it – you’ve just created a reusable block!
  • Don’t forget to click the ‘save‘ button to save your reusable block.

Are all the reusable blocks I create stored in one place?

Yes. They are stored under the ‘Reusable’ tab (diamond shape) in the block lists available on the block editor. In the image below, I’ve highlighted the reusable tab and the new reusable block I’ve created.

Image highlighting the reusable blocks tab
All your reusable blocks are stored in one place.
  • To add it to a post, select it from the list and place the block where you want it to appear in your post.

What can reusable blocks be used for?

Anything you like, but here are a few suggestions.

  • Links to social media sites.
  • Lists of your social media sites.
  • An author bio.
  • An author photo.
  • An author bio and photo.
  • Details of your books and where they can be purchased.
  • Copyright notices.
  • Mailing list subscription links.
  • Links to posts on your blog or those of other bloggers.
  • Links to other blogs you have or are a part of.
  • Links to where customers can purchase your goods/services.
  • Link to your blog’s ‘about’ page.
  • Links to notices such as ‘How to apply to become a guest blogger on my blog.’
  • Writing/photography prompt/challenge blog posts.
  • A weekly/monthly feature post.
  • A sentence or paragraph that you use a lot.

Can reusable blocks be edited?

Yes. You can edit a block’s title and contents by clicking on ‘Manage all Reusable blocks‘, which can be found at the bottom of the list of the reusable blocks you have created.

Image highlighting where to manage reusable blocks.
Reusable blocks can be edited.
  • From here, you can edit titles and content. You can also delete blocks.

Warning – if you delete a block you’ve used on previous posts, it will disappear from those posts and display a notice stating that the block is no longer available. So, be careful when deleting reusable blocks.

  • To edit a reusable block, click the kebab menu and click ‘edit.’ You can also delete reusable blocks from this menu.
Image highlighting how to edit a reusable block.
Click the kebab menu to edit a reusable block.
  • Remember that any edits or updates you make to a reusable block are applied all over your blog where the block has been used.

How to edit a block.

I want to add a Mastodon button to my social media bar. To do this, I need to click on the ‘+‘ symbol after clicking on the block while in edit mode.

Image showing how to add a Mastodon button on WordPress.
Adding A Mastodon button
  • A Mastodon button is now part of my reusable social media block.
Image highlighting the Mastodon button on a social media block.
A Mastodon button is now added.
  • You can also convert a reusable block into a regular block by clicking on the kebab menu in the block’s toolbar and then on ‘Convert to Regular Block.’
Image showing how to Convert a reusable block to a regular block.
Converting a reusable block to a regular block

Creating and using reusable blocks has saved me lots of time. They are simple to use and straightforward to make. I highly recommend giving them a try.

Do you use reusable blocks on your WordPress site? If so, what do you use them for? Do you have any questions about reusable blocks? Let us know in the comments section.

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

This is an updated version of a post originally published on Hugh’s Views And News in 2020.

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Twitter Auto-Share Comes To An End On WordPress. Don’t Panic! What Choices Do You Have?

WordPress recently announced that the auto-sharing of blog posts to Twitter ended on the 1st of May, 2023. You can read their announcement by clicking the following link – Why Twitter Auto-Sharing Is Coming to an End.

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Don’t panic! There are still ways to auto-share your blog content on social media.

Does This Mean That Twitter Is Dead?

No. Despite many users deleting their Twitter accounts when Elon Musk took over (and some continuing to do so), Twitter is very much alive.

Although I’ve lost over one-hundred followers on Twitter, I still see traffic to my blog coming from it. As you’ll see from the following image, Twitter outperforms any other social media platform in the number of shares my blog gets.

Screenshot showing the number of social media shares for Hugh's Views and Newson WordPress.
Social Media Shares for Hugh’s Views And News.

Only the WordPress Reader and search engines outperform Twitter in the number of shares they bring to my blog. I am curious why so many people have shared my blog posts via Skype, though.

Has Twitter Become Worse Since Elon Musk Took It Over?

Many users feared that Twitter would become more hate-related. I’ve not seen any increase in hate-related content. That may be because I always avoid it. And like on other social media sites and WordPress, I block users who publish hate-related content or who leave nasty comments.

I’ve had a Twitter account since 2010. Four more years than my WordPress blog, and I’ve had more trolls visit my blog than have visited me on Twitter.

What’s The Best Way To Deal With Trolls Or Nasty Comments, Tweets or Blog Posts?

Never engage with them. Trolls move on when they don’t get any kind of reaction. Ignoring, blocking and marking their comments as spam is the best form of action.

If I don’t like something on television or the radio, I switch off or switch channels. Likewise, if I see anything I do not like on any social media platform, I move on. Any spam or hateful comments directed at me get reported, and I block the user.

While I have not liked all the changes that have occurred on Twitter, nothing has made me delete my account yet.

Am I Sad That WordPress Is Ending Auto-Share To Twitter?

You may be surprised by my answer, but no. While WordPress did its best to get a good deal for users, I’m glad it decided to walk away from negotiations. WordPress put its users first. Had it agreed to the inflated rates Twitter wanted, users would have been hit with price increases.

Will The Twitter Sharing Buttons On Blog Posts Still Work?

Yes. WordPress has confirmed that the Twitter sharing button will still work. No need to delete it. Users can still tweet your posts even if you do not have a Twitter account.

And although auto-sharing to Twitter is ending, you can still copy links to your blog posts and paste them into new tweets.

Is Auto-Sharing On WordPress Now Dead?

No. Users can still auto-share their posts to the following social media platforms.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

In their announcement, WordPress also mentioned that auto-sharing was coming to Instagram and Mastodon (due mid-June 2023). However, I have heard that only those with an Instagram business account will have the ability to auto-share their blog posts. That may not be true, but more information will follow.

On May 3rd, I published a Wordless Wednesday post and was surprised to find that auto-sharing to Twitter was still working.

On May 5th, I published my Flash Fiction Friday post, and auto-sharing to Twitter was still working. By the time this post goes live, it may have stopped working, but I mentioned it to WordPress, and they came back with this response.

Screenshot of a message from WordPress about Auto-Share
Auto-share may still work, but who knows how long for?

I guess it’s a little like WordPress themes that are no longer supported. They may become unreliable with no support, start to cause problems, and eventually stop working.

And a further update from WordPress on Twitter dated 9th May 2023.

Screenshot of a tweet from WordPress regarding auto-sharing to Twitter.
As of 10th May 2023, auto-sharing to Twitter is still working.

Update 18th May 2023 – Auto-sharing to Twitter from WordPress has now been switched off.

Does Social Media Bring Traffic To Blogs?

Yes, but you must give it lots of time to work properly. Spreading yourself too thinly on social media by having too many social media accounts does not work. When I cut the number of social media accounts I had to two, I saw my blog stats take off.

Is It Worth Joining Instagram And Mastodon Now That WordPress Are Introducing Auto-Sharing To Them?

Only if you can give them the time to make them work for you and your blog.

You must engage with other users to gain followers. When I started engaging with other bloggers on WordPress, my stats boomed. When I started engaging with other users on Twitter, my stats boomed.

Don’t expect things to take off if you’re not prepared to give your time engaging with other users.

My recommendation is to stick with two or three social media platforms. Stay with those that work best for you.

What Is Mastodon?

I heard about Mastodon last year but only decided to create an account when I heard that auto-sharing to Twitter was ending.

It’s early days for me, but it has the look and feel of Twitter. I’ve added a Mastodon button to my social media widget. It’s the second button on the following bar.

Clicking on it will take you to my Mastodon account. If you already have a Mastodon account, please consider following me, and I will follow you back.

If you want to join Mastodon, start here on the Mastodon startup page.

If you want information about Mastodon, I found this unofficial guide to Mastodon very helpful.

However, it may take time for Mastoden to take off, so be prepared to wait. New social media platforms are being launched all the time. Remember to stick to just a few. Don’t spread your time too thin.

I will give Mastodon time, but I will delete my account if it does not work for me.

So far, it’s looking good because I am engaging with other users and, in turn, they are engaging with me. Some have been very helpful, although I’ve failed to find many WordPress users. So, if you’ve a Mastodon account, please consider connecting with me.

Instagram was one of the social media accounts I deleted a few years ago. I’ve no plans to rejoin Instagram.

Not Sure What Auto-Sharing Is Or How To Set It Up On WordPress?

This document, Post Automatically to Social Media, gives full details.

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

This is an updated version of a post originally published on Hugh’s Views And News in 2020.

Have you already cut ties with Twitter? Do you have a Mastodon account? Do you have any questions about auto-sharing on WordPress? Leave them in the comments section.

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Save Time By Using This New Button When In Default View On WordPress

At last! WordPress has introduced an ‘empty spam‘ button to the Default view mode when viewing your blog’s dashboard. Clicking it means that you can empty your spam folder with one click.

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Now you can delete spam with one click.

Before now, users could only bulk delete spam when viewing their blog’s dashboard in Default view. This would only delete 20 spam comments simultaneously, which could be time-consuming when the spam folder had hundreds of comments.

Here’s where to find the new ‘Empty Spam’ button in Default view.

Image highlighting the 'Empty Spam' button when in the default view mode on WordPress
Now you can empty the spam folder with one click.

Click it, and all the spam in your spam folder gets deleted.

How does this new ‘Empty Spam’ button save you time?

It eliminates the need to manually or bulk select and delete spam comments in your folder, saving you precious minutes, if not hours.

So, why not try it and see how much time and hassle it can save you? And remember to switch to the Default view for optimal results!

Now all we need when in ‘Default View’ is the ability to mark genuine comments as ‘Not Spam’ like you can in Classic view. I’ve already suggested this to WordPress.

Did you know you can view your blog’s dashboard in Classic or Default view? What’s the difference?

The Classic view is best used with the Classic editor, whereas the Default view is better used with themes that use the Block editor. However, users can switch between both (as I do), as some features are better viewed on one or the other.

The following screenshot shows where you can make the switch. Click the ‘View’ button to open the menu.

Image showing where to switch between Default and Classic views on WordPress
Click ‘View’ to make the switch.

If you use the Block editor, I recommend you view your blog’s dashboard using Default view.

Overall, this nifty little button is a game-changer for WordPress users, particularly those using the Block editor and receiving high volumes of spam comments on their blogs.

If you are looking for more help on how to deal with spam on your blog, read my post ‘How To Deal With Spam Without Closing Comments.’

If you’ve any questions about the Classic/Default view or about the ‘Empty Spam’ button, leave them in the comments section.

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

This is an updated version of a post originally published on Hugh’s Views And News in 2020.

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Is Now The Time For WordPress To Remove The Like Button From All Blog Posts?

Do you remember how you felt when somebody first pressed the ‘like’ button on one of your early blog posts?

Does the ‘like’ button lose its appeal the longer you blog?

Do you notice who has clicked the ‘like’ button on any posts?

Is the ‘like’ button overrated?

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Is it time to remove the ‘like’ button on your blog?

When I first started blogging, the ‘like’ button on blogs was something I thought was one of the best ideas about blogging.

Getting a ‘like’ on one of my posts gave me the best feeling. I thought anybody clicking the ‘like’ button had read my post.

For me, a ‘like’ indicated that somebody had taken the time to read what I had written. Yes, somebody in the big wide world had taken a few minutes to read and like something I had written.

It also motivated me to write more blog posts in the hope that they would attract even more ‘likes.’ Of course, if somebody also left a comment, that was a bonus!

The Like button doesn’t have any disadvantages, does it?

It was not long before I discovered that the ‘like’ button has disadvantages.

Some bloggers said that seeing too many ‘likes’ on a blog post makes them feel demoralised.

In turn, some users go on to delete or abandon their blog or develop ‘blogging envy’ at seeing how well other users are doing compared to themselves.

I know of one user who admitted that, for them, ‘the number of ‘likes’ was more important than the content’; in other words, they saw blogging as more of a popularity contest.

I have never envied seeing bloggers get hundreds of likes, but I understand why some bloggers may envy it.

As I grew the list of the blogs I followed, it wasn’t long before I realised that there was not enough time in my day to read, like, and comment on all the blogs I followed.

Given that some of the bloggers I followed were publishing new blog posts more than once a day I was soon overwhelmed and drowned in a sea of voices, all wanting my attention.

Doing the following is not a solution.

Rather than unfollow any blogs, I began to ‘like’ posts without reading them. I thought that doing this would indicate to the blogger (who had written the post) that I had read their post, and they, in turn, would continue to read and ‘like’ my posts. I was fooling both them and myself.

I soon discovered that other bloggers and readers were playing the same game because they were all in the same boat as me. Some users (including me) were misusing the’ like’ button.

A dilemma. What would you have done?

When I read a blog post about the death of somebodies wife, I asked myself what I should do. Should I click ‘like’ or just leave a thoughtful comment? After all, many readers had already clicked the ‘like’ button on the post. Did those who clicked it not read the post? How could they have pressed the ‘like’ button on a post about somebodies death?

That was the day I left my first comment without clicking the ‘like’ button. Now I’m doing it much more often. Do you leave comments without clicking the ‘like’ button?

Would you press the like button on a post that contained bad news or news of death?

What shocked me the most about the ‘like’ button.

What shocked me the most was why some bloggers and readers click ‘like’ even if they have not read the post. The most surprising reason why bloggers do it was that it ‘shows support’ for the blogger who had written the post, even if they didn’t have time to read it.

Really? Liking a post without reading it is a way to support other bloggers? Are there no better ways to support bloggers? Of course, there are.

Should you remove the ‘Like’ button from your blog?

I did it about four years ago and was inundated with messages from readers who said that they missed seeing the ‘like’ button. When I asked why they missed it, only a few responded, most saying that it was a way to say they’d visited even if they didn’t read the post or leave a comment saying so.

When I enquired what kind of comment they’d leave if they’d not read the post, most said a comment that confirmed they’d visited.

How would you feel if a reader told you they’d clicked ‘like’ on one of your posts, but they’d not read it?

Of course, there’s also the other side of the coin. Just because somebody hasn’t clicked the ‘like’ button does not mean they have not read the post.

Do you notice the gravatar icons next to the ‘like’ button?

These days, I take little if any notice of them. I’d go as far as to say that the ‘like’ button found at the end of blog posts should probably disappear for good.

Not everyone misuses the ‘like’ button. And remember, there are many other ways to support a blogger than clicking ‘like.’

For example, occasionally, leaving a blogger a valuable comment that adds value to their post. Or ask questions about their post’s content to show you’re interested in what they’ve written.

Don’t become a ‘comment spammer‘ by leaving empty comments hoping you’ll get comments back on your posts.

Of course, if you’re happy with the comments section on your blog containing boring comments that serve no purpose other than saying that those who left them visited your blog, click away.

Why do some bloggers press the ‘like’ button on their blog posts?

That’s a question I’d love to know the answer to. Can you help? Does it benefit the post or their blog or make it look odd?

Don’t have time to leave thoughtful comments?

Rather than spend small amounts of time leaving pointless comments on many posts, use the time you save not leaving them by leaving the occasional comment that adds value to the post. Most bloggers will value you more for leaving a thoughtful comment occasionally than leaving many comments that add no value.

One thoughtful comment that adds value to a post is worth hundreds of comments that add no value.

When and for what reasons do you use the ‘like’ button on WordPress? Have you ever misused it, and would you miss it if WordPress removed it from all blogs?

Before you answer my questions or leave a comment, this is what WordPress says about the ‘like’ button.

Let’s say you’ve found a particularly awesome post on You’d like to tip your hat to the author and give him or her credit. At the bottom of the post, you see the Like button. Press it, and the author will know that you have acknowledged an exceptional, phenomenal blog post.

Please feel free to answer any of the questions I have asked throughout this post by leaving me a comment. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

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Throwback Thursday – Is Blogging Causing You Stress Or Making You Feel Guilty? How To Fix it

What makes you put your head in your hands or shake your head regarding blogging? Do you feel stressed or guilty about any aspect of blogging? Don’t have enough time to read posts, leave comments or write posts?

Click the link below to read my post that gives the answers to how to stop the blogging stress and guilt.

Is Blogging Causing You Stress Or Making You Feel Guilty? How To Fix it

Throwback Thursday – The day to bring older blog posts back to life.

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Throwback Thursday

Not sure what Throwback Thursday is or how to participate in it? Click here for full details.

Comments are closed here. Please leave them on the original post.

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This Is Why It’s Important To Leave The Right Comments On Blogs: 9 Ways

Leaving comments on other blogs is a great way to connect with other bloggers, build relationships, and drive traffic to your blog. But it’s essential to do it the right way to be effective.

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Are you making the most of your comments?

Here are nine essential points about comments (including what kind of comments to leave) that will help you get the most out of this strategy:

  • 1. Read the blog post first. It may seem obvious, but ensure you’ve read the whole blog post before leaving a comment. This will help you avoid leaving comments that are off-topic or that have already been addressed by the blogger. If you have a question unrelated to the post’s topic, contact the blogger via their contact page
  • 2. Be thoughtful and constructive. When you leave a comment, add something of value to the conversation. Share your own thoughts and experiences, Ask questions and start conversations. If you think the post is excellent, expand on why rather than saying, ‘Great post’ and rushing off.
  • 3. You can build relationships with other bloggers. When you leave a thoughtful comment on another blog, you show the blogger that you appreciate their work and are interested in what they say. This can help you build relationships with other bloggers, leading to the possibility of guest posts, interviews, and other forms of collaboration. Friendships can also be made.
  • 4. You can drive traffic to your own blog. If you leave a helpful or insightful comment on another blog, other readers may be interested in checking out your blog. This can drive traffic to your blog and increase your readership. However, ensure you’ve linked your blog to your Gravatar; otherwise, it won’t work.
  • 5. You can improve your own writing skills. When you leave comments on other blogs, think about your own writing and how you can improve it. Don’t rush to leave a comment; check for any mistakes before leaving it. This can help you become a better writer overall. Other bloggers and readers will determine how much time you have for them by the type of comments you leave.
  • 6. You can learn new things. You are exposed to new ideas and perspectives when reading other blogs’ comments section. This can help you learn new things and expand your knowledge base. It will also open up ideas for new blog posts.
  • 7. You can have fun. Leaving comments on other blogs can be a fun and rewarding experience. It’s a great way to connect with others who share your interests and learn new things. However, always ensure your comments are thoughtful and constructive. And only leave comments if you are genuinely interested in the post’s subject. Don’t force yourself to leave comments or feel obliged to leave one.
  • 8. Be respectful. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and just being rude or negative. If you have a genuine issue with something in the post, try to approach it in a respectful and constructive manner. If you can’t find anything positive to say, it’s probably best not to leave a comment at all. The same goes for rude comments to or about other bloggers. Be respectful.
  • 9. Be patient. It may take some time to build relationships with other bloggers through comments. You may see results later. Give it time; remember that not everyone will be interested in your blog’s content. Just because you comment on other blogs does not mean they’ll enjoy and want to leave comments on your blog.

An important message to new bloggers about responding to comments

I’ve recently followed a handful of new bloggers. However, although I’ve read their posts, left them thoughtful comments, and asked questions about their posts, only two of them replied.

To those that didn’t respond: Don’t ignore comments left on your blog posts. Always reply to them or acknowledge them. You’ll gain more followers and readers by engaging with other bloggers rather than lose followers and probably end up abandoning your blog when followers fail to materialise.

Now an important message to all bloggers about leaving comments

Avoid leaving spam comments on other people’s blogs. This includes comments that have nothing to do with the post or are clearly just an attempt to promote your blog or product. Not only is this annoying, but it can also damage your reputation and credibility as a blogger.

If you need help with something, contact the blogger directly rather than leaving a link to your blog asking for help.

Don’t have time to leave comments?

Some bloggers will tell you they don’t have time to leave thoughtful and constructive comments.

I say – If you don’t have time, click the ‘like’ button and move on. After all, isn’t that what the ‘like button is for?

Nobody will care if you don’t leave comments on all their blog posts. I certainly do not expect everyone who reads my posts to leave a comment.

What’s the worst type of comment somebody can leave?

My answer: Bloggers who leave nothing but a link to their blog as a comment. Those comments all go straight to my spam folder.

Leaving a link as a comment shows that you’re only interested in promoting yourself and not adding value to the conversation. Instead, leave a genuine comment that shows you actually read the post and have something meaningful to contribute.

Let’s wrap it up

In conclusion, leaving the right comments on blogs is essential for building relationships, engaging with other bloggers, and growing your own audience.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your comments add value to the conversation and help you establish yourself as a thoughtful and respected blogging community member.

What’s the worst type of comment somebody can leave you? Do you have any tips you’d like to add about leaving comments on blogs? Leave them in the comments section?

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Broken Links: How Often Should You Check And Fix Them On Your Blog?

How often do you check for broken links on your blog?

Is it something bloggers should often do, or are broken links nothing to worry about?

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Are you allowing broken links to damage your blog?

At the end of last year, I completed fixing over 300 broken links on my blog. It was a long job, but something I did not regret doing.

Since fixing those broken links, I’ve seen a decrease in spam hitting my blog and seen an increase in followers and visitors.

Not only will SEOs such as Google and Bing rank blogs with broken links lower, but visitors who get the dreaded ‘404 page not found’ error when clicking on too many broken links, are more likely to never return.

I’ve even seen broken links to an author’s books on their blog. How often do you check the links to your books are working?

It’s been three months since I last ran a broken links report for my blog, so I was surprised when the report returned 33 broken links. Here’s the list. Are you or your blog one of them? You may need to zoom in to view the report.

Image showing the broken links report on Hugh's Views And News.
Ensure broken links are fixed quickly.

Why do links break?

There are many reasons for broken links. More important are the ones embedded in blog posts. When the name of a blog post (line 8 on the report) or a single word, such as ‘here’ (line 16 on the report), appears in the ‘Link Text’ column, a pingback to the post has broken. The link is usually broken because the post has been deleted or moved.

To fix the two broken links mentioned in the above paragraph, you can deactivate the pingback or delete it (and the sentence it appears in) from the post.

More often than not, where names appear in the ‘Link Text’ column (line 19 on the report), the link to the person’s gravatar has broken, or their blog or gravatar has been moved or deleted. Most of these errors occur in the comments sections of blog posts. Click here if you’re unsure what a Gravatar is and how to ensure your blog is linked to it.

If you know the person concerned is still blogging, you can either report the broken link to them or unapprove and delete the comment to eliminate it. It’s just as important to fix or delete broken links in the comments section of your posts as in the main body of a blog post.

Remember what I said earlier. SEOs such as Google and Bing rank blogs lower if they contain too many broken links. If you want to increase visitors and followers to your blog, ensure you regularly fix broken links.

Another reason for broken links is when a post has been reblogged, and the blogger who reblogged the post has since deleted the reblog (line 31 of the report).

Do not be surprised to also find broken links to your blog posts. If you decide to delete a blog post, I’d recommend deleting or removing any pingbacks or links before deleting the post. They then will not show up on your next broken link report.

Fact: Did you know that spambots and spammers are more likely to attack blogs with broken links than those without or with fewer broken links?

How do I run a broken link report?

I use the free version of Broken Link Check Dot Com. Click here for more details. To run a report, simply enter the URL address of your blog and the security code you see on the page. I’d recommend running the ‘Report distinct broken links only’ report.

If it’s the first time you run a report, you may be overwhelmed by the number of broken links the report returns. I recommend stopping the report when it reaches 20 broken links, fixing them, and running another report.

Do not try and fix the broken links in one go, as you’ll become overwhelmed. Give yourself time to fix them. Maybe fix a couple every day. You’ll soon catch up on them.

Don’t allow the sheer size of broken links the report shows to stop you from fixing broken links. Look after your blog by fixing any broken links rather than believing you don’t have the time to fix them. Spending a few minutes daily fixing links is better than not fixing them at all.

Once you have fixed all the broken links, run another report at least once every three months.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • SEOs such as Google and Bing rank blogs with broken links lower.
  • Fixing broken links will reduce the amount of spam your blog gets while increasing the number of followers and visitors.
  • If you have links to any books or products, regularly check that they work.
  • Fix any broken links to books, services and products quickly.
  • It’s just as important to fix or delete broken links in the comments section of your blog posts as it is in the main body of a post.
  • Before deleting any blog posts, remove any links in them first.
  • Your first broken link report may be overwhelming. Take your time to fix those links. Don’t rush it.
  • Spending a few minutes daily fixing links is better than not fixing them at all.
  • Run a new broken link report at least once every three months.

How often do you check for broken links on your blog? How do you check for them? Do you have any questions about broken links? Leave them in the comments section.

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Why Books, Libraries And Writing Can Be Terrifying Places For Some

Every time I walk into my local library to pick up some recycling bags, I feel like I’m entering a world that doesn’t want me there. Or is it that I don’t want to be there?

For me, libraries can be terrifying places. Just like picking up a book and opening it can be a terrifying prospect. As an author and writer, you’d think that both would be something I’d get a lot of pleasure from. But I don’t.

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Does reading, writing or libraries terrify you?

Why Am I terrified of libraries and books?

Dyslexia – that’s the answer. As somebody who is dyslexic, reading and writing are two things I have always found difficult. And writing about dyslexia is even harder.

When I enter the library and face all those books that can introduce me to new characters and transport me to different worlds, I feel like a big door is being slammed shut right in front of me. Why? Because I know that I would find it difficult to read many of the books on the shelves.

How does being dyslexic affect me?

Being dyslexic affects me in many different ways. For example, I often find myself struggling to know what a word or its meaning is.

It doesn’t always come to me even when I try saying the sounds the letters make as they appear in a word. Struggling with a word in the middle of a sentence can stop me on my reading journey and sometimes make me feel like a failure. It’s as if the word is some sort of barrier preventing me from continuing my reading journey.

Occasionally, when I pick up a book, I encounter too many words I don’t understand. They can be the simplest words, yet my brain can not determine them. I start asking myself what those words mean. Are they important? Why can’t I say them?

If I have to go back to the beginning of a page or chapter because I don’t understand the plot or what’s going on, I will almost certainly give up on the book. I may have another go, but more often than not, I never pick up that book again.

It’s not only about reading.

When it comes to writing, one of the strangest things dyslexia does to me is not putting certain letters in the correct order. I struggle if a word has an ‘A’ and ‘C’ in it. For example, I can often type ‘because’ in a blog post, yet Grammarly will underline every ‘because’ I’ve typed because they’re all incorrect.

The same thing happens when using pen and paper. My brain is rushing ahead of me, causing my hand to travel in different directions as it pushes the pen that produces awful handwriting, not even I can understand. What I write resembles the scribbles I drew as a young preschool child.

But not all is lost, is it?

I’m pleased to say that I don’t have problems reading all books. I seem to go through peaks and dips with them. I have to be in the mood to read books. They have to be written in a way that I can understand exactly what’s going on. No silly accents or too many characters whose names all begin with the same letter.

So, unfortunately, you won’t find many book reviews I’ve written, yet you’ll find many comments I’ve written on the many blogs I follow. And by comments, I don’t mean the types that don’t offer any value. If I leave a comment, it’ll be at least a couple of sentences long.

For me, comments are like leaving book reviews. If I leave a comment, it’s because the words on a post have connected with me, and I want to engage with the author.

Happy endings

I allowed dyslexia to suppress my love of writing for far too long. In February 2014, when I published my first blog post, I felt like I had conquered it.

I’ve often heard it said that people with dyslexia have unique imaginations. I’m unsure if that’s true, but it’s been a happy ending. If it were not for blogging and the many bloggers who encouraged me to write, I’d never have self-published two short story collections.

Don’t allow me to stop you.

But even with my love for blogging, I still find books and libraries terrifying places.

It’s not just the fear of being judged for my reading speed or accuracy; it’s also the overwhelming amount of options available. With shelves upon shelves of books, where do I even begin? I had the same problem with blogging. I followed too many blogs, so I cut down on the number I was following. That helped.

For someone with dyslexia or any reading disability, picking up a book can be anxiety-inducing. The fear of being unable to understand the words and follow the plot makes it easy to understand why some people avoid books altogether.

And while libraries and bookshops may seem a haven for book lovers, it only adds to the pressure for some. Surrounded by so many books, it’s easy to feel like you should be reading them all, like you’re missing out on something if you don’t (just like all those blogs you follow).

How often do I hear or read that somebody is so far behind in reading blogs? They fear they could miss out if they don’t read them all.

The same happens with social media. How often do we see people with their heads down while looking at a screen? I’ve witnessed whole tables of people in restaurants, all with their heads down, looking at their phones while eating.

But the truth is, there is no “right” way to read. There is no “right” book to read. It’s okay to read at your own pace, take breaks when necessary, and stop reading a book or blog if it’s not connecting with you.

And remember! You don’t need to read just books to enjoy reading. I get far more enjoyment from reading blogs than I do books.

Books and libraries may be intimidating places for some, but there’s no denying the magic of losing yourself in a story. However, we can also lose ourselves watching a movie. It’s worth facing your anxieties and fears to experience that magic for yourself.

So, please, don’t be like me. Pick up a book, visit your local library, and don’t be afraid to take it one page at a time.

Who knows? You might find a new favourite author or even discover the joy of writing for yourself.

And don’t forget you can also do the same in the world of blogging. It’s a magical place full of content where you can quickly lose yourself.

Image showing tightly packed books on a book-shelve
Books! Friends or foes?

Now it’s over to you.

Are you dyslexic? How do you manage your reading, writing and blogging? What books or blogs are you reading that help you conquer dyslexia? Tell me about them by leaving me a comment.

This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for republishing.

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Are You Missing Out On These Impressive Features On The WordPress Reader?

How often do you use the Reader on WordPress? Do you use it for anything else besides reading the posts of the blogs you follow?

If you answered no, read on because there are some excellent WordPress Reader features you could be missing. 

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Have you used these impressive features on offer on the WordPress Reader?

Have you ever noticed the WordPress Reader menu?

I don’t use the WordPress Reader much. However, I use the WordPress Reader menu because it contains great features every blogger should consider. 

Image highlighting the WordPress Reader menu
Have you tried the WordPress Reader menu?

Let’s take a look at each feature.

Following – This is the one the majority of us know. It shows the latest blog posts from the blogs we follow, plus a list of how long ago these posts were published. You can also manage the blogs you follow by clicking the ‘Manage’ button. Click here for more details. 

Conversations: Clicking on this button lets you read and reply to your conversations in one place. WordPress posts you’ve liked or commented on will appear when they have new comments. You can follow or unfollow a conversation using the ellipsis menu (the three dots to the right of a title) in the reader.

Of course, you can also view when somebody replies to your comment in the notification centre of your blog, but what I like about the Conversations button is that you can also load and view other readers’ comments.

Image showing the Conversations sections on the WordPress Reader
Conversations all in one place!

You can also leave further comments on posts you’ve already commented on. The comments sections of many blogs are a wonderful source of ideas for new blog posts.

Lists: This is the place to create lists of the blogs you love reading the most. However, it’s important to note that you must be logged into WordPress to view lists.

I think this is the best feature and have created two lists (so far) – ‘Favourite Blogs’ and ‘Blogging Tips’ blogs. 

To create a new list, click ‘Create new list‘ and give your list a title. 

Click the Manage button (the small cog) to access the menu of the list you’ve created.

Image highlighting the cog to open up more options on lists created on WordPress
Click the cog to open up more options.

You’ll see a menu across the top – Details – Sites – Export – Delete

Image showing the Managing lists options on WordPress
Check out the tabs on the menu.

Let’s have a look at what each tab does.

Details – on this tab, you can do the following – 

  • Name your list.
  • Decide who can view the list (visibility).
  • Describe what the list is about.

Remember to click the ‘Save‘ button when making any changes.

Sites – click this tab to add blogs to your list. 

To add a blog, type the name in the search box and click the add button next to the blog you want to add.


Image showing how to search for blogs to add to your lists on WordPress
Search for the blogs you want to add to your lists.

Click the Remove button to remove a blog from the list.

I recommend that everyone creates a ‘Favourite Blogs’ list that contains the blogs you enjoy reading the most. I agree that those blogs already appear on your WordPress Reader, but not all the blogs I follow are ones I want to read whenever a new post is published.

How do other bloggers view and follow the lists I’ve created?

First and most importantly, they must be logged into WordPress to follow and view your lists.

Ensure you have selected the ‘Everyone can view this list‘ option of the list you want to share with your readers. 

Copy and paste the slug of the list to the end of your reader URL.

Share the new URL of your list with your followers. You can do this at the bottom of blog posts or your ‘about’ page (like I did at the bottom of this post).

A follow button will appear on your list when they open it. They need to click the follow button to follow your list.

New blog posts on your list will also appear on their WordPress Reader. 

You can also grab the URL from your browser in the list editor. However, remove the ‘/edit’ from the URL before sharing it.

There is a downside to sharing lists via the above methods in that there is no option to open lists in a new window. Therefore, lists will open on the same page, and the reader will lose the page they are reading.

To get around this. I recommend you create a pingback to your lists (like I have done in this post). Copy and paste the URL address of your list and create a pingback to it.

Click here to learn what a pingback is and how to create one.

Remember that all lists are public to all logged-in users. Visitors who are not logged into WordPress cannot view or follow lists.

Export – You can export the list to use on other services. The file will be in OPML format. 

Delete – Click the delete button to delete the list.

Let’s go back to the last button on the WordPress Reader menu.

Tags – When you click this button, a search box opens where you can add tags to find related blog posts from other bloggers. For example, I’ve added the tags’ time travel’ and ‘blogging tips’ to my list to find posts related to those subjects. 

When using tags, you don’t need to scroll through long lists of blogs to find relevant content, as all the posts in the search results are relevant to the tag word you entered. 

Have you used any of the features I’ve mentioned? Which ones do you use? What are your thoughts about them? Do you have questions about them? Leave them in the comments section.

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

My thanks to Terri Webster Schrandt for her help in helping me with this post. Click here to view Terri’s blog.

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Pingbacks On WordPress Are Working Again

Further to my blog post, Not Getting WordPress Pingback Notifications? How To Get Around The Problem, I’m delighted to announce that WordPress has fixed the recent pingback problem affecting most users.

However, users must republish posts again to get pingback notifications on the posts published while the problem was ongoing (Feb 23rd – 27th). Please note that when a post is rescheduled or republished, any links to the original post will become broken. So unless it’s essential those pingbacks must appear, I’d recommend not republishing those posts.

The problem was only affecting pingbacks between WordPress. Com blogs. Self-hosted blogs were not affected.

Any questions regarding the recent pingback problem? Leave them in the comments box.

Copyright @ 2023 – All rights reserved.

Not Getting WordPress Pingback Notifications? How To Get Around The Problem.

Update (28th Feb 2023) pingbacks on WordPress are now working again.

Are you experiencing problems with not getting pingback notifications on your WordPress blog? You’re not alone. Many other users are experiencing the same issue.

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Don’t allow the current WordPress problem with pingbacks to defeat you.

Over a week ago, I realised I no longer received pingback notifications from WordPress. Even when linking to my posts, I got no notifications, hence no links in the comments section.

The problem meant that if other bloggers linked to any of my blog posts, I didn’t know. Hence, I could come over as rude for not thanking those who were linking to my blog.

I contacted the WordPress Happiness Engineers, and to cut a long story short, they finally acknowledged that the problem was (and still is) across the WordPress platform.

Image with an update of the current pingback problem on WordPress
The current WordPress Pingback problem is affecting many users.

I received the above reply on 26th February 2023.

Strangely, I’m getting pingback notifications from self-hosted blogs but not from WordPress.Com blogs.

How To Get Around The Problem

If you publish posts inviting other bloggers to create a pingback to your post, ask them to copy and paste the URL address of the post in the comments section. You can then visit their post.

However, beware of the spammers who may take the opportunity of this problem and leave a link or comment that has nothing to do with your post. Before clicking any links from bloggers, you’re not used to seeing, check the URL address in the comment first.

Image highlighting the web address of a spam comment
Mark any comments or pingbacks that are not genuine as spam.

Mark comments or links as spam if they look suspicious.

Another way to identify spam comments is that most have no Gravatar image.

While the problem persists, I’d also recommend adding a reusable block to your posts (like the one in the green box on this post) in case anyone links to any of your posts.

When WordPress finally fixes the problem, you can delete the reusable block, which will then disappear from all your posts.

Not sure what a pingback is? Click here for details.

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

Please leave any questions about the current pingback problem in the comments section.

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