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 to make a hasty retreat.

But fear not! I am here to help you avoid these 7 scary things I’ve seen bloggers confess they are terrified of.

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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

I’ve seen many bloggers terrified when it comes to using tags and categories on their blog posts. Some are so terrified of them that they don’t use them.

They start to panic when deciding what keywords to use as tags and whether to categorise their blog posts.

Some even go as far as using keywords that have nothing to do with their post, thus fooling readers to their posts. 

The best tags to use are one or two words long. For example, if you’re tagging a blog post for a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, use tags such as baking, bake, cookery, food, ingredients, cookies, chocolate biscuits, etc.

When somebody searches on WordPress for keywords you have as tags, your blog post will appear in the search results.

When adding tags or categories, ask yourself what tags and categories you’d add to a search bar when searching for the information in the post you’re about to publish.

Here are some recent results my blog has had from user searches on WordPress.

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 for it to work correctly, but limit yourself to two or three social media accounts at the most.

Begin by trying some of them out. You’ll soon discover which ones work best for you. 

Once you know which ones you like, be strict with how much time you spend on them. Don’t allow social media to suck your time away.

After using most of today’s social media platforms, I discovered I enjoyed using Twitter the most. It now brings in a lot of traffic to my blog.

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. 

I’ve noticed bloggers who follow too many blogs only leave short worthless comments because they don’t have the time to leave thoughtful, helpful comments. They’re in too much of a hurry to get around to reading all the new blog posts of all the blogs they follow in fear that if they fail, they’ll offend someone or lose followers.

Remember that Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!

I cut back on the number of blogs I follow every few months.

My reasons for unfollowing a blog can be –

  • I no longer find the content interesting.
  • No new content published for a long time.
  • Unfollowing because a blogger does not reply to comments.  
  • Too much poor-quality content.
  • Publishing too many blog posts in a short space of time.

It’s easy to manage the number of blogs you follow.

Here’s how to do it.

  • On the My Home page of your blog, click on the ‘Reader‘ button (next to My Site).
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 using the classic editor to using the block editor the best change I’ve ever made on my blogging journey, but I’m delighted that I never gave in to the ‘hate change’ monster.

Set up a draft post on your blog where you can try the block editor.

And if you’re still not convinced, the classic editor is available via the Classic block. Sadly some bloggers refuse to use the Classic block because it means using the block editor. Don’t become one of them.

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 be interested in writing a guest post on your blog.
  • Promote your blog posts on all your social media channels. However, stick to one or two social media platforms and set a strict time limit using them.
  • Don’t be frightened of unfollowing blogs you are no longer interested in. Remember that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Don’t become a victim of the spam monster. Check your blogging spam folder often and empty it.
  • Watch and read free tutorials on using the block editor before attempting to use it. If you still do not like it, use the classic editor via the Classic block.

Are there any scary things in the blogging world that have you closing your eyes in the hope that they are not really there? How did/do you deal with them? Share the details in the comments section.

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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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?

Follow Hugh On Social Media. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Deal With Spam Without Closing Comments On Your Blog Posts

SPAM! It’s something every blogger dislikes and something every blogger will have to deal with.

I’ve seen bloggers close comments off all their posts because of spam.

I’ve seen bloggers telling readers that they only accept email comments because of spam.

I’ve even witnessed bloggers telling readers only to leave comments on social media platforms because of spam.

In all these cases, spam triumphed.

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Don’t allow spam to stop your readers from leaving comments

When another blogger told me, ‘Closing comments off on your blog is like slamming the door in your readers’ faces,’ I had to rethink how to tackle handling spam.

What was I doing? I was closing comments off posts that attracted lots of spam but still attracted genuine comments.

It reminded me of another blogger who told her readers that she tackled spam by closing off comments on all her posts 14 days after publication because of spam. She told her readers that 14 days was enough time for them to read and comment on all her posts. I shook my head in disbelief.

Many bloggers close comments on blog posts that attract lots of spam. But there are ways of dealing with spam without closing comments off.

1. Reschedule the post

Rescheduling an existing blog post gives it a new lease of life, but it also provides the post with a new URL address, thus fooling the spammers.

How to reschedule a blog post on WordPress

  • Open the post you want to reschedule in ‘edit’ mode.
  • In the settings box of the post, click on the date and time link that the post was initially published.
Image highlighting when you reschedule a blog post on WordPress
Rescheduling a blog post
  • A calendar will open. Choose the new date and time you want the post to reschedule.
Image showing a rescheduling calendar on a blog post on WordPress
Choose a new date and time for rescheduling
  • Click the ‘Update’ button.
Image highlighting the Update button when rescheduling a blog post on WordPress
The Update Button
  • Your post will now republish on the date and time you chose.

Here are a few essential things to think about when rescheduling blog posts.

  • Your post will show up on the WordPress Reader list of your followers when it republishes.
  • WordPress does not send out a new email notification when a rescheduled post is published.
  • You won’t lose all the existing comments and ‘likes’ on a post that has been rescheduled.
  • Any links, pingbacks and trackbacks to the original post will become invalid, as will any previous shares of the post on social media. I recommend, therefore, that you only reschedule posts that are at least a year old.

Tip: Rescheduling a post is also an excellent chance to update it and fix any broken pingbacks before rescheduling it.

2. Rewrite the post and republish it as a new post.

If the post is over a year old and requires lots of updating, consider rewriting and publishing it as a new post.

You can do the same with posts that you have published on other blogging platforms but which you now want to publish on WordPress.

Here are a few essential things to consider.

  • All existing likes and comments will be lost.
  • All reblog links, pingbacks and links to the post will become invalid.
  • All links and shares on social media will become invalid.
  • Some readers may dislike reading duplicated content they have read on your blog before, so do consider how long ago the post was initially published.
  • Consider informing readers that it is a rewritten version of a previous post at the beginning of your post.
  • Remember to delete the post attracting too much spam once you’ve published the new post.
  • Give the new post a slightly different title. SEOs rank posts and blogs lower that contain too many duplicated blog post titles.

3. Delete the post

Every blogger should be excellent at keeping their blog up to date. Blog housekeeping is as important as writing and publishing new blog posts.

If you have blog posts attracting lots of spam, consider deleting them if the content is outdated and no longer worth keeping. That will put pay to the spambots attacking the post and causing you stress.

However, do remember that deleting a post will also mean that any likes, comments and shares will also be lost.

Final thoughts on spam

Don’t slam the door in the faces of visitors to your blog by allowing spam to stop them from leaving comments and joining discussions and conversations on any of your blog posts.

Remember that search engines will send visitors to your blog posts for as long as the post is live. If they find they can’t leave comments and join a discussion, they may not return.

Don’t ask visitors to leave comments they couldn’t leave on your other blog posts where comments remain open. That will only confuse visitors reading the comments sections.

Get into the habit of checking your WordPress spam folder every time you log into your blog.

Delete the spam, and mark any genuine comments as ‘Not Spam.’ You can do this by changing the view setting of the comments page of your blog’s dashboard to ‘Classic view.’ My blog post, ‘New: WordPress Screen Options Button – Where, Why And How To Use It,‘ gives more details.

Spam can also be ‘bulk’ deleted when in the ‘Default view’ setting.

Spam comments rarely have an image or photo in the gravatar area of the comment (see image below).

Images highlighting spam messages that contain no Gravatar images
Spam messages often contain no Gravatar image.

Bulk delete comments that do not contain an image or photo on the gravatar.

If you’re not sure a comment is spam, look at the web address of where the comment has come from. If it doesn’t look right, it’s spam.

Image highlighting the web address of a spam comment
If the website address of a comment doesn’t look right, it’s spam!

Don’t allow spam to win!

How do you deal with too many spam comments on your blog?

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

7 Methods You Can Use To Make Visitors Want To Read Your Blog Posts

Have you ever spent hours researching and writing a blog post for it to then get very few (if any) reads or comments?

Disheartening, isn’t it?

Have you ever been deflated when all your hard work and time put into writing a post ends up giving back little if any reward?

Heartbreaking, isn’t it?

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Struggling to get your blog posts read?

Over the years I’ve been blogging, I’ve used seven methods that have not only helped me get my blog posts noticed but have helped get readers to leave comments and follow my blog.

Try them out and see if they work for you.

1. Blog Post Titles

I can’t express enough how important the titles of blog posts are. They are like the shop window to your blog.

The title of your blog post can make or break whether it gets any attention. It’s the most critical element in whether somebody will read your post or move on to another blog.

I’ll be honest and tell you that in the past, I’ve given some of my blog posts terrible titles. No wonder they weren’t getting any attention, or any new visitors leaving comments on them. All they did was make my blog posts flop.

If the title isn’t eye-catching or enticing enough to get visitors to click on the ‘read more’ link, then you’ll be losing hundreds of potential new readers and followers.

But first things first! Always ensure your blog post has a title before hitting the ‘publish’ button.

That may seem like common sense, but I often see blog posts without a title, resulting in WordPress giving the post a random number as the title. It not only looks strange, but it looks unprofessional.

Of course, it’s easily fixed, but too many blog posts without titles can put readers off from reading any new material from you.

At the very least, you should be previewing all your posts before publishing them, so make sure the preview shows a blog post title.

If you’re stuck for a good blog post title, ask yourself what title would make you want to click the link to read the post. It can sometimes be as simple as that.

Once you have your title, try inserting it into a headline analyser and see what score it gets. The higher the score, the more likely your blog post title will attract search engines and readers. I use CoSchedule for this. Click here to try it out for free.

And finally, do not use blog post titles you or other bloggers have used before. Why? Because search engines rank blogs that use duplicated titles lower than those with original titles.

2. Add An Excerpt To Your Post

For those followers who get an email notification of your new blog posts, adding a captivating excerpt can also entice readers to then click through to read the post.

If you don’t add your own excerpt, WordPress will use the first 55 words from your blog post as the excerpt. This can often make the post sound confusing, or give no incentive for readers to want to click the ‘read more’ link, especially if the excerpt cuts off midway in a sentence.

Where possible, I always ask a question when writing an excerpt. For this post, I’ve used –

Having trouble getting visitors to your blog or to read and leave comments on your posts? Here are 7 methods I use that have resulted in thousands of readers reading my posts and leaving comments.

The more you make an excerpt intriguing, the more readers your post will get.

The excerpt box can be found under ‘Featured Image‘ in the settings menu that appears on the righthand-side of your screen when composing a post.

Screenshot highlighting where to find the 'Excerpt' box on a WordPress blog
Creating enticing excerpts for your blog posts will make visitors want to read your posts.

3. Opening Line/Paragraph

Just as the excerpt to your post should be enticing, so should the opening line or paragraph. If your opening line or paragraph is not engaging and appealing, then readers are more likely to move on or skip over the post without leaving a comment.

I often begin my blog posts by asking a question. If you ask a question that poses a problem, readers will want to find out more because you’ll likely be helping solve the problem. Your post then has a greater chance of getting read.

Again, ask yourself what opening line or paragraph would make you want to read more and comment on the post you’ve written.

4. Images

Like many others, I believe that blog posts that include photos and images look far more inviting to read.

Did you know that blog posts containing images are over 70% more likely to get clicked on and read than those that do not include any images?

Adding images or photos help break the post up and creates white space, which all help to make the reading experience more comfortable.

However, be careful when adding any images or photos. Large images can slow down the speed at which your blog post opens. If your blog takes too long to open, many readers will move on rather than wait for everything to download.

Always reduce the size of any images or photos before adding them to your media library.

I use an iMac and am able to reduce photo and image sizes by clicking on ‘Tools – Adjust Size’ on the toolbar of my computer.

5. Be Kind To The Eyes

You may have a brilliant blog post title and great excerpt to entice readers, but if the body of the post isn’t kind to your readers’ eyes, or not attractive to look at, many will move on quickly.

A few things to consider about the body of your posts –

  • Is the font the right size so that your readers do not have to squint or enlarge the page to read it?
  • Can the font be seen clearly? Black font on a white background is the safest combination to use.
  • Is the background colour of your blog gentle on the eyes?
  • Are paragraphs too long, thus making them blocky. Keep paragraphs to no more than four sentences long. This helps creates white space on the post.
  • Is the spacing between each paragraph correct?
  • Does any of the text run into any of the images you’ve inserted on the post, resulting in paragraphs breaking up in the wrong place?
  • Have you lined up images correctly, so they are in line with the correct text?
  • Is there anything in the post or on the page (such as a gif) that can distract from reading the post? If so, consider removing it.

As I mentioned in the above points, I’ve found that a good rule to apply to a paragraph is to never have more than four sentences in it. This helps break up a post nicely and makes reading it a comfortable and pleasant experience.

Finally (and this is something you should always be doing), always preview your post before publishing it so you can correct any issues.

6. Add Sub-Headings

Inserting sub-headings, especially in long posts, break up a post nicely, giving readers a more enjoyable and comfortable read. They’ll be more likely to keep coming back if they’ve found reading your posts a pleasant experience.

As you’ll see from this post, I’ve changed the colour and the size of the font to the sub-headings I’ve added. This helps make the post look inviting and friendly to read.

7. When To Publish Your Posts

As you publish more and more posts and visit more and more blogs, you should get an idea of when are the best days and best times to publish your blog posts.

For example, if most of your readers are based in the U.S.A (and you’re based in the UK) the best time to publish your posts is between 12:00 and 17:00 GMT. Why? Because the mornings are peak-reading times for many.

Remember that your posts will appear on the WordPress Reader of the bloggers who follow you, but will slowly disappear as more and more posts drop onto the reader.

I’ve read many articles about when is the best time to publish blog posts, and most of them claim the best publishing day and time is Monday at 11 am EST. However, until you know where most of your audience is, this will differ.

Let’s Recap

  • Blog post titles are the shop window to your blog. They can make or break your blog.
  • Make the titles of your blog posts enticing enough to make visitors want to click the ‘read more’ link.
  • When creating a blog post title, ask yourself what title would make you want to click the ‘read more’ link.
  • Never use duplicate blog post titles. Search engines rank blogs and posts with duplicate titles lower than those with original titles.
  • Adding your own excerpts to your blog posts are far better than allowing WordPress to use the first 55 words of your post as the excerpt.
  • Hook readers by making the opening lines of your blog posts enticing to make them want to find out more.
  • Blog posts that contain images or photos are 70% more likely to get read than those that do not contain any images or photos.
  • Reduce the size of images and photos before adding them to a post. This will help your post download more quickly.
  • Make sure your blog posts are kind to the eyes. Avoid glary colours, tiny font, and combinations of colours that make the font hard to read.
  • Use no more than four sentences in each paragraph, as this helps breaks up blocks of text that can look intimidating to read.
  • Use sub-headings in long posts to help break the post up.
  • Find out where the majority of your followers are located, and schedule posts to publish during the morning in the timezone they are in. Mornings are peak-viewing times.

What do you do to entice readers to read and leave comments on your blog? Please share your tips in the comments section.

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Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Flash Fiction Friday – How To Farm A Blog

February 28, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write about the farm life. Where is the farm and who are the farmers? What are they farming and why? How is the farm life? Go where the prompt leads! Click here for details.


How To Farm Your Blog – by Hugh W. Roberts

“Have you tried farming out your blog posts instead of cluster-publishing them?” asked the blogging genie.

“Farming them out?”

“Yes, another word for scheduling. Instead of publishing too many blog posts and overwhelming your readers, farm them out by scheduling them over a more extended period. Your readers won’t feel swamped.”

“I like that idea.”

“And don’t forget to farm out the posts you want to reblog. Instead of reblogging them the same day the original post is published, allow them to grow and farm them out a week later. After all, farming and blogging are all about growth.”

***

Image of a farmer showing a small boy how to plant plants.
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

***

Notes

The definition of a cluster-blogger is somebody who publishes many blog posts within a short timeframe and then does not publish the next batch of blog posts for many days/weeks or months. It can result in making readers feel overwhelmed.

Scheduling blog posts in advance and leaving at least six hours between the publication of blog posts decreases the sense of overwhelmingness, resulting in a more manageable and enjoyable reading experience. 

Click here for information on how to schedule blog posts. 


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love Glimpses

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

***

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background

Click the ‘Diversity with a Twist’ image to check out my latest post on my column at the Carrot Ranch.

Follow Hugh on his social media platforms by clicking the buttons below.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

13 Free Quick And Easy Blogging Tips For Every Blogger

Are you new to blogging?

Are you thinking of starting a blog?

Have you been blogging for long and fallen victim to some of the blogging traps out there?

I recommend thirteen quick blogging tips to get you started, become a better blogger, and avoid those traps.

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13 Free Quick And Easy Blogging Tips

1. It’s all about me

Do you like to know something about the person behind the blog? I do, as it gives me an idea of what to expect when considering whether to follow a blog.

Every blogger and blog should have an ‘About me’ page.

Why? Because not only do most new visitors to your blog want to know a little about you before deciding whether to follow, but it’s also one of the most visited pages of the majority of blogs.

Take a look at how many times my ‘About me’ page has been viewed.

Screenshot highlighting how many views the 'About Hugh' page has had
How many times has my ‘About me’ page been visited?

Yes, over 12,000 times! Check how often your blog’s ‘About me’ page has been visited. You may be surprised!

Tell visitors a little about yourself and at least give them a name by which they can call you. If you don’t want to use your real name, use one you’d like to be known by.

Ensure your blog does not have the original template for an ‘About me’ page. It will say ‘This Is An Example Of An About Me Page’ and contains no other information. How bad does that look to new visitors to your blog?

My blog post, ‘Why Every Blogger Should Have An About Me Page On Their Blog‘, gives lots of information about what an ‘About me,’ page should include.

I also recommend reading James Lane’s post, ‘How to Write the Perfect About Me Page For Your WordPress Blog.’ It gives essential and excellent information about the ‘About me’ page.

And remember to update your ‘About me’ page at least every 6 to 9 months or sooner if anything has changed.

2. Make some journeys outside of your blog

I’m always amazed by the information in the blogging world.

I’ve learned how to self-publishing a book, how to use social media and make it work for me, how to bake gin & tonic cupcakes, how to take great photos and, of course, picked up lots of blogging tips.

Reading other blog posts often ignites ideas for new posts.

Make sure to also check out the comments section, as this is another place to discover new bloggers and get ideas for future blog posts.

Even if you can only spare a few minutes a day, make sure you visit, read, and comment on other blogs.

3. Get talking to other bloggers

When you comment on another blog, other visitors will read and see it and may come and visit your blog. However, ensure your comments are always relevant to the post and prove that you have read it.

Comments of at least ten words or two sentences long show that you enjoy interacting with other bloggers and your audience.

Don’t overload comments with emojis, as they can appear spammy. Using emojis in blog posts is also considered a bad habit that can affect your blog’s ranking with SEOs like Google and Bing.

Avoid leaving lazy comments such as ‘Great Post.’ These types of comments add no value whatsoever.

Instead, tell the blogger what it was that made you think it was a great post or why you enjoyed reading it. They will appreciate your thoughtful comments far more and may visit your blog and become your next follower.

However, never feel obliged to leave a comment if you’ve nothing of value to add. Instead, click the ‘like’ button on the post. After all, that’s what the ‘like’ button is for.

4. Treat others how you’d want them to treat you

Don’t ignore anyone who has taken the time to read and leave a comment on any of your posts.

Most importantly, never ignore anyone who has taken the time to leave a comment on your ‘About me.’ page.

Think about it like this. You’ve invited a guest around for a coffee and a catch-up and completely ignore them. That’s like ignoring comments left on your blog.

Try and respond to comments promptly. However, responding a week later is far better than not responding at all.

Treat everyone who visits your blog as a guest and ensure they are made to feel welcome. After all, with millions of other blogs out there, they can always go elsewhere.

Never leave any links in a comment unless you have been invited to do so.

If you want to leave a link to one of your posts or to another blogger’s post because you believe it’s relevant, ask for permission first.

When I started blogging, I quickly learned from other bloggers that leaving uninvited links was frowned upon and seen as spammy.

What would you think if you owned a coffee shop and, without your permission, somebody from a rival coffee shop came in and left a lot of promotional leaflets about their coffee shop without your consent?

It’s not your blog to leave links on unless you have been invited or asked for permission to leave them.

Not sure how to deal with uninvited links or pingbacks left in comments on your blog posts? Edit them out by editing the comment first before approving it. Whoever is leaving uninvited links or pingbacks will soon get the message.

6. Take a challenge

There are lots of writing and photography challenges in the world of blogging.

Don’t be shy, have a try.

It will help you with your writing and photography skills, and other participants will come over and read or look at your entry.

It’s a great way to make new friends, have fun, and gain more followers.

Most challenges are held weekly, but some may be held monthly.

Here are details of some blogging challenges I’ve participated in. Click on the links for more information.

Link-up parties are a great way to introduce your blog to many other readers and for you to discover new blogs to follow.

This is where the host will invite you to leave a link to one of your own blog posts.

I’ve participated in many link-up parties and have always found them successful.

Most link-up parties’ rules are that you must at least visit some of the other participants’ blogs if you leave a link to a blog post.

If the host features your blog post the following week, you’ll get an increase in traffic to your blog.

It’s a great way of promoting your blog and discovering new blogs.

Here are details of two link-up parties I participate in. Click on the links for more information.

8. Make sure you’re contactable

Can you imagine a TV or movie producer, an editor of a magazine, or another blogger wanting to contact you to invite you to write an article, and they can’t find a way of reaching you privately?

Many bloggers dream of making some extra cash with their blog, so if you don’t have a ‘contact me’ page and they can’t find a way of contacting you, they’ll probably move on and give that opportunity to somebody else.

Not everyone wants to leave a comment that other readers can see, so ensure your blog has a way for visitors to contact you privately.

Click here to learn how to set up a ‘Contact me’ page.

9. Invite a guest blogger

I’ve contacted and asked other bloggers and writers to write a guest post for publication on my blog. Many have accepted my invitation.

Once published, the guest blogger may reblog the post. Some may ask you to write a guest post for their blog, putting you in front of a brand-new audience.

Don’t be shy. Ask other bloggers and writers if they want to write a guest post. You’ll be surprised by how many bloggers and writers welcome guest blog post opportunities.

10. Take up an invite

On the other side of inviting guest bloggers, consider accepting opportunities for writing guest posts for publication on other blogs.

Remember what I said previously about being put in front of a brand new audience? Time for the spotlight to shine on you.

However, don’t fall into the trap of accepting every invite.

11. Sharing is caring

I no longer use the WordPress ‘reblog‘ button but, instead, use ‘Press This.’ to share other bloggers’ posts. I also share their posts on my social media platforms, especially if I have enjoyed reading them.

In return, many bloggers will share my posts, putting me and my blog in front of thousands of new readers.

By sharing blog posts, you are putting yourself in the position of the possibility of having your blog pushed to the front, where you may be discovered by new followers.

The more you share, the more you and your blog get noticed.

12. Social Media: The highway to your blog

Using social media to promote your blog is free and can help bring your blog lots of extra traffic.

But don’t take my word for it; check the following screenshot to see what additional shares social media brought to my blog in 2021.

Image showing social media traffic to Hugh's Views And News
Social Media Traffic

Want to follow me on social media? Click on the buttons below.

13. Get ready to land

Do you know what the first thing new visitors to your blog see when not clicking on a specific post is?

What’s the first thing you’d like a new visitor to your blog to see when they visit your blog?

Click on the home button in the menu at the top of my blog to see what new visitors see when they arrive here out of the blue.

Make sure your landing page is something that will persuade every new visitor to stay rather than leave and never come back.

Do you have other tips for bloggers you’d like to add to my list? Please leave them in the comments section.

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