Throwback Thursday – Blogging – Is It All You Want It To Be?

In February 2022, I passed a milestone in which I’d been blogging for eight years.

Click the link below for my overview of the world of blogging in those eight years. You may be surprised by what I said.

Blogging – Is It All That You Want It To be?

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

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Throwback Thursday

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Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

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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?

Recently, I’ve been shaking my head a lot when visiting the blogging world.

Some of my fellow bloggers worry me, and I’m concerned about their mental health.

I’m witnessing bloggers panicking, stressed, feeling guilty, or apologising because of how they blog.

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Are you showing signs of stress because of blogging?

Here are some of the bloggers I am referring to. Are you one of them?

The Sprinters

Have you heard this quote?

Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!

It’s a quote many bloggers acknowledge.

Sprinters rush around the blogging world every day as if they’re on a time challenge where they must read and leave comments on as many blog posts as possible within a certain amount of time.

The comments they leave are seldom engaging and are often empty. Instead of leaving a comment saying why they thought a post was great or why they liked a photo or reading a piece of fiction, they’ll leave a comment like, ‘Great story’ or ‘I enjoyed this.’

They don’t have time to leave engaging comments, so leave comments that’ll not make you want to engage with them other than maybe to say ‘Thanks.’

If they fail to leave comments on all the blogs they’re following, they believe they may upset someone. They need to prove they’ve visited your post, often by leaving an empty comment.

They often show signs of stress or pressure in the content they publish and the comments they leave.

They won’t read long-engaging posts because that wastes time and worsens their stress. They’re on a mission to read as many posts as possible in the time they have so they don’t upset anyone.

Why read a couple of interesting, engaging, long posts when you can read lots of short blog posts in the time it takes to read one fascinating post over 1,000 words that gets you and lots of other readers wanting to get into a discussion?

When I saw the above tweet from James, I punched the air with my fist. He makes a valid point. And it doesn’t only apply to new bloggers.

Blogging should never be about sprinting under pressure around the blogging world to see how many blog posts you can read and comment on in 20 minutes!

Those posts will still be there next week.

There is no such thing as being behind in blogging. Read, respond and leave comments when you have the time to do so.

Hugh W. Roberts

Ask yourself why you started blogging. Was it for enjoyment and fun? Or did you come to the blogging world on a mission to try and break the world record every day for the number of blog posts you can read and comment on so you don’t feel guilty or upset anyone?

Is rushing around the blogging world, feeling stressed out while leaving the same non-engaging short comments, fun?

Slow down, and engage with bloggers rather than trying to prove the point that you have visited their posts.

If you don’t have the time to read and leave comments, make time by reading less blogs.

Hugh W. Roberts

This brings me to…

The obliging blogger

In the next paragraph, I’ll ask you a question. Leave your answer in the comments section before reading the rest of this post.

Question: If a blogger reads and leaves comments on all your blog posts, should you feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts?

You won’t be surprised that my answer to that question is ‘No.’

But if you answered ‘Yes’, share your reasons in the comments section.

Nobody should feel obliged to read and comment on another blogger’s posts because they read and leave comments on all their blog posts.

Your time is precious, and wasting it by forcing yourself to read and comment on content that does not interest you is a waste of your time.

“But won’t the blogger who reads and comments on all my posts stop reading and commenting on my blog posts if I don’t return the favour?’

Yes, they may, but does it matter? And if they do, ask yourself this question.

‘Why am I following that blogger?’

If it’s because you genuinely enjoy reading their content, then, by all means, continue to follow them, but don’t feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts.

If a blogger gets upset with you for not reading and leaving comments on all their posts, consider unfollowing them.

Allocate the time you spent reading their blogs to the blogs you enjoy reading, and leave valuable, engaging comments on those posts rather than short, empty, non-engaging comments.

Tip: Make the first comment count and show that you genuinely want to engage.

Don’t get too upset if the blogger you’re trying to engage with doesn’t want to engage with you when they respond to your comment with nothing but a ‘Thank you.’

That’s your cue to think twice before engaging with them again.

If you don’t want to engage with a blogger after reading a post, press the like button and move on. After all, that’s why it’s there.

There is nothing wrong with not leaving a comment after reading a blog post if you’ve nothing of value to add. Stop acting like it’s a crime not to leave one.

Hugh W. Roberts

Don’t be tricked into feeling guilty if you don’t always leave a comment. I read many blog posts where I do not click the ‘like’ button or leave comments. Why? Because I have nothing of value to add.

Likewise, never feel obliged to follow a blogger who has followed your blog. There’s no harm in visiting their blog to check out their content. If you like it, by all means, follow back, but don’t follow them simply because they followed you.

The desperate blogger

This blogger comes in two forms.

The first are bloggers you’ve never received comments from, and suddenly they’ll leave a comment and link on one of your posts that begs you (and your readers) to check out their blog, read their posts and leave comments.

I’ve received lots of these types of comments recently.

Their comment won’t mention anything about the contents of the posts they’ve left their comment on, just a few words of desperation and a link to their blog.

You’ll see them leaving the same comment on other blogs. I never approve these comments, so you’ll never see them in the comments section of any of my blog posts.

These types of comments are often left by new bloggers looking for new followers and readers.

If you’re new to blogging, there are much better ways to gain followers and new readers than to leave uninvited links on other blogs. These posts list some tips that will help you gain new followers and readers.

New To Blogging? These Free Tips On Leaving Comments Will Help Bring New Visitors To Your Blog

Are You Struggling To Get People To Your Blog? These 7 Free Methods Will Help

The other type of desperate blogger is someone who has previously left some engaging comments but unexpectedly starts dropping links to their posts that have nothing to do with the content of your post, asking you to read and comment.

I’ve said this many times before. Other blogs are not places for you to leave links unless the host has invited you to leave them. For example, in my Wordless Wednesday posts, I invite bloggers to leave links to their Wordless Wednesday posts.

If you have a post you’d like to share with a blogger in the comments section because it’s connected to their post, ask for permission to leave the link first.

Many bloggers class uninvited links as spam and move comments that include them to the spam folder or bin.

How do you deal with uninvited links left in the comments section of your blog?

I edit them out before approving the comment by pressing the edit button.

Image highlighting the edit button on a comment on a WordPress blog
Click edit to edit out uninvited links from bloggers

Remember to save the changes and then approve the comment. Most bloggers leaving uninvited links soon get the message.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Never feel pressured to read and comment on too many blog posts when you don’t have the time.
  • Read and leave engaging comments on a few blog posts a day/week rather than try and read and leave empty, non-engaging comments on all the blog posts of those you follow.
  • Never feel obliged to follow a blog simply because they followed you.
  • Don’t force yourself or waste time reading blog posts that do not interest you. Instead, invest your time reading and engaging with bloggers who publish content that interests you.
  • It doesn’t matter if you don’t read a blog post today. It’ll still be there to read in a week or when you have more time.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you do not get around to reading all the blog posts you want to read and comment on.
  • If you have nothing of value to add in a comment, rather than leaving short, empty, non-engaging comments, click the ‘like’ button and move on.
  • Other blogs are not the place to leave uninvited links promoting your blog.
  • Edit out uninvited links before approving comments.
  • Remove any thoughts of thinking you’re behind with blogging and have to catch up. Read and comment on posts when you have the time to do so.

Are there any examples of blogging that have you holding your head in your hands, shaking your head or concerned for other bloggers? Please share them in the comments section.

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Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Throwback Thursday – Are Your Old Blog Posts Damaging Your Blog? How To Stop It From Happening

Did you know that keeping old, out-of-date blog posts on your blog can damage the health of your blog?

Click the link below for help to stop the damage from happening.

Are Your Old Blog Posts Damaging Your Blog? How To Stop It From Happening

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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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

5 Powerful Blogging Tools That Will Get Your Blog Noticed

Getting readers to engage with you by leaving comments on your blog posts is something many bloggers crave.

And when those comments clearly show that your post has been read, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

However, once you get visitors reading your posts and leaving comments, you need to do all you can to ensure they keep coming back.

Writing good quality posts that make your readers want to engage with you and each other is one way to keep your readers returning, but you also need to ensure they can easily find your other similarly themed posts, which are often buried deep in your blog archives.

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Need more readers and followers? These 5 blogging tools will help

Here are five blogging tools that work for me. Not only do they give my readers a way of finding more similarly-themed content, but these tools have also helped bring me many new readers and followers.

1. The Search Bar

The other day, I was writing a new blog post and wanted to include links to some posts I had read on other blogs.

However, try as I might, I couldn’t find one of the posts I wanted to link to. Even worse, there was no search bar on the blog concerned.

It wasn’t long before I gave up looking for that blog post. I didn’t have the time to find it.

You can make it easy for readers to find what they are looking for by including a search bar on your blog.

Does your blog have a search bar? If not, WordPress has a ‘search’ widget. Click here to find out how to install one.

Once you’ve installed a search bar, open up one of your blog posts and check you are happy with its position. Ensure it’s visible and easy for visitors to find. The search bar on my blog is the first widget on my widget bar to the right of all my blog posts.

Remember, too, that you can use the search bar when looking for your own posts. You can save yourself a lot of time by doing this instead of scrolling through all your blog posts on your blog’s dashboard.

2. The Menu Bar

Navigation is of prime importance on any blog. Make it difficult for visitors to navigate or find more content, and they’ll probably give up and never return.

That’s why it’s essential to have a menu bar on your blog.

A menu bar allows your readers to check out what is on your blog and helps direct them to other parts of your blog they’d like to explore.

Many bloggers can be frightened by including a menu bar on their blog or adding items. However, it’s an easy and straightforward process.

Click here for details on how to set up a custom menu bar on your WordPress blog.

However, don’t overload the menu bar on your blog, as it can look overwhelming. And ensure you keep it updated and check that everything works on it.

3. The ‘Contact Me Page

Just imagine another blogger, a magazine editor, or somebody from your local radio station wanting to contact you to invite you to write an article or appear on a show. How exciting would that be? But they can’t find a way of reaching you privately!

Not everyone wants to leave a comment when they want to invite you to write a guest post, be interviewed, or ask you to appear on a show. If you don’t have a ‘contact me’ page, and nobody can contact you privately, then they’ll probably move on and give that opportunity to somebody else.

On the menu bar of my blog, you’ll see a ‘Contact Hugh’ button. That’s how people can contact me privately.

I get lots of people contacting me every week. As a result, I’ve written guest articles, appeared on radio shows and recorded podcasts, all of which have allowed me to promote myself and my blog. In return, I’ve got hundreds of new readers and followers to my blog.

Make sure you’re contactable. Click here to find out how to set up a ‘contact me’ page.

4. The ‘About Me’ Page

Ever since my early days of blogging, I’ve been told that many new blog visitors will want to learn a little about the blogger behind the blog before deciding whether to follow.

When I visit a new blog, I first look for an ‘about me’ page to learn more about the blogger.

If the blogger doesn’t have an ‘about me’ page or it’s difficult to find, I’m more likely to move on than check out the rest of their blog.

If you do have an ‘about me’ page, ensure you allow new visitors to introduce themselves by allowing them to leave a comment on it. And don’t forget, a friendly reply is more likely to keep that visitor returning to read your posts.

Click here for details on setting up an ‘About Me’ page and what to include.

5. The Gravatar

The image that appears next to all comments is known as a Gravatar. A gravatar is created for you as soon as you leave your first review or comment on the internet.

How many times have you clicked on the gravatar image of somebody who has left an excellent comment on a post and not been able to find their blog details? Frustrating, isn’t it, especially when you think it may be a blog you’d like to follow.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes many bloggers make, as soon as their gravatar is created, is they forget about it. Many don’t realise they can add images and leave links to their blog and social media accounts on their gravatar.

If a reader then clicks on your gravatar, they’ll see the links to your blog and social media accounts and be able to visit them. That means more visitors to your blog and social media accounts which could result in more followers.

Click here to find out how to add links to your blog and social media accounts to your gravatar.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Many blogging tools can help readers notice your blog and keep them returning.
  • Make sure you have a Search Bar on your blog to help visitors find other content.
  • Ensure your blog includes a menu bar, but don’t overload it with too many items.
  • Ensure the links on your blog’s menu bar all work. Check for broken links at least once a month and fix any that have become broken.
  • Ensure your blog has a page where readers and visitors can contact you privately. Not everyone will want to leave a comment inviting you to write a guest post or to appear on a radio show or podcast.
  • Many new visitors want to know a little about the person behind the blog before deciding whether to follow. Tell visitors a little about yourself on an ‘about me’ page.
  • Ensure your Gravatar has links to your blog and social media accounts.

This is an updated version of a post originally published on Hugh’s Views And News in September 2018

What powerful blogging tools do you use on your blog, and why do you use them? Share them with us by leaving a comment.

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.

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

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?

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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.

Image for the blog post 'How To Deal With Spam Without Closing Comments On Your Blog Posts'
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.

How To Participate In Throwback Thursday And Help Your Old Blog Posts Get Noticed

What is Throwback Thursday?

How do you participate in Throwback Thursday?

Throwback Thursday is the day to bring your old blog posts back to life.

Image for the blog post 'How To Participate In Throwback Thursday And Help Your Old Blog Posts Get Noticed Again'
Are you making the most of your old blog posts?

We all have old blog posts in our archives, many of which are buried bits of treasure that can reward us again. Throwback Thursday is the perfect day to rekindle those old blog posts.

Only use blog posts that are still relevant, although always ensure you first make any necessary changes to the posts you want to highlight.

How to participate in Throwback Thursday

Select a favourite blog post that is at least a few months old.

Share it via a pingback or link in a new Throwback Thursday blog post.

After all, not only will some of your readers not have seen the post the first time it was published, but new followers may also not have seen it.

However, as I mentioned, rather than publish the whole post again, the idea behind Throwback Thursday is to include a link to the post you want to highlight in your Throwback Thursday post.

What you should do with your Throwback Thursday blog posts.

Only publish the post on a Thursday. That may seem like common sense, but I’ve seen bloggers publish them on other days of the week. Some readers may find it odd to publish Throwback Thursday posts on any other day than a Thursday. After all, the clue is in the title.

However, don’t worry if you miss publishing your Throwback Thursday blog post. You can always delay publication until the following Thursday. There are lots of Thursdays to choose from.

Flashback Friday.

If you’re a day late in publishing your Throwback Thursday post, you can always change it to a Flashback Friday post. Flashback Friday has the same concept as Throwback Thursday, where you are encouraged to highlight older blog posts.

Share your Throwback Thursday posts on social media using the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday so that other participants can find your post.

Tag your post ‘ThrowBack Thursday’ on your blog so other participants can find it.

You can also include the words ‘Throwback Thursday’ or the hashtag in the title of your blog post, but always ensure you add the title of the blog post you’re highlighting. You don’t want to end up with many blog posts simply titled ‘Throwback Thursday.’

When creating the pingback to the post you want to highlight, ensure you turn on the ‘open in new tab‘ button so that readers don’t lose the page of your blog they’re on.

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

Is there anything else I should consider when publishing Throwback Thursday blog posts?

Yes, I recommend closing comments on the post and asking readers to leave any new comments on the original blog post you’re highlighting. That way, they can see and read comments already left on the post you’re promoting. They can join any ongoing discussion. It makes more sense to have comments on the same post rather than scattered across several blog posts.

When selecting which posts to promote, choose the ones you believe your readers will benefit from and think they’ll enjoy reading again.

And that is Throwback Thursday.

Do you participate in Throwback Thursday? Do you have any questions about Throwback Thursday? Please leave them in the comments section.

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How To Participate In The Wordless Wednesday Photography Challenge And Gain New Followers

What is Wordless Wednesday?

It’s a photography challenge I became aware of when I started blogging in 2014.

The purpose of the challenge is to allow photos or pictures to tell a story without using any words.

Image for the blog post 'How To Participate In The Wordless Wednesday Photography Challenge And Gain New Followers'
Have you participated in Wordless Wednesday?

I’ve no idea who began the Wordless Wednesday photography challenge, but my hat goes off to them. It’s an easy and simple challenge to get involved with that’ll bring new followers to your blog.

The more you participate, the more new visitors your blog will get. However, it does help if you do the challenge correctly and ensure you promote your Wordless Wednesday blog posts on social media.

You will also gain new visitors and followers if you visit and leave comments on other Wordless Wednesday blog posts.

Fact: Participating in the Wordless Wednesday photography challenge ignited my long-lost passion for photography. I have also discovered some wonderful new blogs by participating.

Are there any rules for participating in Wordless Wednesday? 

None that I can find. So I’m sharing some of the rules I believe the originator of Wordless Wednesday would have set when creating the challenge. 

Those interested in participating can take or leave these rules, but remember that the key feature of the challenge is for your blog post to be wordless. 

  • Published entries only on a Wednesday. 
  • Other than the title of your post and any captions and copyright information, don’t use any words in the main body of the post. Remember, the theme is ‘Wordless.’
  • Your photo should not contain words or letters (other than copyright information).
  • Use the hashtag #WordlessWednesday when sharing your post on social media. That way, other participants can find them.
  • Tag your Wordless Wednesday posts ‘WordlessWednesday’ on your blog so that other participants can find them. 

Can I use ‘Wordless Wednesday’ in the title of my blog posts?

Yes, and it’s something I recommend you do.

Warning: Do not use just ‘Wordless Wednesday’ as the title. Why? Because as you publish more and more Wordless Wednesday posts, you’ll build up many blog posts with the same identical title. SEOs such as Google and Bing dislike duplicated blog post titles. As a result, your blog will be ranked lower for using duplicated blog post titles.

Using the same blog post title also renders the search facility on your blog useless. For example, let’s say somebody wants to find a photo of a boat I published on a Wordless Wednesday post five years ago. If I’ve titled all my blog posts ‘Wordless Wednesday’ they’ll have to search through all those posts to find the one they’re looking for.

However, if I titled the post ‘Red boat’ #WordlessWednesday‘, a search result for ‘Boat’ will feature that particular post.

  • So, always give the title of your Wordless Wednesday blog posts a different title. Here are some examples.

Clouds #WordlessWednesday

A Day at the beach #WordlessWednesday

In the park #WordlessWednesday

Solitude #WordlessWednesday

Hills and Mountains #WordlessWednesday

Go with a title that fits the photo(s) theme you’re sharing, and add the Wordless Wednesday hashtag to it.

Using images and photos that are not your own

If you’re using an image from the internet for your post, remember to credit the originator or the site where you got the photo/image. You can do this by adding a caption which you can turn into a pingback. 

Not sure what a pingback is or how to create one? Check out my blog post How To Create A Pingback On A WordPress Blog.

If the photo/image is completely free to use at all times, you don’t need to credit it. However, check the small print before using any photos or images from the internet as they may only be free to use for a limited time.

Warning: Bloggers get fined for illegally using copyrighted photos and images on their blogs. Check out Deborah Jay’s guest post, ‘Why I Was Threatened With Legal Action After Reblogging On WordPress‘ about being threatened with legal action and a fine for using a copyrighted photo on her blog.

Using your own images and photos is a much safer option.

What you shouldn’t do with the Wordless Wednesday photography challenge

  • Use images and photos that are copyrighted and illegal to use and share.
  • Add lots of text to your post. I’ve seen many bloggers use Wordless Wednesday in the title of a blog post and add loads of text to the body of the post.
  • Likewise, I have seen some bloggers use the Wordless Wednesday hashtag on social media for a post containing lots of text. Those searching for Wordless Wednesday posts and taken to a blog post that contains lots of text won’t return to your blog.

The whole idea of Wordless Wednesday is for the blog post not to contain any text about the photos or images. Allow the photos or images to tell the story.

The comments section of the post can be used to give out more information about the photos or images you are using.

Here are some examples of some of my Wordless Wednesday blog posts. They’ll give you an idea of how to participate. Click on the links to see the posts.

Have You Ever Seen A Hippopotamus In Your Coffee? #Wordless Wednesday #Photography

Fresh And Fruity #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Sunrise Over Swansea Bay #WordlessWednesday #Photography

Feel free to leave me a link to your Wordless Wednesday post in the comments section. I’d love to see them.

Do you participate in Wordless Wednesday? Do you have any questions about the Wordless Wednesday Photography Challenge? Leave them in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you.

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