Looking For Help With Blogging? Do You Have Any Questions About Blogging?

In February 2014, when I published my first blog post, I never thought that I’d go on to write and publish blog posts that included blogging tips.

Since publishing my first blogging tips post, they’ve become amongst my most successful on my blog.

Image for the blog post 'Looking For Help With Blogging? Do You Have Any Questions About Blogging?'
Looking For Help With Blogging?

Where do blogging tips come from?

Mostly from other bloggers. You’ll find hundreds of blogging tips posts all over the blogging world, and, best of all, the majority are free.

Most of us have something to say about writing and blogging as writers and bloggers. They’re usually hot topics for discussion.

I’ve witnessed many posts about blogging and writing getting many comments left on them. Most of these posts get lots of attention and usually hundreds of comments.

Although most of my blogging tips posts come from ideas I have when playing with various buttons and settings on the WordPress platform, I’d like to get you more involved. Therefore, in 2022, I’m relaunching a successful feature I did a few years ago on Hugh’s Views and News.

Do you have any questions you’d like to ask about any aspects of blogging?

  • Not sure how to tag and categorise your blog posts?
  • How do you get readers to leave comments? 
  • What about ‘pingbacks’ and ‘linkbacks’? What are they, and how do they work?
  • What’s the best days of the week and time of day to publish blog posts?
  • How should you respond to negative comments?
  • What are reusable blocks, and what are the benefits of using the Block editor?
  • How do you reduce the size of images and photos on your blog posts?

I’m opening the floor to you. Here’s what you need to do.

In the comments section of this post, leave me your blogging questions and include a link to your blog. 

If your question is selected, I will contact you and write and publish a new post that answers your question. I’ll link back to your blog in the post. I’ll also feature one of your books if you’re an author.

I don’t claim to be an expert in the field of blogging, but I’ve learned a lot about it since I published my first post. I’ll do my best to answer all your questions.

Now it’s over to you.

Do you have any questions about blogging that you’d like me to answer? There’s no deadline for asking your questions. My invitation is open as long as this post is live on my blog.

Get asking, and get featured. I look forward to hearing from you.

Follow Hugh On Social Media

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Is This New WordPress Block The Best Way To Help Promote Your Blog For Free?

Every blogger should be active on at least one other social media platform besides blogging. Why? Because it’s a free way to get you, your blog and your books in front of new audiences.

Banner for the blog post 'Is This New WordPress Block The Best Way To Help Promote Your Blog For Free?'
Looking to promote your blog for free?

Unless you tell your readers what social media platforms you’re on, then they’ll probably only find you by chance. That’s why you should do all you can to promote where your readers can also find you and your books.

WordPress has made the ‘Social Icons’ widget into a block that makes it easy to advertise your social media accounts on your blog posts and pages. And, best of all, once you’ve created it, with a single click, you can add it to every blog post and page. 

The ‘Social Icons‘ block takes away the ‘probably’ and does the job perfectly.

Let’s get started. Here’s how to create your ‘Social Icons’ block. 

  • The ‘Social Icons’ block can be added to a new blog post (or one you’ve already published).
  • Click the ‘add new block button’.
  • Search for the block by adding ‘social icons’ in the search-bar.
  • Click the ‘Social Icons’ block to add it to your post.
Screenshot highlighting the three steps to find and add the 'Social Icons
Where to find the ‘Social Icons’ block
  • Next, follow the instructions on the following image to start adding social media icons to the block. I’ve also listed the instructions under the image.
Screenshot highlighting how to add social media icons to the social icons block on WordPress
Adding your social media accounts to the block
  • Click the ‘plus’ sign just above the window that shows social icons images.
  • Use the search-bar to find social icons.
  • Click on the social icons you want to add to the block.
  • For a full list of available social icons, click on ‘Browse all.’

In my case, I’ve added social icons for Twitter, WordPress, Amazon, Goodreads and Flipboard. 

Screenshot showing the social icons added to the social icons block on WordPress
Social icons on the social icons block

Useful Tip: Use the ‘link‘ icon for any social icons WordPress does not have icons for. I’ve done this for my Flipboard account.

Screenshot highlighting the 'link' icon on WordPress
No social media icon? No problem!

Note: Until you’ve linked your social media accounts to the icons, they will be ‘ghosted’ out.

  • To link your social media accounts to each icon, click on each icon and copy and paste the URL address of the relevant social media account in the bar that appears. 
Screenshot showing how to add a social media account to a social icon on WordPress
Adding your social media accounts to the social icons
  • Remember to always click the ‘Apply’ button after adding each account. 

As you add each address, the icon will no longer be ‘ghosted’ out. 

Now you’ve added and linked your social media accounts to all icons, it’s time to choose a few more features. You’ll find these on the righthand side of the screen when clicking on the ‘Social Icons’ block you’ve created. Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see and some features I’ve highlighted.

Screenshot showing the different options available on the Social Icons block on WordPress
Social icons features

The features include –

  • The style of each icon. In my case I chose the ‘Pill’ shape for the icons.
  • The option of wether a new window opens when somebody clicks on one of the icons.
  • Choice of colours for the icons

I highly recommend that you switch on the ‘Open links in new tab‘ feature so that the page your reader is on when clicking on the icons does not close down. After all, you don’t want anybody leaving your blog when clicking on one of the icons, do you?

Can the size of the social icons be changed?

Yes. Click the ‘Size’ button in the ‘social Icons’ block’s toolbar to change the size of the icons.

Screenshot highlighting where to change the size of the social icons on the social icons block on WordPress
Changing the size of your social media icons

You can also change the alignment and the items justification of the icons in the block’s toolbar. 

How to turn your ‘Social Icon’ block into a reusable block.

If you want to add your ‘Social Icons’ block with just one click onto all your blog posts (and I recommend you do), you’ll need to make the block reusable. My post How To Add A Reusable Block To A WordPress Blog Using The Gutenberg Editor gives full details on how to do this, but here’s an image that quickly outlines the details.

Screenshot that gives quick details on how create a reusable block on WordPress
Creating a reusable block

Any edits or updates you do to a reusable block are applied everywhere you’ve used the block. Therefore, if any of your social media accounts get a new URL address, all you need to do is edit the address in the reusable block. You don’t need to visit and make the changes on every blog post where the block appears. Reusable blocks are excellent for adding details of your books to blog posts especially when doing occasional special deals on them.

  • Finally, most importantly, make sure the icons in the block work and go to the correct social media accounts before using the block on your posts.

Let’s Wrap It Up

  • Social media is one of the best ways to promote your blog and books for free.
  • Use the ‘social icons’ block to promote your social media accounts and let readers know where to find you.
  • The ‘social icons’ block is easy to set up and use. Follow the guide in this post.
  • Use the ‘link’ icon to crate a button for social media platforms WordPress does not offer an icon for.
  • To stop readers leaving your blog when clicking on your ‘social Icons’ block, make sure the ‘open links in new tab’ button is switched on.
  • Turn your ‘social icons’ block into a reusable block that can be inserted on all posts and pages with just one click.
  • Any changes you make to your ‘social icons’ reusable block will be implemented wherever the block appears. No need to make the changes on every post!

And here is my ‘Social Icons’ block.

Go ahead and click on the buttons and follow me on my other social media platforms.

Are you using the ‘Social Icons’ block?

Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.

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

Looking for more blogging tips? Check out these recent posts from Hugh.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

New: WordPress Screen Options Button – Where, Why And How To Use It

Have you noticed the new WordPress ‘Screen Options’ button on the dashboard of your blog?

At first, it wasn’t very noticeable to me, but I now find myself using it everyday because it has some great features.

Banner for the blog post 'New: WordPress Screen Options Button - Where, Why and How To Use It
New: WordPress Screen Options Button

Where can I find the ‘Screen Options’ button?

You’ll find the ‘Screen Options‘ button in the top righthand corner of your screen when viewing ‘Posts,’ ‘Pages’, ‘Media’ or ‘Comments’ on the dashboard of your blog. Please note that It doesn’t yet seem to be available on the WordPress App.

Screenshot highlighting the Screen Options button on WordPress
Screen Options Button

I am able to see the button when using WordPress on my desktop computer, laptop, iPad and iPhone using Safari and Chrome.

What does the ‘Screen Options’ button do?

It’s a quick way to switch between the new WordPress ‘Default’ view and the old ‘Classic’ view of your blog’s dashboard.

Clicking on the button gives users two choices when viewing information on the ‘Posts’, ‘Pages’ and ‘Comments’ section on their blog’s dashboard.

Screenshot highlighting the menu under the Screen Options button on WordPress
Screen Options Menu

‘Default’ view is the one I’ve been using for the last couple of months. Here are two screenshots of what my blog’s ‘posts’ page looks like with the ‘Default’ view and the ‘Classic’ view.

Screenshot showing the Default view of blog posts on a WordPress blog
Default View
Screenshot showing the Classic view of blog posts on a WordPress blog
Classic view

Many users may recognise the old-style ‘Classic’ view. However, did you know that it now contains more options? Clicking on the ‘Screen Options’ button again will disclose the options. I’ve highlighted some of them on the following image.

Screenshot of the options for blog posts on the Classic view options
Classic option features

Not only can you choose which columns to display under ‘posts,’ but you can also choose how many of your posts you want to see on the dashboard.

If you make any chances, click the ‘Apply’ button to save them.

What does the ‘view mode’ option do?

Changing the ‘view mode’ option to ‘Extended view’ will show a little more information under your posts.

Screenshot highlighting the Extended view option on WordPress
Extended view

In my case, I was able to see the excerpt for each of my posts.

Reminder – click the ‘Apply’ button if you make any changes.

The ‘Classic’ view also has a gateway to the old Classic editor, where you can draft new blog posts. However, WordPress may remove this at any time.

Screenshot highlighting the gateway to the old Classic editor on WordPress
Gateway to the old Classic editor

Struggling with spam? Use the Classic option

As I use the Block editor, I use the ‘Default’ version. However, I use the ‘Classic’ option for specific functions that the ‘Default’ option doesn’t yet do. For example, I use the ‘Classic’ option for deleting all spam from my WordPress spam folder with just one click.

Screenshot highlighting the WordPress Empty Spam Button
Emptying Spam

Don’t allow spam to cause you any problems or to allow you to make any harsh decisions. It can easily be dealt with.

Although the ‘Default’ option offers an option to bulk delete spam, you can only delete 20 spam comments at any one time.

Screenshot highlighting the Bulk Edit button on WordPress
Bulk Edit

So using the ‘Classic’ option helps save me time when dealing with hundreds of spam comments daily.

I’ve not yet discovered a way of marking comments that end up in the spam folder by mistake as genuine (not spam) in the ‘Default’ version. So, again, I use the ‘Classic’ version for performing this task.

While using ‘Classic’ view, if at any time you want to go back to using the new ‘Default’ (WordPress.com view) option, click the button.

Screenshot highlighting the Default view (WordPress.com view) button
Default view button

The ‘Screen Options’ function may only be available with specific WordPress plans.

Let’s wrap it up

  • The new ‘Screen Options’ button can be found on the ‘Posts,’ ‘Pages’, ‘Media’ and ‘Comments’ pages of the dashboard of your WordPress blog.
  • ‘Classic’ view option has more options when viewing posts and comments.
  • Delete spam with one click when using ‘Classic’ view.
  • ‘Default’ view only allows bulk action (20 comments) when deleting spam.
  • Works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.
  • Does not work via the WordPress app.

Have you been using the new ‘Screen Options’ button? Have I missed out anything you’ve discovered it does? If you have any questions about the ‘Screen Options’ button leave them in the comments section.

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

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 over on my column at the Carrot Ranch

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Make The Images In Your Blog Posts More Powerful

Did you know that you can make the images on your blog posts drive even more traffic to your blog, book page or your online store? They’re not there just to be looked at and admired.

Usually, when I click on an image or a photo on a blog post, all I get is a duplicate version of what I’m looking at. I feel like I’ve been taken down a dead-end road!

What could have happened is that when I clicked on an image or photo, I’m taken to another blog post, website, or even where I can buy the book of the cover I’m looking at.

Adding a pingback to images or photos is the answer. But how do you attach a pingback to an image?

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How To Make The Images In Your Blog Posts More Powerful

Not sure what a pingback is? My post ‘How To Create A PingBack On A WordPress Blog‘ gives full details.

Let’s get started.

As I use WordPress, I’m detailing how to do this using the Block editor. However, it should be a similar process on other blogging platforms.

  • Using the Image block, add a photo or image from your WordPress media library. As June is Pride month, I’m using the following image from a blog post I published last June.
Banner for True Stories: Gay Memories - rainbow-coloured paint in the background
  • Once you’ve place the image on your post, click on it to open up the toolbar of the Image block and click on the PingBack button.
Screenshot highlighting the 'PingBack' button.
PingBack button
  • A small Media File window opens.
Screenshot showing the Media File window that opens when clicking the pingback button
Media File
  • The media file is where the address of the webpage is pasted that you want readers directed to when clicking on the image. As I mentioned earlier, this can be one of your blog posts, the blog post of another blogger, or a website.
  • Copy the URL address of the page you want readers directed to and click the Edit button (pencil icon) in the media file window.
Screenshot highlighting the edit button on the Media File window when creating a pingback
The pingback edit button
  • In the top box of the new window that opens, paste the URL address you’ve copied.
Screenshot highlighting the 'Paste' box when inserting a pingback
Where to paste the URL address
  • If you are directing traffic to one of your blog posts, you can also search for the post by adding some words from its title in the same box.
Screenshot highlighting where to search for a blog post and to select it when creating a pingback
How to search for a blog post when creating a pingback
  • Click the arrow in the Link Settings box (see #2 on the next image) and switch on the ‘Open in a new tab‘ option (see #3 on the next image) so that the pingback opens in a new window. This is important, as it means your reader won’t lose the page they’re reading and be taken away from your blog.
  • Finally, click the Apply button (see #4 on the next image) to secure the link to where readers clicking your pingback will be taken.
Screenshot outlining the final points of creating a pingback on an image
Completing a pingback on an image
  • The image now has a pingback attached to it. Anyone clicking the image will be taken to the post/page/site you’ve created the pingback to.

Do the same for other images on your post. You can either create pingbacks to different locations, or to the same location. For example, for a photo on a Wordless Wednesday post, you can create a pingback to a previous Wordless Wednesday post, thus creating a new route for traffic to that post.

If you’re including an image of one of your books in a post, create a pingback to where readers can buy it.

Advantages of having pingbacks on your blog posts.

  • Creates traffic to your blog.
  • They are SEO friendly.
  • Blog posts that include pingbacks are ranked higher by search engine optimisations (SEOs) such as Google and Bing.
  • Bloggers, whose blogs you link to, may link back to one of your blog posts.
  • They are a great way of promoting older blog posts you have published.
  • You can use a pingback to direct traffic to where readers can buy your books or other goods.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Pingbacks help drive traffic to your other blog posts, the posts of other bloggers, or any website.
  • Pingbacks are easy to create.
  • Pingbacks can be attached to words, images or photos in a blog posts.
  • Don’t make your images a dead-end rote. Make them work by attaching pingbacks to them.
  • If you have an image of one of your books on a blog post, attach a pingback to it so that anyone clicking on it will be taken to where they can buy the book.
  • Always switch on the ‘Open in a new tab‘ option so that readers don’t lose your post. Some may not bother coming back to it once they’ve lost the page.

Do you have any questions on creating pingbacks or attaching them to images on your blog posts? Leave them in the comments section.

Looking for more blogging tips? Check out these recent posts from Hugh.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

6 Recent Blogging Tips Posts That You May Have Missed

Did you miss any of these? Click on the blog post titles to go to each post.

  • Do you have a secure way for visitors to contact you on your website or blog? Are you missing out on opportunities because you don’t have a way for them to contact you? Here’s what to do.

How To Create And Add A Contact Me Form To Your WordPress Blog

  • Do you know how many more people read the titles of your blog posts than read the contents of your posts? Once you know, you’ll want to write better titles for all your blog posts. Let me show you how.

How To Write The Perfect Titles For All Your Blog Posts

  • Short comments and lazy responses. How do you deal with them? Join my discussion.

How Do You Respond To The Comments Left On Your Blog?

  • This is how to fix these 7 simple blogging mistakes many bloggers are making.

Are You Masking Any Of These 7 Simple Blogging Mistakes?

  • Are you following the correct procedure when reblogging on WordPress?

How To Reblog A Blog Post Correctly On WordPress

  • Have you ever had one of your blog posts reblogged? Did you do anything to return the favour?

Do You Know What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Gets Reblogged?

Hugh’s Views And News

Comments are closed on this post. Please leave your comments on the original posts.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Do You Know What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Gets Reblogged?

Many bloggers agree that having their blog posts shared is one of the best things that can happen in the blogging world. After all, whoever is sharing the post is putting your work in front of a new audience. 

I remember when, for the first time, another blogger reblogged one of my posts. As a new blogger, it was one of the most exciting moments of my blogging journey. Even today, I still get a lift whenever one of my blog posts gets reblogged.

But is there anything you should do when one of your blog posts is reblogged?

Yes!

#blogging #bloggingtips #WordPress
Do You Know What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Gets Reblogged?

Unless you’ve switched off your WordPress notifications, you will get an email notification from WordPress when one of your posts gets reblogged. It gives the following information –

  • which post got reblogged
  • who has reblogged it
  • the number of followers it’s been reblogged to

Here’s an example of a recent reblog notification I received after Sally at Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, reblogged one of my posts.

#WordPress #bloggingtips #blogging #reblog #reblogging
WordPress Reblog Notification

WordPress also notifies users of reblogs in the notifications area (the bell symbol in the top right-hand corner of a WordPress blog).

What should I do when one of my blog posts gets reblogged?

The first thing to do is to thank the blogger who has reblogged your post. 

The easiest way to do this is to reply with a ‘thank you’ to the reblog notification in your post’s comments section. 

If the person who has reblogged your post has not closed off comments on the reblog they have done, you can also leave a ‘thank you’ in the comments section of their post. Not only is this polite and seen as friendly to do, but you will also get notifications from WordPress of any further comments left on the reblog.

You can then respond to those comments. However, don’t forget to tick the ‘Notify me of new comments via email’ box to ensure you get the notifications.

#blogging #bloggingtips #WordPress #reblog #reblogging
Don’t forget to tick the ‘Notify me of new comments via email’ box

However, some bloggers, Including myself, choose to disable comments on posts they have reblogged.

Why do some bloggers disable comments on the posts they’ve reblogged?

Because they prefer comments to be left on the original post where they can get seen by everyone reading or leaving comments.

Should I follow the blog of somebody who reblogs one of my blog posts?

If the blogger who reblogged your post is new to you, you may like to look at their blog and consider whether to follow them. However, you should never feel under any obligation to do this.

For example, a beauty blogger once reblogged one of my posts. As I don’t have any interest in beauty products, I chose not to follow her blog, but I did thank her for the reblog.

Should you return the favour and reblog a post of the blogger who has reblogged one of your posts? 

Many do, and it can lead to the blogger reblogging more of your posts. However, never feel under any obligation to reblog a post because somebody has shared one of your posts. By all means, please share one of their posts on one or more of your social media accounts but, providing you have thanked them, there is nothing else you need to do.

If they publish content you’re interested in reading, then by all means read some of their posts and leave them some comments. However, don’t fall into the trap of following a blog that does not publish content you’re interested in reading.

Why Do Some Bloggers Reblog Their Own Posts?

Mainly to update and promote older posts that some new followers may not have read.

I use blogging features such as Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday to promote my older posts.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • If you have email notifications switched on, WordPress will email you whenever one of your blog posts gets reblogged.
  • Reblog notifications also appear in the notifications centre of your blog.
  • Always thank bloggers who reblog any of your blog posts.
  • Thank them by responding to the reblog notification in the comments section of the post they have reblogged .
  • If they have left comments open on the post they have reblogged, you can also thank them there.
  • Don’t feel under any obligation to return the favour and reblog one of their posts, especially if they blog about a subject you’re not interested in.
  • Don’t feel under any obligation to follow the blog of somebody who reblogs one of your blog posts. Only follow the blogs you’re interested in reading.

Any questions?

Leave them in the comments section.

Is there anything I’ve not mentioned that you do when one of your posts gets reblogged? Do you reblog the posts of other bloggers and, if so, do you expect anything in return?

Not sure how to reblog a blog post? My post How To Reblog A Blog Post Correctly On WordPress gives full details.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.