Why Do People Follow A Blog? Why And How To Unsubscribe Those You Don’t Want

Why would any blogger want to unsubscribe somebody from following their blog?

After all, we all want more followers, don’t we? However, there are genuine reasons why you should unsubscribe some people from following your blog.

For example, there may be a blogger who is horrified that one of the managers from their office has subscribed. Or a family member has found your blog where you share intense feelings about family and friends.

Then there are the ungenuine followers who only follow your blog in the hope that you’ll visit their blog and buy products you don’t want or need. Are any of them following your blog?

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Are there any people following your blog that you don’t want following you? Remove them now.

Why do people follow blogs?

Isn’t it because they enjoy reading the content? Not necessarily, no.

When I began blogging, I asked why some people wanted to follow my blog. For example, why were a womenswear company and a blog that sold coach holidays following my blog?

At the time, I was not writing and publishing any blogging or social media tips, so I could not understand their interest in my content.

They never ‘liked’ or left comments on my blog posts, yet I was still conscious that they were lurking in the background as if waiting for the right moment to pounce on me. 

Some of them may have been playing the ‘follow you, so you’ll follow me‘ game, but I soon realised they were interested in taking my or the money of my followers.

At the time, I was delighted with watching the number of followers increase, but there may be occasions when you want to unsubscribe somebody from following your blog.    

Here’s how to do it on WordPress.

  • Ensure you view your blog’s dashboard in the ‘Default‘ view.
  • On your blog’s dashboard menu, click on ‘Users.’
Image highlighting the 'users' button the dashboard of a WordPress blog
Click on Users.

On the Users page, click on Subscribers.

Image showing the subscribers link on WordPress
Click the Subscribers link.
  • You’ll now see a list of all the subscribers to your blog, with the ones who subscribe via email first.
  • To remove someone from your subscribers’ list, click on the arrow next to their name.
Image showing a list of subscribers and an arrow to where they can be unsubscribed.
Click the arrow next to the person you want to unsubscribe from your blog.

On the next page, click on the Remove button.

Image highlighting the Remove button on a WordPress blog.
Click the remove button to unsubscribe somebody from following your blog.
  • They will now be unsubscribed from following your blog or receiving email notifications of new posts.

There is nothing stopping people from still viewing your blog and trying to subscribe again, but you’ll get a notification if they subscribe again. 

By unsubscribing them from your blog, they will get no notifications that you have published any new blog posts. Nor will they know that you have unsubscribed them from your blog. 

Is there anything else to consider?

Yes. You may also like to remove the same people from your social media accounts.

This is especially important if newly published blog posts are instantly shared on your social media platforms.     

Of course, suppose you have reasons for not wanting certain people to discover your blog or social media accounts. In that case, it’s probably better to use a pseudonym and not publish photos of yourself on your blog or social media accounts.

Because I publish many blogging and social media tips, I’m no longer concerned about who follows my blog. However, I will remove or block anyone who tries spamming the comments section on my posts with uninvited links or keeps trying to sell me something I don’t want or need.

Let’s wrap it up.

  • There are genuine reasons why people want to unsubscribe somebody from following their blog.
  • Follow the steps in this post to unsubscribe people from following your blog.
  • Remember to do the same with your social media accounts.
  • Just as when you unfollow a blog, people you unsubscribe do not get notified that you have unsubscribed them. 
  • Unsubscribing somebody does not mean they can no longer view your blog, but they will stop receiving notifications of any new blog posts you publish.
  • Consider using a pseudonym on your blog and social media accounts if you don’t want anyone to know your real identity.
  • Block users you do not want to receive any comments from.  

What about you?

Are there any reasons you’d want to unsubscribe somebody from following your blog? Have you ever unsubscribed somebody from following your blog? What are the main reasons why you follow a blog?

Join the discussion by leaving a comment that I can respond to with more than just a ‘thank you.’

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This is an updated version of a post originally published in February 2020.

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

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

Is it as easy as you think it is?

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Look At The Discussion Settings On WordPress.

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

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

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

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

And this is what WordPress say –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are There Any Disadvantages To Switching These Discussion Settings Off?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s wrap it up.

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

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

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

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

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Are you missing out on getting new followers and readers?

WordPress has several ways to follow a blog.

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

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

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

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

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

WordPress.com now has newsletter capabilities.

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

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

Here’s how to access and create them.

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

May I ask for your help?

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

A

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Join 20,475 other followers

B


Subscribe for more posts like this

Join 20,475 other followers

C

Join 20,475 other followers

D

E

F

Hugh's Views & News  

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

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Read all posts ↓

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

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

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

How easy was that?

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

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

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

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

1. Add Excerpts To Your Blog Posts.

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

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

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

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

I added the following excerpt to this post.

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

These 9 tips will guarantee you success.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Engagement is a two-way thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Categorise Your Blog Posts.

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

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

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

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

6. Blog Post Titles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Don’t Become A Blogging Spammer.

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

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

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

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

9. Slow Down

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

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

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

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

Let’s wrap it up.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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 find a way of contacting 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 and know that many new visitors to a blog will want to find out a little about the blogger behind the blog before deciding whether to follow or not.

When I visit a new blog, I first look for an ‘about me’ page to find out 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 an image 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 or not. 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.

Enjoyed this blog post? Then you may like…

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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