So You Think You Can Blog?! Helpful Hints For The Bloggy Bewildered!!

So you decided you were going to start a blog huh?! You found WordPress and here we all are but – it’s not all that easy is it? There’s a lot of potential pitfalls before you can share your fantabulous content with a waiting world. This post is intended to help with the basic pitfalls I fell head first into most people make. So that you’re all set to let your content sparkle!

A Meeting Place For Bloggers

Back in the good old days (February 2018!) when I started blogging, WordPress used to have a meeting place for new bloggers called The Community Pool. It was a dedicated space which was open on Monday’s. You could leave a link to one of your posts and others would give you feedback and tips and you could find new blogs to follow – it was a lot of fun!
Word Press in their infinite wisdom (that’s pure sarcasm by the way) closed their site in May. God only knows why. They were probably having a MySpace reunion (more sarcasm – it’s been one of those days!)

Luckily a fellow blogger, Novus Lectio, created a site dedicated to the same principle. There’s a new thread every Monday – take a look!! I really enjoy posting and it’s a great place to network
Swimmers

Setting Your Gravatar

Another fellow blogger, Pedantry has a really great post on how to effectively use a gravatar and set it up properly. This is a hugely useful tool and allows new followers to access your site if they click on a comment of yours on another page and decide to pay you a visit. Wibble – Using A Gravatar To Build Blog Traffic

How Do I Find My Link?

Now that you have your gravatar set and you know about the Swimmers forum, you need to know how to find your link.

To find, copy, and paste your link:
Head to your blog’s home page — not your dashboard, your blog itself. Click on the title of your post to open the individual post.

Highlight and copy the URL you see in your browser’s address bar, and paste the entire URL into a comment here. If you’re on a tablet or a phone, click on the share button (it looks like a box with an arrow pointing upwards) and click copy when the options pop up. You can then paste it where ever you like.

Is The Link Under Your Name Correct?

One thing I find a lot is that clicking on a blog “name” takes me to a dead link. If you click on my name you’ll see it’s my blog title (Bitchin In The Kitchen)with my name (TheBritchyOne) as the hyper link.
The ‘me’ page is where you can fix that! Every time you leave a comment or a like, people might go to your blog via that link. If it’s a dead link, you’re losing out on viewers for your blog. To change or correct the link associated with your comments, go to https://wordpress.com/me and scroll down to Profile Links. You can check the spelling etc there to make sure it’s all correct.

How Do I Find Out What Your Blog Is About?

I would always suggest an ‘About’ page to everyone. Tell us a little about you, why you’re blogging and what your blog will be about. It’s a taster, a teaser to get people to look deeper at your posts. This is your street corner and you’re selling yourself so show a bit of leg there!! You want people to want more.

Have a look at others ‘about me’ pages and find what works for you but bear in mind, it’s the first thing a lot of people look for so make it work.

So Let’s Make Those Posts POP!

One of the most annoying things I find is when I can’t see ‘like’ or ‘follow’ buttons at the end of posts. Those are pretty much essential. That’s your feedback right there and you want to make it as easy as you can for people to interact. People will be more likely to leave a comment if it’s easy. If they can’t see where or if they have to leave a email address – forget it. You aren’t getting that feedback!

Go to your ‘my sites’ button (where you can check your stats) Scroll down to ‘Configure’ and go to ‘Sharing’ then ‘sharing buttons’. Check ‘reblog’ and ‘like’.

Also go to ‘Settings’,scroll down to ‘Discussion’ and check ‘allow comments’ ‘send pingbacks’ and ‘receive pingbacks’. These will notify you when someone tags you and it will also notify others if you tag them – this is a very useful feature!

While you’re there, let’s sort out the look of your homepage. If you change your posts to show as excerpts, the layout on your home page will look much better and people can instantly see and click on individual posts. There is a more obvious distinction between posts which makes like much easier for your reader and also far less frustrating if they’re trying to find a particular post again. You can do this in your customizer under blog content.

For more technical questions, visit the WordPress.com Support Forums.

Lastly, I highly recommend the WordPress starter courses

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/blogging-university/

They’re emailed to you so you can do them at your own pace but you can also refer back to them if necessary. Some of it went WHOOSH straight over my head but I am a dreadful technophobe and I still benefitted significantly from it.

64 thoughts on “So You Think You Can Blog?! Helpful Hints For The Bloggy Bewildered!!

  1. I don’t know how many bloggers who started following me would have the wrong address in their url and I’d get “this blogger has deleted their site”. Took me a while to realize they just didn’t know what they were doing and I stopped caring 🙂

    I think the “Excerpt” works better with certain themes is definitely a matter of personal taste.

    I actually took away every single social button except like, comment, and the two you can’t get rid of, email and print. I don’t want my stuff easily spouted all over the web. But that also goes hand in hand with me not really wanting a big crowd of followers. And it’s made me realize a lot of people stop interacting if you don’t follow them back, which is just one more reason not to follow them in the first place!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes that’s very true! A follow for a follow is right up beside serial liking lol! I do follow a lot of blogs but only if I’m interested. I find a lot by comments on other blogs too. That’s how I found your blog after all! I agree with you on personalizing to how/what you want but this was aimed st letting people know how to do these quirky little things – deciding what you actually do and don’t want is easier if you know how to look at them 😊 Your blog is great as it is!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. These are all very helpful tips britchy. Thank you for sharing it. Although, I sometimes wonder if I get too caught up in it. It sure is fun though!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The “about me” page is so important! I’m glad you mentioned it here. When I find a new blog, I’ll kind of look over the titles to their first few posts on the page but I want to read their about me page. If it’s just the standard “this is an example of a title page” I generally leave the blog immediately. If they have disabled it entirely, at least I know they’ve made that choice. It still dampers my first trip to their blog but I know that they are into blogging enough to take that page down completely.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My “About” page isn’t as detailed as some other people’s “About” pages, however, I believe it to be very important.
      I, too, visit the About page rather immediately once I stumble upon a fresh blog. The default page kills me. If it’s a fairly new blog, I try and reach out to them to try and change it. If it’s an older blog, I shake my head and leave.
      When it comes to blogs with no About page at all, there is one instance when I let it slide – when the title and tag line of the blog says it all. Ex.: “Daily vegan recipes by Emily” – completely made up. That makes me know what the blog is about. And contrary to some, I do not need a bio of the author. I get to know them via comments.
      You say that you respect the blogger for “making a choice” by deleting an “About” page. Actually, some themes do not come with an About page, so most likely that is not their choice. I know, because I talked to such people. They then have to go in and add a page, etc.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ah yes, the tag lines are important too! Mine pretty much sums up my blog as well, but I still love having my “about me” page. I update it regularly as well. About once every 6 months or so I’ll go in and see if I still like it.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Well done for sharing all this! It can be very daunting when you first start, not to mention time-consuming. My About page is still pretty basic, however, I’ve added a link to my first blog post as often these explain why you have started to blog. I don’t check the About page as often as I probably should, but sometimes if the post really resonates I’ll check out the blogger to see if we’ve any similarities. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. OMG I didn’t have a link! I didn’t even know it was a thing… Can I have your opinion? I changed my public name from Nina BW to Gone Roaming, do you think that is a good idea? I am not sure what makes most sense…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, community pool was great for getting advice like that. My site wouldn’t be half as good without all the advice I received. It is a shame for newbies now.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post Britchy,
    Ya I had a hell of a time the first week because my Windows Phone wouldn’t link to the site properly so I couldn’t get anything to work right I almost deleted my account but then I got it to work on my laptop and found me a used Android phone that it worked on, I still don’t know if everything is right but it’s working good anuff for now. ❤️✌️

    BY FOR NOW

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks so much for this. Even though I’ve been at this over a year, I’m still learning. I went ahead and signed up for the daily lessons through the link you provided and have gotten a few good tips so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. God, that sounded amazing! Now, what does it all mean? You say you’re a technophobe… I’m going to have to print out your destructions so I can follow step by step…. Wish we were in the same room…. building…. country… I’d give you the rest of the bottle of Pinot Gris I’m drinking on this very wet and miserable Sunday afternoon… please?! 🤗😳🍾

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So helpful! I have always wondered about them Gravatar thingies…and it was so helpful to see how I could link my site to my Gravatar.
    I am working on the 3,2,1 – Quote Me! nomination – sorry for the delay!

    Liked by 1 person

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