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
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
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.