Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blogging Tips

More and more I'm finding that blogging is an art form in and of itself. To be a great blogger you have to have a certain touch, and way to connect to other readers.

We all know as bloggers that content is key. What your content should be is entirely up to you. On the same token, you'll probably find that some of your posts are more popular then others. Keep track of your stats so that you know what readers respond to, and what searches Google likes to bring to your blog.

All that being said, the reason for this post is to let bloggers know about a few ways to make blogging more user friendly. Bloggers like to visit other blogs, but if your blog isn't up to par, people will stop coming and stop commenting. Don't let this be you!


The #1 thing that holds people back from commenting is that darn CAPTCHA. I've already written a post about this, but I still see so many people using it (and I'm sure a good portion of them aren't even aware that they have it turned on). Seriously, these things are hard to read and annoying when you have to do it over. If I'm commenting from a phone or a tablet, I'm not even going to bother leaving a comment if you have CAPTCHA. It's too much hard work for an touch-screen keyboard. Read my post on how to turn it off, now!


Next, bloggers like to communicate. I like to respond to comments, and I'm more likely to respond if I can see your email. It's easy for me to reply to your comment and that way I'm certain you actually got my answer. If you ask a question I think needs an answer I'll still visit your blog to let you know what I think, but I won't always do that. If your email is available then we can talk about silly things and not just the serious stuff. Here is an awesome post by Peggy Eddleman on how to solve that problem.


 

Last but not least, make sure to visit the blogs of people who leave you comments. I came to your blog because I want to get to know you better, but if I never hear back from you--I won't visit again. I liked your blog, but it makes me feel like you don't value what I have to say.


That's it. It doesn't take much to be accommodating to other bloggers, and some of us appreciate it more than you know. Following these tips will bring you more comments and pageviews in the long run. Good luck blogging!

What tips would you add to the list?

28 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A lot of new bloggers have word verification. I think it's the starter setting, which is just wrong.

Nick Wilford said...

All good tips there. I appreciate when bloggers email a reply, but so far I prefer answering on the actual comment thread. I know not everyone goes back to read them, but I will do if I asked a question where I really want to see how the blogger responded. Also, that way, everyone can see the conversation.

And is it me, or are the captcha pictures getting worse? Sheesh!

Kyra Lennon said...

Good tips all around! When I first started blogging, I used to get really annoyed with people saying "turn off your word verification." I always thought, hey it's my blog, I'll run it my way lol! But now - now I am out there with everyone else, begging people to turn them off!

Anonymous said...

I finally enabled comment moderation instead of the WV - between that and Blogger's spam filter, I really don't have to worry about anything getting through.

I would add a hearty "YES" to the point about visiting and commenting on blogs that visit and comment on you. It seems very basic, but there are a lot of blogs that I enjoyed reading for a while, and finally gave up on because they never responded to anything I wrote, or returned the visit. With so many blogs out there that DO foster communication, why would I waste my time on the ones that don't bother?

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

The reason they have it is because of the spammers out there. One of my friends had to turn the Captcha back on because of spam traffic. Well guess what, one still got through! These people are relentless, though who is stupid enough to click on the link provided in a comment full of gibberish? Let alone who is dumb enough to buy anything from that person? I guess though if you spam tens of thousands of blogs and just 1% of people buy something or click your link then it's worth it. Otherwise they'd stop doing it.

Spam is also why people are shy about leaving their Email addresses around online.

Anyway, Blogger needs to find something more effective to do about spamming than that stupid Captcha thing which as you point out is often hard to read and I would imagine it would be much tougher on a tiny screen like an iPhone.

Cassie Mae said...

I feel like I'm taking an ink blot test when I type in the word verification now.

Stephanie McGee said...

It's so tough to find methods for blogging that work for your own life. I'm still struggling on the comment thing and I've been blogging for three years now.

Kim said...

I'll have to read Peggy's post on email - honestly, that is one thing I have never thought of adding before. I guess I was worried about having my inbox spam-attacked. Does that happen?
Thanks for the tips...

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes to the captcha. Shut it off.

Morgan said...

Yes, yes, yes. Great post, J.A. And I'm off to check out Peggy's post! I'm curious about the email thing. :D

Erin Shakespear said...

All excellent points....*sigh*....I almost feel like I shouldn't blog since I don't take the time to reply to people's comments all the time. Even though I love them! I do try to comment on their posts though. See? Like I'm doing now? :)

But I am resolving to be better at the responding thing. I also like to respond by email. Because who goes back and sees if you left a response? Not many, I would assume.

Great post!

Ruth Josse said...

Great tips! It's all about the give and take. :)

Suzanne Furness said...

Yep, now I've been blogging for a while I can see how annoying word verification is! Took me four attempts at getting one right the other day - but that may be my eyesight! Think I'll look at turning mine off and see what happens. Thanks for highlighting.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Three fantastically simple things that always benefit from being restated.

I never follow just to get a return follow, but I'm sometimes disappointed by the people who don't make an effort to even look at my blog.

I'm falling behind on visiting, because of the sheer number of blogs I follow. I do try my best though! :-)

Peggy Eddleman said...

I totally agree! Especially with that second one. ;) (Thanks for the linkage! :)) But I feel most strongly about that first one! Captcha drives me insane.

As far as tips to add: Black text on white background, please! Or something not too far off that. Bright pink on black? Orange on brown? Anything on patterned? Not unless you're looking to give your readers a headache! (And a healthy dose of frustration.)

Kimberly Gabriel said...

I had someone stop by my blog and tell me how to turn off that stupid CAPTCHA feature. It's been one of the best pieces of advice I've received!

Krista McLaughlin said...

Great tips! I hate the word verification. It turns me off to leaving a comment if I can't get it.

Hildred said...

Ugh yes the Captcha. There are some (with the red background) that are actually used to help decode old and mutated documents for research, but I don't think Blogger uses those.

Another thing I really wish more blogs was a way to subscribe to comments so I get a notif of when I get a response to a comment. I probably see a way to do this on half the blogs I comment on.

The Golden Eagle said...

Those are great tips! Especially the last one: everyone likes to know that their feedback is appreciated.

Ava Jae said...

I'm relatively sure CAPTCHA is the standard starter setting for most blogs (but as you pointed out, it's easy to turn off). Depending on what commenting system you use, some of them have built-in spam blockers that moderate suspicious comments without CAPTCHA, which I find especially helpful. :)

Sabrina A. Fish said...

All great suggestions, lady! I would also add that ending the blog post with questions for your guest to answer is a great idea too. I visited a blog the other day that didn't have any questions at the end and I didn't really have an opinion or comment for it of my own, so I just left after reading. Engage your readers!

JEFritz said...

I think you got it pretty well covered here. Although I would add that bloggers shouldn't make adding a comment switch the blog page to a new comment page. I like to be able to look at the post when I comment.

Anonymous said...

I used to not mind CAPTCHA until they added the two pictures thing. Annoying.

Hope Roberson said...

I learned from your CAPTCHA post the first time and want to refer people to it whenever their blog makes me prove my humanity :) I'm working on getting better at you last tip :)

Teri Harman said...

Thanks so much! Very helpful. I thought my word verification was off, but checked it again and it was ON. Glad I saw this post!

Lisa Shambrook said...

I'm with you on the CAPTCHA thing...hate it! Turn it off Bloggers!
And I get put off a page if it has moving graphics anywhere...it might look clever when it's first set up, but visitors get distracted with moving memes or profile pics or ads, while you're trying to concentrate on the blog itself!

Tammy Theriault said...

i'm glad when i first started blogging, i learned these tips quickly!

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Useful tips. Reminders are good. Thank you.