Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blogging Tips and Guest Bloggers Needed

I have been blogging for almost 3 years now. Not only that, I have been reading blogs for even longer. It is my favorite hobby. I love following along with all the blogs I subscribe to. Google Reader is daily part of my life now. I love when I read a post and immediately want to have a whole conversation about that topic with the blogger. I love that my friends now also say "I heard about that or found that on a blog I was reading." Blogs are just fabulous in my opinion.

However I have developed some preferences and learned some tips and tricks over the years when it comes to blogging. I'm going to try to not be offensive because I know everyone is different and every blogger probably has their own ways of doing things, but as a follower and a writer, here are some things I've learned to make managing my hobby a little easier and more enjoyable:

1. I hate word verification on comments. Please, please if you have word verification on your comments consider taking it off! I understand you don't want spam comments, but commenting should be easy. And word verification makes it hard. If I am on my phone or have a slow internet connection, it's impossible to comment with word verification. And nothing frustrates me more than when I have typed out a long comment and submit it and then the word verification comes up. It makes me want to throw my phone out a window!

Trust me, I haven't had a spam comment get through in months and even when I did have spam, I would get an email with a notification of the comment that was posted so I can go in and delete it immediately. I'm begging you if you have word verifation on your comments, please consider removing it.

Here is a great post on how to turn off that setting:

2. Please do not do partial feeds to my Reader to make me click over to your blog. If I start following someone who has partial feeds I immediately remove them. I do not have time to click through just to read a post. Why do you think I have a Reader tool? You could be the best writer in the world but I am not going to read your posts if you have a partial feed. One of my favorite authors Jen Lancaster has a partial feed so I no longer read her posts. Please make it easy for your readers. If I like your post and have time I will click through and comment, but if I can't even read your post, I just get frustrated and move on. Please, please push your complete post to my reader and not just a tiny teaser.

3. I don't get blog hops. I don't know what they are. Again I don't want to click through so when all you say is I'm participating in this blog hop, but there is no other content in your post...well I just don't get it and if you do that too many I will unfollow. If someone wants to explain this to me, please do. I think it has something to do with getting more followers to your blog. Well, I'm no expert at that, but I know I don't want unneccessary content filling up my reader. Why don't you just try posting good content people want to read...that is a good way to attract and better yet keep followers I think.

4. Bloggers- please post at least once a week not once a month. I really do want to get to know the people I follow and if you only post once a month I will not remember who you are. I love feeling like I know the people I follow and reocgnizing certain people just by the way their posts are organized. To become a good blogger, you really have to do it on a regular basis.

5. Please allow me to reply by email to your comments on my blog. When I first started blogging I was so confused as to the best way to respond to comments. I have found the best way for me as a follower and also as the blog owner has been to reply by email or get an email reply to the comment I've left. Commenting in the thread isn't good because how do you know the person will come back and read it? Commenting on their blog doesn't work because not all blog readers have a blog. Here are instructions on how to enable the email reply feature in blogger:

Edit your profile and enter your email address under the "Identity" section. Then click on the box next to "show my email address" under the Privacy section. This will provide a link on the profile page that says "Email" and a person could click on that to email you directly. Most importantly this provides a legit email address a blogger can reply to when responding to a comment left on their blog!

6. I know this is easier said than done, but please do not get upset or discouraged if you lose a follower or don't get a lot of comments on one of your posts. Some people just don't click with others. You can't please all of the people all of the time. Even if you don't get comments on a post, that doesn't mean people did not enjoy reading it. I find you just have to try not to take that stuff too personally.

These are just tips and preferences I've developed over the years.  What are some of yours when it comes to all things blogging??

P.S.  I am leaving for my ski trip tomorrow and I am looking for some guest bloggers to keep my readers entertained here on my blog.  I know this is short notice, but if you send me a post about your own life list (it can be about marking something off or just a copy of the things on your list or something you did that inspired you to make a list.)  and also the link to your blog I will post it here on my blog while I am gone.  I leave right after work tomorrow, so please get your post to me by 10 pm EST TONIGHT so I can set them up!  Can't wait to see more about YOUR lists!


Tales of Our Journey said...

I love your suggestions and I think I follow some. However I don't know if I do partial feeds or not. I'm going to have to look into that! :o)

Need to Get ME Back said...

Thanks for the tips. I just started blogging and didn't even look into the settings on my comment section. I changed it now :)

Ally :) said...

Thanks for that - trying to make my blog better.Love your blog btw. Can't get enough :)

Id love to guest blog. Check out my blog.
allycuneo.blogspot.com :)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Haaaa! I love these posts... every time I read them I run to my settings to double check that I have word verification disabled. Maybe someday I'll remember? lol :)
Have a great trip!! I have never been down hill skiing and have always wanted to go!

Berrygetto said...

I love your tips. Im totally going to look at my settings and see what are like.
And once a week...crap Im way over due Ill work on that though. =) have a fun and safe trip.

Anonymous said...

Ha! So true. I hate word verifications too, especially when reading on my phone - it is very frustrating. I never use those on my own blogs and have never had a spam problem. I understand someone being cautious, but it really is a turn-off.

Also, i know what you mean about half-posts in the reader. Drives me nuts. A blog has to be incredibly good for me to not instantly unsubscribe when i see that in my reader. It's just obnoxious. To me, it's like they're trying too hard. Just write good stuff and I'll go to your page and comment - don't force me into it by making it impossible to read it in my reader.

Shoshanah said...

I've only recently started replying to comments by e-mail. I had no idea about it, or that I didn't have it on my account, until I read a post like this. But it really is such a great idea! And now I hate it when I write a reply to some one's comment, only to realize they have no e-mail address so the e-mail I wrote and sent is completely useless.

heidi said...

Hey Suz! I was looking back at this post again to try to fix some stuff on my blog and do like the tip about responding to comments via email so people know! I was just playing around and noticed that when I go to leave a comment on your blog, I can check a box right below my name that says, "Email follow-up comments to...". Will that do the same thing? I'm going to try it right now, so I guess we shall see!! :)

Also, since I've been having a couple glitches on my blog, I think I'll be linking back to this post, if that's cool with you! Thanks again!

Ida said...

Well darn, I can't control word verification with my webhost (Squarespace). I'm gonna have to look into that...but I totally agree. I can't stand having to hit "Comment" three times and then finally it comes up. Patience...I'm gonna have to look into that too!