I’ve only been consistently blogging for roughly two months (I’ve had a few other projects here and there before), so I won’t pretend to be anywhere close to an expert on the topic, but I have picked up a few things, a few lessons learned here and there that I thought it might be useful to share. Some of them are more practical than others!
Write Everything Down
My drafts folder currently has thirty four items in it. Most of them are just titles, or a title with one line of text to remind me what I was thinking when I wrote the title. Some of them I wrote the day after I started my blog and they’re still in there. I also have a note on my phone for when inspiration strikes away from the computer. Even if they don’t all come to fruition, at least I won’t be frustrated that I’ve forgotten something great because I had nowhere to write down the little spark of inspiration.
Don’t Use Too Many Tags
This was a tip given to me by via comment on what used to be the ‘Community Pool’ (RIP Community Pool!). Apparently, if you use more than fifteen tags, your posts are less likely to show up on wordpress reader, and under search engines because it filters them out as a potential spam. I took me a while to verify this with a source who knows about all things WordPress/blogging, but then found a note referring to it in this article by WordPress gurus. If something is attached to a bazillion tags, then the filtering systems for spam are probably going to pick it up. In having to be more choosy as well, it means that you have to actually think about what your piece is about and tag accordingly, rather than simply playing word association.
Check your Spam folder for comments
I only learnt this the other day, and it was something that had never occurred to me before. Check your spam comment folder, because even though the inbuilt WordPress spam filter is great, and does catch a lot of baloney, it also ended up filtering some legit comments from readers! I had no idea, so some of them had been sitting there for two weeks! I was annoyed, because I try to respond to pretty much every comment I get on my blog, and I didn’t like the idea that they might think I’d been ignoring them. I do also find it quite amusing to read some of the genuine spam comments as well…
Use Unsplash or Pexels
Unsplash and Pexels are great for high quality, and most importantly free images. I was put on to this by a graphic designer friend of mine (who did my blog design and banners for me!). If you want high quality pictures that make your blog look super snazzy, but you don’t have the capacity to take them yourself, then these two websites are great. They don’t ask for any donations, as the photographs are donated by the photographers. The only thing they do ask, when you use a photo, is to give credit where it’s due.
See what’s out there/Discovery topics
I went digging into the WordPress ‘Discover‘ website the other day and found that they have a whole page of categories (I’m guessing at least sixty), and if you click on any of them it takes you to a collection of blog posts around that topic. I’ve found loads of really interesting blogs by doing that, but be warned – it is so easy to go off down an internet rabbit hole!
Hopefully you’ll find some of these useful, or might have pointed you somewhere you didn’t know about before. Do you have any useful tips/places/sources that bloggers should know about?
Another note – for consistently useful articles, and advice that I have used a lot when getting my blog off the ground, I suggest you go have a gander at some of the articles on The Art of Blogging. Lots of great information on that blog!