Dear Bloggers, Remember to Edit Your Blog Pages and Sidebar Text

Before we tuck in for the weekend I wanted to give some quick heads up to those who may either be new to blogging or still trying to find your way around the WordPress platform.

If you are at all serious about blogging, whether that is to build an author platform or just to share your thoughts, be sure that your pages are all filled in and that your sidebar is as well. What do I mean “Fill in?”

There is nothing that screams amateur more than:

“This is a text widget, which allows you to add text…” and so on.

You would want to ban these words from anywhere on your blog! GET RID OF THEM. Why?

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To put this as nice but as real as I can, it makes you look lazy. It only takes a few minutes or maybe even a few hours to fill in the text on your blog.

There aren’t rules to blogging exactly but there are things that are common sense. This is one of them.

To get rid of those dreadful words, you will need to be sure those words are replaced with images or text. No, you don’t have to get super fancy but if your blog theme is one that requires you to fill in an area, such as an about page, you may want to go ahead and do that. Or else these words will speak to readers before you do. When I see them I think maybe that blogger just started out. If you started your blog a year or more ago, that’s not exactly the impression you want to give.

Go to your WP Dashboard. To edit a page, go down to Page > All Pages and edit the pages you have there. If you don’t want to show pages then it is best to delete them, although I am not sure why anyone wouldn’t want an About page. Either way, it is your prerogative. If you want the page to show to viewers, please fill it in with something. Do not leave it blank.

This is especially  important if you are an author looking to grow your audience through blogging. I mean, come on. You are a master of the written word (Yes, you are! Say it and then believe it). Anything that has to do with words should be taken seriously, even if it is text on your blog! If there’s no effort put into these words, then what are we to think about your books?

To edit sidebar Widgets, go to: WP Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets

This will show you the widgets that come with your blog’s theme and give you the chance to add more if you like.

You don’t have to be extra fancy. (We actually prefer you be your relaxed and funny self), but do put something there. Unless you don’t want your blog to grow, in which case, leave it how it is.

Now, run along now and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.

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Taking Advantage of Your Blog Pages

Tidying up the place today made me think about how important it is to produce content that is valuable to our blogs while maintaining integrity. Instead of constantly producing what doesn’t seem to be doing well, why not take advantage of Pages? Pages make it possible to store away content in a permanent capacity without completely doing away with it. A series or routine post that no one seems to really care about can be fun but it can also weaken your blog if its not helping to strengthen it. By weaken I’m not really talking about your numbers because numbers can be deceiving. I’m talking about your ability to reach people.

I have a brother who is really big on this. If he has something that is not working for him he doesn’t see a reason to hold onto it. What’s a $1,000 computer worth that can’t produce? At the same time, bloggers still need to feel good about what they’re posting without worrying about who cares because self motivation is what will keep them writing. As a result, we bloggers have to create a balance between content that is engaging and content that is genuine concerning who we are as individuals. Despite what others think, we must never sacrifice or compromise our individual selves. So, how do you keep on with what’s important to you but that doesn’t seem to be engaging to your readers? Pages my friends is the answer to our prayers. Don’t give up on it, store it to a page.

In this way, you can monitor how many people are still engaging by looking at that page’s views in your dashboard and from there you can make the decision as to whether it is logical to bring back or if it should stay where it is. For instance, I am taking my own advice with Movie Night Friday.

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Movie Night Friday was a weekly segment of my blog I created to help shine light on some of my favorite movies and why I love them. The inspiration came from my attempt to connect more with bloggers by sharing some more intimate parts of myself aside from books. However I recently withdrew from posting the series because I’m the kind of individual who seeks to improve and to grow. That said, because Movie Night Friday was not producing any growth to this blog, I have decided to store it away to its own page. In this way, those of you who are interested can still find it. I may still post a movie randomly so I won’t say you’ve seen the end of Movie Night Friday, it just won’t be an every week type thing.

I am however, contemplating bringing Black History Fun Fact Friday back, which I also moved to its own page for a different reason. Black History Fun Fact Friday was fun and enlightening but it also became taxing. I have not been able to keep up with it and I really hate to half do anything. But since I’ve re-arranged my schedule a bit I am contemplating bringing it back since it is something I know you enjoyed.

Having a page for Black History Fun Fact Friday has helped me to keep my eye on whether or not people are actually visiting the page. As a result, I have noticed that the page has picked up some views and I am now contemplating bringing it back to fill my Friday Night slot. So take advantage of your pages. They are not just for your about page, but they can be utilized in lots of creative ways. Just something to think about.

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Need to Know Info

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I hope your day is going well so far. Just a few updates you should all know about before you dig in this weekend. I am rearranging the site a little bit so there are some changes. The Pages are now located to your left (scroll down) and are highlighted in green. I have also set my home page to feature a static page on The Stella Trilogy so if your looking for the most recent posts, they are located to your left under RECENT POSTS. The following pages are also new:

Guest Blogger Page
Author Media Kit

This year I want to focus more on building my level of professionalism both as a Blogger and Author, while maintaining the same unique, laid back freedom I am accustomed to in my small corner of the web, and that I think makes blogging fun in the first place. For this reason, the Author Media Kit contains the basics that you (and your super cool professional friends you can’t wait to introduce me to) will need to get to know me as an author, and the Guest Blogger Page is to garner more variety here on the PBS Blog by having other bloggers to visit from time to time. I have also decided to do Movie Night Friday every other Friday to keep it fresh.

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So, that’s what I’m up to and I ask for your patience as I clean up the house here and put the furniture back where it needs to be.

Have a great weekend!