Dear New WordPress Bloggers: Get in Position

Note: This can apply to any new blogger but since I use WordPress, I am specifying WordPress bloggers.

New bloggers have approached me for my secret to blogging. I don’t have one. There is no secret to blogging. At least not one that I know of.

Let me start by saying that I never consider the information I give advice. What happens is that the information, (proving helpful to bloggers) is referred to as advice simply because of those who find it useful and valuable and for this I am thankful. As for me, I am just sharing what has worked or is working, my experiences and recommendations but nothing is set in stone.

That said, there’s no step A and step B to how to build up a blog.  I receive decent traffic and new subscribers are coming in daily but understand that this has taken me three years to build. I started out with no likes or comments just like you. I started with little to no traffic just like you. I am no one special.

Recently, many of you have emailed me asking questions based on my blog posts. I find this humbling and I hope this post is helpful to you.

Positioning

If you are wanting to be a successful blogger, writer, business person or anything in life, then you must put yourself in a position to be successful. We know that success is a definition that can mean different things to different people but in context, I assume we all want:

Increased Blog Traffic, Increased Views, Increased Subscribers

Basically, we all want someone to read our work and to care. That is where being in position comes in.

My husband loves gardening. He’s a green thumb. You may assume I am because I’m a woman and you would be wrong. In fact, I am not very “girly” in that sense. I don’t care for pink, I don’t wish to spend three hours shopping and I’m not into gardening. At least not like that. Moshe (hubby) on the other hand, loves to plant. I love it that he does too because we have fresh tomatoes and herbs that I love cooking with. Anyway, he set up a garden on our enclosed back porch. I’m telling you, the man can grow anything (he can even start from a plastic cup). Because of how our back porch is made, he sets pots out to catch the rain water. Rain water as we’ve come to understand, makes plants grow as if they are on steroids. It could be because rain water is clean. That is, water free from chemical additives, such as chlorine or salt. We’ve been getting lots of rain. Here’s our tomato plant:

Tomato Plant after the rain.

It’s almost too big for the small space. This would not have happened if we had not put the buckets in position to catch the fresh water (which is when it grew like crazy).

Being in position is all about being prepared for whatever comes. Having the cup on the table when the water comes, your hands open and stretched out when the football arrives. It’s about being ready to receive what it is that you want.

If you’re not ready to receive then you will not have what it takes to hold onto what you do get or to expand into something greater. Positioning ourselves for success is a challenge because it requires discipline and time. You can be in position for a long time before you see results.

Examples of Positioning

If you are getting traffic to your blog but there’s no follow button, then people will not subscribe to your blog. You cannot receive new subscribers because you are not prepared to receive them. In this instance, it has nothing to do with your writing abilities. It is not about posting as much as you can or speaking as intelligently as you can. This is why blogging is not just writing. Writing is one thing but all of these other elements is blogging. In this instance, you are not increasing your numbers because you are not in a position to increase them. You do not have the one thing that can guarantee followers: a follow button.

When you go into your WP dashboard and add tags to your post, these are not to make it look pretty but they actually serve a purpose. Tags act as keywords that help increase traffic and engagement to your blog. By ignoring adding tags and categories to your post, you are leaving traffic on the table (or if your blog is monetized, money but since my blog is not monetized, I will leave that for someone else to discuss). Having a tagging system is another reason why blogging is not just writing. Writing is writing but to blog successfully there are other things that must be done. These “other things” are things like tags and categories.

If your tagging sucks like mine did in the beginning then you can be losing out on views but don’t go overboard. Personally, twenty and thirty tags to a post are not necessary.

A better system is to remember that tags are like keywords that readers would potentially search for. Think about fifteen that you want to use on your post, with a category acting as a tag so fourteen tags, one category. Of these 15 some of them should be tags that are overly used. Words like Blog, Blogger, WordPress, Writing, and Poetry. These tags are used a lot and can be helpful in people finding your blog.

I will tell you now, I am no SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert at all but I do not believe you have to be. I have read that Tags don’t impact the SEO (meaning its more so keywords used within the post itself), but based on my own search experience I can tell you that it does help improve SEO  when you have multiple articles with relevant content linked by the same tag. For example:

Say you just wrote an amazing piece on “The Best Cheeseburgers Ever.” When someone opens Google and types “Recipes for Ground Beef”, (as I often do that’s why I am using this as an example lol) in this example recipes and ground beef are tags you may have included in your post about “The Best Cheeseburgers Ever”. Searching using these words, I just may find your article if you post a lot about recipes which leads me to your blog and, if I like what I see, I will follow your blog (if there’s a way for me to do so).

Another example is if I’m a reader who wants to scroll through your blog. If you have a search bar, you just made this easy for me. Using the search bar on your blog, I can type in words and the post containing those words will come up. I can easily access that post, read it and possibly share it with others. Just by adding a search bar, you’ve just gotten yourself in position for more views.

A real life example: I wrote a blog post two years ago on voting. Because this past Presidential Election was so different, that post got thousands of Facebook shares and counting. It took two years but the post was in position for the traffic it received (although I couldn’t foresee it). This is why I said it can take a long time to see results but being ready is always worth it.

Mostly, categories and tags allow visitors to easily browse related posts with the primary purpose of augmenting the user experience.

As you can see, content (your writing) is just part of how this works. It wasn’t just your writing alone that led me to your blog but a combination of things.

What I want you to see here is that because you were ready for me, I was capable of following your blog with no problem. You were in a position to receive me.

This same thing can be said of about pages and even the WordPress theme you choose. If your text is hard to read (too bright, too small, too fancy) people won’t want to read what you have to say. Why? Because you have not prepared them.

It is said that we have attention spans of goldfish. One vibration, text, or email alert and our internet addictions lead us elsewhere. In nothing short of seconds someone can forget all about you. For this reason, blogging is more than pushing the publishing button, you also have to be ready to receive the traffic you seek.

If you are a new blogger struggling to receive the kind of traffic you want or are having difficulty navigating the blog in general, I want to help you get into position. If you would like me to take a look at your blog and offer feedback, I have set up a separate mailing list specifically for blogging.

SIGN-UP HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GETTING IN POSITION TO WIN

In the meantime, I have added the links to some of my most helpful blog articles on blogging for those of you new to this blog. I have determined their value based on the feedback they have received so that I know these links are helpful to you. This goes back a couple years so excuse any information that is outdated. I have not gone through them to edit.


Don’t forget to Thunderclap! I am twenty people away (at the time of this writing) from my goal. It’s free and SUPER easy to participate- click THIS LINK and then click “support with Facebook” or “support with Twitter” or “support with Tumblr” or all three if you are feeling obliged. Thanks so much in advance!

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Getting the Most Out of Guest Blog Post – by Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

It’s me again, EC. I’m back on The Story Reading Ape’s Blog and today we’re talking getting the most of your guest blog posts. Come on over, let’s chat. What are ways you get the most of your post? Let us know!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Peace and welcome,

Today, I’d like to talk about guest blogging. After all, that is what I am here for. So, let’s chat.

Why is it worth it to Guest Post? Why is it beneficial to write articles on someone else’s blog? Can’t you just write it on your own blog? Surely, the people will flock to you, right?

Your blog home is equivalent to your real home. It is your house, your rules and you can pretty much do what you want. Well, I hope you aren’t getting crazy (we’re still on the World Wide Web) but it is your domain. Naturally, you are going to behave differently on your own blog.

On the other hand, writing articles on other blogs, preferably ones more established than yours, gives you the chance to showcase your work on a larger scale. Whether you are writing an article, an inspiring post, or…

View original post 1,739 more words

Prepare for your Success Part 2: The 80/20 Rule – Blogging for Writers

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What is the difference between writing and blogging? Do you really know?

Before going on, please read part one HERE.

I was listening to Lynn Serafinn during the Publishing Success Summit and she spoke about social media layers and how this influences a writer who strives to build an author platform through the blog. I read complaints from many writers who want to start blogs but are not sure what to blog about.

I thought about this and how beneficial it may be for some authors to come up with a strategy. Well, I hate to use the word strategy because it makes it sound too much like a plan when what we blog about should be a natural extension of us. However, there may be some who really do need to develop a system. They want to use the blog to help their writing but they aren’t sure how to blog or how to use it as an author. Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk to you about author blogs or what makes one. (I have my own opinions on that. I’ll share them later). Instead, let’s explore something to which we’re all familiar.

How many of you have seen Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor? I’m not a Tyler Perry fan but this movie had a great message: You never leave 80 for 20.

Briefly, here is what the movie is about:

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Judith is a therapist who works at a matchmaking agency owned by Janice and is married to Brice, whom Judith has known since she was six. After obtaining her masters Judith is unfulfilled and dissatisfied with her job and anxious to start her own marriage counseling business, but Brice tells her to wait until they are more financially stable. Meanwhile, Judith meets Harley at work, a wealthy Internet entrepreneur who wants to invest in Janice’s business. He attempts to seduce Judith as they work late on matchmaking surveys. When Harley questions the absence of sex in the surveys, Judith says she does not believe in premarital sex. Harley thinks Judith’s sex life is boring and Judith, now questioning her sex life with Brice, tries to improve it.

Judith and Harley
Judith and Harley

Long story short, when Judith changes her hair and makeup for her birthday and Brice fails to notice the change or remember her birthday, Judith is more inclined to give into Harley’s advances (though she is unwilling to admit it). She receives flowers that she believes are from Brice but are really from Harley who appears and notes her change in appearance – something she didn’t get from Brice (hope you’re seeing where I’m going with this). Janice sends Judith to New Orleans with Harley to finalize a deal with shareholders, telling her to flirt with Harley, but also to be careful. Judith’s co-worker, Ava gives Judith a makeover and in New Orleans, Judith and Harley complete the business deal and go dancing and sightseeing. On the way home, Harley seduces Judith in his private jet and the sexual tension between them is solidified when Judith gives in. She has the affair.

The moral of the story is that Harley is 20%. Yes, the sex is good but there isn’t anything of substance that would denote he is husband material. After the making out there is basically nothing. This isn’t to say that Brice is perfect either but Judith could have communicated with Brice how she likes it and kept the 80% she was getting from him while working on the 20% she wasn’t getting. At the end of the day, you never leave 80 for 20 people.

Everyone’s got flaws, but you don’t leave someone with at least 80% of their stuff together for someone who just looks good but head is in the clouds, also known as 20. Anyway, it looks good and probably feels the same but after that, there’s nothing left. No mind. No aspirations. Nothing.

In blogging, it helps (or at least it has helped me) if 80% of your time is spent networking and providing value. Writing is good but building a blog takes a little bit more than that. How do we measure a blog’s success? That depends on the individual. One thing is for sure, writing is just 20%. To learn to blog is to do much more and that much more is largely rooted in one word: Network.

  • Comments – When they come, respond back to them! Yes, on comments left to you on the blogs of others too.
  • Negative Feedback – It happens. Not everyone is going to agree with you. If you publish a controversial post, be prepared to stand on it.
  • Carve Out Some Time – Be ready to put the hours in that are necessary to achieve your blog goals. If you want to increase your number of followers/subscribers, it’s going to take you blogging more than once a month. I may not have many subscribers myself but I will tell you, with my integrity in tact, that I have earned every last one of you! I put mad hours into this blog. As expressed in The First 300: How I Reached 300 Blog Followers in 3 Months, I started this blog publishing three posts a day for six days. Yes, I only took one day off from blogging and not because anyone forced me to. Of course I’ve slowed down now but I can only afford to do that because of the foundation I’ve laid in the beginning.
  • Work on Your Tags – The tagging on my older posts are just sad. Don’t be like me. Jason over at Harsh Reality has some great advice on tagging. He recommends 15 Tags (includes a category. Categories act as tags) and is a mixture of unique as well as generic tags. Generic tags are tags that are used the most by bloggers like blog, blogging, bloggers. Unique tags are tags that are exclusive to your post, tags you make up or tailor to your content. Because of this theme, my tags show up at the top of each of my post. Look at them. In each of my post you’ll count 14 tags. My 15th tag is my category. Or, you’ll count 13 tags if I chose two categories and so on (the lesser my tags, the more the categories. Remember, categories count as tags). To learn more, visit Jason’s posts on tagging. I’ve followed his advice since the beginning and it has worked for me thus far. No, I don’t have the link. You have to do some of the work.
  • Visible Follow Buttons – I’ve been preaching this same “sermon” for probably about a year now but it’s only because I run into it probably every day. I’m trying to follow someone’s blog but I can’t find the follow button. That means guess what? I’m not following you. Go to your WP Dashboard > Widgets and add a follow button. Make sure it’s the one that says “Follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts via email”. The other one will just allow people to follow you through the reader.
  • About Page – Although I am starting to wonder how many people pay attention to the about page (people tend to follow a blog after liking a post that caught their attention, hoping to receive the same kind of content) be sure to complete your about page. It just looks professional and helps those who do read about pages to know more about you. (Tip: Read a blogger about page. You’d be surprised to find many of your questions about them answered).
  • INTERACT – This is in all caps for a reason. If you’re interested in building a blog that does well, be sure that you’re interacting with others. Try to leave comments that aren’t so phony. OK, let me define “phony”. It’s OK to be short, but to really start to get to know people you’re going to have to say more than “Great post!” There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you find something that really moves you, dig in as my mother used to say. Give us full explanations on why you feel a certain way. This allows your personality to come out and for others to be prompted to respond. This is how relationships are formed, through communication.
  • Easy to Read – The easier your blog is to read, the better. Stay away from brightly colored text that is hard to read and clutter. Don’t just throw your blog furniture all over the place. Too many widgets are distracting.

Providing Value means (but is not limited to):

–    Well written and consistent content (Aka blogging as often as possible)

–    Following other blogs (and re-blogging others)

–    Responding to comments (both on your blog and the blogs of others)

–    Promoting and helping others

–    Writing about life in general (not just your writing)

–    Keeping your blog updated, clean, easy to read, and easy to follow (so like, have a follow button!)

Is there a word that sticks out to you? Right. Others. Blogging isn’t about just focusing on content far as publishing posts are concerned (which is why it’s about more than just writing. Sorry, but blogging does have a lot to do with the technical things as well. Views, stats, subscribers, tags, photos, etc.) it also means that most of your time is spent on engaging your readers and helping others.

In short, it may help if authors learn to blog because it will help (or at least it has helped me so far) to reach a new readership. I also believe in the importance of building trust and that authors should do this first before expecting new readers.

The reason you spend most of your time (80%) understanding blogging and doing it effectively (if you’re trying to build a blog that is. If you don’t care about blogging or think it’s a waste of time then this obviously does not apply to you) is because people must grow to like you enough to trust you and no one needs a Best-Selling book or fancy certificate to understand that. In fact, I’ve learned that learning how to blog (which I am still doing myself) is just understanding people in general. What are they trusting you to do? They’re trusting you to deliver valuable content without constantly selling to them. If people think you’re just trying to sell your book to them, they won’t trust that your content is genuine. No matter how relevant, they will ignore your service because they think you’re just out to make money.

Serafinn identified four layers of social media and we all know that when baking a cake or pie or anything that has layers, we know that the good stuff is somewhere in the middle, not at the top.

Lynn didn’t name the layers in her interview so I took the liberty of doing so. You know, so this is a bit more fun.

Layer 1: The Crust

–    The crust is the top layer and it is oh so good! But, it is also usually too good. You see, the crust doesn’t usually have any nutritional value to it whether that’s the buttery crust on an apple pie or crust on the lasagna (you know that’s where all that cheese is!). Per Serafinn, the first layer is made up of people who don’t know you at all and don’t care about you or your writings. The crust looks good but that’s about it.

Layer 2: The Sauce

–    I call layer two the sauce. Like layer one, the sauce doesn’t do much. Although it may provide a bit more than the crust only because there are probably bits of onions and green peppers in there somewhere. The second layer is the people who follow you on social networks and know you only slightly. Maybe they liked your Tweet or Facebook Post.

Layer 3: The Noodle

–    Now we’re starting to get somewhere. I call the third layer the noodle. It’s bound to provide a lot more substance than crust and sauce. At least the noodle will coat your stomach. The third group is your casual blog visitors. They know you a little bit more than the second group because they read your blog every so often.

Layer 4: The Meat

–    Now we’re deep into it and get to take a mouthful of that delicious meatball! The final layer is the layer we want to pay attention to. They are our regular blog readers or people who support us consistently. They are always liking, commenting, and sharing our content, they have signed up to our email lists, and may have even bought a book. These are the people who trust us more than the other three groups because they read us consistently. They are the meat. This isn’t to say they know you in the deeper sense of the word considering it takes so much more to really get to know a person but they are trying and on the surface of knowing, these are the people who at least trust you more than the other groups to deliver. This is the layer we want to grow because it means that they will support us during that 20% of the time that we are pushing our books.

Writers looking to build a readership through the blog should focus on building trust with the fourth layer by providing valuable content on a consistent basis. This means that you should do more than post excerpts and chapters of your book. Even if you’re a great writer blogging is more than that. By networking, commenting, sharing, and sharing other things about ourselves  we are giving people enough to grasp at our personality or become interested in who we are as a person. This will lead them to genuinely care about our writing. How so? You are concerned about people you care about. The more people get to know you, genuinely as a person (not that phony stuff), the more interested they are in your work because they are interested in you.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman writer who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release July 15-16, 2017. For updates on this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

Editing Re-Blogs

 

sharing-is-caring

A re-blogged post is when you share someone’s content to your own blog. People have many different reasons for doing this. Primarily, re-blogged content is to share valuable information. I re-blog often on this blog and have found it to be a great way to network with other bloggers. As a result, I’d like to share some specific things I do with my re-blogs to get the most out of them. As you can tell from the commentary, this is a revision of an older post I published last year (2015) so you may already be familiar with these as many bloggers have mentioned them over time. But don’t worry, repetition is a good thing.

Edit Your Re-Blogs

  1. Add Tags, Category

I usually re-blog from my mobile. This is because I’m usually scrolling through my phone when I come across a good article I think should be shared and I like to share it right then and there so I won’t forget about it. It’s also easy for me to edit my re-blogs when I’m on my phone. When I re-blog a post, I immediately go into my dashboard and I add tags. Unlike original posts you draft yourself, a re-blogged post will not have tags.

As a shared post, the tags of the original owner are not included. To get the most out of the re-blogged post you must edit the post and add your own tags the same as you would any other post. I usually ensure the word “Reblog” is part of my tag to show I am not the original owner (and so that the post shows up for those searching the keyword “reblog”). This will help more people to see it, drive attention to the post and ultimately lead to more views for the original blogger. This is perhaps the most effective way to enhance visibility of a re-blog. Tag Tag Tag.

I also place the article in its appropriate category. Otherwise, the re-blog will fall under “Uncategorized”. To avoid this, you can choose a default category if you are usually at work or somewhere that prohibits you from being able to edit your re-blog. This means this is the category that all posts will automatically fall into. My default category is General Topics.

How to Change It

In your admin area, navigate to Settings > Writing > and then look for the drop down menu beside Default Post Category and set it to the category you want to be your default.

  1. Add Commentary

I always include commentary in my post if I can help it. In my opinion this boosts the value of the post, helping readers to see that not only have I read the original but that I got something out of it. Keeping it brief, I usually include what I enjoyed most about the article and of late I’ve also been adding a post quote or a direct quote from the original post that I found the most helpful or that gives an introduction into what the post is about.

You don’t always have to, but it helps to write a brief description of the post to get people excited about it. If your re-blog is about Self-Publishing tips for instance, maybe you can say: “Great Tips for Self-Publishers!” This will help grab someone’s attention to possibly check out the post.

  1. Disable Comments

Re-blogged posts do not belong to me. I did not write them and I am not interested in taking the credit. I’ve recently started disabling comments on my re-blogs because I want readers to comment on the original post. Since I didn’t write the post, it would just be weird asking me a question about it. Not only am I prompting readers to visit the other blog, but to also share the post from the original blog. Since re-blogged posts are just shared content from another person’s blog, it won’t have the entire post displayed, just a summary. It only makes sense then to share the post from the original blog. Otherwise, people must click on my blog just to click again to go to the original blog. Too many clicks mean “I don’t feel like doing all of this and I’ll come back to this post later (or not)“.

How to Disable It

Edit the post using the Improved Editor > More Options > Uncheck Allow Comments.

If you don’t want any ping-backs and trackbacks, uncheck that box as well. Readers will then be forced to interact with the original post.

4. Featured Image

Some re-blogs will include a featured image. If you don’t want this image prominently displayed on your blog, or you feel that it takes away from the post, you can go into your dashboard > Featured Image and disable it. I do this often when the image from the other blog makes the post look sloppy on my blog (keep in mind your space as well as images from re-blogged posts will now be a apart of your image archives).

What I Don’t Edit

Title – I do not see a reason to edit the title of someone else post. This takes away from the originality of the original blogger and teeters on a compromise of integrity. There are instances where this is acceptable but they are very limited. You may want to turn “dogs with personalities” to “Dogs with Personalities” to help the post to stand out more for the original blogger if you know capitalizing certain letters is important. In this instance you’re helping the original blogger by making sure it gets the visibility that it deserves. But for the sake of being accused of plagiarism, I would just leave the original title the way that it was when you found it.

Effective Re-blogging – Getting The Most Out of Them

It’s so easy to like and re-blog a post, but is there a way to do so effectively? Is there a way to get the most out of your re-blog?

First, why do you re-blog? I’ll go first. I re-blog because:

  • I really enjoyed the article / post. This means I found value in the post in some way
  • Not only did I enjoy the article / post but I think its worthy of being seen
  • Not only do I think it’s worthy of being seen, I think the original blog deserves the attention

My purpose of the re-blog is first to share valuable information with my readers. This is especially true if the post has something to do with something I’m passionate about: Scripture and Identity, History, Poetry, Self-Publishing, Blogging, or Writing in general. My secondary purpose of re-blogging is to give esteem to the person who took the time to produce content that is not only worth reading, but also worth sharing. For this reason, I believe it is important to make the most of the re-blog. If I am trying to help the writer to get attention, I have to make sure that they will actually get the attention. To do this, I make sure my re-blog include a couple things.

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  • Commentary

I think this is a very important thing in the world of Scams, Hackers, and Plagiarizers. When I prepare to re-blog a post, I think it’s important to add my own commentary to it. If I don’t have much to say, I quote something said in the article using quotations marks and ended with the author’s name. Why is this important? It gives others a sneak peek into what the article is  about. It’s also much more genuine, in my opinion, to the person who you’re re-blogging from. It shows you actually read the article and got something from it. When I re-blog, I want the person to know why I’m doing it. This also, as stated, helps others to ascertain what’s so special about the post. I think everyone should always add a little commentary to their re-blogs. Chances are the post is so good its been re-blogged dozens of times already. That said, I add commentary to let you know why it was so special to me personally knowing it will show up in your comments). People are also very sensitive. We have to keep in mind that not everyone wants their posts re-blogged (in which case they should have a disclaimer somewhere on their blog outlining this fact) or may be very suspicious as to why someone is doing so. It’s even more suspicious if your blog is only made up of re-blogs. I mean nothing against blogs made of re-blogs st all, but it is difficult to get to know you though as a person. What are your thoughts? Experiences? Insights? Every once in awhile, it may be a good idea (especially if you’re an author) to post something from scratch that represents your personal self. A list, a poem, a book excerpt. Something that is not re-shared or re-hashed so that we get to know you. No, quotes don’t count.

  • Tags

I also tag my re-blogs. This means that after I re-blog the post, I go into my WordPress dashboard and I add tags that are relevant to the article. I am also sure to tag it “re-blogs”. Even though it is obvious it’s a re-post, I think its important to my integrity that my readers know this is not my article but a re-blog from another blogger. This also sets my tags for re-blogs apart from my traditional tags. Re-blog tags will always have re-blog in there somewhere. Since tags help people to find your blog, this will also help people to find their way to the post. They’ll click on view more of this post and be led to the other person’s blog. Mission accomplished.

  • Re-blog no no’s

One thing I absolutely do not do is change the headline of a re-blogged post. Again, that transgresses my integrity and is crossing the thin line between sharing and plagiarizing. If the person headlines a post a certain way and I am sharing it, it is my duty to share it as is. I feel the same way about editing comments. I’m not sure why the ability to do so is even relevant. Why do we need to edit comments?? You can’t do that in real life! Imagine, “You suck. Wait, no, I take that back.” Lol.

The only reason I’ve edited a comment was when my main website changed from a time where I gave the person the other one. I edited it to the updated site just in case someone else came along later, I wouldn’t want them to have the wrong website. However, editing other peoples comments? That’s just wrong (and weird).

  • I Wish I Could

It was only recently that I understood that not everyone wants their posts re-blogged (Yes, it’s OK if you re-blog my posts! Credit me of course though). So, I wish I could disable comments for some of my re-blogs! Unless of course its my guest post from another blog. In that case, comment on! Does anyone know how to do that? Disable comments so that people will comment on the original page instead of your post? I think that helps the blogger gain more attention for their work and, most importantly, the credit they deserve.

Re-Spinning Posts: How You Can Self-Evaluate Your Blog

OK so you know that post you wrote last year that only got 3 likes and 2 views? Come on, we’ve ALL been there.

If you are new to this blog (Welcome! Waves) you may notice that I re-spin a lot of my posts. I expect anywhere from 50-100 new followers each month, which means a lot of new faces have not seen older posts, especially those that have really proven to be valuable. I try to re-spin my poetry at least once every year for this reason. I also re-spin posts I’d like to get more exposure. New faces also mean new perspectives.

Re-spinning posts is basically when you re-post a previously posted post (feel like I’m over writing the word post here). When this happens, the post shows up at the top of the reader and it also reaches the inboxes of new  e-mail followers who may not have been around when you first published it. < Please re-read last sentence.

I didn’t start off re-spinning (I still believe you have to be blogging for at least next to a year to build up material before re-spinning so it doesn’t get stale). In fact, I didn’t even know what it was. I remember the days I engaged in conversations with other bloggers about it, trying to understand it. After a year or ten months or so of blogging I decided why not? And I started re-posting previous posts just to test the waters. While I am still learning, so far, one of the main advantages I have noticed about re-spins is being able to self-evaluate my blogs content:

Self-Evaluation

What I have come to understand about blogging is this: There is no one method to doing it “correctly”. There are so many different elements that may make a blog “successful”. Sometimes people have tons of followers but not many views meaning only a handful of those thousands of followers are actually tuning in (Reminds me of social media in general, where numbers can be deceiving. Out of 4,000 Twitter followers, for instance, how many of them are actually valuable followers? Meaning, how many of them, for a business account, can actually provide insight and leverage to that business verses how many of them are family and friends?) Some people have lots of viewers but only a handful of followers. Some people get lots of commentary coming in along the comments section (what’s up with my alliteration today actually?) but not many likes on the posts. Content and social interaction also play a role, time of day, I can go on and on. This is why Blogging Confidence is important because there’s no one way to do it. The more confident you are in your blog and writing in general the more others will connect with you. Lots of followers or lots of viewers can mean nothing or it can mean everything depending on how you look at it.

While there is no one way to do it, re-spinning posts in my opinion has become a great tool in self-evaluating the quality of content on this blog.

The Process

You have to understand that in your mind the post is nothing short of brilliant. You put your whole foot and every other body part in it. The fact that everyone else didn’t understand your brilliance is beyond you. But, if you really want to see if others are benefiting from your writing (besides yourself), here’s what I do to self-evaluate:

WP Admin > Posts > All Posts

I search through my posts, picking and choosing a certain category. Let’s say poetry. I find a poem that didn’t get much attention. “Hmmm”, I think to myself. “Why?”

I click on edit and look at a few things. Can I rephrase how this was written? Is the photo taking away from the post? (Which it sometimes can). What about those tags? I have come to discover some poor tagging habits in my past! Sometimes the tag just didn’t make any sense and had nothing to do with the price of tea in China. And what about structure? Could it have been formatted differently? (I’m totally in love with the “Justified” paragraph formatting! Everything is lined up and it just looks super neat).

Edit

Before I re-spin a post I edit something about it. This isn’t to say grammatically or the content necessarily but something else about it. The tags for instance is an example of what I usually edit. Rotating the tags also grabs the attention of people who  blog under certain tags and have therefore never seen your post before. After rotating the tags I make sure everything in the content is spelled correctly and makes sense (at least to me). I also make sure the post is in the appropriate category. (If its a poem don’t put it in articles, put it in poetry! If you write poetry and you don’t have a poetry category– unless all you write is poetry– make one now and make sure all poetry is in its own category. This will increase its visibility when people search “poetry” or “spoken word”) Bam, we’re ready. I schedule it to post again.

NOTE: When re-spinning successful posts (lots of views/likes) I wouldn’t edit it too much. It was successful for a reason. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Observation

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This is an important part of the process. If a post that got poor attention before now blows up I know that it wasn’t the content itself, it was just how I published it. Maybe I used five tags instead of fifteen or perhaps it had too many typos. However, if the post still gets poor attention its not that I’m a bad writer, it’s just that the blogging world obviously does not get how brilliant I really am.

Seriously though, if the post is still not attracting attention then you know its time to check the actual content of the post. I have found that it’s not the words themselves, but it is how the words are presented. I have re-spun lots of posts that were poorly written and re-written again. In this process, I have noticed that the re-written article, with slightly different wording, did better than its ancestor.