3 Quick Tips to Keep Your Blog Reader-Friendly

 

I’ve only published a few how-to posts before so bear with me. It’s short. And has three easy tips to increase your readership.

Okay, I can only promise it will increase readership by one.

That would be me.

Hopefully that one flower (that would be me, again) will become a garden of readers.

There are some of you (I won’t name names) who have the most sweetest blogs and the most loveliest things to say. And yet…

There are a few things I’d like to discuss with you. Three, actually. I’ll be quick. Promise.

I’d like to ask a favor, my bloggy friends. Could you do something for me? That is, if you don’t mind and I ask nicely? (I usually offer cookies or something as my “nice” may not be as nice as I think it is. So, cookies will be involved. Or cake. Your choice.)

When I read your post and there’s a link, it’s wonderful if that link is a word or two (or even five), not an enormously long URL.

And then, when you have your cute, little word that is now a link, it’s quite charming if it doesn’t kick me off your blog. I’m reading your blog because I like it. And I don’t want to leave. And you don’t want me to leave. There might be other posts I’d like to read on there.

Finally, when someone leaves a link in your comments, it often flies off the side of the page and makes your blog literally swim before my eyes. And not in a cute, “Aw, look, it’s a dolphin” sort of way. No. It moves and is difficult to read and (apologies) I often click off the post. I sometimes manage to finish reading if it’s short but I certainly don’t enjoy it as much as I would if it were, say, staying in place.

So, if you’re interested (and use WordPress), these are super-quick fixes:

 

Turning a long link into a short word or phrase:

  • Select and cut link from your post
  • Highlight word(s) you would like turned into a link
  • Click on link button in the toolbar (if you hover, it says ‘insert/edit link’)
  • Paste link into the space provided

 

Having a link open in a new tab:

After you have turned your long link into a short word or phrase, have it open into a new tab so I can stay on your blog. (Unless you want me to leave. I can take a hint.)

  • Keep box open where you just pasted your link
  • Click on gear icon (it will say ‘link options’ if you hover) Skip this step if using the Reader
  • Find the tiny box that says ‘Open link in a new tab’
  • Put a check there

 

Adding/editing links in comment sections:

  • Go to Dashboard and into Comments
  • Click ‘Edit’
  • Click the ‘Link’ button
  • Cut and paste link into URL space
  • Find the tiny box that says ‘Open link in a new tab’
  • Put a check there
  • Click ‘Update’

OR

  • Go to Dashboard and into Comments
  • Click ‘Quick Edit’
  • Cut and paste the following into the comment box:
  • <a href=”www.hello.com”>Hi</a>
  • Change “www.hello.com” to link in the comment
  • Change “Hi” to whatever text you want to display
  • NOTE: This will not open the comment link in a new tab

 

So long and thanks for all the links! 🐠

 

If you don’t do these things, is it by choice? If so, why? Does it bother you to have a link open in a new tab? Do you think it’s more likely people will click on longer (obvious) links?

 

Advertisements

Without Apologies

 

blue-sky-clouds-and-trees-sig

 

If you miss one or two of my blog posts, I will not accept your apology.

People comment, email, and DM to apologize for not visiting my blog or doing so a week or more after I’ve posted.

For the love of all that is covered in chocolate, please stop.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s very sweet (the chocolate and your apology). And I’ll admit I’ve done this myself to fellow bloggers.

Of course I like seeing you here but, if you can’t make it, it’s all good.

If I don’t see you for a long while, I might inquire. But, if I do, it’s out of curiosity or concern not anger or upset.

Every once in a while (or more often), we get overwhelmed in the blogging world. We can’t keep up. Either with writing our own posts, reading others’ posts, commenting, or replying to comments.

It’s. All. Good.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I don’t know how many times I’ve blogged about this but I don’t care. I’ll blog it again. I’m a broken record. Whatever.

I do not believe blogging should be a source of stress in people’s lives. And, yes, we are people. With lives. Outside the bloody internet.

Sometimes, we can’t catch up and need to rid ourselves of guilt and empty our inbox. I think we’ve all been there. Or most of us, anyway.

I will not tell you that you’re doing something wrong or not doing enough.

I won’t.

You’re good. Just like that.

But I also will not tell you you’re wrong for wanting to be everywhere and do everything. Sometimes, we do this to ourselves.

So, if you really feel the need, you could pop over here and leave a smiley face and I’ll know you were drowning in notifications. Then I could save you, you know? It’d be a secret code or something.

I’ll drop by your blog and leave you a life vest.

 

 

I’m not even going to ask.

If you’re overwhelmed, stressed, falling behind in the blogging world…take a breath, empty your inbox, and throw away the guilt. If people get upset about you missing a couple of their posts or not replying to their comment…well… *shrugs*

You’re all good here. Cheers, gentle readers.

 

Taking the Red Pen to Your Comments

 

If you’ve commented on my blog, chances are, I’ve edited you.

 

Red Pen Comments - sig

 

Please pop your eyes back into your skull and know this: I do not rewrite comments. I edit. Or, more precisely, proofread.

Why? Well, for one thing, I can’t help myself. I mean, I can not help it. My OCD-ish tendencies notice typos like a giant slug in a rose garden.

When I see an extra space, I delete it. When I see a forgotten period, I add it. If you type ‘dp’ when you clearly meant ‘do’, I change the ‘p’ to an ‘o’.

That’s how I roll.

Second. If I know someone pretty well, know their writing, and see an error, I’ll correct it. It might embarrass them to have a misspelling. Eh. It might not.

But I have had plenty of people submit a second comment correcting their typo. “Oh no!” or “Sorry! I meant to write…” I trash that and just fix it for them. Unless it’s a funny comment. Then it stays. (Seems I’m not the only one with typo/commenting issues. Just saying.)

I wish people would do this for me. *sigh*

Third. If you leave a really long link, it messes up my mobile site and the page just sort of floats around making it difficult to read. So I turn your long link into a short link.

Instead of http://sarahbrentynflash. wordpress.com/ 2015/09/01/ legume-allergy- leads-to-domestic-troubles-2/

It neatly says: Legume Allergy Leads to Domestic Troubles

If you’re new to Lemon Shark, I won’t edit you. I don’t know you or your writing style.

You could be using slang or live in the UK and your ‘realise’ is not a typo but a right proper way of spelling ‘realize’. You could be the next e e cummings and like using all lower-case. It’s cool. Your little letters are safe with me.

I love my readers and their comments. I do. I appreciate the time it takes to read and respond to a post. I also have some kick-ass commenters at Lemon Shark who add so much to the discussions.

You might be a bit offended by this confession but do give me a bit of a break. (I’m trying to uncover my true colors—refer back to mention of OCD).

And, if it helps, I edit my own replies. All. The. Time. Especially from my phone. Damn auto-correct. Also, the cute emojis sometimes show up very differently once I hit “post comment”. I’ll put a frog face (no, I don’t know why I’m putting a frog face) and then it’s like… Wait. What is that? Edit. Change. Aw. A smiley face with its tongue sticking out. Much better.

So, if you’ve commented here, I’ve probably edited you. #SorryNotSorry

 

Have you ever edited a comment? Are you going to stop commenting here because of my confession?

 

(Someone please make my day and tell me you’ve found a typo in this post.)

 

Tweeting Into ‘The Nothing’

 

If a tweet falls on a timeline and no one clicks it does it make an impression?

 

The Nothing - sig

 

We’ve all blogged into The Nothing. Most of us, anyway. Blah, blah, publish… Crickets.

(Or grasshoppers. I always mix those up. Actually, we found a huge one of these insects a few weeks ago and it turned out to be a katydid. Cool, huh? Just agree. Indulge my inner nerd.)

What about tweeting into The Nothing?

I’m not sure what a tweet actually does if it doesn’t translate to a visit to your blog—a comment, a reading, or a simple “like”. I’m not that great at math but when I see 15 RTs and 2 visits…

“Tweet Activity” is mind-boggling: Impressions, Engagements, Retweets, Interactions, Link Clicks… They even have percentages, line charts, bar charts… It’s wild that I get to see that data & info and you don’t. I feel like the Great and Powerful OZ.

Here’s what you see: I tweeted your post and it only has 1 retweet. Here’s what you don’t see: 12 Link Clicks. Or, conversely, you see 12 retweets but don’t see there’s only 1 Link Click.

Things aren’t always what they seem.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Do you view your Tweet Activity?

If a tweet falls on a timeline and no one clicks it does it make an impression?

 

* Tip: hover over each tweet activity—it explains the feature. It’s kind of interesting.


No, Thanks – I Don’t Need a New Car

 

I dropped a bomb on Monday.

 

external validation - sig

 

I’ve had super supportive, somewhat supportive, thought provoking, and downright disapproving comments on that post. The only thing they have in common is that they’re amazing.

I love every single one of them.

They made me think of a conversation I had with a friend of mine about validation.

Most people need it. Not many like to talk about it.

There are two types: External and Internal.

People are primarily motivated by one type of validation or the other. There are positive and negative aspects of each (which I won’t get into here).

External needs approval from the outside world.

Internal needs approval from within.

When your inside says “I look horrible”, it doesn’t matter how many people say “You look great!” Because. Internal.

Well, that’s me.

I could be at a party with 50 people all saying they love my hair and, if I don’t like it, I’d leave at the end of the night still hating my hair.

But just because I’m an Internal Val kind of gal doesn’t mean I don’t want to get compliments on my hair. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to get lovely comments from my readers.

Although my validation comes from within, I still value others’ opinions.

It’s not where I live—I don’t need it in order to feel good enough. However, I appreciate it because it causes me to reflect, to look at myself or a situation in a different light. (Also, it’s nice to hear.)

I always love the comments from my readers; they are interesting, thought-provoking, funny, and helpful. But I am truly touched by the comments from my friends on that post. A heartfelt thanks to you all for taking the time to share, support, and commiserate.

So I dropped a blog bomb and it blew up in my comment section. (In a good way.)

Also, behind the scenes, I received quite a few unexpected phone calls, emails, tweets, and DMs.

There was a lot of serendipity.

I’m in the eye of the storm, I believe. Because things have calmed a bit, giving me a chance to think more clearly. But there are dark clouds headed my way.

See you on the other side.

 

My Sunday thoughts in (a bit over) 200 words.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you think about validation? Are you an Internal or External? Do you get your validation from yourself or others?

 

 

Update: I was just today reminded of this post by Gulara Vincent: When Quitting is Healthy. Her post is more goal-oriented than giving up on a dream but it’s similar in that quitting can sometimes be a positive thing. It’s definitely worth a read.