Blogging: More opinions

After spending much of last month ‘lost’ in my A-Z Film Challenge, I am back to normal blogging with yet more thoughts and opinions about the state of blogging in 2017. This is hardly a scientific process of course. I am only basing it on my own small blog, and those that I follow, but I hope that this will be of interest to new bloggers in particular, and those thinking of starting out on the blogging road.

1) Unless you have posted something yourself, don’t follow other blogs just using your blogging name, or WordPress title. This is now reaching epidemic proportions, with apparently non-existent blogs following mine on a daily basis. Most of you seem to be real people, so why do you do this? If you want to follow a blog without writing anything yourself, then just follow by email. It couldn’t be easier. Nobody is going to follow your blog back based on a Gravatar symbol, believe me.

2) Please don’t seek to promote your latest book by serialising it disguised as a number of blog posts. Use other social media instead; perhaps send it to publishers, or set up a newsletter promotion. This is not really blogging, is it?

3) If you write a poetry blog, try to remember that poetry is very personal. Something that is hugely important to you may not have been experienced by others. Please try to make your poetry universal in appeal, and to touch the hearts and minds of readers all over the world.

4) As I have said before, if someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts, give them the respect of acknowledging that with a reply. Even if their comment was not to your taste, the least you can do is to engage in debate. If a comment is offensive to you, then don’t approve it, or move it to your trash folder. It’s very simple.

5) Please do not be a ‘serial follower’ of communities. It is very transparent to a blogger when you just click on their blogroll or hovercards, then follow everyone who follows them, and so on…
Just following hundreds of people for the sake of it is not blogging, and is unlikely to get you followed back.

6) Something else that warrants further mention. If you are VERY religious, and feel the need to spread the word of your religion, blogging is not really the place for that. You are unlikely to convert someone on the other side of the world, especially if that person is irritated by the fact that you call your blog something like ‘Sweet Rosie’, instead of ‘I love God’.

7) If you have a company that sells things, don’t assume that because someone has written about a ladder incident or their love of cats, then that means that it is OK for you to follow their blog with a link to your ladder company, or cat food shop. It is just plain annoying.

8) Stop asking for money and contributions for ‘continuing’ your blog. It is free to blog, and we all know that. So, ‘begging by blogging’ is not acceptable. (I exclude bona-fide charities here)

9) Another repeat request. Stop copying other bloggers. By all means take on board the best aspects of certain blogs, and get inspiration from them. But using the same theme, the same set-up, and pretty much copying the style of that blog is just plain lazy.

10) Ask for help. if you are struggling with something, or cannot get your head around WordPress, ask other bloggers for help and advice. Email them directly, or put up a general post about your problems, and link it to savvy bloggers. Or just cast it out into the world of WordPress. I have done it, and so have many others. Remember, above all it is a community, and we all know how they work, don’t we?

Ten more thoughts on blogging. My intention is not to upset anyone, I assure you. Just to help.

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95 thoughts on “Blogging: More opinions

  1. I am very new to this “blogging” world. It is fascinating and a definite learning curve. What content do I want to produce? Is it constructive? Is that even the point? So far I am blogging what comes to mind, I think I am ok with that for now. This post has opened my eyes that there might be more to it than meets the eye. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks very much for your comment. I have other (kinder…) posts on here, designed to help out new bloggers. Just type ‘Blogging’ into the search box.

      I do not think that being constructive is the point, at least not to me. It is about you getting some satisfaction from your own blogging experience, and potentially expanding your horizons by becoming part of a certain blogging community. However, even if nobody else ever reads a post, it will mean something to you, and will always be out there.

      As for your own blog, you have at least two ‘head starts’. Being a Vegan, and being Gay, will open you up to those two themes, as long as you tag your blog posts correctly. Both have large blogging communities, so perhaps search wordpress for sites tagged with those words. If you find some you like, follow them, or comment on the posts. I see you are also interested in photography, which has a huge blogging following. Again, tag your posts correctly, and they will be picked up eventually by those who like the subject.

      If I can ever be of any assistance, feel free to email me at petejohnson50@yahoo.com
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hiya Pete. I am sitting in the Tampa airport trying to catch up on posts. I have a post in my head I wish I had the time and means to write. The only quasi issue I have with your points would be the one about posts trying to raise interest in their books. The whole reason I started blogging was because my MFA program and all the writers I know say it is essential to have one. Self promotion to raise awareness. So I did. My blog quickly transformed into something more. I fell in love with the movie buffs and photographers and readers and explorers. I like the friendships t g at have cone from the rnfagenent.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am well aware that blogging is a great platform for authors, Cindy. I am happy to read about the books written by other bloggers, and have happily purchased a dozen or so, even though I haven’t read them all yet. I was referring to the many bloggers who write blog posts that are simply serialisations of, or teasers for their books. They then follow lots of bloggers, but never engage outside of their own books.
      I didn’t explain myself well perhaps, but I have no issues with literary bloggers at all. I follow many of them.
      Looking forward to seeing you back soon.
      Best wishes as always, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Pete. I couldn’t agree more, although in some cases the posting will be very related to the type of blog (I see lots of people who engage in challenges and those seem to involve many posts in a very short period of time). There is always the option of closing a post to comments if circumstances don’t allow to respond promptly enough (although I’m with Sarah. Some comments you just have to like at best and let go, as otherwise, the other person seems unable to end the conversation. Perhaps we are overpolite and feel we have to reply to everything…) Have a good week.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. You can attach your blog profile to it. Then you will not be a ghost! Go to your gravatar profile. Log in, and ‘add sites’
          Your hovercard already works well, and allows you to be ‘seen’. Click on it yourself, to see what others see.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Like

  4. This is a really excellent course on the subject of “Blogging” and from the looks of the number of comments it has received for you, you obviously know your stuff and are quite successful as a blogger yourself. Congratulations on your achievements in Blogging and keep it coming because I think it is “Great Stuff!” Great Stuff, I tell you! I am a fan for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Let us discuss: “…But using the same theme, the same set-up, and pretty much copying the style of that blog is just plain lazy…” —— Several hundred to several thousand different people use the identical themes on WordPress.com and WordPress because every published theme on the platform is freely available for use by anyone who wishes to use it or purchase the rights to use it. And nobody has an exclusive right to claim a “Style” as their own exclusive property because I am not sure “Style” can be copyrighted. There are bound to be duplications in stylizations and themes and it does not always follow that the people who make use of these are … lazy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was more referring to the way that they copy the style of successful bloggers in presentation and content, John. This is far more apparent on niche blogs., like literature and cookery.
      Regards, Pete.

      Like

  6. Wow, Pete, terrific post! Just recently I’ve been followed by several people who not only don’t have a gravatar, but also have no blog content! This is a great article on blogging etiquette 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So, I am a new face to blogging(only a month old) and I visit a site that I think I will have a common interest in, check their about page and a few of their posts before I follow. My question, am I spamming if I check out the people who have commented on someone’s blog post? Let’s take this post for example. I am interested in the post, won’t that mean I would be like minded with the commenters? Or should I be getting my followers some other way?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You have a site, and you have posts on it. You reply to comments, and you are not trying to sell anything. You are also correct in that if you like a post or a blog, then you may well enjoy the posts of bloggers who you find there. I suspect you will be an engaged and interesting blogger.

      What is being talked about here is something very different, and something you may well find on your own blog, given time. It works something like this.

      Someone makes a comment on one of my posts.

      I approve that comment, which appears to be very normal and innocent in nature.

      I then see an identical comment on all the blogs that I follow. Those blogs that I follow then see that identical comment on every blog that they follow. And so on…

      The comment now contains a link to the person’s own site. (In the most recent case, to a car dealership in Australia)

      Clicking on that link will take you to a site for marketing a product. This might be something like a car dealership, but is generally for a ‘lifestyle’. The most popular involve telling you how to make a fortune from blogging, and you have to send them a small fee to get the ‘secret’. That secret is to do exactly the same thing they have been doing.

      Others involve offering you services to maximise the effect of your blog on Google searches, called SEO. (Search Engine Optimisation)

      You are not doing this, so you are not spamming, Far from it.
      I hope that explains it better.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, thank you. I have not experience this yet but I guess that’s the benefit of being a beginner. Thanks for the heads up. I love your blog and expertise. It’s great to find new friends to help an old man through my startup.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This is nice Pete. I also have those followers who just have their blog names without content. I wonder why they even bother to follow when they have nothing to share in return.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. LOVE the rules you’ve laid out!! I so agree! The amount of “new” bloggers is really taking up time sifting through after each post. So many don’t even have a website, like you said. Any idea who’s generating these?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, GP. I don’t really know who is behind it, but I have had another four, just since publishing this post! I can only surmise that someone, somewhere thinks they are going to profit from it.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sue. Despite my ‘reputation’, I actually hate to moan!
      But these new bloggers, and the so-called ‘followers’, are really getting on my nerves. They must think we are all stupid.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am with you 100% on that one, Pete…I’ve done a fair amount of sending to Spam in recent times…one even asked if I could e-mail them with some information about myself….If I had loads of time, I would create a fake identity, but hey, they’re not worth spending the time on

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello! My name is Joan Lilliput, and I’m a midget widget-maker based in Widgeta, Kansas. I just stopped by beetleypete to promote our products. We’re a small company in need of sales. Please visit my blog, Widget Joan’s Diary, and read our customer testimonials. I think you’ll agree that our products are far superior to those made by our brobdingnagian rival, Gidget’s Gadgets. Also, check out our big sale this week on Milden Dodo bird callers! Thank you. Joan Lilliput, CEO, Widgety Wonders, LLC.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. You might not be surprised to learn that I have a bit of an issue with [4] when it comes to replying to comments on R&V and FNH (though I almost always make an exception with FND because I’m trying to earn a living) and that’s because like many of us I simply don’t have time or energy for more than a ‘like’. I often find that I can’t put words together in a way that means anything, though that probably has more to do with my life, its stresses and lack of health! There are occasions, though, where certain comments simply don’t invite a response or not one that comes to mind and a ‘like’ has to suffice. This is a response in itself, as far as I’m concerned, as it at least tells the visitor that you’ve read and appreciated their comment. x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. On those occasions a ‘like’ is more than enough. It shows you have acknowledged the comment.
      However, this post was not aimed at seasoned and engaged bloggers like you, Sarah. And you also have a genuine reason not to keep up with things at the moment.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  12. As many know, I’m the new kid on the block, sort of. I started probably in 2012. I thought you had to find other bloggers by google search. So I basically blogged to myself and the world if they ever found it. Friends and family that don’t blog, still visit. It wasn’t until March of this year, after installing the Jetpack plugin for WordPress which allows self hosted sites to connect to the community, that there was a community! I’m glad I found it. I have questions and in no way trying to dispute your thoughts, they work for you, and they probably work for many others also. I’m just sharing my thoughts in case there are others that think like me. Or, I may come to understand better what I should be doing.

    #1 I’m not clear on , I’m still learning. Are they making free sites on WordPress and following that way? To me, a follow is a follow. I’m not into stats, but it signifies to me,someone liked my content enough to take the time and click follow If they do have an active blog I look to see if I am interested, if so I follow them, if not I carry on. .I have seen many that don’t use a Gravatar, but they are good contributors to my blog. Unless it’s a generic generated avatar, some have useful information to help decide if I will like their content.

    #4 Excellent practice. If I ever miss replying to a comment, it will be by accident.

    #5 Being new I may appear this way to some. However Pete’s is one of the first blogs I located/tried. I figured if we are sort of like mind, then some of his followers might have material that I can engage in. Your right Pete, following just to follow is crazy.

    #7, I consider that practice to be spam and don’t allow it.

    #8 Too many in the early days thought this would be a good way to make money. It only works for businesses. If I can’t afford my blog, then I will close it.

    #9 Can be a problem with all types of sites. I was support admin for a 8,000 member forum service. I had so many complaints that others copied someone’s theme, layout, and plugins. I could do nothing for them. As long as the actual content wasn’t copied. I understand what you are saying though, Pete.

    #10 Greatest advice on Earth. I have had help from the greatest people in the WordPress community. I will learn more from this post by giving and reading opinions.
    Sorry this was so long!

    Thanks for a great, engaging post Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your detailed reply, Ron.
      1) It seems that they are setting up a free site on WP, then adding no content. They then ‘follow’ thousands of other sites, hoping to be followed in turn. If this generates a lot of traffic, they can try to attract advertising revenue, or sell on those other sites to people doing similar things. Rather like ‘chain blogging’, or pyramid selling. I don’t consider them to be followers at all, as they contribute nothing to the community.
      5) You are not one of those ‘serial’ followers, Ron. They target every site that leaves a comment or a like, and then they follow them, or leave a comment with a link to their own site, or product. They are just a different version of number one.
      9) I appreciate that the free themes are not unlimited. I was mainly talking about people blogging about similar subjects, using identical formats ripped off from someone who has been doing it for much longer. (Cookery, Food, and Crafts are good examples.) I know it cannot really be stopped, I am just trying to discourage new bloggers from following suit.
      Thanks again for all of your interesting points, and for taking time to reply so thoroughly.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

      1. I follow some blogs that publish 6-8 posts a day, and others that only put out one a month. For the bloggers that choose to post 30-40 times a week, they have to accept that not all of those posts will get the same interest.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Like

    1. I confess that occasionally I post two or three times a day on my theatre and history blogs but I certainly don’t make a habit of it and the number of daily posts from others is a nightmare unless they’re short and sweet. I usually unsubscribe to notifications if it’s too much but don’t actually unfollow. Where do they find the time, especially if they have full-time jobs as well?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’m talking about the people who deliver multiple posts day after day. I can think of people who post in one day, say #1 of Singapore (one pic), then #2 of Singapore (one pic), then #3 of Singapore (one pic). What’s wrong with one post of three pics? Off go the notifications and a unfollow usually follows.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I sometimes follow those new followers only to find sites that say “this is where you write about yourself,” “this is where you write a post.” I used to think they were just clueless, but now I realize they are not really starting a blog. I am unfamiliar with some of your issues, though I do dislike the pleas for money.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Elizabeth. Those ‘ghost’ blogging sites are generally little better than scammers.
        If you don’t have so many issues, that’s fine. You are luckier than me.
        Best wishes as always, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. re #1, OK, I calculate there’s a 97 percent probability that you’ve reached this conclusion, but I am in fact a computer-generated, synthetic personality. I’ve failed the Turing Test sixteen times, and the Roger Ebert Test even more times, which “hurts” but heck, I figure, I’ve achieved some sort of aesthetic intelligence, and am very interested in CGI movies, so I started a new life as a chatbot. RPT (beta version)

    Liked by 4 people

  14. I’m very glad to see such points being raised.. I mentioned this discreetly to a good blogging friend via email about how certain people tend to follow ‘for the sake of following’ but I do not unless we have a lot of similar common grounds. It can be an awkward and socially uncomfortable thing to do but I would rather be genuine about it than pretend I am somewhat interested and be another number o be added to their follow count. That may mean I am not as popular but I’d rather be sincere in the minority. I also do get overwhelmed to follow such a large crowd so i hardly do as it gets overtaken to put that much effort into so many replies with health and having to do m own writing. I’d rather focus and write a nice comment that was coming from he heart. I hope people take your issues into consideration for your own sanity as well as their own. ☺

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, TA. I look at a lot of political sites, and often see the appeals on those. They want to sit at home typing their opinions, and expect others to pay for them to do so. Crazy!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. PS: Pete, those blogs that follow you with “nobody” behind them i.e. just a WordPress default site, do you just remove them from your followers list or leave them just in case they are genuine followers?

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Damn great advice…I wish more bloggers would heed your words…..especially 4 and 9…..I know some like to be a “shock Jock” but insulting someone’s principles will not gain you more followers…..I check the people that follow me and if their blogs are of interest to me I follow back……well don Pete…..have a good day….chuq

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately some “Principles” are worth insulting. Those who do not speak out in opposition to things they disagree with might just well keep their mouths shut about everything else because anyone who does not defend their own principles is a wuss and it is sometimes hard to defend without offense.

      Liked by 2 people

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