A Haven for Vee

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Seven Tips for Better Blogging

My Winterberries and My Winterberry Gatherer
(Having Nearly Nothing Whatsoever to Do with Today's Topic ☺)

New blogging buddies are so much fun for they bring a freshness and enthusiasm to blogging that can be lost if we always remain in the same clique circle. New faces and new voices are wonderful. Once in a while, I am asked a question about blogging forms and formalities and I smile because I so well remember having the same sorts of questions about blogging. Gosh, I still have questions about blogging all the time.

Sometimes, I allow myself the luxury of thinking perhaps I do know something about this blogging business. Of course, I'm just pretending, I actually know precious little. Sadly, it is my nature to tell more than I know; therefore, in an effort to answer some of the questions I've been asked of late, I'll share why I blog the way I do because that's really all I know anything about. What you do, dear one, is always your choice.

1. I try to make my blog friendly by not using any sort of verifications. They are a huge hurdle for my commenters and for me. (Feel free to snag the button if you decide to go verification free. It is a great joy to find it on blogs and, no, I didn't start it.) Yes, I have had trouble with spammers in the past, but Blogger has done an amazing job with its spam filter. You can always check your filter by going first to the Design button and then directly to the Comment tab. This truly eliminates the need for fussy word verifications. If you should receive an unwarranted comment, do not hesitate to delete it or to report it as spam. Certainly, do not give it much concern. I would just challenge you, if at all possible, to try letting go of those verifications. If you have troubles again, you can always return to them.

1. Design and then directly to Comments

2. Anonymous commenters are either a blessing or a curse. Because I think everyone should be able to stand behind a comment, I no longer allow anonymous ones. This helps to further eliminate spam. The way to check this setting is Design, Dashboard, Settings, Comments.

2. Design-Dashboard-Settings-Comments

3. I regularly check my blog's load time. There are a number of good programs that do this. I recently tried Pingdom, which breaks down the components of my blog and shows the various load times for each item. For example, I see that my little clock there (that I love, btw,) is sucking a lot of load time.

4. If I have a problem with a certain blog, I'll mention it to the blogger behind the scenes in an email.  Quite often, it turns out to be my problem and not hers in the first place. And I want to know if you're having difficulty here, too, because I'll try to find out why. The pop-up box for comments, which I also love because it allows me to see the original page, often causes visitors troubles when leaving a comment. That is a setting on your home computer concerning safety issues, which you may or may not wish to change. Some have reported success by using Google Chrome.

5. I attach my email and my blog to my profile. Why? So that when I comment, the blogger can easily find me without jumping through hoops. And I realize that for some of you that is not an option, but if you are not hiding, please consider doing this. It can be accomplished by following this path: Design, Dashboard, Edit Profile. Once in Edit Profile, changes can be made. For example, I no longer wish to show my second blog. Be careful about having too many blogs listed. It makes it confusing for others to find you. Some even have their "behind the scenes" blogs listed. That should probably not be the case. 

5. Design - Dashboard - Edit Profile

6. For photo editing, one can't go wrong with Photoscape. It's a free, quick and easy download. (Google it.) This is the program I most use for mosaics. It also has a lot of photo edits that can be fun.

7. Blinkies...way too cute by half for me. Why? Because I am growing older and to have something blinking away in a sidebar or a post is very distracting.

You'll notice that I didn't even touch the music issue. That's because I alternately have a love-hate relationship with it. My own music is set so that my readers must turn it on to listen. So often, we are listening to our "own thing" when reading blogs. It can get to be way too much. However, last year at Christmastime, my mother and I loved listening to the various playlists hearing songs that we hadn't even thought of in years. It was just plain wonderful and for that reason alone, I will never get negative about playlists.

If I could change just one thing about blogging, it would be to have us all do what makes us content without concern for not meeting someone else's expectations. And, just to totally negate that, I want you all to blog nearly every single day! =) Not possible? Somehow I knew that's what you'd say.

Would you like to add anything to my list? Now's your chance!


  1. I agree with you about the word verification! Just recently took mine off. And yes, I can easily delete a comment that is strange. Great list! Going to the photo site now.

  2. I've never allowed anonymous comments. That seems to me to be asking for problems.

    Word verification?? I wish it had never been thought of. There must be another way.

    Music? Personally, I don't like it on blogs. And I am all about music. I think it just bothers me to read and listen. I only use it on one of my blogs which is my pioneer trek blog and that one just seemed to need it for some reason. I think there's only one time I commented on a blog (can't remember which one now) that I liked their music because it just was so calming.

    Nice post. Thanks.

  3. Blog Awards...When you are a new blogger, it is wonderful to get blog awards from other bloggers. You are suppose to pass them on to other bloggers.

    Problem with that is that someone always gets left out. And they are time consuming.


  4. Thank you for sharing your blogging tips. How many times have I asked you questions? (Okay, let's not count!) Because you've always been willing to share, I've had oodles of fun learning.

    Love that picture of your winterberries. Such a beautiful, colorful picture!

  5. Good stuff, Vee! I am going to take a couple of these to heart. Off to take a good look at my blog...Thanks!

  6. You know what grinds my gears?
    Word verification on a blog that also has comment moderation on!


  7. LOVE your simple-but-complete instructions. Excellent work, Dear One.

    Would you please ask; "How many prefer being able to read daily posts?" (You said your preference, which is mine too.... as close to daily as possible)

    Gentle hugs,
    "Bring forth the raisins and the nuts-
    Tonight All-Hallows' Specter struts
    Along the moonlit way."

    ~~John Kendrick Bangs

  8. Ohhh, anddddddddddd... Please ask; "Do your readers prefer people post at about the same time, daily?" Like, some seem to post in the morning and some to post, later, etc. This isn't always possible but...

    "Does time of day posting, have an impact on readership?"

    -chuckle- Why don't I go and ask these questions, on my own blog, hu? :-)))))))))

    Gentle hugs,
    "Bring forth the raisins and the nuts-
    Tonight All-Hallows' Specter struts
    Along the moonlit way."

    ~~John Kendrick Bangs

  9. I took my Play List off after having it on for years. It was a hard decision but I ever had anyone write me and ask me to keep it but had numerous readers say it was a distraction.

    I only have a few real bloggy annoyances over the years. One is when a blog goes from being visually beautiful to downright cluttered with advertisements.

    Another is... use paragraphs! So many new bloggers start writing and publish one long paragraph. At least for me (age??) it is very hard to read so I stop trying. I find I'd rather default to too many paragraphs than not enough.

    The third is when someone uses their blog to complain about another. I had a few blogs I loved when I first started reading them but ended up unsubscribing due to blog wars... sigh.

    It was really too bad because all of these bloggers had a lot to offer.

    I get so much spam that I had to go to comment moderation a couple years ago but I also don't see the need for word verification along with it.

    Once in awhile spam comes through the Blogger filter to be moderated, if something looks suspicious I just don't accept it.

    The best thing about blogging is meeting wonderful people. :)

  10. Great tips Vee! Have a great day!

  11. Right on Vee. My only other comment would be to suggest that bloggers writing about babies do a "what would Mary do" moment of thinking before talking about things like diaper contents and such. I feel concerned that such kids will be quite chagrined to read such unflattering posts when they are older.
    It also concerns me when I read blogs where the mom posts non stop about her first born, but barely mentions the wonders of baby 2. Again, kids grow up and notice these things.

  12. Now Vee that was a Public Service! I want to weep when I have to type in a verification and then see that my comment is awaiting moderation....I really want to ask "why??' The extra typing for nothing.

  13. Good points! I don't care for blogs with all the extras that take forever to upload. I think twice before I click...because then comes 'the wait'.

  14. I think that bloggers should keep their posts short if readership is what they are after. If they want to post and document their travels and what is happening in their own life for the simple joy of writing ..then make them a mile long and enjoy the few comments that you might receive.

    I still have so many spam comments coming to my email but rarely do they make them into the blog. I need to have all comments come to my email because of the admin of the cooking blog.

    You are an expert blogger Vee!

  15. Great blogging tips, Vee! I turned off word verification some time ago and then didn't allow anonymous comments. I have a few friends who say they can no longer comment on my blog posts, but they can email me.

    One thing that drives me crazy is blogs with black backgrounds. I find them very hard to read. Is it my advanced age? Probably.

  16. Hi Vee!

    I really appreciate all of your blogging tips! Blogging verification drives me crazy too! I don't allow anonymous - simply because I don't understand why they would not want me to know who they were... :0)

    I have music - but just music, no words . . . usually. I keep my music list right on top so it's easy to find and turn off. I don't mind others music, as long as it's soft.

    I am going to check out photoscape! Always looking for something new!

    Thanks for all the good ideas!


  17. Vee
    First off, this is the first time I even noticed your music. And, of course, my dear 'kindred spirit' you were playing my favorite 'Anne of Green Gables'. Love it!
    I have been getting anonomys advertisers lately. You know, people telling me they will lose their jobs if I don't place their ad on my post. Right! Anyway, thank you for letting me know how to get rid of them. I have another question, but I'll e-mail you with it later.
    This was a lot of help Vee.

  18. Great tips since I am still learning...#5 is the biggest deal for me...the relationships are the biggest joy of blogging and when one comments and they are a No Reply blogger it makes it harder to answer or comment back

    Thanks for sharing your blogging wisdom.

  19. Great tips you are sharing today, Vee. It doesn't bother me if bloggers wish to advertise on their blogs, but I detest those boxes that pop up asking if I want to take a survey.
    I have found a lot of new to me music on people's playlists. Most of the time I have my computer muted. If I know I like a playlist I simply unmute.

  20. I'm so with you on tip #7! Great tips Vee!

  21. Vee,

    Good tips today. I have an issue with the music. I do most of my blogging and visiting very, very early in the morning and if I have forgotten to turn the volume off, music startles me and wakes Jack. Or if I am listening to my music and a playlist comes - cacaphony!

    I wish I could still use Photoscape but it doesn't work on a Mac. Photobucket has some good effects.


  22. As soon as Blogger made the changes to stop the spamming earlier this year, I took off the word verification step. The spamming has totally stopped, and I used to get hit pretty hard with it! So I wish EVERYONE would take it off!

    I had problems with anonymous comments, so I did away with those. I like to know who is saying what! I also added my e-mail a couple of months ago. I have gotten some e-mail spam as a result, unfortunately. That was exactly what I feared. But it had been more convenient to chat with my blogging friends, LOL.

    My blog's load time runs about 4 seconds. I have my good photos linked with flickr, and that is what is making it load slower. Ah, but the photos are worth the wait! I adored using Photoscape for mosaics, but now I can't use it. Drats. It only works for Windows-based computers. I wish I could find a good alternative, but haven't so far.

  23. And daily blogging?! Are you nuts? It's not going to happen with me. It takes me too long to do a post and prepare the photos that go with it as it is! I'd have very little time left for actually living, LOL!

  24. I've been blogging for a few years now. I found some things that helped me. Thanks!

  25. Good information for someone like me who knows very little about blogging. I'm still a learner.

  26. Great tips, Vee. I do wish they'd fix whatever is causing us to lose our comments we try to publish. I've had trouble today making comments. It's frustrating to have it all typed out, hit publish and poof! It's gone! As far as posting everyday...I don't know how those who do it...well, do it. I have a question about a blogging problem I may email you about, unless I can figure it out myself.

  27. Such good advice..... but I'm wondering and hoping that my blog is easy to use...

    I keep my speakers turned off, because my friends music isn't always my favorite, and I'd rather not hear it.

    The question I have..... when someone responds on my blog..... should I comment back to them. Some people do..... but I usually don't, unless a question is ask.

    I don't like the word verification.... Yuck!!!

  28. Thank you so much for answering a lot of my questions! After my 31 days series, I plan to explore a few of the ideas you recommended. However, I think that I will remove the word verification now. (As you said, I can always put it back if I encounter any problems.)

    I have never been all about "building" my blog (I simply write what is on my heart)...but I do want my little corner of cyberspace to be welcoming to my friends and visitors.

    You are quite gracious!

  29. This was a wonderful tutorial, Vee! Thanks for taking the time to write it all down as I'm sure it will be of help for both new and long time bloggers.

    I know my blog posts are probably too long, and have too many photos, but as you said we should all do what we love. My blog is a record of where I have been and what I've learned along the way. I love all those who have followed along with me and all the friends I've made through blogging.

    Blog every day? Life has been so busy with planning my daughter's wedding, taking care of my Mom, travel with my husband, and trying to fly ourt to see my precious grandsons as often as I can manage. I wish I could blog about it all but then my blogs would become a novel ...lol!

  30. Great post, Miz Vee.
    I, too, have a love/hate going on with my playlist. I like a LITTLE something happening there but then, I notice that the first blog I visit, I put my sound OFF and never listen to others...just mine. :)
    Ever so often, I clean out my sidebar. The music and clock..things like that, sure do suck up space and make loading much longer.
    Regarding word verification...even if I leave a nice comment, when IT pops up, I leave..not typing in another hard to read code and then learning moderation is on anyway. Nope, just won't do it anymore.
    Now, going to ck load time...thanks

  31. Good Morning

    I'm up and ready more early than usual today. I remember asking you questions early on and how sweet you were in helping me solve my problems. I think that I pretty much do most of your tips. I'll have to check out the load time.

    Hey I saw that you bought wrapping paper and ornie hangers yesterday - yeah!!!

    Enjoy you day!

  32. Wow - GREAT stuff here, both in your post and in the comments. I need to go back, re-read them, and take some notes. Thanks for continuing to be an encouragement to me! :)

  33. Thanks for the tips Vee, we can always count on you :)

  34. Hi Vee, back from my travels and trying to catch up with all my favourite bloggers. You have certainly been busy posting some interesting posts since I last called by. I would add to this list that I believe blogging should always be a pleasure which is why I blog without obligation.


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