Blogging

Your Best Blogging Tip

Recently, I asked a group of friends for their #1 blogging tip. While some of their answers surprised me, I’ve already been able to use many of their responses to help with this post. Game changer! Here is what they shared.

Many bloggers said they are less obsessed with stats and ‘must-dos’ than previously. Instead of focusing on numbers (of readership, posts written, etc.), they now focus on the pleasure of writing and genuine interaction. One author shared that she had more subscribers after she took a blogging break than she had before. Win-win!

If you are a blogger and you’ve ever tried to discuss blogging with non-bloggers, you know just how quickly a room can go silent. Having a significant person in your life with whom you can discuss your writing ideas and passion can make a world of difference. And…if that person can proofread, you’ve struck gold.

We’ve all been there — a gazillion messages unopened in our inbox, and no time to answer them. We could commit email bankruptcy (Select All –> Delete) or devise a sanity-saving strategy. One blogger consolidates her blog related emails into folders. She then sets a chunk of time each week when she enjoys her blog reading without distraction. Another blogger does not subscribe to any blogs by email. Instead, she cycles through the blogs that she follows as time permits. Another blogger reads exclusively from WordPress Reader. Whatever the strategy, most bloggers admitted that with experience, they gradually let go of the guilt of not being able to do it all.

For those who prefer to write their posts on a word document, Microsoft Word offers a Blog Template. Simply go to ‘documents’, select ‘new,’ search ‘blog’ and voila! This template provides easy spell-checking and formatting. By registering with your user name and blog id, you can hit ‘publish’ when your document is done, eliminating the need for cutting and pasting. Images can also be uploaded through this system.

Images eating up all of my computer and WordPress storage space have been the bain of my existence (okay, at least of my blogging existence). I picked up this tip yesterday and cannot believe I had never caught on to this before. To resize a photo, simply download to your desktop, double click, go to ‘Preview,’ select ‘Tools,’ select ‘Adjust Size,’ and click on the size you would like. For this post, I set all internal images to 640 x 640. I don’t even want to think about the endless hours that I lost, not knowing this simple tip. Instead, I will now focus on what I will do with all of the time that I can now reclaim!

Until a few weeks ago, I avoided the new Guttenberg editor like the plague. Now that I’ve finally made the leap, I don’t know what had concerned me. In short, the new WP editor has increased flexibility to add a vast array of content type to your post without ever switching your screen. Headings, images, paragraphs, quotes, audio, video, galleries, etc. are all there at a click of the add icon (+). Goodbye to continuous screen switching, clunky menus and widgets. Those who do not wish to change cold turkey can easily switch between Guttenberg and the Classic Editor, or use the Classic Editor Block.

Like many people, I find it extremely difficult to proofread my own work. Asking Richard to scan blog posts for me is a sure way to cause him to run away screaming. A few years ago, I began using the free version of Grammarly and then switched to the paid plan (currently 11.66 Cdn/month). Although not perfect, this proofreading software has given me additional peace of mind. It works seamlessly with WordPress, Chrome, Gmail, MS Word, Social Media, etc. It highlights potential errors with spelling, grammar, punctuation, article use and word placement. It also suggests vocabulary enhancement and adjusts to both the type of writing and the tone that I have set for my document. There are currently more than 50+ proofreading apps available. You can check them out at http://www.alternativeto.com. Just type in ‘Grammarly’ (or whatever app you wish to replace), and it will list possible suggestions. Cool, huh?

I had initially written this post with the same text and the same images but without the stylized numbered headings. The result was flat and unappealing. Enter http://www.canva.com (I use the free version). In a matter of minutes, I had found a basic design that I liked, uploaded each image into the template, inserted the basic test for that image and pressed download. Nothing could have been easier. Designbold, Easil, Stencil, etc. offer similar programs. (Again, http://www.alternativeto.net offers great alternate choices). Why not check them out?

Your turn! If you’re a blog writer, a blog reader, or both, what’s your best blogging tip? I greatly appreciate you sharing.

128 thoughts on “Your Best Blogging Tip”

  1. I wasn’t aware of the feature in Word, Donna. Thanks! I think when people stress and put so much focus on their stats, it’s obvious to the reader…at least it is to me. I stopped receiving posts by email since I get hundreds a day as it is. Using the WordPress reader makes it less stressful. If you do rely only on the reader, it’s wise to scroll backward each day you log on since sometimes a post might not be picked up in the reader the day it’s posted. Not sure why that is, but it’s been my experience. My biggest tip to bloggers…keep your post short. Otherwise you might end up with a lot of “likes” but no true interaction. People don’t have time to read lengthy posts, especially if they’re following many bloggers.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hi, Jill – I am delighted that my posts have been showing up regularly in Reader (I seldom check there). I couldn’t agree more about short, well-structured posts. i do realize that some content requires longer posts. But when longer posts can be broken up into a series (like Janis from Retirementally Challenged recently did), that is a significant help to concentration and time management. Thank you for your ongoing support and kindness.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Amazing at all the helpful things I learned in this post and I didn’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated. It was due to the elegant and succinct presentation. There is so much to learn in blogging and there always will be; I’m not sure I’m motivated enough to take mine to another level but wish I were. Maybe in good time.

      It’s enough for me to adjust to the new editor etc; I even thought about trying to pick a new “theme” but I’m just not there yet. I do have to say I love proofreading and I do my own… so it will take me hours and hours to finish a blog but it is an exercise and challenge for me that is mentally invigorating. Go figure! 😂 (yes I excelled in English and grammar back in the day 😅). So today I went on my WP mobile app to go into my reader to find your blog and now WP is making me select subjects I’m interested in before I am allowed to continue. That was annoying. So I circumvented that by going a different route. WP is trying my patience lately (I had to pay them more money just to get my photo captions to center. That was never an issue before) but I know I’ve got some more blogging in me and need to hang in there just awhile longer til I can acclimate to the new environment 😄.

      Your blog is looking quite sharp, Donna, and thanks for compiling all those great tips from fellow writers.

      Hugs,
      Susan Grace

      Like

      1. Hi, Susan – Thank you for stopping by, and for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear about your recent frustrations with WordPress. Paying to have your photos caption in the centre? I never heard of that before — unreal!! I’m glad that you are going to continue blogging — I miss your posts!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Those are the kind of changes that make a consumer cringe – under my old personal plan, I could center all my photo captions. When the new block editor was implemented, all of a sudden I couldn’t. “What’s up?” I asked. One WP rep said they were working on it; another responded I would have to upgrade my plan if I wanted that ability . It cost me about double what I was paying. I did it because I figured it would give me more options in the long run. I spent a day trying to learn the new editor and then burned out and turned off WP but …. I’m hoping to get part two out soon as a follow up to my DNA story. More surprises afoot.😉

        You are doing a beautiful job with your blog, Donna.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah, they must have snuck that feature under the “Advanced Design Customization (ADC)” part of the Premium Package. The Personal theme does not offer ‘ADC.’ I hate when companies take advantage of this. (Don’t even get me started on Apple)! Thank you for your kind words. I greatly look forward to your next post (you’ve kinda left us hanging)! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for compiling these tips! I was most interested in the resizing tip since it has always seemed like a hassle to do that. I think you have a Mac so I tried it on my PC. This is what I found (almost as easy, just different steps):

    Open up picture
    Right click
    Click on Resize (towards the bottom of the list)
    Click on the Define Custom Dimensions choice
    Change the size as needed (be sure Maintain Aspect Ratio is selected)
    Save newly resized image.

    Easy- peasy!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great tips! As someone who love to blog yet views blogging as part of her writing life, I am scrupulous about replying to those who follow me and leave comments. I never let email notices of new posts build up. I tend to them every day and start the next day with a clean slate. I love the connections I have made through blogging, so this really is a labor of love. A part if me hopes that I never get too many followers to keep up with. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Laurie – You are totally awesome at replying to all comments on your blog, and following those who follow you. On top of all of this, you consistently leave well-thought out, meaningful replies. I don’t know how you do this all. I am incredibly impressed!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great tips, Donna and there were some that I didn’t know about so thank you for the learning. I wondered how you did your numbered headings in this post. They stand out and look vibrant. Canva is a great tool which I probably don’t utilise effectively. To me, the connections are more important than stats and I would prefer fewer readers that I can connect with, than many page views. Sure it can be exciting if a post gets many views but as I said the connect is what I’m blogging for. I do struggle with keeping up with the blogs I follow and also replying to the comments – especially of late as my focus has been on the podcast. My tip would be to stop comparing your blog with others. Enjoy blogging as a form of creativity and if you aren’t, then perhaps it is time to find another path that brings you joy.Have a beautiful day, my friend. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sue – Not comparing ourselves with others is an essential tip not only for blogging but also for living. Enjoy our blogs as a form of creativity, and for the pleasure that this brings is a huge reward. When we lose this, we lose so much. Thank you for sharing this!

      Like

  5. Something basic from when I first started blogging: wait a few hours to push ‘publish’. Better yet, wait until the next day, look it over in the preview and see if it’s really how you want it to be before pushing ‘publish’. Sometimes I get way excited over a ‘finished’ post that later turns out to be not quite right and I am very relieved to have not pushed ‘publish’ while in my exuberant state of mind!!!!
    Since Guttenburg, it’s been hit or miss on reducing those photos…so I’ll be trying my hand at using your ‘new’ Word trick on my PC.
    😉

    Like

    1. Hi, Laura – Thank you so much for dropping by. When I began blogging, I always waited one week between writing and publishing a post. I have to admit that now I tend to write and publish in one sitting (although this post was two sittings)! D I know that I would reduce errors if I waited, but by then Im usually on to the next thing. If I do spot an error on a previously published post, I simply go back and edit it.
      I do agree that your method is better.
      Good luck with Guttenberg and your photos. Preview works brilliantly for this!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great summary, Donna! Like Ann, I really liked the formatting you used to punch up your list – the creative mind at work 🙂

    I’m actually still trying to figure out your last tip about image saving so it doesn’t take up so much space.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joanne – If you’re using a Mac, when you click on an image, ‘Preview’ should appear in the left-hand corner of your upper toolbar (at least that’s where it is for me). Beside it you should find the headings File – Edit – View – Go – Tools – Window – Help. Click on Tools. Then Click on Adjust Size. For the photos on this post, I used the second setting under Custom (640 x 640). I am still praising Deb’s name for this fabulous tip.
      BTW – Janis has listed the PC version for this tip under her comment.
      Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved the formatting on this post. I’m a fan of the “block” – have found it super easy to use. I never knew about the blog template in word though…I normally don’t draft my posts (and yes, that does very often show) but recipes I do like to pop into word first so I can save them. Will give this a go.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Jo – I do find the Guttenberg Editor to be much easier to use than I had originally feared. I still can’t seem to get Feature Photo to work in Guttenberg (regardless of which theme I use). I usually switch to Classic to upload my Feature Photo and then switch back. Baby steps! 😀 Let me know how your recipe write-ups on the Word Blog Template go.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. On your post sidebar there should be a “post” and a “block” option. It’s just a matter of a tab across to post and the featured pic is there. I’ll take some screen shots later in teh day from each of my themes & email…but probably not until later this arvo…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Jo – I thought that I would write a mini sample post, step by step and take screenshots along the way to show you my problem with Feature Photo. Even though I set the post up the same way that I always do, the darned feature photo worked perfectly for me this time. Go figure!
        Thank you for your support. I’ll keep you posted if it goes awry again.

        Like

  8. This is a small tip, but it makes a big difference. When you insert links in your post, be sure to click edit link and then check “open link in a new tab.” That way, when your reader closes the link they are back at your blog. Otherwise, if they close the link and forget to arrow back to the blog, they have lost both sites.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. It’s nice to see you have fun with your blog, Donna! You’ve been an innovator, lately. 🙂

    These are all good tips, some of which I incorporate as well – like writing my blogs in Word first, resizing photos before uploading them in WordPress (there are bulk ways to do this as well, but of course the sizes would be different for portrait and landscape pics), and I use the classic editor block for my photos still, because Gutenberg keeps lacking enormously if you want to do galleries or even single photos with captions.

    I’m not sure whether it’s a tip, but I find it extremely important to reply to comments people leave on your blog posts. Not only is it common sense and interactive, nice, fun, entertaining, personable, and interesting, but it is the least you can do (out of respect if nothing else) when people take the time to read and interact. I’ve unsubscribed from blogs where the authors don’t react to readers’ comments. You can call it a pet peeve instead of a tip. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Liesbet – Thank you for this feedback. I wholeheartedly agree with your tip about replying to all comments left on your posts. I remember Hugh (Hugh’s News and Views) saying that not replying to comments on your blog is like inviting someone to your house for coffee and then completely ignoring them. I have also unsubscribed from blogs where the authors do not react to reader’s comments. To me, it’s all about the interaction.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. What a great resource your post is Donna, whether we’re new or seasoned bloggers we can always learn things. The comments are great too! I love the formatting, whereabouts on Canva did you find them, was it a template??

    My tip would be the scheduling button. I’m a new convert to this and can write a few posts in advance and then have them ready to publish when I’m ready.

    I’m also glad to hear you’ve mastered the new editor, it really wasn’t that bad to changeover too but like Lisbert mentions, I’m not a huge fan of the gallery options and believe the Classic editor does them better. Your resizing tips are perfect 🙂 So many great tips which I will now add to my toolbox 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi, Deb – For this post, I used a Canva Template from the ‘Blog Graphics’ category. The full design, structure and colours were in place. I simply needed to update the number, replace the photo, and swap in my text. The whole process was surprisingly quick and easy. I haven’t yet had any difficulties with the photo gallery with Guttenberg. I have struggled with the Feature Photo, and the sizing of single images. Fingers crossed that these last two issues are now resolved.
      Thank you for letting me know about the scheduling button. I will check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post, Donna…and I love the design features you’ve added to punch it up. Awesome! Glad you like the resizing tip…and here I was worried that I had nothing of real interest to add to our discussion on blogging tips ☺️

    Deb

    Like

  12. Had to check out the blog template on Word right away. Who knew?? I have been trying to make my images about the same size for awhile. I think it looks more uniform. I really like the graphic/format of the numbered sections of this post. Need to go play around with Canva a little more.
    Pinning this post to share with others and to keep as a reference. Great post!!

    Like

    1. Hi, Leslie – I’m glad that you have found these suggestions to be useful. If bloggers shared just one tip with each person that they follow, we would all have an overflowing toolbox of endless ideas. Thank you for pinning and sharing!

      Like

  13. Lots of good tips. Another thing to do for your images to keep your storage under control is compress them. I use Tiny Png or sometimes Squoosh. They’ll both compress png and jpg.

    Like

  14. Oh gosh – I LOVE Canva with a passion! I also love the copyright-free images from UnSplash, PIxabay and Pexels. Without those resources I’d be absolutely lost. I have been re-sizing my pics before inserting them for years to keep the load time fast on my blog and I’m glad you’ve found an easy way to do that (it’s similar to what I do). I don’t use a proofreader and I don’t really like Grammerly – I’m OCD enough to not need much correction or to pick up the mistakes when I re-read what I wrote (although my/me seems to slip thru occasionally!)
    Loved all the tips Donna and the first one about writing for enjoyment and not the numbers is something we all gradually figure out – until Oprah or Ellen discover our blogs, there’s no point killing ourselves for a few extra views. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Leeanne – You are very fortunate that you can spot your own typos. If someone else makes a miskakte in their writing, I usually see it immediately. When I make typos, I continue reading what I believe it should say, instead of what it does say.
      Funny about Oparah and Ellen. I’m sure that they are together someone now reading our posts!

      Like

  15. I love all the tips you’ve mentioned, but especially numbers 3 and 6, Donna. I’m so pleased you didn’t find the Block editor as challenging to use as many seem to do. I’ve seen lots of people recommending others to use the old Classic editor via the WP Admin button. Yes, it’s still there, but WordPress has now withdrawn support for it, so bugs etc., won’t get fixed. I’m also hearing of the first cases of users no longer seeing the Classic editor option vai the WP Admin button. If you want to use the Classic editor, then my recommendation is to use the Classic editor block (which WordPress is supporting).

    As for a blogging tip from me, please don’t waste time reading blogging posts that don’t interest you and which you only think you have to read because of who has published it. I stopped doing this ages ago and have freed up so much time which I’ve put to better use. Nobody is going to get upset if you don’t read and comment on all their blog posts. And if they do, then it’s probably worth thinking about unfollowing them.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi, Hugh – It’s awesome to hear from you. I really can’t believe that I waited so long to make the switch. Early on, there were a few people that I trust who advised me to wait until bugs in the system were out. I definitely waited too long. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to use. I was also very happy with the look I hope that all is well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Donna, that’s all great to hear.

        I know many people want a simple blogging platform to blog on. Whilst the block editor offers lots of bells and whistles; nobody needs to use all the blocks. I only use a few of the blocks, which are all easy to use. And, best of all, WordPress offers some great tutorials on how to use the block editor.

        Your post looks fantastic. So much better than when using the old Classic editor which WordPress has now retired and stopped supporting.

        Like

      2. HI, Hugh – Thank you so much for reblogging. Several of your readers have already stopped by to check out my post. I greatly appreciate you sharing this.
        So many of my blogging strategies, I learned from you. When I switched to the Block Editor, I first went back to your blog for tips on doing this. You continue to provide incredible resources for new and experienced bloggers alike. Thank you for your time, energy and commitment in doing this.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I really like how you used design fonts for the numbers! I might steal that in the future… did that come from Canva? I’ve used Canva before but find it cumbersome and can never seem to get sizing right on what I create. Guess I need more practice. I found some of your others tips unique also — not the same old thing everyone shares- thanks! I just switched to the block editor, too. And BTW – my (old) version of Microsoft Word doesn’t have blog template, so that’s a watch-out in your tips.

    Like

  17. Love the look of your blog now, Donna. I get so used to just reading posts from the Reader, but just now I made sure to open in a new browser tab to take a looksee at your new(ish?) design, and I really like it. I’m glad you made the jump over to Gutenberg. I guess I’ve been using it faithfully for a year now, and though I hated it at first, I’m now getting used to it. For instance, with image sizing I’ve found that you can simply tug at the edges of the graphic while you’re still in edit mode to get them to a look how you want. Then just hit save.

    I’m also finding I’m using the WP media library less and just uploading directly to the post itself (I by virtue of that, it does go directly to the library anyway). In addition, captions under pictures in Gutenberg allows for using html commands if you want to make the font slightly smaller than the one in you’re using in the main body. For example: CAPTION VERBIAGE To be fair, I think you could do this in the classic editor too. But I do find it easier in Gutenberg.

    Happy posting! – Marty

    Like

  18. Hi Donna, maybe someone has already offered this, but one thing that is important to me is that bloggers link their blogs in whatever comment forum they are using (like avatar, google, etc.). When someone comments on my blog and I want to take a quick look at their blog, I click on the icon next to their name but if the profile does not include a link to their blog, I can’t reciprocate the kindness. Canva certainly adds a lot to this post and I will check it out.

    Like

  19. Hi Donna, Very good tips that you share here. I’ve been using the Block editor since I switched from Blogger to WordPress over a year ago and like many features that come with it. I always resize my photos before posting so it doesn’t take long to load from the reader’s end and to keep small file size that takes up less storage. Other tips: 1) I use the Preview feature that lets me see how the post looks in Desktop, Tablet, and Phone views. 2) I also like that when I select all the blocks in my post, it gives me a Word count. 3) I use the Tools/ Export function to create back up of my blog and media content, very easy to use.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Some great tips in your post and the comments – I loved the remark from the person hoping not to have so many followers she couldn’t respond to them all! And as another pointed out, unless we’re discovered by Oprah or Ellen we probably won’t have to worry too much about that. A lot I didn’t know, eg about the Word template, and I love the look you have created for this post with Canva. My tip for blog reading to avoid hundreds of emails is to use Feedly. It picks up posts from RSS feeds and you can organise them into folders eg travel, politics, books etc. If I have had too much politics, for example, I just mark the whole section as read and they disappear just like that. Magic!

    Like

    1. Hi, Anabel – I’ve loved the comments on this post as well — very wise and witty!
      I agree that having a blogging time-management system that works for each of us is essential. Without one, it would be impossible to keep us. I love that your system includes magic. Very cool!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. What a great post, Donna! Lots of valuable tips and your layout and images look professional! I love Unsplash and use it often for my lecture slideshows. I also invested in premium Grammarly, which assists me across all devices and docs. I bought it originally for book writing and editing but it’s a valuable workhorse for any and all writing. I forgot that we can edit image size within the post, I really need to check that out. I guess a tip I could share is to invest in the next level of WordPress rather than the free version. You get 13gb for images which I need as a photo challenge host and photographer. Sadly I read so many posts full of ads that come with the free version, which also show up in the blog’s email. Not everyone wants to invest in that but at least I know the ads won’t vex my readers 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI, Terri – That’s a great tip about updating from the free version of WP. The WP ads completely drive me bonkers and often detract from the post. Until quite recently, I had been using the Personal Plan, but just switched to the Premium Plan. After five years worth of heavy photograph use (that I mostly didn’t resize), I was tired of fighting for extra storage. Now I have heaps of storage (and I vow to always resize).
      I’m glad to see you blogging again. I’ve missed your posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi, Donna,
    I have learned as much about blogging from your website, as I have ever learned on YouTube or in the two classes I have taken. Thanks to your tip, Grammarly has saved me hours of time from pouring over a dictionary and my old college grammar textbook. It’s late here in Tennessee, so I am going to read this post again in the morning. My theme was removed from the WordPress inventory and I have to start over with a new one. This post arrived at the perfect time! Thanks muchly, Joe
    P.S. To reinforce a comment from above, I no longer fret over stats or deadlines–I just love to write and to make new online friends.

    Like

  23. Hi, Joe – Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad that my tips have been helpful. Although it’s not perfect, I am a huge fan of Grammarly. I can see it actively working as I type this.. (On its own, it just fixed my typo of actively).
    For my blog theme, I previously used WP’s ‘Twenty Seventeen.’ When I updated to the Guttenberg Editor, I also updated my theme to WP ‘Twenty Twenty.’ I missed having a sidebar so switched again to ‘Dara’. I did find out later that this theme has not been updated since Jan 2019. Fingers crossed that it continues to run smoothly. So far, so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Suzanne – #1 was the first tip mentioned by my blogging friends, and it was said repeatedly. I believe that this is critical advice to help bloggers not to become overwhelmed.
      And you’re absolutely correct about the glazed-over eyes. When I find a non-blogging friend who is genuinely interested in blogging, I am always shocked…and delighted!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What amazes me is when I get comments from people especially family saying they read a post. Good grief I think to myself that was a surprise 🙂 It is good when people acknowledge an activity that we enjoy pursuing.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Donna, I forgot to mention that Grammarly doesn’t work with the new version of WordPress. Though it does work when writing messages on other blogs. Just not writing up a new post. Grammarly, are working on it, so I was told. Hopefully, sooner than later. I edit through the main Grammarly website then copy and paste.

    Like

  25. Hi Donna! These are great tips – thanks so much for sharing. I always write my posts in Word before I move them over to WordPress, but I didn’t know that Word had a template for that. I’m definitely going to try it out. Also, Canva is great – I can’t believe how easy it is to use.

    Like

  26. Yahoo. What fabulous tips. I wasn’t aware word has a template for blogs and will check it out. Will pin this post! #MLSTL and Nancy Andres

    Like

  27. Donna, I’m on Blogger and I always write my posts directly within Blogger. Blogger has recently been updated, which has changed some of the backend tools, but it still is incredibly clunky for importing photos and managing layout. I think I spend as much time fighting with photo layout as actual composition of the text. Of all the tips we discussed, the one I am most excited to try is using the Word blog template for a post. Also Unsplash — I’m going to check that out.

    Jude

    Like

  28. I’ve yet to comment as I just keep coming back and learning more and more! I’ve been blogging for 14 years but it’s been a pretty straight forward boring look for most of the time. I have a regular reader going back to 2006 on my original house blog and if he comments I re read the post. Amazing how far the house has come and how bad those first few years of posts were! You’ve certainly upped the creativity level and your community here has really engaged with so many great comments. I did know that reformatting the picture works to keep size down as our site was originally hosted via the U of S and we had restricted space. I’ve kind of forgotten about it. I tagged this post, will make notes and work on using some new tools. I mostly blog from my phone and when I do go to the computer I see loads of different options that I can’t seem to find on my phone. Thanks Donna for an interesting post.

    Like

    1. Hi, Bernie- I’m so glad that you’ve found this post, and comments, helpful. Although I love the endless array of designs and images that bloggers produce, the words are what make or break a post for me. Your entries are always insightful and provocative. That’s why I keep coming back for more!

      Like

  29. Hi Donna, What a splendid post. I love the idea of using Canva for the text as well. Great idea. I love using it for the featured photo as well. I use Google Docs, and go back and forth with my edits, so it eats up a lot of time, but it’s nice when collaborating with someone else. I can paste the entire post into WP. However, I love the block editor so I often find myself going the other way around. I will definitely try the Word template. I adore Grammarly, too. I am such a bad proofreader, and Vince hates to do it on every post and I hate waiting for him. So I rely on Grammarly heavily. 🙂 Thanks again for this amazing post. I am going to reblog it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much, Donna. I was so pleased to spend a day with Terri when she came through here after her big journey. She is even more fun, enthusiastic and energetic in person than she is in her blog. I look forward to getting better acquainted. I loved your post, and redid my post this morning that will come out in 15 minutes to apply one of your great tips. Thanks again. Talk to you soon.

        Like

  30. Hi Donna, great tips! I have always looked forward to reading Hugh’s blogging tips and I am here via his blog. I am glad I stopped over.
    I have used canva only to make pins for my pinterest account. I will try it for text in my next post.
    I read blog posts by the bloggers I follow mostly on WP reader. I recently discovered the TAGS option on the Reader. So whenever i want to discover new blogs with specific tags, I search for them. I have discovered some good bloggers there.

    Like

  31. These are wonderful tips. Thanks for sharing. I don’t use any of the proofreading apps and I suspect is shows. I’ll look into those. I’m all about canva.com anymore. When I don’t have a photo for a post I make something there.

    As for my tip #9 [you knew I’d have one, right?]: Write every post with a couple of your readers in mind. This assumes you know your readers, of course– but the point is don’t write/talk to everyone, write/talk to a specific few who you know will appreciate what you have to say. If other readers like what you’ve said all the better. This tip has served me well over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ally – Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you are feeling better.
      Writing a post with specific readers in mind is a great idea. I’m not sure if I consciously do this or not, but I will definitely focus on this strategy in my next post and see what happens!

      Liked by 2 people

  32. I guess better late than never

    My suggestion is Have Fun.
    We are most likely NOT making the big buck doing this, so there is no need to get all worked up about it. Love what you do whether it’s a little everyday or a lot once a week as I do. If it becomes a job. stop for a while and read a little

    Like

    1. Absolutely!! “Having Fun” should be the #1 Blogging Rule. If we are not enjoying it, that will show in our posts. Then it is definitely time to reconsider. Loving what you do is great advice for daily living (and for blogging). Thank you for stopping by and sharing this.

      Like

    1. Hi, Jim – Thank you for dropping by and commenting. I’m often an early adapter for technology. But for some reason, I hesitated and hesitated and hesitated some more before finally trying the Block Editor. Once I tried it, I had no idea why I had delayed so long. I was also instantly (and easily) able to do things on Block that I couldn’t on classic (like make a table). And I no longer needed to switch screens or muck around with widgets repeatedly. I am now a convert!
      I am off to visit your site now. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your comment makes me feel so much better; all I have been reading has been people complaining how difficult the new editor is. I guess I’ll just wait until the time comes, but I am no longer too worried about it. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, Jim – I used to fear that once I opened the Block Editor, there would be no turning back. Luckily, this fear was not based on facts. One of the Block options is “the Classic Block.” That block mimics the Classic Editor and offers a wonderful safety net. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you, thank you Donna! I learned several things I want to try. As for my advice…check in with yourself occasionally and remember why you blog. If your methods aren’t supporting that, make some tweaks. I’d also say, if you are hosting your own blog, take advantage of a technical audit to be sure your site is running well and staying secure. And finally, enjoy the wonderful blogging community!

    Like

    1. Hi, Christie – Thank you for dropping by. I fully agree that checking in with yourself and being flexible to make changes are two important ingredients for retaining the joy of blogging. I love the great ideas that people have shared in the comments. I also look forward to trying out suggestions that are new to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I’m stopping by from a link on Deb’s World! This is a lovely and helpful post that I will be saving to read again later! The comments are great! I love to talk “shop” and hear everyone’s tips!
    I love knowing about the Word blog template! I’ll check that out! I make Pinterest graphics using a Canva template but I haven‘t investigated the blog template options. Your numbers formatting looks great! Thanks for sharing this! I appreciate the discussion about managing your inbox! I’m overwhelmed with mine and have recently started reading blogs exclusively in WP reader….and just mass deleting posts in my inbox. So much easier and time saving to use the reader. Someone mentioned linking your avatar to your website! So important and was going to be my tip too.
    I think it’s vital to respond to every comment! Not only is it good for increasing readership and SEO but it’s where the joy of blogging is found!
    I’m wondering how Grammarly works for you with the new block editor?
    Thanks for an inspiring and practical post!

    Like

    1. Hi, Carol – Thank you so much for stopping by. I greatly appreciate the Shout Out on Deb’s World.
      I agree that it’s wonderful to be able to talk shop with other bloggers — I find when I get the chance to do this, I often don’t come up for air! 😀
      I’m glad that you found some tips here that are useful to you. I still use Grammarly with the block editor (and with this comment). I think that’s because I don’t have the most recent version of WP installed. But if all else fails, I simply switch to the Classic Block when proofreading. Works like a charm! Happy experimenting! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Hi Donna. I came over from Hugh’s blog and I commend you on this excellent informational post. You hit on some great points. And I didn’t know I could send my posts from Word to my blog, so thank you. Always something new to learn. 🙂

    Like

  36. Donna what a lot of great tips. I had no idea about the feature in Microsoft Word. I have been avoiding Gutenberg like the plague but you make it sound very easy.
    My tip might be that unless it is fun stop doing it. That applies to writing, photography editing, reading other blogs, social media, watching stats. Really assess what part of blogging gives you joy and which is painful. Also cleaning up old posts that may not have been up to one’s current standard. Redirect them or add to them. I’m likely in a years long process of housecleaning. 🙂

    Like

  37. Hi Donna – the new layout is brilliant, your earlier one was very clear, but this is excellent – love it … and the banner header – very VI.

    All the tips you and your readers have added to our knowledge are all so helpful and clear. I tried WP at the beginning, failed and went on to blogger – it’s fine … a pain at time and now with its reinvention as new blogger a real nuisance, but I must master it … at least to my lowly needs. For the time being I’m staying put …

    As long as one has readers – we need to keep them ‘happy’ and engaged … then we can learn so much across so many disciplines available to like-minded people. I certainly wouldn’t have lasted blogging as long as I have if it wasn’t for readers and their engagement.

    So my best tip is to engage with your readers – as you do here … congratulations and I’ve always loved your posts – so appropriate to ‘our world’ … thanks and all the best – HIlary

    Like

    1. Hi, Hilary – Thank you for your very insightful feedback. The banner photo is from Strathcona Park (Mt. Washington). I’m sorry to hear that the new version of Blogger is being a pain. Hopefully, with user input, bugs will be weeded out soon. Your tip about reader engagement is spot-on. Without that, we are writing an on-line journal without the energy of connection. 😀

      Like

  38. Found you as a result of Hugh’s blog – shall now be following you via my Feedly feed.
    So glad to hear that you like the Gutenburg editor. I really couldn’t get it initially and gave up but on the second attempt it clicked and now I wouldn’t want to go back. I find it so much easier….

    To add to your excellent tips:
    1. Keep a list of ideas for blog topics. This will help you on days when you feel you should blog but can’t think of what to write. It avoids that awful feeling of sitting down to write and zero coms into your mind. Ideas gleaned from other blogs or from newspaper articles, podcasts, webinars. Doesn’t have to be a fully formed idea – just a few words is enough.

    2. Revisit old posts. Maybe tweak the headline (be careful to keep the slug); update some text, add a new link. People who are your followers now may not have been followers when that post was written so they may not see it unless you do an update and republish

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s