Making Your Blog Hard To Find

This is a post of yet more tips for new bloggers.

I have mentioned not linking your blog to your Gravatar previously, but so many of you still don’t bother with that, I’m giving up.

On this occasion, I am talking about the (mostly) new bloggers who seem to think that style beats substance, where blogging is concerned.

It doesn’t, believe me.

Everyone knows by now that it is my habit to visit the site of new followers, and leave a message or comment on one of their posts.
(That cannot happen if you don’t have any posts, or an unlinked Gravatar image by the way.)

So here is what seems to be happening a lot lately.

The blog has some kind of Home page, or perhaps an ‘Introduction’ page. But neither allow comments. Then to actually find the blog, I have to look in the side menu or top line for the word ‘Blog’. Then when I click on that, I get a selection of small boxes or images with a ‘teaser’ for the posts they contain, but little or no idea what they might be about.

Sometimes as I am trying to figure this out, an image of some kind blots out the text, and superimposes itself on the whole page. That image may well be relevant in some way, and it certainly looks swish and professional to many people. But the truth is, it’s just really irritating. And it’s not always apparent how to get rid of it, to get back to what I was looking at before it turned up.

But by this stage, I am already thinking about clicking the ‘X’ at the top of the screen, and not bothering.

Then there are the bloggers who require a comment to be filled out in a separate ‘Contact Me’ section. Scrolling down, filling in my name, email address, website details, etc. But if I do this, the comment is not on the blog post I just tried to read anyway, so why should I bother? Sometimes, this is caused by the choice of theme. Best to change your theme, if that’s the case.

Take this top tip, free of charge. If you want followers, if you want blogging interaction and comments, if you want to be part of a blogging community, do these three things.

*Allow real comments on posts, including ‘About’ pages, not just ‘Contact Me’ boxes.
*Make each post clear and separate, so we know what we are looking at.
*Cut out the fancy moving images, and the bizarre colour schemes.

Otherwise you are going to be a very lonely blogger.

128 thoughts on “Making Your Blog Hard To Find

    1. People like to comment on an About page. Take mine for example, it has had 274 comments. Sometimes, a reader doesn’t have a specific response to a blog post, so they might make a general comment on the About page instead. They also use it to leave pingbacks and trackbacks to my blog. So my advice is to allow comments on your About page. It doesn’t do any harm. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m new to the blogging scene so this was very helpful – would love to know if you have any thoughts on my blog format/content!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your site is bright and professional, and doesn’t look to me as if you are new to blogging at all. You have various menus, a video production section, and a few advertisements bouncing around already. I think you have got it nailed.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  2. Thank you for the tips! I spruced up my Gravatar, allowed comments on most of my pages, and started writing more descriptive excerpts for my posts. I only have the most recent three so far, but I’ll get them all updated soon. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good lawd! I stumbled upon your blog through WordPress’s Discovery mechanism and was stunned to see the amount of comments and interaction with it. It’s great to know personal blogs can still flourish in this day and age what with social media ‘n all.

    As an old school (and infrequent) blogger, it’s inspiring to see you do so well with your blog and even more inspiring to see you encouraging others to take on the blogging mantle.

    Thank you for all you do.

    Ray

    Like

    1. Thank you, Ray. I take my blogging very seriously, and as I am retired, I have time to dedicate to it. I love being part of a large blogging community, and have always tried my best to help any blogger, as well as encouraging new ones.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

      1. Pete,

        Am curious, how are folks finding you (and so many of ’em)?

        Thanks for sharing,
        Ray

        P.S. Odd, I noticed my gravatar didn’t show in the original reply. I logged out and back in to see if it “takes” this time around…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hard to say how they are ‘finding me’, Ray. The short answer is I don’t know for sure. I have a ‘core’ of around 150 bloggers/followers, many of whom have been around from the start, as we all began blogging in 2012. Most of my new followers in the early days came from their followers, until a ‘community’ was created.

          Around 5,000 of my listed ‘followers’ don’t seem to follow at all, or I would have a couple of thousand likes and comments every day. many are selling stuff, others trying to get me to follow back.

          As for engagement on the blog posts, I think that is self-evident. I reply to every comment, every time. I also follow 100+ bloggers, and ALWAYS read and comment on their posts every day. I also thank people for following my blog.

          By the way, thank you for following, Ray!

          Other bloggers ‘chat’ to each other in my comments streams, and I encouage that. Then they sometimes follow each other, building the community. I write posts about blogging tips, and ‘dos and donts’ of blogging. They attract a lot of readers searching for such things.
          I have Guest Posts, where I feature other bloggers, then very often their followers read my stuff, and might follow me.

          That about covers it. As for all the others, I suppose that’s ‘chance’. πŸ™‚
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Pete,

            That makes a lot of sense and I like that. You do have a built in community you’ve fostered, akin to message boards and all that except yours is quite organic where bloggers and commenters jump from blog to blog.

            There also seems to be a benefit to being in the WordPress.com ecosphere, which is how I found you. Their built in Reader makes it handy to ruffle through blogs, like, and comment on ’em in one interface.

            Thanks taking the time to expound and glad to follow.
            Ray

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoy many of your thoughts. I much miss the days when the internet was all text. Video has taken over recently and all I do is scroll on past.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good tips. I think the new themes and some new options with older themes can be blamed for some of the issues. When I pick a new theme I test it out first before I activate it on the site. I want to make sure the navigation is easy.

    I have comments turned off pages simply because I would rather they be on the posts themselves. Also I found most comments on pages were along the lines of, “Cool blog. follow mine?” Or full of links.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Comments on posts is definitely preferable. Those pointless comments can be filtered out by using ‘awaiting moderation’, in most cases. I agree that many themes cause the problems I wrote about, and as you have explained, it is preferable to experiment with themes before activating them.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

    1. Well your blog is very clear to read, and easy to navigate. Your gravatar links to your site directly, and you have a normal comments box after each post. There are no annoying colour schemes, or irritating graphics. Seems to me you are doing fine, Vivi. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. These are some really good tips, Pete. I personally don’t like overwhelming themes too. I already had a comment section under each of my posts, but now I have also added it in my About page as well.
    Actually, I am curious about how you find other blogs. I struggle to find good blogs πŸ˜ͺ. Can you please give some tips?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Finding good blogs. That means something different to all of us of course, as it very much depends what you want to read about, or look at. I started following some people who followed me at the start, manily because they engaged in the comments, and always read my posts. I still only follow 100 other blogs, as any more than that would be hard to keep up with.

      I can give you some recommendations to look at, and you can decide whether or not to follow them.
      https://blindwilderness.wordpress.com/
      https://cadburypom.wordpress.com/
      https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/
      https://fishinthetrees.home.blog/
      https://cheryloreglia.blog/
      https://saania2806.wordpress.com/
      https://fromcavewalls.wordpress.com/
      https://johnrieber.com/
      https://fragglerocking.org/
      https://traveltalk.me.uk/

      See if you like any of those.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. If you don’t enable likes and comments, you will never know who is reading your blog, and you will not be able to be part of a community. Glad to hear this post helped you.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate you letting me know.
      Try this post, for gravatar linking.
      (To see what it does, click on my dog photo next to my name, and look at my ‘Full Profile’. You will see both my blogs linked on the page.)
      https://beetleypete.com/2019/07/19/connecting-your-gravatar-to-your-site/
      And this might help generally, if you are new.
      https://beetleypete.com/2021/02/14/blogging-lead-by-example/
      My email address is on my About Page, if you ever want to ask me anything else.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It might be your theme. I suggest using the ‘Help&Support’ function at the very bottom of your admin page. Type in your question, ignore the suggested answers, and send it off to WP. I don’t know enough about different themes to help, sorry.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Yup – all of that AND MORE! for me! “where’s your about page? if you are wordpress.com, but here, why can’t I like/leave a wordpress comment in reader? Why does your new ‘premium page’ not allow me to ‘follow’ it? In wider web? “Why do I have to spend my time trying to contact you? Where is your privacy policy? Why isn’t your site secured by https? For goodness sakes, https is FREE now! ” etc, etc., etc – – unknown ‘friction of user’ perhaps but for me? at some point (the time I spend becomes less and less…). I just figure that’s their way of weeding me out early as ‘not their target audience’ – and leave it at that – – LOL
    Just until someone I love, who is DIYing, says, “Why?” then? I can truthfully say, I”m on month 3 of wondering why they have done the ‘do this’ instructions and their premium site here still doesn’t let me ‘follow’ them with one click – sigh –

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think some themes make it harder to navigate a blog. Those “clean, simple” ones are the worst. I always look for the latest post. If it’s interesting, I’ll read a few more. And the About page, if I can find one. I like it when the most recent posts are in a sidebar (like on your blog, and mine).

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I find those contact forms annoying that ask if you want to see follow-up comments, and then you get a new email every time someone leaves a comment, whether it is in response to your comment or not. My inbox is crowded enough without a new email each time someone comments.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Thanks for this post. I just made my blog a couple of days ago and I had no idea people needed to enter their emails and info in to leave a comment. Working on changing that now. Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Two things: first, totally agree that filling out a long form in order to leave a comment is a big “non-starter” for me Pete…oh, and I woke up this morning to a new editing style that won’t allow me to do the “classic edit” easily at all…so it appears that WordPress wanted to get on my bad side – very bad side…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you trying to edit an existing post?
      I find that if I click ‘Edit’ it takes me to the Block Editor format.
      So I go into ‘All Posts’ on the Admin page, find the post from there and edit in in Admin under ‘Classic’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had “classic editor” format until this morning. Now it’s gone and I’m seeing it only in the new format with no way to adjust….I will try to fix it but this is very very frustrating and not pleasant

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Thank you…I tried that and it completely upended my site, so I figured I would just learn to adapt and move on…thanks again for commenting and trying to help me with it! I appreciate it!

            Liked by 3 people

  12. The Lonely Blogger Support Group meets almost every week on the same day (subject to change) at the same time (undetermined), and will use various methods (unspecified) to assist bloggers (who show up) in their efforts (dubious) to target a specific reading audience (undefined) that will react (in vague manner) to what they have to offer (if anything).

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I tried to comment on a blog yesterday. I stopped counting after ten or more different font styles and colors on one post. I think most serious bloggers are readers and/or writers, so what a person has to say is much more important than the decorations. Anything that tires the eyes become frustrating very quickly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Many bloggers use blogging to sell. That has increased more since the lockdowns of course, but I have got used to it over the years. Despite my site currently showing a total of 7,656 followers, I think 750 is the more accurate reality.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I’ve never understood why people blog but don’t allow comments.

    That said, I had problems with finding my own About page in my new blog and would rather my old posts etc were on the side not the bottom (Like my old cricket blog but that template’s defunct) so I’ll certainly revisit my About page.

    Many thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might be worth trying new themes, Paul. You can use the ‘Preview Blog’ function on all the free options. I used to see what my blog looked like on various themes, before settling on this very ‘plain’ one.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I only ever check out new followers if they leave a comment on one of my posts, and always return the complement. This seems an ongoing situation for you as you’ve written about it a few times now, I don’t think they’re listening!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Quite agree Pete. Life’s too short. Like you I visit the sites of my followers but if I can’t easily see posts or a comment box I don’t bother.

    Liked by 3 people

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