‘Invited To Follow’

In case you didn’t know, WordPress has a feature that enables you to invite other bloggers to follow your blog.

Admin Dashboard>
Users>
Invite New

Since I started blogging in 2012, I have never once ‘agreed’ to follow anyone who has contacted me in this way, and I still get around five a week on average. The people who use this facility are usually innocent of the implication, I am sure. But nontheless, they expect me to follow their blog without so much as a ‘Like’ or comment on even one of my own posts. In many cases, the blogs are brand new, with little or no content, so I have no idea what I might even be following.

I think WordPress should remove this general facility. If I want to follow a blog, I will find it eventually.

I have ignored no less than three of these already today, though part of me feels sorry for those bloggers who think it might be the normal thing to do.

Domestic stuff: Apologies

I am in the middle of the process of trying to get my kitchen brought into the 21st century.
This has involved a huge amount of cleaning, as well as discarding numerous things that I had kept, ‘just in case’.

As a result, I am absolutley exhausted tonight, and unable to keep up with all your posts.

I am sorry, but I assure you that ‘normal service’ will be resumed soon. Meanwhile, if I have not read your post, or liked and commented, now you know why.

Best wishes, Pete.

SIX THOUSAND AND ONE

I noticed the follower numbers had ticked over to 6,001 this morning.

I usually mark such milestones on my blog by writing about how so many of those followers never actually follow, and why the numbers don’t matter in the least.

But I won’t do that today. 🙂

I will just say a big “THANK YOU!” to everyone who follows this blog.

Best wishes to you all, Pete.

Lockdown: #followonenewblog

Most of us already follow too many blogs to keep up with, I know.

I follow 112 other bloggers, and more than 60% of those are active, and posting regularly. Making sure I read their posts and make a relevant or pertinent comment takes up a lot of time. But it is important to me to be a ‘good follower’, and keep up the community spirit in our circle of bloggers.

I get asked all the time to follow new bloggers, and sadly have to decline. Sometimes it is because they are blogging about hair and make-up, something that is of no interest to me, or their blog might be evangelically religious, something else I have always avoided.

But the main reason I don’t follow when asked is because of the amount of blogs I already follow, and the time that takes. I am sure that this applies to everyone else too, in different degrees. However, following on from my earlier post about all those new bloggers who have decided to start blogging, ‘The Blog Explosion’, I have decided to do something.

I will choose one of those new bloggers, and follow them, starting today. This is the one I have chosen at random. It is a new blog, started by a lady in Russia.

Lucky Day . Journal of one dreamer.

And I am making a friendly suggestion that all of you who are able to do so, should do the same. Imagine the encouragement they will get from having even one new follower, especially if that follower is an established blogger who is already part of a great community on WordPress.

And at a time when we are unable to meet new people face to face, what better way to communicate something positive, to a complete stranger?

#followonenewblog

Let’s hope the idea catches on. 🙂

Best wishes to everyone as always, Pete.

Blogging Memories

Starting out on a blog is a bit like putting a message in a bottle, casting it out into the ocean, and hoping someone finds it, then replies.

In fact, given the untold millions of blogs on the Internet, you may well have more chance with that bottle.

So I didn’t expect much from my first tentative blog post, in the summer of 2012. I told my friends and family about it of course. I even sent some of them links by text message. But seriously, who was going to read my nervous waffling? I wouldn’t have blamed anyone if they had never bothered.

The first ‘likes’ and comments were from those same friends and family. They used an email address, or set up a WP account just to encourage me, but they did that willingly. I still remember the first time I got 10 views in one day. I was ecstatic. It all seemed worthwhile. When I hit 30 views, I was sure that blogging was going to be ‘my thing’.

Then I got a comment and a follow from someone I didn’t actually know. That was worth its weight in gold, and encouraged me to expand my content, and try new categories. I started to write about my time as an EMT in London, tried my hand at film reviews, and published some very long posts about my childhood memories as a boy in London.

Then one day, I could hardly believe my eyes when I logged on. I had 30 followers, and had hit the magic number of 100 views. Even now, I can remember how good that felt.

As the saying goes, there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

I discovered how to add photos, video clips, and images, all to make some posts more relevant, and interesting. I tried my hand at writing fiction too. Short stories at first, then multi-part serials later. I continued to feature my dog Ollie, and stuck to a formula that seemed to be popular with the community of followers and readers that was steadily growing.

As of today, I have a listed 5,470 followers on WordPress. Add to that 41 who follow by email, and 336 followers on social media sites like Twitter, and that totals 5,847. On a good day, I get around 600 views of the site, and think I must be doing something wrong when it drops below 300 on any given day.

But I never forget that 18 of those original 30 followers are still following this blog. And they still comment too.

Sometimes, 2012 doesn’t seem that long ago after all.

Why Don’t Followers Follow?

Back on my blogging soapbox about followers again, sorry!

Today is the 19th of November. In the nineteen days of this month, I have already been notified of 114 new followers.

Naturally, this is a nice feeling, and I am very pleased to welcome any new follower to this blog. If they have their own site, and good links, I thank them, and usually comment on one of their posts too.

However, with six notable exceptions, none of those followers has left a single comment on any of my posts during that period. A large percentage of them have not even bothered to so much as to ‘Like’ a post.

That is their business of course, and it is not up to me to criticise them. But why are they bothering? Presumably, they want to grow their blogging experience into something worthwhile. Hopefully, they want to become part of the wider community of blogging, and perhaps get more satisfaction from being a blogger.

If so, that will not happen. Not unless they interact with comments, and also reply to the comments made by others.

It could just be that they expect me to follow them back, without realising that I have been doing this for a long time now, so already follow more than one hundred other blogs. Even so, I might be a lot more inclined to do that, if they could be bothered to leave so much as one comment.

Once again, I am going to repeat myself, as a message to anyone else considering following this blog.

Blogging is not Facebook.
Blogging is not Twitter.
Blogging is not a ‘quick fix’ Social Media platform like so many others.
Not everyone you follow can just follow you back.
Blogging is not just about numbers of followers.
Blogging is about engagement, interaction, community, and friendship.

My sincere thanks to all those followers who have taken time to actually ‘follow’. To leave likes and comments, or links and discussion topics.

For the rest of you who follow for reasons best known to yourselves, I understand. You may not feel confident enough to comment. My blog may well have proved ultimately disappointing for you. The fact that I didn’t follow you back might have caused you some offence. Maybe you just followed far too many blogs at once, and became overwhelmed?

Do you need help, advice, or encouragement? I am here for you. My contact email is on my about page. Feel free to use that more private method to contact me, anytime.

Until then, before you click to follow another blog, think about what that really means.

Another Blogging Milestone

I noticed this morning that my total of followers had tipped over the 5,000 mark.

The figures from WordPress add up to 5,007.

Blog followers. 4718
Email only followers. 38
Twitter and Linkedin folowers. 251

It doesn’t seem that long ago that to get 100 followers seemed unattainable. When I got to 1,000, I thought that would surely be it.

We all know that follower numbers don’t make a blog. Most of them fail to actively follow anyway, and having 90 followers who comment and engage is as good as having 2,000 who never bother to do that.

But 5,000 looks good on the page, and is worth recording, I think. 🙂

My thanks to all of you, as always. Pete.

Bloggers and Gravatars: More advice

I am reblogging this, (yet again!) for the attention of new followers. It is only Wednesday, but I have already received notification of 14 new followers of my site who do not have their own site linked to their Gravatar.
This is why you should do that, and how you can do it too.
Thanks for following, I really appreciate that. But if I cannot find you, I cannot thank you, read your posts, or potentially follow your site.

Please do it. IT’S EASY!
Best wishes to you all, Pete.

beetleypete

I often mention how lucky I am (and how much I appreciate) to have steady stream of new followers. Many of those are also new bloggers, and the majority of them make the same error, time and again. This is not the first time I have highlighted this, but for the benefit of new people, I will try again.

They fail to link their Gravatar profile to their WordPress site, or their own self-hosted site. So when I decide to click on their Gravatar, prior to heading over to their blog to thank them, or to see if I might want to follow them, I almost always find that the most important link is missing. That means I can’t easily click onto their site, and it also means I am unsure if they even have one. So that blogger doesn’t receive my customary thanks, and I am unable to read…

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Seven Years: A Blog Appraisal

I tipped over my seven years as a blogger at the end of July, and I am looking forward to the eighth year in 2020.

I thought to have a look at the current ‘All Time’ stats provided by WordPress in the ‘Insights’ feature.

Total views as of today.
277,610

Total visitors so far.
82,270

Follower totals.
WP 4,561
Email 37
Social media 218

Total 4,816

Posts Published.
2,710

Most popular day.
Monday

Biggest views on one day.
Sept 2nd, 2019

Most popular category.
Blogging

Most popular tag.
Guest Post

It’s important not to become obsessed with blog statistics, but I always find them interesting.

If you have just started out, take some encouragement from these figures.
And remember, my blog is small!

Some more Blogging Positives

After a long fiction serial, and lots of historical photo-posts, I thought I would get back to saying more nice things about Blogging.

The new bloggers continue to appear to ‘get it’. I have had some nice communication with brand new bloggers who have recently followed my blog, and they seem to have caught on very quickly about ‘Likes’, ‘Comments’, and replying to other bloggers too. This is very pleasing to me, and encouraging as well.

Some people are still using that ‘X invites you to follow his/her blog’ thing, provided by WordPress. My advice to you new bloggers, don’t use that. We are unlikely to accept your invitation, as most of us are already following far too many blogs, or happily rooted in our existing communities.

Many of you new bloggers are posting some great stuff too. In the last few days, I have seen some lovely photos, read a couple of excellent poems, and enjoyed the travel reports of a blogger in South America. That’s great!
It means that new bloggers are rapidly realising that blogging is not Facebook, and we don’t really need to see a photo of the fast food you had for lunch, or your mouth adorned in ten different colours of lipstick.

As we approach the autumn of 2019, I still believe that this has been the most positive year for new bloggers in a very long time. I hope that all those new bloggers keep going, and do not allow themselves to be discouraged by an initial lack of followers, or numbers of views much lower than they might have expected. It’s a long process, but you will get there in the end. You just have to keep working at it.

After blogging for over seven years now, and taking time to become part of a wonderful community of true blogging friends, I have never felt so positive about blogging as I do today. My own list of followers is growing healthily, and my daily views exceeded 500 on one day, for the first time ever. But this post is not about me, it is about all of you who have decided to take the plunge into blogging, during 2019.

Don’t worry. You are doing well, very well. And you are (mostly) doing it just right too. Well done to you all, and welcome to the wonderful (and addictive) world of blogging.

My thanks to all of you who have followed this blog, and my congratulations for ‘getting it’ too. If I have not acknowledged your follow, it is probably because you have not connected your blog site to your gravatar. How to do this can be found here. https://wptavern.com/connect-wordpress-sites-to-your-gravatar-profile

Or because you were trying to sell me something!

Best wishes to all bloggers, old and new. 🙂

Pete.