New Bloggers: A Helping Hand

It seems that a lot of the new bloggers who have arrived on WordPress this year are keen to read about some tips and advice to help them get a start in blogging.

My three recent posts on the subject have received well over 2,300 views in a very short time.

Now we all have different ideas about what makes for good blogging, and also different views on blogging ‘etiquette’. For the new people to become part of any community will take some time of course. Meanwhile, we can all help them along the way with any useful tips and advice that might spring to mind.

I won’t be asking everyone to put up a post on the subject, don’t worry. You are all busy with your own blogs and lives, so another suggestion from me is the last thing you need.

That said, adding a comment to this post won’t take you long. It might help a new blogger, encourage them to continue to blog, and eventually grow this wonderful community that we all enjoy being a part of.

So all I am asking is that if you have any blogging rules you swear by, or some valuable tips that you have yet to share, just add them as a comment below.

The post will stay up, and hopefully be found by many of those new bloggers.

Thanks in advance, and best wishes to everyone. Pete.

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.

The Dummy Is Back In The Pram

(Translation for American readers. Dummy = Pacifier. Pram = Stroller. )

When a baby or small child has a temper tantrum here, we say “Oh he/she has thrown their dummy out of the pram”. That carries on into later life, whenever anyone has what some perceive to be an unreasonable outburst, or unexplained fit of annoyance.

As regular readers will know, the last few days have seen me rage at WordPress for forcing the Block Editor down my throat. This culminated in me leaving the world of blogging, with a sad farewell. Prompted by my unexpected departure, some members of our great community decided to send me the simplest of tips that my flu-confused and age-addled brain could actually cope with. I have already thanked them, in a previous post.

As a result, I am able to post this, and barring any sabotage by WordPress in the near future, I will soon be back to blogging in the old way, at least until the Classic option is no longer available after 2023.

So my dummy is back in my pram, and securely in my mouth.

For now.

Old Editor: Grateful For The Help And Tips

After posting about my farewells from WordPress, I received two very easy tips that so far allow me to access the old editor.

Here they are, in case they help anyone else.

1) Enter this in your browser, substituting the name the name of your blog.
https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?classic-editor

It will take you to the old-style editor where you can create a post.
Then bookmark that page for future use.

2) This was sent to me by Michel.
(Click on the photos for large print)
Go to the wordpress admin page and select all posts:

Once there, go the top of your screen and press the arrow next to add new and you will see that you get the option to access the classic editor:

Once you have selected the classic editor, it’s business as usual.

I hope these help somone else. If they carry on working for me, I will be back to blogging soon!

WordPress Glitches

Every user of this platform will be aware of WordPress’s famous glitches. They usually happen when WP is making behind the scenes changes, and can be very annoying. Some of them stick around afterwards, and remain a constant irritation.

Unable to like a post or comment.

This is a common problem. Many times during a week, I am unable to ‘Like’ a comment left on one of my posts. Some followers mention in the comments that they have been unable to leave a like on one of my posts too. A simple fix that works for me is to just refresh the page on the screen, using Ctrl+R. So far, this has worked every time, though I am not sure how you would do this on a phone or tab. Maybe pull down the screen from the top to reload the page?

Disapearing comments.

Quite often, I will leave a fairly lengthy comment on a blog post, only to watch it disappear when I click on ‘Post Comment’. Sometimes, I will go as far as to contact the blogger concerned, to let them know I tried to comment. Occasionally, they will find my comment in their Spam folder, for reasons unknown to both of us. But one quick fix is to leave an additional comment on the post. Just one letter or number will do, and I tend to use a simple full stop. When you send that second comment, the first one almost always appears above it. This works for me at least 90% of the time.

WordPress slowdowns.

Some days when WP is ‘fiddling in the background’, the blog slows down noticeably. I will reply to a comment, and then watch as it takes what feels like a very long time for that reply to appear on my blog. Or if I am working on a draft, it takes twice as long to save it. When this happens, I just close down the page , and then click back on the shortcut to open WordPress again. This usually solves the slowdown immediately.

Just a few tips that might help some of you, based on my 8 years of constant frustration with being a WordPress blogger.

Covid-19: Some Useful Information.

I am reposting this from Ed Westen’s blog. https://deartedandjody.wordpress.com/
Solid advice and information about what the virus actually is, and what you can do to try to fight it.

Johns Hopkins University has sent this detailed note on avoiding the contagion:

* The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
* Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
* The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam). By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.
* HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 25 degrees Celsius for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.
* Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
* Any mix with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside.
* Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.
* NO BACTERICIDE SERVES. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; they cannot kill what is not alive with anthobiotics, but quickly disintegrate its structure with everything said.
* NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth. While it is glued to a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only between 3 hours (fabric and porous), 4 hours (copper, because it is naturally antiseptic; and wood, because it removes all the moisture and does not let it peel off and disintegrates). ), 24 hours (cardboard), 42 hours (metal) and 72 hours (plastic). But if you shake it or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.
* The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars. They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.
* UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin, eventually causing wrinkles and skin cancer.
* The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
* Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
* NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, serve. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need 65%.
* LISTERINE IF IT SERVES! It is 65% alcohol.
* The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.
* This is super said, but you have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.
* You have to HUMIDIFY HANDS DRY from so much washing them, because the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.
* Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.

Featured Blogger: Rachel Smith

I am happy to feature American blogger and writer, Rachel Smith.

This is her own bio.

Hello! My name is Rachel Smith. I’m an author, editor, and wordsmith-literally! I’ve written a full-length novel, I’m currently writing and editing a novel, and I’ve published and written many short stories, plays, and poems. I’m also a wife, an adventurer, and a follower of Christ. I hail from Michigan and hold a degree from the University of Michigan (Go blue!). I started this blog to create a place to share my years of experience, my ideas, and my own stories. I also hope this will be a place for discussion, questions, and learning for my readers.

If you’re a writer/blogger and are interested in collaborating, please let me know. I am often open to writing guest posts and having guest writers on my site as well.

If you want to read some interesting stories, be inspired with a writing prompt, or learn tricks of the trade, you’ve come to the right place. Head on over to my writing page. I love feedback, so feel free to reach out to me on my contact page or leave a comment on any post. If there’s something you want to see here, please let me know!

If you’re looking for editing services, you can find that here as well. I specialize in creative works but am available for many different types. Check out my editing page for more information.

Have a wonderful day and God bless!

As you can see, she is happy to collaborate with guest posts, as well as offering useful services to writers.

Here are some links to posts that you may all be interested in.

5 Tips for Writing About Covid-19
5 Tips for Making and Maintaining a Writing Schedule

This is one of her story prompts. It may inspire you to write about the photo and the suggested theme.
Story Prompt #17

Please visit Rachel’s blog, and let her know she is part of this great community.

Ten things Londoners never do

Wonderful advice from a London Black Cab (official taxi) driver. If you are going to that city, read this first!

CabbieBlog

As we start the season of ‘budget tourism’ here are some hints of how not to look like you’re a visitor to London. Well, apart from that old chestnut of what side to stand when travelling on an escalator.

Converse with a cabbie

If you decide to take a ride in a black cab, don’t ask the driver’s opinion of that precocious Swede Greta Thunberg. At £55,000 the electric cab is near twice the price its predecessor was a few years ago. In an attempt to make London the world’s greenest city, perfectly serviceable cabs are being ‘retired’ and replaced by luxury electric limousines.

Join the queue

That popular tourist hot-spot, the waxwork emporium on the Marylebone Road where thousands queue outside waiting for a chance to take a selfie with Michael Jackson or David Beckham, not with Rolf Harris who curiously is now absent. Those possessed with forward-planning have…

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10 Ideas to Keep Your Author Blog Fresh

Are you blogging about your own books, or your passion for writing? If so, check out these great free tips on Nick’s blog!

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by Ronita Mohan. Ronita is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. She is an avid reader with an interest in mystery fiction, history, graphic novels, marketing, and diversity. Twitter: @Venngage

10 Ideas to Keep Your Author Blog Fresh

Writing a list | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookImage: Unsplash

Authors are idea-machines—or at least, they want to be. If they aren’t thinking of ideas for new books, they’re brainstorming ideas for their author blog. 

A key aspect of modern life for authors is how much self-promotion they need to do. It is no longer enough to post the odd tweet when you publish a book—authors are now expected to be online all the time, actively participating in the community and giving their fans new content.

But while fans on social media thrive on personal updates on your book-writing journey, authors need to capitalize on content marketing methods by…

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How to Develop Your Brand as a Book Author

Nicholas and Stewart bring you valuable advice about how to get your book noticed! Aspiring authors, and those already published, may find this extremely useful.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Stewart Dunlop | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookThis is a guest post by Stewart Dunlop. Stewart is a full-time content marketer at Foundr and part-time reader, gamer & footballer. You can follow or tweet him @stewydunlop.

How to Develop Your Brand as a Book Author

Build an author brand | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookImage by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

From a literary point of view, we live in blessed times! Thanks to the development of modern communication devices and platforms, almost anyone can put their thoughts on paper (or the word editor of their choice) and release them to the world.

We now have access to printed books, e-books, audiobooks, and more. This allows the information to flow unhindered and creates a wonderful environment for those who love to read and learn.

But this level of progress has also led to a change in your role as the author. Back in the day, your job would’ve been over once you applied the last of the…

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