Queries on Blogging
Tell me which blogging provider creates the most interaction and adds actual blogging followers?
The two most widely used blogging providers are Blogger by Google and WordPress by Automattic. Both have their own pros and cons but I personally prefer and love writing using the WordPress platform.
I had used Blogger in my starting years of online writing and could not, for some reason, be able to connect with other bloggers. Back in those days, the choices we had in Blogger for customizing our blog was limited. Creating your own custom blog themes was out of the question unless you had knowledge in HTML and CSS. Although, I did know how to code, creating a theme that suited my need and which would project myself to the world through my blog was difficult.
After few months, I lost my interest and started my free WordPress blog account and continued on it for about 4 years. The experience was mind-blowing, the community was awesome and being open-source, it was easy to get help and find stuffs online. The customization options they provided was out-of-the-box and got me addicted.
Back to your question, interaction on your blog depends on how you reach out to the audience and give them something that sparks their interest to like, share or comment on your articles. If what they read on your blog is relevant to them, they would interact. Most of my readers are my friends and other fellow bloggers. So I personally do not get much interaction except the visits, which is fine as I just publish my poems and fiction stories, and sometimes few tutorials.
It might get difficult with a Blogger account to reach out and follow other bloggers as compared to the WordPress and this is only because of the vast community provided by WordPress.
Did you know WordPress powers almost 27% of the entire Internet! How cool is that?!
So, which blogging provider creates the most interaction and adds actual blogging followers? WordPress, I choose you!
Interesting I see, and how do you keep your blogging audience interested and hooked to your blog?
I am just a casual blogger and publish only when I have ideas and get the motivation. I host a couple of events for other bloggers to participate. I also join events posted by other bloggers and then interact with them, so it’s a win-win for both of us and we get one follower each.
Sometimes people just love what you write and then they follow your blog because they are interested to read more from you. I don’t do much digital marketing for my blog posts. I just share the blog posts on social networking sites.
But yes, marketing campaigns may spark your audience and get you more potential readers. You can also offer some PDF files with tips and advices on your blog to attract more subscribers.
I had once partnered with the Bucket List website to feature them on my blog to market one of their events. It was fun and good experience.
Alright, that makes perfect sense. Now, should you include images in every post? If so, should they be actual pictures or just digital images?
Yes, images play a vital role. No one would be interested to read a long article without images unless you spark and trigger their imagination with your writing. This is more related to fiction writing where it might become difficult for you, as a writer, to draw or sketch scenes from your story.
For all other posts, at least two images are needed. One image should be set as the Featured Image for the post and the other should appear inside the post content. If you’re publishing some tutorial, then you can include multiple images as screenshots to convey step-wise instruction; a video embedded in your post would also do better.
Actual images are only needed when your post is something about yourself or the phase of your life you’re in. But, if you are writing about someone or someplace, then you can upload images with their permissions. I mostly go for digital images that are freely available online.
So, to further continue this exploration: how do you interact with other bloggers on Blogger or WordPress?
This is the most easy and fun part. I just visit their blog and if I comment, like or share it. There are some really good Facebook communities for bloggers, which help me interact with others. WordPress community has many events hosted by other WordPress bloggers; sometimes I check them out and then join the ones that interest me.
In my early years of online blogging after moving to WordPress, the “daily prompts” helped me a lot by giving me daily writing prompts. Most of the blogging friends/followers I have now are the ones I met either from daily prompts or from the various writing events.
I agree with this information, and I have heard joining Pinterest is another avenue for free traffic towards your blog; however, I haven't been able to utilize its features, can you help with this?
Pinterest is new to me and one of the areas I am currently exploring. But I have read stories and articles on how others became successful by using Pinterest and gaining lots of traffic.
One of the features I think that’s really important would be the Pinterest Boards. I guess you need to join few of those and pin your blog articles to their boards. I do not know how exactly that works, but we have to learn it, right?
You’re right, there is so much a blogger should constantly learn and acquire to be successful. What are some personal items that should never be disclosed through blogging, that could potentially place yourself at risk for identity theft?
Personal financial data like credit cards, pin numbers, etc. are the few ones which should never be disclosed on your blog. You can share you email address for others to contact you and you can also put your contact numbers for others to reach out. But there’s a chance of getting spam messages and calls, so beware.
I use a WordPress plugin that disables a user to select and copy content on my blog. The other option they will have is to take screenshots of my articles and then type it. I am not sure if web scrapers affect WordPress blogs because I haven’t looked up about them yet.
Exactly, we all must be vigilant to follow these recommendations. Can you share your summary as a blogger, including the growth and the good/bad things you've experienced or learned through the process of becoming a blogger?
This is my favorite part.
I started my online writing with Blogger and then moved on to a free WordPress blog where I continued for almost 4 years, interacting with others, gaining followers, etc. At the same time, I had also created a dedicated Facebook page where I could share my posts.
When I began, my only goal was to publish and share stuffs that I have already written on paper, online. My friends and colleagues are always interested to read my articles and it motivates me to write more.
My major learning was when I decided to move to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Everything was new – Hosting account, Domain setup, installing WordPress. Then I realized the difference between WordPress free version and self-hosted one. Now, I had total control of my blog.
Google Analytics and AdSense are good learning, but reading and experimenting stuffs will empower you with what you need.
Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) is what you need to put up a custom Google search bar on your blog. In the process, I learnt how to add redirects to the pages that returned a 404 error on my blog. This is very handy for web administrators to monitor their site.
I had tried my hands with MailChimp email service provider and it’s really good. I do not use it, since my followers count is really less and WordPress’ Jetpack service does the work for me. But yes, for digital marketing, creating a subscriber list becomes vital.
The beginning is always the toughest and the learning curve rises up very high. My advice to others is and would always be, to start slow and never give up. It is the zeal and the enthusiasm you have that should keep you going despite the failures.
I am neither a successful blogger nor make money out of it, I just enjoy writing.
I hope these Q&A’s will inspire some great blogging for your personal blogs everyone, and be able to guide you in your journey as a blogger as well. Thanks to Nitin Nair for sharing your blogging experience with us all. Feel free to check out his blog at www.nitinchandrannair.com for more exclusive blogging!!! Highly recommended.