Blogging 307

I got a fortune cookie today and the fortune read, “Someone is looking up to you. Don’t let that person down.”

Well knock me over and help me up. I’ve felt that way a lot, whether it was from working at a summer camp, or through this blog. I don’t mind being a role model. I also don’t mind ruining children’s Knock Knock jokes.

Here’s how.

Kid: Knock Knock!

Me: Come in!

Bam, ruined. They have no comeback. Try it! The look on their face is hilarious.

Alright, let’s get to it.

We are gathered here today to join you and your blog in holy blogimony. I hope you’re wearing something nice, but if not, pyjamas will do.

This post is going to be my attempt at providing tips to new bloggers and old bloggers, I don’t discriminate, unlike the Pres…NO. I will not discuss Politics. Only Paulitics.

These are things that I’ve noticed other bloggers do/not do over the years that I’d like to help them correct.

That’s why this post is called, “Blogging 307”. Blogging 101 is too cliche and Blogging 202 is too logical. I am neither cliche or logical, so here we are – Blogging 307.

Phones away, brains out. – That’s what teachers should say.

Use these tips at your own discretion. I am not a Doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. 

1. Make sure your URL is correct, so people can click your name when it shows up in their notifications.

This one normally impacts the bloggers who have changed their blog name and have changed their URL to match it. When you do that though, your old link remains attached to your name when it appears in someone’s notifications.

When that happens, I click on your name and am taken to a page that says your blog doesn’t exist and you’re an alien. A “Follow” button doesn’t appear under your name either, so I can’t even follow you and try to find you in my Reader.

How do you fix this/make sure your URL is correct?

Step 1: Click on your Profile Picture in the top right corner.

Step 2: Click Account Settings

Step 3: Type in your web address under “Web Address”.

Now, people can click on your name in their notifications (and comments section) and be directed to your proper site.

2. Put a link to your blog on your Gravatar page.

The idea I’m trying to get across here is – you want to make it as easy as possible for other bloggers to find your blog. Throw them a bone, so to speak, if you like dog analogies.

Step 1: Click on your Profile Picture in the top right corner

Step 2: Click on “My Profile”

Step 2.5: While here, you can type a short description about yourself which appears when people click on your photo, or hover over it.

Step 3: Scroll down to “Profile Links” and click “Add Site”.

Now, when people click on your photo when they see it on someone else’s blog, they can see your Gravatar page and proceed to click the link to your blog and become your best friend.

Note: You can also add links to your social media pages under “Profile Links” by adding URL.

3. Tagging

Tags are essentially hashtags that you should include on every post. If that didn’t make sense, I’ll put it in different terms.

Tags are topics that reflect what your blog post is about.

In the Reader, we can search for tags and find blog posts about that topic. Therefore, it’s important to tag properly.

CLICK HERE for a list of tags you can choose from.

This isn’t Twitter or Instagram where long tags (that often serve as a punchline) work. They don’t.

From what I’ve read, the WordPress rule is that you’re allowed up to 15 tags on each post, but you don’t really need that many.

For instance, on my blog posts where I give a full episode recap of The Bachelorette, I’m tagging that post with things like: Thoughts, Opinion, Humor, Funny, Love, Relationships, Dating, TV, The Bachelorette, and People.

That casts a big net and all of the tags make sense. You have to think in terms of what people will search for in their Reader.

Many posts you write will share the same tags – Thoughts, Opinion, and Life can be used for most things.

If you’re writing a post about yourself, tag it with things like: About Me, Identity, Personal, or if you’re telling stories – Anecdote.

I love digging through the “About Me” tag. It’s a great way to find new bloggers I might have something in common with.

If you’re wondering how to tag a post, here’s how.

And I do apologize if this sounds like I’m dumbing it down, but some people don’t know, and that’s okay.

When you write a blog post on a computer, there is the main section for writing the post and then to the right is a place where you add tags. You type in your tags, hit enter, and they’re added.

Okay, recap: Use tags – relevant ones. That’s how bloggers find you.

4. Fill in your About Me/About page on your blog.

This is different from the About Me section in your profile. This is an actual page on your website.

To fill it in, you just have to click the page and there’s an Edit button right there (at least for mine, there is).

I hate going to a blog, especially one that has been around for longer than a week, and it still has the default message from WordPress of something along the lines of, “This is where you explain who you are etc.”

It’s like showing up for a Christmas party and the hosts are still cleaning the toilets.

Erase that. Put your own words.

I haven’t been happy with my About page since I started this blog, so I’m not going to give advice on what you should say in it. You probably already know.

Introduce yourself, explain why you’re blogging, etc. 

This brings me to my next tip!

5. Believe in yourself.

Nothing blows out my birthday candles more than reading a blogger describe themselves as “Just another blogger who will be writing about (insert your topics here).”

No. No. No. No. No.

You’re killing me.

You are not “just another blogger.”


Why would I follow “just another blogger”. We are all unique. Use that to your advantage. Stand out. Say something that catches people off guard – that gives a glimpse of who you are.

“I really enjoy a pickle with a hard crunch.”

“Blue is my favourite colour, but my bedroom is red, and my newspaper is black and white.”

There are two examples. If I read one of those lines on your About page, I’m clicking the Follow button. Simple as that.

6. Make it easy to click around your site.

If I read one post on a blog, normally I’d like to have the option of seeing what else the blogger has to offer. I can’t do that in an efficient manner, if the only way to see your older posts is by scrolling endlessly.

This is where menus come into play and I’d love to explain them, but it’s a headache to do that. But if you need help with them, let me know in the comments.

In addition to menus…WIDGETS.

Look at the right side of my blog. The badges, follow buttons, recent posts, calendar, Twitter feed, tag cloud, and more, are all widgets.

Step 1: To add widgets, go to your blog homepage and click the “Customize” button that should be in the bottom right corner.

Step 2: Click “Widgets”

Step 3: Click “Primary Widget Area”

Step 4: Click “Add a Widget”

From there, you can add whatever you want. My suggestion, at minimum, would be to add the “Recent Posts” widget so people can see what you’ve written lately.

Also, include a Follow Button.

Make it easy for people to follow your blog.

Make it easy for people to click around your blog.

Bonus: Make it easy for people to read your blog. I’ve come across some blogs with size 8 font. Sorry, but I can’t.

Only you can see the behind the scenes of your blog. Click around. Explore things. Hit buttons. WordPress is your playground.

7. Write Write Write!

You can sit and complain about your stats page until the cows decide to stroll back into town. We’ve all been there.

But, people can’t read your blog if you don’t give them anything to read. If you have four posts, write a fifth. If you have twelve posts, write a thirteenth.

If you take a hiatus, fine. When you return though, you don’t need to bring attention to the hiatus. If I found your blog by searching for a tag in my Reader, I don’t really want to read about how you’ve neglected your blog for 3 months because you forgot about it.

That doesn’t make me want to follow you. I’m sorry. Just hop into the blog post. If you’ve been busy with school, or travelling, or life, fine, mention it. Just don’t give the impression that your blog is something you don’t care about. Because then why should I care?

Don’t feel like you need to have a specific niche. If all you want to write about is makeup, or food, or movies – go for it!

But don’t let that hold you back from writing about anything you want.

The theme of your blog is you.

8. Find people through the comments section on someone else’s blog.

This is why it’s important that your Gravatar links to your blog.

If you’re a new blogger and are wondering why no one is reading your fantastic posts, it’s not because other bloggers think they aren’t fantastic, it’s because they don’t know you exist.

You have to be your own outreach program.

Find a blog, click on their posts, read their comments. This is how you can find other bloggers you might want to follow. And then blog hop. Bounce from blog to blog by clicking on people’s name/picture.

You won’t follow everyone – not everyone’s blog will interest you. But this is an easy way to surf around.

Don’t be shy. Follow blogs you like. Like posts you like. Comment!

Please be genuine about it, though. That’s my pet peeve. I’ve received my fair share of 8 likes on 8 posts in 8 seconds by one blogger, who really has no other motive than making sure I see them in my notifications.

Yes, ending up in someone’s notifications is beneficial to you because people like me will click on your name and go look at your blog, if we haven’t “met” yet.

But don’t spam people.

Bonus: I added a widget on my blog where it randomly lists 50 of my followers (normally the ones who were most recently active on my blog). That’s not for me. That’s for my followers, so they can click on those photos and be introduced to other bloggers.

9. *Don’t link people to your blog.

I’ll explain the asterisk in a minute.

I received a comment the other day on my tribute post to Chester Bennington – the singer who killed himself.

I got a, “Great post, Paul. Go check out my latest post about online dating tips. (Insert link here).”

I marked the comment as spam. Are you kidding me? Get outta here.

I’m not easily offended, but that offended me. It was so inappropriate. You just don’t do that. If the same comment appeared on one of my poems or literally anything else, I’d let it slide.

But on a post where I talk about someone who just died? That doesn’t sit well with me.

This is where the asterisk comes in.

Unless you’re linking me to a blog post that relates to what I’ve written about, I don’t want a link to your newest post. Sorry.

There are some bloggers who I’ve reached a level of friendship with, where either of us can say, “Okay go read my new post now” and it’s fine, because we have that relationship. If you’re a new blogger coming out of nowhere, we can’t have that bond yet.

I got a nice comment on that same post about Chester Bennington from a guy who said he also wrote a tribute, if I wanted to check it out. I did want to check it out. Because it was related to my post and allowed us to bond over the same thoughts.

That was fine. I don’t mind that one bit.

Listen, if you take the time to follow, like, or comment on one of my posts, I will go look at your blog. You don’t even have to tell me. I’ll do it because I’m curious and always looking for new bloggers to interact with.

But when I get the impression that you’re only playing nice so I can go give your blog a view, I don’t like that.

10. Be Yourself.

This is a blog. This is not your university essay worth 35% of your mark.

Have fun here.

Tell a story as if you’re on a road trip and are telling the people sitting in the back seat what happened to you when you spilled your drink in an elevator with six strangers.

We’re not going to pick on you for your grammar or spelling as long as you put in an honest effort and don’t type like a 12 year old on MSN.

If you come across someone’s blog and really like it, tell them! It’ll make their day.

I always used to worry that my words would be misinterpreted and people would get offended by the things I type. Then I realized that I was acting stupid.

I don’t ever sit down and type with the intention of offending anyone. I don’t try to offend people in real life, either. I know my words are genuine and well-intentioned, so if someone wants to take them the wrong way, that’s not my fault.

They can go write their own blog post about it.

That’s all I got. 

I hope this blog post was helpful. If you didn’t learn anything here, sorry, your deposit is non-refundable. Oh yeah, I should’ve mentioned, your payment for this course (Blogging 307) is one pizza slice.

For those of you who want to be a teacher’s pet, that label is attainable via payment of an entire pizza.

PLEASE, if you have any questions about anything blogging related, ask me in the comments below.

If you have questions about anything unrelated to blogging, I’ll entertain those as well.

Oh yeah, one more tip just came to mind: Pay attention to other blogs. Take the best part of their blog and use it for your own. Look at the tags they use. Look at their widgets. Look at how they interact with other bloggers. Look at their diction and verbiage.

I just used the word “verbiage”. That’s how I know it’s time to end this.

Thanks for reading.

@CappyTalks on Twitter

P.S. I write how I speak. The voice in my head is the voice on the screen. I had my filtration system removed four years ago and it’s worked wonders. Remove your filtration system. Remove the voice in your head that says, “This sentence doesn’t sound good enough.” It makes a big difference.

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74 Responses to Blogging 307

  1. arlene says:

    I love this. I am an old blogger but I still get fascinated by those words some bloggers recommend.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. mun_kdaripa says:

    Great! Thanks Paul for such lovely & wonderful tips. As I am new to blogging, I will make sure I follow your tips and have then right up in my site! These points should help any New Blogger to bring up a “The Right Site” looks. Thank you once again… would be looking forward for more suggestions 🙂

    ~Mun K.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Quinn says:

    “I hope you’re wearing something nice, but if not, pyjamas will do.”

    Whew, for a second there I thought I might be in trouble, thankfully my pyjamas have saved the day.

    This is a great post, I think it touches on all the most important stuff. That “That’s great….Anyway, check out my completely unrelated blog post!” stuff drives me up the wall!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks Quinn! Pyjamas are always acceptable in my book. And I’m glad I’m not the only one frustrated by these link droppers – sounds like it happens regularly to people.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great post sharing post. I had to take a quick look at point 1 and 2 and discovered it was still the WordPress address before I went dot com.And i need to reassess my tags. I think Number 7 is the best, most relevant point. Louise

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Great to hear, Louise. Glad I could help!


    • Paul says:

      And I just looked at the tags you have on your posts, those are fine too because I think they will attract and audience from people who search for those terms on Google (I think that’s how it works, don’t quote me). But also throw in a few tags from WordPress and you should be good to go 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I had no idea there was a page of wordpress tags. You taught this old blogger something new! Oh, and can I just tell you #9 is my absolute pet peeve. I hate a link dropper. Those comments immediately get spammed. It’s so rude, like wearing white to a wedding. Let the bride shine!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Olga Fry says:

    Thanks for this information! I mentally checked them off as I went through them.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. jennakay says:

    This is great! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. peckapalooza says:

    I’ve done that to a kid trying to tell me a Knock-Knock Joke before. They get so frustrated. It’s hilarious!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is great! I’m new to the bloggersphere – loving it but finding some bits hard to navigate. This has helped me with my tagging for sure and whilst I’m still not happy with my layout/theme & how the posts look, I’m taking baby steps and you’re helping more than you know.
    Many Thanks
    p.s. It’s a relief to read PJs are acceptable attire for blogging – I was worried there for abit!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Hi Carrie!
      It’s definitely a process to figure out what you like and what works for you on your blog. A lot of tinkering with layout and widgets went into what my blog currently looks like, and I already know I’ll probably change it around again in a few month.
      Also, I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post without PJs on…

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Great tips, thanks! But what I’m looking most forward to now is ruining a kids knock knock joke with that line. Genius!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. messyhairbythesun says:

    I kinda love how the universe works and put these on my timeline (whether I’m following you or not, because I actually am) because I just put a thought on these theme this week, I think it’s a vibe going on because a blogger i follow type about it as well, so what I mean is that every word it’s true and the road to succeed in anything it’s staying true to yourself. You refreshed my day, thanks !

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I think it’s really cool when multiple bloggers write about blogging. It helps out a lot of other bloggers and sort of elevates everyones blogging level a bit which creates better content.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Nicole says:

    Thanks for sharing! I thought these were so so helpful. You were my first follower on my blog, and I’m very glad you found me. I really enjoy reading your blog posts! Wish I could send you lots of pizza slices!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Was I really? That is so cool. There is an ease and a nice flow to your writing that I liked. You’re the first person to mention sending me pizza! Bonus points to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. nickc324 says:

    Thanks, this was super helpful. I am going to do the items you mentioned. I don’t know much about Gravitar, but am going to look it up try to do that, too. Also, I tried to send you a slice from a pizza I made at home with some fake meat, but it was rejected as Spam (sorry, I know that was terrible)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. elizabeth says:

    “don’t type like a 12 year old on MSN”
    Lol best line ever, I can’t stand trying to poorly written posts. Great post, many useful tips and l like your sense of humour

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thanks for the tips. And I’m soooo gonna use the knock knock killer on one of my kids. I love killing their dreams. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Why are you so amazing! I’m pumped! I’m doing ALMOST everything right! I just need to add my link to my gravatar, and edit some widgets which I find confusing in my particular theme… but THANK YOU CAPTAIN! YOU DA BOMB!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hira says:

    I usually ignore blogging tips these days, because I know some of them and am already guilty of not following few 😦
    But this is from Captain .. How can I miss your speech Captain ! The best thing about your posts is no filtration is like you are speaking to me. I love that you bring sense of humor in everything,even in blogging tips. And am always look out for good fun humorous blogs.
    Plus these are good , honest tips… Thank you Paul.
    Sending a virtual slice of pizza with pineapple toppings 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      So kind of you reading this just because I wrote it lol. You know me, always gotta get some humour in there even if it’s not a funny post. Thanks for the pizza but I’ll be picking off the pineapple haha

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I like your pizza post – a good solid base of really useful tips with some juicy funny toppings. A great combination!
    It actually forced me to check my pages. And I again found that widgets had gone a’wanderin. I don’t know why, but my widgets seem to regularly disappear – but not always the same ones. Very frustrating! Anyway, I’ve added a few back in again.
    I’ll have to check out the whole gravatar thing. I admit, I found it a little confusing so I’ve been ignoring it.
    Thank you so much for the information about tags. I had done some reading about it, but your explanation was the first to actually make clear what they do!

    I tried out the knock knock spoiler joke on my son. It just made him really, really mad. Bonus! 🙂

    Of course, his favourite knock knock, which he made up by himself, is:
    Son: Knock! Knock!
    Me: Who’s there?
    Son: Boo
    Me: Boo who?
    Son: There, there. Don’t cry.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Disappearing widgets? Haha I think your blog has magic powers.
      To simplify, a Gravatar is the page that appears when you click on your photo in someone’s comments section. You can add a mini bio and a link to your blog there. It’s simpler than I made it sound, sorry.

      Ah I’m glad the Knock Knock joke had the desired result!


  19. Sophia Ball says:

    The tags section was really helpful – I could certainly use to up my game there. Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ariel Lynn says:

    This is such a great post, I’m going to go through parts that stood out in my mind (keeping this in line with my standard of leaving novel-length comments)!

    It’s hard to think like that sometimes, I think. We don’t want to sound immodest, even though we think we have enough interesting stuff to say to start blogs. It’s a hard line to walk.

    We’re not going to pick on you for your grammar or spelling as long as you put in an honest effort and don’t type like a 12 year old on MSN.
    We’re not??? Oh crud. I guess I should’ve read the whole post before beginning my commentary in my head. Please disregard the previous point’s formatting. *innocent whistle* (Serious note: I’m sorry, I can’t help myself. It’s an occupational hazard – my friend’s all call me the “Grammar Drill Sergeant.” I do it from a place of love!)

    For those of you who want to be a teacher’s pet, that label is attainable via payment of an entire pizza.
    Please accept this pizza & tray of lasagna for physical expression of my appreciation.

    Remove the voice in your head that says, “This sentence doesn’t sound good enough.” It makes a big difference.
    This is possibly the most important – &, at least for me, the most difficult – tip of all. That critical voice that makes me write & re-write the same sentence a dozen times is difficult to set aside.

    I did take exception with one teeny tiny sentence out of all you’ve said here, but I don’t want to detract from your fantastic advice.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go completely reformat my blog theme. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ahhhh I’m so embarrassed. I read this post numerous times and so did many other people and no one mentioned the “You’re” to me. Thank you for pointing it out!

      Thank you for the pizza and lasagna. You officially have the “teacher’s pet” label as a result.

      What was the thing you took exception with??

      Thank you for the long comment, compliments, and criticism I’ve yet to hear!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        Don’t be embarrassed!! It’s actually a weird glitch our brains have when we read our own writing – it fills in the words it expects to see. That’s why some editing sites recommend reading our writing backwards, because it keeps the brain guessing. However, that’s annoyingly difficult.

        Plus, everyone has typos. You certainly don’t write like a 12-year-old on MSN, nor do you regularly confuse “your” vs. “you’re,” which is much appreciated online today.

        Sweet! My teacher’s pet title continues post-college! (My classmates weren’t fond of me. LOL)

        Now, allow me to put my foot in my mouth & get stripped of that title – I agree that your words are genuine & you mean well, regardless of the topic. However, phrasing it as “I know my words are genuine and well-intentioned, so if someone wants to take them the wrong way, that’s not my fault” was a bit rough on my ears (erm, eyes).

        People rarely want to take things the wrong way, but their unique life experience affects how they view the world & your words.

        So, in short (too late!), I found 2 words in your whole post a bit off-putting. Out of 1000+, that obviously says more about my neuroses than anything about you. This post was incredibly helpful & pushed me to make changes to my blog format, plus encouraged me to get to writing & not agonize over every single word. It was so helpful, I hope you don’t hate me for being overly critical. :-/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        You know, when I wrote that sentence that you pointed out, I felt something about it was off but I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Plus it was near the end of my post and I just wanted to be done with it already. So no need to apologize! I was thinking it was going to be far worse like you’d say “Who do you think you are to give this unsolicited advice?”. That would’ve hurt me lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ariel Lynn says:

        I can relate – sometimes you’ve looked a post over & over, your eyes are tired, you’re hungry, you’re bored. Then, no matter what, there’s gonna be some jerk (AKA, me) who comes along & says, “Well, this word would’ve been better & that letter isn’t in the correct position according to such & such.”

        Oh my G-d – I would never say something that awful! Is that how I come across to people? :-O

        You have every right to offer this advice. Anyone who has a blog can, & is an awesome person for, providing tips on what has helped them thus far. If nit-pickers like myself don’t like the advice, then we don’t have to take it!

        However, if you need more than just, “Oh, any ol’ blogger can do it,” your credentials make your advice even more meaningful. WordPress chose you from hundreds of thousands of writers to feature, not once, but twice! We’re all better off for having learned your secret (that being, that there is no secret lol). 🙂

        Liked by 2 people


    Great tips! And #7….stop being so mean Paul. Some of us are in grad school and don’t get to see daylight enough lol😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. lauraashurst says:

    Thanks so much for all of your advice. As a newbie to blogging I’m grateful for any tips and advice.

    I’m going to take a look at the widget section right now!

    Laura 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ellem63 says:

    Fabulous post, Paul, especially for a newbie like me. Yes, I need to get me some widgets. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  24. newhonesty says:

    Thank you very much fort that post! Being relatively new I always wonder if there are things I do ‘wrong’ and what can be improved.
    Now I wish I could meet you and pay you with a pizza slice or some kind of Linkin Park merch!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Nemee says:

    This is actually so helpful! The part about the widgets is great. Also the Gravatar section, I never even thought to bother with that. Also, it’s super impressive that you can make a post about blogging tips as witty as the rest of your blog is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha thank you! I definitely had to add humour to the post, or else it would just feel like a How-To manual and those are boring. I’m glad my tips helped!


  26. gabriellemgillispie says:

    Yay this is the post I was waiting for! So good. So encouraging. And it made me laugh even though the subject could’ve potentially and easily been strictly informational, which you seem to have a knack for. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Steinunn says:

    So so helpful! Thank you!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Rea says:

    OH MY GOSH THANK YOU!!! These tips were soooooooooooooooo helpful! I haven’t been blogging very long and don’t have butt tons of posts, but this really is gonna help me. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Barb Knowles says:

    This is extraordinarily good and useful. I have to admit, even though you haven’t been my Howdy in a long time (I don’t even see Howdy anymore..I wonder why) I did check to be sure my website was linked to my gravatar.
    It now occurs to me that I missed all of your posts when I was on the cruise. Ketchup time.

    Liked by 1 person

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