#TBT – When You’re Tired, You Should Never Play With Your… (2015) #writerwednesday #wordpress

Focus

Photo credit: dkalo / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

(Repost from 2015)

I was tired and sleepy. But instead of going to bed like a normal person would, there I was, playing around with the WordPress templates to see if I could freshen up my blog.

I was debating it since it took me so long to tweak what you see right now. You see, when I first started on WP, I spent an entire weekend figuring out the difference between pages, posts, tags and categories. It was frustrating but definitely a learning experience.

You’d think that I now know enough to test out new templates without screwing up my current one, right?

Wrong.

I hit Customize instead of Try and my blog went haywire.

After more than a little panic, I undid the damage but that definitely took the sleep out of my eyes.

This lesson just adds to my already long list of things not to do, especially when I’m tired.

If it ain’t broke and it’s working just fine, maybe it’s best to leave it alone.

Except for the widgets. Well, maybe the widgets and the menu…

Are you thinking about freshening up your blog? 

©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted on December 20, 2015.

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Go F***** Yourself – 9 Tips #tbt #bloggingtip #amblogging #amwriting #blogger

Photo credit: Blogging Librarian via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Edited from original post – July 25, 2016

Do yourself a favor and go FOLLOW yourself.

From the day I started on WP with the Writing 101 course, I was curious to see what my posts would look like to others in the community so I “followed” myself. It was a great learning experience because I immediately saw where I needed adjustments to format, fonts, widgets and other settings and I still tweak elements every so often.

I’m far from being an expert but I thought that I’d share a few tips I have learned .

Here are my 9 tips:

1. Enable “Reblog” for each of your posts, that is, if you don’t mind others giving you credit and wanting to share your awesome work. Using the WP reblog function will automatically let the original blogger/writer know that the post has been shared. I try to remember to “disable” comments redirect the reader to comment directly on the original creator-blogger’s site. As far as I’m concerned, they wrote it so they should have all the credit.

2. Enable “Share” for social media like Twitter, Facebook, etc. if you don’t mind others sharing your posts (similar rationale as #1);

3. Properly enable “Pingbacks to other bloggers so that they know that you mentioned them. It’s happened a few times where I’ll be catching up on my blog reading, see my name mentioned in someone’s post because we exchanged on a topic, etc. and I never said thank you/acknowledged the mention simply because I didn’t know. Being Canadian, I like to be polite…sorry. 🙂

4. Enable “Like” for each of your posts, even in the WP digest email settings. If there’s no “Like” button for your post that the reader can simply “tap” when using the email digest, they may skip it and you’ll never know if they enjoyed your post;

5. If your WP template allows for it, use a slightly LARGER print and darker font for the more “mature” readers. My theme doesn’t seem to have the possibility of a darker font but I’ll be asking the next time I chat with a WP rep;

6. Enable for “Full” text (and not just a Summary) for users reading via the WP daily/weekly digest by email. Additional clicks and links may deter those readers like in #4;

7. Direct your blog to the correct URL. I can’t tell you the number of times I read a comment, click on the blogger’s profile/blog name and I’ll get an error message like “unable to retrieve posts”, “blog no longer exists”, etc. If bloggers can’t easily see what your blog is about, they can’t easily follow you back;

8. “Public” versus “Private”. Unless you really want readers to ask for permission to read your blog, ensure that your blog is listed as “public”; and

9. Avoid lots of colored fonts. When I developed content for an e-learning tool a few years ago, an adaptive technology specialist explained that colored fonts can be problematic for readers suffering from visual impairments such as low vision, color-blindness or difficulty in adapting to changes in brightness. Yes, I also think that color is cute but  I’ve also seen first-hand how frustrating reading can be for those with certain vision issues so I personally try to minimize my use.

Bonus: Shorter posts. In these fast-paced times, readers want quick and easy. Something quick to read while waiting for the bus, a take-out order or at the doctor’s office. I admire Seth Godin‘s posts that are deep, thought-provoking yet short. I’m still trying to work on being “short”.

Calling all writers and bloggers, what tips would YOU like to share?

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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Breaking My Blog #writerwednesday #writerslife

Cutting back on the blog is my way of getting more time to edit my novella.

I gave myself 10 days to edit and revise 10 pages per day, knowing full well that there would be a few bumps. I’m about 20 pages behind schedule but if I don’t get distracted by another sappy Hallmark movie, I’ll catch up on the weekend.

There is only so much I can do in 24 hours but I sometimes have a hard time remembering that. Purposely “underwriting”, editing my posts less and reposting older content is helping me find more time.

I also keep reminding myself that my goal is to publish my fiction, not post on the daily.

I may have a bunch of followers but I don’t kid myself into thinking that they are waiting with bated breath for each of my posts!

So to keep reminding myself of my goal, I’ll be “breaking my blog” bit by bit to post more about the “writing process” and writing in general.

I’m a writer who blogs to hone my skills, share my musings and exchange with YOU in the wonderful world of WP.

Which begs the question:

“Are you a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes?”

M xoxo

 

 

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