Q & A – Blogging Tips

Q & A

Created by Julie Goucher – Feb 2020 Using Wordclouds.com

In the last few weeks I have received several emails about blogging. Here is just one of those questions

Julie, I have been considering starting a blog for my surname study and my own genealogy. I wondered if you could recommend what I do about comments. Thanks P

Over the last year or so I have had quite a few comments and questions about blogging. In the past I have replied via email, which I have done in this case, but I am also sharing as a Q & A.

On the recent Practicalities of a One-Name Study course, there were several comments and questions about blogs and their use in publicising, publishing and preserving a One-Name Study. Firstly, the Guild of One-Name Studies have agreed to a pilot of the Guild Blog Project. The project will enable all members to have a blog which will be preserved. This also is available to those without a study.

This blog is located on the WordPress platform. I have a domain name (anglersrest.net) and I pay a small amount a year to have adverts removed. The amount payable is about £36 and then I pay for the domain name, so around £50 a year.  A blog is a great way to have a conversation with others and it takes a little while to gain followers and comments from others.

BLOG Posts ImageI have several things that I think is important and recommend to those beginning their blogging journey.

  1. Enable comments – it is very irritating to want to reply to a blog post to find the writer has turned off commenting – that is also going against the core of a blog.
  2. Enable people to receive posts by email, a great number seem to only activate posts to be read in the reader. Some I prefer to read in my email.
  3. As you post your blog, enable the facility to share those posts via Twitter and Facebook, assuming you have those social media outlets.
  4. A blog is, as the image says, a space to write your own adventure. It is your space, so write about what interests you. I write about genealogical posts mainly, either general posts, or those about surnames or European research. Just recently I had several people unsubscribe because I wrote three consecutive posts in the Farnham Papers series. I also occasionally write about books and I also  write an irregular Desk Rambling series, which is general and more chatty.
  5. Do not underestimate the time it takes to write a post. This post has taken about an hour. I frequently use the option to schedule posts, meaning I can write when I have spare time and then the post can publish when I am busy with other things.
  6. I tend to write in series – Oral History is just one of those.
  7. It is quite tempting to create blogs and keep things separate, and where I did follow that path, I have evaluated that and now, prefer to keep all the data and information within the platform of this site.
  8. You can easily import and export into WordPress from other WordPress sites and Blogger – in fact I have several hundred posts that I imported from my Blogger site and I need to place those posts into the relevant categories – that is an issue between tags on blogger and categories. I tend to find tags can become unwieldy and prefer categories.

I hope these points have helped, but if you would be interested in a Blog Series, please let me know in the comments.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationary & History; Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies and surname courses.
This entry was posted in Blog Writing Series, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Practicalities of a One-Name Studies (Pharos Course 903). Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Q & A – Blogging Tips

  1. Carol says:

    I’m always interested in discussions about blogging, so a series would be lovely! 😍🙌

    Like

  2. | Purvasha | says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Began blogging a couple of months ago, and I agree on all of them. Nice blog, Julie. I’ve ensured these are all done.

    Like

  3. Gail Dever says:

    I agree about allowing people to leave comments, but because of spammers I’ve had to restrict comments to the last three days. Before I did this, I was deleting more than 2,000 spam comments daily. Now, I delete about 100 a day. Fortunately, this is not a common blogger problem. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how to add Captcha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know Gail, it is a problem. I moderate comments, but folk that comment frequently get a pass and it publishes. I also moderate if the comment has links. Deleting 2,000 comments – yikes how long was that taking? likely biting into your blog writing time.

      Like

  4. BookerTalk says:

    Sound advice as always Julie. Some other recommendations based on my experience of running a book blog for 8 years and an ONS blog for two years: 1) always respond to comments. It irritates me when I have gone to the trouble of making a comment on a blog not even to get an acknowledgement. I think its just rude – a bit like someone saying hello to you as they pass you in the street, and you just blank them 2) Try to post regularly – that doesn’t mean every day or every other day but try to aim for once a week if possible 3) your post doesn’t have to be that long – a good length would be about 500-600 words. 4) include your registered surname in the subject nd in the first paragraph and a few more times in a 500 word article – thats what search engines will use to determine of you show up in results.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. santajunior says:

    Hi Julie
    Thanks for those pointers, my problem is being nervous about taking the first steps and not wanting to make a fool of myself!!!
    A Blog series sounds like a good idea!
    Cheers
    Richard
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lisa Hill says:

    You make some good points, Julie:)
    Just one thing, though, tags are useful for bringing visitors to your blog through search engines. As I understand it, search engines scroll cyberspace for tags, so, for example if you have a tag for your surname and someone is searching for that, the search engine will bring up your site in the search. Search engines do not work in that way for categories.
    So for my blog (which is about books and authors, I tag the book and the author to bring searchers to my post, and — to make it easy for *me* (but also my visitors) to find things on my blog I categorise the post under the author’s name as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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