Showing posts with label comments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comments. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

8 Blogging Maintenance Things You're Probably Neglecting | Book Blogging Tips (#49)

Blogging maintenance is probably the most underrated and most brushed-under-the-table part of blogging that nobody really wants to talk about. All of these are pesky things that you probably won't want to do. But trust me, you should.






#8: Replying to Comments on Your Crossposts
I am so notorious for being late on these. Bless the people who comment on my crossposts! Not all platforms are designed very well to actually notify you when people do - but please do keep an eye on the people that comment on your posts, even if it's not on your actual blog. It's just as vital as replying to the comments that you get on the blog itself. Also do keep an eye on your Goodreads comments!

#7: Fixing Broken Links
You just gotta randomly click through old posts for many reasons, the first one being that your blog is probably littered with broken links. Sometimes you just forget that you moved a scheduled review to a different date which then changes the permalink, or you simply deleted a post that you no longer want on your blog. Either way - go check.

#6: Disappearing Pictures
Everyone's least favorite magic trick. This might be just a Blogger thing. Blogger has been notorious for messing up both my theme and my content since the very beginning of my blog in 2014. Sometimes pictures just randomly get eaten. You won't know if you're not looking at old posts every now and then.

#5: Checking For Typos
Another thing you should be looking out for while reading old articles are the pesky typos! I do read my blog posts through about five to ten times depending on what kind of post it is before I even schedule them to be published - but ho boy sometimes these little pesky things manage to slither in. You have go back and read some older reviews sometimes, spellcheck can't find anything. Trust me, it's mortifying to find these, you better go and check right now.

#4: Updating Your Tabs
If you have links to about me sections or contact sections, it's absolutely vital that you update them. I update my contact info probably every month, but I'm notorious for neglecting my about me section. If you blog like me, you're probably constantly changing something about your blog. Might as well be consistent and give every part of your blog equal attention!

#3: Replying to Old Comments
Commenting back or not is a whole different discussion, but the one thing you really have to do is set up an email notification for your blog comments so you don't miss a single one, no matter how old the post itself is. I think replying to comments is vital and if your blog is at a size where the amount of comments you get are still manageable to reply to, just do it. To me it's absolutely mortifying to have to reply to a comment from like 6 months ago late because you neglected your email notification. That's just embarassing.

#2: Just Getting Rid of Scheduled Posts
Sometimes you write something really stupid when you're in a weird mood and end up queueing it anyway. If you queue as much as I do, you're really going to want to have a look on all that stuff that's been accumulating in your drafts. Not every post is a good post. Not everything you've written should actually end up published on your blog.

#1: BACK YOUR CONTENT UP
This is honestly not negotiable. Trust me. Back your content up at least every three months, you'll be devastated once your blogging platform randomly decides to eat your content. Save those posts. Save that theme. Thank me later. Yes, do it now if you haven't in a while.


What are some maintenance things you tend to neglect on your blog?


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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Why You Should Move From Blogger Comments to DISQUS | Book Blogging Tips (#32)




I've taken the leap a long time ago. I haven't regretted my decision and I'm proud of myself that I did it.

DISQUS has improved my blogging experience tremendously and I can only recommend it if you're thinking about changing commenting systems. 






Why Move?

Blogger probably has the worst default commenting system out of all blogging platforms there are.
Here's a list of everything that's wrong with the Blogger system:

  • The notifications don't work - (only via email, and who does that?!)
  • It's chunky and ugly
  • You can't really decipher if people are having a conversation
  • You can't add pictures/gifs
  • No options to like comments
  • Spam-protection is ridiculous
  • Not a lot options to log in if you don't have Blogger
  • No option to keep track of all your comments on other sites
Bonus: During the move you won't lose the comments you've had before.

What's DISQUS?

DISQUS is a third-party commenting system. It's not only used by a lot of bloggers in the book blogging community, but you can also find it on professional news sites for example. A lot of people use DISQUS because of the clean look and the easy way to keep track of discussions.

How Do I Move?


DISQUS makes the transition actually fairly easy. They have a distinct help site simply for that where they explain every step in detail. 

Of course you'll have to set up a free DISQUS account if you don't have one already.

One of the great perks of DISQUS is that you can get rid of it just as easily as you implemented it in your blog. If you don't like the look and aren't satisfied with it - just go over to your widgets site and delete it!

Do you like/use DISQUS? 

Do you think everybody should transition or not?


Come back next Thursday for another Book Blogging Tips post!


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Thursday, October 1, 2015

How to Leave a Bad First Impression With Your Blog | Book Blogging Tips (#19)


The first impression is vital. Within seconds most readers decide whether they want to stay and follow or just click onto the next blog.

There are a few ways to ensure that you'll lose a good chunk of potential readers - without doing anything. 

I compiled a few things that I know bother not only me but quite a few people when they discover new blogs.

  • Incredibility
You just love everything you read. 5 Stars for all the books!! You just can't contain your enthusiasm for EVERY book that you read.

  • Giveaways and Book Blitzes
Doing some of them is fine. When you favorite authors are hosting giveaways for their new releases it can be a nice treat for your readers to inform them of that. But just posting the links to Rafflecopter giveaways that you aren't hosting .... ? Yeah, I probably won't follow you. Ever.

  • Ignoring all comments
Having a blog is hard, we all know that. Sometimes you don't find the time to reply to all comments, but never? Really? Why do you think should anyone bother to comment if you won't talk to them?

  • Too many ads
Yeah, I know that we all have to make a living somehow. But unless you're one of the big names out there, it won't financially cripple you to take two out of the ten advertisements on your blog down. While you're at it, delete the pop-out, no matter what it says.

  • Copy-Cat Syndrome
Wait... didn't I just see the exact same post on another blog? If plagiarism is an alien concept to you and you take the word inspiration literally and steal other people's posts - well, I'm not interested in reading your blog.

  • Terrible theme and a cluttered side bar
It just messes up the first impression. If you use Comic Sans as a script and showcase your 32739 fandom banners and your blog design is a mess, what am I supposed to expect from the content of your blog? Less is more, my friend.

What ruins the first impression of a blog for you?


Come back next Thursday for a new Book Blogging Tips Post!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

How CAPTCHA Ruins Your Blog | Book Blogging Tips (#18)



We either love it or we hate it. There are a lot of opinions about CAPTCHA and most of them are negative. Maybe you have CAPTCHA on your blog and don't get what the fuzz is all about.

I'm here to explain it to you.

What is CAPTCHA?

CAPTCHA stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". It's a method to prevent spam comments that all bigger blogging plat forms offer to make sure that you don't get spam. 


What is spam?

In regard to blogging, spam mostly refers to comments. You'll encounter it in form of automatically generated comments that are copy-and-pasted from one blog to another by fake accounts. Usually it's advertisements and/or links to other websites.


What's so bad about CAPTCHA?

In theory, CAPTCHA is a wonderful invention. Before you see how it works and have to deal with it.

For the blogger it's a super convenient method to prevent people from making the effort to spam all over your blog, but yeah ... it's also prevents everyone from EVER wanting to comment on your posts.

You have to take into consideration that it's rare that people comment. The naked truth is that about 80% of the readers of your blog will probably just read the content and then leave. That's perfectly fine.

But those 20% that want to comment, want to do it effortlessly and quickly. If you have decent options for people to comment and a great post, it's even more tragic if you have CAPTCHA enabled.
  • Nobody wants to guess what the image says to leave a comment
  • If people comment, they want it done quickly
  • CAPTCHA sometimes messes with us, don't tell me you haven't had to enter the same thing five times before it worked. It's super frustrating!
If you have CAPTCHA enabled in a pop-up window I GUARANTEE you, your comments will decrease by 70%!


But how do I protect myself from spam without CAPTCHA?

Ask yourself:
  1. Have you ever had a single spam comment before you enabled CAPTCHA?
  2. Have you ever tried to do at least a day without CAPTCHA? Was there anything different about your blogging experience?
  3. Do you comment on blogs with CAPTCHA?
As a Blogger user I can assure you that Blogger and Google do a fine job at protecting your blog. If you have a decent third-party comment system like I do it's even less likely that you'll get spam. Just trust me on this one. You can always switch back to CAPTCHA if you'll get 230 spam comments within a day. We both know that won't happen though. Just disable the damn CAPTCHA.


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Thursday, July 23, 2015

6 Commenting Systems and What Sucks About Them | Book Blogging Tips (#9)


I took on a little project with this edition of Book Blogging Tips. I went to a bunch of blogs, checked out their commenting systems and wrote down what's good and what's bad about them. 

Hopefully you'll be able to gain insight and maybe get inspired to change your commenting system.


At the end of the day, you're the one who has to decide what's the best choice for you. Whether it's Blogger, Wordpress, Disqus, IntenseDebate, Self-Hosted or something else. Everything has their pros and cons. Unless it's Facebook. Please get rid of that.

1. Default Blogger System

Pros
- You're able to comment anonymously
- Very easy for Blogger and Wordpress users
- Notification on your dashboard for each new comment 
- Supports clickable links as HTML
- Email notification for replies available

Cons
- Not really aesthetically pleasing: Looks a bit odd and chunky when there's multiple comments on your page
- Supports clickable links as HTML (have fun typing those brackets out)

___________________________

My two cents: It's alright design if you aren't tech-savvy and not too fond of third-party commenting systems. Consider changing to Wordpress, their default commenting system is much better.

2. Default Wordpress System
Pros
- Nice and clean look
- Option to like
- Easy to reply
- Email notification for replies available

Cons
- poor spam control
___________________________

My two cents: You're good to go. Wordpress is a nice choice and gives enough options to satisfy the majority of your readers.

3. Disqus

Pros
- Option to create own account so you'll be able to keep track of your comments 
- Notification in your Disqus account whenever you get a new comment
- Built-in anti spam and related posts features 
- Comments aren't lost if you transition from Blogger or Wordpress to Disqus
- Options to like and showcase comments
- Blog host can easily delete and edit comments
- You can drag and drop an image into your comment

Cons
- No Wordpress log in option
- No dashboard notification for Blogger users 
- Needs a few extra seconds to load

___________________________

My two cents: Congrats, you've chosen my favorite. I'm biased, obviously. 

4. IntenseDebate

Pros
- Let's you easily control and delete comments
- Users are rated due to their comment history
- Best commenters widget
- Collecting points for every comment you leave is fun!

Cons
- Users are rated due to their comment history (surveillance state much?)
- you lose ALL your previous comments when switching over to IntenseDebate

___________________________

My two cents: I like the look of IntenseDebate personally and it's an okay system, but after this Spring's Bloggiesta I noticed that I'm pretty much alone in that opinion. I love the best commenters widget, but if you're going to go with a third-party commenting system, choose Disqus. They're quite similar in looks and concept, but Disqus gives you way more options.

5. Self-Hosted
Pros
- Option to add CommentLuv: The commenter can feature their latest post on their blog in their comment
- Most themes let you add your website
- You can use elaborate html (strike, bold, italic, blockquote etc)

Cons
- Most self-hosted commenting systems don't let you log in
- Rarely options to comment anonymously without sharing your website's URL
- No option to upload icons

___________________________

My two cents: I'm not too fond of these. Consider either choosing a commenting system that gives more options or installing a third-party system.

6. Facebook
Pros
- Nice and clean design
- Options to like and reply directly

Cons
- Poor spam control
- Your Facebook friends will all see what you're commenting and where (privacy issues)
- NOBODY wants to use their facebook account to comment on a blog
- Don't do it

___________________________

My two cents: No.


What's Your Favorite Commenting System?

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Should You Be Commenting Back? | Book Blogging Tips (#6)


If you're a blogger, you probably know that this is big deal in the blogging world. Everyone wants comments, dozens and dozens of comments, in fact.

While it's nice to have someone listen to what you're saying and feel acknowledged, sometimes we bloggers have really unrealistic expectations of our readers.

It doesn't matter what kind of content you post, it's still nice to have someone respond.
Commenting Back, yay or nay?


Some bloggers like to let you know that IF you comment on their blog, you're guaranteed to get a reward in form of a comment on your blog.
It has become a custom among bloggers to reciprocate comments and I think that's a wonderful thing.

You don't only get a nice treat for making someone else happy, but you might also start a friendship or a nice conversation like this.

What also plays into the whole thing is the quality of comments.

Quality VS Quantity

While we do all want our blogs to show a bunch of comments- let's be honest here:

Would you rather have twenty comments saying "Cool blog, go check mine out" OR two longer comments that are actually tackling the topic of your post?

I'm sure most of you would choose the latter.

If you're an avid participant in the Commenting Back system, leaving quality comments will easily get very exhausting.

The bigger you blog, the more comments you get and the more comments you're going to have to give. It's a beautiful system in theory, no questions asked, but in reality I imagine that it's hardly possible to keep up when you've got a massive follower reach.

So what do you do then? Leave comments that scream TL; DR in return? Does the content of your comments matter to you or are you just happy to have them?

Getting Those Comments In The First Place

Discussion posts are more likely to get comments because they are asking for opinions, memes are pretty likely to get lots of comments if they're lists and rather short.

But what about reviews?

I've always wondered why people tend to not comment on reviews. When do you even comment? Regardless of the content you prefer - do you comment on excellent posts or on really bad ones?

Blogging SHOULD NEVER Be All About Comments

I can imagine that if you're a really big blog it'll easily become a chore to comment. As bloggers we want people to truly care about what we have to say, don't we?

Aside from that - ask yourself why you even want those comments. The first goal of your blogging experience should be to make yourself happy. It's perfectly understandable that you don't want to be caught shouting into the void.

But is commenting back really the answer to it all? I always feel like I'm only getting a quick nod back, because typically those "commenting back" comments aren't necessarily the basis for a great conversation with the person commenting.

Well, there ARE exceptions, but I honestly want people to comment for the sake of my posts, not because I left a comment on their blog in 1927 once.

Just like everything in life, it comes down to preference, but I truly believe that commenting back is a nice concept - IF you use it responsibly and don't leave nonsense contributions everywhere for the sake of pushing your own comment count.


On what kind of posts do you like to comment?

For the Bloggers: Do you comment back? Why/Why not?

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