ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

How to turn away visitors to your blog in 5 Easy Steps. My Insecure Writers Support Group effort.

Hi all!

With the A - Z racing towards all the eager April beavers, I'm taking this opportunity to talk a little about the things that slow me down when I'm visiting blogs. Now I don't want to upset anyone, so I probably shouldn't post this, but getting only 0 or 1 or 2 comments can make a writer insecure. So...I'm taking the risk and putting it out there. I hate preachy blog posts so I've tried to keep it light. Tell me in the comments if you agree, disagree, or have more to add...or you hate me and will never visit this blog again!!


Click on the badge to read other posts....
STEP ONE

When visitors click on your Profile, make sure you have a full list of all the blogs you've ever created. Perhaps something like this:

Growing Flowers in the Attic
A - Z Challenge
The World  is Going Down the Gurgler
My Secret Diaries revealed
My Weight Gain Secret
Little Darlings
Writer Expert
Fluffy Snuffy's Trial Blog

Is that enough? Your new visitors will generously, perhaps, click on one or two, but then find that the last post was in January 2004. They can't hang around all day, so they'll possibly leave without making contact with whichver is your current, updated blog. :(

SERIOUS SOLUTION

I have multiple blogs, but I only 'Show' two, which are easy enough to suss out - Write...Edit...Publish and Denise Covey. You just go into Edit Profile and Hide the blogs you no longer use or only post on occasionally. I add a link to my other blogs using the Pages Option on my main blog.

STEP TWO
This is an easy one, unlike the ones with numbers!

Have Word Verification/Captcha Codes on.

When a visitor is rushing round, trying to do the right thing in whatever window of opportunity she/he has, then types a long comment, hits Publish, then has to prove she/he is not a robot, grr. During the A - Z that will probably mean the commenter will flee  to more comment-friendly blogs. If I meet a Captcha Code face on, I'll get out my sword and swing it once or twice. If I successfully breach the fortress, I'll add to the comment that Captcha Codes are on, as sometimes, apparently, bloggers don't know Google has turned the pesky little sentinels on.

SERIOUS SOLUTION

Go into Settings, Comments, and tell Google that you NEVER want Word Verification turned on. Sure, I know some of you are twitchy about getting spam comments, but I've been blogging since 2008 and accept that the occasional rant from the Submissive Husband or I Hate American Women is better than making the other 99.9% of visitors prove they're not spammers. Try it! We'll all thank you for it.

STEP THREE

Make it as hard as you can to find where to comment.

Okay, so I've managed to crash the Gatekeepers on the User Profile, and have actually been able to read your wonderful post. I so want to comment. My fingers are twitching. I have to meet a friend for coffee in 15 minutes, so time is of the essence. Hector McKraken, where do I comment? Let's hit the Post Date, sometimes that is where they're hidden. Nah. Let's try the Post Time. Nah, not that either! OMG! It must be one of those blogs where the comments are a vague number at the top!! Grr...so just to make sure I have read the post, I have to scroll up, hunt around - right side? Left side? Ah, that's it! Click! Now...what was I all fired up to say...totally gone. That cup of coffee is looking good. Byzies! (And if I do actually remember what I wanted to say, I have to scroll back down to the bottom again to actually comment! Go figure...)

SERIOUS SOLUTION

Yep, I know some blog formats use the Comments at the Top, but why oh why, when most of us are programmed to click on the simple old phrase, 'Post a Comment', at the bottom, after reading the illustrious post. Being too avant guard may cost you comments, especially from new visitors, potential 'Friends'. If you don't care for comments, by all means ignore me. What would I know? I'm old fashioned. I love comments! And I love being able to see other comments when I leave one on your blog, but I see this little indulgence has been removed from some blog comments now. Sadly. How can you join in the conversation if you're shut out?

STEP FOUR

 Link to your Google + Profile. 

Yeah, yeah, I know. Google loves you to do this, all good for them, but bad for bloggers. What happens when I click on your name when you comment on my blog, or I see you on another blog and decide to visit? Well, I do most of my blog commenting on my phone, and when I click Google + links, I get a nice invitation from Google to 'Get it for my mobile', which of course I already have. If I actually get through on my laptop, then I have to poke around all your 'Likes' and 'Shares' to actually find a post from you which will lead me to YOUR blog. An onerous process which once again, slows a commenter down. Nowadays, unless it's a blogger I absolutely love, I won't bother following the Google + link.

SERIOUS SOLUTION

If you notice that the comments aren't flowing in like they used to, Revert to Blogger Profile. It's easy. I've done it, as have many others, I notice. It's easy. There's a link on the Dashboard in the top right hand corner.

STEP FIVE

Play it again, Sam. 

Have you ever been doing the blog rounds at the library, a cafe, or some other public place, when you hit a blog that belts out a tune? After I pick myself up off the floor, I notice the dirty looks and that's not just because they've knocked their coffee all over their laptop. I'm outta here! I LOVE music, but not on blogs - it's a distraction and quite annoying and probably sends a lot of visitors scurrying to a quieter blog.

SERIOUS SOLUTION

Don't play it again, Sam. It might have worked for Ilsa Lund in Casablanca, but it doesn't work on blogs. I love music, but music style is very subjective. You may love to greet your visitors with Eminem's latest screaming out, but chances are your visitor's taste in music is different (well, I don't mind a bit of Eminem, but keep him for parties!) not on your blog.
  • Okay, you have it. Let me know your opinion. Are there any other ways a blog can not attract readers/commenters?
  • And if you feel up to the challenge, WEP is hosting its monthly bloghop on March 26 - Through the eyes of a child. You can sign up here! You have 3 days to post if it conflicts with other bloghops, like the one I'm involved in, March Book Frenzy (see details in my sidebar).
Thanks for visiting/commenting!!

 





74 comments:

  1. All great tips. I don't let captcha stop me from commenting, but it is really annoying. The one I hate the most is the link to Google+ profile. Unless the person has linked back to their own blog recently, I am never able to track them down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using the Google + profile guarantees a drop in comments.

      Delete
  2. I know what you mean about music. In my case, hubby is watching TV and I am on laptop. He does NOT want to hear loud music when he is watching a programme. Nor do I actually. Not always my taste anyway. I agree with your other points too, Videos can be a pain too, often no time to watch them although I sometimes use them myself.

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  3. All great points, Denise. #2, #3, and #4 especially resonate with me. Not found #1 to be much of a problem and don't think I've encountered #5, but it would irritate the heck out of me if I did.

    I can add:

    * Comment moderation is on - I like to see my comment up there to make sure it hasn't been eaten by digital gremlins. Pair that up with Captchas and you've raised the bar to serious heights.

    * Google+ comment form - I refuse point blank to use it.

    * And a more subtle turn-off - if I see the blogger never responds to comments. I like to feel that blogging and commenting is somehow interactive, or at least that it's polite to acknowledge the effort others have made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on all points Botanist. Yes, the knife should slice both ways with comments, but doesn't, unfortunately.

      Delete
  4. oh my gosh, you've hit on all my pet peeves!!! Especially the music. Gah!!!!!!

    Unfortunately the Google + profile is 'encouraged' if you want other features on your blog. I'm resisting, but I'm betting G+ will make it even harder to avoid its profile in the future. Sad Face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm afraid you are probably right Lynda.

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  5. Great points, Denise. All of them! I agree about word verification. It drives me nuts, But, I sometimes have to put it on. I must be one of those unlucky people that's on some spam listing as I get loads of it. At the moment it's off, but I get spam on my older posts so I use comment moderation for that I must delete two or three spam comments every day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily spammers seem to give me a wide berth...so far.

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  6. I agree. It is a conversation, not a soliloquy. I'm one of those who does go back to check replies on comments.

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    Replies
    1. So right D.G. I hate it when comments are hidden.

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  7. Great post Denise, and very useful. I've just checked out my blogger profile and the pesky Google+ option was active. I wondered where my 'About Me' tab had disappeared too! Thanks for the nudge to get this sorted out.

    I agree with the other points you've made too, especially videos/audios. I often just scroll straight past them without taking much notice, they really put me off.

    Looking forward to this months WEP! I missed last months so I'm getting more organised for this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google is always busy meddling. I'm glad you're back this month for WEP.

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  8. So spot on about the music! Very off putting indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really grates, but it's not used as much as it used to be, thankfully.

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  9. Google + and captcha are guaranteed to make me run.

    ReplyDelete
  10. All very annoying. My pet peeve is not being able to find my way back to the commenter's blog, eats up a lot of time. Would love it if people just left a link in their comment.

    mood
    Moody Writing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the comment systems that add your last post are excellent, but you can do it using HTML.

      Delete
  11. Those are sure ways to do it! I won't connect my Google+ to my blog profile for that very reason. Half the time, the person hasn't even listed their blog, so I can't find it anyway.
    I do have three blogs listed under my profile. Hopefully people know to click the one with my name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we've all found our way to your main blog Alex.

      Delete
  12. You made me laugh about the blogs belting out tunes. That has happened to me! The Google+ issue drives me crazy as I can't make heads or tails out of Google+ anyway. Great tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie. Looks like most commenters share the same peeves.

      Delete
  13. If I forget to turn off my speakers and hit a blog with music, I about go through the roof!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for sharing the great tips! I'm an insomniacal nightowl and have jumped out of my skin when loud music leaps from one of the tabs I've opened... but which one? Is it quicker to search through them or scrabble for the volume switch on my laptop? Too late... they're all awake and grumpy :-( JJ

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  15. HA! I was just grumbling about Google+ over at Arlee's pad for the reasons you just posted. I agree with everything you've said. Those things will make me turn tail and run!

    I also consider hiding comments when after the post there is the author bio AND author newsletter sign up AND most posts like this (that are huge) AND ads AND buy my book... you see what I mean. I keep scrolling and scrolling, wading through unpost related stuff just to comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are plenty of blog posts with all that 'buy my book' stuff, but I understand the authors need to put it out there.

      Delete
    2. But it should be in the sidebar. ;) That's were we are use to looking and it doesn't hide the comment section.

      Delete
  16. All a pain indeed, captcha sucks, comment finding is a pain, the blog thing with 50 blogs annoys, google + blows and the song thing is annoying too. Also stupid arse disquis or other fancy comment ways, they suck too. I ignore when I see those, rather have captcha then dumb disquis

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had Disqus once and lost every comment I'd ever had. It messed with me big time. Never again.

      Delete
  17. Captcha is truly annoying. I will comment that one time, but I will not return. I hate it -- especially if I have to do and re-do and re-do until I squint out the proper letters/numbers.

    Google+ has irritated me when I want to find the person's blog and get only his Google profile. I have to hunt for the address.

    As always a fun, informative post. :-) Yes, I am human -- my smarting nose proves it~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We share similar frustrations Roland.

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  18. Great points as everybody has already said. so there seems to be an etiquette to blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is not written guide, Sally, but no doubt there will be one day soon.

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  19. LOL. I hate it when I have to search for the comment button. I haven't visited a blog that automatically plays music. I hate having to search through google+ for a blog post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the fancy blogs have them up top - usually Word Press. To each his own, but we don't have to like it.

      Delete
  20. I hate the sudden blast of music I get when I go to certain blogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rather shattering to say the least.

      Delete
  21. It's weird but I've noticed that it's hard to find where to comment on more and more blogs as people get fancier with the layout. That is an important one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right on, Suze. Why make it hard. Blog commenting needs to be speedy! All that fancy schmanchy stuff slows us down.

      Delete
  22. Hey Denise,

    You must have been reading my mind! Go ahead, prove you're not a robot! Google+ does my head in. I want to go straight to a blog and not some magical, mystery tour. I passed on the info in the past for those who wanted to revert to blogger profile. Spot on with this one, Denise.

    I endeavour to comment back to each person who kindly comments on my site. I also then try to comment on their site, if I can bloody well find it.

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gary, you said it perfectly. I always try to return comments, too, but that can be harder than it should be.

      Delete
  23. I think you've covered everything. I added the Google+ button at the behest of some followers, but I don't use it and I don't understand it, I only use Blogger, I have one blog only, don't use capcha, I've had the same format for ten years. You'll pretty much have to drag me kicking and screaming into the future because I like the rut I'm stuck in. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google + is just Google's challenge to facebook, but who gives up facebook when they join Google +. It's been a failure, so blogger will probably force us to add it to our Profile. Grr...

      Delete
  24. Hi Denise
    I had to laugh. You summed up my feelings so well. Google share is annoying. Now I know how to get rid of it. Been very sick so sorry if I've missed anything.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to see you here Nancy. Sorry you've been sick. Glad to see you signed up for WEP.

      Delete
  25. I'm wimping out on A-Z. Too much time to spend blogging even all those annoyances crossed off.

    Have a good week Denise.

    ......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Denise .. I'm in the A-Z ... I agree - just make life easy for us, not clever for you. The G+ thing I can struggle with ... and sometimes I get sent round the houses ... but I want to 'find them'.

    Your other points just so sensible - I did struggle to find someone's place to comment, found the previous post but not the present one .. I left it thinking I need to check it out again ..

    Still all in all - life is fun being around bloggers ... cheers and I hope you're cooling down a little (weather wise) .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  27. LOL good post! Definitely agree on the captcha and having to search for that "post comment" button. I'm wimping out on A-Z too but good luck to all the participants!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No A~Z for this black duck either.

      Delete
  28. Denise, you've nailed all my blogging pet peeves, Having to search around to comment and being led to Google+ and then being unable to find the blog of the person drives me nuts. Worse than that is some Wordpress blogs where I have to prove who I am before I can leave a comment. Lots of work just to leave a comment. This month's hop looks most interesting. Hope I can join in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, some WP blogs that make you fill out a form each time then take you to a verification page then tell you that you aren't you...nothing to do but leave without commenting and angry at the time waste.
      I should think WEPs prompt should be right up your alley.

      Delete
  29. Word verification is painful . . . the numbers are somewhat better than the letters from another world. . . still, I groan when the gotcha pops. I flee from Google+! Think the only thing I'd add is blogs with black backgrounds. It's like stepping into a cave, ugh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's hard on the eyes. Roland is an example, but at least he uses a large font.

      Delete
  30. Good advice. Our posts go kind of hand in hand except you took it all a bit further. Excellent!

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I thought i'd be kind of useful.

      Delete
  31. Google+ profiles are fine for me, but only if peopler have added blog links to their "About" tab. I always go to the "about" tab immediately, and go right to the bottom to find the links to blogs. Obviously if they haven't added any links, Google+ profiles are pretty darn annoying!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My phone doesn't let me see the About Me page, so still no go for most people on mobile phones.

      Delete
  32. What a thorough post! Don't forget that many more people visit than comment. I blog a lot less these days because I'm pulled in too many directions. I need to make time for writing too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm also writing more and blogging less.

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  33. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  34. These are all really great! Thanks for sharing!

    www.sandynene.com

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  35. Awesome Denise! I always find these things irritating. Hopefully I'm not one of them...need to check!

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  36. You've nailed it hun! And I wish captcha blogs had warnings so I don't have to waste my time visiting. Finally back in the rounds of blogs :)

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  37. A delightful post, Denise. Methinks most of those named turn-off things are the work of Satan himself :) especially the damned Captcha :)

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  38. I so agree with all of these. Nothing makes me more crazy than trying to find a blog in a Google+ profile. Ugh.

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  39. You brought up so many great points! I prefer it when blogs don't have word verification because it sometimes take me a lot of tries to get it right. I feel bad when I can't find someone's blog on Google+- so having the Blogger profile come up would certainly help. Thanks for posting these! :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
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