Monday, December 14, 2009

A Crazy Little Thing Called Blog: YOUR Advice & Tips #2

As part of a continuing series of “how to” posts with responses and in-put from other bloggers, here’s the latest installment of blogging tips, advice and questions.

1) Normally I get about 150 emails a day. Of that, maybe 10% or 15 emails per day are “junk” or what I considered to be SPAM. So I tried using Word Verification for one week recently to see if my SPAM emails reduced. After the "test" I did not notice any reduction in my junk email while I had it “on” and my SPAM did not increase after I turned it “off”. I’m sure this won’t end the “word verification debate” but I’m leaving it "off". If you’d like to turn yours off too-- Go to Blogger Dashboard/Settings/Comments then scroll down to “Show word verification for comments?” and click NO, then Save settings at bottom of page. - Joanna

2) Here's a tip from Two Yorks And a Bean and Nonnie at Hysterical Raisins on how to enter a direct link into comments. Click HERE for the simple instructions and to see the comment link in action. Instructions are at the top of the page in blue type. This is a really great addition to comments and VERY easy to so. Feel free to give it a try in the comments below if you'd like. (Try it using your blog name and URL in Step 6.)

3) Don’t want your blog found via Google Search Engines-- “You can edit this as well. Just go into Blogger Dashboard/Settings/Basic and answer NO to the question "Let search engines find your blog". Don´t forget to Save settings and your done!” Betty at A Glimpse Into Midlife

4) “You can easily change your settings to show your email address so that those of us who email replies can reach you!” (Go to Blogger Dashboard/Settings/Basic and answer YES to the questions “Show Email Post links?”) "If you don't want to use your regular email, get a free one!!" (Blogger/My Account/gMail for set-up.) Raoulysgirl

5) What’s your preference on having comments acknowledged? “In other words, do you want to have a response to your comment? Does it bother you if you don't get one? And how do you prefer to get your acknowledgement....thru email or in the comments section of the original post or your most current post? Or would you rather have that person come to your blog and make a comment on one of your posts?” Matty at Matty's Thoughts

6) Like Fireblossom at Word Garden, my favorite Comment Box set-up is POP UP windows. That way the post I'm commenting on stays on the page so I can refer back to it while leaving a comment. Go to Blogger Dashboard/Settings/Comments then scroll to almost the bottom of the page to “Comment Form Placement”. Click on Pop-up window. Then Save setting at the bottom of the page. - Joanna

7) How do you send an email that includes your blog name automatically in the Subject line? I’ve received emails with it but I don’t know how to do it.

8) Does anyone know how to add a watermark on your photos-- A copyright symbol and name or URL on photos you’ve taken yourself? Click HERE for a post by Lilly at Lilly's Life giving a true example of why watermarks are important.

9) For Disqus Comment Users: What are the pros and cons of using this for your comments?

10) For Twitter and Facebook users? How has it enhanced your blog traffic and/or blog experience?

A million thanks to the bloggers who contributed above. If you asked the same question but weren't mentioned it just means someone else asked the question first. If you missed Part One of Tips & Advice Click HERE

Feel free to add your feedback to any or all of the above and by all means ASK MORE QUESTIONS and I'll post them at a future date.

Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna

Note: I'm out of town with no Internet access this week. I'll be back on Sunday!

Photo Credit © Mikael Damkier -


  1. I don't always expect people to respond to my comments, but when they do I prefer they do it through the email link. As for me, that's how I respond (through my email); if someone doesn't have their email linked I don't post responses in my posts anymore, because I am never sure who goes back to check on whether I read their comment or not.

  2. A lot of things (i.e. watermarks and copywrite symbols) are easier to do with Macs than PCs. Since getting a Mac, I easily see the difference. For those those who don't know the difference, it can drive one batty.

    What I still haven't figured out is how to do links inside comments. Anyone?

    PS: Joanna... you're supposed to be getting ready for vacation. Unplug, chica, unplug!

  3. I'm really enjoying this Joanna. Each time I learn a thing or two!

    Enjoy your week!!

  4. I'm on facebook, but I don't use it much, 'cause I find it annoying. I haven't noticed any increase in traffic to my blog.

  5. This is an example of what a link in your comment will look like if you use the instructions linked in #2 above--

    1. type < a
    2. space
    3 type href=
    4 type or paste the URL of what you are linking to
    5 type >
    6 type whatever words you want to show up in blue that people will click on to read what you're linking to
    7 type < / a > (without the spaces
    8 finish comments as usual


    It's easy!

  6. I'm enjoying these informative posts. I've been getting a lot of spam lately, so I've just been moderating my comments so people don't have to do the word verification.

  7. I am curious to see what people who have Disqus say, because I hate it. I have to enter my information and sign in every single time.

  8. Good stuff, thanks for sharing.

  9. #6 - I find the pop up comment box annoying and I know it has its advantages but one that I really dislike is when someone leaves a link in the comment and the when you go to it, it is still in the small window - I prefer having the comments at the end of the post

    # 5- if I ask a question, I would like it to be answer, other than that, I don't might not getting a reply plus, it's harder on the blogger to respond to every comment

    #1 - I used to have word verification but I turn my off for all my blogs - I find it more annoying on other blog platforms than blogspot - for some reason, they are much harder to read

    and there's my two cents

  10. Hi Joanna, I know you are way far away this week. I am sending you hugs and cheers while you are enjoying your time away. I look forward to hearing all about your trip.

  11. Your teaching this old farm chick some new tricks. I'm running way behind on the techno side of the street.

    Ya'll have a great time away,( I agree girlfriend, unplug)!!! Ahhhh, now doesn't that feel better?

    God bless!!!

  12. I think i'm going to change to the pop up window, I'd been thinking about it as I prefer it to.

    Hope it's something fun and have a good week. xx

  13. Excellent information, once again, Joanna. Thanks to you and your contributors. Now, go pack.

  14. I respond to most comments on my blog because I think it gives people a better sense of who I am. However, if really personal response, I'll email my response.

    I admit, some days I don't comment on others comments and feel guilty about it. I also try to visit everyone who comments on my blog. If they take the time to read and comment, they deserve the same respect.

  15. nice, the link in comments has baffled me...thank you!

    discus...there really better be a pro...cant stand it!

    facebook/twitter...sometimes i get a bump...there are some family that only read when i drop it on facebook...i may pick up 20 readers...i have a freind that swears he picks up 80...i dunno.

    thanks for doing these jj! hope you have a graet trip!

  16. Great tips! I like e-mail responses to my comments. I would have no idea what post or whose post to go back to to look for an answer back. I loved receiving them and now I do that myself. I think it also creates a nice friendship and makes the commenting and responding process more personal.

  17. Great Post. Super helpful. I have to try that linky thingee.

    I too prefer the pop up window; right now I have the under the post set up, but I am going to go back. If it's a separate page I can't remember anything I was going to comment on!


  18. Great information! I am switching to pop up window as well. Thanks so much. Have a great time!!

  19. There is a lot of good advice here. I like to get comments on my posts, and I always leave them for others too. I find that replying to a comment in the email is much easier. I have my settings to where comments go to my email. I simply click the "reply" button and type away, and send it. This is easier than going back into my own comments section to reply.

    As for pictures being protected, it seems that no matter what you do, pros can get around it if they want your pictures bad enough.

    And as far as technical stuff goes, I'm pretty much lost. You can give me directions on how to add a link in a comment, or anything else for that matter, and try as I might, I can't figure it out. So for me to try and add a watermark or right protect my photos is a waste of time to me.

  20. Since you suggested it, here's a link in the comment - an older post of mine
    about forwarded emails

    I prefer the pop-up comment box setting.
    Facebook - I joined to see pictures of the kids and grandkids. I don't like it as much as blogs but it's OK. I thought I would get more visitors by creating a blog page on facebook. I don't think it helped much. What probably did help was a program related to FB called networkedblogs. So that FB application is probably worth it.
    I think FB is taking readers away from blogs because your online time is now being taking up by FB vs. blogs.

  21. oOo! I'm tickled that I made the list! It's neat that several people said they are going to pop-up comments now!

    I notice that no one has had a good word to say about disqus. I wonder why people use it? I'm a hater when it comes to that, I admit!

  22. This was a great post and I learned lots of new things. Enjoy your time away.

  23. I love these posts! I am learning so much.
    I hope you enjoy your time away. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you and I'm so glad we met this year.


  24. This post was so interesting!! My ? is how do you answer someone comment?

  25. Thank for the info. I enjoy learning a thing or two. xo

  26. This is a great list!! And soo helpful too - thank you so much for sharing these tips!

    And I completely agree - watermarking everything is a must ;-)


  27. Thanks so much for all of the great information and helpful tips! And thanks for visiting and for your nice comment. Have fun and enjoy your time away!

  28. these are great! thank you! thank you! thank you!

  29. Helpful hints for all those on Blogger (I'm on Wordpress). I'm definitely with you on getting rid of word verification - so time-consuming!

  30. I'm with you JJ. Like LadyFi, I'm on Wordpress, but whatever your platform unless you have a particula problem at some point in time, I can't see any use whatsoever for word verification on blog comments - it's just a total pain in the rear!

  31. The best part about this (besides the free advice) is learning that my questions and weird concerns are NOT unique!

  32. Nicely done, JJ. You do good work here. :)

  33. I prefer to have my comments returned with a visit to my blog. I do not need an email that says, "Thank you for stopping by." I prefer tit for tat even if it takes you awhile to get to my blog.

    You can add watermarks to photos using LiveWriter.

    Pros of Disqus: "NO SPAM". You just don't get spam EVER. You can reply to every commenter because an email address is mandatory and have it posted in the comments section. The posting of comments is instant. I like the way it looks. It is easier for people who do not have a blog or google account to leave comments. Blogger's commenting system really confuses my non-Bloggy friends.

    The cons: Users complain that they have to sign in. The truth is that you have to sign in to use Blogger's commenting system too, it's just that people on Blogger have already signed in to use their blog, but if you aren't signed into your blog Blogger makes you sign in. People are resistant to creating a profile on Disqus. Many people do not link their blogs when they leave comments (but this happens on Blogger too). I've had complaints of people not being able to leave comments, but I had that on Blogger too.

    Overall, I prefer Disqus, but I'm not so sure my visitors do.

  34. Oh, one more pro for Disqus: the comment form is at the top of the comments so you don't have to scroll down to get to it. When you visit blogs that get upwards of 30 comments it get's irritating to have to scroll down or jump to.

  35. Great Q & A's Joanna- thanks for the info! x

  36. Wow -- this is super-helpful, Joanne. For some weird and frustrating reason, some of my 'good' mail goes into my Spam box -- even if I repeatedly mark it as "not Spam." I need to look into this and the other tips you've generously given here.
    Thanks! Hope you had a good trip, too. We miss you when you are away.

  37. This is awesome! I'm going back to read the rest of these posts!

    I add watermarks to my photos in Picnik. Super easy. Just choose create and add text. It's perfect!

  38. I'm so glad that you are doing this. I am learning so much.

    I always go to the blog of someone who comments on my blog and leave a comment on their current post. If it is an especially personal comment, I email a personal thank you, as well. Sometime, I post responses to the group on my own comment page.

    I am still learning how to make things easier for the kind people who come to see me. So I am soaking this up (comments included) like a sponge!

    Hope you have a great trip! :-)

  39. This is very informative, thanks. Have a good trip.

  40. Have a great week, Joanna - and thanks for the tips!

  41. Thank you for posting the tips and suggestions for blogs. Enjoyed reading these!

    For me, I don't respond directly into the comment or send an email. But I do try to go to the person's blog and leave comments. I'd like to know what's going on in their lives and leave a message of encouragement.

  42. Oh, I love these posts with blogging tips!!! I learn so much!!! Thanks, Joanna! You are wonderful!!! ~Janine XO

  43. So far, my web mistress is doing splendidly with keeping spammers and other unwanted crap away from my blog- gotta love her!

  44. Thanks for more great tips. Now I'm about to try the link trick and yes you may fall off your chair laughing if it doesn't work. It's christmas, who cares if I make a fool of myself. this is where I blog
    Did it work?

  45. I hated putting word verification on, but after one particular spammer kept slamming me over and over I had to. But it did improve my spam amount significantly.

  46. Testing link in a comment... Again

    < a href=htty://>THIS IS A TEST LINK< / a >

    Did it work???

  47. Let's try this again....


    I put spaces in between the last past which is why it didn't work the first time... I think.

    Fingers crossed

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