10 Practical Ways to Encourage Comments and Conversation on Your WordPress Blog

Want to encourage commenting on your blog posts? Check out these 10 super practical ways to streamline your comment section so it's easy to comment.

It's all fine and good to declare blog commenting alive and well. But how can we give the comment section on our own blog a shot in the arm? We've heard the usual suggestions time and time again: write good content, ask questions, be real, be controversial, be sure to reply to their comments, as well as comment around the web. But no amount of tricks will have the desired effect if we overlook the number one strategy for attracting comments: make it easy to comment. Have you ever logged out of your blog's dashboard and viewed your site through the eyes of a first-time visitor? Have you ... Read More

5 Reasons to Keep Comments on Your Blog

Although killing comments may be all the rage this season, here are 5 reasons you may want to not want to join the trend.

There’s a tidal wave sweeping the blogosphere: bloggers everywhere are removing the comment feature from their blogs. They say that replying to the comments is no longer scale-able, it takes too much time to moderate spam, and the conversation is taking place elsewhere. Whatever the reasons stated, the fact is: comments are down, and many bloggers are willing to help them die. But not all bloggers have given up on comments. In fact, some view the slower stream of comments as indicating more quality conversation, rather than just looking at the changing quantity. Many bloggers are ignoring ... Read More

What I Learned About Irrelevant Content While Organizing My Blog

What I Learned About Irrelevant Content While Organizing My Blog

At first, I didn't think I wanted to do #Bloganization. Going through my blog's archives seemed too daunting a task--even for a month-long project. My archives are an assortment of the last four years of my story, and that story has been through a good share of different chapters: my pen name's been dropped, my blog's name has changed a handful of times, I've had the look redesigned. And don't even get me started on how my blogging style has evolved! But all the reasons organizing my blog's archives felt overwhelming were the very reasons I considered dong it. So I decided to take the ... Read More

Why a Recipe Plugin is the Perfect Ingredient for Any WordPress Blog

Does your WordPress blog have a recipe plugin? Find out why it needs one--and which five plugins to check out.

If you have ever shared a recipe on your blog, you need a recipe plugin. Here are five reasons why: 1. Pinterest Rich Pins Have you seen the recipe pins on Pinterest that list all the ingredients under the pin itself? Not the pins where someone has typed out the directions in a long pin description, but the pins where Pinterest displays the ingredients in an organized manner. That is the power of rich pins combined with a recipe plugin that supplies Pinterest with your recipe data. 2. Pinterest Search Searching for recipes on Pinterest used to require also searching for the keywords ... Read More

Top 10 Questions to Help Organize Your Blog Archives

Are your blog archives in need of some organization? Here are 10 questions to help you sort the chaff from the wheat.

When I first started sifting my blog archives, I asked myself only, "Which posts need to go?" But the more I re-read, the more I began asking myself, "Which posts need to stay?" As writers, it's easy to view the written word as sacred. We can't bear to think of deleting a single post we've published, let alone shutting down an entire blog or website. But when I think about the sheer multitude of words I have written, it's almost overwhelming. And I know that with that many words, there is surely some chaff that could be separated from the wheat. I've been busy sorting my blog archives as ... Read More

Do your blog archives need some #bloganization?

Is it time for some #bloganization?

Growth and change are two hallmarks of a good blogger, or indeed anyone who excels at their craft! As each season changes, we see growth, but we are also often faced with the urge to purge.  Clean.  Reorganize.  Just as in life, each change of season is a great opportunity to get organized in our home on the internet. As bloggers, our online "homes" (our blogs!) most likely fall into one of the following categories: You are in the midst of a big move (from wp.com to self-hosted wp.org, like me, perhaps?). You are working through the rebranding process (Simple Mom to The Art of Simple ... Read More

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Submit a Guest Post

What questions should you ask a site owner before you submit a guest post? Rachel Zupke shares an example guest post proposal and her most pressing questions.

Guest posts can be a fabulous way to build community as a new--and seasoned--blogger. But it’s easy for newbie bloggers to get taken advantage of if they don’t know the right questions to ask before they submit a guest post. Once you’ve followed a site for awhile and carefully read all their guidelines, consider an introductory letter with a few questions before you take the final step and submit that guest post. My friend Rachel is joining me here today with her own questions about submitting a guest post to my contributor site, Kindred Grace. Hopefully our dialogue will help you not only ... Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Tumblr

Learn Tumblr 101 with this post by Tumblr fan Danielle Carey!

Tumblr 101 If you’re unfamiliar with Tumblr, it’s kind of hard to explain without comparisons to other social media. Think blogging – but short, punchy, informal, and immediate. Think Pinterest, but in a scrolling feed style. Think Twitter, without the limitations of 140 characters. And think of hashtags like you’ve never thought of them before. The Tumblr interface has been around for seven years now, but when I jumped on the bandwagon about five years ago, it was still relatively small. I didn’t know anyone from “actual real life” who used Tumblr, and I’d stumbled onto it quite randomly. ... Read More

6 Types of Groups for Bloggers (which one is right for you?)

Explore the ins and outs of 6 different types of groups for bloggers, and find out which one is right for you with @GretLouise

A blogging group is simply a place where bloggers can reap the benefits of a multitude of counselors. Some take the form of support groups, others are focused on mentoring, while some are true mastermind groups. Whether you meet at your local coffee shop, hang out in a Google+ community, or most of your interaction takes place on Voxer, you'll find that great minds don't always think alike. And in the variety of perspective you'll find that iron sharpens iron. As you share your expertise and feedback with each other you'll learn and grow together. But with all sorts of groups for ... Read More

How to Organize Your Blog Archives (3 steps to sort your content)

How to Organize Your Blog Archives (3 steps to sort your content)

Whether it’s the coming of a new year, the first signs of spring, or the beginning of the school year, a change in season always makes me want to do some housecleaning—on my blog, that is. The rules of SEO are always changing, and I’m constantly learning more about content creation and optimization. So right now, I’m focusing on sorting my archives, optimizing, organizing, and sifting as I go. I want to familiarize myself with what’s actually on my blog so I can link to it as appropriate, pin it as I have opportunity, and keep it up to date as necessary. 1. Optimizing Popular Posts for ... Read More