Basic HTML For Bloggers November – Tech Tuesday

Every Tuesday in November I am showing you how to do one simple thing with HTML. Today it is how to put in a little line break. Like this –

The HTML code to do the line above looks like this –

Horizontal Rule

HR means Horizontal Rule – rule a horizontal line. ;) It really is that simple. But you can make it more complex if you want to. You can add a few things to it in order to make it look different, be shorter, be one dimensional. Here’s some of the extra codes you can use.

No Shade

NOSHADE means to be flat and one dimensional.


Size obviously relates to the height of your horizontal rule. You can easily change the size of your horizontal rule by simply adding size=X – X being the number you want.


There are two ways you can choose what width you want. Pixel size and percentage. I suggest to stick with percentage for the most part because it will automatically adjust itself accordingly.


You cannot use align without using width. Center is probably the one you would use most. If you use width you may find that the HR centers itself automatically.


So there you have it. The Horizontal Rule. Try one out in a post today!

Further Reading –

Some HTML Tips & Tricks here

If you know nothing about HTML, this is where you start
Getting Started Tutorial
Learn Basic HTML For Your Website
Web Safe Color Chart
Non-dithering colors
How to Style an Unordered List with CSS

HTML Reference And Learning Websites –

HTML Code Tutorial
HTML Tutorials At W3
HTML Goodies
Learn HTML And CSS

blogging tips, html, tuesday think tank

Basic HTML for Bloggers.

Blogging is like learning another language by itself, and there’s a lot of people sitting in the corner with their hands over their ears screaming “NO! I Will Not Learn This HTML! I Just Want To Blog!” – I believe the reason is, people think this is too technical for them.

Well I have good news for you. It’s not technical. It is simply a different language. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. If you’ve ever tried to learn a language you’ll know you need to practice and use it often in order to be successful, and you have to learn what things mean in order to understand it.

HTML is no different.

It’s just like French, only more useful – unless you live in France. It’s just like Norwegian, only less pretty looking. It’s just like English, only if you use the wrong spelling or grammar it can stop your site from working right and cause you to have a minor meltdown where you end up curled into a ball on the floor, rocking back and forwards.

The good news –

You don’t need to learn to speak this language out loud, or learn to remember it if you don’t want to. Using this language is a simple matter of copy and paste. Eventually you may learn the code yourself and can write it on your own – even then you can still use copy and paste because it saves you time.. Also, there’s a lot of great sites out there where you can grab bits of code – almost like phrasebooks.

In this post –

The HTML will be put into images, just to make it easier for me to write the post. Do not fear, I’ve got a text file which accompanies this post – and it contains all the HTML I’m talking about today complete with instructions on how to modify it to suit you.

New To Computers?

Some of the people reading this may not know how to copy and paste, I’ll put links to instructions for that at the bottom of this post too – as well as an easy way to “steal” code from websites and blogs.. So let us begin.

Text Links –

Most bloggers use the option in their blogging platform to put in a link. This is time consuming and it means you have to have the page you are linking to open in your browser when you are writing the post in your blog. The code for this is so simple.

<a href="link">text</a>

In order to make a link, you need to copy the link and then paste it to replace link in the HTML. The quotation marks need to stay. You then put the text you want for the link where it says text – in between the brackets. So a link to me would look like this –

<a href="">Snoskred</>

Colors –

There are 216 colors which are best for using on the internet because they don’t “dither” – they are solid colors. See Non-dithering colors for more info. What we want to talk about is how to change font colors in HTML. You can do this in your blog color scheme, but sometimes you will want to use it in blog posts or in your sidebars. It truly is child’s play.

<font color="#colorhere">text</font>

Where do you get the color codes from? Try the Visibone Color Lab or the Web Safe Color Chart

Lists –

    <li><a href="link">text</a></li>
    <li><a href="link">text</a></li>


Some people have seen the UL code around the place, they use it, they have no idea what it means or what it does. ;) It stands for Unordered List. This just means you can put a bunch of things together in a list. There is also OL which stands for ordered list and that kind of list will automatically put in numbers. There is a fantastic lists tutorial online – HTML Lists which explains lists a lot better than I can.

Centering –

Things tend to look better when they are centered. There’s two ways to do this in HTML and I am going to tell you the really simple one. Are you ready? This one is a doozy, ya’all. You better sit down.


Seriously, that is how simple it is. It has to be center, not centre.

You can see now this language is actually easier than a lot of the languages on the planet. It’s not like they’re taking the word newspaper and telling you the word for it is avis as they do in Norwegian. It just involves some brackets and looks complicated but truly, it isn’t. Don’t be scared of it.

Scroll Bars –

Sometimes you want to put something on your sidebar but you don’t want it to take up the amount of space it takes up. A blogroll is an excellent example of this.

Some people use blogrolling to maintain a blogroll. Unfortunately blogrolling uses Javascript – and therefore none of the links count in Technorati or on Google or the other search spiders.

If you want the links to count for the people you are linking to, you need to use the following HTML code – you can put links in there, or just text. I have both link and text scroll bars on my sidebar, can you see them?

<div style="overflow: auto; height: 100px">
    <li><a href="link">text</a></li>
    <li><a href="link">text</a></li>
    <li><a href="link">text</a></li>
    <li><a href="link">text</a></li>

If you want to change the height of the scroll bar, simply change the 100px to a lesser or higher number – ie 180px, 300px

I’m Ready To Get The Text File Now –

You can get a copy of all this html code in a simple text file with instructions on how to modify it right here – it is better to use right click and save as text file because if you view it in your browser you won’t see the code.

Copy And Paste

There’s a few links on the web which teach you to copy and paste – here are two simple and good ones.

How To Copy And Paste
The Basics of Cut and Paste

How To “Steal” Code

Sephy wrote a great blog post on this a while back.

How To “Steal” Code

Ready For More?

Sephy’s Tuesday Think Tank post (which is a companion post to this one) is fantastic this week, so make sure you go and read it! ;) I will link to it here as soon as he puts it online – which may be a little while because his internet just went offline and he’s gone to bed. Drop back in about 12 hours for the linky. ;)

Check out his post of Some HTML Tips & Tricks here!

Further Reading –

If you know nothing about HTML, this is where you start
Getting Started Tutorial
Web Safe Color Chart
Non-dithering colors
How to Style an Unordered List with CSS

HTML Reference And Learning Websites –

HTML Code Tutorial
HTML Tutorials At W3
HTML Goodies
Learn HTML And CSS

It’s Up To You –

Learning is a choice. We all make choices in our lives. You might choose to learn the piano. You might choose to learn Norwegian, as I once did. Bloggers can choose to live in fear of HTML and code, or they can choose to dedicate 5-10 minutes a day to do quick HTML tutorials and start the learning process. You may decide only to learn the basics and that is fantastic in itself – doing that is much better than being scared of text on a screen.

Endless Capacity

We Humans have an endless capacity for learning – just consider how many song lyrics you hold inside your head. HTML is not just useful for blogs. If you learn it you can use it to design websites – for yourself and maybe for others. It may lead you onto learning other programming languages.

The Power Of The Internet –

If there is ever anything you don’t understand, aren’t sure about, or don’t know how to use, you can find out on the Internet by searching for it. Or, you can simply ask Sephy and I to make a Tuesday Think Tank on that topic. ;) We’ve done quite a few of these now.

Previously in the Tuesday Think Tank
21st August: RSS
14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Your Blog
Tuesday Think Tank: All About RSS

28th August: Blog Templates
Blog Design – Open Your Eyes.
Demystifying Blogger Template Editing

4th September: Nofollow
Spam, Spiders And Do Follow, Oh My!
Say No! to Nofollow

11th September: Site Meters
Do NOT Rely On Your Site Meter.
Track Your Visitors with Google Analytics

18th September: Technorati
Technorati – Sending Out An SOS
The Ups (and Downs) of Technorati

Stumble It? –

If you liked this post you may want to stumble it.

Link To It?

If you have readers on your blog and this post would be useful to them, please link to it so they can read this and stop fearing HTML. ;)

Over To You –

Got any thoughts on HTML? Have I taken some of the scariness out of it? ;) Let me know if yes!

blogging tips, html, tuesday think tank

Technorati – Sending Out An S.O.S.

Technorati has been screwed up for a while. If I used swear words on this blog, I would say this using a different word that begins with F in place of the word screwed.

I hate to say it –

but Technorati, I feel like our relationship is deteriorating, and I think it is time we faced it. The only trouble is, there is nobody like you out there. And it seems some advertisers believe in you. I have lost faith in you myself. I think you’re cheating on me. Seeing other blogs. Sleeping around like a cheap sheet in a dodgy motel. Lying to me! Please, get yourself together before it is too late for us.

Favourite Nightmare –

Currently there is no way for me to add any new favourites. I have over 200, and apparently this means I am a demon from hell and should not be allowed to have any more favourites. Or something like that. And I am not alone with this problem.

What Does This Mean?

Hopefully it will mean a better Technorati for all of us, but there is a LOT of work to do before that happens. Many people have been experiencing problems with pings. A lot of people feel they cannot use Technorati to read blogs anymore because it is very unreliable.

Some people have given up on it completely because it was increasing their page load times on a regular basis – and that is fair enough, too. People have often reported having trouble getting any kind of technical support, though this may have been fixed recently.

When Will It Be Fixed?

I guess the biggest question is – how long are we all expected to just hang in there while they try to sort things out?

Your Blog Is Important –

It is important to you, and important to your readers. It does not seem to be so important to Technorati. My advice to anyone reading this? Don’t become reliant on Technorati for anything.

Don’t Use It To Read Blogs –

Some of the blogs in my favourites list say they have not been updated in over 100 days or so, and yet those bloggers are still blogging, still writing, and I am getting their posts in Google Reader.

No feed reader is perfect but you should expect feeds to show up within 30 minutes to 6 hours if you’re using feedburner. 100 days is a different century in net time. Use Google Reader or Bloglines or some other feed reader to get your blog fixes. Don’t rely on Technorati for this. You will be disappointed if you do.

Google Search Is Better –

I’ll also take off the search box because I found it quite unreliable. I have found a way to put a Google Search Box on my blog instead. You can do the same because Sephy tells you how to install a Google Search Box onto your blog. I highly recommend that you do it – this will make it easier for your readers to find what they are looking for.

I Feel Sad –

For all the staff who work there and believe in what they are doing. I don’t know what is going wrong there. I don’t want to know what is going wrong there. I want someone to fix it. I want Technorati to be working at the full potential I think it is capable of, and I think all bloggers would agree with that.

But –

We have blogs to run as well, and we cannot afford to sit back and be patient while widgets don’t work, while we can’t add people to our favourites, while this service is used as a way to rate bloggers yet at the same time it is giving incorrect ratings to blogs that don’t exist!

Previous Tuesday Think Tanks –

Do NOT Rely On Your Site Meter
Track Your Visitors with Google Analytics

14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Your Blog
Tuesday Think Tank: All About RSS

Demystifying Blogger Template Editing
Blog Design – Open Your Eyes

Say No! to Nofollow
Spam, Spiders And Do Follow, Oh My!

Stumble It –

If you liked this post, be sure to give it a stumble. :)

Check Sephy Out –

Sephy has a companion post to this, which you can read here – The Ups (and Downs) of Technorati – this covers blog authority, rank and reactions and how they change as well as some other useful stuff.

Make A Request –

This week’s Tuesday Think Tank came as the result of a request from Julie, who had some questions about Technorati and why her ranking has been changing recently. If you have something you want to have covered in a future Tuesday Think Tank, we always are willing to take suggestions; all you need to do is send an email to either myself or to Sephy, and we will tackle your topic on a future Tuesday. :)

Over To You –

How do you feel about Technorati? Are you ready to break up and move on with your life? Will you stick it out a little longer? Are you going to remove some of their widgets? What have you been using it for, is that still working or have you had to look for other options?

Do you have a blog topic you’d like to know more about? Simply mention it in the comments.

blogging tips, tuesday think tank

Do NOT Rely On Your Site Meter.

Today’s Tuesday Think Tank is all about Site Meters. I’m talking about how unreliable they are, how readers of your blog can stop them from working, how you measure your worth as a blogger, and possible ways you could increase your traffic and make sure readers stick around once they get to your blog.

Sephy has written a companion piece to this post – Track Your Visitors with Google Analytics which you should check out. :)

Site Meters Are A Free Service –

It’s rare on the internet to find something that is actually free. Blogger is one thing that is free, and it provides you with a lot of options and things you can do at no cost whatsoever. But if you stop and consider for a moment how much it costs to provide this service to any man – and his dog or cat! – who want to blog.. it costs bandwidth, it takes up CPU time (computer processing unit, your computer has one but so do all the computers at the other end when you look at something on the internet).

Most people who run a website have to pay to run it. They have to pay for server space. That could be as little as $7 a year but the more people who visit your site, the higher that cost can increase.

Consider The Source –

Free can sometimes mean you get what you pay for – i.e. nothing. If you consider these services which are used by so many bloggers but also websites across the www, it takes an enormous amount of “internet juice” (bandwidth, CPU, etc) to run these things. So these people are supposed to provide you with a great service which *costs* them money to provide it and is always reliable and always works, for free? Err, are we asking a bit too much here?

Things Happen –

Servers go down regularly, as any good internet host will tell you. You cannot expect that the information given to you by a free site tracking service is going to be 100% accurate. Unless you want to sit there and check it is working 24/7, which would be a great waste of your time. ;)

These sites also have customers who are paying for the service and if anything goes wrong the first people who they will look after is their paying customers. It makes sense from a business point of view. We cannot expect this free service to be accurate. You can use it as a guide, but that is where it should end.

There May Be Delays –

The information available to you may not be live information. There can be delays – sometimes up to 24 hours or more – with information being tracked and translated. If you post something and then check your counter and think “Nobody’s reading my post!” you may have incorrect information. There could be 50 people reading your post. You might see that days later in your tracker – or maybe not at all, if there was an outage.

It Matters Where You Put It –

If you put the code for your tracker at the very top of your sidebar, you will get different results to putting it lower down on your sidebar. If the code is right at the bottom of the page and it is not Javascript, everything on the page has to load before a “visit” gets counted.

I’ve been trying to find out for certain whether Javascript loads all the scripts on a page at the same time, or one by one in order and not having any luck, so if you know about that can you leave a comment?

People Can Hit Stop –

If your page load takes too long, most browsers have the “Stop Loading This Page” option. You would be surprised how many people use it and how quickly they use it, too. If they stop the page loading before your counter script runs? No data will be sent re their visit.

It Matters What Kind Of Code –

Some trackers are Javascript. Some internet users (myself included) use a Firefox extension called “No Script”. This actually stops any Javascript from loading in a page unless I (the user) personally authorise it. This means if I visit your blog for the first time, and you have a bunch of Javascripts running, they won’t load.

Take for example Statcounter. I have approved statcounter Javascript for any site I visit. That means if I visit a site the Statcounter will load, but none of the other Javascripts will. As an internet user this gives me a LOT more control over how I am viewing the web, but it can also mean my visits to your site won’t be tracked at all.

Why No Script?

I use it because there have been security problems with javascript from time to time, and I sometimes visit websites created by internet scammers. It is a quick and easy way I can tell what is running on a page without checking the source code, and anything I have not previously approved will be unable to run until I do approve it. Here’s what a page looks like when I view it with No Script –


Click for a bigger view. You can see that a little yellow bar runs across the bottom of the page, telling me which scripts I have previously approved are running. It also tells me how many scripts in total are running on the page and when I click on options (the screenshot shows me clicking on options) it gives me more information. I can choose to forbid any of those approved javascripts at any time.

Results Can Vary Widely –

I run two site meters on the site currently – Google Analytics and Statcounter. Feedburner also has a counter built in. Last Wednesday September the 5th –

Statcounter shows – visits 419, page views 861

Google Analytics shows – visits 349, page views 802

Feedburner shows – visits 323, page views 810

Do you see now how these are a bit unreliable? That is a huge difference, especially given two of the scripts (Statcounter and Google Analytics) are right next to each other in the sidebar. Which one of the above should I believe? How can I know how many people actually visited my page?

Don’t Invest Yourself –

If you define your worth as a blogger in how many people visit your site and you are relying on these free tracking tools, you are setting yourself up for heart break. For no good reason. Site Meters should only be used as a guide to the general traffic on your blog, and not as the bible of internet usage or any kind of measure of how many people are reading you.

How Do You Measure?

How can anyone possibly measure their worth as a blogger? At the end of the day, it could boil down some or all of the following –

If you are happy with what you are writing
(if not, work harder on the writing)

If you are happy with your blog template
(if not, test out a new one and consider changing it)

If you are happy with the look of your blog
(if not, take a good look at it, remove anything you don’t like)

If you are happy with your header graphic
(if not, create a new one. If you don’t have the tools, ask for help from other bloggers, run a competition on your blog to have your readers create a new one for you)

If you are happy with the amount of comments you receive
(if not, network. Get out there and meet new people, comment on their blogs, they will comment back)

If you are happy with the quality of your content
(if not, learn more about writing, edit, improve, read this- 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Blog Writing. )

If you are happy with the relationships you have built with other bloggers
(if not, work on building relationships with other bloggers)

If you are happy with the amount of links back to you from other bloggers
(if not, link to them more and you will find they link back to you, a weekly wrap up is one good way to achieve this)

If you are not happy with any of the above, these are all things you can work on and improve.

You’re in charge –

You can create positive change in any area of your blogging. If I can do it, you can do it. Anyone can do it. Daisy The Curly Cat is doing it, even though it must be hard to type with kitty paws. ;) Love your work, Daisy. :)

Bloggers, don’t make excuses for your inaction. If you don’t have the time and energy to put into your blog, that is one thing. People have real lives. We all have to do the chores, etc. Some of us have jobs to go to. Some of us have kids and family. There is only a certain amount of time and energy we can each devote to blogging. We have to accept that, and be ok with it.


If you DO have the time and energy and you waste it by constantly checking your blog stats instead of networking and building relationships with other bloggers and the zillion things you can do to improve your blog- that IS something you can change.

Consider taking some time to learn to manage time better. To begin with, you could try setting yourself a target – for example, comment on 5 new blogs a day – and then set out to hit that target each and every day. Be pro-active and you will see results :) Be inactive and you’ll get exactly what you put in – nothing. :(

There Are Ways –

To improve the traffic to your blog. See the article – 75 Ways to Increase Your Site’s Traffic – by Tay from Super Blogging for some great ideas. Try some of them out. If they don’t work, try something different.

They Say –If you build it, they will come. I have found this to be partially true. They won’t come unless you tell them where it is first. It is like throwing a party and not inviting anyone, yet expecting people to somehow know you’re having a party and find it anyway, and when nobody shows up you fret and get depressed about it. What did you expect? That people are psychic? ;) That they are somehow able to read your thoughts? That people would magically find your blog out of the literally millions of blogs out there on the net?

Stay Positive –

If you look at your stats and find it makes you negative, unhappy, or inspires you to write posts lamenting the lack of readers and traffic, stop right there.

It is one thing to say to your readers – how can I improve this blog – and actually listen to them when they tell you, and make the changes they suggest. That’s fine, and something we should all do as bloggers from time to time.

It is another thing to throw a full blown tantrum which makes the people who do read and are loyal to you feel like they aren’t worth anything to you as readers. Vent elsewhere. Never do it publicly on your blog.

Don’t Be Negative –

You may remember me writing – 14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Your Blog. As a blogger, it is also not good to –

– engage in bitch brawls with other bloggers (not only will the blogger feel attacked but their readers will too, it’s one way to make many enemies at once!) or spend time attacking other bloggers in a negative manner
– post whiny, whinging posts regularly (more often than positive content)
– post things which made your readers feel physically ill (keep your poop and vomit stories away from me!)

Some Things Should Never Be Blogged About.

You know how we all have topics we simply refuse to write about? For some of us it’s sex, religion, drugs, rock and roll, bowel movements, whatever. I suggest it is in a bloggers best interest to add “lack of blog traffic” to the list of topics they will never ever blog about. But feel free to blog up a storm when traffic is good or exceeds your expectations.

I Know This Is True –

Once they arrive, if you do not build it, refine it, work on it, tweak it, make it better, make it load fast, make it pleasing to their eye, and create good content, they won’t stick around long. It’s no easy task and it requires you to be the master of many different subjects – or at least to know a little bit about them.

Blogger can let you down-

Sometimes my page load is slow because of Blogger – again we’re back to what you get for free. Sometime in the next few months this blog will be moving to WordPress, and I will have a lot more control over things like that. It will cost me money but I’m worth it – and so are my readers. :)

Further Reading –

I want to draw your attention to the section – Bloggers Are Helpful – in my sidebar for your further reading today. There’s a lot of great posts in there from bloggers that can help you to improve your blogging.

Over To You – What are your thoughts on blog traffic and site meters? Have you ever run any kinds of tests to investigate how accurate they are? How many times a day do you check your stats?

If you liked this post, give it a Stumble. :)

blog housekeeping, blogging tips, commenting on blogs, tuesday think tank

Spam, Spiders And Do Follow, Oh My!

Today on Think Tank Tuesday I’m taking a look at No Follow and Do Follow and how these relate to blogs and spam, and Sephy is going to let you know how to turn no follow off on Blogger, WordPress, and various other kinds of blogs. It is a lot easier than you think, you’ll be glad to know!

So what is NoFollow All About?

Most blogs come with no follow installed on the comments section automatically. This was originally done to prevent link spammers gaining anything from their spammy efforts. Unfortunately nofollow does not work – nofollow blogs still get spam comments.

That means anytime someone comments on your blog their link is not followed by the search engines. The commentor does not receive a link back on either Technorati or Google or Yahoo or any of the other search engines.

Is It Fair To Your Commentors?

By making a link no follow, you’re effectively saying to the search engines – I don’t trust this link. Given that most of us do actually trust the links of our commentors, this is not a Good Thing.

Choose Not To Give Link Juice –

When you have a blog, you can choose to make certain things no follow. For example, if I wanted to link to someone in a post but I did not want the search engines to see that link, I would put in a bit of code that turns the link into a no follow link. Why would I want to do that?

Link Bait –

Sometimes bloggers post controversial things in order to get links back to their blog. I can name a few who do this regularly. If you feel a blogger is link baiting but you still want to discuss their post there is an easy way you can make the link no follow.

Sephy has shown you how you can do this in his post on this topic – Say No To NoFollow, it is simple and easy to do.

You will still be giving their blog traffic if anyone clicks on the link, but it is better to do that than leave your readers wondering what the heck you’re talking about – and much better than giving the blogger what they are looking for by being controversial, which is backlinks to their blog. Don’t reward them by giving them link juice.

Links Mean $$$ To Some –

Why do bloggers link bait? To some bloggers, backlinks can mean money. The more back links your blog has, the higher ranking you get on Technorati, the higher your page rank, the higher price you can charge advertisers.

What Is Do Follow?

The Do Follow movement is basically people who have decided they want their commentors links to be followed by the search engines. These Do Follow bloggers have taken the time to remove no follow from their comments sections. Depending on what kind of blog they have this can be an easy task or a difficult one.

Sephy has explained how to make your blog do follow with instructions for Blogger, WordPress, Typepad, Movable Type and some his companion post to this one, make sure to read it. Here is the link again if you have not already opened it in a new window or tab – Say No To NoFollow

Will This Increase Spam?

In a word, no. I was getting spammed before I became do follow, and I have been spammed since. What will add to your chances of being spammed more often is by joining one of the Do Follow link lists that exist on the internet. These are targeted often by spammers looking for a way to build backlinks fast.

The Bumpzee Community –

There is a No Nofollow | I Follow | DoFollow Community at Bumpzee. Being a member of this community is worthwhile if you are a do follow blog because your posts go out on the RSS feed for other do follow readers to view. It has meant more traffic to my blog.

I believe three times since I joined the community, which was some months ago now, I have been spammed by people who came directly here from the Bumpzee community. These are the paid commentors. Their comments are easy to spot and easily deleted. So as far as I am concerned the issue of being spammed by people who know you are do follow is not much of a problem for me.

What If I Get Spammed?

You can easily turn no follow back on – but that won’t stop the spam. Spam is a problem we all have to deal with here on the internet. We just have to be adults about it, set a comments policy for ourselves, and then follow it.

Since I put in a comments policy on the page where people leave a comment, I have only been spammed once. The paid comments people seem to have got the message – it is a waste of their time to comment here and they won’t get paid for the comment because I delete it quickly. If you can do the same thing, you can keep your blog spam free.

How Can I Tell When It’s Spam?

The number one give away is the link they are using. When I see a comment that is possibly spam, the first thing I do is copy the link and take the link over to Technorati. For example, this is one of the comment spammers that has been here recently – on Technorati and another one – and as soon as you search for the URL you can see they have a lot of recent reactions with different names – Tom Paine, Lais Edwards, Richard Andrews, Clebsch Gordon, etc.

Why It Works –

Looking at the backlinks, some of the bloggers I most respect got caught out by these spammers. There’s a lot of familiar names and blogs there. I didn’t have the time to email or comment on all the posts, otherwise I would have.

The two blogs mentioned above now have medium level authorities on Technorati – (one has an authority of 51) (two has an authority of 65). You’ll note I am not linking to the blogs themselves, only to Technorati. I do not want to give them any link juice.

Team Up With Fellow Bloggers –

The major mistake these spammers made was – they visited Sephy’s blog not long after visiting mine, and left similar comments. Sephy and I discussed them on Skype and figured out it was spam, and then deleted them.

Don’t be afraid to contact a fellow blogger who has received a comment you suspect is spam and ask what their thoughts are on it. Sephy posted about it here – Paid Comments Not Allowed

Search The Name or URL-

If you search the name or URL you may well find both listed in the search engines as spammers.

Post About It Yourself –

If spam has become an issue on your blog, it could be worthwhile posting about it so that other bloggers can be aware of it. When they google the names you keep seeing as spam, they will find your post and then they can delete the spam as well – and if they read your post, when those names turn up on their blog they can hit delete fast.

Just make sure not to give any link juice to the spammers – you can make individual links no follow easily (See Sephy’s Post for info on how) so please do so when referring to the links spammers leave, or use the name only, don’t put a link in..


From time to time all bloggers find themselves switching to moderated comments. I’ve had to do it here, when trolls have arrived. Using moderation takes all the fun out of it for them. You usually don’t have to leave it on for too long before they give up and go somewhere else to troll.

You can also use moderation to combat spam and this is a tactic some bloggers are trying out recently. If you are available most of the time to moderate comments, you may wish to try this but be aware – it tends to stifle discussion. And what happens when you sleep? Comments stay unmoderated for hours at a time. ;(

Moderation After The Fact –

I tend to stick with a moderation afterwards policy here. If I spot a comment which is inappropriate, unacceptable or spam, it is quickly deleted. Sometimes not quickly enough because the search spiders are here fairly often. So they may get a some link juice if I’m not on the ball.

Trusted People –

If you have a couple of people you really trust who live in different timezones to you, you may choose to make them an administrator on your blog. This gives them the power to moderate comments. You discuss with them what is unacceptable, and they keep an eye out, deleting anything which would be against your policy, or anything which is clearly spam.

What About Captcha?

Blogger users will be familiar with Captcha word verification, it looks like this –


The reason it is exists is to stop spam bots posting comments on your blog. However it could be stopping regular human people from posting on your blog. You only need to turn word verification on when you’re being targeted by a spam bot – as in you’ll be getting a boatload of comments in a very short amount of time – and this will stop the spam bot from posting more comments. May I recommend you turn it off in the meantime?

Julie Pippert recently posted about Captcha and if you read her post you will see you might be missing out on comments if you’re using it. I have turned word verification off here for now, we’ll see how it goes..

The Bottom Line –

Spam is an issue for all of us. We get it in our email. We get spammed in our comments section. Unless you are being targeted in a major way and receiving hundreds of spam comments a day, it’s not that big a deal to hit delete. Have a good comments policy, make sure it is visible on the screen where people leave comments (blogger users – find out how to display your comments policy) and be vigilant in deleting anything you suspect of being spam.

Further Reading –

13 Reasons Why NoFollow Tags Suck I agree with the points, especially points 2, 3 and 5.

Give a little link love say no to nofollow remove the link condoms Rob, I love the concept of link condoms! ;) This post contains some very interesting quotes from people at Google and Yahoo – worth reading.

I Follow Randa Clay created the Do Follow logos that you see around the place, here you can get them in different colors to suit your blog.

Over To You –

If you liked this post, give it a stumble so other readers can find it. ;)

What are your thoughts on spam? Have you been spammed on your blog? Are you a Do Follow blog, and if not will you become one after reading this? Feel free to leave any comments – as long as they’re not spam!

blog design, blog template, blogging tips, commenting on blogs, spam

Blog Design – Open Your Eyes.


Do you blog for you, or for your readers?

This is a serious question that every blogger needs to consider carefully. If you blog for yourself, you will choose a blog design that appeals to you, not caring what your readers think. If you blog for your readers, you probably will think about what your readers would like to see when they visit your blog.

If you blog for your readers and you chose your design for you? You might be upsetting potential new readers without even thinking about it.

Some Food For Thought

Light Is The Norm

If I could design my blog to look how *I* want it to look, the background would be dark instead of light because I find dark backgrounds easier on my eyes. I design this site for the readers, which means light is the best choice. Not everyone has an LCD screen yet. Dark backgrounds on a CRT screen (the older style of monitor which is more like a TV) are difficult to view.

Dark text on a light background is what the majority of Internet users are used to. It is what they see on most websites they visit. They are so used to it that when you make a site with a dark background color, they react negatively without knowing why. If you want to appeal to the broadest range of people, you have to take things like this into consideration.

Everyone Sees It Differently

On a forum I used to visit – it is no longer in existance sadly – they had a very dark blue color scheme.. People reading the forum on the older CRT screens often had to highlight the text with their mouse in order to be able to read it.

Users had been doing this regularly for some time BUT NOBODY TOLD THE SITE OWNER they were having so much trouble with the color scheme until the owner was considering making a change to the site themselves. I cannot imagine how annoying it must have been for those people to read the forums.

The Psychology Of Color

When designing a site it is important to consider the psychology of color. When I was a part of the team putting together a scam warning website – which also no longer exists – we looked into what would be the best color for a website designed to support scam victims.

The three colors we considered using on the site were blue, lilac and green. These are calming colors. You’ll note these are colors I tend to use a lot here, too.

For more info on color psychology, check out Color_Expert.

Color Is Important

When you’re putting colors together on your site you need to stop and think – do they work together? Do they look good together? They may look ok on your screen but be sure to check how they look on other kinds of computer monitors too.

Take A Moment

If you visit a blog and something about the design truly puts you off, you may want to consider taking a moment to let the blogger know. Politely, of course. If you are a blogger, you may also want to ask your readers.. but..

Will People Tell You The Truth?

Ah, there’s the difficult part. If you have been blogging for a while, you have a little community of people who love your content. If you made your background red with pink text (take a look, I made it especially for ya’all), they’d possibly still read it anyway, or they might seek out an alternate way to read – perhaps via a feed reader or subscribing by email.

Did you like the clashing red and purple title? How far could you read before you thought hell no, I gotta go! If you ask your readers what they think of your site design, they will tell you what they THINK you want to hear. They will be loyal. They will be polite. They will be friendly. They are the equivalent of men telling their wives “No honey, I don’t think it makes you look fat”.

That’s all well and good – and wise on the part of the man and on the part of the bloggers who read you – by now you are probably reading them back and they do not want to risk your readership by being brutally honest.

Unfortunately it does not help you as a blogger who wants to improve your blog design. It does not help you capture new readers. It does not help you to know what they find annoying. Even if you ask them to be brutally honest, some readers will struggle to do so. Not me. ;) Just so you know. ;)

Brace Yourselves Now

I am about to tell you a harsh truth. New readers coming to your blog for the first time? They will hit the close button in that top corner without reading ONE word of your content if they are put off by the color scheme or your header graphic.

If your blog makes their eyes hurt. If it looks like fingernails on a blackboard for the eyes. If your header graphic is poor quality. If your font is unattractive. There’s a multitude of design mistakes you can make as a blogger which will send potential new readers away quicker than you can blink.

Whether You Like It Or Not

There are many blogs out there – and the majority of blog readers will take a blog with good design but lesser content over a blog with bad design and good content EVERY time.

You work hard on your content so you owe it to yourself as a blogger to present it to potential new readers in a way they can see it. Especially given how difficult it is to get people to visit your blog in the first place.

Ask Someone Impartial.

If you want a fresh set of eyes to take a look at your blog the way a new reader would look at it, use my contact form and ask me. I will tell you the truth. I won’t be nasty about it. I’ll just be honest. It might be hard to hear but you may need to hear it. I also will give you ideas for improvement, which is useful.

Resolution Matters

If you are viewing my blog with your screen resolution set to 800×600, you have a vertical scroll bar at the bottom of your screen. My template width is 1000. That means there’s 200 extra pixels you have to scroll to see. In fact that is my entire right sidebar. Not a good look, right?

When I designed the template, I knew about this. I looked at my site stats and saw the majority of my readers (90%) were viewing the site in 1024×768 – which is becoming the new standard these days. It used to be 800×600 but as people change to LCD screens and larger screens they can’t use 800×600*. Unless they are my parents, in which case they will use 800×600 for everything because it makes the text bigger – they are too lazy to wear their glasses!

Make A Decision

So the first thing you need to do when considering a blog re-design is make a decision about resolution – and you need to take into account what your readers screen resolution is in order to do it. This means looking at your counter – bearing in mind counters are unreliable. 800×600 is one way you can go, 1024×768 gives you a lot more space.

If less than 85% of your readers use 800×600, you could go with 1024×768 but know that you run the risk of annoying people who use 800×600. On my site, they’ll miss out on seeing the right sidebar but they get the full main text and the left sidebar. That’s an OK compromise.

I found these excellent articles which are worth a read before you make the decision – How Tall and Wide Should I Design My Website? and also Understanding Monitor Resolution

Don’t Change

There is a blog I removed from both my reader and my links. The reason I removed it is simple. Each time I went to the blog, they were using a new template. They had changed it many, many times over the last couple of months. I feel like they are never going to make up their mind and stick with one template and frankly, I was tired of watching the indecision in progress!

If you want to try out a new template don’t do it on your actual blog that readers visit. Test it out on a test blog first. Blogger makes this easy for you – you can have as many blogs as you want. So does though that is tougher as they make you pay to customise templates.  When you are sure you’re happy with it, install it on your actual blog – and stick with that template for at least 2-6 months.

Change is Hard

People do not like change. We bloggers are constantly tweaking, moving things around, adding things, removing things, making new blocks in our sidebars. I am as guilty of this as the next blogger. I am not saying never change anything, I am saying keep in mind the impact it has on your readers.

Your readers may know where to find something right now. If you move it and they are looking for it, they will be frustrated unless they can easily see where you moved it to. If you feel the need for change (as I recently did with my sidebars) pick one day, post a note to your readers who may turn up mid-changes to “bear with me, I’m changing some things around”, mess with it till you have it as you like it, then let your regular readers know what you have changed or removed via a blog post.

Above The Fold.

The instant first impression a user has of your website is what loads onto their page that they can see without scrolling. This is called “above the fold” – you know those broadsheet newspapers which have a fold on the front page, about halfway down? They know what is above the fold is what people see – and why they buy the newspaper.

It is no different on your blog. Decide what you want people to know about you when they first look at your page, and put that above the fold.

Browser Matters

Most people only use one internet browser. It might be Internet Explorer. It might be Mozilla Firefox. These are the two main ones you will see on your site stats. Do you know how your site looks in the one you don’t use? Do you know how it looks in different versions of the one you don’t use? A lot of people don’t use the latest version of browsers – when they find a stable one they stick with it like super glue.

Do you know how it looks in the rarer browsers like Opera, etc? Make a blog post where you ask people using those browsers to take a screen shot for you. Your readers using those browsers will generally be happy to help out.

IE NetRenderer allows you to check how a website is “rendered” (how it looks) when using Internet Explorer – several versions of it. I am still looking for a version of this for Firefox. Anyone know where to find it?

Flashing is bad

People associate flashing things with advertisements, which are becoming more prevalent on all the websites we visit these days. For Firefox users, you can get an extension called Ad Block Plus – and let your inner self be at peace without ads interrupting your internet. For your personal blog, I do not recommend anything be flashing. It’s annoying to many people.

Template Blend

Blogger has a standard set of templates which people can use. It is easy to just pick one of those and leave it at that. You would be making a major mistake as a blogger if you did, though. Anyone else using that same template can be mistaken for you. It is sort of like walking into a room where everyone is wearing the same outfit. How do you find the people you know, among the apparent clones?

The least you should do is change some of the colors and the font – Sephy’s post will explain how to do that. You can check it out here – Demystifying Blogger Template Editing.

Good Templates Are Out There

You just have to know where to look. Try searching the name of your blog platform combined with free templates and see what you get.

Not Everyone Agrees.

Good design is not easy. There is no one size fits all. If there were, nobody would want it because all our blogs would look the same. As a blogger, what you need to do is make sure you are not turning off new readers by making bad design decisions. Unless you’re writing your blog just for your friends and family, who will love you regardless.

New readers won’t have a chance to love you. They’ll be leaving skid marks with their mouse in order to close your site as quickly as they can, and move on to another blog – where the content may not be half as good BUT they aren’t offended by the design, or the flashing ads, or the music that starts playing without them asking for it, or the myriad of other things you can get wrong as a blogger.

Further Reading –

15 Design Decisions That Annoy Readers – Some seriously annoying things that bloggers do are listed here – do YOU do any of them? ;) I do – I need to look into that Google Ajax search box, adding it to my todo list for tomorrow.
45 Excellent Blog Designs – Inspirational stuff!
Blog Design at ProBlogger – This is the category for Blog Design which contains quite a few useful food for thought posts.
Top 10 Weblog Design Mistakes – I disagree with number 2 – sometimes I think putting a photo of yourself on your blog is a terrible idea and some of the ones I have seen scare me greatly. Number 5 I think a lot of bloggers miss out on. Your top 5-10 posts should be shown above the fold – give readers the chance to access your best posts as soon as they land on your blog. You’ll note I have moved mine to be above the fold now.

Useful Things –

VisiBone Webmaster’s Color Lab – You can test colors against each other here.
Non-Dithering Colors – Gives an explanation of why the 216 color palette is better for use generally, and also all the color codes you may need.
HTML Goodies – Lots of HTML goodness to help any blogger.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on blog designs? Do you like yours? If not, do you want to change it? Do you need help to change it? Sephy is writing a companion post to this one which can help you with a few things.

If you liked this blog post, feel free to Stumble it. :)

*Unless they are my parents, in which case they will use 800×600 for everything because it makes the text bigger – they are too lazy to wear their glasses! This drives both me and the other half absolutely up the wall. They have a wide screen laptop. I’ll take a photo of what a webpage looks on it for ya’all sometime, but in the meantime it looks bad. Trust me. ;) It’s truly fingernails on a blackboard for your eyes.

**Cybercelt left me a great comment about that a while back, letting me know that you can go into your Blogger profile (on your profile page when you are signed in, click edit my profile, then Show my blogs, then Select blogs to display) and choose which blogs are displayed in your profile. If you have more than one, I suggest you choose one to be the main blog, and link to your other blogs from that blog page rather than have them all listed in your profile to make it easier for people to find you, but it’s your profile. ;)

blog design, blog housekeeping, blog template, blogging tips

Blog Hints – Refer To Yourself In The Third Person?

This week I have collected some fantastic links to articles about blogging. I have added them all to the Bloggers Are Helpful list – Is yours there? If not email me a link to it and I’ll add it next week.

Why does Snoskred refer to herself as Snoskred?

Yes, you may have noticed this here on the blog. If you look to one sidebar you’ll see things like Snoskred Loves, Snoskred Scambaits, Snoskred On The Web. In that sidebar the word Snoskred appears over 20 times.

Don’t I know who I am? Is there a danger I might forget if it’s not written everywhere? Or is there a deeper plan at work?

Google for the word I = 1 – 100 of about 3,560,000,000 for I
Google for the word Me = 1 – 100 of about 2,120,000,000 for Me
Google for the word Snoskred – 1 – 100 of about 28,200 for snoskred

I am the number one search result for Snoskred. How I got there is partly because of referring to myself in the third person. It is a useful “white hat” (ie not illegal or dodgy) way to get your blog higher up in the ranking for your name.

Everyone knows who I am. I use the name Snoskred everywhere I go. If someone were looking for me and wasn’t sure how to find me they can google.

On the other hand, the name Snoskred is very unusual. So it wasn’t exactly difficult to get up to the top on search engines for it.

Snoskred = Norwegian for Avalanche.

Yes, very suitable! ;) The real word has the funny ø in it. I stopped using the ø some time ago when I found it was causing issues – plus everyone wanted to copy and paste the o because nobody knew how to make it – not even me! ;)

Sometimes people spell it wrong (I have google alerts set up for the common mis-spellings, ie snoskerd, snosekrd, snosekred etc) or mistype, that’s fine. I don’t mind. Well I do a little, because I always take care to either copy and paste the name of fellow bloggers or triple check I got it right, but we all make mistakes, even me sometimes. :) But I do still want to be able to thank people when they refer to me even if they mis-spell it.

Advice For Newer Bloggers –

One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give to any new blogger would be – make an unusual (nick) name for yourself and then refer to yourself using that name everywhere you go. Google the word first, and make sure there’s not too many hits for it.

If you can’t find a name you like, try this fantastic resource I often used for finding names – – scroll down a little to see browse names by origin and find a country or culture that appeals to you.

Blog Stuff –

I found so many great blogging articles this week I thought I would post it separate from the weekly wrap up.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Blogging – 97 Blog Tips – At the end of the 31 days there is going to be a fantastic collection of articles all together in one place. Is yours there? If not, submit it here. But be quick, time is almost up.

10 Lessons in Blogging Learned on a Shopping Expedition – I love to blog, and I love to shop.. Darren Rowse combines both into a smart blog article. ;) If I didn’t have to pack it, I’d go shopping too!

Added to the Bloggers Are Helpful list this week –

Blog Basics –

Catch New Readers Up On The Basics of Your Blog – We have to remember not everyone has been with us from day one. Once a month it is worth doing a blog post which links (using good relevant keywords for the search engines) new readers back to a few posts from our past.

When you talk about something on your blog that happened previously, link back to the post where you mentioned it. Keep your readers in the loop, don’t expect them to psychically know, or to have read your entire archives. There just isn’t the hours in the day.

Search Engine Optimization for Blogs – SEO – This is a must read for anyone wanting to get more traffic from search engines. ;)

If Your Blog Disappeared, Who Would Miss It? – Ya’all would, right? ;)

10 Tips for Increasing Comments on Your Blog – Excellent article, Thomas. ;)

How do you link to yourself? Anchor Text for Internal Links Matters – This is important reading for all bloggers because it DOES matter. That’s one reason I put in the “Snoskred Is” section. It also matters when you link to other people, so keep it in mind.

Use smart keywords – I usually use the title of the post that the author used – to link to people – instead of writing this post, write “Meg from Dipping Into The Blogpond wrote this great post about Social Petworking“. Fellow bloggers will thank you greatly for it! It’s also a lot quicker, I just copy and paste the title and then link it. ;)

Food For Thought –

Converting Visitors Into Subscribers – We all want more subscribers, but how do we convince those precious visitors to subscribe?

10 Ways to Eliminate the Echo Chamber – Reading the Bumpzee community feeds you can see the echo chamber effect in action sometimes.

Top 10 Sins of Blog Usability – I agree with all of these.

Thirteen Blog Clichés – I changed my mind on a few of the things I do on my blog after reading this one.

101 Ways to Monetize Your Website or Blog – This blog article was updated in 2013, an excellent read. :)

Writing & Blogging –

20 Surefire Ways To Beat Writer’s Block – Feeling a little.. blocked? Try this to jumpstart your writing.

Plan When You Post Before You Publish – Do you know what days are the most busy on your blog? Do you consider these things when you post? ;)

Over To You

I hope my fellow bloggers reading this found something useful in the list above. Comments are closed on this post now, but if you have something to say you can always contact Snoskred via the contact page.

If you have any posts and articles about blogging which you would like to see posted on Snoskred – Life In The Country – please contact Snoskred with a link to the post.

If you liked this post, feel free to Stumble it – and don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my article Blog Design – Open Your Eyes. :)

(updated 27/02/2015 – removed the broken links)

blogging tips, commenting on blogs

14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Blogs.

Recently I’ve been working on clearing out my feed reader. I have gone from 215 subscriptions back to 143 – a huge drop. This is no easy task, but some bloggers have made it easy for me to make the decision – keep reading, or unsubscribe? Here’s some of the reasons why I have unsubscribed from some of the blogs.

1. Posts Too Long.

Writing one huge long post every week and posting rarely in between. There was one blog on my google reader, I kid you not, who would write posts averaging between 4,000 to 5,000 words once a week. Was it anything I could use? No. It was simply egotistical shyte where the blogger answered a whole bunch of questions other readers had asked – some of you may know the blog I mean..

Their last post in my reader was 5261 words, 28792 characters and just to give you an idea, I pasted it into word. It went for 15 pages. ONE POST!!!!!! And people say my posts are long, ya’all ain’t seen nothing yet! Just for comparison sake – this post is 2199 words long, 11276 characters and was four pages when I posted it into word.

I don’t mind a long post, if you have something useful and interesting to say. If you’re just pandering to your massive ego, I’m hitting unsubscribe.

2. Posts Too Pithy.

Every post they wrote was three lines or less. Every. Single. One. I enjoy pith as much as the next person, but there is such a thing as too much pith. Give me some substance!

3. Where Are You?

Some of the blogs deleted last week had not been updated at all in over 6 months. Hello, these bloggers had people who were reading you and they went and blew it. Maybe they got busy. Maybe they got a life. Maybe they got hit by a bus. I don’t know, and now I’ll never know, because they just left me hanging. I’ve unsubscribed. Readers of this blog will be happy to know, if something happened to me I have a plan all ready to deal with it. You’ll never be left wondering here.

4. They Went Quiet.

They used to post regularly and I was loving it, but now I realise I haven’t heard from them in a couple of months – and their last post didn’t say “I’m going on holidays” “I’m taking a break from blogging” “I have to do (insert important thing) so you may not hear from me so much over the next few (length of time)”. If it did, I’d be ok waiting. Seriously. We all have lives to live.

They have a term for this with nuclear submarines – going quiet. Unless you happen to be living in one, it’s not a good idea to do it with your blog. Readers will unsubscribe – like I just did. It is a good idea for bloggers to let their readers know if they are going to be away for a bit. It’s a nice thing to do for their loyal readers.

5. They Are A Wanna-be.

I linked to them for at least 6 months and I told them I was linking to them via a comment. They never linked back. They never dropped by my place and left a comment. In their links list all I see are “a-list” bloggers. All they talk about is what the “a-list” bloggers are saying or doing. If I wanted to know what the “a-list” bloggers were saying or doing, I’d be reading the a-list bloggers. I don’t read the a-list bloggers. I wanted to read *them*, not some poor soul wishing they could be on the “a-list” and sucking up to the “a-list” bloggers in every post.

I’ll give that link to another blogger who deserves it more. Just a hint they might be able to use – Spread your link love around and base it on content, not what supposed “list” the blog is on.

6. I’m Not Feeling It.

In order for me to read a blog, I have to sometimes know what the blogger is talking about. There is one blogger I deleted because they write these major in depth posts that read like a legal document. On a personal blog. There is never any personal posts, never any images and a lot of 50 cent words you only hear used in spelling bees.

If a blogger is writing like that on their personal blog, maybe they need to take a holiday. Relax. Not that I can’t handle in depth posts and legal wording but from time to time, chill out and have a laugh! Tell me something funny that happened. Lighten up.

7. I’m Overwhelmed.

Some people post too much. Two to three posts a day is one thing. Four every day, a blogger may be pushing it. 5-15 posts a day is way out of control. I want to know about the bloggers I read, but I don’t want to know every single detail that happens in their life! Learn to edit. Write things and put them aside for a wrap up post, one longer post instead of 6 short little ones.

Writing doesn’t have an expiration date. It is perfectly fine to write 5-15 posts in a day but a blogger can schedule them to post over the next couple of weeks. They will feel fantastic because you know their blog is posting the things they wrote, and readers will feel good because they get to read it in small, manageable daily chunks rather than one huge mind dump. ;) Don’t pummel your readers with posts!

8. The Content Went AWOL.

Some bloggers have got into paid posts so much that it is all they blog about anymore. I’m all about supporting a bloggers right to make money but if bloggers aren’t providing non-paid content as well, they will lose their readers, and consequently find it harder to get paid blogging jobs. My preference is that bloggers follow up a paid post with non paid content soon after posting the paid content, at least on the same day.

9. The Content Was Negative

Not one positive post in the whole time I’ve been reading? Some bloggers just want to whinge and they are not prepared to look at the positives in life? Sorry, that’s not for me. I prefer positive thought. Occasional snark is one thing, I can appreciate that. Being mad at the world 24/7/365? It’s depressing the heck out of me. Let me off this rollercoaster ride into negativity!

10. I’m Waiting.

One post a month? One post every two months? Seriously? Are their readers so unimportant to them? They have nothing to say? They can’t find a news article to speak about? They can’t post a photo and one line of text? I have to tell those bloggers, I think maybe they are too busy to have a blog. Seriously. I’m unable to deal with such long gaps between posts unless the content is *incredible*.

11. They Moved.

Without telling me more than once – and now I’ve lost that connection to them. Here’s a piece of advice for moving bloggers. Keep the old blog for at least a month. Once a week during that month, post a reminder that the blog has moved have moved on the old blog. That’s for feed readers of the blog, who may not have received the message that the blog is moving the first time. A reader may have hit “mark all as read” because there were 500 posts in one folder and they couldn’t face reading it.

Give your blog readers every possible chance to follow you when you move. They are not expecting you to move and are unprepared for it. Me personally I’d be posting “I’ve moved here” once a week on that old blog for six to eight weeks.

12. They Were Cliquey.

Some bloggers just want their friends reading. It might be best to make their blog private so readers don’t get attached to them. It can be hurtful to people when a blogger totally ignores some readers and comments, while responding to others.

13. Template Issues.

Every time I visited the blog, there was different template. And I visited the site a lot over the space of a few weeks, I said via comments how much I liked a couple of the templates but one day I got tired of the constant switching, things moving around.. it was just too much. Sorry. The content was ok but not good enough to overcome the massive template indecision.

14. They Told Me They Were Quitting.

I understand. I’ll miss them. In order to keep the blogroll alive, I’ve taken the link to that blog down but if they come back, I’ll put it back up before I finish reading the first post saying they are returning to blogging, I promise. I enjoyed their blogging and I hope they return.

But Wait A Minute?

Some of you may have read this list and thought “I do that” “Ouch, I’ve made that mistake” or even “I never realised how annoying that could be to my readers, I’ll never do it again!” If so, that is fantastic. It will make your blog even better – for me and for all your readers. Perhaps now is a good time to take a moment – to consider whether you are being considerate of your blog readers and mindful of what could make them unsubscribe from your feed.

If your name is still on my blogroll, it means one of two things.

1. You are linking to me, which I deeply appreciate, thanks! I’ll never de-link you while you link to me. If I did it by accident please let me know. This job has been evil and I have been working on it for over a week now and still have not tracked down everyone linking to me.

2. I love you so much I can’t let you go. Even though you don’t link to me. It would be nice if you did, but I enjoy your writing and I’m giving you that link because of it. If you don’t enjoy mine, you probably shouldn’t be linking to me.

My Future Policy – updated 26/1/15

If I like your blog, I add you to my feed reader. Once a month I do a new feeds post which you can find here.

After 6 months, I review the blogs I added and decide whether I am keeping them or unsubscribing. If I am keeping the blog, it will be listed on my blogroll.

Further Reading

This post is now accompanied by a post from Sephy with a lot of how-to info on RSS feeds. He’s great at taking the tech out of technical things so non technical people like me can understand them. Make sure to read it!. You may also want to have a look at these useful articles –

Over To You.

What are your thoughts? What is your policy on linking to blogs? Do you struggle with who you should give the link love to? Do you feel bad or rejected when people don’t link back to you? What about when people delete their link to you? Do you have blogs you’re hanging on to which you would love to delete? Comments are closed, so you can contact me here to let me know what you think.

blog housekeeping, blogging tips, blogrolls, google reader, what not to do