7 really useful ‘How To’ articles – Getting the word out on WordPress

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A few weeks ago I had a bit of a blip in the stats. Both visitors and views went up to several times the usual numbers. I was curious, especially as there hadn’t been anything of exceptional note published that day. The normal haiku, a couple of reblogs, and a couple of posts that were relatively lightweight. Nothing that might have been able to explain the hike in the figures.

There were no more ‘likes’ per post than usual… it seemed odd and, though not at all ungrateful for the extra traffic, the blue spike in the graph sort of bugged me. It reminded of that universally recognised digital taunt… the middle finger.

Was it telling me that I should stick to lightweight stuff if I wanted these kind of figures? That fluff is preferred over substance? I know that simple posts, easy on eye and mind get more of those ‘this-is-so-safe-I don’t-even-need-to-read-it’ clicks from strangers to the blog via the Reader, but regular readers seem happy to delve into deeper stuff, share my days, my dog and my odder thoughts. I’m not about to change how I write for the stats… and if I cared that much about them I’d be blogging for all the wrong reasons. The whole point of a blog, for me, is what I can write, the people who read it and the interaction with people, not numbers.

Even so, the presence of that middle finger bugged me, so I dug around and traced the extra views back to the fact that someone had shared a post StumbleUpon…which would be probably be why the ‘likes’ and comments hadn’t gone silly too.

Mystery solved, I was really glad I had reinstalled StumbleUpon after it had gone missing form the sharing buttons during an update. A bit of further digging revealed that there had been over 2000 referrals from StumbleUpon over the past year… so it had been well worth doing.

1.If you want to reinstate the StumbleUpon button, Chris the Story Reading Ape pointed to an article by Michael A Rios telling you how, while Michael himself refers to an more in-depth article by Sue Coletta. Click the highlighted links to find out how.

2. Michael illustrates how to reinstate the button via the Classic Editor. It can still be accessed. On my own blog (a WordPress.com site) and on the desktop PC it is as simple as hovering over the ‘My Sites’ top left of the screen, then clicking WP Admin in the dropdown. It doesn’t always work for everyone, but Marcia Meara at The Write Stuff shares her experience. You can also access it through the ‘Site Admin’ on the Meta on the home page of your blog.

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3. Sharing  is a really important part of the writing/ reading/blogging process and Twitter can play a huge part in that. I like to Tweet a lot of the articles I read, especially the ones  that are entertaining, informative or useful, as well as  those that move me by their beauty. I also like to help promote new books and reviews by tweeting them, but many bloggers have not connected their Twitter names to their blogs, so when the Twitter sharing button is pressed, all that comes up is an @wordpress.com address. It is very simple to connect the account so that any tweets from your page are associated with your Twitter account. Hugh at Hugh’s Views and News has a ‘How To’ article that explains the whole thing.

4. Last week, I shared a link from The Story Reading Ape about adding a ‘Follow By Email’ button. This too is  well worth doing. For the reader who follows a wide selection of blogs, it is the best choice for keeping up with those you want to read without missing a post. For the writer, getting straight to someone’s inbox means your post is far more likely to be read.

5. When you have read a great post, you may want to share it by reblogging. Sometimes you cannot see how to do it. Some blog formats, especially scrolling ones, hide the button, others simply don’t have one…and that applies to non-Wordpress blogs too. There is a brief guide to reblogging here that addresses some of these issues.

6. The article also includes a link to a very useful post from D. G. Kaye about the Press This button and how to use it. This is also a great way to be able to schedule reblogs.

7.When you reblog another WP blogger’s post, they will get a notfication. You can also create a pingback if you mention a particular blog or article.  I was mystified when I first started blogging about some of these terms… what on earth was a ‘pingback’? Hugh Roberts explains in detail what they are, how to use them…and gives an important bit of information I was unaware of for a long time about – you have to link to a specific post, rather than the blog itself, to create a pingback.

Pingbacks are not always reliable. Sometimes they do not come through, and sometimes they need to be authorised before they appear when you are responding to writing challenges etc. , so it is always a good idea to check the comments on the original article.

There are WordPress Forums, Help topics, tutorials and walkthroughs that answer pretty much any need. You can access them via the links at the bottom of the classic dashboard, but sometimes the simplest answers come from fellow bloggers.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Books, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

142 Responses to 7 really useful ‘How To’ articles – Getting the word out on WordPress

  1. BunKaryudo says:

    That’s very interesting information, Sue. I find the whole social networking thing very confusing. I wasn’t even sure if I had a link to Stumbleupon. Turns out I don’t. I’ll try setting it up when I get a chance and see if anything happens. With any luck, I may get the finger too. Hmm… that didn’t sound quite the way I intended.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Green Embers says:

    I probably should add the StumbleUpon button back, but no one shares what I write, period… so… not sure it would do anything, lol.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      That is possibly not the most positive attitude there, Bradley 😉

      Like

    • Terry Tyler says:

      If you share others’ stuff, they share yours. Retweet, post other’s posts on your blog, comment, etc. And if you tweet, give the posts headlines that make people want to click on and read, and use the blog share hashtag days. Do those few things, and your views will multiply 🙂

      Like

      • Green Embers says:

        Dude, you’re being an ass. You are assuming that I haven’t done those things, when I very much have.

        Let me tell you what happens when you share some ones work on say, Twitter. They will like the tweet and then retweet it and then forget you exist. About 20% even say thank you. (Sue here falls in that 20%).

        And you don’t really know me, but I response to Sue was tongue in cheek humor. If I didn’t think anyone wouldn’t share my stuff I really wouldn’t have bothered adding the StumbleUpon button at Sue’s suggestion (it looks grand on my blog).

        Next, I know why my stuff doesn’t get shares as I write mostly journal type posts which don’t lend for sharing as they are often just rambles of thought. That is A-Okay. (Of course my review blog is different, but most review blogs struggle in this department).

        Please never assume.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you very much. That was both enlightening and useful. Got it, did it and I wondered where StumbleUpon had gone!

    Like

  4. barbtaub says:

    This post is a goldmine for bloggers. I thought I was up on this stuff, but I learned several new things. Thanks SO much!

    Like

  5. Ritu says:

    Great info, thanks Sue!

    Like

  6. Miriam says:

    Very interesting Sue. I’ve reinstated the Stumbleupon button on my blog but I don’t think anyone’s ever used it.

    Like

  7. Thanks, Sue…I almost forgot that I have an account on StumbleUpon! Will work on it and add the button on my blog as well… 🙂

    Like

  8. Good advice, Sue.

    Like

  9. acflory says:

    Great article, Sue. Bookmarked for future reference!

    Like

  10. Solveig says:

    I will have to add that stumble upon button. I have no idea if my readers use that but hey it can always help.
    I have noticed that for a few months now Google has been a good referral for my posts, now I have no idea how that happened but I will keep my eyes open and share the secret once I know.

    Like

  11. Cathy says:

    Thanks, Sue. I hadn’t considered Stumble Upon but have managed to add the link. We’ll see what happens…. 😉

    Like

  12. I’m not on any social media, and my stats had been all over the place for a while, but seem to have settled down now. Nothing like the figures before, but then WP have changed the way they worked and were recognised.
    I’m happier receiving comments, and find it somewhat amusing that the number of likes sometimes exceed the number of views!

    Like

  13. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    I get amazing results from SU, so recommend it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Whenever I see a great post, if I don’t reblog it (because I’ve already done a load of re-blogs), I share it around any media that have buttons – especially Twitter & SU Sue 😀

    Like

  15. KL Caley says:

    Great article Sue – so useful. I don’t use stumbled upon or twitter so probably should invest in looking at both of those. I have never even summoned the courage to launch my writer facebook page (although created it just sits there taunting me!). I know it is such a good way to connect with people so really need to spend some time and just go for it. Thanks for your help. KL ❤

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Even if you just set your site up to post automatically, to social media sites, it is a useful way of ‘getting out there’… and if you don’t use the sites, your readers may still want to share there 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I agree with you, I blog to write not chase numbers, but when an outlier occurs I do want to understand why. I had the same thing happen last May, 426 views! I never discovered what I did differently. You’ve peaked my interest now. I think I’ll have another look. I do have Stumbleupon on my site but I think I’ll double check all the others. Thanks for sharing.
    @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

    Like

  17. Mary Smith says:

    Thanks for this, Sue. I’m pretty useless and all this stuff. I have even failed to add a LinkedIn button to my Goldfish blog, never mind Stumbleupon. This week is horrendously busy but next week I plan to have a free day for sorting out all this housekeeping stuff. I remember reading Hugh’s post on Pingbacks and he replied to my query and I understood it perfectly at the time but then…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks, Sue, for the informative post.

    Like

  19. adeleulnais says:

    Thanks Sue I have bookmarked the pages about stumble upon as I didn`t even know it existed.

    Like

  20. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Here are some great blogging tips for your Wednesday

    Liked by 1 person

  21. olganm says:

    Thanks Sue. I had seen some of this but it’s great to have them all handy in one place. I now blog in WordPress.org so no option to reblog…

    Like

  22. vanderso says:

    Reblogged this on Just Can't Help Writing and commented:
    A wow from Sue Vincent! If you’re a WordPress blogger (or reader), these tips will make the process more efficient and enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. vanderso says:

    You’ve inspired me to housekeep all my pages and blogs! Didn’t even realize I didn’t have a visible follow button at Just Can’t Help Writing until I followed your link back to Chris’s post! Thanks! I found other goodies while I was on the Widgets page, too; added an image! What fun!

    Like

  24. This was helpful, Sue. I need the reminder on Press This as I haven’t used it. Thanks for the recap. 😀

    Like

  25. Woebegone but Hopeful says:

    Thanks for such useful info! I’ve just come out of my ‘bubble’ into the real world of writing & blogging and this is a whole new universe to me….all I need to know is fit in the time to sort out all the cool stuff.

    Like

  26. Very useful information, thank you!

    Like

  27. This is a great article, Sue! I also had this same blip in my stats. I opened my blog and noticed that one of my posts had over 3,000 views. It was a post where I featured many blogs and links and I figured that may have had something to do with it. My StumbleUpon button disappeared as well so I appreciate the links you’ve shared to help me restore it. Thank you! Pinning, tweeting and Tumbling! 😉

    Like

  28. Mysticalwriter says:

    Reblogged this on Mysticalwriter.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Wow! Haven’t heard of several of these. I know what the rest of my evening will be spent doing now! Thanks for the enlightenment Sue. Xx

    Like

  30. Morgan says:

    Thank You Sue 🙂 This as Brilliant!

    Like

  31. Janice Wald says:

    Hi Sue,
    I like to blog about the power of StumbleUpon. May I ask how many page views you received that day? If I use your stats, I will link back to your post. Thanks for the help.
    Janice

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Hi Janice,
      That particular day I got 1421 page views, where in general it was around 300-350. A huge hike. Oddly enough, since that day my average page views have doubled. Unless WP has altered the way they collate data recently, I can only think there is a link between the two.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Janice Wald says:

        Congratulations! Thank you for answering my question. Have The page views doubled because you’re still getting traffic on StumbleUpon?
        Janus

        Like

        • Sue Vincent says:

          No… no more than the usual visits referred from StumbleUpon, but it is too coincidental a hike not to be relevant. A further bit of digging shows SU to have been directly responsible for over 2000 views in the past year, coming third behind the Reader and Facebook for referrals. I don’t usually delve into this side of things, as stats are not why I write, so it has been quite fascinating to look.

          Like

  32. dgkaye says:

    Excellent info here Sue. And I was stoked to find you mention my ‘Press this’ post. Thank you.

    I’m with you, I look at stats but don’t let them dictate what I choose to post. All of our followers know what types of articles to expect on our blogs, that’s why they follow. I either write about things in real life, usually shared from my own POV, or helpful articles about blogging/writing, and of course some pertinent reblogs (like this one I”ll be sharing soon). Not every post will appeal to every reader, but there is always something for everyone amongst the mix. And certainly we all don’t have time to read every post, so having variety is fine. So please don’t stop Ani from putting up her posts! 🙂 xo

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Stop Ani form posting? You think I could?? She’d only sneak on and publicly complain as soon as my back was turned… 😀
      I havew to say, your post on the Press This thing was probably the single most useful thing I have learned about the technical side of blogging so far. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • dgkaye says:

        Well Yay to both – glad my post was helpful to you, and glad Ani isn’t retiring from writing any time soon! 🙂 xoxo

        Like

        • Sue Vincent says:

          Ani is a poorly girl at present. Nothing serious, I think, just under the weather. Doubtless she’ll want to write about that too…. 😉 xx

          Liked by 1 person

          • dgkaye says:

            Aw, sorry to hear. Please give her my love and tell her to let us know how she’s feeling when she’s up to it. 🙂 xo

            Like

            • Sue Vincent says:

              I have no doubt she will. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was morning sickness. If it is, she is really in trouble… 😉

              Liked by 1 person

              • dgkaye says:

                Omg, you’re hysterical! Could there really be some clones of Ani on the way? If so, I’m sure your heart will melt after giving her the lecture about birth control. LOLOLOL 🙂

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                There had better not be. We would have to have some serious words and they would probably involve the use of scissors on her friend…Even though she is such a motherly creature with anything small and helpless…and she would be such a good mum..and I’d love to see her with a litter of her own….
                But there are way too many unwanted dogs out there who need homes to add to their number.
                Unless, of course, Madam has made that decision for me…

                I’m wondering about phantom pregnancy though. It happens in dogs sometimes. She seems perfectly healthy… may just be middle aged spread and too much cheese 😉

                Liked by 1 person

              • dgkaye says:

                Or pate? Lol. How old is Ani?
                I’m sure you will keep us posted. 🙂

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                After last time? I haven’t bought any since 🙂 She is nearly six… for her breed, that is middle aged puppyhood 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

              • dgkaye says:

                Well that’s about the age women choose to become parents now, lol, oops. Don’t want to give Ani any big ideas. 🙂

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                She has quite enough of those already 😀 x

                Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you for the mentions, Sue, and for linking back to two of my recent posts.

    I’m having dreadful problems with Pingbacks at the moment and have reported the problem to WordPress. My outgoing ones are working fine, but the incoming ones are not. It’s been like that since last Friday! I’ve discovered many others are also having the same problem. I didn’t get the Pingback notifications about this post for example.

    Stumble Upon has now become my biggest referrer. I use it all the time although I’m still trying to get my head around it. I’m always amazed when I read that some people simply can not be bothered with Social Media when it’s free and a great way to promote what you write. I guess we all fear the unknown so it’s probably more about learning curves.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I don’t have the time to spend on social media as much as I probably should, but I do make time every day for some interaction. It makes a huge difference to either promotion of simply establishing a platform and community.
      I’ve had a few pingbacks fail inbound, but I know it is an ongoing problem for some. Hope they sort it soon.

      Like

  34. Ali Isaac says:

    I didnt know ping backs had to be to specific posts. Mine don’t seem to be working. I get a notification from wp in the same place as my comment notifications, but no ping back appears in my actual post comments. Weird.

    Like

  35. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I missed this post from Sue Vincent when I was in transit but it is very useful as it contains other links to bloggers with fixes and work arounds for getting your posts noticed.

    Like

  36. ellen3625 says:

    Thank you for following my blog about Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous. I thank you also for this article. I will eagerly admit that I know nothing about setting up my word press account and basically bumbled through it blindly. I plan on trying your useful tips to improve my following. Thanks Again!

    Like

  37. Pingback: Blogging tips, Wordpress, Sue Vincent, press this, website stats, D.G. Kaye

  38. Great post Sue, very helpful, must save so a reblog seems in order!

    Like

  39. Reblogged this on K Y R O S M A G I C A and commented:
    Fantastic ‘How to’ WordPress article from Sue Vincent, a must see, so reblogging it.

    Like

  40. Judy Martin says:

    I didn’t realise that I don’t have a Stumbled upon button and will be looking into it. Thanks for the tip, Sue 🙂

    Like

  41. Pingback: 7 Really Useful ‘How To’ articles – Getting the Word out on WordPress | Illuminite Caliginosus

  42. M. L. Kappa says:

    Very useful post, Sue, thanks!🌸

    Like

  43. marianbeaman says:

    Judging from the comments preceding, you’ve struck upon a hot button topic, Sue.

    Your post provided great technical help along with the underlining idea that helping others has the Golden rule effect. As Scott Johnson has stated, “Caring is a powerful business advantage.” (Sincere caring, not manipulation, mind you!)

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks Marian. I do think sharing is the hidden power behind blogging…and why it works so weel at getting a message, book or concept out there. It gets forgotten sometimes that bloggind is a ‘social’ medium… and that aspect is crusial to making it work for everyone.

      Like

  44. Lots of interesting information here Sue, thank you for sharing.. it is always worth knowing.. Someone shared a post of mine last year its still the best view post going It was shared on Linked in 🙂 among others..
    Thank you for all of the links. Hugh is wonderful and I follow him.. he helped me in previous blips I have had.. 🙂
    Wishing you a wonderful new week..
    Sue ❤

    Like

  45. Sherri says:

    Wonderfully helpful post Sue, thanks for much for all the links. Funny, I had a similar spike this week and couldn’t understand it. Especially as I’ve been absent from blogging lately and I had nly just put up my post after a 5 week gap (can’t believe it’s been that long… ) but the likes and comments didn’t square. As with you, I did a bit of digging and discovered it was from a post I wrote last year about my visit to Jersey for the Liberation celebrations which was shared on my public Facebook page then and obviously someone else shared it for this year’s celebrations, somewhere in Jersey I’m guessing, hence the increased traffic to my blog, even though I have absolutely no idea whose reading it!! I’ve heard bout StumbleUpon but no idea what it is. I finally got my Twitter ‘handle’ linked to my blog after another blogging friend told me about it, i had no idea! And I always wondered about the ‘Press This’ button. I will check out Debby’s post on that one for sure! Hugh’s ‘how to’ blogging series has been so helpful too. Will share this on Twitter 🙂

    Like

  46. Pingback: StumbleUpon That! – Green Embers

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