How to Break out of Jail and Other Useful Tidbits!

I was in spam jail last week. It wasn’t pretty. The parties were hopping on my friends’ blogs, but I could only gaze out through the bars of my virtual cell. I had tiptoed along the edge and had fallen to the dark side. I admit it. I had used too many tags!

So here’s the dealio to all of you who have been trying really hard to be Freshly Pressed. You may not even be on the editor’s radar. As of yesterday, you can use a grand total of 15 tags and categories; not 26, people. Yah! I am talking to you, guy in the back on the cell phone. If you have 13 tags and 3 categories you may be classified a dreaded tag-spammer. That means that you will NOT be seen in the reader. I had been posting with 10 and overindulged with 12 last Tuesday when 10 was most they would allow. I got yanked off my blogging stage by the scruff of my neck. It was not cool. I am sure the riot I caused while in jail helped to increase the limit. Your welcome.

Here is what you need to do if your posts are not in the reader. Go back to your last 4-6 posts and delete the offending tags and categories.

If you can’t comment on other blogs without going  into their spam filter, then you need to go one step further and channel Tinkerbell. Do you remember the tale of Peter Pan and how you clapped to bring her back to life? Well I Tweeted, Facebooked, and emailed my friends to pull me out of their spam. This taught Askimet (the WordPress Spam blocker), the fact that I was a real girl and not a spambot.

My second day in spam jail, I went to http://akismet.com/contact/  and filled out a form including a math problem to prove I was not a spammer. I waited and waited…Then  after the third long day, I heard the sound of keys. A bright shining face greeted me through the bars and said, “Sorry about that! You’re free to go.” The sun was shining, the birds were singing, my latest post could be seen in the reader and I was able to comment once again!

Do you know where the Reader is? You see that W on the far left side on the black bar? Well it is not just the WordPress family crest. Click on it. Just look at all of the amazing links hidden under there!

My friend Timethief hooked me up with a lawyer link to her blog called “One Cool Blogging Site.” In one of her posts she explained that categories are similar to the Table of Contents in a book and tags are like the Index located in the back.

She also pointed out, “These days search engines pay more attention to your keywords in your content than they do to your keywords in Tags/Categories.” In other words, you don’t have to repeat phrases from your story in your tags to get search engines to find you.

Make sure to check out Timethief’s list of blogging mistakes including changing the time stamp after you post. Been there! All of your subscribers will get a 404 error. You can also get into trouble for using tags that are unrelated to your post. Tag-scamming!

Thanks Timethief for the info and assisting with my jailbreak! She also has a fabulous wellness blog called, “This Time This Space.” I subscribed to both!

I think it is a good idea to subscribe to your own blog. A couple of times after hitting “Publish,” the email notification didn’t go out to my subscribers. I pressed “Update” and then it was sent. Now I have the security of knowing my subscribers receive the notice every time I publish.

You should also subscribe to WordPress.com News. The WordPress gurus keep their subscribers updated with the latest improvements. This is where I learned how to stop the comment notification madness! Have you been getting extra emails? I comment on a lot of my friend’s blogs - I always have something to say, I know. It is a shock - so I was getting tons of them. WordPress is awesome in their response to its patrons. Since some of us were not so thrilled with the new default setting, WP added a new feature to completely stop the comment notices. All you have to do is click here and then click on the link, “global settings.” It will miraculously take you to your blog’s own settings. Beau LeBens will show you how to change the default. Thanks Beau!

After blogging for a year, I have had my share of missteps. I am glad to say that I have learned my tag and category limits. Thanks to Timethief, I am a rehabilitated WordPress user. Never again will I go beyond my 10 category/tag boundary. Let me know if you ever need to be busted out of spam jail. I will be there with a hacksaw.

Do you ask for help or try to resolve your own problems?

 

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126 Comments

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126 responses to “How to Break out of Jail and Other Useful Tidbits!

  1. Pingback: Use me. Abuse me…the Christmas way « OUR LIFE IN 3D

  2. Pingback: Use Me and Abuse Me Day – Dancing for Snow Edition | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

  3. On the category/tag limit – do I understand this to mean that for any particular post you need to limit the categories and tags assigned to that post to no more than 15? The blog itself might have 20 different categories and a large tag cloud – as long as any one post does not exeed 15 …?

  4. Pingback: If Your Post Doesn’t Appear in the Reader… | Laura Stanfill

  5. Food Stories

    Wow, amazing post … so glad I tripped across your site … so I’m nominating you for the Illuminating Blogger Award for informative, illuminating blog content. I know not everyone participates in blog awards but I hope you’ll at least check it out because it’s a great way to discover new blogs and meet new web friends. If you’re interested in participating, you can check out the details at my site … http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/ … Either way, hope you’re having a great day!

  6. “I was in spam jail last week.
    I bet you were a cute jailbird, Susie!

  7. I too was in reader jail a while ago and tried looking everywhere for answers. Found it on the forum somewhere by mere coincidence about the possible total of 10 tags and categories. I changed a few things and was back on after a couple of days. Sad though because a couple good blogs never got seen, but it’s all good now :)

  8. I had no idea about this tag issue. Whoops!

  9. Hi, Susie. Lynn Kelley told me about your blog, and I’m so glad she did! I had no idea about reader, spam jail or the tags limit. I followed your advice and deleted a whole lot of tags from the past two weeks so hopefully that has saved me from myself. Thanks for the great info :)

  10. I loved this post the first time around, but my post today, which I’ve been working on for a month (reading a book and then prepping an interview), didn’t show up in the reader. Boo! At least I knew to look at your words of wisdom again to see what I should do next. I had a total of ten categories and tags, so I’m not sure why I was blocked.

    • And now I’ve managed to leave two copies of virtually the same comment. Sigh. I think I need another cup of coffee.

      • I just went to your blog and don’t know why that would have happened, unless one of your last 3-4 posts were over the limit of 10. Now they raised it to 15 which will make it easier for everyone to stay “in bounds!” Good luck!

        • Thanks for the thoughts. My previous posts had way fewer tags and categories, so I’m not sure! Unless they count individual words as separate tags, i.e. counting the author’s name as two words. So frustrating! But thanks for the input and help, and you’re right, I’m so glad my comments aren’t being blocked, too!

  11. I loved this post the first time around, but my post today, which I’ve been working on for a month (reading a book and then prepping an interview), didn’t show up in the reader. Boo! At least I knew to look at your words of wisdom again to see what I should do next.

  12. Pingback: 200th Blog & Some Fun Facts | Kristy K. James

  13. Good to know. I haven’t blogged enough to be in a jam. btw: how do you know your in a spam jail? Never paid attention to tag/categories; I might have been sentenced unknowingly!

  14. What an ordeal. So glad you got out! And we all benefit from it! I guess I’ve just been lucky so far. Thanks for teaching me to be a better blogger.

  15. Useful information, thanks for sharing. Glad you are out of jail.

  16. Thanks for the warning Susie! I still find it extreme to be put in blog jail for a little too much tagging, wow! Glad you’re out of the spam, your comments are always welcomed and appreciated :-)

  17. Great post, Susie! I cut back to ten or fewer tags quite awhile ago. I’ll have to make a note to check out your links though. I was in Avast/Firefox jail for a couple of days once because I used the word ‘stalker’ a couple of times in a blog post. I was just asking for suggestions for a character but had to delete the post and send a couple of emails explaining what I’d done before they took away the virus risk I got over night. I learned my lesson. :)

    • That is crazy! Who knew that a word could get you into trouble….I think they are always working on correcting the problems of catching the wrong people. As I blogged this yesterday I found out they increased the limit to 15 tags!
      Thanks Kristy!

  18. Until you wrote this post I was not aware of most of this, but I suppose due to sheer dumb luck combined with an always addled brain I usually tack on less than 10 tags. Also I don’t think about getting FP’ed. One day I just happened to write a post that WP found worthy. I didn’t see that coming at all. Hey, more dumb luck. Yet, if I somehow found myself in spam jail I’m so oblivious I might not even notice. One of my dearest friends was super angry at me a me a few months ago and she unfriended me on Facebook. It took me three weeks to figure that out. Between working full time, maintaining a pretty active social life, writing my blog and then trying to find the time to comment on the blogs I read, I’m pretty overwhelmed as well as sleep-deprived. Thanks for the public service!

    • Oblivious can be a better way to go through life when you also have dumb luck! :) In some cases the less we know the better. Unfriending is pretty harsh. You write the funniest posts so I can see why you were FP’d!
      BTW I did see that the Blogologues used your recommendation. Are any of your posts in it?

  19. Forget the hacksaw. Send chocolate cake. I need something to survive a scroll through the plethora of comments a “jailbreak” post generates.

    Whoop! I mean, the plethora of comments your awesome content generates. I even had to make a rest stop to KA-SNORT at one of your responses.

    Great info. Thanks, Susie.

  20. lynnkelleyauthor

    Oh no, my dear friend Susie is a spam jailbird. I hope you managed on the bread and water diet. So glad you got out and shared your tips with us on how to avoid it. Very interesting about not needing to use the same words that are in the post. I’ll have to remember that. I wonder if the tag limit works the same way for Blogger. Spam jail sounds awful. Thanks for the laughs, Susie. I always end up laughing out loud at different things in your posts! This one is not only entertaining, but very helpful, too!

    • Thanks Lynn! You are so awesome!
      Believe it or not I was thinking about you when I wrote it since it is mainly a WordPress issue and I was afraid you would be bored!
      I didn’t know about those same word tags either although I never bothered.
      I think you can use as many as you want since Blogger has another way of filtering spam.
      One thing you may want to consider some day is cross posting over here to get new followers. Let me know if you need any help if you decide to try it!
      Thanks again my wonderful friend!

  21. Entertaining, informative – thanks – quite a bit to digest here!
    If anything, I mostly under-tag so this is very interesting!

    • And now we can add up to 15 tags and categories combined although I will stay under that just to be sure! Thanks so much JM!

      • If I go back and add some tags to older posts will it help my stats?

        • I don’t see how it would hurt. Look at the topics and pick out some that pertain to your post. People who go through the reader will see you when you first post and you never know if someone will go back a ways…I would make sure to post your blog on Facebook and on Twitter. I will start tweeting your blog too!

  22. Susie, I’m really confused. What is “the reader”? How do I know if I’m blocked?

    Thanks,
    Kathy

  23. I used to imagine the day I might get freshly pressed . What a prestigious matter. Now after reading the ordeal of several recipients, I hope it does not happen to me. Imagine answering 4,000 + comments ? Our network family of 270 at my blog is just perfect and need no more extra traffic.

  24. Lol. Glad you got out easy. Hope you don’t a permanent record now :)
    As a posh person, I wouldn’t want associating with criminal types, you know? ;)

  25. I wondered why some of the blogs follow aren’t in my reader but their posts are emailed to me. Great detective work!

    • That is why! I am glad you came by. I decided to do a public service announcement after everything I have been through to save you and everyone else the pain and agony!

  26. Good points, but I wish I really understood what you’re talking about. I kind of, sort of, think, maybe I might kind of know, a little bit, maybe, but not really. I get the tags and categores thing, but the other stuff, Greek I think. I’m going to have to do some research and brush up on my WP lingo.

    I did notice you were in my WP spam folder on one of my posts though. I marked you as “not spam.”

    Okay, off to read about all of the stuff you just talked about.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  27. Very enlightening post, I was not aware of some of these WP
    nuances. Thanks so much, Susie. Too bad you had to learn the hard way.

  28. Thank you for sharing this! I love Timethief.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

  29. I didn’t know about ANY of this, thanks for sharing!

  30. I am glad to hear it all worked out. I will have to check these out because I try to solve my own problems when it comes to this blogging thing. Have a Great Day!

  31. I’m glad you worked it out! I don’t even bother with the freshly pressed stuff. One look at the usual featured blogs and I know they’d never go within a country mile of the content I write. Lesbians? Prison? Rape? Forget those things, write a post about a new way to cook bacon.

    Weird you got tossed into the spam queue, given you have a slam bang blog and are active in general posting around WP.

    • BTW, if anyone does happen to have a new way to cook bacon… lemme know. ;-)

      • You are too funny Nelle!
        I still think it may have been the one two punch since I also blogged a spammed video at the same time, but maybe it was just bad luck that I got the double whammy of both off the reader and blocked comments. In the meanwhile, I will be careful what videos I blog and stay well under the 15 limit!
        BTW – You never know what they are looking for in Freshly Pressed. I have read more than a few controversial blogs. I don’t think they Press fiction.
        You could be next!

  32. This was so helpful, Susie, thanks! I had NO idea about the tag/category limit! But I did hear that too many tags could look shady, so I’ve tried to keep it to less than 10. Usually more like 4-5.

    [To answer your question,] I’m the type of person who tries to figure it out on my own/Googling it first! …Because I’m too patient to wait for a ‘real’ person to come along, LOL

    • 10 was the rule until yesterday. I will probably go to 13. It will make me nervous for a while!
      That is such a great point Jules! I think that impatience is one of my faults too unless I am waiting for someone to make dinner for me or buy me a present. Then I can wait…. :)
      Thanks Jules!

  33. You know I’m always afraid I’m not using enough tags when I have two or three… hmmm… maybe I need to rethink that…

    • You should use a lot more than three. Now you have up to 15 in combination of categories and tags so you should take advantage of them! Thanks Emily for stopping by!

  34. Thank you Susie for helping me avoid spam jail. This had some absolutely amazing information. Oh, thanks for getting me out of the follow comments mess!

  35. This post is a treasure trove! I’ve learned to much. I need to be way more careful with tagging. Thanks, Susie!

    • Thanks Fabio! I am glad you came by! Timethief just let me know this morning that they increased the number from 10 to 15 yesterday so this ended up being timely! I think the idea is not to be seen in every topic in in the reader.

  36. I’ve never really known the purpose of tags or categories… I just did them because I thought you were supposed to. I had no idea there was some nefarious purpose… I’ll have to check mine and see if I overdid it. As far as ‘fresh press’ goes, I never look at it, and not sure what the big deal is with that.

    I also never use the reader. In fact, I recall seeing it once when I was pushing all the buttons on my ‘dashboard’. Thanks to you, Susie, I see all the blogs I follow are there. That is a cool feature, I have always relied on email notifications.

    Yes, I am a wordpress novice, not venturing far from my own pages, or the ones of my ‘friends’. Oh dear, this is sounding like facebook.

    • If you click on a particular topic you are interested in, you can page down all of the most recent posts to find new blogs. I do that all the time.
      When I was Freshly Pressed it brought thousands of real views to my site and lots of new subscribers so it is a very cool thing! Let me know if you have any other questions! Have fun with the new features!

  37. Oh man I had no idea of the category and tag limit Susie you are a saviour..
    When i joined wordpress i used to ask them for help a lot and then came to know about the help screen in the dashboard.
    This is such a great info. post Susie
    love ya :)

  38. Thanks for all the useful tips! I’m still a dunce when it comes to categories and tags, so I’m off to timethief’s blog to find out what I don’t know.

  39. Thanks for blogging this, I will go check that W and the other features, LOL!

  40. Susie , this was an excellent blog. I used to ut tons of tags now have calmed down.. Very good info and had I known I would have put a key in a cake for you.:)
    HUGGGGGGGGGG

  41. Oh!!!! You fixed the comment madness!! I am so happy you got out of spam jail!! Sorry for all the exclamation marks LOL!!! Great and helpful post.

  42. Coleen Patrick

    Thanks for the tips–I was completely clueless about this!

  43. Hi Susie,
    Thanks for promoting both of my blogs. I’m so chuffed that you did. Guess what. Yesterday Staff increased the maximum combined total of Categories and Tags from 10 to 15. See here > http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/why-has-wp-destroyed-my-hit-count-with-the-topics-reader/page/4?replies=120#post-887019 Stay out of spam jail now, you hear? :D

  44. So what is your prison tat?

  45. Wow! Thanks for the tips, Susie! Good stuff to know.

  46. Oh no! Good that you made bail, and handy to know the way out… though I’m probably *under*tagging my posts.

  47. I always love coming over here, Susie.. first for entertaining stories.. blog sharing… and now some tech support. I think I’m pretty conservative on the tags. I see many of my food bloggers have been “Freshly Pressed”… I’ve given up hoping for that one. It seems like such an honor, but why choose one a week.. there are so many great food bloggers I see every day. BUT, if you can get me Freshly Pressed.. I’d send you my first born son.. hahaha.. well.. maybe you’d send him back since he’s 18, lol!

  48. Holy ish. I am so glad that I came across this. I’m a tag-aholic. Thanks!

    • You are automatically blocked in the reader every time you use too many. The reader is awesome for being seen by other WordPress users too. Good luck! I hope you will stop by again soon!

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