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?

 

130 thoughts on “How to Break out of Jail and Other Useful Tidbits!

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  1. 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.

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      1. Yep, and I clicked on it – looks like a “here’s the latest news from wordpress” type of thing. Am I missing something? Would it say “YOU ARE BLOCKED – GO KILL YOURSELF NOW” or something like that? 🙂

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                1. I think you can do whatever you want since you are independent of .com.. I left you a message on FB to ask a question about “being seen.” Let me know what you find out!

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        1. 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!

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  2. 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!

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    1. 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!

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      1. You are so thoughtful. All of your posts are so entertaining. I love them all.
        What do you mean by cross posting? Having two blog sites?

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        1. Thanks so much Lynn! I really enjoy your blog too!
          Yep! You can just copy and paste from WP to Blogger. Why not? You could get a load of new subscribers and still run the other too!

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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!

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    1. 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?

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      1. Thanks for the compliment, Susie. You’re quite a wit in your own right! No, I haven’t been “Blogologued”. If I ever am, that would be a blast of (welcome) anxiety. I’d probably stain myself mightily.

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  5. 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. 🙂

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    1. 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!

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  6. 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 🙂

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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.

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  9. 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.

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      1. 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!

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        1. 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!

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  10. 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 🙂

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    1. Awesome! Lynn Rocks! I am so glad that you found me! Let me know if your posts start showing up in the reader. They are allowing up to 15 now, but I am still gun shy and am not exceeding 12. Thanks Alarna!

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      1. It’s a good thing you did decide to get the info out, thanks! Yeah sorry for my absence, been hard at work with writing and the podcast. Glad to see you enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment / retweet.

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  11. 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 🙂

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  12. 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!

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  13. 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 …?

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