Welcome new blog followers! I hope you’ll sit back, relax, and read how a surprising discovery was ironic in six twisted ways when one of my posts was featured on WordPress Discover.
Last week, while sipping coffee and checking my Twitter notifications, I noticed WordPress had tweeted my blog post, 18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote, Increase Traffic and More! It had been Discovered! The first thing out of my mouth, (second, after the coffee) was, “How ironic is that!” In more than one way. I’m cracking up as I write this.
I’ll get to the ironies, but first I want to thank WordPress editor, Ben Huberman for Discovering me! It has been such an honor. I may have gotten his attention through leaving this post in a Community Pool comment explaining one of the following ironies:
One of my 18 Best Blog Tips is to try not to spend too much time on blog posts.
That post took hours and hours which turned into days.
I wrote it for WordPress bloggers.
None of my followers saw it in the Reader. Which brings me to…
18 Best Blog Tips also dove into mistakes I have made through six years of blogging. Here’s another one to add to the list.
I had upgraded my site to Business back in March, which allows me to use Google Analytics. That has been super interesting. I can check demographics and see which cities and countries are fans. Last week, London was my super fan city. Santa Monica (my beloved surfing spot), was the worst city in the world for viewing my blog. The US was the best country, but Israel was the worst. I have some work to do.
Mistakes were made.
Recently, I noticed I could start using plugins. My daughter, Courtney works in web analytics. She suggested I install Yoast to point out what I need to do for SEO. I attended a WordPress Meetup and was told installing Yoast would be easy and I could uninstall it if I didn’t like it.
When I arrived home, I shook while I pressed the Install button. Instead of getting the notification that it had worked, it said I wasn’t up to date with the basic WordPress Jetpack program. I had to call a Happiness Engineer, who rescued me and installed it. Whew!
The next day, when my scheduled story, A Day in London with Charles Dickens posted, it was to the sound of crickets. Of course, it was another one of those posts that took tons of time. It didn’t end up in the Reader for my followers. Bummer!! I contacted the Happiness Engineers and found out it was because I wrote and scheduled it before I installed the plugin. Apparently, the structure of the site changes after installing a plugin on a Business site.
For days, no one followed my blog. I asked my daughter to check her phone and the floating Follow button had disappeared. I had been warned but several other bloggers who use Yoast continued to have the happy little green floating Follow. Not me. Dang!
That was the deal breaker. New followers are more important to me than views from SEO. Someday, I’ll have books to roll out to them. I started blogging to build community.
Once again, Happiness Engineers to the rescue! Several of these angelic and patient computer geniuses jumped in to help over the next few days. My Chuck Dickens post returned to the Reader without likes but with all of its comments intact. Whew!
I made the same mistake TWICE!
After working on 18 Best Blog Tips for several days, I scheduled it for the following week. It was written while I used Yoast. When it posted after uninstalling the plugin, it didn’t end up in the Reader, again. GAH!
Cue the sound of crickets.
Luckily, some of my followers click from their email. Fellow blogger, Words from Anneli helped me solve that.
I had written it for WordPress bloggers. Most would never see it. It was my six-year Blogoversary post!
Sharing it on social media made me feel better. When my friends reblogged it, their post appeared in search. That was a relief.
Then I remembered Ben Huberman’s Community Pool. He hosts this event through the Daily Post on Mondays. The next one is September 18th. Bloggers share posts, ask questions, or jump in and help others in the comments. I shared 18 Best Blog Tips and explained how it was written for them after six years of blogging but how it wasn’t seen in the Reader because of my Yoast fiasco.
Which brings me to coffee splatters on my computer screen. After all the nervous perspiration and lots of tears, it got Discovered. WOW!
The last time I was Freshly Pressed (the antiquated term for Discover), I was heading to the Pikes Peak Writers Conference for the weekend. The word got out that An Open Letter to My Boobs (an irreverent letter to my fake boobs after double boobectomies), had gone somewhat viral. Writers introduced me as The Boob Lady.
This time, I was on my way to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Colorado Gold Conference. What were the chances? I became the Blog Lady. (Not as popular as boobs, by the way.)
So, good for me. Whoopie ding dong day.
How does this article help you?
- Upgrading to a Business site with the ability to install plugins is perfect for a blogger who knows their way around the back end of websites or is willing to learn. You’re still a part of the WordPress community and have the interactive black bar at the top of your site. When I have books to sell, I may try plugins again. Like I said, the Happiness Engineers are super talented and are one click away. (It always amazes me how fast they are!) They hope to fix the Reader Search and make plugins easier and more compatible for Business sites and community bloggers like me.
- I would highly recommend following the Daily Post. They have daily prompts and share helpful information for WordPress bloggers. Leave a link, once in a while, in the comments of Community Pool and be sure to help others. You might get noticed!
- There’s an About option on the top right corner of the Discover page. This is where the editors describe what Discover is all about. Scroll down and you’ll see a form. You can fill it out to nominate other bloggers for Discover. I discovered that yesterday!
Thank you again, Ben, the Happiness Engineers, and my followers. It’s time to clean my computer screen and get back to writing books.
Have you ever won an award? Have you ever made any mistakes here on WordPress? Are you willing to experiment or are stories like mine terrifying? Ha!
Click for more misadventures on the Wild Ride!