Friday, October 11, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Intro to Blogging and Commenting

A few weeks back our parish secretary put my blog info in the bulletin. Since then there have been a few people that have asked me questions about my blog, blogging in general, and also about commenting on a blog post. So I thought I would put together something to try and help them out.

Some of these people have never been blog readers before. I am somewhat new to the blog world myself (well, it’s been about a year, boy that went by fast!) but I think there are a few pointers I could offer that might be helpful.

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So first of all, what is my blog about? When someone asked me that recently, I pretty much just stammered though well, you know, a lot of different stuff, it doesn’t really have a theme. But later I was a little upset with myself. I should have had an answer.

So what should I have said? I should have said “it’s about me. It’s about all the different things that make up who I am. It’s a place for me to reflect on things in my life, past, present, or future. It’s also just a place for me to document whatever I want to.”

I’ll get better at my response, it'll just take some time and some self confidence.

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Now, about blogging…there really are no rules. You can find a blog about any subject you can image. There have got to be millions of them. There are blogs about cooking, fashion, family, faith, and probably just as many more like mine with no particular theme. 

There are blogs that are private, some that are run by multiple people, and others that are run as businesses. 

There are blogs to help you be a better blogger. I think you get the point.

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Blogging can really be a place of community. If you can find several blogs by people who have similar interests, similar beliefs, and in a similar place in life as you are it is easy to start to feel like you know these people, like they are your friends. And true friendships really can be formed through blogging.  I feel like I have a couple blossoming friendships started myself.

Most bloggers feature their favorite blogs in a section of their blog, usually on the side. This is a great way to find other bloggers that have the similarities like I mentioned above.

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Blogging is a lot of fun too. One of the fun things, that I have done a little bit of, are link-ups. Link-ups are a great way to discover other great blogs and bloggers. (This Quick Takes post is a link-up hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary)

Another fun thing on some blogs is give-a-ways. I have yet to win anything, but it is still fun. Usually a blogger will do a review of a product and then the company will give something away to a lucky reader. Sometimes bloggers will do give-a-ways that are not company sponsored, just something they have or something they made. It’s all fun.

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A couple things to get you acquainted with blogs:

A. Sometimes in blog posts there are hyperlinks that will take you somewhere else when you click on them. They are usually easy to see because the text is a different color.

B. A lot of bloggers can also be found on other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can usually find links to ‘friend’ them on their blogs.

C. Most blogs have a ‘follow by email’ submission box. You put in your email address and you get an email when this blogger posts a new blog post. There are other ways to follow blogs but not necessary to keep up with your favorites.

D. Many blogs have tabs across the top (sometimes the side) that take you to other pages of the blog. Often times an ‘about me’ page, but there could be anything on the tabs, it’s completely up to the blogger.
Notice I don't have an About Me page -- I'm working on one -- stay tuned

E. Most blogs have a section that are quick links to past blog posts. Usually it is in a year/month format, but sometimes it is just a search box. When you find a blog you like, this is a good way to catch up and read older posts they have published.

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Now for commenting on a blog post…

The first thing you should know is that bloggers LOVE comments.

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Second, to comment you usually have to have an account with one of a few various providers. The good thing is, if you have a Gmail account, that will usually work for most blogs.

The next thing might be a little complicated, but you should know whether you are looking at the home page or an individual post. Here’s the way to tell: if you scroll down the page and you see more than one blog post, you are probably on the home page.

You can get to the comments from here, but the easier way is to click on the title of the post. This will change the page to just that one post and at the end of the post will be the comment box.

Type out your comment and then you will have to pick what account you want to use to comment as. This is what I was talking about above. If you have a Gmail account, pick Google and log in. Make sure you don’t forget to click on ‘publish’.

Depending on how the blog owner has set it up, you may have to enter letters or words from a picture. There will be some sort of message saying you have to enter it so the computer knows you are a human and not a computer. I have that feature turned off on my blog. I find them annoying.

But what I do have turned on is that I must approve all comments before they can be seen. That is so if I get spam or a nasty commenter, I can choose to not publish the comment.  If you comment on my blog, you will probably not see your comment until I approve it.

There are several different ways to comment on different blogs, but once you do it a time or two, it should be pretty easy to figure out.

So there you go! I hope this had some valuable information and that you will comment now!

P.S. Here’s an extra…if you were ever thinking about blogging yourself, here is a link to a great blogger’s post that gave me some tips when I was starting out myself.  Plus you’ll love her blog.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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