How I blog, my blogging tools
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
I began blogging at Elephant's Eye in June 2009. Between Blogger and Wordpress, Blogger won with David Kutcher who gives technical support and encouragement on Google Plus and his blog Confluentforms.
|Iron Bridge on the Berg River near Porterville|
Daily - I moderate comments. Check Gmail (for spam, and) to retrieve where the spam filters have been TOO enthusiastic. Stats at Blogger include referrer spam (which David K says is harmless, ignore it). StatCounter - Came from (which blog or website brings me traffic?) - Exit links (did you click, what?) - Downloads (why THAT image?) I read about 100 blogs via Feedly.
|Berlin Wall from MeinGartenImFliesstal|
Weekly. Webmaster Tools for Crawl errors, to sort out or redirect. Pageloads and Visitors 'last week' from StatCounter.
Monthly. In March, January posts got a Jump Break and I closed comments. StatCounter - Daily visits last month. Pingdom load time - clear away what slows my blog. ClustrMap - running totals. Blogger Audience last month - what % of my readers are on Mobile? Clear cache and cookies, reset blocking cookie at Blogger. Check Blogger and StatCounter and Feedburner - for popular posts last month. Feedburner - number of subscribers - remind unverified email subscribers.
|Lady Loch Bridge near Wellington|
Inspiration. I schedule rough ideas for weekly posts. Garden photos collect in a file across a (normal after building) month - towards WFW and EOMV. Travel or daily life - and a wild card today.
Photos first. Sorting my ideas as I chose which ten (stretched by collages, NOT good for mobile readers. Sigh). Each image tells its own slice of today's story. Trim the photo to focus on what I want you to look at. Watermark against scrapers. (Yes, I know it is easily removed, but, it's like locking the front door to our house). It's not about - flattered that you like my photo. It is about - perhaps they tweak a little, perhaps they add their OWN watermark, perhaps they SELL our photo. Fair use with a link back to me and mine, OK. Better to ask first, I've learned. Reduce the image size to 600 pixels across the long side - quality is fine for the blog, but doesn't appeal for scraping a print. Last - give each image a useful meaningful searchable name.
|Doring River Bridge|
Post text. I aim at 500ish words - enough to tell a story, but not demand a chunk of your precious time. Caption the photos - information for the reader who wonders which yellow flower is ... and it's Search for Images (which brings me a chunk of readers).
|Jaundiced eye of a Cape weaver lady|
I look at my blog home page (only the latest post so it's quickest) with a jaundiced eye each time I post, to tweak and adjust where something jars. Byline and tagline at the top of the post, link to G+ profile and back to my blog with info on links and comments at the bottom. Day and Night map as your reward for reaching the Footer. I use lots of links, back to my own posts where they add depth, and also out to other sites where they add breadth - with useful searchable text in the hyperlink (we want to rank high on Google for Click Here?)
|Bridge near Redelinghuys|
I've learned the hard way - when I can't find my own post about ... to confirm that I did actually USE those words which I think the post is about. From David Amerland, I've learned to edit out old posts which no longer draw traffic. I've deleted all the dead blogging posts from my original blog. My blog runs smoothly with Avira, Glary and CCleaner.
|June Blogaversary collage with Canva|
in the Groot Winterhoek Mountains
Disclaimer - my blog, my rules.
PS I am NOT throwing Shoulds at you. This is what works for me and mine.
Pictures by Diana Studer
of Elephant's Eye on False Bay
(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red.
Those are my links.
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