A slightly different kind of post for me, but one I hope is useful to some of you. Here are some practical tips, not of the improve-your-stats type, but rather, improve-your-overall-blogging-experience.

Blog and pen

This photo went from 3 MB to 637kb and for this post, it works just fine.

Keep the size of your uploaded media (pictures, graphics) as small as possible. I’m referring to kb, MB and heavens, GB size here, not the scale it ends up on your blog. Use a photo editor to reduce the size if necessary. You only get so much space in your Word Press account to store media, so why waste it with unnecessarily large photos? At a point they won’t look any better online.

Note: Since I first posted this, a fellow blogger, Becky, suggested finding an online image compression site for reducing the size of your photos. She uses compressjpeg.com. I also found Caesium, a free image compression site that’s gotten good reviews and ratings. I tried it out and found it easy to use with good results. Use your own judgment and discretion when downloading software from the web; neither Becky nor I can be responsible for any problems or mishaps.

It’s best to write your posts directly in the WordPress editor rather than cutting & pasting. If you do cut & paste, absolutely click on “paste as text”formatting icon in the toolbar at the top or your post might do some funky things, and you may never even know about it. Yes, you will have to reformat — which could be all the more reason to start out in the WP editor. Your preference.

For that matter, get to know the toolbar at the top of the editor. Here’s another cool feature:   character icon has all kinds of characters you may find useful for words like naïve and fiancée.  WordPress might say you’re spelling them wrong if you use those letters correctly, but ignore that. You know better and you’ll look smarter.

There’s also the horizontal line, third from the left on the bottom row of the toolbar, that’s a great subtle way of breaking up text. I use it at the bottom of my posts if I have a footer. You can barely see the line, yet graphically, it makes a nice difference.

If you have a really cool WordPress domain name (i.e. reallycooldomainname.wordpress.com), consider purchasing the “regular” domain name (that would be reallycooldomainname.com) before someone else does, particularly if you’re trying to build brand identity. It’s only $18 a year (well, $25 if you buy the well-advised privacy feature) and could pay off if you have long-term plans for your blog.

Pixabay has great free images you can use in your blog, and you don’t have to credit them or anything! Also, if you go to Google Images and look up images in your category, click on “Search Tools” then, below it, “Usage Rights,”  and go to “Labeled for noncommercial reuse.” Pictures in your category that are public domain or available for free with some attribution are shown (click on the picture and follow the link to find out if any attribution is required).

Google Images Usage Rights

Look at all the free pictures of kitties!

Never, ever use a copyrighted picture without permission. Simply saying it’s copyrighted by that individual, unless it went out over a newswire or was made available to the public in some similar fashion, typically isn’t enough. Similarly, if you purchase an image from a stock image company, always attribute. Generally giving credit in a caption or footer is appropriate, as long as it’s reasonably visible.

Learn a little HTML. WordPress has several tutorials; look them up in the Help section. It helps if you have goofy formatting stuff going on in your post. One “problem” I frequently have is “ ” ends up between paragraphs, which adds an extra space I usually don’t want. You’ll see “ ” on the HTML side of the post editor, not the Visual, and all you have to do if you don’t want it is delete it.

problem

For that matter, if you’re not familiar with WordPress’s Help section, get to know it. Click on your Gravatar image in the upper right hand corner of your page and it will take you to your Gravatar page. On the bottom left-hand side you’ll see “Help.”

Learn about WordPress’s Blogging University if you haven’t already, and take a class or two. It’s well worth the time. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/blogging-university/

Hope some of this has helped make your blogging experience just a little bit better. Happy blogging!


 

Image Credits: (blog paper & pen) © Graphic Stock; (Question Marks) © tiero – Fotolia.com
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36 Comments on “Ten Practical Tips for WP.com Bloggers

    • The domain name definitely is something to consider, especially if you’re concerned someone else could step in and claim it. But I understand getting things in order. First things first!!!!

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  1. Pingback: Ten Practical Tips for WP.com Bloggers

  2. Pingback: Ten Practical Tips for WP.com Bloggers | Mysticalwriter

  3. I didn’t know about the alt character button – neat! I was also frustrated by &nbsp in the beginning and just recently figured that one out. I also didn’t realize there was a blogging university; you’ve given me some food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad I could help. And absolutely check out Blogging U! There are several really cool classes there and there’s no pressure to complete “assignments” or anything — you do what works for you, come back to the rest later if you wish or just pass it up completely. You get to meet other bloggers as well and gain some great support.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Windows Live Writer is a free download that is a great offline editor. You can write your blog post in it, format it how you want, and it will upload it directly to your WordPress blog as a draft. I use it exclusively and it is amazing.
    Also, in order to get smaller pictures, find an online image compression site (I use Compressjpeg dot com) It compresses the images, so they take up less space, but doesn’t change the image.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do know uploading posts you’ve written and formatted in other editors can cause problems you may not even see because they only occur in some browsers, so beware of that. I’m not familiar with compression software, just image editing, but if it’s worked for you then you’ve achieved the goal! I always hesitate to recommend software I’m not familiar with, so I’ll just give a general guideline: check it out first, get recommendations from others (starting here!), and see what the online experts suggest.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It writes the html code with it (You can download your blog theme to Windows Live Writer and see a preview before uploading it) and therefore the formatting is actually sound on all platforms.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Becky, I looked it up in WordPress’s Help section and found this article about Windows Live Writer: https://en.support.wordpress.com/xml-rpc/windows-live-writer/ . They do caution that future updates of the WordPress editor may not be compatible with WLW, but it sounds like you’ve had great success with it, so I added a note to my article suggesting it as an option and referring people to the article. I also added a note about image compression software. Thank you so much for your suggestions!

        Liked by 1 person

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