Re-blogging and other sharing options are important to getting and maintaining blog readership. Re-blog is a powerful tool. Only recently have I come to appreciate the power of allowing my posts to be shared by others. Along the way, I have also learned other things that may be helpful to WordPress bloggers. So I am sharing my thoughts on sharing options.
For the past several days, I’ve been wondering about the re-blog option on my site and why it is absent from several of my favorite sites. For starters, I have been wondering how to turn “re-blog” on/off. I’ve looked at the settings, sharing options, customizations, and several other places, and can’t figure out where one goes to control re-blogging. Oh, well. I don’t want to change the oprion on my page; I just wanted to know how to do it. That’s because I have come to appreciate the power of re-blogging.
(Later, I’ll check out the help facility and user forums, if I can find them.Doing so now takes me away from this page.)
At some point during the past few weeks, I began to notice that a few of the sites I follow have no re-blog option. Two sites are by published authors, Libby Sommer and Don Massenzio. Libby shares some wonderful posts about her own writing experiences and provides some excellent advice. Don does the same, but adds book reviews, author interviews, and tips that he re-blogs from other writers. For reasons I don’t quite understand, neither author has a re-blog option on their sites. (The best I can do to share their posts is to copy and share the link to a post on my laptop, since I can’t seem to do that on my iPad. And I am on my iPad a lot more often than I am on my laptop these days.)
Until a month or so ago, I was not convinced that re-blogging is a good way to go, especially when privacy concerns are considered. However, WordPress does an excellent job of maintaining my privacy, even on this public site. After reading a few posts that advise re-blogging, I took a chance and started sharing posts about writing and blogging tips that are interesting to me. The reason I started sharing is, because a few bloggers re-blogged several of my own posts, readership on my blog increased. When I began re-blogging others’ posts, readership increased even more. It really is the case that, as blogger Roberta Pimpentel stated in one of her posts, “when I help you, you help me.”
As I stated above, WordPress does a great job regarding privacy of individual bloggers. Options and plug-ins such as Akismet and Gravator help protect you even more. Akismet, for example,keeps posts with more than 3 links (the default maximumm, which can be modified up or down) from showing up in your Reader listings. Gravatar protects your identy by steering inquiries about who you are to a site that allows you to control what you share with visitors to your site (these go above and beyond WordPress’s controls). So the fear of exposing personal information during re-blogging, or in allowing your posts to be re-blogged, can be minimized and controlled by you. And your readership can grow a lot faster.
So far, I have not re-blogged poems or stories by poets and writers that I especially liked. One of the reasons I haven’t done this is because I get nightly emails of bloggers I follow. The emails often contain the entire post, and include a link for comments on the posting. If I like a particular post, I need to visit the site itself to “like” it. The problem with this is that, if the blogger posts more than one item during a 24-hour period, including re-blogs, all the posts are contained in a single email (or those are my settings to keep all the day’s posts together and to prevent a gajillion emails from WordPress). You might think this is a good thing, until you think about how people react to emails. What I do is link to the site that shows up first, “like” it, and maneuver back to my email to see what the next blogger has to offer without paging down to see if the blogger posted anything else that day. When more than one post has been made by a single blogger, and especially when I am reading my email on a mobile device (which is more and more the case), I often don’t even know that there are other posts to read because they are off my email reading screen–especially since the whole page is included in the notification message (including comments and the page footers, which can tke up a lot of message space). Because the posts are “listed” in reverse order of when they were posted, I may miss the author’s most important posts for the day. So the advantages of the email notifications are good in that I do not miss posts from bloggers I follow and all the posts are together in my email. The disadvantage is that I may miss something important to me because of the clutter. Since some of the blogs I follow often re-blog ten or more posts in a single day, even reading the notifications on my laptop means I might miss an important post.
The advantage Reader lists lies not only with keeping one up to speed on the blogs one follows, but also allows the ability to re-blog or like a post directly from Reader if the author allows it. For me, this ability is especially time-saving when I want to share or re-blog a post later. If I re-blog every post I like or want to share as I come to it, my own fresh post would most likely be buried among all the re-blogged posts. Re-blogging later allows me to control which of today’s posts lead the email notifications.
Because I allow re-blogging and liking from Reader, I can assume that some readers will like or share my post based on the introductory sentences that appear on my post. That helps me make my writing a bit tighter because I want the reader to know what this post is about. When I think about the purpose of the new post, I lead with that. If I start with greetings or explanations that don’t deal with the topic, most readers may simply bypass my latest post without visiting my page. Sometimess I forget to lead with the topic, and few people visit my site on those days. but that’s a topic for a different day.
Try experimenting with re-blogging others’ posts and allowing your own posts to be re-blogged. See how it works for you.