More Blog Tips

I recently wrote a post about what new bloggers should and shouldn’t do when trying to grow their blogs. Your response was incredible!

I got lots of tips from you all that I want to share, as well as lots of questions that I’ll try to answer. The post was also syndicated on BlogHer, and while that was very exciting for me, it kind of gives me the feeling that I might actually know what I’m talking about…and after all the work I’ve put into my blog, that makes me feel very, very good!

If you are brand spankin’ new to blogging, you might want to check out a post I wrote way back in June of last year with some tips for newbies (when I was a newbie myself)!

So now on to the good stuff…let me start by saying that a lot of you asked me questions, and if you had your email address on your profile, I responded to you directly. But many, many of you still have “no-reply” for your email address in Blogger – which is why I didn’t respond directly back to you.

My friend Tulpen of Bad Words left this comment on the post about blogging tips, and I feel the same way:

“I’m pretty sure that every time I want to respond to a comment and I see the no-reply; a unicorn spears a kitten.”

Yes people, she’s super funny and you should go visit her. But my point is that it can be frustrating to bloggers who want to interact with their readers but can’t because they don’t have a way to respond back to you!

Fill in your email address in your Blogger profile! It’s easy…from the Blogger Dashboard, go into the Edit Profile link next to your picture. Under Privacy click on Show My Email Address. But first make sure that under Identity, you have your email address listed! That’s it!

And on to the most asked question: What’s a meme?

Most of you will be surprised to know that you already know what a meme is, you just don’t realize it! A meme is just something that requires active participation by the blogger (think Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, Shell from Things I Can’t Say Pour Your Heart Out, Wordless Wednesday, The Red Dress Club’s Red Writing Hood…the list goes on and on) and usually requires the blogger to link a post back up to the originating site. It’s a way to share personal perspective or experience on random topics. It also drives traffic to the blogger that runs the meme’s site, as well as your site because people will see your linked up post and will visit to see what you have to share. And you are supposed to visit others as well.

Another one of the most asked questions I received…How do I get the reply button for Blogger?

If you look at my comments, you’ll see a reply button next to each comment.But don’t be fooled by the reply button…it doesn’t reply back to the person directly via email. It only shows up on my blog. Still, it’s a super cool feature, and you can visit Spice Up Your Blog for the how-to. And don’t be afraid when you look at the how-to instructions! They look/sound super hard to do, but believe me, if I can figure it out, you can too.

Another question I got was How do I get a blog button with a box that contains the html code so people can put my button on their blog?

There’s another super easy how-to post that you can read over at Mommy Moment about creating a sharable blog button. Again, if I can figure it out, it’s really easy!

And you all had tips and advice to share as well!

Lavonne from Our Wish had this great tip: “I figured out a way to make your email address a link that just opens the reader’s default email program.” and she included this link. I tried it, and it was very easy to do!

Everybody pretty much hates auto-play music on a blog, and so it’s safe to say if you have it, turn it off

Simply Stacie has a way for us on Blogger to get a URL for a post before it’s published. It’s a fantastic read and works well!

Everybody also hates captchas (word verification on blogs), and so you had some tips for both Blogger and WordPress to eliminate the spam, and the captcha.

For Blogger: Most spammers post on older posts, so moderate comments left on posts 2 weeks or older. I think this is great advice!

For WP: Many of you use Akismet, and a couple people mentioned that they also use the GrowMap AntiSpam Bot Plugin. The plugin simply puts a small box at the end of your comments stating “check here if you are not spam.”

I mentioned not having a black background with a white font. You all also offered the advice that bloggers shouldn’t use a light background with light font.

And there you have it! More tips for growing your blog and making it easier to interact with your readers…and making their visit to your blog enjoyable!

I hope all of this helps! Do you have more questions? Or do you have advice or tips to share with us? Is there another topic you’d like me to cover? I’m all ears!

And so it goes…


  1. This was great, Natalie! I have been at this for about a year & am always learning new things. Thanks for the tip about the "reply" button for comments & all of your great advice. :)
  2. Ostriches Look Funny says:
    helpful. I've been blogging for a while, but I'm generally incompetent. I'm also not sure if I spelled that right.
  3. I love blogging tip posts :)
  4. So, about the commenting with an email address. I have a WP blog but I can't comment using my WP profile on Blogger blogs. The only way I know how to comment on Blogger blogs is using my name/url but then I can't leave my email address. What's a blogger to do in this situation?

    Here's my email so if you have answer you can email it to me
  5. More great tips. Thanks.

    And hey, don't think I didn't notice you now have over 800 followers!! Way to go, Nat.
  6. The Empress says:
    I LOVE reading about blogging...can't tell you why...but I do.

    Great job, Nat.

    Happy Birthday, girl
  7. This is perfect!
    I just added the reply button. I still have to figure out the other and still working on the badge :)

    Thanks for this post!
  8. my3littlebirds says:
    Thanks so much for these and all your other great bloggy tips!
  9. You are just all sorts of helpful. :)
  10. JDaniel4's Mom says:
    You have just added several things to my to do list!
  11. Amy Pasinski says:
    Thanks for the info! I'm slowly growing my blog and appreciate any advice from the seasoned blog mommas! Thank you, thank you!
  12. I HATE 'no reply'. One time I typed out this HUGE, LONG email only to find that I wasn't going to be sending it to anyone! So frustrating.

    Like The Empress, I love reading about blogging. I'm sort of addicted to it. So keep the tips coming! ;)
  13. Having been a fan of your blog for a while now, I can definitely say you DO know what you're talking about!

    The interaction between wp and blogger blogs is interesting. I recently found out that I am a no-reply on comments for Blogger since I'm a WP user.
  14. Belle's Books says:
    What a helpful post!! Thank you!! =)
  15. great tips! i didn't realize i was a 'no-reply' person, i just fixed it - thanks! i would still love to start another blog, but there are already so many great ones!
  16. Helpful, as always!!
  17. says:
    Great tips! The last article actually caused me to change my beautiful brown background with white font to a more traditional one. Hopefully it's more readable.

    Now if I could just figure out how to get a facebook "like button" in my sidebar on a blog. Apparently, the site strips the iframe or java out. Sigh. (I've been researching this one--seems a common complaint. Might be worth self-hosting with word press software.)

    Anyway, thanks again for the tips!
  18. luckydame says:
    Excellent tips!!! Totally agree about the 'no-reply' and music on a blog.
  19. Great follow up post Natalie. It constantly amazes me that people insist on using a black background with white text...I often wonder if I'm the only one whose eyes swim around trying to read it??
  20. I had no idea you could get a URL to a post before it's published!! That's brilliant and definitely a tip I'm gonna use!!!

    Thanks for sharing!
  21. @Ostriches Look Funny

    And your comment made me laugh out loud! I'm pretty sure you spelled it right ;)
  22. the mombshell says:
    Dude, the reply button for blogger!? Holy shit I just did it and now my life is perfect.
  23. More great tips! I always wondered about being able to get the url before posting! I usually post and then copy it and then edit to add it in for giveaways.

    Thanks for the shoutout!
  24. Even though I've been blogging for about 15 months, I always learn something new!
  25. Hey! Thanks for the shout! And for getting the word out about the No-Reply nonsense.

    The roads were littered with speared kittens this morning. So sad.
  26. You're a rockstar, Natalie!
    You'll conquer the world, one captcha removal at a time!

    Thank you for the shout out for The Red Dress Club!

  27. Sluiter Nation says:
    WP has a "get shortlink" feature if you save your post as a draft before scheduling to publish (for giveaways and stuff).

    Like our lovely friend The Empress, I LOVE to read about blogging tips...even when I know them all. I have no idea why. It's probably part of my addiction!

    Oh and I agree with the whole annoying interaction between blogger/wp. I usually comment with my old blogger account because it's easier, but to get to my blog people are first brought to my old blogger blog and then have to click the link I left there to get to my current home. I hate it. And it's annoying how and are different logins and such because if there is a wp option when leaving comments, it's for and so that doesn't go to Sluiter Nation either.

    madness, I tell you.

  28. Nat, Liz taught me a way to get rid of Let me know if this works.
  29. @PopLet's try this again
  30. Hi! Just came across your blog, from Helene. Just saying hi, and as a new blogger, it was great to see all those tips you posted today!
  31. Mommy Needs a Vacation says:
    Excellent tips! I am coming up on a year of blogging and I still learn new things everyday!