WordPress Notifications 1, Jim Borden 0

I’ve been writing this daily blog for over four and a half years, and I have not done much to promote it during that time After I publish my post, I add a link to it on Facebook and Twitter, and that’s about it.

I had also assumed that since I used WordPress, I was part of the WordPress community. However, my blog was a self-hosted one, and so I didn’t find out until a few months ago that I wasn’t really part of that wonderful community.

So I switched to using WordPress as my host, but I continued to promote it the same way I did before. There was some initial excitement when it seemed as if a couple of new people found my blog, but that only lasted for a day or so.

Over the past year I have also asked for help as to how to get a bigger and more engaged audience, and the responses were quite similar – make sure you are posting good content, and become more engaged yourself with other bloggers. It was certainly nice knowing that people were more than willing to share their knowledge and experience.

While it’s hard to know if I am publishing good content, I can certainly work on becoming more engaged with other WordPress users. In other words, if you want a friend, be a friend. One of the people I had asked for advice, who has several thousand WordPress followers, told me that he follows up to 500 blogs.

So now that my summer teaching is finished, I thought it was the perfect time to become a more engaged WordPress community member.

I started by first following everyone who had ever liked or commented on one of my posts, and then reading their posts and trying to add a thoughtful comment whenever I could. From there, the network of whom to follow just started to grow bit by bit, and after just a couple of days, I am now following close to 200 people.

I’ve also liked and commented on more blogs in the past three days than I have in my four-plus years of blogging. It’s been fun reading such a wide variety of posts from such interesting people.

But…

It’s a lot of work!

I’ve probably spent close to four hours per day over the past few days just trying to keep up with all the WordPress notifications I get when someone adds a new post, likes one of my comments, comments on one of my posts, or likes one of my posts. My phone and watch have buzzed more in the past few days than in the past 10 years.

And just when I think I’ve caught up with all of the notifications, they start coming again.

I feel like Lucy in this famous episode:

I hope I’ll become more efficient at this because I have enjoyed engaging with other bloggers, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to handle it when school starts up again. Plus, it seems like I still need to follow a few hundred more bloggers! Hopefully, it won’t get to the point where I am doing the equivalent of stuffing the notifications in my mouth or down my shirt or in my hat.

Any words of advice are more than welcome, and in the meantime, thank you to those of you who have taken the time to read my posts and like/comment on them.

I’m honored to be part of the WordPress community and look forward to the bonds that are created with people from around the world through blogging.

*image from WordPress

43 thoughts on “WordPress Notifications 1, Jim Borden 0

  1. Hi Jim you do have a wonderful content on your blog! I’m honestly not sure, if you host it on your own server or wordpress.com – you probably can in similar manner, like and comment on other blogs. But, let me encourage you, you do everything right. I would also recommend to open Pinterest and Youtube account to have more visitors, but just like you mentioned – it’s a lot, a lot of work 🙂 I wish you all the best, blessings!

  2. Hi Jim, Congratulations on your four and a half years of blogging. That’s a great achievement. I guess, for me, the question is not how many followers, but how many engaged followers. Engaging with those who comment on my posts is the reward for posting. I couldn’t possibly really follow 500 or even 200 bloggers. It would be just too time consuming. I have between 20 and 30 bloggers whose posts I regularly read and comment on and that’s about as much as I can cope with. There are others that I may read and comment on occasionally if time or interest permits. I guess it all depends on what your purpose for blogging is. You can also adjust your notifications so that you are only notified when someone makes a comment on your blog. That’s what I have done. I get an email notification, which means I can read and think about the comment before getting to the computer to reply. The likes could get very distracting. I’ve turned them off. I wish you success in achieving your blogging goals. As you’ve said in your post, I think relationships, as with any friendship, are the important thing. These are developed through conversations (comments on each other’s blogs).

    1. Hi Norah. Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. I think I want the same thing as you, an engaged community of bloggers who read and respond to each other’s work. I just figured at the beginning it might be a numbers game; if I start by following a lot of blogs, then I can start filtering out which ones seem to best meet my interests. I’ll also have to check my settings to see what works best in terms of notifications.

  3. Jim, thanks for your comments on my blog, and like you, I will always follow and “test drive” any blog that follows mine. I started this hobby back in January of 2010 and I did so to amuse myself and if anyone else found it amusing, all the better. I have learned that “followers” does not equal “readers” as while I have over 1,500 followers, (add another 2,000 or so on FB) there are maybe two dozen people who I know read and engage with me on a regular basis, often using texts, emails, twitter messages and occasionally phone calls and even personal “Blogger Summits” where get together for social purposes ( often while traveling on vacation or work). At the age of 59, I feel closer to some of my blogging community than I do to people I see every day. I have modern day pen pals scattered around the world, each with interesting stories to tell. What’s not to like? I used to look at my stats every day and wonder how to get bigger numbers. I looked this morning and the plateau continues. Better to have quality than quantity.

    I never intended to monetize the blog, still have no interest in doing so and have not paid a penny to have it. When it stops being fun (getting ready to celebrate my 4,000th post in a month or two) I will stop doing it, but I’m not even close to it not being fun. When I wake up dead one morning, one of my daughters has the access information so she can let my friends know that I have posted my last.

    In the meantime, we will see you on the Internet 👍

    1. Hi Ray, thanks for sharing your insights on blogging. And it’s nice to know that you have build such a supportive community on WordPress. Congrats on your soon to be 4,000th post – that’s quite an accomplishment.

  4. I like to “like” and follow people’s blogs on Word Press too, but the email notifications can get overwhelming. I think there is a way to edit your “Rules” in Outlook so that they all automatically go to a separate folder if the word “wordpress” appears in them.

    But I do it the more laborious way and skim the emails of bloggers I like and either click or delete. Even if the blog post topic is of interest I might hit delete, as I know I can always go to their blog and read it later.

    But of course it is the prompt of the email that brought me to this one of of yours … I too need to figure out what “Press this” means in Word press. Most of my readers come from sharing my posts on Facebook. The most hits I ever got was when someone with zillions of followers retweeted one on twitter.

    So much interesting content. So little time!

  5. Hi Jim, I follow a lot of blogs and their is a lot of good content. I try to interact as much as I can, I just think it’s blogger etiquette 101 to do so. My following is very slow right now because I just started. Hopefully it will grow, I am on Instagram and Pinterest. I don’t have a Facebook however I think it will grow if I have a Facebook account.

  6. 🙂 Hi Jim, I would like to politely point out, that it would be a wise move on your behalf to only follow those blogs that you intend on visiting.

    Realistically speaking, it is extremely difficult to visit hundreds or even thousands of blogs.

    However, it is possible to engage effectively with a number of people that you can actually handle.

    Also, Pinterest is superb for reeling in traffic to your blog.

    Do have yourself a wonderful week!

    1. Renard, thanks for the advice! I jsut started following your blog a few minutes ago – look slike it will have helpful information for me as I worlk on my blog.

      1. 🙂 I follow those sites that I am genuinely interested in.

        You seem to have a very interesting blog — one that I would gladly follow!

  7. Thank you for this! I’m currently going through the same thing, and have found that getting involved in the WordPress community is not only a great way to improve who sees your content, but is also a great way to get new ideas and see new perspectives! Thank you!

    1. Yes, it seems like it will be a great source of ideas. In fact, my blog for tomorrow night is based on someon’es post that I read last night! I wish you the best with your blog!

  8. 🤔 Hmm. I just realized that you do not have the regular “Follow” button that bloggers on WordPress.com use. I see that you have the “Follow Blog By Email” widget. Since I do not follow blogs by email, I would prefer to follow your blog via Feedly; I have a Feedly account.

    Would that be a problem?

    1. Hmmm. I don’t think that should be a problem; it might just take me a little bit to figure out how to set that up. Thanks for letting me know!

      1. If all else fails, why not create a “free blog” here on wordpress.com, and “reblog” all posts from your main site? That way people from wordpress.com can stay updated and still follow you, and hopefully still find you in the network?

        I see a few bloggers do this, and it seems to work. It’s more work on your part, though… hahahaha…

        Or maybe there’s a plug-in. There seems to always be a plug-in for almost anything.

      2. I see it, sir, and it works! Congratulations. Hopefully you can easily get more followers through this. Looking forward to reading more of your writings!

        Have a nice day. 😀

  9. So you’ve got it, then. One must engage with others. I’m sure there is some serious symbolic meaning to this as well … nevertheless. Being solitary, I really have to force myself to stay connected to my WordPress community. And all of us in my network anyway understand that sometimes any of us might need to disappear for a while to regroup.

    I also don’t care to have a large number of people that I need to keep up with. I am extremely selective as to who I wish to network with, So numbers mean very little to me. But I guess we got to tailor this to ourselves as individuals. Aloha.

  10. Hello, Jim! You’re admirable. I am a new blogger and as much as I am excited doing this blogging thing, I am also scared that it won’t stick around for as long as your blog did.

    I guess you don’t have a problem with your content. Looking into some of your posts, your content shows the eloquence you might have been known for among your students.

    Perhaps, the challenge you have here is time.

    I started blogging as diversion from all the stress I get from being a working student. However, there would be times when the blogging and promoting the blog part were starting to get stressful too.

    That’s when I revisited my purpose.

    I started blogging because I want a platform to express and share my insights on my faith, my take on law and politics, and other things bag and girly (Lol). Before, it didn’t matter whether or not I have many followers. So long as I see on my stats that readers across the globe are reading my ideas, that was good enough for me.

    I think you just have to revisit what your purpose in blogging again. That way, you can focus on what really matters and get rid of the distractions.

    I am sorry… I have nothing much to share but I still hope this helps.

    1. Hi Tina, Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such thoughtful comments. You make a good point about revisiting what the purpose of my blogging is. And perhaps part of my problem is that I don’t have a good answer to that. Part of it is just the mental challenge of seeing if I can come up with something to write about each, and perhaps there’s a tiny voice saying that I could be a writer. I’ll have to spend some time thinking about this, but in the meantime, I look forward to reading ore of what you have to say at your blog.

      1. No rush. Above all else, one just have to enjoy writing on his blog. That’s a great start. And you already have that — the goodness shown effortlessly through your blogs.

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