Experimenting With Your Blog

experimenting-with-your-blog

Have you ever experimented with your blog?

There is a high probability of your answer being, “Yes!”

As a matter of fact, the majority of the bloggers that I know have experimented with their blogs at some point in their lives.

And, there are bloggers who are still experimenting.

To be honest, it makes a lot of sense to experiment with your blog.

Why?

Because it provides you with a clear idea as to what works for your blog as well as what does not.

So, without further ado, it is time to explore some of the various experiments that we bloggers participate in.

Messing Around With WordPress Themes

A lot of WordPress bloggers can relate to messing around with WordPress themes.

Since WordPress themes are highly configurable, they probably played around with:

  • The size of the fonts
  • The background colours.
  • The various widgets at their disposal.

Unfortunately, some bloggers would starve to death if they had to design websites for a living. They do crazy things like:

  • Using fonts that are too small for the average person to read.
  • Using background colours that clash with the colour of the font; thus making their blog posts difficult to read.
  • Using way too many widgets; which leads to slowing down the loading time of their blog.

On a positive note, there are bloggers with good taste; they are the ones who:

  • Make sure that their fonts are large enough to be seen by the visitors to their blog.
  • Will not use the type of background colours that would clash with their fonts.
  • Will not go overboard where widgets are concerned.

If a blogger knows nothing about their chosen WordPress theme, they should read up on its features or watch a tutorial on YouTube ― one that teaches them how to configure their WordPress theme.

Removing The “Like” Button

There are bloggers who temporarily removed the Like button on their blogs.

And, there are a group of bloggers who completely did away with the Like button on their blogs.

What was their reason for removing the Like button from their blogs?

They removed the Like button from their blogs because some people were pressing the Like button without ever reading a word that they published.

And, let us not forget the serial likers ― people that press the Like button repeatedly in a very short space of time.

Liking something that you have never read is impossible.

I have been told that pressing the Like button without reading the blog post is a way of showing support for the blogger (I know that a lot of people would find that concept to be a peculiar one).

I have never removed the Like button from my blog (And, I do not think that I would be pushed to a point where I would consider removing the Like button from my blog).

I would like to ask those bloggers that removed their Like button, “Did the removal of the Like button affect the number of your incoming views?”

I highly doubt that removing the Like button from your blog will affect the number of incoming views to your blog.

To be fair, a blogger has every right to remove the Like button from their blog; especially if it is the cause of their annoyance.

Removing The “Reblog” Button

The WordPress engineers deserve a good spanking.

And, why is it that I believe that the WordPress engineers deserve a good spanking?

They deserve a good spanking because bloggers can still reblog your blog posts in spite of removing the Reblog button from your blog (This, unfortunately, is made possible via the WordPress Reader).

As someone who has removed the Reblog button from their blog, I can admit to you, that the reblogging of my blog posts have decreased significantly.

Have you ever removed the Reblog button from your blog?

Attempting To Find Out The Best Days And The Time For Publishing Your Blog Posts

If you were to do an online search for the best days and the time for publishing blog posts, you would find all sorts of answers (They would vary from blogger to blogger).

In all honesty, the best thing for you to do is to conduct an experiment of your own. Make a note of the day and the time that you publish your blog posts and look at the results.

I am of the opinion that the timing could be right and the topic might be one that a large percentage of people are not interested in; thus leading to a minuscule amount of incoming views during that particular day and time.

Also, a lot of bloggers have failed to realize that people will check out blog posts at a time that is convenient to them (I happen to be one of those people).

In spite of my blog posts attracting incoming views on the same day that they are published, they still attract incoming views during the other days of the week (And, I have a strong feeling that the same thing applies to your blog).

Anyway, what works for Peter might not necessarily work for Paul; which is the reason why you have to take the concept of publishing your blog posts at a certain day and time for maximum views with a proverbial grain of salt.

I chose to publish my main blog post on Saturdays at 1930 Greenwich Mean Time out of convenience and not because it was the best day and time to acquire a large number of incoming views.

The blog posts that are published during the other days of the week are random; there is no specific day or time to publish them.

Besides, our fellow bloggers would most likely check out our blog posts when:

  • They show up on the WordPress Reader.
  • They are notified of our new blog post via their email.
  • They are notified of our new blog post via a news aggregator application like Feedly.
  • They are logged in to their WordPress account.

If you are good at what you do, your blog posts are not going to go unnoticed.

Gaining More Followers By Publishing Blog Posts Daily

One of the advantages of publishing content daily is that those blog posts of yours are seen regularly on the WordPress Reader (If people happen to like your blog posts, they will make the decision to follow your blog).

By the way, any blogger can gain more followers by publishing high-quality content on their blog:

  • A few days a week.
  • Once a week.
  • On a fortnightly basis.
  • On a monthly basis.

Publishing content on your blog daily is merely optional.

Attempting To Find Out Which Type Of Topic People Are Most Interested In

Now, finding out which type of topic that people are most interested in is tricky?

Why?

Because people are interested in all sorts of things; for example, if you have added the tag, Blogging Advice to your blog post, it would attract readers that are interested in blogging advice; especially if WordPress bloggers are searching the WordPress Reader for blog posts that are tagged under Blogging Advice.

I am quite fond of Linux-related topics and I click on the Linux tag in my WordPress Reader whenever I want to read up on Linux-related blog posts.

Dear friend, if you use the appropriate tag for your blog post, you should have nothing to worry about; it will be found. People search certain tags on the WordPress Reader to locate topics that they are interested in.

I will admit, that there are some topics that are more popular than others (But that should be the least of your worries).

If you wish to find out which topics that your viewing audience is interested in, visit the Statistics area of your WordPress dashboard; it should provide you with a clear view of the topics that they are interested in.

I strongly advise that newbie bloggers should ignore the Statistics area of their WordPress dashboard because their blog is new (The number of incoming views for a blog that was recently created would be dismal; thus discouraging the newbie blogger from publishing further blog posts).

Using SEO Plugins To Gain Visibility In Search Engines

Bloggers are known to utilize SEO plugins to gain visibility among search engines on the world wide web.

Those bloggers who are on WordPress.com’s Business Plan have access to SEO plugins.

Those people who blog on WordPress.org also have access to a wide range of SEO plugins.

Some of the common SEO plugins that WordPress bloggers use are:

Plugins, of course, will have their advantages. Therefore, some SEO plugins would work better than others.

And, there is the option of doing SEO without a plugin; it requires having an in-depth knowledge of the workings of SEO.

Have you ever experimented with any of the SEO plugins that I highlighted?

And, is there any one of you who prefers doing SEO without a plugin?

The Bottom Line

Bloggers have experimented with the intention of improving their blog (And, some of them will continue to experiment with the intention of acquiring their desired results).

Please feel free to let me know what type of blogging-related experiment (or experiments) that you have tried with your blog via the comments section of my blog.

Hey, if you are the type of blogger who has never conducted blogging experiments, it is quite okay (No one would be holding that against you).

Thank you for reading!

98 thoughts on “Experimenting With Your Blog

  1. The reblog button has never been on my site, I think it encourages content theft. The Like button is a good and bad thing for the reasons you mentioned, Renard. I enjoy replying to comments, the like button takes that away sometimes.

    I’ve tried to find a different theme for my blog but just can’t find one that works as well as the current theme, frustrating. I have the business plan and haven’t tried the SEO plugins yet. Good post, Renard!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. 🙂 Thank you, John.

      By the way, I found your insightful comment among my spam. I would like you to look into this matter. I am hoping that your comments are not ending up in other people’s spam.

      Let us hope that it is nothing serious and that it merely a case of an overreactive Akismet.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Personally, I’ve never understood the paranoia around the “Reblog” button. Using it gives credit to the original blog / writer, and the last couple of times I used it (which is RARE), it only displayed the first few paragraphs with a “click here to read the rest of the story” so it’s generating page views for the original author as well.

        To me, a reblog is free advertising, and the couple of times I was reblogged, I thanked the people that did it.

        The real content thieves just highlight, cut and paste. MAYBE running it through a content spinner as well. THOSE are the people that we should all hate.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Upgrading to the business plan automatically removes the reblog button, and I noticed a decrease in reblogs after that, which I suspect is mostly because not everyone is aware they can reblog from within the Reader without the button.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. 🙂 Thank you for providing me with further insight into WordPress’s Business Plan.

      I have made the observation that pertained to the lack of a “Reblog” button on certain business-related blogs (Thanks to you, I now know the reason why).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve played around with themes and fonts. I post daily and I try to add all the relevant tags. I didn’t think about searching the most searched tags in Stats page. Thanks for the tip. This was a very useful and informative post, Renard

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Another great post. I’ve definitely experimented the most in my first year of blogging. Eventually I found the right font, publishing time, and other minor details. The only thing I never changed was my site theme. I truly think “Wilson” works best for me.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Hello Renard,

    Your post is impressive and helpful. And your content delivery is superb.

    I have gone through the points (themes, fonts, colours & widgets) you have mentioned because I love doing experiments on my small blog.

    Can we remove the “reblog” button on a free WordPress subdomain? I do not allow sharing “complete post”. Link sharing is welcome.

    What about “Comment Likers”? Earlier I used to do that. Later I stopped. Genuinely liking comments you agree with is okay.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. 🙂 Yes, Lokesh, the “Reblog” button can be removed from a free subdomain.

      Reblogging someone else’s blog post via the “Reblog” button only shares a small portion of one’s post and not the entire post.

      Credit is given to the original author.

      However, there are a large number of bloggers that do not want their posts reblogged (And, other bloggers should respect that wish of theirs).

      Thank you for participating in the conversation!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Serial likers? Didn’t know they existed. Removing any button (like, reblog, comment, etc) should be a choice, like you said. I learn a lot from your very informative posts! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  7. One always learns something on visiting your blog.

    What a coincidence that I am thinking of changing my WordPress theme and also changing the format of my Blogging Insights prompt.

    Do you have any advice in regard to both the above issues.

    I am on the Personal plan and I am currently using the Canard theme. Can you reccomend any other.

    As for plug ins, I subscribed to the business plan for the initial several months of blogging. I downloaded two plug ins, Yoast and Canva.
    I found Yoadt too time consuming and restrictive. And I could not find enough time to use Canva.
    I downgraded to the Personal plan and have no regrets.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. 🙂 I recommend using any clean-looking theme with professional-looking fonts.

      In regards to the Yoast SEO plugin, I believe that you can find a tutorial on YouTube.

      I wish you the best of luck with your blog’s future changes, Dr. Tanya.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. First, I want to say that I respect you a lot for publishing blog posts so regularly. Each one of them has such great points. I enjoy reading them. I hope to blog confidently like you someday. I change my WP theme whenever I feel it doesn’t reflect my personality while making sure it stays neat and readable. SEO plugins: well, mine’s more of a hobby blog (free version) but I have recently started putting my SEO skills to use for my blog. Thanks for the awesome post! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Hi Renard, I’ve done a lot of different things with my blog. Not only have I eliminated the like button a long time ago but I don’t have my social buttons on the top anymore. I want people to engage on the blog not so much on the many different social networks out there anymore. I never understood the reblog button on WordPress. What value did it add? I also got rid of my sidebar. A clean minimal look is best today 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. 🙂 I certainly love the sound of that, Vrinda.

      I am making an educated guess that the sense of starting something new makes you feel motivated to blog.

      Thank you for being a part of this discussion.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. despite blogging daily for over six years, I have to admit I have not experimented much at all. Other than changing my theme three times, I don’t think I’ve done any of the items you’ve listed. I seem to spend so much time writing my blog, and then reading and commenting on others, that I have little desire to spend any more time with my blog…

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Thank you Renard for this wonderful article.

    I did experiment with 365 days posting, was successful, thanks to dedicated followers and I noticed both the count of viewership and follows increased apart from number of likes.

    I encourage others too try, but very difficult proposition….since one has to maintain the quality along with posting the article on time and one must be in sound health through out 365 days.

    Thanks to you for increasing your posts to more than 4 a month.

    We are benefitted.

    🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Never had a problem with the reblog button, because if used, it only shows part of post and you have to go to original source to read the rest.
    But when its just copied and pasted, with no link to original source, then yeah, I have a problem.
    I don’t have the reblog button though from observation. So when I changed the look of my site which was ages ago now, that’s when it must have gone. But I thought I read once WordPress getting rid of it. But maybe I am getting muddled up with something else. I won’t put it back anyway.

    The like button I removed as you know
    I don’t think it caused any changes much to notice.

    Now though, as you know, my WordPress blog came to an end and I just keep it up to be read by anyone, while I now blog over at Blogger with my other one.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. 🙂 Liz, thank you for letting me know your perspective on both the “Like” and the “Reblog” buttons.

      Hmm. I have never heard of WordPress’s plans to get rid of the “Reblog” button.

      Thank you for participating in this discussion.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I probably have got muddled with something else. But I thought when I had changed it template, that I had it originally. But because its been a while and I don’t really think about observing whether the reblog button was there or not, it may have never been on from start. But I had it before on a previous template.
        When it came to whether I read something about reblog button going, I think I thought I read that the button ‘press this’ was its replacement. I think it was through another blogger who was observing theirs going once and kind of started a conversation. But I am not sure. It was in the past year or two, when I came across some conversation some where, off topic from their post.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Experimenting the WordPress blog. Lately, yes, I have at times done that. And I like to continue. It is fun to do. There are many YouTube videos about WordPress online. At the moment, I am watching some videos about how to edit and republish older posts.

    Have I removed the re-blogging button off of a post? No I haven’t. There is nowhere in Reader you can remove the check mark to disable the re-blogging.
    Changing the theme, to be honest I am not too keen on that. Some people I know have done that, and they had nothing but trouble for one reason or another.

    I would like to draw your attention to a plugin. It’s for the paid WordPress only and its called “Sweep”. It cleans up old revisions you no longer need among other things. I wish they provided some plugin for the free WordPress as well.
    WP Sweep Database Optimization Speed Up – WordPress Website Tutorial

    I have but a few plugins on my paid WP Blog, and this is one of the few.
    Surely, I wish they provided something as a default plugin for the free WordPress as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 I am pleased to know that you have experimented with your blog in the past.

      One used to be able to remove the “Reblog” button in the past via their WordPress dashboard.

      In order to remove the “Reblog” button, go to the sharing buttons underneath any of your blog posts and click on “Customize buttons”; you will be able to remove the “Reblog” button from there.

      “Sweep” sounds like a wonderful plugin to have.

      Thank you for participating in this discussion, Jackie.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There is no customize button for a check mark to remove “re-blog”. So I think my posts cannot be re-blogged. That’s how I like it.
        Perhaps WP did take care of that with a recent update.

        My pleasure to participate in the discussion of your so helpful post, Renard.
        Thank you! (-:

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Another great post Renard! I have experimented alot over the years. And funny as you speak about a Minimalistic look I was so happy to have a side bar when I joined WP. Being an Animal Blogger gives me alot of freedom to be a bit bolder & use widgets & tackle alot of topics. With each cat the background has changed to reflect each of their purrsonalities. And animal bloggers DO use Widgets alot. It is a ‘thing’ with all of us.
    I do not mind the ‘LIKE’ at all. I am fairly sure all who hit ‘LIKE’ have read the post. A few of my friends have removed their ‘LIKE’ button & I looked everywhere for it, lol…..
    But I DO take your point. As for the ‘REBLOG’ button I’ve no idea if I have one….I do know there is a fellow who has reblogged posts with my permission. Do other repost w/out asking? I have no idea. I suspect not as my blog is such a specific niche. I mean how many people want to read what the family cat thinks or does??? I have found that blogging on the weekend gives me the best results….mind you our last post was published mid-week & we had ALOT of traffic…Landing in Hospital yet again draws in our readers for sure.
    I always enjoy yore posts because they always make me think & THAT is a very good thing!
    Wishing you all the best, Sherri-Ellen & ***purrss*** from BellaDharma

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Thank you so much for this post! Every insight you provided had me hooked!
    While I never felt the need to remove the like or reblog buttons, I can understand why veteran bloggers may see the need to.
    Being a newbie blogger with 3 months of serious blogging under their belt, I find the experience in testing out and customising the blog pretty thrilling haha. And while I certainly heed the advice of not checking the stats page regularly since I’m new, I have to admit seeing even just one view in a day always makes me really satisfied, so certainly there’s no harm in that, right?

    Great post as always Renard even to the very end, looking forward to the next one!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Hey Renard – yet again and once more another top notch post.

    As you know, l have and l am and l am performing changes to my blog/s. I removed what l call the visual LIKE button function from the GUY blog although l am unable to remove it from the Reader and trust me if l could – l would, l think it encourages social media laziness and a lack of genuine interactive authenticity . I think also l have removed the Reblog button from the visual on the Guy blog, but although LIKEs are removed from 321, on the question posts l have the do have the reblog button.

    I removed LIKE because of the reasons you listed but also because of overwhelm and my growing and ever increasing cynicism with new wave social media users.

    Has it affected my stats – the removal of the LIKE no, aside from those who would genuinely visit the blog direct to read and hit LIKE – they miss out, then as opposed to those who only read from the Reader who can still hit Like internally – no. What has affected my stats and l am not bothered was the removal of the Daily Bounce [Hello series] but that was fodder for serial likers mostly and was only really supported by a handful of genuine readers – people like yourself who enjoyed the musical line ups.

    But everything changes and l have been doing nothing but changing these last few weeks especially.

    Guy/321 use the same theme, but The Authentic Recycler is breaking the mold and using a different theme.

    Everything else you have listed l am always playing and experimenting with as well, tweaking and fine tuning.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey Renard – many thanks .. l was thinking on this further just now – the removal of the LIKE didn’t affect stats – because the genuine readers who visit and read direct still comment mostly – plus the other thing is l know who my genuine readership is as l am sure you do also and l know that some could rightly argue the toss about keeping the like button there for them – but the more l don’t have it present, the more l don’t miss it.

        But when l first removed it – it did have a profound effect on my mind for about a week – l felt strangely isolated in a spooky surreal way hahaha but then it cleared and l was good again.

        The like button is like a strange form of brainwashing …. 🙂

        Like

        1. 😄 That is an interesting way of viewing the “Like” button, Rory. I would not go as far as to view it as “Brainwashing” but as a feature that is not truly necessary.

          When I blogged over on Blogger, I relied solely on comments (If you have never utilized Google’s Blogger service, I want you to know that it does not have a “Like” button).

          Thank you for participating in this discussion, my friend!

          Liked by 1 person

  17. My entire blog IS AN EXPERIMENT, and has always been one. 🙂

    Mainly, I’ve never really set a goal, or a place where I would go with it. But over time, a route became clear so that I was able to create some broad categories. But generally, my blog has always been something that I wanted to see evolve, like I as an individual did in my life, and still do. Our lives can change, and we adapt to situations. I see a blog very similar… a blog evolves, and with that you might need to make changes or adapt things.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You always have some cool questions and topics to ponder over. Would love to join your discussions more often but at the moment I am a little bit less active in the blogosphere than usual. But I still keep reading my mail notifications, including some of your posts! Hope you’re doing well!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. This is some good stuff of information in here. Definitely experimented many times. Hehe, “the serial likers”. Wish there was some button to block the comment likers too! 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Experimenting with something that you do not understand is an unwise decision.

      You are absolutely right for not wanting to dabble with the unknown.

      Thank you so kindly for participating in this discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 SEO can be a bit complicated, but it can be learned.

      Some people hate having their blog posts being reblogged because they view it as a form of theft.

      The removal of your blog’s watermark from your photos by someone else and publishing them on their blog is a copyright violation.

      Thank you for participating in the discussion, Sharon.

      Liked by 1 person

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