Those pesky ads that show in the body, and the end, of a WordPress Post; do they annoy you? As a reader, would you prefer not to see them? I am vacillating between paying to remove them and leaving them as they are.
So I think it is time to ask the Blogger Brains Trust, all of you clever people in the blogosphere:
Should I pay to remove ADs shown on my blog posts?
To help me in my decision, I would love you to answer the below poll.
Ad Content for Blogs
Worth remembering is that we, as bloggers can not control the content of the ads according to WordPress, particularly if we have a free plan. Interestingly, WordPress hands this important decision over to their advertising software:
We screen the ads we display for mature or illegal content. Sometimes, however, you or visitors to your site might still see ads you object to — for example, ads for political causes or products you oppose. We do not endorse the content of any ad, and we encourage you to inform your audience that ads are not selected by site owners, but rather generated by our advertising software.
The above quote is taken from Jane’s blog, where you will find photographs that are something special. The natural world is displayed in its incredible beauty by Jane’s skill, as a photographer.
It is a delight to walk in forested or rural areas, in cool, shady glades, in big sky country of cattle grazing lands or scenic vistas away from the inner city. Use arrows to see more images below.
Whilst walking with my own camera and observing the world, I try to channel that atmosphere that Jane creates, in her photography.
“Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
~ Susan Sontag
Friendly Friday Challenge Prompt – Whilst Walking
This week our challenge prompt is to post a photograph you have taken ‘WhilstWalking.’
[N.B. If you are in lockdown, archival photography is quite acceptable].
Walking Photo Challenge Brief:
Photograph what it is that draws your attention.
In urban areas, we can still pay attention as we walk. The colour of vehicles, the signage, the expressions on people’s faces, the rain hitting the pavements and gutters. It is there waiting for our attention and our camera lens.
Join in the Weekly Friendly Friday Challenge
Are you a blogger or photographer interested in joining the photo challenge? This challenge runs until Thursday next week. Link back to this post, leave a comment here and other bloggers will find your Friendly Friday post.
Full Instructions on engaging with the Friendly Friday Blogger community are found here.
Sandy at the blog: TheSandyChronicles will present a new Friendly Friday prompt to you next week.
May I suggest that you follow both our blogs if you want to catch the weekly prompts for Friendly Friday.
The keywords you enter in a post show up at the bottom of your article or blog post in WordPress and are commonly called ‘tags.’ If your blog post is about your trip to New Zealand, your post might be tagged Travel and New Zealand.
Do you add so-called ‘tags’ to your blog posts? Do you think much about what the tag might be?
There is so much debate about whether tags are beneficial or deleterious to SEO, I have assembled some tips for you to decide, for yourself, based on the purpose of your blog.
Tag Pages in WordPress
WordPress will create a Tag Page linking your post to all other articles tagged with that keyword. This is important from a Search Engine perspective as it can help you rate higher in a search index.
Did you know that if you repeatedly use a tag word indiscriminately, WordPress will bump you from the WP reader? This lowers the chance for readers to find your site.
Tag your posts accurately
Google reads tags or keywords completely differently: “website” and “web site” and “websites”.
Duplicating the same term in a category, as well as a tag, will confuse Google and the search engines will not know which page or site to rank first.
Be consistent in the way you tag your posts.
There’s nothing wrong with either keyword, [‘web site’ and ‘websites’, above], but choosing one form and using it that way consistently increases your chances of getting ranked for that form of the keyword.
So pick one and stick with it. Either you always use “website” as your tag or you use “web site”. Don’t use both interchangeably or you’ll be missing the chance for better rankings and more traffic.
Doing your homework and looking up the number of searches each version of a keyword gets, is time-consuming and tedious, but it will help you when you are starting out. If you add bogus keywords as tags, then your “tag pages” will be full of spam.
How Many Tags is a Good Number to Use?
What is a good number of tags to use?
The jury is still out on this question. Some recommend 4 – 12 tags, others say the less the better and still others maintain the more you use, the higher you will rank.
When visitors click on a particular tag, they reach the page whereon all posts, having the same tag, are displayed. It allows them to look for the desired content easily. Tags and categories are both examples of a taxonomy system. When used correctly, a good taxonomy system can boost your site’s SEO. The opposite is also true: when used wrong, it’ll break things. (theblogpress.com/)
What have you found worked for you?
Less tags or more?
Do you use Categories and Tags, or one or the other? Let me know in the comments.
What do you think the underlying message says. Does it refer to the support of friends and family that folk find so essential to personal growth and development?
Or, could it refer to the many divergent paths one might consider, or does take throughout life, before we reach our ultimate destination or end goal?
I often find there is profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages, to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.
Nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a smile that has struggled through the tears
~ Demi Lovato (Actress and Singer Song-writer)
This theme of this week’s quotes is power, not raw power, but rather that power of the self, as an entity, that power we find within ourselves.
The less effort, the faster and more powerful
you will be
~ Bruce Lee
We have nothing to lose by trusting the infinite power
of the Self, except the bondage of our own ignorance
~ Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
And finally there are these words:
“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now.
By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Do you like to Help Others?
We are encouraged to help others according to the religious and social conventions of our world. Doing so, promotes joy in others, a sense of, ‘loving kindness,’ in our interactions with others and community.
where are the boundaries between helping others and neglecting our own needs in order to please others?
People-pleasers typically have low self–esteem. They overdo it on kindness and helpfulness because they feel a need to prove their worth. They’re uncomfortable with conflict and negative emotions, so they work hard to always keep their partners happy, with no concern for their own feelings.
This statement goes a little far in finger-pointing, and it could incite feelings of guilt in the person who aims to please. But I take their point on the fundamental issue.
So how do we achieve that balance between helping others and not hindering ourselves?
I think that it’s a learning process for some of us.
People pleasers hope that saying yes to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked. However, no matter how nice they are, some people won’t like you for no good reason.
Do you like every person you meet?
Kindness or Pleasing Others?
Many people-pleasers confuse the act of pleasing people with kindness. When discussing their reluctance to turn down someone’s request for a favour, they say things like,
“I don’t want to be selfish,” or “I just want to be a good person.”
Consequently, they allow others to take advantage of them.
It is impossible to be all things to all people. Trying to be that person will just stress you out.
“Some people-pleasers have a history of maltreatment and somewhere along the way, they decided that their best hope for better treatment was to try to please the people who mistreated them.“
Some People-pleasers seem to spend a lot of time walking on eggshells and neglecting their own boundaries to keep a significant other happy*. For these folks, people-pleasing becomes a habit and a way of interacting with family, friends and other people.
*NB. If this tips over into an abusive relationship, professional help should be considered, at the earliest opportunity.
What You Can Do to Break a People-Pleasing Habit
Start by saying no to a small request or take a stand for something you truly believe in.
Express your real thoughts and opinions to something small or less significant.
Validate the other person’s right to a different opinion before calmly stating your own.
Check to see if this works for you.
A positive or neutral response to this, from the receiver, may help to build confidence in one’s own ability to be more aligned with the true self.
Any adjustments in this communication might mean re-phrasing your words without acquiescing your own beliefs. Validating other people’s right to their own opinion, whilst calmly stating your own, may also be helpful.
“I get why you would think that and it would be nice if I could see it your way/agree with you, but right now, I see it/think differently.”
“The Number 1 reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbours.”
Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves, according to Wikipedia
When I was young, I don’t think I was such a compassionate person. I think I may have been caring and kind, but I do not think I was truly compassionate.
I did not go out of my way, nor did I always take the time to remember the details of others’ lives. I came to realize this was important and meant a lot, when someone takes a moment to enquire how they are faring.
Animals have the ability to teach compassion to anyone.
We are possessed by the things we possess. When I like an object, I always give it to someone. It isn’t generosity-it’s only because I want others to be enslaved by objects, not me. Jean-Paul Sartre
There is that trite saying – “Home is where the heart is,” but that saying means little to me. My current hometown is a relatively new one, at the Home by the Sea.
Whilst my blogger colleague, Sandy has lived in many different places in many countries, I have lived in just four cities my entire life, and all four in the same country, Australia. Three in the same state. Yet it is a different country on the other side of the globe to me, that captures what most would recognize as a feeling of home. Home: that warm fuzzy feeling of sanctuary one gets when they hear that word.
I never felt that feeling in any of my previous hometowns and don’t like to dwell too much on them, much less write about them. But there is one place that I felt completely relaxed and ‘hyggelig,’ and that was the time I spent in Denmark. Danes have such a knack for creating a comforting, cosy atmosphere in their homes that they invented a unique word to describe it. Hygge.
Growing up in Australia, I actually knew very little of Denmark and even less about the town my family came from. I had seen a photograph and read a book in 1995, but that was pretty much all. The pictures in that book were a revelation and they entranced me. From that moment, I was on a mission to figure out how I could visit that magical place and my family’s hometown.
Arriving in Denmark
I longed to visit Denmark and I’d waited and saved for years. Despite this, it seemed both corny and surprising that when that SAS aeroplane, I was seated in, touched down on the tarmac of that longed-for country, I had a strong sense of relief wash over me, a sense of coming home. Could I put that down to wishful thinking and finally reaching my goal? If so, why was I so utterly surprised at the extent of this overwhelming feeling I couldn’t get out of my head? Being there at that moment, just felt right.
DNA Memory and Research
Some think there is more to DNA memory. That you can remember certain things through the generations and heredity.
That a Grandparent or ancestor might learn a vital piece of information in their early life and you, as a grandchild or descendant might express, feel, exhibit or react to, a certain stimulus in the same way as that Grandparent might have done?
This may be what happened when I visited Denmark. Whether it was DNA, or the expression of a gene with a particular leaning towards certain environmental factors, or something else. I can’t say.
Do you have a longing to a certain place? Is it your home or is it another place in the world?
Join the Conversation with Sandy and Amanda on your hometown.
A father in his 40’s who surfed here every day. He was rescued, taken ashore but paramedics could not save him. The shark, believed to be a Great White, left its tooth embedded in the bite mark on his surfboard.
On our anniversary visits, I rarely went in for a swim, preferring to walk in the shallows and then past the old Shark Tower monument, which was erected in the 1960s for lifesavers to use as an observation site.
From that point, I would follow the boardwalk through the pandanus trees around the headland.
Even though we have nets to protect swimmers, the killer shark appears to have swum underneath the six-metre nets that line the shore.
The irony of the local name: ‘Snapper Rocks” Hotel and Surf Club, does not escape me.
Have you a particular dish that you know you don’t like, but have never really ever tried it?
Or perhaps you were once bitten, twice shy in regards to a particular food?
For me, that was Sticky Date Pudding.
I would swerve away from these dried out chewy concoctions at buffets and head straight for the chocolate mousse, pavlovas or berry desserts on offer. I am not really a fan of dates, anyway, unless they are in a Mocha Date loaf, one that I have made at home, myself.
Would you call that being a kind of food snob? Hand up – that’s me!
The thought that I was a food snob struck me in an idle moment yesterday, as I was adding the last of the brown sugar from its packet, atop my morning porridge.
As is my habit, I double-checked the information on the side of the empty brown sugar packet, prior to disposing of the packet, in case there was an interesting recipe that I might consider making.
“Oh.” I sighed with resignation, disappointed to see the suggested recipe was merely sticky date pudding. I tossed the packet aside to go in the rubbish.
Not interested in that, I thought.
Nevertheless, with the topic of pudding on my mind, I struck up a conversation with the M.o.t.h. (aka Man of the House).
“Do you like Sticky Date Pudding?”
“No, I don’t.” was his curt reply. “Never have,” he said, shutting down the topic fast.
I can only blame some kind of homemaker’s intuition that made me re-consider that recipe for sticky date pudding, or it could have been the brainwashing of those Zero waste bloggers.
I noted that cream was one of the listed ingredients in the sauce and making it would mean I could use up the leftover cream sitting in the fridge and not feel guilt at being wasteful.
Add to this, I do like to try new recipes and I had never made this before. I am making #onecakeaweek over at the Home by the Sea and a pudding would be a lovely addition to the theme.
What is the Health Benefits of Eating Dates?
Often maligned, dates are surprisingly good for your health. They may aid with digestion, improve bone health, lower cholesterol and are a tasty source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fibre. Amazing, really.
The umpteen health benefits of dates has made the delicious fruit one of the most sought after foods in the world of health and nutrition.
So, last night at the Home by the Sea, I made that CSR version of Sticky Date Pudding. Can you believe it turned out to be highly successful with the Moth and a completely delightful surprise for me. (Otherwise, it probably would not rate a whole blog post).
It was soft and delicate and there was not one sign of a chewy date, just a subtle fruity flavour with a freshly baked cake-like texture. The butterscotch sauce, which I was so wary of, initially, could be described as a creamy and buttery, ‘nectar of the Gods,’ with a molasses-like sugary flavour that oozed over the pudding, like velvet.
Why was I so tentative about Sticky Dates? This was not the same dried out chewy version of pudding, I always thought of, at all.
As you have surely guessed, I am now a convert, and the M.o.t.h. could not stop raving about it. In fact, so enamoured was he with this version of Pudding he was going back to the kitchen for a third helping, when I intervened suggesting he might like to keep some for the following night. (I was considering his waistline, of course!)
Are all Bloggers would-be storywriters, in disguise?
I had to think a little more about why bloggers are attracted to write in the first place?
Is it because we have a desire to express ourselves and communicate to others, using the written word?
Blogging is like a Facebook post on caffeine!
Writing Your Own Story
I believe the stories we, as bloggers, write are to entertain or inform. Whether that is a work of non-fiction or a completely fictitious story, it can be entertaining for the reader.
Mostly, for the reason that people ARE interested in the details of other peoples’ lives and happenings. If you are in doubt, just look at how many Reality TV shows are on TV.
It can be a levelling experience for us to be watching or engaging with others. In doing so, we also learn about ourselves, as well as the journey through life.
Attracting More Blog Followers
Sandy and I have been discussing the art of blogging and the purpose of maintaining a blog after WordPress kindly reminded me I had begun this gig, ten years ago! This revelation was, for me, a little embarrassing when I looked at some bloggers who had acquired massive followings, in that same period of time. [And I say this trying hard to not focus on that number that pops up in my sidebar or notification lists.]
I do not blog to gain more followers, but I have to be honest: I do look at that number for feedback. I question myself: Am I writing something of interest to another person? Was my post boring? Is anyone listening to what I am saying? Did I communicate that well?
I worried too that my blog wasn’t focused enough, that I hadn’t found my niche. The thing is, I don’t know my niche.
Sandy from Thesandychronicles.blog
From the comments on these posts, it seems many of us, including me, might have this niggling doubt that our blogs. We worry our writing is not focused enough to gain interest, that is, unless we are a committed food/photographic or travel blogger, who posts solely on the one chosen topic.
Then I thought about the fact that we DO have people visiting and taking the time to post a comment, so that seems to prove otherwise. Thus, I’d like to challenge this almost subliminal notion many of us have, that our blog should be more defined.
Does it really matter if our blog is diversified in its topics?
I have some followers that enjoy my Sunday quotes, others who only like and comment on the photographic challenges and still others who will presumably only read the art, or lifestyle, posts.
With just a single focus for blogging, I would miss out on, “chatting” to this wide spectrum of readers via their own blogs and the comments they make.
Each and every one of my readers bring, with them, their own individual opinions and thoughts, which results in a wonderfully rich tapestry of backgrounds and perspectives that can only be beneficial for me, as a writer.
The number and content of comments on our posts, are perhaps the real litmus test for any Blogger. Growing a dedicated Blogger community will never happen overnight. In the meantime, we can continue to hone our craft and have a lot of fun in the process.
What is it that attracts you to a certain blog?
Join the Conversation with Sandy and Amanda
This post is a part of a new series of CONVERSATIONS between Sandy and myself. Over the next little while, we’ll talk about a topic, compare notes, share Q&A and invite you to join in.
Do you have any topics to suggest for our Blogging Conversations?
Pingback to join in and write a conversation post.
WordPress recently told me it was my Blogging Anniversary. Really? What of it?
It has been almost ten years since I first created Something to Ponder About, after trying for a few miserable months with the Blogger platform. I never really got how you connected with other people on that platform, so quickly moved to WordPress, as a penfriend in Norway recommended it.
Purpose of Blogging
I really had to think about whether I should celebrate this Anniversary, or commiserate that I haven’t done better over the years? Some Bloggers have used their blogs as a venue to receive all kinds of free gimmicks, products and even discounts on holidays. What have I been doing?
Contemplating my navel in a semi-public way?
Don’t be misled into thinking I have been writing solidly for ten years. I have taken many a blogging break, here and there, when I have been on extended vacations and for the first three to four years, my frequency of posting was ‘hit and miss.’ That is, it wasn’t really conducive to comment conversations, or consistent readers.
In all honesty, I wasn’t a serious Blogger early on; merely posting interesting information to do with nutrition or D.I.Y. Craft that I might reference later, or using my blog to document my travels to, what I thought, were special parts of the world.
But then, something happened.
I began to connect with people worldwide. I started using my words in a way that was more constructive, ostensibly I wished to share information that might help others. The Blogger community responded with kindness and open arms, enveloping me on a truly wondrous journey that I am happy to say, continues to this day.
Connecting with Other Bloggers
Many of the early Bloggers I connected with have now left the blogging world. A few remain, including Leya, Tina and Cyranny. In the early days, Christian Mihai ‘liked‘ every one of my published posts, but never ever did he post a comment. He is a huge Blogger now.
Strangely, I noticed I have only recently connected with fellow Aussie bloggers, but rather most of my readers were in locations around the world. That may be a comment on where my interest is directed, perhaps? I am not sure.
Ineke, in New Zealand, but from South Africa, has been a blogger friend and reader of mine from the start. She was the first Blogger I chatted with and the first Blogger I met, in person. When we met up in her home town, it was like we were already old friends.
It seemed easier to communicate with her over the blogosphere, as we were in a closer time zone, generally speaking. She was always, always supportive and assisted me in various Blogging challenges and joint projects in the blogging community. I thank her for her friendship and hope we will meet up again someday.
Living as I do in this far-flung corner of the earth, the long delay in sending and receiving comment replies on blog posts does hamper the flow of conversation, at times. Thus, it was highly unlikely that I would sync with Snow, in Finland – yet something clicked between us. After a time, I discovered she had a similar childhood to me, growing up in Australia! We could share memories and she seemed to understand my typically Aussie ways.
Together, Snow and I launched the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge, which I now run with the extremely resourceful Sandy, in Canada. I love the Global connections blogging affords from all corners of the world! It’s truly a multicultural phenomenon.
A pivotal moment in keeping my Blog active was starting the now-defunct ‘Monday Mystery Photo Challenge,’ which ran for close to three years. I had a lot of fun interactions and learnt lots about blogging, in general. Photography was definitely a major way I found and connected with other like-minded folk.
Motivation to Keep Blogging
A key to maintaining my motivation for blogging is to write about things I am passionate about.
If you really are passionate about something, your writing comes alive and your Blog will be interesting for others to read.
I like to use humour or satire in my posts, although I cannot claim to be any good at that. Keeping posts topical to some extent, seems to me, to be a way of starting and maintaining a conversation with readers.
An early criticism I received from another Blogger was that my Blog lacked focus. The comment was that I had, “a lot going on,” at StPA. Back then, travelling was something I posted frequently about, but I also wrote about craft, painting, nutrition, mental health, traditional sayings, quotes and cooking. Given the current global situation for Travel Bloggers, I am very grateful my Blog was diversified in its focus.
So, somewhat embarrassingly, I am still here, ten years later, at Something to Ponder About, prattling away to anyone who will listen. Blogging still provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. As more Bloggers fall away or take an extended break due to Covid or Blogger fatigue, new Bloggers begin their journeys with WordPress, filling that void. That bodes well for WordPress and for Bloggers, in general.
I hope to still be around in another ten years, but who knows? What will WordPress and the world itself, be like then?
Start a Conversation
What about your Blogging journey?
How did you start Blogging?
Have you ever considered giving up, and if not, why did you perservere?