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Having Trouble Using the New Editor?

I have had many blogger friends comment that they are having issues with adding images or aligning images with the new block editor.

blogging
Photo by Andrea Davis on Pexels.com

I’ve been using the WordPress Block Editor since it was offered as the Gutenberg trial a year or so ago. Now I can honestly say I cannot remember how I ever used the old Classic version. In fact, I had much more trouble with images that were not in alignment using the Classic editor, than I do with the new version.

There are some changes, but there also are some great features I have not tried before.

For example, I really enjoyed using the new image compare block which I featured in a recent post.

I also like the new options for adding galleries, slideshows and the increased flexibility with media and text options. The best part of all is the ability to move blocks up and down. I do this all the time when writing a blog post.

Is it just me that does this?

Adding an Image to a WordPress Blog Post

Add an image to your post using the + button to add a new block, select image, then choose whether you wish to upload a new image by:

  • Selecting a photo from your own media library
  • Uploading a new photo from your computer
  • Selecting a photo from Google photos
  • Selecting a random photo from Pexels free stock photos (see above)
  • Copying a URL for an image found at another site (right-click on the photo to grab the “copy image location” on the photograph and press CTRL V or paste that URL into the prompt box provided on your post and click enter.

N.B. In sharing from Google photos you may need to check your privacy settings in Google photos or the image may not appear correctly.

Re-sizing or Adjusting Images for WordPress Blog Posts

A useful tip for new bloggers is to resize your photos to an optimum size for uploading.

There are many types of resizing tools on the net; I use a re-sizing app on my Android phone as most of my pics are taken with the mobile these days. Imgur is another useful tool for blogs if you are looking to add GIFs or internet memes.

I have found 800 x 600 px is a good size to aim for. Detailed pictures are awesome to see in high quality, however, they take too long to load. Slow loading of photos and therefore your site, is something that may turn readers off. This is especially true, if your site is photo heavy, as photography/travel blogs tend to be.

water fountain lights
This photo is approximately 800 x 600

I also adjust images on the sidebar on the right. There is a drop-down under ‘Block.’ You can choose a default normal presentation for your photo, or a rounded corner view, and set the size or enter certain image dimensions. You will even find some advanced settings such as AMP for viewing on mobile devices.

Who doesn’t use their phone to read blogs?

Do you have a favorite re-sizing tool that you use?

Add a Featured Image in a WordPress Blog Post

Adding a featured image in the “Post” settings on the sidebar, of your draft post, gives your blog a professional look and secondly, gives a visual indication of what the post might be about to the person reading your blog. It can grab the attention of new readers who are skimming through the WordPress reader and you can secure a new follower, if that is your aim?

The featured image should have a size of at least 1200 by 675 pixels or you will have a blank white section around the photo in the header. (NB. This is theme dependent).

Using the Columns block in WordPress

Anne mentioned she had trouble using the columns block.

I haven’t used this much, but always lamented that a free WordPress blog plan did not offer columns.

Columns might be especially good for posting recipes if you are a food blogger.

There is quite a choice of size presentations once you select the columns block. This one I am using here is 70/30 [text versus image].

And don’t forget to add your favorite blocks to the

re-useable blocks for fast access. It is quite handy.

How do you find the new WordPress editor?

I’d love to hear how long it took you to adjust to the new editor, or if you are still struggling, what it is that you dislike about it? Let me know in a comment below.

Are you tearing your hair out?

Do you find the Blocks Editor easier to use?

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blogging, Photography

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – / Two Ways

beach

Do you edit your photos in a special way?

photo

Do you increase the saturation, like I do, on certain photos?

Some weather conditions mean our snapshots might need brightening, or a slight change in contrast, the background removed, or a portrait touched up. We might want to add a frame or see what the photo looks like in Monochrome?

Portrait or Landscape Aspects in Photography

Experiment with your photography.

Take a shot then turn your Camera around. Take the same shot in opposite format.

Portrait and Landscape. Check the difference.

Gyoen Park, Tokyo

Weekly Friendly Friday Theme – Two Ways

For the photo challenge this Friday, I am asking you to show the Friendly Friday community one or two photographs presented “Two Ways.” That is the same photo or the same environment presented in two different ways, or at two different times.

 cliff at beach

Using the Worpress Media Block – Image Compare

Using the Image Compare block is a perfect way to present this photo challenge, especially when they are of the same size or the same angle.

If your theme doesn’t support this technique or you don’t edit your photos, post a shot of the same location at two different times.

How to Access the WordPress Image Compare Media Block

To access the media compare feature: Find the + sign on the taskbar. Under blocks, scroll down to find all media blocks, and select ‘Media> image compare,’ or search for ‘image compare.’

Upload the two photos as prompted and use the slider to see the changes.

In the individual block settings on the right sidebar, you can choose for the slider to go from side to side or top to bottom. This feature works brilliantly if you have photos the same size but still can be effective, if they are not quite exact, or, if you want to reveal a before and after.

old bridge trondheimbridge
Move the slider to compare

Effective!

We can post a photo two years apart.

I was in Tyssedal Norway, in one of the branches of the beautiful Hardangerfjord in 2014 and then again in 2016 at the same spot. Not an exact match, but close enough for impact.

norwegian fjord

This WordPress Image compare format may be useful to document changes in a landscape that you encounter as the seasons pass by. Photos from your archives might work well.

For example: Summer and Autumn, Winter and Spring, depending on your hemisphere. Or colour and monochrome?

Pop Art and other Photo Effects

Adding a special effect can significantly change the atmosphere or mood of a photo.

I tried something very different in the following photos. Sort of a pop art feel. I don’t feel it is very successful. This was just a fun edit and still quite effective in this format. Use the slider to compare.

Friendly Friday

A new Friendly Friday prompt can be found at TheSandychronicles, next Friday. In the meantime, are you joining in this week? If so, let us know in the comments box so everyone can find your entry.

Friendly Friday Tags and Pingbacks are preferred.

Full instructions on how to participate in Friendly Friday.

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blogging

Creating a Successful Blog

So you have time to read blogs? Why? Don’t you know what you want in life?

Said a philosopher who had no concept of having to battle with a financial position.

Benefits of Writing a Blog

Most of us aren’t completely aimless in life, we have some kind of plan and guess what, we do like to read blogs, because we like to write blogs. It is as simple and as complicated as that.

Why do we write a blog?

  • To Spread Awareness
  • To Inform or Educate
  • To Meet others
  • To hear Independent Perspectives
  • To Promote something or someone (not discussed in this blog post)

There are more similarities between people from diverse cultures than there are differences. We can learn so much from each other if we keep an open mind.

Choosing Topics for Blog Posts

Develop your own personal voice and blogging style by writing quality content that might be useful to others.

Perhaps the best way to stand out from the crowd and make an impression upon people is to produce content that impacts them in some way. Write something that matters, that helps people, that solves a problem, that enriches people’s lives, and you increase the chances of them coming back again and again.

artofblogging.net

Write Interesting Blog Content

Blog posts are interesting to readers if you:

  • Write about topics that you know well or in which you have some expertise
  • Write about something that is dear to your heart
  • Post about subjects you are passionate about
  • Ask questions of your readers to engage the audience and build your own blogging community.
  • Keep posts short and succinct as much as you can! Long posts tend to bore the reader. Everyone is time poor.

Tips on Increasing Blog Traffic via the WordPress Reader

  • Research your topic to see what others have written previously and how this blog topic performed. Google can also give you an idea of the most popular questions the public has about any given subject. This can help you structure a post to answer those questions.
  • If you reset the publication date on a post multiple times, WordPress will drop your posts from the WordPress reader for a while.
  • Too many re-blogs of other sites will also result in your blog not appearing in the reader which means less new people coming across your blog.
  • WordPress does not want to have lots of duplicate content in their reader. New bloggers often make this mistake in an attempt to gain new readers. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect.
  • Visit other bloggers who are writing about a similar subject.
  • Share your post via a Hyperlink in Pinterest and social media

Commenting and Blog Etiquette

  • Be kind to those who take the time to comment on your blog and visit their blog.
  • Reading and commenting on other blogs can only help to build your community and increase your readership.
  • Find a blogging challenge that interests you and join in. There are many types and it is a good way to build a blogger community of like-minded folk.
  • Long comments are interesting. Bloggers love long comments. It is hard to begin a conversation if you receive a comment that merely says, “Great Post.” It could even be a spammer as it is not specific enough. Think about what you liked about the post? I usually try to keep the conversation going by asking something further about the topic which leads to a deeper, more fulfilling conversation.
  • No one has time to read every post of every blogger that you might follow. Liking posts is no ongoing substitute for a real comment.

Tips on Formatting a Blog

Themes and WordPress bugs

  • Some WordPress themes do not present all that clearly on every device. I was using a Twenty Twenty theme that did not show allow a comment option and did not format well on some devices. Check how your post and blog presents on various devices.
  • Customize the chosen theme with a colour or featured post to stand out from the crowd
  • Add a featured image to each post where possible. This creates interest in the WP Reader.

Tips on Formatting Blog Posts

Use Headings and Subheadings

  • This is good for SEO. It also aids in making your post organized and flow.

Useful Widgets for a Blog

  • Include a translation option for speakers of a language other than English
  • Add a Follow option for Email and WordPress Readers – this is ESSENTIAL
  • Link other Social media Accounts
business workplace
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Media

  • Free blog plans have a limit to how much media storage you have. Resize your photos for faster loading of your site and efficient utilization of storage limits or purchase a paid blog plan.
  • I use Imgur or Flickr to add images by linking a URL (saves downloads and uploads). Copy the image location in google, (Right-click), if you don’t have a photo of your own to illustrate the point you wish to make by adding media.
  • If your google photos don’t show to other readers, it could be due to your privacy settings in Google photos.

Adding Tags to your Blog Post

  • Adding Tags and Categories are useful for helping other readers discover your blog.
  • It can also help if you want to check back on a previous post, on your own blog.
  • Use up to 15 categories and tags in total.
  • Using more than 15, or adding irrelevant or inappropriate tags, will result in your post being bumped from the WordPress reader. The more tags you use, the less likely your post will be featured in the Reader. And that means less new readers and followers.
  • Delete old tags that have a count of zero (posts>tags>count)
<p class="has-medium-font-size" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Do you have some blogging tips for New Bloggers?Do you have some blogging tips for New Bloggers?

Recently I posted about maintaining a blog, and using tags in posts, which led to some really productive comments and conversations.

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blogging, Community, Motivational

Blog Conversations

Are all Bloggers would-be storywriters, in disguise?

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?

Blogging Feedback

In our Conversation, Sandy mentioned:

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.

Still in disguise
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Australia, blogging

Maintaining a Blog

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

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.

blogger friends
Way back in 2010

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.

WordPress Challenges

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.

Something to Ponder about. Blog about Arts, crafts, Cooking Travel and Photography
Denmark

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?

reflection
Community

Is Your Blog Your Story?

Whether you are new to blogging or have been writing for some time, blogging is, or can become, a personal branding story, a legacy of self. What does you blog say about you and the personal brand behind the blog? These six questions helped me unpack the purpose behind my blogging journey.

Mt Pilatus
Yay for blogging!

Why write A Blog?

Q: ” The best posts and stories make the audience’s benefit amazingly clear. What is the real benefit of your writing?”

A: I read to learn or gain knowledge, and I write to share information, for education or entertainment. I also write to document things that are important to myself and hopefully others. It makes me happy to write and I feel compelled to put words down on paper or in blog format.

Conveying Relevance

Q: How does your story fit into the world? Is your blog helpful to someone?

A: Is my writing relevant to others? I don’t know but I hope my words are useful or entertaining, in some way. I write with the objective to share knowledge and to further my own self-inquiry. Perhaps writing stems from an inner urge to find meaning with external matters. The spinoff for me, is the surprising development of a nurturing and positive blogging community.

My story – take a seat and join me.

Structured posts

Q: Do your blog posts walk readers through a learning curve of information and share how issues discussed might impact them?

A: That very much depends on the topic of the post. This sort of blog posting is more suited to a tutorial style, and I tend to speak generally about potential impacts in posts. I gain a lot of inspiration for topics from the blog community.

As blogger Marlene from InSearchotItAll posted: “A negative mind will never give you a positive life.” How could a positive life spring from a negative mind? I like to think positivity is infectious.

Positivity is infectious

Emotional connections

Q: Beyond education, the best stories forge a bond between the story-teller and her audience. Whether through vulnerability, candor or shared experience, stories where the audience walks away with heightened emotional intimacy are the stories that win. How do you foster an emotional connection with your readers?

A: I do hope the tone of my posts is personal and conversational but I am no story teller. Writing a blog post is like confiding in a dear friend, but a friend that lives far from my location. By being honest, thoughtful and thinking hard about situations we might all find ourselves in, I’d hope I relate to and connect with those who read and comment on my posts.

Tin Can Bay
I would hope I promote an emotional connection with those who read and comment on my posts.

Past or Future?

Q: Is your blog about the past or where you are headed? Does your writing examine the past whilst reflecting the future, in terms of dreams, hopes and the future?

A: Both. There is so much we can learn from the past it would be stupid to focus solely on the future. In particular, I enjoy discussing traditional proverbs that have sageful advice anyone can use. no matter their stage, or walk, of life.

Differentiate You

Where am I
Where are you headed?

Q: What makes your blog stand out from others?

A: I think that is a question for the readers of my blog. I could not be objective at all in answering this, and thus I’ll politefully decline.


How would you answer these six questions?

You are welcome to re-post with your own answers, but are under no obligation to do so.

Here are just a few blogs, (in no particular order), who’ve been inspirational to me, in my blogging journey. Thank you WordPress community!

Yvette from Priorhouse Blog

Pooja from Stories from Europe

Moon from ACacophonous life

Manja from ManjaMexi

Snow from TheSnowMeltsSomewhere

Donna from Retirement Reflections

Lorelle from A Mindful Traveller

Ineke from Scrapydo2

Sabine from InCahootswithMuddyBoots

Chris from lifeofrileyow

Ally from Thespectacledbean

Mydustyflipflops.com

Ju – Lyn from AllThings Bright and Beautiful

Anne C – from To See the World in A Grain of Sand

Mabel Kwong

Climate Change Australia

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Australia, Community

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

We all love to take photos of sunsets and sunrises, and even better the chance to share them. I feel sure that you have loads of photos to contribute to this Daily post from WordPress

 

Tin Can Bay

That was some morning there at Tin Can Bay, watching the gorgeous sunrise! I often ponder about it.

 

Related Blog Posts:

http://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/

politonomicsandtravel.

perceptivepotcluelesskettle.

Morning Glory  has incredible sunrise photos all the time, but the latest one blows my mind!