So Many Challenges, So Little Time!

Faded advert on a garage wall
Faded advert on a garage wall

…and that’s excluding real world challenges, as this post is about blogging ones. These pictures were inspired by Nancy Merrill’s challenge: Textures.

Nancy is one of several community-spirited WordPress bloggers who fill the breach left by the late (still lamented) Daily Post Photo Challenge. I met many blogging buddies through the Daily Post and loved seeing their sometimes wildly individual takes on each subject. The official WordPress format made it a cinch to navigate. When the challenge ended I felt dispirited, not foreseeing that the mantle would pass to so many other hosts.

Cee Neuner maintains a useful list of WordPress challenges in the For The Love Of Challenges section of her blog. My hat’s off to Cee – her list is more inclusive and up to date than the Daily Post’s list ever was. She lists photography and writing challenges and I’ve just noticed a couple of musical ones are listed too, although I know from experience not to inflict my musical taste on anyone not similarly afflicted. ūüôā

Continue reading “So Many Challenges, So Little Time!”

Making Less Say More: Microcopy for Bloggers


Used by professional writers to refer to short but crucial snippets of writing, set aside from the copy (the main body of text). Used on menus, buttons, forms and widgets etc.

plural: microcopy

micro- + copy (from the Latin root copia meaning plenty)

If you’re short of time, you’ll get my drift¬†by scrolling down to see screen shot examples of microcopy.¬†Click on the¬†graphics to visit the original sites. For those able to linger, this longread post celebrates thoughtfully composed microcopy, mostly¬†found here on WordPress.

Why use microcopy?

Microcopy is a modern day telegram: we use it¬†to pass on useful messages to¬†our readers¬†in¬†the least words. Partly we’re forced to be concise¬†by¬†space constraints, but we also know the more words we write, the less likely people are to read them. And¬†we usually want microcopy to stand out enough to be read, for example:

  • Follow this blog
  • Leave a comment
  • Read my previous post
  • Buy this book
  • Follow me on social media
  • Contact me
  • Read more

Two of my passions come together in my admiration for great microcopy¬†–¬†language and marketing. It‚Äôs an overlooked art form: a fun way to finesse your blog ‚Äď but there‚Äôs a serious side too.¬† Continue reading “Making Less Say More: Microcopy for Bloggers”

The Art of Commenting: what holds us back and how we can fix it

The art of commenting

When people leave comments on your site, is replying a pleasure or a chore? And away from your blog, do you reach out to other bloggers through their comment sections and become an active part of their communities, or do you remain a page view shadow: a small, silent jolt up their stats, identifiable only by your place on earth?

In this post, I’m coming from the angle that while we certainly don’t need to leave a comment on a blog post we’ve enjoyed, it’s not good to feel inhibited or uneasy about commenting.

I‚Äôd love it if we all felt free to comment, if we wished, and understood the etiquette when we do.¬† Continue reading “The Art of Commenting: what holds us back and how we can fix it”

WordPress tips: how to block a site in the Reader

Browsing my¬†Reader reminded me of a nifty WordPress feature you‚Äôll love if the subjects you enjoy are often ‘hijacked’ by less scrupulous bloggers – or if you want to block anyone who¬†is¬†going too far.¬†It‚Äôs hidden in plain sight so you may not have noticed it.

I’m not talking about bloggers you are following,¬†but some of the ones who¬†appear when you explore topics.¬†Tag-hoggers who clutter up your Reader with multiple posts you don’t want to see again. Ever. ¬† Continue reading “WordPress tips: how to block a site in the Reader”

Blogging tips: tags and categories

Think of tags and categories (and their associated widgets) as free adverts for your post – on your blog and in the wider WordPress community – and make them work for you and your visitors.

Use tags and categories to:

  • Help bloggers discover your post in The Reader
  • Place sign posts on your blog so visitors can find other content that interests them while they‚Äôre there
  • Organise your blog and link posts by subject matter
  • Review what you‚Äôve achieved so far and plan where you‚Äôre going

Continue reading “Blogging tips: tags and categories”