Reblog: Better to Delay?


When you write what you feel is a great post and see a few early reblogs, that show of support is wonderful.

How about that delayed reblog that comes days, weeks, or even months later?

Did this person miss the party?


Is the delayed reblog even better?

I’ve received a couple of delayed reblogs lately (thank you very much), and personally I love it.

It revitalizes your post.

Early reblogs may help your topic look like it’s trending now—wow, that looks popular.

But they can also look a bit spammy, especially as many bloggers share many common followers.

Those common followers also mean that readers see all of those reblogs in the same window of opportunity.

The delayed reblog helps to reach readers who were inactive during the original post.

Of course, if you intentionally delay, you may forget to reblog, you might not find the post again, or you might get wrapped up in your other work, as busy as we are.

Save the post to your Favorites on your browser. That will make it easy to find later. If you like the post enough to reblog it, you surely like it enough that you might want to hunt it down several months from now, in which case it will be really handy on your Favorites list.

What do you think?

Reblog now or reblog later?

Publishing Resources

I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles on publishing and marketing by clicking one of the following links:

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

How Are You Adapting to the New WordPress Reader?


We’ve now had some time to experience and possibly adjust or adapt to the new changes in the WordPress Reader. How are you handling it?

There has been some applause for the return of the word count. Yay!

My eyes have adjusted to the larger text. It was a shock for the first few days, but now it looks normal. However, I still regret that one post very often takes the entire screen height on my rather large monitor. It takes much more scrolling to read the same number of posts. Very likely, this means that more readers are giving up sooner, so more posts are going unread.

Indeed, I’ve noticed that I get more or much less activity depending on the timing of the post. If people are checking their posts after several hours, anything buried down at the bottom is less likely to get attention.

That popup window is still annoying and requires several extra clicks (unless you click on the word count). If you actually make it to the blogger’s site, you’ll see something new at the bottom of the post. It will show a few related posts. Unfortunately (perhaps), these seem to be automatically generated. These may help to generate interest in prior posts.

A second complaint about the popup window is that many readers aren’t making it to the blogs. They miss out on the design of the blog and content geared toward the target audience. This really affects bloggers who have something for sale on their blogs. Those who have paid for upgrades aren’t happy about the new Reader providing a means of reading the blog without visiting the site. If they choose to only show a portion of the blog in the Reader, hoping to lure the reader to their site, they run the risk of the reader giving up because it’s too many clicks.

The WordPress forum specifically devoted to this issue is now 10 pages long. You can find it by clicking here. There is talk of reading blogs in bloglovin’ that might be worth checking out.

Here are my previous posts on this issue:

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing), Facebook page, Twitter

Temporary Fixes to a Couple of the New WordPress Reader Problems

Band Aids

Update: WordPress staff have since added a word count at the end of the sample in the Reader. If you click on the word count at the end of the sample, it will take you directly to the blogger’s website, rather than opening the post in the Reader.

What’s the advantage of doing this? That way, you won’t have to click twice to read one post. Some bloggers allow you to read the full post in the Reader, others set it so that you can only read part of the post in the Reader. In the latter case, if you click once to open the post in the Reader, you’ll need to click a second time to visit the blog and read the rest of the post.

So just clicking the word count to visit the post on the blog, rather than in the Reader, saves a click. If you have hundreds of posts in your Reader, this can save a lot of extra clicking.

(This post originally had a suggestion for allowing readers to go straight to the post on your blog from the Reader, but now that WordPress has added the word count link at the end of the sample in the Reader, that work-around is no longer necessary.)

Update on the new WordPress Reader

Reader Update

Perhaps the changes to the WordPress Reader are oriented towards the trend of more people accessing websites and reading blogs on mobile devices, as suggested in the following post:

That may explain, for example, why the post opens in a new window—but not the actual website—when you first click on it, and allows you to like or comment without visiting the actual website. Unless, of course, the website restricts the Reader from showing the entire post, in which case you must click a second time to access the post. Then you have to close two separate windows when you’re done, so we’re clicking twice as often. That’s in addition to scrolling several times more because of the larger images and text.

It’s a shame that you can read some posts entirely in the new Reader window that pops up, completely missing the blogger’s header, background images, social media links, products for sale, and all the other content that blogger prepared on his or her website, hoping to draw a little traffic with the blog post.

On a positive note, the images seem to be displaying on all of the posts now.

I’m getting used to the font size and picture display now, but my wrist is sore from all the extra clicking and scrolling.

There are some threads about this in the WordPress forum. The following thread is now up to three pages. You can find a comment from one of the Happiness Engineers on page 3 of the thread (I strongly urge you to read this if you’re curious about why WordPress did this and what they think about the reactions that have been posted). It also provides informative clarification on whether or not the new Reader window will affect your stats.

If you would like to share your feedback, please click on the above thread. Perhaps you can help them “engineer more happiness.”

Here are links to my two previous posts on the status of the new WordPress Reader, in case you missed them:

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Share Your Opinion about the New WordPress Reader


Don’t like the new WordPress Reader?

Do like it?

Either way, share your opinion. There is an open forum about this at WordPress here:

Haven’t tried the new Reader? Check it out.

The only way for WordPress to know how people feel about this is if people share their opinions. So if you don’t (or do) like it, let WordPress know. They may not respond to one opinion, but if there are numerous responses, perhaps that will get some attention.

I love WordPress, and I love the old Reader. I want to keep loving WordPress. How do you feel?

Some of the changes that I’ve observed are summarized in my previous post.

Chris McMullen

New WordPress Reader? What Do You Think? (Updated)


My WordPress Reader has looked much different as of yesterday. I wondered if maybe it was just being haunted for Halloween, but if so, the ghosts aren’t very good at keeping track of the calendar. So, is it just me?

The font size is larger in my reader, I see fewer posts on the screen at a time, and I don’t see the word count.

With fewer posts per screen, I have to do a lot more scrolling to skim through it and find posts that interest me. It just seems like a greater chance of people giving up sooner.

I guess the font is a little more readable. But I was used to it the way it was, so now it just seems too large. I guess I’ll get used to this, too, if it stays this way.

The disappearance of the word count seems interesting. Were short posts getting more attention, and long posts being overlooked (or vice-versa), because people were checking out the word count? If so, removing this will force us to choose the post that interests us regardless of length. Or will it cause frustrations, or less use of the Reader?

I think all of the clicks where people get to the post, then think ugh, that’s too short or too long—all that wasted energy will mean some posts that would have been read won’t get read.

Yesterday, there was a huge gap in posts, from 1 hr ago to 16 days ago. I’m sorry if I missed any posts that I would normally read.

That Follow by Email button is handy for blogs we really look forward to. 🙂

And is there an issue with pictures showing in the Reader? It seems that some posts have pictures (are they smaller?), yet none of the pictures show in the Reader.

If WordPress did make changes to the Reader, I wonder if they were beta tested. (Or is this part of a beta test?) If so, maybe they have already determined that the pros outweigh any cons.

There is a forum on this topic now:

I keep looking for a button on my Reader that I might accidentally have pressed. (Is this all just a big OOPS?)

Have you had the same experience? What are your thoughts?

Chris McMullen

Facebook Twitter WordPress Triangle: Double Posting OOPS!


You should feed your WordPress blog into Facebook and Twitter, as I explained in a previous post.

However, you have to beware of possible double posting.

However, you have to beware of possible double posting.

(You see: It’s annoying, isn’t it?)

In Twitter, there is an option to link it to Facebook, and vice-versa.

So if your WordPress blog feeds into Twitter and Facebook and if also Twitter is reading/writing everything you post at Facebook, you may find that your posts are getting doubled up at one or the other.

I confess that I had accidentally done this at Twitter with Read Tuesday—a Black Friday type of event just for books. Oops! Should be single posting there now, though.

Publishing Resources

I started this blog to provide free help with writing, publishing, and marketing. You can find many free articles on publishing and marketing by clicking one of the following links:

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter Options at WordPress (and Why You Should Use Them)

Two Audiences Pic

If you don’t already feed your WordPress blog into Facebook and Twitter, you should. People who don’t blog here who may want to read your article (because someone was kind enough to share it with them, or because they discovered a link to it somewhere) may not want to create a WordPress account in order to subscribe to your blog. Facebook and Twitter provide two popular alternatives.

Even if you don’t currently use Facebook or Twitter, you should take a moment to open accounts there and to also create a Facebook page. (The how-to part of all these suggestions is described later in this article.) Don’t worry about not having friends or followers there yet. Feeding your blog into Facebook and Twitter is a handy way to get started there without having to do any work. Then you’ll feel that you’re actually using those services, and stop worrying about not using them. Once you have a healthy following there, then you might get the motivation to utilize them by doing more than just feeding WordPress posts to them. In the meantime, it’s a good way to get the ball rolling with little effort on your part, but it will be very handy for potential followers who prefer Facebook or Twitter.

You should also make it easy for people to find other ways to get your blog feed. You can include an email option at the end of every post, put a Follow me on Twitter or Like Me on Facebook option on your sidebar, add a Follow Blog by Email widget, and include links to subscribe to your RSS feed. The more options you provide, the easier it will be for people who aren’t WordPress bloggers to follow your blog.

Of course, they really should sign up for a WordPress account, even if they have no intention of blogging. It’s a great ambiance, the interaction and connections are wonderful, and there is a wealth of amazing material to read or look at for free. I like it better than any magazine. If you can convince somebody of this, that’s great for WordPress and for that person, too.

However, we know that some people are reluctant to sign up for a new account at a site that’s new to them. So make it easy for them to follow you.

How to get started at Facebook and Twitter.

If you don’t have Facebook or Twitter, it will just take you a minute to set up accounts there, add your author photo, and setup your profile. You should also add a header, probably like the one you have at WordPress, although the aspect ratio will be somewhat different.

You should also have an author page at Facebook, to keep separate from your friends and family page. People will be able to Like your author page, too. The name of the page will be different from your Facebook name. From your Facebook home, find the Create a Page option on the bottom-left. For an author page, click Artist, Band, or Public Figure; one of the options is author. (You can also make a page for your book by selecting Entertainment.)

When you want to do something as an author rather than with your personal account, login to Facebook, click on your Facebook page (see the list on the left-hand side), and look for a message at the top of the screen that shows how you are posting. There is a place to click to change this. You’ll need to get into the habit of checking how you’re posting, liking, or commenting before you do it.

How to feed your WordPress blog into Facebook and Twitter:

Find your Settings. There is more than one way to get there. One way is to click the My Blogs tab at the top of the page you see when you login (you also see it when in your Reader or viewing your Stats), then click the button that tells you the number of posts. Now look for Settings near the bottom of the list on the left-hand side.

Now choose Sharing. On Facebook and Twitter, click the Add New buttons. This will give you the option to login and agree to feed your WordPress blog into your Facebook and Twitter accounts. For Facebook, be sure to do this with your author page instead of your personal page (see the previous note regarding how to select how you post, like, or comment at Facebook).

This will feed your posts into your Facebook and Twitter accounts (once you click the Save button below).

You can also add Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Path. There is yet another Google+ option below.

Further down, there are several other buttons that you can add, such as PInterest and StumbleUpon. You can choose from this list even if you don’t have accounts there. PInterest isn’t for you to use. It’s for anyone who uses PInterest to Pin things they like. So if you would like someone who uses PInterest to have the option of Pinning something you posted, you should add this button, even if you don’t use PInterest. The email and print buttons may be convenient for people who aren’t into social media connections at all.

Explore all the options at the bottom, like the button style and where these options will appear on your blog.

How to add Facebook and Twitter options to your sidebar

In the same place where you found Settings in the previous instructions, look for Appearance and select Widgets.

Look for the Facebook Like Box widget. Drag it over to your sidebar. Click the little triangle in the blue bar, if necessary, to open up the options. Add a title. Go to your Facebook author page and copy/paste the url from your browser (up at the top, including the http:// part) into the url field. If you don’t have any friends yet, reduce the height to 100 pixels (if you enter a value less than this, it will revert to the default); if you have faces to show from your author page, you may want a higher pixel count for the height. The standard sidebar is 200 pixels wide (if you have a dual sidebar, the one on the left may be more like 150).

If I visit your blog, I’ll try to remember to check if you have an easy way for me to check out your Facebook author page, and if I like it, I’ll Like it, too. 🙂

Look for the Twitter Timeline widget (the old Twitter widget is expiring soon, so don’t select that one if you see it). Enter a title. You’ll need to login to Twitter (in another window) to get a widget id. At Twitter, go to edit your profile (look at the top-right), then click Widgets. Create a new widget. Save it when you finish selecting your options, then look for the long number called your widget id in your address bar (it’s in the url at the top of your browser). Copy and paste this into the widget id field at WordPress.

Open up your blog’s homepage and refresh the page to see how it looks. If you need to make changes, refresh the page again when you finish to see how your revision looks.

How to setup other follow options

Go to your WordPress blog’s widgets (see the previous instructions). Drag the Follow Blog (whereas the Follow button is for users) button over to your sidebar. This will let non-WordPress users subscribe to your blog by email.

You can also add the RSS Links widget to provide links to your blog’s RSS feeds. Many professional authors only have this option; but we can benefit by offering the convenience of several different options.

The RSS feed for your WordPress blog is simply your blog’s url plus /feed/ (for example, mine is You can use this to feed your WordPress blog into your AuthorCentral page at (but in the UK, you must feed Twitter there instead) or into GoodReads (go to your author account there to do this), for example.

How would you like to participate in a Black Friday type of sales event designed specifically for books? Check out Read Tuesday. It’s going to be HUGE!

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Late to the Social Media Game

I was ahead of the social media generation. We weren’t using cell phones in high school or getting online when we got home. We mainly used the computer for word processing, programming, and occasionally games, but nothing like the games these days. We had a lot of games that didn’t have any pictures at all, like Mystery Mansion or the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

On the other hand, almost all of my students seem to be on Facebook, used to be on MySpace, and are now into Twitter. So for a few years, I have felt that social media just wasn’t my generation.

I have taken a real liking to WordPress, however. Once I finally figured it out, I have felt that blogging was invented just for me. Ha ha. 🙂 I should have been blogging twenty years ago. (But then what else would I have accomplished in that time?)

Since I’ve been at WordPress, I’ve seen many bloggers from my generation, or thereabouts, who seem to be quite active with Twitter and Facebook. This gave me the inspiration to start feeding my WordPress posts into Twitter for a while now. I see that I have some followers on Twitter (here is a big thank you to any followers anywhere), so maybe it’s time to start learning what else I might do with a hundred or so characters. 🙂

I’ve had a personal Facebook account for years, mostly for close family and a couple of friends. There are some people, it seems, that you can’t get in touch with any other way, which is why I joined Facebook. 🙂 I finally added my author page to Facebook. Like Twitter, I’ll start out by feeding my posts into Facebook.

Read Tuesday (a Black Friday type of sales event just for books) seems to be more popular on Facebook than anywhere else. I’ll have to think about how to put more content over there (although the Read Tuesday website gets several referrals from the Facebook page).

I’m a complete author now, as I can vainly say:

Please Like me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter (@ChrisDMcMullen). Ha! But, really, you “had me” just be viewing my post here at WordPress. 🙂

As long as I’m making such requests, I may as well also ask you to Like or Follow (@ReadTuesday) Read Tuesday, too, or check out the Read Tuesday website.

You could even +1 me on Google. I’ve scarcely used this, but it’s on my to-do list (with PInterest and many other things). I had started a blog with Google’s Blogger (BlogSpot) to make some posts that relate to teaching or learning fundamental math skills, but haven’t been using it since Google’s Reader met its end. Maybe I’ll revive it, or try it again over here at WordPress.

Please feel free to describe your author pages at Facebook or Twitter in the comments section and I will surely check them out. 🙂 (Or the next time I visit your blog, I’ll look for these buttons.)

Chris McMullen

Your Blog Branding—Is It Working?

If you’re blogging, you’re branding an image and building a following. You might not be marketing a product or service. If not today, maybe someday. Maybe never. And it doesn’t have to be product or service to be marketed. Anyone can market an idea. It doesn’t have to be an idea to sell—it could be a cause to support or an awareness to spread.

My point is that everyone is branding an image, and everyone has something of value to market.

Is it working?

  • I recognize many bloggers just by their Gravatars. That’s a visual brand that you’ve created, which other people recognize.
  • Sometimes, I also remember what your header, photo, or product looks like. Your visual branding efforts have gone a step further.
  • I also recognize many bloggers by name. In this case, your name (or pseudonym or user id) has been branded.
  • For some, I know what to expect in the way of content when I visit your site. You’ve branded more than just your image and name.
  • For others, I know there is something special that I will find at your site. Your branding is distinguished in some way.
  • There are some sites that I really look forward to visiting when I see a new post (and sometimes, when I see you’ve left a comment). You have me hooked.

I’m not in everyone’s target audience, yet I have experienced the branding that occurs here at WordPress.

WordPress is an amazing community:

  • There is much supportive interaction available here.
  • In some ways, it’s better than a magazine, yet it’s FREE and isn’t packed with all those obtrusive advertisements.
  • The ambiance has been, in my experience, very positive.
  • Blogging has many wonderful benefits, like creative expression, trying something out, finding your voice, meeting and interacting with fascinating people, sharing your passion with others, getting your mind off your problems, developing confidence, and so on.
  • You get your very own personal space in the blogging universe, and a lot of freedom with what you choose to do with it.

Consider this:

  • You are branding an image through your blogging.
  • There are many wonderful benefits of blogging.

This gives you a golden opportunity.

If your branding is working here at WordPress, then what you want is more traffic on your blog from your target audience. You want more than a one-time visitor.

Spread the word about the many benefits of blogging to others. This will help increase the blogging traffic (and those people will enjoy the positive benefits of blogging). If they start blogging because of you, chances are they will follow your blog and interact with you here, too.

Include a link to your blog at the back of your book, on your other sites, and on your marketing materials. More than just a link, include a line that might attract visitors to your blog. When you interact with people, mention what a wonderful place your blog is. Market the benefits of blogging. Encourage others to read blogs, even if they don’t want to start their own blogs.

You don’t have to be a writer, artist, businessman, salesman, photographer, or celebrity to enjoy the benefits of blogging. Anyone can do this. Everyone has something that he or she enjoys—like a hobby, special skill, or sport—that he or she can share.

You don’t even have to make your own posts to benefit from blogging. Reading posts right on my Reader is, in some ways, better than a magazine. When I read a magazine, I loathe having to sort through all the advertisements to find and read an article. And the magazine costs money, whereas a blog is free. (Imagine if we tried to publish books that were so loaded with advertisements.)

I must also say that I enjoy several blogs which are amazingly well-written. Very often, the blogs that I read are edited better than books. The words and ideas tend to flow very well, too. Many bloggers also excel at making their blogs visually quite appealing.

And there is good reason for this. It’s easier to edit one post than it is to edit an entire book (even if you post several times per week). If you are marketing something, you want your blog to be impressive.

The WordPress community isn’t just awesome in terms of interaction and support, there is a good deal of wonderful content here, too.

Not all of the content will suit everyone. But the beauty of the Follow button is that you can easily find content that appeals to you in your Reader.

I contend that, for me anyway, WordPress is better than a magazine. Here is yet another reason why. Imagine that you’re sitting in an office, waiting to be called. You could pick up a magazine that many other hands have touched recently. Or you could get out your e-reader, iPhone, tablet, or laptop, and check out posts from your favorite bloggers.

Market the many wonderful benefits of reading blogs and/or starting a blog. Many people may appreciate this once they really get started. Remember, there is much to gain even for people who don’t make their own posts. It might just help you get a little more out of your own branding efforts.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

Have you heard about Read Tuesday? It’s a Black Friday type of event, but specifically for books.