One Month of Features – Thoughts!

Yesterday I talked about the stats difference from doing Features on a regular basis. As these things go, when you post more frequently, you get more views! It’s like science.

However, I have some more direct learning and thoughts after a month worth of Features. Even if the stats say “doing features is good!” what does that really mean – and do I need to keep up with these same features? A few questions to consider!

Learning More about WordPress

So the first thing that really happened when I started to work on setting up Features was that I started learning more about WordPress. I found a couple of things in particular. One is a setting that makes it so people can like and share posts directly from the Home Page/Archives Scroll. For the Photo Blogging I have been doing, this is a big step, I think – there is no reason someone really needs to click into these posts; they can read and/or see everything from the home page.

I considered this when it comes to Comparative Geeks, as well. However, while we have been writing a bit of shorter posts lately (after what we learned in the A to Z Challenge), most of them still use the “More” separator, to keep the home page from being massive, to hide spoilers, and just generally because it’s how we write and present our posts. So people need to click into them to get the whole thing anyway – so the liking and interacting can all be “hidden” there, without it being troublesome. But with these simple photo posts, no reason to add steps!

Another thing I have found out is that Tweets with line breaks don’t get picked up in the feed on WordPress, so most of my Six Word Story posts haven’t shown up here. So I probably shouldn’t post them like this:

[tweet https://twitter.com/dbc_ii/status/484861322706698240]

The other thing I learned is that there is a Screen Options menu, hidden away on every post you work on!

Screen Options

If, like me, you’ve never noticed/clicked that before, give it a go! Here you can pick which additional menus or options you have to work with, below your post. For instance, you can write a custom Excerpt for the WordPress Reader or RSS feeds – something I have seen other blogs do, but had no idea how to do myself! It also includes the options for manually turning comments, trackbacks and pingbacks, etc. on and off. Or for choosing who the author on a post is! So many options! That I had no idea about. Fellow WordPress bloggers: give this a look!

The Need for more Content

So something I realized almost immediately once I posted my initial Features plan was that the way that Features should work – at least, as I understood them from how they were presented on Sourcerer – was that they brought people to your blog, but that the real goal was for them to see your more substantial content.

Oh! Crap! Right! More substantial content!

So just the fact of doing Features, and this realization, have led to me getting out more content on this blog in general! I have tried to get a non-features post in between each Features post… kind of. To give the Features meaning and purpose.

On Sundays, I do the Sunday Re-Blog, sitting happily between Six Word Saturday and Meme Monday. I like this, because I have been focusing on more of other people’s content, and I am seeing people clicking out to those blogs, so I hope I am helping them get some views and followers!

In another pseudo-feature, I have been re-blogging my contributions posts from Sourcerer – specifically, my Listening to Music Without Understanding It series. While maybe this isn’t original content here, I am really enjoying doing some contributing, and writing about Music, and I hope you like it too! I am posting these about a week after, so that they can bring people to the post who maybe missed it first time around. Or… something like that. Self-promotion!

Beyond these things, I’ve been trying to do at least one original post a week. I have plenty of post ideas, it’s more an issue of time: between Comparative Geeks and Sourcerer I already have four substantial blog posts to write a week, plus three relatively simple posts here, plus two jobs, freelance work, two board of directors, and applying for Librarian jobs! Whoa, when I list it all out, it reminds me of why I feel so busy. I figure, if I can at least get one original post together a week, I’m moving in the right direction. And this week there were two! Huzzah!

Are these Features popular?

So for my final question, the important one: are these Features any good? I would love your feedback about this question, so please, let me know. Here’s my thoughts.

First, for the Sunday Re-Blog, I think I am really catching a stride with this, and definitely want to keep it up. The hard part is I can’t prep it in advance through the “Re-Blog” button on WordPress – I have to go to the post day of, re-blog it, then race here and add Categories, Tags, etc. You get more control using the “Press This” button, but then what you are sharing is the link to the post. Less helpful.

Six Word Saturday I am really only just getting into a stride for. I like the challenge of doing some flash fiction, and am only barely creating anything resembling a story. I think this is a keeper, to keep working on Six Word Stories. The other thing I should do is troll #SixWordStory for other people’s stories, and share those. Have you joined in on this hashtag? Let me know in the comments below!

Wordless Wednesday I could do plenty more with, and it is also getting me a little bit of photo editing/optimizing practice. The other thing I would like to do, actually, is dredge back into my photo collection and share fun pictures. In particular, I love silly signs, and I might try and find some of my old sign pictures from my travels. Many of these will have words, but technically I’m not writing them, so it counts, right?

Meme Monday, meanwhile, has been the weakest so far. Not many likes or comments or anything. Nor have they gotten too much traction on Tumblr when I’ve shared them there, through Comparative Geeks. They require far more photo editing than the Wednesday posts, and a lot more planning and thought. Also, I don’t feel like my list of Memes is as interesting as I want it to be – this may run out of steam quickly. I may axe this Feature – what do you think?

Here are some initial thoughts for other options – give me your opinions!

Advertisements

About CompGeekDavid
Co-founder, editor, podcaster, web comicer, forum moderator, and writer for Comparative Geeks. Father, husband, geek, nerd, gamer, librarian, Christian, Libertarian, Science Fiction philosopher, and probably a number of other descriptors.

3 Responses to One Month of Features – Thoughts!

  1. hannahgivens says:

    Thanks for pointing out the screen options button, I had no idea that was there!

    I voted for “something writing related” since that would be a feature that would fit in well with longer writing-related content. Wish I’d thought of that; I may steal it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s leading the way, but I could use more votes on the poll! I have at least one more meme to go that I promised in the comments of another post…

      Glad I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t seen the “screen options” button!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What to do about Mondays? | DBCII

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: