Wednesday, March 27, 2013

April … WhenThe Following Should Be Easy

       It's "ASK ARLEE" day at TOSSING IT OUT, but I was given one question that seemed better addressed at the A to Z Blog.   Since the question primarily concerns the WordPress blogging platform which I am not too familiar with, I turned to one of my A to Z Ambassadors who blogs at WordPress.  In this post Judy from Raising the Curtain will address the topic of following blogs.

Let's Be Friends

The start of the Challenge is just around the corner and you’re ready. Your posts are prepared or well under control and you can’t wait to start the interaction.  You start scoping out a few of the blogs in the Challenge sign up list, get excited when you find a few quality ones and decide to follow them so you can keep up with their Challenge posts.  But hang on, these blogs are on a different blogging platform to your own and despite searching high and low on the site you can’t locate an easy follow mechanism. So you leave feeling slightly dejected, promising faithfully to come back manually to the blog… and you never do.

Sounds familiar?

One of the cornerstones of the Challenge is interaction and you want to make it easy for your readers to follow you, no matter on what platform they blog. Don’t let that follow slip through your fingers, especially after you have done the hard part with quality content.

Following Blogger to Blogger is easy through Google Friends Connect and the internal blogger follow mechanism. Following WordPress to WordPress is also easy through the internal WordPress follow button.
But what about following WordPress to Blogger or Blogger to WordPress?

Here’s a few suggestionsthat might help you capture that inter-platform follow.

For Blogger Users:

1.       Make sure you have a prominent RSS feed subscription feed button. WordPress users can import your blog’s URL into their WordPress reader.

2.       Even through you may not like to receive blog posts by email, others might. It’s my preferred blog capturing mechanism and a lot of the time blogs don’t have an email subscription capability. You might want to consider adding that capability.
3.       As Google Friends Connect can no longer be accessed by users consider linking your blog to one or more alternative follow platforms, such as Networked Blogs ( or Linky Followers ( Each of these sites acts as an intermediary between blogs and their followers, a sort of blog clearing house. Networked blogs has a Facebook interface and can also be linked to your blog’s Facebook page if you have one. If you decide to use one of these, make sure the platform’s follow badge is placed in a prominent position on your blog.
4.       An alternative to Google Friends Connect is Google +. If you have a Google + blog page or a personal page, make sure your Google + follow badges are placed on a prominent position on your blog and that your blog posts are posted to your Google + page.

For WordPress Users:

1.       All of the above applies to you too, except for Google Friends Connect which has now been discontinued and in any event the script was not permitted on

2.       Make sure that you have the grey WordPress Follow Me button option turned on. It will allow readers to follow you through an email subscription no matter what page of your blog they are on. Mine appears at the bottom right of the screen and jumps around with each page.

The Challenge is a great opportunity to break out of the confines of your blogging platform and invite other bloggers into your world. You never know, they might even stay for dinner the follow.

Good luck to all the Challenge participants and may you all have a fulfilling and followsome April!


        Thank you, Judy!  Please be sure to stop by Judy's blog to visit, comment, and by all means follow.

         Are there any other follow methods that you might suggest?

This post entered by Arlee Bird 

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Linda Maye Adams said...

I just use an RSS reader (used to be Google, but I switched to RSS Owl after their announcement). It covers all types of blogs and puts them into one place so I can read them at one time. I do have an email button on my blog as well, and a large number subscribe through email, though.

Tina said...

Well done! GREAT post, succint, informative and full of great advice. As a co-host, I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to let us all know these great "tricks". Thanks SO much.

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

JoJo said...

I have a few wordpress blogs that show up on my Dashboard. I may have to refer to this post if I run into trouble with other platforms.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That covers most of them!

Anonymous said...

I am at the point where I scan the post first to see if it is wordpress...if it is, I move on. For the life of me I can not get wordpress to accept one of my comments. I've given up wasting my time. Most annoying.

Arlee Bird said...

Delores -- Commenting on WP can be done and can be quite easy. You may be missing some wonderful sites!

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Sopphey Vance said...

This is great! I hadn't even thought about how I was going to follow blogs. I might just opt for an RSS feed for Wordpress/other blogs and Google Connect for Blogger blogs. I migrated to in place of Google Reader and it works just like it!

I'm too excited for Challenge!

*simmers down*

Anonymous said...

I spent some time last night poking around some other blogs. So many to see! Am getting excited...

Anonymous said...

With all the Google updates, my blogger bio links directly to my Google+ profile. It's an easy way for anyone to find my blogs and follow me. Plus, I have a page set up at the top of each of my blogs with all my "Follow Me" options. It definitely helps when you make it easy for people to follow you.

Jaleh D said...

I have my blog connected into Networked Blogs, but I don't even know what category it's filed under. Good suggestions here, but they're in my personal file of "Huh? How do I do that?" I'll see what I can do though.
(Blogger user)

Jai said...

I added the RSS and e-mail to my blog. I hope. I'm not great with technology.

As for following others I just add them to my blog roll and I haven't had any trouble so far. {{Crosses fingers}}

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy and Lee .. great information here - thanks for this. I must come back and study it ...

I will be following those blogs I enjoy as I go through the list ..

Cheers Hilary

Jo said...

I have a couple of Wordpress blogs I read but they come to my by email. Not sure if they can get mine, I will have to check.


Red said...

I have identities everywhere, so commenting on either is a breeze. The simplest solution is merely to have both a Blogger (Google) ID and a Gravatar.

I am neither or Blogger, but run software.

My question is when will the randomizer be ready? I loved being able to press it and grab someone on the list otherwise I may never have found.

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Good advice, thanks a lot. Enjoy the challenge!
Keep Calm and A-Z
An A-Z of learning English

Carrie-Anne said...

I played around with WordPress templates for awhile until I found one I liked with an RSS follow button, in addition to the follow by e-mail button. I like the serious, intellectual style of WordPress, which really suits the kinds of things I often write about more than a more casual interface like Blogger might.

Gill Edwards said...

i make a blogroll on blogger then you just add the blogs you want to follow by cutting and pasting their URL and the list sits on your sidebar and automatically updates when the person adds a new post.

Unknown said...

I'll have to add networked blogs, too. thanks for this - useful!

Michelle Wallace said...

Tina & Judy, thanks for addressing this issue!
I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Actually the wordpress follow button is only for For the self hosted Wordpress there is whatever the blogger chooses to use. Bloglovin, RSS, Networked blogs etc. Personally I prefer to open blogs from my bookmarks bar, but I have both Bloglovin and RSS links on my blog for those who want to use them.

LA Nickers said...

Great suggestions. Thanks!

Ready to go with EIGHT blogs! Mine are 475 - 483 on the A-Z list. I have Google+, with all of them listed on my profile. (It helps!)

Two of these blogs (Simply Snickers and The Meme Express) will offer DAILY writing/blogging prompts and A-Z words throughout the month of April. The Meme Express welcomes A-Zers to leave daily comments, linking back to their alphabetic posts.

Here we go-o-o-o!

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Great tips here.
One sad thing to note here is that, these days many bloggers are using there g+ as there landing space but unfortunately when reach there no connected post or connected links to there blog pages, this is really irritating and many go away from that place, my sincere advise is that all who use g+ take initiative to post at least their blog links there
keep inform
Happy weekend and happy blogging
best regards
I am
Phil @ Philipscom
An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina's Life is Good