Never have the first 35 words of your blog post meant so much, or possibly so little!
My WordPress.com “Blogging for Beginners” assignment this week is to get to know the Reader feature and follow 5 new blogs, guilt free. When I open the Reader, I see the few sites I’ve already followed:
- Whatever John and Athena Scalzi’s blog. (Yes, that John Scalzi.)
- The Task at Hand someone I followed many years ago, lost and found again. (And had to laugh that her blog showed up in the course’s Reader image.)
- The Writing Website whose stated purpose is to help writers write!
Notice a very narrow focus there?
To find new sites to follow, I tried Search and this is what I got:
At the top of the page, just below the Search box, are a few suggested topics, and I’m not sure how they are determined. Then comes a scrolling list of sites, which perhaps is based on those suggested topics. Displayed in that list are a large thumbnail image (featured image), then the post title and then a short post excerpt.
Thinking about your own site, do you feel your post excerpt will pull in new readers? (If you don’t create a post excerpt, or don’t have that option, the first 35 or so words of your post will be displayed.)
Then I thought about adding and following topic tags in the Reader. At first “Blogging for Beginners” looked to be a great way to find blogs of the other participants in our course. However, looking at the tag search results, what do you think?
Not quite what I expected, either. While I understand that the goal of the lesson is to find and follow blogs of interest in the Reader, for this coming year I would like to follow my course mates. At the moment it doesn’t seem like there’s an easy way to do that.
If you know or have an idea how to do that, please speak up!