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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Are You a "No-Reply Comment" Blogger? and Many Other Tips for Newer Bloggers

This is a very long post, but if you're fairly new to blogland, or need a few basic tips, you'll want to stick around and read. No pics for this one, only good info. If you're a real new newbie, I'd go ahead and print this out for quick reference.

I'm noticing that when I get your comments in my email box that so many of you have a "No-Reply" email address. I wonder if you even know it.
Are you wondering why the blogs you leave comments on never send you a reply?
I'll open my email and read a comment that I really want to respond to, and then I see the "No-Reply" return address for your email.
Bummer. I really wanted to say something to you.
Please don't assume that just because you can talk to me that I can talk back to you.

Let's say you've entered a giveaway on a blog - and you won. Yipee.....but unfortunately you may never know it if you aren't following that blog. I know, because I talk to others bloggers who say they often can't find you when you don't leave your email address, so they have to give your prize to someone else.
You took the time to register for it. Don't you want your gift?
I'm going to tell you how to fix that.
Are you a blogger?
If so, here's your quick fix.

Go to your Dashboard
Go to "Edit Profile"
Where is says "Share My Profile", check that box
Where it says "Show My Email Adress", check that box
~~ Now let me clarify something here. Checking that box does NOT display your email on your blog, it only displays it in your profile. If you have this box checked, but do not have "Share My Profile" checked, then it still won't let bloggers find you. ~~

Note: Doing this action will put your profile on your blog. For those of you who do not want all of that info about you shown under your name, just go into your profile and clear the field that says "About Me". Then it will only show your name, and picture or avatar if you have one uploaded, and a link that says "See complete profile" which allows visitors to go to your profile if they want to.....and find your email.

For those of you who do not have a blog, you can create a profile in your google account. In that profile, be sure to put an email address. If you don't use google, just create a profile in whatever program you use, and be sure to add your email to it.

You also need to go to your Google Profile page, and be sure you have your email there as well, or your email will still be locked.
There you have it! I can respond to you now. thankyouverymuch.

Now I'm not a blogging expert by any strecth of the imagination, but I have gathered a list of tips I think can be helpful for new bloggers. All of you peeps who've been around the blog block already know these, so if you have a quick tip that isn't listed here, please leave it in the comments for all to see. We welcome the help.

Let's keep going.

Let's say you'd like to get responses to your comments, but you really don't want them going into your personal email box. That's ok. Just take a minute and set up another email account to use for the comments.

Here's how to tell Blogger where to send your email from other bloggers.
Go back to "Edit Your Profile" in "Dashboard"
Scroll down to "Identity"
Where it says "Email Address", enter the email box you want the mail to go to.
(or if you don't have a blog, you'll find this feature on your google account page.)

Also, where it says "Display Name", the name you enter will show up as your identity on every comment you leave. For instance, if I enter "Polly", then that's what you'll see when I leave a comment. Well, as rare of a name as I thought Polly was, I've already encountered 3 more of them in blogland.
So, I changed my "Display Name" to Polly (at) MakeMineBeautiful. Now the reader knows which Polly I am. And, if I forget to enable my email, they know what blog to find me at.
Easy Peasy!
If you're a blogger and you want to receive the comments that people leave on your blog in your email box, here's how to do that.

Go to Dashboard
Go to "Settings"
Go to "Comments"
Scroll to the bottom of the page. See where it says "Comment Notification Email"?
Put in the email address that you want your comments to go to.
Be sure to save your settings after you change it.

Now every time someone leaves a comment on your blog, it'll go to that email box, and in turn, you'll be able to respond to the comments directly from your email because all of your commenters just went and fixed their email so that you can!
Clouds part and Angels Sing!

Now something else that I've seen lately is blocked blogs. If you have it blocked intentionally I can respect that. However, when I go into my site analytics to see where my guests are coming from, there are a few blogs in there that, when I click to go to them, it says "You are not an invited member of this blog. You must be invited to visit this blog. Please contact the blog owner."

Ok, a few things are wrong with this scenario.
First, the blog is blocked, which also doesn't allow you access to a  profile of the blog owner, so there's no way to contact that blog owner.
If my analytics show that I am receiving visitors as a result of something pertaining to my blog from your site, then I feel I should be allowed to see what it is that you're posting. If you're locked on purpose, give me the courtesy of inviting me to enter your blog. Otherwise, please remove my info.
(I have at least 50 of these kind of visits a day on my site analytics.)

If you're a blogger wondering why you aren't getting any visits to your blog, this could be your problem.

Here's how to fix it.
Go to Dashboard
Go to "Settings"
Go to "Permissions"
Scroll down to "Blog Readers"
Go to 'Who Can View My Blog?"
If you have "Only People I Choose" checked, then your blog is locked.
I've heard from a few people that they are afraid to check "Anybody" because it says it only allows 100 readers. This isn't true. The 100 readers applies only when you have checked "Only People I Choose".
So, check "Anybody".
Now everyone will be able to view your blog.

Here's the one that seems to get a lot of bloggers on edge. Word Verification.
Dare I go there? Yes I will.
Does spam exist in blog world? You bet.
Must you institute word verification to stop it? Nope, not at all.

I know that word verification will stop a multitude of people from commenting on a site.
You know, you type out your comment and then hit "post comment" thinking that your comment posted.
Then you get the word verification. Ugh.

Let me tell you something you may not know. Do you know that seeing or not seeing the word verification at the bottom of your comment post may very well depend on how large one's monitor is?
This can cause someone to think their comment posted when it actually didn't. I've had this happen to me several times. One of the main reasons is because of the pop-up window.
Some of the word verifications come up after you hit post, but some are below the comment box after the small box that says "Post Comment". If you hit "Post Comment" and do not scroll down past that little box, you're likely not to see where the word verification is, therefore you assume that your comment posted when actually it didn't.

I think a mistake a lot of us make is assuming that what we see on our screen is exactly the way others see if on theirs. If you want proof of this, run around the house and open your site on each computer. You'll be surprised at the differences. I know I was.

So, how to keep the spammers and rude commenters away?
All you have to do is enable comment moderation. That's all. It's that easy.
That way, no comment will post to your blog that you don't see first.
You'll know exactly what goes on your blog comments, and no spammers can get through you.
And the best part is that you'll get more comments when you don't have word verification.

Alright, I hesitate to bring this up, but since I've already gotten so long winded I'll just go ahead.

How do you have your comments set to show on your blog?

Go see real quick.
Go to Dashboard
Go to "Settings"
Go to "Comments"
Go to "Comment Form Placement"
What do you have checked?

You know that pop-up window you have it set to? That little dooker causes a lot of people to have to take extra steps. What happens is this:
You read the post, and then click on "Post Comment'
Then the pop-up window comes up.
Then another little pop-up box comes up and says "This page has secure and non secure items. Do you want to display the non secure items?
Then you have to either press "yes" or "cancel".
Then it takes you to the comment box.
You write your comment and press "post".
Then  a little bar comes up at the top that says "Your comment has been posted. It may a few minutes to show up on the original post"
Then that little box pops back up that says "secure, non secure, blah, blah, ,whadda you want to do?"
Then you have to tell it what to do again.
Then you have to hit the red X to close the comment box.

So let's see, that's about 7 steps just to post a comment. Whew! I do it, but I gotta tell ya, sometimes I just say "nevermind, it wasn't that important anyway."
If yours was the only blog I was visiting and commenting on it wouldn't be a big deal, but I suspect that many of you are like me and you set aside some blog time just to visit all of your favs at once.
It can get frustrating. So if some of you wonder why you may see my visits in your analytics but I'm not leaving comments, this is another reason why.

If you have a pop-up window AND word verification, and I still leave a comment on your post - then please read it because I must have really wanted to say something about your post that I want you to see.

What to do?
I beg you, please, change your comment form placement to "Embedded below post".
I've had a few people say that they don't want all of the comments showing under their post because it makes the  post so much longer. But it doesn't. If someone wants to read your comments, all they have to do is click on the "comments" link under your post. It will then open for them to see all of the comments. If that same blogger revisits your post in the same day from the same computer, then all of the comments will still be open under the post. If someone only reads your post and doesn't hit the "comments" link underneath, then it won't show them automaticaly.

When you embed the comment form under your post, all a visitor has to do is hit "Post Comment", and then fill in the comment box. That's it.
I told you I was going to keep going. Just a few more things and then I'll stop for the day.
I really hope some of these things are helping you to learn a little more about blog tricks.

Do you find that you sometimes read a really interesting post, maybe one that asks commenters to answer a question in their response, and you find yourself wondering how everyone responded, but you forgot where it was?
You can get all of those follow-up comments in your email box, especially now that you've enabled your email. (Right? You did, didn't you?)
When you go to the "Post Comment" box, you'll see a place that says "Email me follow-up comments".
Click the box. That's all.
Some blogs will have a thing at the bottom of the post that says "Subscribe to Post Comments", instead of the "email me comments". Just click that that if they have it.
You'll get to read all of those comments in your email box without having to go back to the blog and scroll down through all of them to figure out where you left off.
I'm done for this post. Whew (wiping my brow)!

The next BlogTips will be on Buttons.
Making them, resizing them, making a code, installing them, and placement.
Again, I'm no expert on the matter, but I've sure learned a lot about buttons in the last 2 weeks.

I sure hope this post helps somebody with questions they've had. I've been typing this up for the past 5 hours on and off, so even if it didn't help you, please tell me it did.

And remember, it you have a great tip to offer, please leave it in the comments. I may cover it more thoroughly in the nest BlogTips session.

One more GREAT TIP:
Do you find that many blogs load slow on your computer?
Here's the easy fix.
Click on the blog POST TITLE instead of the BLOG NAME, and it'll open up right away. When you click on the title, it's only opening that one post for the moment. After it opens that post, it'll continue to open the blog 'behind the scenes'.

When you click on the name of the blog, you're forcing it to open a multitude of pages, gadgets, possibly videos, and pictures. THAT can really bog down the speed at which it opens.

If you view blogs in a reader (which I highly suggest), click on the post title when you see one you want to view inside the blog itself. Same deal.

Happy Blogging!!


  1. Thank you for this helpful post. I made some changes while reading it so I am all set to go. I am exicted about your next post on buttons.
    I was very exicted to find your blog recently and I will be submitting some questions soon.

  2. Wow, what a great post. And I did make some of the changes you suggested, namely the word verification thing. Does anyone have any idea why some comment forms won't take my sign-in? I have been having trouble lately with this issue.

  3. Ok, example of my trouble-the first time I clicked "post comment" it said it could not be processed. So I clicked again and it went. What is going on?

  4. Hi Polly...

    What a fabulous post! Thank you...thank you...thank you!!! Okay...I think that your post with these basic but VERY HELPFUL tips...should be mandantory reading for every blogger in Blogland! hehe! Seriously...can I send everyone over to you? I'm an avid blogger and view many, many blogs each day! You are so right about some of these things slowing people down. I detest word verifications but admit that I will still leave a comment nevertheless! I had my blog set up correctly (according to your tips) with exception to the embed comments...which I have now changed! Thank you!

    I will be back to check out your "buttons" post! Will be interesting! Thank you, Polly for taking the time to post about this! My friend, I see that you are coming right along with getting your new house settled! Just wanted to say that I love, love, LOVE the paisley drapes that you made for your honey's office...they turned out beautifully and I love the wood branch that you used for the rod! Awesome!!!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  5. Michelle, that's a BLOGGER issue, not a user issue. Are you talking about the little red line that comes up and says "Your post could not be processed". I don't why it happens, but it was happening to me almost every time I tried to post one day, so I went on the blogger forum to see if anyone knew why. There were lots of posts that day about it, so I knew it wasn't me. Someone said on there that it was an internal thing with Blogger.

    When it happens, just keep pressing the post button and it'll go through. It usually takes twice to go through if this is happening.

  6. Send your readers over Chari! I'm happy to help anybody that I can. I'm going to start posting every helpful thing I learn.

  7. Thanks so much for this post! I have some of the same grips! Also reminded me to check my settings Looking forward to your buttons post...Thanks Bunches :)

  8. Okay, I do everything I think I'm supposed to except I just popped out to my lay-out to see how I had my comments box set up and I changed it to embedded below post. I put my name in as Kathy@Creative Home Expressions when I first started blogging, but only because I'm used to there being so many Kathy's out there.

    This was very informative, Polly! I'm sure there are many new bloggers and/or commenters who appreciate the tips.

  9. I'm new and have lots of questions! You've helped tremendously with this post. I so look forward to the next one, esp about buttons. You are very kind to take the time to share and it is really appreciated!

    You are so right about responses with no email addy...especially when you want to thank them, add something, ask a question, whatever. I hope that a lot of bloggers will see this hint.


  10. Great post!!! Wonderful tips and I went and changed mine up too! Thanks ever so much

  11. Hi Polly,

    I now have embedded my comments just for you. :)

    Unfortunately my hotmail account has been hijacked twice now by mean people who pose as me and ask for money from people who have emailed me. This has happened to several other bloggers as well.
    So, I can no longer list my email address on my profile. But, everyone can always reach me through my blog. :)

  12. Thank you sooo much for this very informative blog! I am going to go print it out so I can go back and forth and make sure and check all my settings. Buttons 101 is next??? yay for that! Looking forward to that too. Thank you again for taking all that time to type that. It is VERY much appreciated!

  13. Thanks for an answer to spam comments! I had the word verification off so it was easier for comments, but geesh! I put it back on, which I hated doing, I know how it frustrates me when I leave a comment. Duh, why didn't I think of comment moderation??!!

  14. thank you VERY MUCH!! i've been wanting help on this stuff!

  15. Well you just helped me out a great deal. I can't wait to see the one on creating a button. Thanks so very much.

  16. Hi Polly,
    Thanks for the great tips. I am really looking forward to your post on creating a button. I've always wondered how to do that.
    Thanks for taking the time to help us out!!!

  17. Polly, the red saying This Post Cannot Be Processed is because you aren't signed in. Sign in first and you won't get that message.


    Cool tips!


  18. Wow!! That was good stuff, Polly. I learned tons I will forget by tomorrow, but will print it out as backup. Thanks for all the time you put into this post. It is very helpful.

  19. Polly that post took some time to do girl friend! Thanks for that! Very informative.

  20. Wow, I'm glad to see that so many people needed this. I've responded to each of you in email, but I just discovered that KD, if you're reading this, you are a no-reply commenter.

    Thanks FJ for that info. Although, I feel sure I was logged in. Maybe not. Usually when you aren't logged in it'll say this in red. "Please choose a profile.

  21. How can I say thank you, OK THANK YOU! It sounds so silly but I have forever been trying to change my profile to give my name with my blog name, didn't know how to do it till now, thanks so much.
    One other suggestion, if you don't want to create a new e-mail on top of your personal e-mail, you can create a filter so all of your blog related e-mails drop into a specific folder. For Yahoo, the directions are here

  22. Ok, I just posted a comment on someone else's site and it gave me the "can't be processed" response. I was definitely signed in. I just hit "post" again, and it went through.Not sure why it happens, but it's definitely a blogger issue.

    I've tried to put a link in a response before, but it gave me the comment "cannot be processed, html cannot be accepted", so I know what I did wrong when I make that mistake.

    Thanks Kristin. Does anyone else have a link for how to set up folders for other email programs? If so, please tell us.

  23. Polly, I didn't know what to do about the comments either. So after your advice, I went right over and clicked embed below comments, as you suggested. In terms of the "comment cannot be processed," even if I am signed in, but have been gone from the computer a bit, this comes up and I just click again and it displays. Here's another tip I just learned. If you have someone's blog button, say, that you want to resize. You just click button, then on Rich Text and you get arrows to resize. If I didn't make this clear to anyone, email and I will clear up anything I left out. I love that feature! Great tips, Polly! I love when people take the time to do this. In terms of word verification, I know my heart sinks every time I see I'm going to have to do this. Sometimes it is the difference between making that blog a favorite or not. If that's one step I'm not made to do, I'm one happy camper!

  24. Lots of great tips. I'm one who has never done the settings for folks to directly e-mail me. That's because I don't want the spammers to get my e-mail address out there on my profile! I hate to do this, but I have to secure my privacy!

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. Hi Polly,
    First,I hope you're settling into your new home! I've been blogging a year, but there are still things to learn. Hum, like backlinks, haven't a clue. I moderate my comments due to spam, but I don't ask for word verification. Also since my blog is bigger now, if someone left a comment on an old post I would miss it. Moderating helps me keep track since I try to comment back. Good idea for a post!

    Sorry for the delete, typo!

  27. Just stumbled upon your blog today and.... Wow!
    Inspirational and Informative. Thanks for all the blogger tips. Very Helpful! I made changes as I read, so I am set to go!

    I'll be visiting often :)

    Oh, I put you on my blog roll at the side of my log, hope that's OK.

  28. Me again--what are backlinks? Do I want to show them or not?

  29. Thanks for the wonderful info. I have wanted to reply to others thoughtful comments and couldn't, you are on my blog list and I hope others will check it out.

  30. I gave a link to this post and your blog on mine today because I think you gave out some wonderful information. I'm thoroughly enjoying going through your blog!
    clevermonkeygraphics at hotmail

  31. I just found your blog when looking for some tips on blogging. Thanks so much for a great post and I've changed my settings after reviewing your tips!
    Laura T

  32. I just shared this with my readers. Thank you for a fabulous resource.


I realize we all have busy lives, and taking the time to comment is not always easy. When you do find that time, it makes me appreciate you even more. If you like what you see or read, feel free to pass on the link to my blog with others. Thank you so much for stopping by!

I try to respond to everyone that comments, so if you do not receive a response, it's possible that you are a "No-Reply Comment Blogger" and may not know it, which means I can't find your email addy. Copy and paste this link in your browser to find out how to fix it.


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