Blog views and other obsessions – followers, views, likes and comments


We all say we don’t care about followers, views, likes and comments, but let’s be honest, it’s nice when people show an interest in what we’re doing. For me, it keeps me on my toes and helps me figure out the best way to say things on my blog. I want to post interesting content, so I’d rather know if I post a clunker.

Recently, Facebook, owner of Instagram, announced that they will begin an experimental “hiding” of likes on posts. Account owners will still be able to see the stat, but total number of likes will disappear from Instagram’s main feed, profile pages and permalink pages. I don’t have an Instagram account, and I’m not going to get too into the details, so if you want to read more, check out this article on CNN Business. What I’m interested in is the concept of removing a public view of likes and other interaction on social media.

You can already remove likes and comments from WordPress posts and some of the blogs I follow do that, for all their posts, or just some. It’s easy to do: to remove likes, go on your Dashboard and select Settings, Sharing and turn off your likes. To remove comments, from the Dashboard, go to the Discussion settings and turn them off. If you want to turn off total views and followers on your page, from the Dashboard, go to Widgets and remove those options.

As an active blog reader, I like seeing all the faces of people who have liked posts I’ve read. Is that weird? It makes me feel like I’m part of a group! And I also like to leave comments, though I understand why some posts have the “no comment” status. It’s fun to scroll down and see what other people have said and more and more, I’ve noticed that commenters jump on to other people’s comments, making it a big conversation. That’s really fun!

Now I totally get the negative side of obsessing over your popularity. I think that’s really the case on other social media platforms. I don’t get too worked up if a friend posts a picture of her painted toenails sipping a piña colada on a chaise lounge, and gets hundreds of likes and comments, because that stuff isn’t important to me. I’ve never tried to do that, though, so I might feel differently if I took that risk and got minimal likes. I recognize the trap, especially for teenagers and young adults, so hiding likes on Instagram and maybe Facebook sounds like a good idea to me. I don’t know how brand influencers feel about that, but that seems like a silly career to me anyway (just an opinion!).

As for WordPress followers, I like seeing that number grow, although I’m resigned to a slow, gradual climb. On Twitter, it’s great to look at other people’s followers because it helps me find new accounts to follow.

I think it’s different on WordPress because we’re not trying to showcase our popularity or look beautiful. This seems to be a much more grounded group. I think bloggers are mostly interested in getting their words out, with a side of likes and comments.

What do you think? Do you ever turn off your likes and comments on WordPress? Tell me what you think – comments are turned on 😉!

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When you have a Twitter conversation with a character from a book

Something fun happened to me on Twitter this week! I tweeted the link to my post, “On mystery writer Laurie R. King, Sherlock Holmes and fan fiction” and a few hours later, I found myself in a conversation with none other than Mary Russell from King’s book, The Murder of Mary Russell! Russell was a little frustrated that I called her memoirs fan fiction, but we quickly became friends. Take a look at our exchange:


I’ve talked to authors on Twitter before, but never a character from a book. You just never know, do you?

Stop by tomorrow for my formal review of The Murder of Mary Russell…

…and thanks for visiting!

Blog views & other obsessions – scheduling tweets

Scheduling tweets

Twitter is a great way to share what’s going on with your blog, but have you ever looked at your Twitter feed and wondered how the accounts you follow manage to tweet so much? My feed is very busy. Tweets are constantly offering me advice, sharing links and saying clever things.

People seem to be very busy composing tweets, don’t they? How do they manage? These people are tweeting the smart way, I recently learned, by scheduling their tweets on TweetDeck and spreading them out during the day.

Here’s what to do:

  • Visit TweetDeck and sign in with your Twitter name (e.g. @BookClubMom) and password.
  • The TweetDeck page is made up of multiple columns, including a New Tweet column on the left, your Home feed and a column that shows your scheduled tweets. Using the toolbar on the left, you can add or delete columns, such as Notifications, Messages, Favorites, etc. If you have more than one Twitter account, you can see the scheduled tweets for all your accounts.
  • To schedule a tweet, compose your message in the New Tweet box and click on the Schedule Tweet button. Then pick a date and time and you’re all set. Once you schedule a tweet, you will see it in the Scheduled column.

Here’s what my TweetDeck page looks like. See how easy?

Screenshot (1)

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Blog views and other obsessions – Shortlink

Using Shortlink to share your posts

You may have set your WordPress blog posts to go to Twitter when you publish. I noticed that the links in the tweets are long and not abbreviated the way they used to be. My last blog post looked like this on Twitter:

See how long the code is and how it’s chopped off?  I don’t know how to fix that, or if it matters very much to most people, but I am a little crazy about streamlining.  I recently discovered that WordPress has a button on its Edit Post page called Get Shortlink. It does the same thing as Bitly, but it’s easier because the utility is right there and it saves you a few steps.

If you want to tweet an older post, go to the Edit Post page and use the Shortlink button to copy the shortened link into your tweet.

Here’s what my tweet of the same post looked like:

See how much better the link looks?  Now I’m not sure why the book cover is bigger in the second tweet.  That’s just something else to keep me obsessed!

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Blog views & other obsessions – Twitter tips

Twitter Tips

Here are two tips one of my resident Twitter experts gave me regarding WordPress and Twitter.

1)  I often “Share” my older WordPress posts on Twitter. I used to click on the Twitter icon at the bottom of my post to tweet and it would look something like this:

Notice the link plus the additional “via @BookClubMom”. It’s better not to tweet to your own Twitter account. Instead, include the link in a new tweet. And make your tweet look more professional by shortening your link. Use a website like,  and paste it directly into your tweet. Bitly is very easy to use, so check it out.

See how much cleaner this looks?

2)  A good way to take the plunge and interact with your Twitter followers is to add comment on a tweet from your feed. Here’s an example. Someone on my feed asked for a book recommendation. Rather than just tweeting out a favorite book, I responded directly by retweeting and adding my recommendation.

The person who asked for the book recommendation saw my comment and favorited it. This comment was seen by other followers who also favorited it. I could have taken it a step further by including the bitly link to my review of the book, but I didn’t think of that until later. Still learning!

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Blog views & other obsessions – integrating social media

Integrating Social Media

Last month, I ran a post about how to expand my blog’s exposure by branching out into other areas of social media. After nearly two years of blogging and totally enjoying the experience of meeting other bloggers and trading likes and comments, I started to think about the bigger and connected world of blogging and promoting myself.

I’ve learned a lot in the last month. I’m in no way an expert. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. But here’s what I’ve discovered:


  • Twitter is very powerful, but it has taken some getting used to. To me, my Twitter feed seems like a raging river of Tweeters and they’re all saying, “Look at me!” It’s hard to believe anyone would notice if I Tweeted the same kind of thing, but I’ve learned from my live-in social media experts. They tell me to just get in there and interact. Here’s their advice: Favorite things you like. Retweet things. Actively seek out followers. When you have a short lull in your schedule, scroll through and see what might be relevant to your blog and Retweet or Favorite. I have to be in the mood to do this, though because sometimes it’s overwhelming.
  • Follow, follow, follow and you will get follow-backs. A good way to find Twitter followers is to see who follows a popular account that’s related to your own interests and follow the ones that make sense.
  • Don’t be afraid to message someone if it’s relevant. I’ve had people message me on Twitter and tell me they like my jacket!
  • Add a Follow me on Twitter button to your WordPress site.
  • Use the WordPress app to find your Twitter friends who have WordPress blogs. Follow those blogs to make new friends.
  • Always share your posts on Twitter when you write them, but don’t stop there. Share older posts too. Just because you wrote something six months ago doesn’t mean it’s old.
  • Include a link to your blog in your profile.


  • I created a Facebook page for my blog. It’s connected to my personal FB page, but the followers are separate. I used to post my blog on my personal FB page, but I always felt a little weird about it, barraging my friends with all my book review opinions, whether they liked it or not! Once I created the Book Club Mom FB page, I invited all my friends to “Like” my page. A good number did and now I feel better that my posts are reaching the people who really want to see them.
  • I found out it’s very hard to get other people to “Like” your Facebook page. So use the WordPress Widgets feature to include a “Like me on Facebook” button. Just like all social media though, lots of people will follow you if you follow them.
  • I’ve also noticed that when I follow someone on Twitter, they often send me a message suggesting I check out their FB page. And they include a link. Smart. A good way to get follow-backs.
  • Whenever I read the blogs I follow on WordPress, I check to see if they have a FB account, and I Like it when they do, hoping they will Like me back. (Do the same if they have a Twitter account.)
  • Once you follow a group on FB, “Like” and “Share” what’s interesting and relevant with the people who follow you. Lots of people will return the favor.
  • Link your FB page to your Twitter account so that anytime you update your status, you’re also sending out a Tweet.
  • And always share your WordPress blog with your FB page!


  • I started my Goodreads account about a year and a half ago, but all I really did with it was post my reviews. I recently started adding friends to my network. A great way to do this is to use the Twitter app through Goodreads to find friends who are your followers on Twitter. I made the mistake of inviting all my Twitter followers to be my Goodreads friends at the same time and my computer froze. Then I didn’t know if the requests went through or not, so I got caught up in trying to resend a block of requests at a time. Time consuming and tedious, though. I have to be in the mood to do it.
  • Goodreads has all kinds of groups you can join. In the beginning, I joined a couple book clubs, but I was too busy to even follow them and I got too many emails. So I dropped out of them for a while to keep things simple. I recently joined a couple new groups, for creative writing feedback. I’ll have to see how that goes.


I feel a little protective about my WordPress network. Do you? I feel like this is my golden group of my good blogging friends! For that reason, I don’t use the follow and like approach on WordPress in the same way. WordPress blogging and commenting is my way of interacting on a more personal and meaningful level. The other social media I’ve chosen is a lot less personal and that stuff is like a big marketing game.

As I’ve said above, I am learning as I go, and I have to be in the right mood to build these accounts. It’s basically a numbers game and it can really suck you in and eat up a lot of time. I’m very mindful of that. We all have responsibilities and lives outside of this world, so perspective is key.

What do you think? Are you trying to expand your network? What’s your strategy? What mistakes have you made? What other social media have you used? Have you ever gotten a little obsessed with the process?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


Blog views & other obsessions – comments


I received some great comments about views, integrating posts with Twitter and Facebook, and other blogging perspectives. So here are just a few more thoughts:

  • It’s very helpful to read how other people blog, what their routines are, and what they enjoy about the experience. I agree that making and receiving comments has been one of the best parts. And this was a completely unexpected benefit! I also agree that seeing how many different countries view my blog is a really fun stat.
  • I am also surprised by what gets views. My most frequently viewed post is about the short story, “Saint Marie” from Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich. I’m not sure it deserves the attention, but I hope it’s been helpful!
  • I think taking a Twitter class would be very helpful. I am just learning how to interact, but I have a lot to learn. There are so many ways to connect on social media. I’m lucky to have a bunch of savvy teenagers around to offer advice. The young own social media, but I’m glad to have my toe in.
  • I’m thinking about adding a category on Book Club Mom and including posts about connecting through social media. But for now, I’m just trying to move from doggy paddle to crawl!

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Blog views & other obsessions – The Social Media Abyss

The Social Media Abyss

I’ve been working hard this year, trying to get my blog noticed by more readers. I recently discovered the powerful connections between WordPress, Twitter and Facebook. Now I’m stumbling through, learning how to work that big machine. I was one of those naïve bloggers, a year and a half ago, thinking I just had to post something and people would find me. Then I discovered the great experience of following other blogs and jumping into a community of commenters and likers. That has been very rewarding and it has given me confidence. And now I’m standing on the edge of the social media abyss, thinking, “Wow, but how?”

What about you? Are you a new blogger and are you trying to figure things out? Or are you a long-time blogger? Maybe you are somewhere in the middle like me. Have you connected your WordPress blog to other social media?

So, let’s start a conversation! Let’s trade blogging ideas and social networking tips. Here are just a few questions to get this rolling:

  • What’s your blogging routine? Every day? Once a week or somewhere in the middle?
  • What’s your favorite part of blogging, getting your opinion out there, receiving comments and likes, reaching out to other bloggers?
  • How do you connect with people who aren’t on WordPress?
  • Are you making money with your blog?
  • Do you want to make money with your blog?
  • Do you check your stats a lot? Are you disappointed when your views go down?
  • How do you find people to “Like” your Facebook page?
  • What’s your Twitter strategy? How much time do you spend following and tweeting? Do you retweet and favorite a lot? What about direct messages?
  • Are you out there on Tumblr? What about Google+?
  • And last, how do you manage your time? (Because we all know this takes TIME!)

I think we could have a great dialogue here. So leave a comment and let’s get this rolling!


Thanks for visiting!