This blog was on free wordpress.com for a long time and I have a lot of experience and insight with the wordpress.com version of blogging. Reading the forums and learning from inputs in the WordPress forums, I had found out some shortcomings on many wordpress.com blogs. If your blog is with free wordpress.com, do not commit the following errors/blogging mistakes.
1. Do not give more than 10-12 tags and/or categories to a post
‘The more the tags to a wordpress blog post, the better for inviting traffic’ is what most wordpress bloggers think. A lot of tags may be an advantage on the WordPress.org blog (like this one) but on free WordPress you should limit the number of tags and categories to a post (put together) to 10-12 (e.g.: 10 tags, 2 categories to one blog post, or 4 categories and 8 tags to a post). This is the official WordPress rule. This was done to prevent tag spamming. Remember 12 is the number; do not exceed the limit or your blog will not appear in the WP global tags page! The written rule says 5 to 10 tags/categories but staff in the WP forum has admitted the limit is 12 (and I have read it elsewhere too on the support page but couldn’t find the link). So adhere to the tag limits to get the juice from the global tags page of wordpress.com. Please note that this is not applicable for self-hosted wordpress.org blogs and you should use tags to your full advantage without worrying about tag spamming.
2. Let WP automatically correct invalidly nested XHTML
Go to dashboard>Setting>Writing Settings and check the option that says WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically. WordPress will now automatically attempt to correct your html errors (this option is also there in self-hosted wordpress.org blogs). You should ignore this option only if you are comfortable with HTML, the language in which web pages are written. Also you can use the Markup Validation Service to find the errors on your site. This blog has many errors but I really don’t have the time to research, learn and fix them. Believe it or not, even the official Google blog had 412 errors and 139 warnings as on June14, 2009 LOL! 😮
Some other wordpress.com tips
- Disable mShots (the screenshot, Media Shots, that shows when you hover a link) from dashboard>Extras. It is an irritant because it is slow and also fetches an old cache. But the choice is yours as many like it!
- Hide the display of related links on your blog from dashboard>extras and other wordpress blog posts will not get a mention below your posts and you will not get mentioned anywhere in the WordPress.com blogosphere. Though It is more democratic and nice if you leave it on.
- Surf and be active on the WordPress.com forums for gaining more knowledge and insight.
- Increase the size of the writing box to 20 or 25 lines from Writing settings.
- Follow the official wordpress blog for latest updates and features, announcements, contests and developments. Do not hesitate to leave a comment there to gain some traffic! 🙂
- Use Windows Live Writer for blogging.
- From dashboard>tools, use the option to verify your blog with Google Webmaster tools and you will get a lot of data about blog. You can also verify your blog with Yahoo and Bing.