How My Blog Has Changed Since I Started It + 1-year Blogiversary Feedback Form // It’s almost my brain child’s first birthday 🥺

On February 26, 2019, I wrote and published my first ever post on Caitlin Althea.

And it’ll be February 26, 2020 in less than a week—less than a week until I hit my one-year blog anniversary. That’s… surreal. One year is such a huge milestone, and a lot can change in a year, as evidenced by my blog. If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you must know that my blog has changed a lot—in terms of content, post types, blog aesthetic—you name it! And as I near my one-year anniversary, I think it’ll be fun to look back on all the ways my blog has changed since I first started it.

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WordPress Tips & Tricks Part TWO // ft. Making Post Titles Bold, Centering Multiple Images & more

A few of you might remember when I first made a post on WordPress tips & tricks.

I look back on that post and cringe sometimes. Because how did I, a baby blogger, think I was qualified to give that kind of advice??…. But somehow, it’s my most liked post on this blog, and here I am with enough advice to post a part two of that post! Hopefully, this one will be better formatted, more helpful, and less embarrassing? (In all seriousness though, I’ve figured a few cool tricks out, and I can’t wait to share them!!)

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What Makes me Keep Reading a Post? + Tips on How to Implement those Things!

Congrats. You’ve gotten me to visit your blog and click on one of your blog posts. Now here’s how to make sure that I read your post until the very end! (Because I have limited time each day, and I’d rather spend it reading quality posts.)

Hello, I’m back with another how-to post! I love reading these kinds of posts, and I’ve tried my hand at writing some of my own. Am I completely unqualified to write them? Probably. But that’s not gonna stop me because they’re so fun to write, and this is my blog! Plus, maybe some people actually find them helpful or something.

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Hard Truths I’ve Learned About Book Blogging (& a few ways to cope with them)

I love book blogging, but there are some things about it that have been a little hard to accept.

I think that it’s natural for a community to always talk about the bright aspects of things. Would any of us be book bloggers if the cons of book blogging outweighed the pros? I don’t think so. But today I’ve been in a melancholy mood (guess the reason: it starts with s and rhymes with pool), and I wanted to get a little more real on the blog.

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Small WordPress Tips & Tricks that’ll Go a Long Way ft. html, themes & more!

This is the (hopefully) most anticipated sequel to my previous post!

This post and my previous post were originally part of one gigantic post that I planned to write called Tips I’d Give to New Book Bloggers, but then I realized that one half of the tips was related to WordPress, while the other had to do with how to build an audience.

These tips are things that I think a lot of newbie bloggers don’t know about. As a newbie, I didn’t know about these things, and I’m pretty sure other newbie bloggers, or maybe some veterans too, don’t know about them yet! So I’m here to impart the little wisdom I’ve gained in my half a year of blogging to those who need it!

HTML

Did you know that there’s a way to have different text sizes in the same paragraph? Shocking, right? Because I’m convinced that WordPress hates formatting–and it does–but luckily, html is here to help us undermine WordPress.

Simply choose to edit a part of your post as html, and you can do all kinds of magic. Here is the html coding I use to make my letters different sizes:

<p>regular text <span style="font-size: 20pt;">new size text</span></p>

To make the text bigger, I choose to make it 20pt, and to make it smaller, I use 8pt. But you can input any number and play around with different font sizes! These are just the ones that work for me!

There’s also a way to align two or more images in a row using html codes! This is pretty helpful if you want to align images of book covers!

42036538 42036538 42036538

I used this code format to align these three images of Gideon the Ninth:

<div>
    <img src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546870952l/42036538.jpg" alt="42036538" width="154" height="238"/>
    <img src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546870952l/42036538.jpg" alt="42036538" width="154" height="238"/>
    <img src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546870952l/42036538.jpg" alt="42036538" width="154" height="238"/>   
</div>

Html is not limited to these two tricks, but I think that these are the most helpful ways to use it. I’m a very baby user of html, so if you want to learn how to do other things with it, I suggest searching for formats on google because a lot of sites offer different code formats!

Post Scheduling

When I first started blogging, I didn’t know that scheduling posts was a thing. When people talked about writing posts and then scheduling them, I’d get so confused. Like, what is this scheduling thing? Luckily, I found out soon enough!

How to schedule a post!

Scheduling posts is extremely helpful if you’re an international blogger. Chances are, the majority of your audience is asleep while you’re awake, but not to worry, you can schedule a post to go up in the early morning hours of your timezone. Scheduling also helps if you have a posting schedule and pre-write a lot.

Until now, a scheduled post of mine has never failed to go up on it’s scheduled time. It may not post on the exact minute you schedule it, but in a few minutes, you’ll get a notification that your scheduled post is now published!

But when I first started scheduling posts, I was so confused because every post I scheduled went up eight hours after the time I had originally selected it to go up. Little did I know that I still hadn’t customized my site timezone to the timezone in the Philippines.

Unless you change your site timezone, it’s gonna stay at UTC, which will affect your post scheduling. Customizing your site timezone is pretty easy to do. Just click your site settings, and site timezone is probably the first or second thing you’ll see!

Pingbacks

Pingbacks are notifications that you get once someone provides a link to one of your posts in their blog post. Their pingback will become a comment on the post they provided a link to.

In my Sunshine Blogger Award, I linked to a bunch of my own posts. I then got notified for all of the times I linked to one of my posts!

Pingbacks are incredibly useful when you’re tagging someone in a tag or blog award. Giving them a notification eliminates the need to comment on one of their posts informing them that you’ve tagged them in something!

To give a pingback, simply provide a link to the blogger’s post in one of your posts. You can just insert it in any piece of text. Ex: I tag Caitlin Althea. The link embedded in Caitlin Althea is a link to one of my blog posts!

The biggest tip when it comes to pingbacks is not to link to the blogger’s homepage. Linking to their homepage will not give them a notification for some reason.

I’ve also learned that pingbacks are pretty funky if a self-hosted sites links to one of your posts. Sometimes I get a notification when one links back to my post, other times I don’t.

Linking Your Website to Your Name

This is a pretty niche tip, but it’s incredibly useful if you’re a blogger who comments on other posts a lot. It ensures that when you comment on a post, a click on your name will immediately lead an interested user to your site.

Usually, your web address isn’t a direct link to your site–it’s probably something like caitlinaltheahome.wordpress.com. If your web address is like this, users who click on your name will not be redirected to your blog. To make it convenient for them, change your web address.

You can do this by clicking on your profile picture and then Account Settings. Here, you’ll find your username, email address, etc. Your web address and primary site will also be there, so you can change them to the url of your home page!

Plus, when someone gets the notification that you followed them, or that you liked one of their posts, it’s easy for them to follow you back because a follow button will appear directly under your name!

As you can see from the picture, the first two people in my recent followers don’t have their sites linked (or simply don’t have sites), so there’s no follow button that will allow me to follow them back easily. However, the bottom three have follow buttons, which I can easily use to follow them back, or unfollow them (but I won’t do that of course).

Get Theme

Fun fact: when I first started blogging, I had no idea what WordPress themes were, so I was hardcore wondering how everyone got their blogs to look a certain way. Honestly, my life is just a series of events like this.

For those who don’t know what they are, they’re basically how your blog is formatted. If you embed a link in a word, some themes will show that there’s a link embedded in it by changing its color (like in Penscratch 2), but in Libre 2, which I’m currently using, words with links in them are simply underlined with no color change (unless I change the color myself). Little things like that are decided by your theme.

But have you ever come across a beautiful site and wondered what theme they use? Not to worry, you can actually see which theme a site uses (as long as it’s a site hosted by WordPress).

On the lower right hand corner of any site hosted by WordPress, you’ll find the follow button. Just click the three dots beside it and you’ll see the option to get the theme. Note: you must be logged into your WordPress account while doing this.

You can then search for this theme name in WordPress themes and choose to activate it in your own site! (Some themes require you to pay for them though, grrrr.)

Connecting Twitter (or other social media accounts) to Your Site

Connecting Twitter to my site was incredibly helpful because I always forget to notify my Twitter followers about new posts. If you connect Twitter to your site, your Twitter account will automatically tweet a post’s link at the same time that the post is uploaded. You can customize what the tweet says too!

You can connect Twitter to your site by going to Tools, Marketing, and then Connections! You also have the option to connect your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Tumblr to your site, but the most common social media site to connect to is Twitter.

Additionally, if you have the Subscibe via Email widget on your blog, and choose to let it display the amount of followers you have, your total number of Twitter followers will be added to the total number of WordPress followers and email followers you have! It’s a great way to make your follower count seem higher.

I hope you found this post helpful in some way! I’m definitely not a WordPress expert–there are still some WordPress mysteries I’ve yet to solve, but these are the ones that I have–at least to some degree!

I had a lot of fun writing this post! Until next time,

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