Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...


Thursday, March 31, 2011


        A couple more things have come to my attention.  I know they've been mentioned elsewhere, but I thought I'd give it one more mention before we start A-to-Z'ing.

        Make sure that there is a link back to your blog if you follow or leave a comment.  If you just click "Follow" without leaving a comment that you've done so, I may not notice.  And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

       Any more, if someone new follows my blog, I usually don't click on the icon in order to follow back because most of the time there is no link.  Don't ask me why or how to fix this because I don't know.  Maybe someone reading this does know and can explain it. 

          One thing you can do when you leave a comment is leave the URL for your blog so readers can bypass your profile and go right to your blog.  One way to do this is to use a signature on your comment that includes the HTML tag form of your blog name and address.    For example, after I leave a comment I will usually will copy and then paste this signature:
Tossing It Out
         Sometimes I may change the address and blog title to reflect a particular blog post or a special message.  The bottom line is that the comment recipient or other readers can easily link to my blog page without clicking on my name and having to go through the profile. 

           Get rid of the surprise word verification if you have it.  I'm still going to sites of A to Z participants and leaving a comment only to find that CAPTCHA box pop up and pages slowly reloading and hopping around.  It really wastes time and sometimes causes lost comments.  If you haven't seen a lot of comments on your site then maybe you need to check to see how easy or difficult it is to leave a comment.
          Another hindrance can be some of the non-Blogger sites such as some of the Wordpress sites, other blog hosting sites, sites with Disqus or some other moderation filter, or blogs formatted in more uncommonly used ways.   I have gone to some sites where I've wasted several minutes trying to figure out how to leave a comment and evenually get frustrated and leave.  Once again, if you've been leaving lots of comments on other blogs but never seem to get any or many on your own site, then maybe you need to see if there is any problem with leaving a comment on your site.  Especially if you don't show any email it may be that no one will ever be able to contact you to let you know that there is a problem.


       These are just a few frustrating things I encountered on Wednesday as I made a concentrated effort to see how many blogs I could get through during the day.   I thought it was worth this special post in hopes that a few of these problems might be cleaned up.

        Oh, and in case you're wondering, I don't know the exact number, but I passed the 100 mark in visiting and commenting.  It took about 6 to 7 hours to do it.  If I had a faster computer I might have doubled my visits.  It can be done, but it takes time.

        Have a happy A to Z challenge!



  1. Thanks for the last minute thoughts. I'm psyched!

  2. Good post. How do you make a signature to end your comments with?

  3. Good tips, Lee! I discovered some problems by going to the public library and pulling up my own blog, then trying to leave a comment, to make sure everything worked. Also agree, it's frustrating to get a new follower and then I can't find their blog, even on their profile page!

  4. Yes I agree with those points and

    I also find screens with dark backgrounds and white writing intensly glaring so I'm reluctant to spend much time on them because my eyes leap about with astigmatism and the migraine starts. :O)

  5. Great tips, they should apply to all;)

  6. Thanks for the heads-up! It's good to know :)

  7. Thanks for the tips. The only problem is that I always feel I'm being a bit too pushy if I leave my blog link in a comment box but if you've said that we can then that's fine. It's a bit like being given permission from teacher ;-)

  8. Thanks for the tips Lee, now you have me concerned if my blog is ok to get back to as I have had quite a few new followers but when I try and contact them I can't get through.


  9. I've noticed this happening before as well. Someone will follow me and I'll want to go check out their blog. When I click their icon, there are no blogs listed.

    Here's how to fix that. Feel free to add to your post so everyone can see.

    1. Go to your Blogger Dashboard.
    2. Click Edit Profile (next to your icon).
    3. Under Privacy section, click the "Show Blogs to Display" link.
    4. Check off the blog(s) you want listed.
    5. Click Save Settings.

  10. great thoughts so excited about the chalenge

  11. I'm finding I get quite a lot of people following who don't have a link back to their own site in their profile. I'd be happy to follow back but can't. sorting this out would be a grrat help, I think.

  12. Another way to be sure your blog displays is to go back to your Google account and claim your own blog.
    Good tips, Lee! Takes a lot to hit a hundred blogs a day, doesn't it?

  13. Great tips. I second all of them. And 6-7 hours to do 100 blogs? Wow. I don't have time for all that but I'll do what I can.

  14. Wow, you hit a lot of blogs (over 100???)! Thanks for the tips :)

  15. Wow! You did a practice run???? That's dedication! :o)

  16. I'm impressed! And I agree with everything everyone is saying! Especially white on black - urghh - I just won't.
    To find out how to make a signature html go to http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com/2010/07/add-clickable-signature-to-your-blog.html

    that is Patricia Stoltey's instructions on how to add a clickable signature. She's doing the challenge and is a WONDERFUL blogger and good with all sorts of things that I can't do. I made the signature as to her instructions and saved it on a file in my computer. Then, before I go avisiting, I open that file and copy the signature html so I can add it to my comments. Voila!
    See you (some of you!) tomorrow...
    Jan Morrison

  17. Good luck in the month ahead!

  18. I typed up my first post last night and it is scheduled to post. I don't know if I can do a 100 but I am aiming for 20. How do you claim your blog on your google account?

  19. I'm preparing my post for tomorrow. I noticed there's 835 participants now. Totally insane!

    Scribbler to Scribe

  20. 100 blogs visited? Arlee are you still breathing? :) Hope your Mrs. won't kick you out of the house for neglecting her for 6 to 7 hours :PPP

    Down with word verification!

    PS I've made an add for the thingy you and I are doing next week, check it out over at my place, hope you like it ;)

  21. Thanks for the tips! I've removed the word verification from my comments.


  22. Thanks for the thoughts. I've tried to go through everything on your checklist.

    Please, nobody take it too personally if I've followed you without leaving a comment. I'm using a semi-automated routine to follow lots of blogspotters at once, but I'll be making the rounds and leaving comments as quickly as I can.

  23. Good last minute suggestions!

  24. thanks for all the tips. blogs with fonts that are tiny make me stop reading. also if they're too fancy - i know the new fonts you can use for posts in blogger are growing in popularity, but they're distracting from my point of view.

  25. Thanks for the reminders.
    spent three days visiting and got to almost 700 -- then of course you went over 800. lol I was doing like 25 at a pop.


  26. Great tips, Lee! Thanks for the reminders....

  27. Hey, just heard you on the radio in NJ on NJ101.5! LOVE your idea!

  28. LOL forgot I have another google account! That last comment is from me. I'm a blogger from NJ. www.thejerseyshoremom.blogspot.com!

  29. Excited to be a part of this!

  30. Just heard you on NJ101.5 and had to check out your blog. Love the idea about blogging from A to Z and signed up for that too. My blog is www.khashabfamilymusings.blogspot.com
    See you tomorrow!

  31. Hey there I am joining the challenge or trying to but I can't find the link (perhaps I am blind). I also just started following you. I am super excited. I am trying to grow my little baby blog and its coming along.

    I am a big fangirl mostly about star wars but about a lot of things in general. This is going to be great fun.


  32. Very cool! These will be interesting posts.
    Lee how do you make it a hyperlink? Is it regular html code? – Let me try out my A-Z sig.
    A-Z Fellow Challenger
    Holly Ruggiero’sPOV

  33. Hi Lee!

    I haven't been here in like... well... forever.

    Just stopped by to tell you good luck!

    I think you can make sure your link shows on blogger profiles by changing some of your settings. As far as I know, it has the same root menu as making sure that there isn't word verification.


  34. Arlee - have decided this is not the month for me to commit to being near internet connectivity every day. So instead of my planned "A-Z around Italy" plan, I posted a shout out:


    and I wish you all a very successful mega-blog-fest-a-palooza, and will check in on some of you guys when possible. Or when I'm sober. One or the other.

  35. Hi lee I just made it in time to join the A-Z blogathon and followed you.

    Since I do not know how to do the HTML tag I'll write down my url:


    Thanks for all the tips!

  36. hey Lee, I'm in Wordpress now, but there's no difficulty in finding the comment form I think. I'll leave a link signature as always to a post I'm writing for the A to Z when I do. Hope that'll be okay..

    Happy A to Z-ing.. cheers!

  37. Great tips - I'm not sure why some people automatically link up in 'Follow' and some don't, and I do find that frustrating, myself. Your link-in-the-signature tip is wonderful - thanks.

  38. Excellent tips! You and the others have done such a splendid job with this challenge, and I'm positive it will be a huge hit. Good luck getting through it, and thanks for being such a great host.

    And - KUDOS - that's a whole lot of blogs to visit in one day! You're a superhero!

  39. Good luck to you, Lee....
    Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast, and gets lots of sleep in April.

    You'll need the energy.

  40. All great tips, of course. And I'd like to echo Dez: Down with word verification! :)

    East for Green Eyes

  41. Wow, so much work! I bow to you!

    Good luck during the month of April!!


  42. Great suggestions! Looking forward to the start tomorrow!

  43. great suggestions, I have made sure mine is off. Looking forward to tomorrow

  44. I actually use Disquss. Disquss is used by many popular news websites. It's pretty easy which explains it's widespread usage. The person can leave a comment without signing in. They can just be a guest and give an email.People can also sign in with Google, yahoo, twitter, facebook. I enjoy the like feature and its appearance.

  45. Holy Cow Arlee! Visiting 100 people is quite a task! You are the "Comment Task Master!".
    Sorry that I haven't been by much but as you know things have been pretty busy around here.
    Things have slowed down a bit so I should be able to keep up for awhile!
    Love Di ♥

  46. I´ve just thought of one...when does april the 1st begin!!?
    I mean...I´m already one hour behind the Uk here, or is it as long as it´s april the ist where we all are sitting??

  47. And after looking about a lot of the partakers of this challenge´s blogs etc..it seems I´m one of the few model builders who has dared...GULP!! :-D

  48. Looking forward to an Awesome April Challenge! Thanks for making us grow as bloggers as well as friends!

  49. WOW I barely make it through 10-15 blogs let alone over 100!! That's some impressive eye work!!

    thanks for the info though, I'll have to take a look at my comments field to make sure it's easy to use, seeing as how I don't get many!

  50. hey, Lee- glad you brought this up...gotta be honest with all the Blogger sites, that stupid pop up box makes me go insane.

    It takes forever, to post. I click the button like 5 times, and found I have to do a "double click" directly in the center of the button...which then finally brings up word verification. Sometimes, the system errors out and then I lose my comment and my mind! I've taken to copying my comment before I even attempt to hit "post" and can easily paste if lost.

    There's got to be a better way to comment on blogger accounts. On my wordpress account, I've enabled it so that a person's very first comment has to be approved by me, and after that, they can post freely, as long as they enter their e-mail. I don't know if the system requires each time, it may. I can easily remove or correct comments later, if someone is unprofessional...which I've already checked them out with their first comment.

    I'm guessing Blogger doesn't have a "subscription button" feed burner widget? (that e-mails posts?) I don't see anyone with it-having to do the RSS feed thing sometimes I miss new posts, as they are in a sidebar folder...but if it pops a new e-mail into my inbox, I'm less likely to miss someone I want to follow.


  51. The link to your icon in 'follow' is edited through google not dashboard. Thus why it's inconsistant. Leaving a comment accesses dashboard instead of google.

    Looking forward to the challenge.

  52. I am so excited to start the challenge!


  53. Thanks for the comments and suggestions and welcome to new sign-ups. A special welcome to the New Jersey bloggers who signed up after hearing me on the radio this morning. That was an unexpected surprise that caught me off guard, but we got some of you signed up and that's good.

    I've been trying to address many of your questions directly by email and I will try to touch on some here in the comment section. If I haven't clarified something for you then let me know and I will try to do so.


  54. Hi Lee
    I'm so glad I landed here after reading about your challenge on my writing group mate's blog. I'd love to join the challenge (whew, not a moment to spare!)

    You can find my blog at www.magpiewrites.blogspot.com


  55. Rosalind --- There's nothing wrong with promoting your blog link and making it easier for others to find you. I think it's a good idea.

    Yvonne -- I don't think there's a problem with your blog, just with something in Blogger.

    D Heath -- Sometimes I have a problem with Disquis and sometimes not. It may be how the blog owners have their settings, Then again it might just be me or my computer.

    Paul --- The time you post is up to you. My advice is if you already post according to a schedule stick to that. Otherwise, post when you think the best time is.

    Sandi -- I know there are compatibility issues between the various blog hosts. Most are relatively easy to figure out. I think the pop up thing you're mentioning is what a lot of us have been harping on to get people to change in their settings.

    I suggest looking over the above comments for some additional tips that are pretty useful.


  56. Hi Arlee - good points! I binned my word verification yesterday - didn't even know I had it turned on so worth a check.

    Another point (and it may have already been mentioned) is to move the "Follow" button right to the top of your homepage side bar. I have been to a load of sights where I lost several minutes trying to figure out where to click on the Follow.
    See you tomorrow

  57. This is shaping up to be a very exciting challenge! I'm glad I'm
    on board this year :D

    100 blogs read and commented on? Whew! That's got to be a record or something. I do good to hit 10!

    Happy Thursday,

  58. Hey! I've decided to do this crazy thing. 800 + people can't be wrong, right? Nice to meet you all!

  59. WHOO! Can't wait for tomorrow! Bring it on!

  60. Thanks for the extra advice.

  61. fantastic last minute important things for the challenge! Love it! Many have already followed me but haven't left a link or commented so I can't follow back. It makes me sad.

  62. thanks for the tips! already April 1st on my side of the world (lol), so will be posting my A-Z challenge post in a bit. :)

  63. Thanks Lee. I wondered how they put their link on their comments. I might try it here :)


  64. aw it didnt work, will try just typing it in.


  65. it doesnt come up as a blue link:(

    oh well :o)

  66. You said that we shouldn't use word verification for comments, but one of my most popular blog posts was written because of a word verification I had to do. So I think it did more good than bad in that case. :)

  67. Wow 6 to 8hrs that's like a full-time job. Niki, you have to write it using html by enclosing the name of your blog inside an a href="your website address" Your Blog Name and then closing the tag.

    The Watered Soul

  68. Thanks Wanda, I will give it a try :)

  69. Hi Lee .. amazing - thanks so much for all the hard work ... tips, advice, continued support to us all .. don't get RSI ..

    Cheers and here's to tomorrow - in an hour .. but you'll get mine when I wake up .. enjoy!! Hilary

  70. This will be our first A-Z challenge, and we are starting it off in our birth month ... Tee hee hee...
    We are excited !!
    Thank you

  71. I've managed to remove word verification but am having trouble with the copy and paste signature so I'll do it the old fashioned way for now.
    You're doing a simply amazing job! Thankyou.

  72. I'm glad I just read this post about leaving my blog url at the bottom of my posts as I hadn't thought about that and it does often frustrate me when I can't find my way to peoples blogs. So lets see if this works :)


    Have a great challenge!

  73. My friend encouraged me to take this challenge--just this morning--and I am so game. Thank you for hosting this--and giving us all an opportunity to shine.

    Tabitha the KnittingJourneyman


  74. I'm trying this for the billionth time, fingers x'd

  75. Luckily, I've already implemented some of the changes that you mentioned in this post, before joining the A to Z challenge so I'm glad I did it earlier rather than later.

    Out of all of the blogs that I visited so far since April 1st, maybe 4 or 5 of them were a waste of time with regards to commenting because I tried to leave a comment on a few blogs using Open ID and for some reason, my Open ID is not working which is silly because when I log into my Blogger account, it shows me my Open ID address, so I don't know what's going on with that.

    Also, other blogs that I visited, I left a comment on there only to find out that I could not post it because those particular blogs only allow a Google Account, Facebook or Open ID/Live Journal and I don't have any of these accounts except for Google but I don't make my profile public so I don't make a habit of commenting using that method because the link isn't going to take the reader anywhere but a page that says "This user has not made their profile public".

    The new task is trying to figure out that comment tag that you mentioned.

    You said that it saves readers time in not having to find a blog through profiles and I think that is cool. I just can't figure this HTML Comment Tag thing out tho.

    Here's trying...

    The Madlab Post

    If you get HMTL mess instead of a working link in this comment, can you contact me and let me know what I did wrong or what I can do to follow the comment tag suggestion that you made in your blog post?


  76. Hi Lee...thanks so much for setting up this challenge. It motivated me to finally start my blog and I am so loving it! Cheers!


  77. Hi I just started to follow today I have a mom blog http://fishandpants.blogspot.com/ that i only started this year as well as a craft blog http://rainydaytoddler.blogspot.com/ that i am just getting started. I love blogging and look forward to new challenges. A-Z will be my first. I am excited by all the tips I have already learned from reading a few posts.

  78. Nice of you to post that. I do run a self hosted WordPress blog and it is kind of annoying commenting on Blogger blogs. I always have to type in my link and tell people not to bother going to my Blogger account. The word verification is aggravating. I tend to not leave comments on Blogger blogs cause I really hate trying to read those squished up letters. When I ran a blog on Blogger I just moderated the comments myself. (Have them wait for me to approve them, rather than relying on anything automated).


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