The sign says one thing. The trail says another. 

I look at this blog sometimes and wonder: Am I easy? You know easy to follow.

After participating in the Picture Book Idea Month Challenge, I found myself introduced to a number of new writers. I also found myself frustrated when I couldn’t easily subscribe to a blog.

Here are a few observations:

  • While I prefer to subscribe to posts via email, not everyone does. I struggle with a cluttered inbox, but it’s the easiest way for me to subscribe. Offer several options. In Blogger, I know you can offer email, RSS feeds and Google Friend Connect options. You can also connect through Facebook with networked blogs. I haven’t figured out how to add this. I also haven’t figured out how to streamline my subscription options with little buttons despite great tips from writer Lynda R. Young. Sounds like another goal for 2012.
  • Let me know when you post, because it might determine how I subscribe to your posts. If you post daily, I may choose the weekly email option from WordPress or use the Google Reader to follow along on my Kindle Fire app. 
  • What time do you publish your posts? It may seem silly, but think about it — when do you read blog posts in the morning or afternoon. I tend to read in the morning, so I schedule posts to publish at 12:01 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. So, I’m two hours behind my East Coast friends. I think it’s early enough, because I often wake up to several comments on posting days.
  • If you have a WordPress blog, but maintain a Blogger profile — make sure it is up to date. I click through Blogger profiles and sometimes I can’t find your blog. Two recent scenarios: Your author website doesn’t have a blog tab that I can easily find or your Blogger profile has your old Blogger blog, but doesn’t offer a link to your WordPress site. Blogger allows you to add a website in your profile. Add your WordPress site and hide the Blogger blogs no longer in use. 
  • Sign in and comment with the correct profile. Nina Badzin recently asked me why I used my Twitter account when commenting on blogs. I don’t have an active WordPress blog, so I took a shortcut and signed in with my Twitter profile. Nina’s question made me think. I even quizzed Laura Barnes on the topic. I “social media” searched — is that what you call it instead of soul searching? With Laura’s help, I figured out a way to comment on a WordPress blog with my email, name and Blog URL — so with one click people are at my blog. 
  • Is there a way to unsubscribe to your posts? With the email feed from my Blogger account, there is an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the email. I subscribed to one blog months ago and cannot figure out how to unsubscribe. It’s a WordPress blog and doesn’t match any of my passwords. 
  • Is there a way to contact you through your website? I like it when I can email someone. If you don’t want to post your email address, why not make it clear you respond to comments or via Twitter. Hey, you never know who might be trying to reach you. 
Do you have a tip or strategy to share about following blogs or a pet peeve? Maybe a tip for me to improve my blog’s accessibility — I don’t want to be like that sign I found at Mount Rushmore. I’m all ears.

Blog Tour for Julie’s A Troop is a Group of Monkeys:
If you haven’t voted for Julie Hedlund’s A Troop is a Group of Monkeys story in the MeeGenius Author Challenge please consider stopping by and giving it a Facebook like. Here’s her post on the story: The Story Behind the Story: My MeeGenius Entry.

Julie is running a contest to help round up more likes for her story. Please spread the word. Julie works very hard on her stories and provides a wonderful blog Write Up My Life.