Should You Care About the Technical Side of Blogging?

the word blog repeated around a globe

There’s a lot that one can learn about blogging, and one of the things I like about it is that there’s always more to learn. But do you actually need to fuss over learning the technical side of blogging? And by technical side of it, I mean anything that goes beyond your basic writing, publishing, reading, and commenting. The short answer is no, absolutely not, but let’s chat about it.

I’m of the opinion that a lot of the technical stuff can make it easier for other people to find your blog, but it doesn’t necessarily make your blog any better. Things like categories, tags, and search engine optimization (SEO) fall into this category.

Sometimes learning things can help to make your life easier. I know quite a few people hate the block editor, but if there are things that you reuse across posts (like the bit at the bottom of this post about my Blogging Toolbox page), reusable blocks are a wonderful thing. If you’re on the free WP plan, learning how to resize and compress images can help you stay within your media storage limits.

When it comes to figuring out all you can to customize your theme, I think other people’s level of caring about the finer details of what your site looks like is 25% or less of your own level of caring. A lot of people are reading it in the WP Reader anyway, so they don’t have a clue what your actual site looks like.

Then there are all the shoulds from website gurus, like how you should write your titles, what your formatting should be like, what your post URLs should be like, etc., etc. Some of that advice might be worth taking if you’re trying to monetize, but as a regular personal blogger, it’s all totally optional. Are your posts easily readable? If yes, that’s all that really matters.

I like learning about the nuts and bolts of blogging because a) I’m a geek, and b) I have a lot of time on my hands. But if you have zero interest in any nuts or bolts, that is completely okay.

Do you have any interest in, or ever feel like you should know more about, blogging’s nuts and bolts?

Blogging toolbox: graphics of toolbox and wordpress logo

The blogging toolbox series has tips to support you in your blogging journey. It includes these posts:

55 thoughts on “Should You Care About the Technical Side of Blogging?”

  1. I want to learn how to blog better because Iโ€™d love to grow my following but I also just throughly enjoy writing. The substance is more important to me by far yet Iโ€™d still like to understand it all.

  2. Great post, Ashley.

    Do you have any interest in, or ever feel like you should know more about, blogging’s nuts and bolts?

    Do l think the tech stuff matters? Yes and No. But ultimately, it comes down to the type of blog that is being maintained and where the audience is coming from.

    Like you l to am a geek, so many things like this fascinate me; I am interested in the nuts and bolts but do they always matter? Well, l guess that comes down to which nuts and bolts and what each one does?

    In the last few months, the ‘business only Earthly Comforts blog style has changed its stance to reflect more of a ‘niche business journal’ blog, which is how l originally wanted the GUY blog to appear to the readership.

    It might not be a business blog in a conventional way, but it is pretty past the personal blog status also. It is to appeal to internal and external readers – like yours – it will also have external platforms supporting it, and whilst the WP community will read, they are not the only eyes the blog is for.

    So whilst many can/could read-only from the Reader function equally, many will not be reading directly from the back entrance but the front gate, so visual theming is advantageous. But theme customisation has always been important to me because l detest the black and white drabness of the actual Reader and only read directly from blogs.

    I have spent a lot of time customising that themed area, and many bloggers do, and we both know many personal bloggers do not – because it is unimportant to them. They don’t need to worry about those little details, and to a degree, they are right – spot on – because they are mostly only writing content for social function anyway.

    Block editor is an excellent bit of kit, and it is a shame that many still struggle with it or refuse to try to adapt their mindset from fixed to more of a growth one. It would be easier for them.

    Many of the nuts and bolts will always come down to two things – who are you ultimately writing for, and who are you primarily trying to attract to you? The third would be ‘what for?’ Social communication, friendship, interaction, business and sales …?

    Do we need Categories – yeah, it makes life for US easy to find things quickly in our directories and others to find items more accessible in the Reader. SEO is beneficial to all types of bloggers, from personal social to business marketers, because everyone needs to be seen and read. After all, ultimately, if you forget all the other so-called key stats – your content needs to be read.

    As Renard said above, formatting and structure are essential, and spell checking and grammar are also crucial because if you are going to attract people to your blog, be it here in WP or external, the content needs to be readable.

    Oh, and the beauty of resizing and compression of images is such an immense delight! I used images aplenty in Guy, but on Earthly, l am using more. I am still on Premium Plan, and whilst l have plans to shift it into Pro, l do not need to do that just yet – but since discovering TinYPng and resizing tools, even at this stage of the game with the building when there are a good thousand images already, l am only now just hitting the 1GB storage. I would be lost without those tools or nuts and bolts.

    So to your question – Should You Care About the Technical Side of Blogging? – Yes, l think we should; l think we owe it to ourselves and our blogs, but more importantly, we should care about it for the readers we want to have present and correct and reading our content. If you want to sell your books as an example, aesthetics are important. Anyone can write a book, but getting the audience to read it and want to stay for more that’s the trick.

    Ultimately it comes down l think to NOT just knowing the nuts and bolts of blogging but the nuts and bolts of marketing.

    1. Marketing is definitely a whole other beast, and it’s the part I’ve always felt the least comfortable with.

      I also like the block editor. I can see why some people don’t like it, as doing the most basic things is more involved compared to the classic editor, but the block editor is good for any sort of added functionality.

      Resizing and compressing images is also good for page loading speed, which in turn is good for search engine ranking. I think it’s one of the more useful yet not obvious things to learn nuts and bolts-wise.

      1. Totally agree with you regarding the Block. Sure there are at times glitches and they can be hair pulling glitches when you first start to use it, but once you get the hang of it, it’s extremely versatile.

        Well l had the Business model with the Guy blog so you know that is 200GB of storage and l used to use nearly 50% [nearly 10K images]of that as it was without any resizing or compaction and the Premium is only 13GB and the Pro is 150GB. At 1124 [counted] images in Earthly now l only have 1.2 GB used and that is because l am paying so much attention to making sure everything is the right size and a good KB ratio.

        Oh yes it makes a huge difference with page speed which is a priority when you consider the average reader’s attention span and concentration these days. If a page takes too long they are gone.

        More writers and bloggers should learn about the tools. Both you and Renard informed me about TinyPNG and it has made the biggest difference to my blogging in the space saving department.

        1. If you do end up switching it to Pro, a plugin like WP-Optimize (which is what I use) can do your image compression in bulk rather than doing it one at a time on TinyPNG.

  3. Sometimes I get too wrapped up in the technical aspect of things and can forget to just enjoy myself! Thank you for this post. It reminded me why I write: because it brings me joy.

  4. I think tags, categories, etc. are important for SEO, and I also believe if you’re only focused on WP reader readers, then these things may/may not matter. If you’re hoping someone outside of WP will read, then these things are important.

  5. Interesting topic ๐Ÿ‘I care about the technical stuff after I publish for first time ๐Ÿค—Then I go edit it! I donโ€™t like this to interrupt the flow of my ideas ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  6. Good strategy on resizing images. I actually just started doing this about a month ago and wish I had known about 300 posts ago. ๐Ÿซฃ

Leave a Reply