I Love Your Blog! 7 Reasons to Come in Through the Front Door

I love beginnings. The excitement of starting a new project, planning a big trip … or building a blog from the ground up. And creating a blog is one experience we all share. It’s our common ground.

Do you remember the challenge of constructing your blog? Maybe you had previous experience, but I bet most of you were like us – rank amateurs! All the decisions you had to make: What theme do I choose, how do I add a header, where do I upload photos, when do I add the words … and who do I contact if I can’t figure it out? By the end of the first day your head was spinning. But you persevered and got it done.

We’re not just blog writers … we’re also blog readers. And many of us choose to blog on WordPress.com. So to help us, WordPress created the handy Reader. All you have to do is “Follow” a blog and WordPress will let know when your favorite bloggers have added a new post. Then you can quickly scan all the offerings on your Reader to decide where you want to start.

But once you click on a post on the Reader, you’ve entered the land of blog homogeneity. One after the other, all of our posts look just the same.

Gone is the beautiful header you worked so hard to select. Your unique font, distinctive logo, sequenced slider, special awards, and clever footer. Even that Easter Egg you hoped someone would discover … all gone!

Why? Because we don’t come in through the front door.

If you only access someone’s blog via the Reader, then you miss all the small details and fascinating quirks that bloggers have worked hard to incorporate into their sites. Everything has been homogenized on the Reader.

Don’t get me wrong. I love WordPress, our Community, and I think the Reader is a great tool for busy people. It’s like slipping into someone’s house through the side door. But are we really too busy to click a few more times to go in through the Front Door – the Home Page of a blog – to discover what the author really wanted us to see?

So how do you do that on the Reader? First click on the Blog Title highlighted in blue (not the Post Title). Then click on the Blog Title once more – and Voila! You just entered the Front Door.

The Pandemic Lockdown was the perfect opportunity to explore blogs – looking for all the creative ways you make your site unique. These 7 reasons are why you should think about going in through the front door. Just knock and walk in.



Do you ever wonder what the story is behind a blog’s Title and Tagline? Would you like to get more of the backstory? The home page is a blogger’s opportunity to present their authentic self.

  • When you open the front door to Beth’s blog, it screams one thing – FUN! With a fanciful header, smile-inducing title and tagline, all on a quirky layout, you know you’re in for a treat.


Many of us have a bill of fare at the top of our blogs designed to lead readers to specific content. And when authors get creative with their choices – even better!

  • Tracey has something irresistible on her menu: Around the World in 80 Cafes! How can you NOT click on that?
  • Jo’s A-Z Lists are amazingly creative and a great introduction to a country’s culture.  
  • Not to be outdone, Curt has a menu item titled Meet Bone: World Traveler, Fearless Adventurer, and Sex Symbol. I know you can’t resist!


You know the saying, “You’ll never forget your first?” How true. Do you remember the very first post you ever wrote all those years ago? Thanks to the handy “Archive Widget” many of you made it easy for me to go back through time to read the words that launched your blog. There are some gems out there.

“I do not profess to be an expert on anything,
just a human being, on a journey, making some attempt
at all there is to experience within my grasp.
And so, I begin!” —Lynn, Life After 50


Ask bloggers why they blog and one overriding answer is “I want to help others.” Often we go to blogs with questions or problems, hoping the author has encountered the same situation and can help.

  • Gilda’s 2015 trip around Iceland in a camper van is an inspiration. I wondered what it would cost to do the same thing. There’s a great piece of information in her home page menu where she spelled out the Travel Costs (under Categories) . 
  • Liesbet and Mark have mastered the art of living on the road full-time, and are experts at doing it affordably. On their home page, the feature titled And Living Frugally documents their monthly expenses – truly inspiring!


When I do a deep dive into a blog I’m often pleasantly surprised by what we have in common.


I love surprises. For me, going to a new blog is like being a kid in a candy story. I want to explore every corner and see what goodies are there for me to discover.

  • Rusha has a beautiful new blog theme that will reward you with surprises. My favorite touch is that when you scroll all the way down to her footer, you can delight in Taking a Selfie at Angkor Wat. Be sure to click on the monk.
  • Ray and Alie share their excellent Rules for Life’s Journey. My favorite is “Wag more, bark less.”
  • Laura has a link in her menu inviting you to Sleep Around. Who can resist clicking on that?  


We all have a treasure trove of fascinating posts buried deep in our Archives. It takes curiosity and work for our readers to discover them. But once you go exploring, the bounty is endless.

* * * * *

So here’s the challenge: How do you get people to explore your blog, dig deep, and see more of you as a person and a writer or photographer over the years?

What post do you have buried in your Archives that you really wish people would discover? Or what feature have you built in to your blog that we’re missing? Let us know in the comments and we’ll share your link in our next post … along with some tips we learned from our recent blog update.

How about if we go first to get the ball rolling …

James wishes that you would read his post: Witness to a Coup: Khartoum Sudan  

Terri wishes that you would read her post: Finding Common Ground  

But most of all we’d love for you to come in The Front Door.  Then you’ll see that we’ve added a new fun feature. All we can say is, “Please click on the yellow cup.” 🙂

Terri & James

P.S. And check out all the great bloggers down below … and go in their Front Doors. 🙂

Photo Credits: 1. Jan Tinneberg

Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

148 thoughts

  1. I love exploring blogs and entering by the front door. Can I invite you to a post from last year when we were free to go to museums and join a walking group. Coombe Down and the history of bath stone.

    1. Hi Anne, thanks so much for inviting me on your walk through Coombe Down. Your walking group definitely sounds like my kind of fun. We were just back in Bath last fall, admiring the beautiful stone work. Your quarry story makes it even more interesting. And talk about some pampered bats! I did know about William Smith’s accomplishments since James (the geologist) is one of his admirers. When we lived in England we were always on the lookout for information on him.

      I also wanted to tell you that I like your menu item on your home page “How to earn money from home.” You’ve got some great ideas in there. My sister is a Mystery Shopper and she loves doing it. All the best, Terri

      Here’s the link to Anne’s fascinating post.

  2. It’s always a surprise to find yourself mentioned in someone else’s blog, Terri. I was scurrying towards my next Six Word Saturday and there you were with a great title. I just had to look! Thank you very much. The idea for the A-Zs wasn’t mine initially but it gave me a great hook. Looking back at them now I know that they are desperately in need of an overhaul, and it was one of the things I was going to do as I swam about in all the excess solitary time Covid granted. Whatever happened to that??? Here we are, if we’re lucky, emerging again! And still many a job undone. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, and am glad to see that you’ve used your time more fruitfully than me. Stay well, you two! And happy Midsummer’s Day 🙂 🙂

    1. You’re very welcome, Jo. Your blog is always a joy. I read your Poland A-Z several years ago before our first trip to Poland and it definitely came in handy. You helped put so much in context. Now if you could just help me with pronunciation. 🙂
      James and I were just talking about Where Did the Time Go?! We made a list of projects early on, and we were able to check a few items off. But there are still lots of tasks left undone.
      So, here in the States people are starting to get out and about a bit more. Are things starting to reopen in your neck of the woods? ~Terri

      1. Very much so, Terri. I’m back to t’ai chi and croquet. A bit hot for walking but we do when we can, and we’ve had quite a few meals out with friends, trying to help the locals. Hard times for them but they keep smiling 🤗💕

      2. Your progress is definitely ahead of ours, Jo. Very few restaurants are allowing sit-down diners unless they’re outside. But the restaurants’ carry-out businesses are booming. We’re just hoping that our favorite restaurants can survive a bit longer. ~T

      3. Maybe something from my Greek Odyssey, Terri. I’ll have a look in a bit and get back to you. Busy answering comments on Six Word Saturday and I have a walk to set up fro Monday. It’s all go 🙂 🙂

  3. Thanks for the mention. It was you visiting my first post and commenting that alerted me to the fact that it was 10 years since I began blogging and that the first post needed sprucing up. I should change themes but I really like this one. One day soon. So glad we found each other here in blogland. xo

    1. It was my pleasure, Darlene. And I love your theme and think it’s perfect for the nature of your blog – it always says HAPPY! Our previous theme was 10 years old and had not been updated by the original designers for 7 years, so it was starting to have some serious glitches. It was kind of the “no-choice choice.” 🙂

      I thought that launching your blog with a hot air balloon ride was terrific! Inspired and memorable. James and I are so glad we met you all those years ago in the blogiverse. So where is the next Amanda book going to be based? ~Terri

      1. I’m so glad I met both of you as well. The next book will take place in Malta! My publisher and I are just working on the cover and I love it. Such an intriguing country. Amanda will have no trouble finding mystery and adventure there. The planned release date is May 2021. (all being well) Stay well and safe!!

      2. Woohoo! I love Malta. Amanda has very good taste. My fondest memory is those old “Bone-shaker Buses.” By any chance do you follow Tricia Mitchell? She and her husband Shawn recently lived there and she is a treasure trove of Malta info. You can find her here. ~T

      3. I do follow Tricia and have used her posts as a resource. We tried to meet up there when her and her husband lived there but the timing wasn’t right.

  4. Thank you for mentioning my blog. I can’t believe that post on Lao food was written eight years ago (when my writing style was so different from how it is today)! Where has all the time gone? I follow many of the blogs that are also mentioned here, although I might have missed their older posts — which make me excited as this means I have a lot of reading materials this weekend. Hope you two are well!

    1. Bama, we’ve always been big fans of your blog, so highlighting you was at the top of our list. Digging around in your older posts is such a treat. And your Lao food post really made me smile. Rarely do I stumble across someone who’s been to the exact same restaurant as me … especially in a small village!

      It’s interesting that you talk about your shift in writing styles because we’ve noticed that about ourselves, too. Some of our older writing needs updating, but other posts seem to capture the essence of where we were then. They serve as great placeholders in our life.

      We’re always interested in how other bloggers highlight their older posts. Is that something you do on your blog? ~Terri

      1. I’ve been thinking of ways to bring some of my older posts back on the spotlight, but so far I’ve only done that by linking them to my current blog posts whenever relevant.

      2. That’s a great idea, Bama. We’re also experimenting with featuring some of our older posts on our sidebar. It seems to be starting to work. ~T

  5. Thanks for mentioning my blog. I had no idea what blogging was about when I started. I was just replying to queries from friends and family about what we were seeing on our travels. The first post is embarrassingly long with no editing. But I have not deleted it; it is a reminder of life’s changes and possibilities.
    Back then I was surprised when strangers “liked” and “followed,” and I began to explore and discovered writers such as yourselves. My world broadened. My writing and photography improved as I began to “see” more on our travels simply because I was paying closer attention so that I could share it.
    Like Bama above, I also follow many of the same bloggers — there is such a big world out there.

    1. Ray, the parallels in our blogging experiences are uncanny. I could have written this comment. When we began we didn’t really appreciate what blogging was about either, and when I go back and look at some of our early posts I cringe. But like you, they’re memories for us so we don’t sweat some of them. On the other hand, some posts were hurried and poorly put together, so those we trashed altogether. And also as you say, we’ve upped our game on writing and photos.

      When we started blogging we really didn’t have any big expectations for what it would become, and had no idea it would get to be such a big part of our life. It made us more observant travelers, and introduced us to a world of interesting people, like you and Alie, and for that, we are grateful. ~James

  6. I really enjoyed this post. I spend a lot of time (maybe too much time) exploring other blogs. When I want to read a post in the reader I usually click on Visit so I can go directly to that post. When I’m visiting a new to me blog I always go to their home page so I can go through the front door. I am looking forward to going to all these blogs you mentioned! Most are new to me.

    I started Wandering Dawgs for friends and family to follow us on our RV journey to Alaska. Here’s my very first post from March, 2013 https://wanderingdawgs.com/2013/03/

    1. Hi Beth! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It sounds like you and I like to wander around – both blogs and the US. We’re campers like you, but we just have a tiny “Half Pop-up.” And although we’ve visited Alaska, we haven’t made the camping trek – yet! How wonderful your trip sounds.

      It’s great that you like to come in through the Front Door. And yours is a perfect example. First, I love your blog title. We lived on St. Simons Island, Georgia and know lots of Dawgs fans. Our neighbor’s dog could have been their mascot. 🙂 And second, your photography. Wow! Your flowers are gorgeous.

      Your first post is the perfect introduction to your great adventure. I also like your “About Us,” and I know that everyone else will, too. All the best, Terri


      1. Amazing, Beth! I can’t believe you lived in St. Simons. And I totally love the Savanah area. It’s so nice to meet a kindred spirit. ~Terri

  7. Thank you so much for including me in this wonderful post! A great reminder to arrive at the front door a little more often 😁

    I follow many of the blogs you have highlighted but will definitely check out the ones I have not had the pleasure of being introduced to!

    I must admit, I was a complete newbie when I created my blog. Computer savvy was definitely not on my resume but with a little perseverance, I managed to get my blog up & running. I have so enjoyed writing over the years but the real surprise to me, is the incredible people I have met along this journey, including both of you.

    For those visiting here, below is a link to a piece I wrote in 2015. It was written at a time when I was knee deep in experiencing the challenges of dealing with aging parents. It inspired me to write this piece:


    Take good care & thank you again for your friendship & support 💕

    1. You are too kind, Lynn. I just love the way you write. And I’m thrilled that you included your wonderful post. You were too modest, so may I include that you were DISCOVERED for this post. Seriously folks, go read this because you’re going to love it – especially #11. When I read it 5 years ago I nearly splurted out my coffee. 🙂

      I’m so glad to hear that you, too, were a complete newbie when it came to creating a blog. At the end of each day I felt like I’d taken final exams. My learning curve was so steep I felt a nosebleed coming on. But here we all are, having come out on the other side and loving the experience. And the friendships we’ve all developed just can’t be beat. I think that during this Pandemic, bloggers have had a huge advantage: We have an easily-accessible circle of friends around the world. We were prepared for Lockdown … and didn’t even know it. All the best, Terri

  8. How fun to come in the front door of your blog and see all these people mentioned. I love your new look and the encouragement to all of us to explore each other’s blogs more fully. I’m guilty of using my phone to access stats and new posts on the Reader, and my cursory clicks just aren’t enough to let me in on the scope and breadth of what my fellow bloggers are doing.
    Thanks for including our blog, too. We have fun with it, but know that we have much to learn from you and others who are constantly “primping” their look and content.
    We both look forward to your new series on Iceland, a part of the world we’ve never seen. Wishing you all the best as you forge ahead and lead the rest of us. You do me proud with the inclusion in this post today!!!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Rusha! I really enjoy the fabulous content of your blog – and the new look and clever touches are icing on an already delicious cake.

      We loved our first trip to Iceland, and Gilda inspired us to consider a return to rent a campervan to explore farther afield. But who knows when that will be possible. So maybe there WILL be another Iceland Series. 🙂 I sure hope so. ~Terri

      1. That’s a great post, Rusha. I know everyone will love it. Thanks for digging through your archives. I hope you’ve recovered from your 12 hour trip. 🙂 ~Terri

      2. We had 2 funerals/receiving of friends in one day. We were worn out from traffic and emotions. But we’re back and ready for Father’s Day with the family. Thanks for all you do to increase awareness of what the blogging community can bring to readers.

      3. Oh Rusha, I’m so sorry that you lost your friends. We know how hard that is. We too lost one of our best friends during the Pandemic, but she lived far away and we haven’t been able to get together with her family and friends yet to celebrate her life. I’m glad you’re home in time to celebrate Father’s Day. Please give Bert a big hug from me … and one for you, too. ❤ ~T

  9. great points -mine was all trial and error, lots of error, and I truly appreciate looking at what others have done, I know it’s a lot of work and very personal

    1. Thanks Beth. I’m constantly surprised at the amount of work required to keep a blog going. And you’re so right about all the trial and error. One change seems to domino an entire chain reaction of glitches. The good news is that our blog community is very understanding – and best of all – encouraging! 🙂 ~Terri

  10. Great post! I like going through the front door, too. So many blogs have fun little “extras.” I do monthly polls on my blog, but few people seem to see them. And I love word clouds. Even mine. It’s fun to glance through and see what tags keep being used on someone’s blog. Some of mine: jail, Limerick, hot dogs, concentration camp, WWII, and Amish. Lots more, but sometimes even I like to click on a word and see how many times I’ve blogged about something with that tag. Does anyone else do that? https://browsingtheatlas.com/

    1. Juliann, I have always loved the theme you use for your blog. It’s so inviting and fun. Your word clouds are so interesting to peruse. We haven’t tried one lately, but we should check it out. Do you put your polls in your sidebar or in a post? What we realized is that if people are coming in through the Reader they never see our menus, sidebars, footers, or even our headers.

      I see that one of your upcoming posts is Big Bone Lick. We love that place! So sorry for the delayed response – I just discovered your comment in our Spam Folder. Too weird.

      Juliann, do you have a post hidden in your archives that you would like for people to read? We’re publishing them on Monday. ~Terri

  11. Originally my blog was about my music but with encouragement from others I introduced my art and now it has evolved once again with the writings of my husband’s memoirs. Like most things blogs are a work in progress, forever evolving.

    1. Hi Leslie, Your knowledge of music is encyclopedic! I’m always in awe when I come to your site. And I love the addition of your art. I didn’t know that Peter was sharing his memoirs. I’ll let James know since he’s a geophysicist – I’m guessing they speak the same language. 🙂 By the way, I was wondering about the origin of your blog title. Please enlighten me. ~Terri

      1. Hi Terri, Peter got his masters in geophysics. His PhD. in low temperature physics. His career moved around to biophysics.
        BTW swo8 is in regards to infinity with an “o”. So there you go.

      2. What a career he has had, Leslie. Is he planning to formally publish his memoirs – or maybe he already has? And thanks for the explanation of your blog title. I like anything that includes infinity. 🙂 ~Terri

      3. He published his memoirs in 2008. The publisher is Strategic Book Publishing, New York, New York. The ISBN 978-1-60693-341-1. You can also look at some of his publications if you Google Peter Martel Neutron Physics.

      4. This is the third summer that I have been posting the memoirs Terri. I would imagine you could access them some how. Give it a try and let me know please….

  12. Excellent advice about checking out the front door of others’ blogs (makes me want to do some work on ours – ha!). And THANK YOU for the mention. Boy, does that post from 2015 ever take us back. We’ve done and seen so much since then. Anyway – keep up the great work and thanks again!

    1. Many thanks, Susan & John. We’ve always been fascinated by your choice to live in Colombia – James did geophysical work there, so he was mostly in the jungles of the Magdalena Valley. Our first expat adventure was a move to Khartoum, Sudan. That’s why we could really relate to your story.

      The front door of your blog is gorgeous. You’ve definitely put out the welcome mat. 🙂 ~Terri

  13. What a wonderful post. Even though I read blog posts *every day* you’ve given me a whole bunch more to read! I think I’ll be up late tonight! Thank you so much for including me. I’m just delighted!
    I’ve read and commented on your post about the coup James. Terri I have yours open ready to read.
    I always come in the front door 🙂 and by the way I love your whole new look.

    1. How does the saying go, Alison? “So many posts, so little time!” 🙂 I’ve been immersing myself in blogs the past several weeks, and I’ve made so many great discoveries. For example, I learned that I ate the exact same meal at a little restaurant In Luang Prabang as Bama. That’s just freaky cool. And I visited Jim Thompson’s house in Bangkok – so did Kelly and Henry. I was amazed.

      So glad that you like the new blog look. We’re still working out the kinks, but we’ll get there. And kudos to you for coming in through the front door. 🙂 ~Terri

    1. I can’t wait to read it, Alison. While living in Khartoum, we spent a lot of time in Cairo, so I’m looking forward to your unique perspective. Thanks for volunteering a post. ~Terri

  14. James and Terri: What a wonderful post! I follow some of the blogs you mentioned and now have a few more new front doors to enter. I like the yellow cup that leads to see hugs from your friends. Well done with your blog new look.

    My latest trip before COVID-19 lockdown was to Ecuador. I wrote a few posts about it. Here’s the first of the Ecuador series: https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2020/01/12/my-10-favourite-experiences-in-ecuador/

    Happy summer solstice!

    1. Thanks so much, Natalie. It’s always fun to have new front doors to knock on.

      I’m so glad that you selected one of your Ecuador posts to share. It’s been on our bucket list for years, so seeing it through your eyes is a treat. Of course, James wants to go because it’s another opportunity to straddle the Equator (like we did in Kenya). And I’m with you on skipping the guinea pig! 🙂 I know that the folks out there will really enjoy your take on Ecuador.

      Happy summer solstice to you, too. ~Terri

    1. Many thanks, Tracey. So glad that you enjoyed it. I truly enjoy your writing, and your Cafes feature really captured my imagination. Please let me know if you have a post hidden in your archives that you would like for people to read. ~Terri

  15. James and Terri, I have been coming through your front door for many years and what a gorgeous front door you have here. I love your writing and creativity. There are always surprises…and what a lovely surprise to find so many great links in this blog post. I will be spending some time looking around, some of the above bloggers I already know and love, but it is always great to be introduced to new ones. Thank you for including me, and as requested, here is a link to a post I treasure. Brian and I had been dreaming for years about driving to the furthest point you can drive to in mainland Europe…Nordkap in Norway. Arriving and spending the night there was a “pinch me” moment I shall never forget.


  16. Gilda, we found so much inspiration from your beautiful blog with its gorgeous layout. Talk about an inviting front door! I’m glad you’re enjoying the links, and it was our pleasure to include you.

    Your post on Nordkapp is excellent – and what an education for me. Now you’ve given me a new addition to my ever-growing bucket list. I know that everyone will love it. Thanks so much for digging through your archives for buried treasure. 🙂 ~Terri

  17. James and Terri – I just love this nearly-new direction. And your explanation for that double-click to get onto the real blog is fabulous. I’d always wondered why it was so labor-intensive, but verrry worthwhile 🙂 Cheers-Susan

    1. Thanks so much, Susan. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to have you back. We have a lot of catching up to do.

      And you can thank James for the explanation of the double click. I asked him to proofread the post before I hit the publish button, and he said, “So how do I GET to someone’s Front Door from the Reader?” I smiled and he said, “No, REALLY. I don’t know how to do it.” So there I was with egg on my face because I’d made the mistake of assuming he knew how to do it. Silly me – never ASSUME. So I wrote the explanation and he agreed to be my guinea pig to see if it worked. As they say here in the South, “Bless his heart.” 🙂 ~Terri

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you James and Teri. And Curt thanks you too! Ever since the grizzly ate the horse that hosted me in the High Sierras and left me behind, I have loved traveling. First Coyote picked me up and took me to a high meadow where Curt could find me. The rest is history. I have now joined Curt and Peggy along with my best bud, Eeyore, for a two-plus month journey following the backroads of North America. All four of us will be wearing our facemarks! Curt will be posting along the way, Peggy, Eeyore and I will also be featured. As it should be. I’ve always been a fan of the two of you and look forward to your future adventures. —BONE

    1. BONE, I just can’t stop smiling! 🙂 🙂 🙂 To get an actual comment from you is a rare and special treat for me. And it looks like you’re off on another adventure. So, I know Peggy and Curt, but pray tell who is Eeyore? It sounds like the 4 of you are pretty chummy – but I guess you’d better be if you’re going to spend all this time together. I can’t wait to read all about your upcoming exploits … and don’t get into any mischief. 🙂 ~Terri

      1. Me, get into mischief, Terri? Ha!. As for Eeyore, he’s the donkey from Winnie the Pooh who is always losing his tail. I’ve helped him find it more than once and he has saved my life, more than once. Usually from the mischief that I never get into. Once, in Tombstone, Arizona, he even saved me from the hangman’s noose! He came bursting up to the gallows, I hopped on, and we rode off into the sunset with Wyatt Earp and Doc Halliday in hot pursuit. 🙂 BONE

      2. Oh, THAT Eeyore! Well you certainly are lucky to have befriended him, BONE. Now I know you’re in good company, for sure! Hopefully what you’re going to be doing is not as dangerous as Tombstone. Stay safe and have fun. ~Terri

      1. Terri, didn’t mean I would be reviewing my posts, grin. That would be a bit of a challenge. Only that I am going to hit the 1000 mark. I’m at 996 now. 🙂

  19. I purposely removed the Archive tool because I didn’t want people reading the crappy game and anime reviews I wrote back in 2013/2014 in favor of my better, newer ones. Yet the old ones still get more views on average. Maybe I was doing something right back then?

    But I certainly understand preferring readers to go through the front door. I designed my site specifically to be pretty simple and sparse, so I like when people can get that feel as well.

    1. Great point about the archives tool, AK. We had the same problem – a lot of our early posts were lousy. We were prolific bloggers when we first started out in 2011 – definitely into quantity over quality. Like you, most of our newer posts are far better than our first 200.

      So we took a hard look at all of our posts and decided to ditch the crap. We removed 150 of our pitiful posts and moved 50 more back into draft mode because they had potential, but need reworking. So the early posts we left in are either very popular (Maybe we were doing something right back then?) or “placeholders” because they’re important to our personal history. And it’s actually gratifying to look back to see that we’ve improved – thankfully! So we went from 700 posts to 500 posts.

      The great thing about blogs is that we each get to decide how we manage them … and how we steer our readers. By the way, I love the clean look of your blog – perfect for your market niche. I particularly liked your analysis on “Does fun belong in “serious” video games?” Thanks for stopping by, AK. ~Terri

      1. That’s a good move, I think. I’m way too lazy to change anything I wrote back then or to remove any posts, but I have appended a few updates to them when I had something else to say. And thanks for the kind words!

  20. How kind of you to include us in your post. That polar bear plunge was one of our more zany adventures I will admit. All for a good cause and thankful not to have had a cardiac arrest.
    During this quiet time I have begun housecleaning our blog. Now almost seven years old there are posts that are no longer relevant or there are more up to date posts on the subjects. It’s a ‘simplifying your life’ process and feels similar to decluttering a household.
    I recognize many of the bloggers you have mentioned and certainly agree that the WordPress Reader can remove a lot of the interesting bits. A wonderful convenience though.
    Our gratitude for including us in your list. Your support and advice over the years has been appreciated so very much.

    1. It was our pleasure, Sue. Your blog is always a shining light … and a great source for a smile, giggle … or downright guffaw! Your recent post about the flat tire still cracks me up. 🙂

      We have also been doing the blog housecleaning that you mentioned – removing outdated posts and updating others. It feels really good – and we’ve had a good laugh at some of our old posts. Yikes! Oh well, everyone has to be a beginner at some time.

      I hope that you and Dave have been doing well during the Pandemic. Your series on its impact on people around the world was excellent – and a positive force in helping people unite. Really well done. Congrats! Hugs ❤ Terri

      1. Terri I have been having a lot of cringing moments reading old posts. As you say we all have to start somewhere.
        The latest post was the updating of an old one. I think i may be doing more of that, searching out the good and the bad and dealing with them accordingly.
        Thank you for the kind words. We have been doing fine over the past months, adjusting to a far quieter life. Take care you two and thanks again for all of the support. xo

      1. Woohoo! I love that post, Sue. Or should I say Gigi and Poppy. I’m so glad you picked it … and I know everyone will love it. Btw, congrats on 600 posts. What a wonderful body of work. 🙂 ~Terri

  21. Thank you so much for including us in your links! Every now and then, I think about revamping our site, but there always seems to be something more pressing. I have to admit, I’ve been very lax lately. Ideas for posts pop into and out of my head before I ever get them “on paper” I love the idea of coming in the front door. There is so much more to learn about a blogger that way. I follow several of the one you listed and look forward to exploring some of the others. In case anyone needs a laugh, my post about our drive through safari fits the bill https://thewanderingrver.com/2017/10/31/a-camels-tale/ Thanks again for the link and for the years of providing greats posts for all of us to enjoy!

    1. You’re so welcome, Laura. Your blog is always a joy and your photos superb! Glad you like the idea of coming in through the front door. I’m always pleasantly surprised.

      So where are you guys these days? The last I saw was Payne’s Prairie. Are you heading north for the summer, or are things still too uncertain with the Pandemic?

      And James and I both love your drive through safari post. The speech bubbles are the best. 🙂 Stay safe out there. ~Terri

  22. Dear Terri and James, What a treat and surprise to be included in your community listing of blogs that you’ve enjoyed! I’m humbled, honored but even more so grateful to have been along for YOUR ride. Although I don’t post as often as I did in early days, I love knowing that among the twinkling stars in the blogiverse (is that the right term?!) the two of you continue to shine your light.. and share your love and support. I’m happy to read about all these other bloggers you’ve been following, and really hope to step through their front doors one of these days. So many adventurous lives, pivots, experiments and journeys. I’m on your tail… and wagging mine (at yours), as always! x Amit

    1. Amit, you are too kind. Like you, we don’t post as often, either – we’ve been trying to go for quality over quantity. And speaking of quality, your new article “A Traditional Balinese Craft Rediscovers Its Roots — in Leaves” in The Craftsmanship Initiative is awesome – both words and photos. Congratulations. 🙂

      This blogging community we’re all part of is very special. It’s so comforting to know that you can reach out to friends across the world, have conversations, and learn about their challenges and successes. We’re so glad that we discovered each other all those years ago.

      So do you have a post hidden in your archives that you would like for people to read? Hugs ❤ Terri

      And for anyone out there who hasn't had a chance to read it yet, check out Amit's newly published article.

  23. Fantastic article! The intro truly caught my eye for selfish reasons; namely, starting my third blog from scratch (well… a WordPress site isn’t exactly from scratch).

    Here’s to your success! I’ll raise a glass, and a rib bone or two, to scanning home pages, backgrounds, and bios!

    1. Hi Justin, So glad you stopped by! It’s great that the title got your attention. Starting a new blog can be a challenge, but since you’ve had a couple of others – you’ve got this! I just checked it out and looks like you’re off to a great start. So here’s so your success, too. All the best, Terri

  24. wow wow wow, you guys!! what a fabulous post! i absolutely love how you are living on the importance of the blogger’s front door and the time + effort we all put into creating a space that is ours. meant to be shared from our original space. and thank you for sharing so many lovely, inspiring blogs! i’m so excited to dive deep! xoxo /liz

    1. And Wow! back at you, Liz. It’s fabulous to hear from you! ❤ Your blog is so beautiful – a shining example of a gorgeous Front Door. You've really put out the welcome mat.

      So glad to hear that you and Lina are well, but sorry for Lina's job loss. And your job is shifting as well. Most people I know have had some kinds of changes in their employment … I can only hope it leads them to better things.

      I was wondering, do you have a post hidden in your archives that you would like for people to read? ~Terri

  25. Nice post, I just started blogging during the lockdown. I do all my work using my laptop, and since I’m new to the activity, didn’t even realise how different a site looks depending on how you come to it (device, links etc). I got so frustrated when I first showed my mum my efforts, and realised that it looked nothing like how I wanted her to experience it (she only has a tablet, no laptop). It can be overwhelming to realise that there is so much to learn (not just focusing on content, but device optimisation and SEO for example) Also, when you start to look at other people’s blogs and they’re much more aesthetically pleasing than your own it can make you feel a bit downhearted. But I’ve only been doing this for 9 weeks, and am at the start of the learning curve. I won’t give up, and posts like keep me motivated to continue with all aspects of blogging. Cheers.

    1. Hi Zachariah, many thanks for your kind words. I’m so glad you stopped by. Isn’t it amazing how different a blog can look on different devices? We recently installed a new theme on our blog and thought we had it all sussed, but one of our sharp-eyed readers let us know that it was misbehaving on her phone. Sure enough, it looked awful. But thanks to the excellent WordPress Forums and their Happiness Engineers, we were able to get the problem solved.

      I see that you’re using the theme “Exford.” WordPress will have a forum for that theme that you may find helpful. I noticed that the link on your avatar is dead and does not lead to your blog. I had to google your blog to find it (Yay, that works!). I suspect you just need to redo your avatar link and everything will work beautifully.

      I like coming in through the Front Door of your blog. I was wondering, do you have a post hidden in your archives that you would like for people to read? Cheers, Terri

      1. Wow, thanks for taking the time to look at my site, and especially for pointing out that I have a problem with my avatar link. I will look into that this afternoon.

        I have no specific post I would like to highlight, I just want to encourage people to visit Málaga, and provide useful information.

        Keep up the good work.

  26. This is such a great idea for a post, and I’m honored to have been included in the links to blogs you like. It’s also an illuminating post for me because I have my WordPress account set up to send me an email about new posts by those I have followed, so I never even see the Reader version of anything and did not know how generic it is. I guess there have been a few times I found something there, and I disliked the format so much I never went back.

    I LOVE reading the About pages on any new blog I find, and when people find me, I always click back to their blogs and read a few posts as well as their home pages to see if they’re a good fit to follow back. I won’t post a new link to anything on my blog here because you have already kindly done that and I’ll leave space for others. Thanks again!

    1. Lexie, the pleasure is all ours. And you’re so smart to have your WordPress account set to emails because then you come in the blog’s front door. I don’t know why we didn’t do that. It took me a while to realize that everything looked the same in the Reader. But once I did, I was like, “Hey, wait a minute!” James would come up with great suggestions on things we could do on our home page, and I’d whine, “But nobody’s gonna see it!”

      It sounds like we are kindred spirits when it comes to reading About pages. I also enjoy first posts because I’m curious about peoples’ inspiration to start a blog. I loved the personal story you told. Priceless. ~Terri

  27. Great collection of blogs! Thanks for sharing this list! I have not been very active in the past few months but hoping to have more time to read more again. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Nicole. The great thing about your blog is that I always’s come in through the Front Door and look forward to what you have on your beautiful slider.

      I know there has been so much going on in your community – and your documentation of the George Floyd Murals is both poignant and beautiful. Thank you for taking that project on.

      I was wondering, do you have a post hidden in your archives that you wish people would read? ~Terri

  28. What a fantastic topic and approach to visiting and reading new blogs, you two! Without realizing, I always enter the blogs I read through the front door, as I never use the reader. I subscribe by email to the blogs I enjoy and receive new posts in my inbox. When I click on the blog title there, I am transported – through the front door – into the post as it was intended to be. 🙂

    Thank you for including and featuring us in your overview. Did you know that the tab “And Living Frugally” is part of an entire sentence? I thought to be witty when I created my pages/tabs and named them to form a sentence. Nobody noticed, haha! Right now, we are not house (home) sitting anymore, so I ought to change that quirkiness.

    I like the way you put a collage of the headers in this post as well. Visually appealing. My WordPress theme allows multiple headers to appear one at the time, each time someone loads the Roaming About blog. I like that feature as well.

    We’re still on the road, but I’ll think of an archived post and look for it this weekend. Not many people know us as sailors, so maybe something about that, or an amazing place we visited by sailboat… Of course, that’s material from my other blog, “It’s Irie”, about our eight-year sailing journey (2007-2015) I’ll come up with something on Roaming About…

    Happy Hump Day, Terri and James!

  29. Liesbet, you are so amazingly clever! No, I didn’t realize that your menu titles formed a sentence. How cool is that? And yet another reason to enter through the front door. 🙂

    Your email solution is the perfect way to ensure you come in on the home page. I’m glad you liked the collage. It’s funny that you mentioned that your header changes because I noticed that when I was taking the screen shots to build the collage. What a great feature. One minute it was one photo – and the next minute it had changed. I thought I was loosing it! 🙂

    I like your idea of highlighting your sailing. I think everyone would love to know more about that side of you guys. Stay safe on the road and let me know whatever you decide. Hugs, Terri

      1. Hi Liesbet, Thanks so much. I just checked my email and I have them. They’re wonderful and I would like to use both of them if it’s ok with you. We had a great weekend – I finally got to see my sisters and brothers-in-law and it was fabulous. I hope that you and Mark had a great weekend, too. 🙂 ~Terri

      2. You are welcome and, of course, you can use both links. Thank you for sharing them! Mark and I (and Maya) had a fantastic weekend as well, visiting friends and relaxing. It was so nice to have a hint of normalcy back. 🙂

    1. Jean, your infographics are great. I’ve never created any of those, so I’m fascinated. Thanks for volunteering a couple of gems from your archives. I know that everyone will enjoy them. ~Terri

  30. Beautiful inspiring irresistible good reasons to enter the Front Door of a Blogger’s world and home blog. Bloggers are real people with real stories that relates so much to a very personal level. It is genuine, honest, it takes you on a journey that both I’d familiar and excitingly new. Thank you & stay safe always.

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words. Coming in through the front door of your blog is a joy! In addition to your heartfelt posts, I would hate for anyone to miss your beautiful sidebar, filled with photos and posts to inspire. It really shows how you pour your heart into your blog and your readers. Wishing all the very best to your and your family. Stay safe and healthy. ~Terri

  31. I joined the circle of bloggers just recently and I’m happy to have stumbled across your blog. As a beginner it can be challenging to get everything right, but through the guidance of you posts, which are both informative and fun, I’m learning more about website esthetics and different ways of writing; I get to see sites and entries that I would have never discovered on my own. And what is so wonderful about it is that I get to read what authors themselves are most excited about and want to share with the world.

    Though I am not a travel blogger, I love to read about other people adventures. The excitement the travelers exude seems to match my excitement about ideas and connecting things together. After all, the whole point of starting my website was to share an idea of what we can learn from viruses about communication, “Lean Management Goes Viral”! It’s that feeling when you are so electrified by something that you cannot keep it inside; you’d like the world to share that feeling with you.

    Thank you for sharing your stories and for introducing me to so many wonderful bloggers!

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Ramonka, Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by. Don’t worry, we all remember what it was like to be a beginner. And this is a great blogging community that will embrace you and help you if you have any questions. The bloggers here write about all sorts of topics – it’s a creative group.

      If you would like, please come to the post we just published where we highlight all the different posts people wanted to share. And please add one of your own posts so we can all get to know you. The link is below. All the best 🙂 ~Terri


  32. James and Terri, thanks so much for including me in this post! And I love the analogy of coming through the front door — so clever and true! Hope you both had a safe and fun Fourth of July! ~Kelly

    1. And thank you Kelly for being such an awesome writer. We’ve really been enjoying your daily posts – particularly Cuba – a place long on our Wishlist. Ahh, maybe some day. Our July 4th was great – hope yours was, too. ~Terri

  33. I follow so many of these wonderful bloggers and much appreciate the introduction to a few more. While I use the WordPress reader as my source for notifications of blog posts, I always click through to the actual blog because that is where the action is. The Reader’s AMP feed takes away from the unique, artistic style available on the real blogs and misses the other pages available to explore.

    1. Lisa, you are so smart. You certainly figured it all out before I did. I kept wondering why everything looked the same. Then it hit me. Duh!

      I’m so glad to hear that Fabio is getting better and starting to cook up a storm. That’s gotta be a good sign … and a tasty way to recover. Wishing the two of you all the very best, Terri

  34. Ah, you are right. There is so much that is happening on a blog that it is a shame to reduce it to the Reader. So much character, plenty of stories. And the blogs you mentioned are lovely. Happy weekend!

    1. Thank you, Markus and Micah. If I didn’t come in through your front door I would miss your gorgeous homepage. I wouldn’t realize that you two conduct Thriving Life Retreats – I would miss out on so much. I hope you’re having a great weekend. ~Terri

  35. I had forgotten most of that not just hard but extremely vulnerable journey to put every thing right. So much that it took me close to one year time to feel complete with my about page. It is such a beautiful post. Very happy to be here reading your words. i must say i love your blog 🙂

    1. Hello Narayan, and welcome. I’m so glad you stopped by. Thanks so much for your kind words. I agree that it is a challenge to get things the way you want them. I just looked at your About Page and it’s excellent! 🙂 Congratulations! All the best, Terri

    1. Thanks so much, Régine! I have been the grateful and happy recipient of so many kindnesses in this blogging world, and it’s a joy and privilege to pay it forward. I’m so glad you stopped by. 🙂 ~Terri

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