Why would a blogger make a post private?

Private posts vs public posts

Recently I made the decision to change not one, but two posts, from public to private – which means no-one can see them, except me.

You have your own blog? Your life must be all kinds of fascinating.
You have your own blog?

Why would I do that, when bloggers usually want as many eyes on their work as possible?

I must say that these two posts have been very popular, getting lots and lots of views and visitors but not many comments.

Maybe I’m just a bit suspicious.

The posts were both related to my birthday. I’d seen the format on another blog, commented on it and decided to do something similar, after getting encouragement to do so.

They were a fun way of looking back over my life and as such included personal information, but not that personal, more general in nature, but at various important stages of my life.

A while ago I noticed that these posts started taking off in terms of views from various search engines and I started getting a bit concerned. There were no comments being left and the views were way above the usual traffic of my blog. I’m honest enough to realise they didn’t warrant that much attention and so I became a bit concerned, and maybe just a bit suspicious!

The amount of spam was also becoming an issue and these posts seemed to be the object of a lot of interest from various countries.

Due to the general personal nature of the posts, (aren’t all our posts personal?), I decided to make them private which means they are still there, but only I can see them. Or I can allow certain others to access them if I chose too. I can make them public again at some stage if I decide to.

It’s a shame because I really liked these posts!

How did I make them private?

It was really easy to make them private. I simply followed the WordPress instructions – here – and they disappeared from view. I asked a blogging friend to check if she could find them and she replied that she’d received an error message when trying to access them.

  • Public – The post will be visible to everyone.
  • Private – The post will be visible only to blog Editors and Administrators. Private posts are not visible in the Reader, feeds, or in any search. A post can be private without being password protected.
  • Password Protected – The post will be protected with a password you choose. Followers will still receive a notification about this new post, but only those with the password can view it.

Has it made a difference?

Yes it has.

The amount of spam on my blog has reduced significantly.

The high number of random views has stopped.

I feel ‘safer’ – which might sound a bit weird but I do.

I just had an awful feeling that my information was possibly being used in an unsavoury way. I don’t quite know why I thought that but I listened to my gut instincts.

Maybe I’m being a bit alarmist but I felt it was better to be safe than sorry and decided to take this precaution.

Can you relate to this feeling? Have you ever felt something was a bit off?

I don’t often write blogging advice posts….

But here are a few from over the years:

Blogger

HOW do YOU blog?

Are you a blogger? If so, how do you do it? Take the short poll in my post and share your thoughts. Everyone has their own way of blogging and no way is right or wrong.

What is the best blogging advice or tip you’ve ever been given?

Do you have any thoughts on this post, what would you have done?

Deb 🙂

You can pin this!

You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

TwitterInstagramPinterestFacebook,  Flipboard and Mix

Click this link to contact me

Debbie

Debbie is an award winning blogger and lives in the small town of Tumbarumba in NSW Australia. Married for 40 years, with three grown up daughters, Debbie and the Mathematician are avid travellers, cyclists and adventurers. Described by others as a ‘hummingbird on speed’ this active mother and grandmother has also received a bravery award from the Queen.

© 2020 Copyright – All rights reserved: debbie@debs-world.com, debs-world.com

64 Replies to “Why would a blogger make a post private?”

  1. Indeed, you are correct, the words we put out there end up all over the globe. It’s kind of scary when you think about it. I’ve had endless articles, poems, and posts distorted and reposted with my name, plagiarism needs to add “vicious criminals” to it. I make a living blogging, so I can’t write privately, but I do have subscriber-only articles, and I did upgrade my FREE theme to a more secure paid theme, I added lots of security, hired a developer to ensure I was protected and it’s a lot better than when I started with that free theme and a loving heart! (: This was a nice post, thanks for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment and sharing your experiences on this subject. It’s awful to think of all you’ve had to go through and watch out for, just to be a blogger. I’m aware of others having work stolen and think it would be an awful feeling. Take care.

      Like

  2. Hi Deb, although I haven’t made a post private yet, I can see why you took that action. I get spammy comments (we probably all do) and trash them, but will keep this in mind for the future if they get weird. We have to protect ourselves! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Best to trust your instincts, Deb. We’ve all heard about identity theft, right? IMHO, personal information is way more important to keep safe than the number of comments received on a post. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting analytics on that. I have made posts private in the past. Not for the same reason, you did but usually because the information is no longer relevant. There were a couple about businesses that are no longer there. So I don’t want to confuse people and send them to something that’s closed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Deb, thank you so much for sharing this information. I have one post that I am going to make private as soon as I leave your space. I have noticed high traffic of the ‘spam’ variety to it during the past couple of months. Definitely something going on. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good thinking. When something seems to be not right..or too good to be true there is usually something going on. I had many posts on my blog over the almost 10 years and since re-jigging the blog as I have in the past 3-4 years, I have deleted and trashed many. They had no meaning for me. And few comments. I got my web host to delete many of my blog posts from two other sites I had after I kept just a few posts (education ones) and they are in my drafts. I also have changed my time limits on how a post can have comments added…and as I write this, I must re-check that. I tend to have it for less than a year after publication. I use a spam company for free who clear out most if not all of the spam too. I hate it if anyone other than my intended audience comes to visit..it’s like my home! I choose who comes. Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy the spam is caught before it gets onto my blog Denyse and can always put a limit on comments as you say. It’s interesting to hear from others as to what they’ve done in similar situations, so many thanks for joining in.

      Like

  7. I think you can do something similar on Blogger – so far I haven’t found anything that is too weird to worry about. I get the most views on my posts on my Daith piercing – and that’s thru Pinterest and I think it’s people who are looking for info before having it done, so I’m okay with that.
    I’ve found my views have dropped a bit over the last few months on a post by post check, but much the same overall – blogging is a weird animal! I’m actually in the process of thinking about how I want to blog into the future – it might be time for me to step back and turn it down a bit……. still pondering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes blogging is indeed a weird animal Leanne. I’m interested to know where you are headed as you have so much to offer, I’d hate to lose you to blogging!

      Like

  8. That’s really weird re the high views on those posts. Can your stats tell you how they found them? Certain key words or something? I have a damned IsoWhey protein shake post from 2012 that continues to be my most popular post even though I’ve done an update since then. It’s just weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is very interesting. I had a situation awhile back where I suddenly got a lot of traffic. Then I had hundreds of sign ups to my email with Russian addresses. I never followed it back to see if it came from a particular post, or even thought of doing that. I deleted all the sign ups. The whole thing was very fishy. I think you were right to trust your instincts!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve had the same problem with Instagram! A few weeks ago I was so happy with the number of ‘likes’ I got on a post – but turned out many were from creepy men! It seems if I use hashtags that are generically related to ‘older women’ or anything to do with women and beauty then I attract people who are not part of my target audience! Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Interesting that you had higher views on those two blogs relating to birthdays. Could well be that people are searching for birthdays as a well to get personal information. I’m always wary of putting up specifics about birthday dates online and often change the days on which I post birthday pics, just to confuse those phising for information. Didn’t know about the private thing so that’s useful – thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have to admit I’ve never given thought to making a post private but I can understand why you did so. I’m sure I would do same in those circumstances. Thanks for the instructions. I will now know what to do if this problem occurs for me. By the way I remember your birthday pist and thought it was great

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer, it’s been an interesting time and I wasn’t sure if others had come across this issue or not. I’m glad you got to read my birthday post before I made it private!

      Like

  13. First of all, good for you on being so observant and for listening to your instinct. I have not yet made any posts private, but I would do exactly the same thing under those circumstances. It is a shame that we have to worry about something like that. I don’t give a lot of blogging advice, but I do love to read it, so thanks for those references.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Christie it is a real shame we have to worry about these types of things. I don’t often give out blogging advice but thought this was worth sharing.

      Like

  14. Hi Deb it is a shame that you had to go down the Private route especially for a favourite post but you’ve done the right thing. I also don’t think many bloggers realise they can do this. I need to review some of mine so thanks for the heads up. Since I’ve changed the blog name, I’ve noticed on social media that the number of men wanting to join a Women’s group has doubled! They are quickly declined and blocked. So much to think about when we hit the publish button isn’t there? xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Sue, there is always so much to consider before we actually press the publish button on our posts. I am a trusting person so it was hard for me to get my head around someone having possible nefarious thoughts on my posts. I thought it was worth sharing my experiences with other bloggers in case they weren’t aware of the option. That’s so weird that you have lots more men wanting to join in! Thanks for your comment and understanding xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I think you did the right thing! It’s good that you noticed something was off! Maybe you’ve already done this but I turned off the option through wordpress to allow search engines to index my blog. Although it makes sense to keep it on if your goal is to get more actual people on your blog! Because my blog is so personal I also use fake names so I’m probably the extreme example of being suspicious and paranoid! But I have had my computer hacked…so that wasn’t fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Rachel, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who gets suspicious. I didn’t know about the option to turn off for search engines, so I’ll look into that too.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Deb I think that you have done the right thing. Go with your gut. Once we have a blog we really are out there in the public view. The post that gets the most attempted spam is one one cycling False Bay South Africa. I have absolutely no idea why.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You should always follow your gut feeling, it’s usually right so I’m sure you did the right thing. Such a shame that we have to consider these things but it is wise to be alert to something which seems a bit ‘different’.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There are particular posts of mine that get lots of visits and spam comments. My spam blocker catches them though. However, since anyone in the world can read it, I don’t post detailed info about myself or my family. Just too risky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes thankfully the spam is caught before it goes anywhere Dee but it’s the possible maliciousness that worries me the most. Great idea to keep things general but I do like to get to know people too so enjoy reading more personal things about them! It’s a mixed bag isn’t it?

      Like

  19. You’ve done the right thing, Debbie. As much as I dislike and do not recommend closing comments off any post, where spam is concerned, closing comments off does seem to work. For me, closing comments off on a post is like closing the door on your readers. I’ve come across some bloggers who close comments off on posts after 21 days of being published. To me, that does not work, because it often takes some readers weeks, if not months, to finally read a post. Plus, if you do want to get more visitors to the post via social media and SEOs, then they’ll continue to send traffic to the post for as long as it’s up (providing the post has some good keywords).

    However, I’m also always amazed by the personal information some bloggers publish on their blogs. For example, informing everyone, it’s your birthday, and it’s also a milestone birthday (50th, 60th, 70th etc.) means you’re giving anyone who visits the post, your full date of birth. Couple that with your full name (if you also provide that on your blog) and where you live, you’re providing spammers and scammers with some perfect information. So my message to everyone is to think hard before giving out any kind of personal information on a blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Hugh. If there had been lots of comments I would simply have closed off the comments section, which I’ve done on other posts due to excessive spam, caught before it goes anywhere! I agree the closing of comments is just as you say, closing the door! Great tips as always, think hard about what information you are giving out before hitting publish!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi, Deb – This is a very eye-opening post. Like Janis, I almost never look at my stats. I have noticed that I have had a ton of spam in the last couple of months, but I didn’t check to see if it was tied to specific posts. I have added this to my list of blog jobs. Thank you for the heads up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna, it is a good idea to just keep an eye on things and spam can be insidious! I’m always happy to share any of my experiences as it could help others out. I like that you’ve added it to your blog job list!

      Like

  21. I found your post very interesting, Deb and I wonder what the response comments may be here. I have found weird patterns on some of my posts. I used to get spam specifically on one and sometimes two posts from the past. One help site recommended to turn off comments after a certain number of days. I still get an occasional genuine comment on an older post. Turning it to “private” sounds like it will do the trick.

    I noticed something unusual only recently, where I was getting a spam/comment on a past photo. It has only happened twice about one month ago. Maybe a bot or some form of search words.

    And, yes, I am also a huge believer in following our gut. Nice to learn from each other. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to hear that my post was interesting Erica. I have also had the photo spam and it can be worrying! Following our gut can be a useful skill to have, especially as we get older. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Interesting, Debs…I do get lots of spam which is caught by the filters which is mainly selling or preaching in some length…and have had weird followers where the layout of their posts are the same although they come from different people(but are)they and all invite you to click a link which I did once and wished I hadn’t as I didn’t like the content…To me, it is enticement through a recipe that looks awesome and is clickbait to other topics..so now I just remove them.But I agree you should go with your gut feeling. Stay safe and well , Debs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it’s often good to look at the stats to see if anything unusual is happening Janis. I’m happy to offer advice when I’ve got it, which isn’t all that often!

      Like

  23. Always follow that gut feeling, Deb. There was something going on enough to raise your suspicions.
    I’ve had a couple of posts that generated far more views than felt right, although my posts didn’t hold any personal details. I still marked them as private because I had a very strong feeling to do so. This was mostly through search engines as well, which was odd.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Interesting…yeah, it’s best to listen to your instincts…I’ve noticed an increase in traffic too over the last 2 months, with little additional engagement. I’m off to check out any pattern…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I can understand and sympathise with your reasons for making those posts private, but did you consider the ‘password protected’ option? I don’t think that is particularly useful for new posts – all that hassle of having to ask for the password would put most people off, but I’ve seen a couple recently in the reader who have done it. In the cases you describe, any of your regular readers who wanted to read these has probably already done so, so it’s probably best to follow your intuition and keep yourself safe.

    As you say, just about everything we post tells people something about us, but there are limits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Clive, I did consider that option of password protection but decided to try the private mode first mainly due to the reasons you mention. It’s a fine line with giving out some personal info and too much!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Very good to know this, thanks for sharing the information on how to change the visibility of a post. I once had a “follower” who had a sketchy blog site (although he does have followers and people comment on his posts). I deleted him from my follower list which I know doesn’t mean he can’t refollow, but given the nature of what I write about and what his blog was about I figured he would not notice. Within a week he was back on as a follower so I took all of my older posts off and made copies of them for my own personal keepsake. He never comments or bothers me so I am not too concerned, but I think it is just weird and a little creepy. I actually don’t have much spam and not too many random views, but I really think you did the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is a bit weird and creepy! Glad you sorted out a good result but it’s not the ideal solution is it? I am feeling much better with less of that type of traffic now and minimal spam. You did the right thing too!

      Like

What do you think? Make me smile with your words :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.