What I’ve Learned
I started this blog six months ago. It’s come along ways; I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve gotten many comments on several posts and a few comments on many. My sideboard has gone from messy to odd to how it is now. I’ve gotten rid of pages and added pages. It’s changed a little, but not very much. 🙂
I’ve learned some things along the way, about being a good blogger in the blogging community, and being a blogger behind the dashboard. And I thought I’d share what I learned.
Remember, I’m not writing a checklist for you. These are things I’ve learned and that I like seeing on other blogs. 🙂 Don’t feel obliged to do them.
We’ll start with ‘Blogger Behind the Dashboard’. This part will cover actual blogging, and your own personal blog.
Know why you are blogging. And stay with it. If you are blogging about a particular topic, stick to it. If you are like me, who blogs about anything and everything, make sure it’s clear that that is what you do somewhere on your blog. My blog’s purpose is to simply have my own writing space; to write about things that Mom wouldn’t want cluttering up the family blog. I also like to write to keep out-of-state family updated on my life and what my interests are. A way to let people know what your blog is about and who you are is to have a ‘About’ page. I have one. On it, state your blogs purposes. That way, if you tend become random, you go to that page to see what you originally said. Either change your posts or change the page. 🙂 You can see mine for an example.
Keep your blog sidebar neat and clean but not empty. I like to see pictures and sayings on the sidebars of other blogs. They let me know right away what the blogger likes, what they’re into and what they agree with. Be sure to keep them all neat and organized, though. And junky pictures that don’t really have any meaning don’t need to be there unless they serve as a link to one of your posts.
Keep your blog bright and fresh. Avoid darker backgrounds at all costs. It tends to look more intimidating and can be hard on the eyes (but never go to pale while either). Keep some color in there. A good example for a bright and fresh blog would be Jedi-Chick’s, as she just got a makeover on her blog and I simply love how it looks. I myself will be changing my blog look soon, probably on my birthday week.
Do not use a automatic playlist! PLEASE! I BEG OF YOU! Have a playlist by all means, but please, please, please don’t set it so that it automatically plays when someone logs on your blog. One, it can startle away a reader. Two, a reader might already have their own music playing, and will then have to find yours to shut it off (I have to do this a lot). By all means, have a playlist on your blog; if they are interested, they will click play at their own good pace and will be much more open to listing to your music if it already isn’t playing. This is a biggie, people.
Use proper writing rules. Whatever you do, don’t write in all lowercase letters. It doesn’t matter if your blog is famous or not, never capitalizing will scare away people. It will either appear that you don’t know how or that you don’t care and that’s kinda weird. And it gets hard to read. Also, make new paragraphs when time for a new paragraph. People will think twice about reading when looking at a whole brick of writing without any spaces between them. Try to break up your writing as much as possible; it will look less intimidating and readers will be more inclined to actually read. Use the spell check too (this is something I have to work at too.)
Use pictures. Pictures do a WONDER to a blog. Use pictures that hold to the theme of the post, too. But use them. They bring life to a blog; never underestimate it. You could even gain followers just for the pictures. A trick is that if you use very nice pictures (more than one) people will scroll to find the rest of them, they’ll probably end up reading what you have next to the picture anyway. And if they like what they read; well, you got a new follower. 🙂
Have pages. Always have an about page. That is usually what people look for first when entering a new blog. Also have pages about things you enjoy. I have a Star Wars page, a page on the different books I’m writing, a page on my different playlists, and a page of blog buttons. They are all like little ‘about’ pages. Readers can check out your different pages when they first enter a blog to see what this blogger likes, enjoys, does, watches, listens to and professes. Don’t go overboard with them though, but have as many as you need. I’ve gotten rid of several in the past because I just needed the space of others that were more important.