Since we have been talking about blogging all month, I thought that I would share 10 ways that I think that you can be a better blogger. Here we go:
1. Post frequently and consistently – I like to know that when I am going to your blog that you are going to have something new for me to read. I also like to know when you are going to post. Having a posting schedule helps you stay organized, but also helps your readers know what to expect. For me, I post every other day at Baked Bree. That is a lot for some people, but my readers know that every other day the will find something new.
2. Keep it simple and clean – When I visit blogs, I am attracted to ones that are simple and clean. I like the images to be front and center. I will skip over blogs that are too busy or not organized well. If I have to look around too long for what I am looking for, I move on to the next blog.
3. No music please - I really do not enjoy when websites have music (unless they are websites about music). Typically, I am reading blogs as a quiet escape from my everyday life. I almost always have my own music playing quietly in the background, I do not like having conflicting noise.
4. Make sure that your fonts and colors are readable – This sort of goes with #2, but something that really bothers me is when I go to a website and the fonts are either too small or the font color is so light that it is hard to distinguish between the text and the background. Same goes for dark text on a dark background.
5. Make it easy for me to interact – We want to build community right? We want our readers to engage with us don’t we? Make it easy for them to comment. Please turn off your CAPTCHA box or word moderation. If I have to work too hard to tell you something, then I am going to lurk instead. Try using a plugin like Askimet to filter spam instead.
6. Interlink to older material – When I stumble onto a new blog, and really like what I see, I want to look through the whole thing. You have lots of great posts, so make it easy for me to find them. Link to older material in your posts. Or use a plugin like Linkwithin to help readers engage with older material.
7. Make it easy to find older posts – I get so annoyed at myself when I am looking for something on a blog, I know that I have seen it on your blog before and now I cannot find it. Make sure that you have a search bar or a way for readers to easily go back and access older material. Archives are a wonderful way to engage new readers with older material.
8. Have an About Page – I want to know the person behind the blog. Tell your readers a little bit about yourself and your blog. Readers will connect with the person behind the blog and become a loyal follower.
9. Have a way to contact you – When I was organizing The Creative Blogger Series, I had to skip over a lot of blogs that I loved for the simple reason that there was no way to contact the blog owner. At the very least, an email address. If you are not comfortable sharing your personal email address, make a generic email account for the blog.
10. Visit your blog through the eyes of a reader – I rarely see what my readers see when they go to my blog. I see it as a writer, not a reader. Use fresh eyes and take a good look. Does it load slowly? How is the site organized? Does the design need to be tweaked at all? Is this site functional? Getting into the practice of doing this every month or so will only help you hone the look and style of your blog. A word of caution however, do not change the overall design of your blog every month. When I visit a blog and the design is different every visit, it makes me wonder why the owner does that and where their blog is headed.
What do you think makes you a better blogger? What advice would you give to a new blogger?