Sunday, 27 May 2012

make them fall in love.. pt III blogging series

So, ready for part III? If you have missed the start of this series, here are parts I and part II. Today we will tackle writing and reading, let's get cracking...


Let's start with the writing...


  • Obviously, what you write about is an important part of your blog post and writing isn't as easy as it sounds, but with time you will discover your own style and your voice. Whatever you write about do it because you are passionate about it, it will show in your writing.
  • Write quality posts, ones that will be interesting or useful to your readers. I am rarely stuck for something to write about, my secret... I keep a notebook with possible blog post topics, they might be those 'in the bath genius ideas' to answers to questions from readers or something that I have suddenly discovered and can't wait to share.
  • Before you hit publish, spell and grammar check at least once.
  • If you only have time, say once a week, to write your blog posts then make good use of the schedule function, write three or four posts then schedule them to publish over the course of the week, your digest readers will love you for it. This may backfire if you have scheduled happy posts about rainbows then you have an almighty earthquake and a full on national disaster - I am hoping that won't happen again.
  • Another time to use the schedule function is when you know you are going to be away for any length of time.
  • Also use the draft function, sometimes you get half way through a post and it just doesn't feel right. Don't delete and don't publish it, keep it as a draft and go back to it in a few days time. Looking at it with fresh eyes will really help you decide exactly what to do with it.


Now, I want you to make life easier for your reader...


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  • If you use a sidebar, keep it neat and tidy.
  • If you have badges or banners, keep them all the same size, it looks much neater.
  • Keep moving, flashy, blink things to a minimum, it is really distracting if you are trying to read and half a dozen flashy things are going off at you.
  • Make it easy for a reader to contact you, having your email address above the fold or on your 'about' page or better still both. If you don't want your email address out there then set one up specifically for your blog or public use. I have several email accounts but they all get forwarded to one, one of the reasons I love gmail is because this is so easy to set up.
  • Make sure you have a search box, so many times I revisit a blog looking for something specific but there is no search and I have no joy with labels or tags, I end up giving up.
  • Tags and labels, I discovered recently that with blogger you can pick which tags to use as labels, so when I tag my posts I use as many as possible to help when someone does a search but I have a limit of 15 labels that are in my sidebar. I tried to get it down to 10 but I blog about such a wide variety of subjects, it wasn't going to happen.
  • Social media - this blogging thing is all about sharing and creating a community and as social media has taken off in an insane way in the last couple of years you need to have those social media share buttons available.
  • Make it easy to subscribe to your RSS feed or email list, not everyone actually clicks over to your blog to read it, I read most of mine in google reader, I know some of my readers are reading this through Facebook *wave* and I know other prefer to get it delivered to their inbox.

Finally, this weeks big NO-NO is...
Music. Never Ever have a widget set to auto play music on your blog, you will scare readers away in their droves. Think of your readers, I am a punk chick myself but I appreciate that it is not every ones cup of tea and not only that I know that, there is probably a mom or two reading this whilst their little one is down for  a nap and I am pretty sure they would be using some not-so-nice words if they clicked through to my blog and got blasted with some Rancid which woke sleeping baby and spoilt mama's quiet time.

I like to listen to music or a podcast as I am reading blogs, I don't need no Celine Dion upsetting my vibe! And of course, there are those who are surfing the web when they should be working, you don't want them getting in trouble with their manager do you?

So, what I want to know today is...What is your number one pet peeve when you go to a blog, please share below, I am sure there is something I haven't mentioned! 

If you are enjoying the series then please share with your friends and why not hop onto the mailing list while you are at it.




7 comments:

  1. Major pet peeve: Audio (you covered it)
    Minor pet peeve: Ads that don't fit or are completely random. I prefer to see sponsors rather than rotating ads. With sponsors I find that the blogger usually gets sponsors for products and services she actually uses or she at least tries them once they become sponsors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes I agree, I's rather see ads that i know the blogger actually supports rather than ones where they have just taken the money.

      I can't count the amount of times I have clicked out of a site due to audio.

      Delete
  2. What a really informative series, thanks!

    Music is my pet peeve too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, I plan to bundle it all together when I have finished to make it easier to refer back to.

      we should start an anti-audio campaign :o)

      Delete
  3. 1. Music.
    2. Mini posts where you have to click to read the whole thing.
    3. Only part of the post in my reader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with number 1, 2 - I understand what you mean but I also understand why people do that especially if their posts tend to be very long. Number 3 also annoys me but the do it so that you will click through to their blog. I have a number of blogs in my read that do that and there is only 1 that I always click through, the others, unless they have a super amazing lead line I don't bother. I wonder if the bloggers realize?

      Delete
    2. I agree with Zonnah on all counts. I'm not a blogger, so maybe there's a reason for only showing part of a post -- like expensive bandwith charges.

      I will also click out of a blog that is full of grammar and spelling errors. One or two are acceptable, but when they're the norm I find my skin crawling and my head exploding. There must be a spell-check feature, at the very least, on most blog setups. Yes? No?

      Delete

I loooove comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one.
If you put your email address in the box provided I can answer your questions directly too, I hate spam so don't expect to get any from me, corned beef on the other hand....
jo

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