Way back on October 6, Jennette Marie Powell passed along the Versatile Blogger Award to me. I have not forgotten the kindness of her tipping her hat my way! If you have not checked out Jennette’s blog, she writes great posts on My Town Monday and has fabulous time-management tips.
This award requires sharing seven things about myself. Rather than adding more random facts about me to this blog, I have decided to share seven tips for blogging.
I‘m not a blogging or author platform expert, but a Virginia Slims advertisement from my childhood says it best:
|I’ve come a long way, baby!|
I’m learning as I write more and more and read others’ blogs. Here are some tips which I don’t see covered much, probably because they are minor. Sometimes, though, the small things add up.
1. Tell and show who you are. Include a bio somewhere on your blog. Many blogs have an About Me tab or box so that readers can learn a little about your background and what moves you to blog and write. Also having a photo helps readers to connect your words with an actual person.
2. Run a spell check. I have seen several misspellings on fabulous blogs. Now if you confuse “their”and “there” or leave out a word, stuff like that happens. Your blog posts need not be perfect. However, I am talking about a word like “writr” or “wrietr” where the blogger omitted a letter or inverted letters. Spell check will catch those, and it’s just one click and one minute to remedy it.
3. Cite sources. My own rule is that if the information is all over the web like silly string at a birthday party, it is general knowledge and not worth pointing to any one source. But oftentimes, bloggers research topics online and need to credit an idea, information, quotation, or picture to another source. I would be happy for someone to use information found on my blog and cite it; that might direct more traffic my way.
4. Check your links. After posting, it’s worth taking a minute or two to click through your links and make sure they work. I recently uploaded a music video that looked fine in my blog’s preview window, but when the post went live, the audio had disappeared. I’m glad I checked the broken link, or I would not have known to go back and replace it.
5. Have your links open in a new window. There are differing opinions on this one. However, I think it frustrates most readers to have to click back and forth if they want to check out a link and return to your blog. I don’t know how this is done with WordPress or Networked Blogs, but for Blogger I found an answer here.
6. Have easy-to-find buttons for RSS Feed and other social media connections. If you want readers to stalk you, make it easy for them. Don’t be shy: Wave to the paparazzi and shout, “Here I am!” If you want fun buttons, I recently found some cool ones from marketing and social media consultant Justin Parks.
7. Pay attention to legibility. Your blog should be readable. There is an author who writes quite well, and I would love to read this author’s blog. But my middle-aged eyes struggle with the busy background and bright text on top, so I rarely finish any of the posts. Perhaps it’s boring, but basic is better where text is concerned – black or gray on white or cream, like a résumé. The rest of the site can be a veritable feast of psychedelic colors and images, but legibility of text matters if your point is for people to read what you write.
Thanks again to Jennette Powell for the fabulous award!
What tips do you have for blogging? What have you learned along the way?What do you as a reader want to see in a blog? (Did I misspell anything?)