I’ve been talking a bit with some other bloggers about blogging etiquette and I thought it would be nice to share some of the things we have discovered and some of the things we think make or break a blog. While I’m no expert on the subject and my blog is far from perfect, there are a few things that I think can make any blog better and a few things you can do (or avoid doing) to increase your readership and make your little piece of the Internet more intriguing and enjoyable for viewers and readers.
{Passion} Whether you blog about weddings (like me), food, fashion, your family, interior design, yourself or a mixture of a bunch of different topics, a blog is so much more alluring and pleasurable to visit when the author instills a bit of passion into it. Whether it be through your writing or the photos you post, readers will know when you blog with a purpose and in turn will want to come back time and time again. A little bit of honesty and a little peek into your life will also keep people coming back for more. People like to be able to relate to bloggers and like to know that there’s people out there just like them so don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to share a little about yourself and your life (within reason of course). Like anything in life, a little effort goes a long way.
{Commenting} Sigh. In my opinion, commenting makes the blog world go round. Sure it can be time consuming and frustrating when you run into word verifications, incredibly long posts and content you can’t relate or care to reflect on. However, I am going to go ahead and assume that most people with public blogs, blog because they have something to share and garnering feedback, discussion and appreciation is very important to them (myself included). Some aren’t in it for the comments and that’s completely cool too! But for those of us who are, you give a little you get a little. Pay it forward to those who visit your blog and in turn you will see your followers, comments and blog traffic increase. Never forget where you started and how good it felt to get your first comment and follower.
{User-Friendly Spaces} A lot of people are visual learners which is why a clean design is best for usability and reader navigation. Those gazillion stylish blogger award buttons down the side of your right hand column are an eye sore to some and distract from your main posts. If the buttons are important to you, put them in a blog post that you can add to when necessary or place them in the footer of your blog. The super cursive font you’re using for your body text is illegible and causes headaches when people try to decipher what it reads. And the white font over top of the neon blue background is so psychedelic it feels like my living room is spinning. It’s great that you have interests and preferences but try to flaunt them in a way that is conducive to a site that isn’t too much for the average viewer to handle. Think of your blog as your home; would you invite people over to your home with clutter all over the floors and loud music blaring from your television? Didn’t think so. Which leads me to my next thought.
{Say No to Music} I love music. But I also love having the freedom to listen to the kind of music I like when I want to hear it. When I go to your site and the music pops on and scares me to death, and I spent five minutes looking for the widget to turn it off, and then the combination of your Kenny Chesney over top of my Britney Spears wreaks havoc on my poor cat and then by this time I’ve already exited out of your blog therefore defeated any possibility of me getting to know you and your blog; well you get the picture. Music can also be embarrassing for people who blog at work (naughty, bloggers, you!) and all in all is bad news bears.
{Don’t Do This} One of the fantastic perks of being a blogger is the relationships you create with others. I have made so many incredible friendships with people like Blair, Ashley, this Ashely too, Michaela, Mara and Megan, and even friends overseas like Helena, KrystalSimone and Lou and so many others. These friendships have been built over time on a shared support system and genuine appreciation for each other’s talents and blogs. Nothing is more tacky or irritating as a blogger who leaves a comment saying “Follow me and I’ll follow you?” or “I’m your newest follower, how about returning the favor?” I hate feeling like I’ve taken the time to construct a really great post only for someone to respond with something relating to their followers count and I especially hate feeling bullied into following someone. Additionally, only comment on a blog post if you’ve read or at least skimmed over a post. Leaving a comment saying “How cute!” on a post about someone losing a loved one is incredibly embarrassing.
And imagine that, there’s no picture with this post! So my friends, what did I forget? :)