Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blogging Tips

I have always been an internet girl. I remember using HTML codes when I was 14, I remembered them like the back of my hand. As the years went by, I definitely forgot some of them because I hardly used them. MySpace grew old and Facebook took over but HTML codes were really no longer needed unless you blogged. My mind was so out of focus when it came to blogging, I could never settle (and I still haven't) for just one topic. Until this blog I started to whip out some long lost skills and love for web design. Of course blogging is somewhat an easier version because Blogger provides templates. But what about the things that go unsaid, who helps you with that? Well that is what I am here for today. What I am going to write about. So if you are interested keep on reading.

Maybe I am O.C.D but I like a clean, evenly spaced and aligned blog. Maybe that's not your style. When blogging you want to make the blog personal, yes, but you also want it to appeal to others. How you appeal to others is how you get followers. Sure you can have some great posts, but if your blog is all in a slop, it will be hard for the viewer to want to come back to the blog if it's hard to navigate. So here are some basic tips to keeping your blog "easy on the eyes"

1. Use a font that is easy to read. You never know who is going to be reading your blog. They may be young or old. If you want people to read what you have to say, it needs to be readable. Try to stay away from fonts that are a little too crazy. On my page I use about 3 different fonts. I use the nicer ones for my graphics, and the straight forward ones for links and posts. You may wonder how many fonts you should use, how many is too many. I chose 3 because it just fit. If you can group like items together using the same font, it will help the user decipher what is what. My links are one font, graphic lettering one font, and my posts are listed in a third font. You also want to keep your font a good size. Like when writing a book report average size is about 12pt. Size your Headers/Titles about 2 pts up to 14pt. Blogger makes it pretty easy to view how big your font will appear on your blog.

2. Try to stick to a theme with colors. Too many colors can be too distracting and take away from your actual point of blogging, your posts. Try to stick to a Minimum of 3 colors and Maximum of 5 colors. Colors that are relatively similar are fine, but I wouldn't go picking from the rainbow. This applies to your background as well. Flashy, can sometimes be trashy. If flashy is your theme, go for it, but keep the rest of your blog minimal and simple. It's like the same concept with makeup, if you're gonna wear a bright red lip, you want to keep the rest of your face pretty simple, not overdone. Viewers most likely don't want to feel like they are in a disco or a rave.

3. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well what if your pictures represented bad words? Usually when you take a picture on your phone or camera they are sized all the same. So when you upload them to blogger you can use there easy choices of SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, X LARGE, or ORIGINAL SIZE. Having your photos relatively the same size will keep your blog in sync. If you think, well I am not good at editing, try using Instagram. You can use old pictures and edit them into your Instagram app and guess what, they will come out ALL THE SAME SIZE. There are several other apps used for editing on your phone if that is your main source of photos.

4.Blogger allows you to adjust the widths of your layout. If your blog is all crooked and out of place it may be hard to view. If your pictures exceed the screen of a laptop along with everything to the right of them, viewing your blog may become more of a pain then a hobby. If you are having to scroll from left to right on the scroll bar you should considering making your images smaller, and adjusting widths accordingly.

5. Gaining followers is NOT easy. You have to appeal to others and they have to be interested in what you are writing about. They also have to have a great interest in reading blogs. Some readers literally just stumble upon your blog and don't ever make point to follow. I kept up with one of my favorite bloggers Audrey Marie for a long time but never actually clicked the button to follow till just recently. Why? There was really NO REAL REASON. It wasn't because I didn't want to or didn't love her blog enough, because I did, but I had bookmarked her blog from day one of seeing it so really, in a sense I was following with her, there were just no numbers to show for it.

Followers are a big part of blogging because it makes a blogger feel like they have some sort of a purpose. I started this blog for myself, but of course I would LOVE to share it with others, so yes, I enjoy having followers. I think the easiest way to get bloggers is commenting on others pages, but before you do please read my Bloggers Etiquette post, it is linked below. You can also join other sites and link your blog such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Beautylish, Google+ and other Social Networking sites. You start to build a network, and it will help you get your blog out there. If you blog about food, join food websites, if you blog about fashion, join fashion websites, I think you get the point. Don't you? I remember when I got a comment from a girl who simply stumbled upon my blog and I felt so happy. How she found it? I have no idea, but she took the time to comment, and it meant a lot.

6. Keeping your alike posts together is the key to helping your reader navigate through your blog with ease. Most people work, go to school, have children, and other such things that keep them busy throughout the day, so If you keep your relative posts together it will help them get in, and get out and see what they want to see. How do you do this on blogger? Use LABELS. On the right hand side of your post, you will see a tab that says "Labels" click there and create labels for your posts. I label mine pretty simple. Life, Love, Beauty, Fashion, Inspiration, Food, Recipes, Nail Art, Art and so on. Try not to add too many different labels, because it will defeat the purpose and instead of readers searching through posts they will be searching through labels!

7. Sound or no sound. No sound. Imagine you are on your laptop listening to iTunes or Pandora and you open up a blog and in comes some song you never heard before blaring in competition with your favorite song. Annoying right? If you are going to, if you just MUST put sound on your page, learn to control the volume. Keep it low. That way you don't give someone a heart attack because there speakers are at 100% from the night before and you thought they'd be interested in your song.

8. Read my post on Bloggers Etiquette

Some people may ask, what do I know about blogging? I guess I don't have the followers to show for, but I can say, my page gets quite a bit of a views everyday, and in total is good for the amount of time I have really been using it. I view my stats everyday, not just to see raised numbers but to study where my Traffic Sources are coming from. I started to learn what was working in promoting my blog and what wasn't. As far as tips, I may be no expert, and my blog is not perfect, but from my point of view, I believe that the simplicity of your blog will help draw in a reader rather then deter them. You don't to see other websites all in a slop do you? No, because that would make people not want to take the site seriously. As in life, it is about the way you present yourself.

Well I hope you enjoyed this post and I have helped. Stay tuned because I will definitely be adding more to this as I go. If you have any tips, advice or tricks, feel free to comment any suggestions. I would love to hear from you.

21 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for this post! English is not my first language so I usually don't cope reading long posts in English, but this: YES! :)

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    1. Thanks so much Susanna I'm glad that you were able to get through it. What is your first language?

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  2. I agree with you, that was enjoyable to read!

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  3. Perfectly timed :) found your blog on Facebook I think, you posted a link on blogger :) I've been following ever since! well you're on my bookmark anyways! Keep up the posts! x

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    1. I remember trying to post it on blogger and it just wouldn't go through, or so I thought cause I guess it did. I do remember "tale thief photography" following me, thanks so much Thia!

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  4. I wish everybody into blogging would read this and follow it. And you know what I really love about this post and your entire blog - your writing. People are so lazy with spelling and stuff and it drives me absolutely mad! You are awesome. Just FYI.

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    1. Thanks so much Emelie. Such a great compliment. I love to write and I try to make my words personal but also proper. I think it's critical when you want people to take you seriously.

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  5. I agree! I see a lot of blogs with great posts but its either too much background or colors around that are distracting, and a tad annoying. But, I enjoyed this post and love your blog. I'm def following you and cant wait to see more posts! ck out my blog and follow back!
    Get Glam

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    1. Glad we are on the same page! Thanks so much, and I am a follower already, I don't remember when I found the blog, but I love the outfit posts.

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  6. how do you add labels at the side, like those round circles you have?

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    1. Those images are custom made by me, so you would have to make your own, you just go to layout. (you can find layout where it shows a list of other links like stats, posts, traffic sources)then you just add a gadget to the side bar, mine is on the right hand side, so I added a gadget there, you will just want to add a picture that has a link.

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  7. This is such a great topic so helpful to any newbies, Thankyou Sherry! xx

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  8. hey Sherry, u hav touched up on a really useful topic here, and that too somuch in detail..thank u very much
    ~ashy
    http://thezingofmylife.blogspot.com/

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  9. Hi thanks for this! I am a new bloggers and sometimes figuring out stuff take a long time...It is nice to know where I can find some blog help!

    http://theedumacationofmsmac.blogspot.com/

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  10. I really liked those tips! Some of them weren't completely new to me, but I liked the way you explained them. It sounded very sincere and not huffy at all =) I also like the clarity of your layout!

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  11. Sherry,
    I have seen many posts about blogger etiquitte before, but I have to say this one has been the most helpful. I'm a new blogger, started in September, and I love it!! But it's a whole new world and it's awesome to get your lovely (and experienced) point of view.

    XO Jenna
    Demureindiamonds.blogspot.com

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