Top 10 Basics of Blogging
10 Things Every Blogger Needs to Know!
- This seems to be #1 on everyone’s list! If you have the word captcha set to “on” for comments then TURN IT TO OFF NOW! I have noticed that when the word captcha is on I tend to give less feedback because most of the time I’m typing one handed anyway (little man likes to be held ALL THE TIME!) and it’s just too much hassle- plus half the time I don’t even understand what letter it wants me to type because of the funky font. I took the word captcha off on Day 1 and have yet to receive a single piece of spam. This will increase your comments- and if one of those “Big Bloggers” drops in to leave a comment you’ll get it because many of them said they don’t bother when there’s a word captcha!
- Less is more. Don’t get your blog too busy. Since I have a busy background I chose a more simple layout. Originally I had the middle and a sidebar on each side because I felt I needed more content on my blog and I was filling it with junk so it looked like I had something- but luckily I joined Randee’s Rant and Rave bloghop and got some good feedback.
- Make your font large and easy to read. At first I started off with a fancy font because I thought making my posts look like handwriting would be more personal but if it’s too hard to read then people will just move on to the next blog. I do fancy headers sometimes to add some pizazz but I always keep the font very legible. If you use a fancy font for something make it larger and bold so it stands out better and is easier to read.
- Put a “Welcome” at the top of your page– I have mine on the front page. Make it a sweet and simple “Thanks for coming…” and add some follow me links. To do this (for Blogger)- go to layout, add a gadget, add text, then write your welcome message and add links to your Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed, (we’ll go over this in another post), etc. then drag the box to right above “Posts” – sometimes it takes it a little finagling to get it there. Once I did this I started getting followers on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
- If you don’t have Facebook (make a fan page for your blog), Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, or Twitter – SIGN UP NOW! I have no idea how Twitter works and I’m researching that this week but it’s apparently fantastic for growing followers! Also, go to Feedburner and register- this will allow you to automatically send your blog posts to email followers and those who use feedreaders to follow blogs.
UPDATE: I learned Twitter- it’s pretty awesome! Check out basic etiquette of Twitter and how to gain 1000+ new followers in a month without paying for it!
- Get a stat counter… Stat!(hardy har har… I’m so funny!) I haven’t figured out how to really use these to get in depth information but I’m tinkering around with understanding them some. I signed up with Google Analytics and StatCounter.com– these give you more information about what people are doing on your site than the regular stat page in Blogger. One thing that I like about these is that it shows exactly where your readers are- like I have some in Chicago, Beverly Hills, Tuscon, and even the town next to me, etc. It also says how long people stay on my site- this is good information because it can indicate that you need to put more links inside your posts.
- Which leads me to – put links to other posts inside current posts!This is so that people will stay and look around your site- the longer someone stays at your site the more likely they are to follow you. You can even add a link to pictures (in Blogger) by clicking on the picture then clicking on link (you’ll have to do this twice in order for the link box to pop up and work). Check it out here:
- Make your site EASY TO NAVIGATE! The best way I have found so far is to sign up for InLinkz; it’s free for text links or $2 a month for picture links (it’s totally worth the $2 a month for unlimited picture links). People like to see pictures and pictures do say 1,000 words. So, to make my site easy to navigate- I made pages to separate my posts: Yummy Eats, My Creations, and New Parent Humor. On those pages, instead of cutting and pasting my posts and making it long and cumbersome I just made an InLinkz collection and add my posts to the collection then cut and paste the html of the collection into the html of the page. I hope that was clear… it was pretty wordy but InLinkz has a great tutorial that shows you how to make the collections- which is the time consuming part, but not hard at all! Then anytime I have a new post that falls into one of these categories I just update the collection and update the page with the new html code. I only do this with posts that I think people would want to read again. I don’t do it with time sensitive ones or linky parties. UPDATE: I have since switched to WordPress and no longer need this feature but I do use inlinkz for hosting my linky parties!
- Go ahead, make a little dough! It’s perfectly okay to get paid to do what you love to do! Now, you are not going to make much at all starting out… but I think it’s pretty cool when you can see it grow over time. I’ll be upfront and blatantly honest… I made 21.83 last month (January 2012). But hey, it was my very first month blogging and it was 21.83 I did not have before! It actually paid for my year of inlinkz. I made $20 writing a post for Izea you can check it out here, 1.40 from Social Spark ads, and .43 off Google ads. Additionally, if someone signs up for Social Spark through your affiliate link you’ll get a little bonus when they complete a task… it’s a win/win… you can go ahead and sign up here 🙂
- Post what you like and have fun! Link up to linky parties, go blog hop, comment- comment- comment! You want to build your blog, but you should also want to build relationships! I spend a majority of my time visiting other people’s blogs and commenting! It’s okay to add your blog address under your name to let people know about your blog. J