Monday, March 21, 2011

Blogging Feng Shui

I love blogging, and it's been interesting seeing how the medium has changed in the last six years. When microblogging took center stage in 2009, people have wondered if blogging was dead.

Not dead. But different. I like the fact that more mature people are blogging, and writing longer posts is OK again.

Like anything else in this world, there is a right and a wrong way to do things. If you want your blog readership to flourish, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1)Get a real website address. What does deankoontz.com, jkrowling.com, and jamespatterson.com have in common? There's no BLOGSPOT, WORDPRESS, or TYPEPAD stuck in the middle of their website address. Unless your blog is simply a personal journal for you and your loved ones, get a domain name for yourself. Especially if you are trying to market yourself. Get a personalized domain - it'll be the best $10 you've ever spent. And while you're at, go buy domain names for your kids too. Check out my 10 year old son's at dominatorsworld.com. As you can tell, my boy loves robots and Lego.

2)Make the blog easy to read. I love bold, striking colors. But a black blog with white lettering gives me a migraine after awhile. If you want people to actually read your posts, go white a lighter background and dark lettering. It's easier on the eyes. Otherwise, put a warning on your blog for those with epilepsy.

3)Stop with the damn widget overload. Widgets are like knickknacks. Cute, but really just clutter up the place. If your side margins are just stuffed with extra crap, it's distracting to the body of your blog. Plus, it shows insecurity. Many of the music playing widgets also make your blog slooooow to load up and can even freeze our computers

4)Respond! If people take the time to read your post and give an insightful comment, respond back. Thank them at the very least. Your readers' feedback is your blog's lifeblood. And if you're not getting ANY comments on your blog, either you are writing just for yourself, or you are not going out and connecting with other blogs.  Blogging is a two-way street.

5)Connect! Blogging is a community, and be an active participant. Create a blogroll. It's a great way to promote your favorite blogs and connect more readers to your own blog as well. Any type of blogroll widget is one of only a few widgets I believe are must-haves.

6)Protect Your Content. Go to Copyspace and check to see if anyone has copied your blog's content without giving you credit. And if you do borrow something from another blogger or source, give them credit! It's a great way to share awesome information, give proper citations, and show respect for other people's work.

30 comments:

Kevin said...

Great advice Jay. I'll take some of these tips to heart. Thanks!

Jay Noel said...

Thanks for coming by, Dex. I think with your readership, it would be a great time to get your own website domain. It's so easy!

T.S. Bazelli said...

I didn't know about copyscape but I will check that out. One thing I'd add is 'make it easy to share content'. I wanted to tweet this post because I think it's great advice, but there's no button that lets me do that. I'll still do it manually though ;)

Jay Noel said...

I didn't notice that my share buttons disappeared! Thanks, T.S. I had to back in and do a little HTML clean up, which always makes me nervous. But the share buttons should be back.

Kevin said...

I wish I would have read this about 2 weeks ago. I have 1,050 business cards with my blogspot address on it. Eventually I will change the URL. Thanks again! And I appreciate you checking out my blog.

Jay Noel said...

Not a problem. With my old blog, I had T-shirts made, and my epiphany was looking at that website address with the "blogspot" stuck in the middle of that. It didn't look professional, and the darn address didn't fit across the shirt!

h3roicwrit3r said...

Another great post, Jay. The most important aspect I am learning is connect, connect, and connect. I had to get out of my Johnny Depp secret life and start connecting. The results have been amazing.

- EJ Apostrophe

Jay Noel said...

Thanks EJ. And you don't want to pull a Johnny Depp. He smells bad.

Tiyana, aka "Yoyo" said...

Heh, you're right about the black backgrounds and lighter text. I've actually been contemplating changing that on my blog. Even I'm sometimes like o_O. I think I'll go do that now! (Though I hate changing the look...again.)

To be honest, I'm thinking about migrating over to Wordpress. I only discovered it about two weeks after I created my blog; I was PISSED when I found out it existed, heh. "Why am I JUST now discovering this?!?!? Yaaarrrrgh!"

Ah, well, nothing to do but change it.

Jay Noel said...

If I read a blog with a black background and white lettering, I either have to be reading in broad daylight or have a lamp turned on so the contrast isn't too sharp.

But wow, it is rough on the eyes.

I like Wordpress too, but I am just so used to Blogger. Plus, the fact that it's linked to Google helps people find you. Google webcrawlers are constantly on here, which increases the chances of someone finding you during a Google Search.

brownpaperbaggirl said...

Great, basic tips that people all too often don't think of. I'm thinking the next step for me is to get my own domain name... Good post!

Jay Noel said...

M.J., the look of your blog is really great. Neat colors but still very easy to read.

I think if you want to promote your writing, getting your very own domain name is very important. I struggled with getting one based on my blog's name and one based on my own name. In the end, I thought my name was the best choice.

cube said...

Very good advice. I've thought about getting my own domain name but fear losing the info I've already generated on my blog.

The Desert Rocks said...

Great post and I enjoyed learning about Copyspace.
Thanks.

Jay Noel said...

Cube: Just do it! You won't lose your info on your blog,as it's only re-directing the new domain to your blog.

Desert: I'm glad I could be of help!

healthsites said...

Your blog is very helpful, it helped me understand more on Feng SHui.

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