Sometimes you start to blog, not having blog tips as warnings, you are all excited and you do things to your blog or that involves blogging that ultimately end up being traps that are like quicksand. They drag you down and deplete you of energy as you work to pull yourself out of what has happened.
What you do with your blog is ultimately up to you, because you want your blog to BE you. It represents part of you that you want to put out there.
Today I want to cover 10 things, traps if you will, that will cost you time, cause you weariness, and create misery. Knowing these things ahead of time might be able to save you. As a blogger now, you can maybe head these things off before they get out of hand. Or if you’re neck deep already, perhaps these 10 tips will give you a start on figuring out what has happened to you.#1 Sidebar Craziness or Widget Weary
Whichever you want to call it, those sidebars with all those widgets can have side effects you never thought of.
- So crowded no one can see what’s there.
- So many graphics it slows loading of the blog page down.
- Your page looks like an ad for everything, even though you’re not selling anything. Big turn off.
But does that mean sidebar widgets are bad? Of course not.
- If you’re advertising something, go for it, like authors want to get their books out there. But some advice to authors: Switch up those images and their order. Maybe even change the side of the screen your sidebar is on. Why? It makes return visitors look around for what might have changed.
- The same thing goes for book reviewers or people who have guests on their blogs.
- But if your blog is geared toward images, then widgets won’t make a difference.
Remember, graphics on a blog slow it down loading and slow loading may lead a reader to do one of two things.
- Leave because they clicked you on impulse.
- Leave because they think something is wrong with your page or their browser and then they’re gone.
One thing about your Widgets you may not realize is that many are never even clicked on. I moved my Widgets to my footer areas and I am still working on their order. But my main goal is to make them useful ones. Which ones do I think are most useful?
- Most Recent Posts
- Most Popular Posts
- Follow me
Those are off the top of my head. Why am I not going to look for other Widgets? Because those are the ones I remember, which says a lot to me, and look for on other blogs. For some blogs the only way I can find their posts is by using their Most Recent Posts Widget.
#2 Image is Everything, or so your Blog says.
Yes, I am still on images. I try to go minimal with images in my post these days unless I’m just having a moment and decide to go crazy. We all do that at times. That’s fine. Images is a sometimes food. Wait, that’s cookies. I warn you, I’m very visual media oriented today. Weird quotes may show up at anytime. Forgive me in advance.
But regardless, keep in mind that many or most of your Widgets are never clicked on. I like the Most Recent Posts and perhaps the Favorite Posts Widgets. Of course you want a Follow Me Widget and a Search one. Notice these are not graphic intensive and are useful.
A tip about Images: Keep in mind how large your image is in reference to how much storage space it uses such as 250 kb or something like that. The larger the file, the more time it takes to load. Sometimes you need to use high definition image. But then there are times you can optimize your image size and still have great definition. Visit 5 Image Things to Know for SEO for more information about this.
#3 The “I want to be cool” blog moment.
We’ve all done it. Okay, so I’ve done it several times. We do these crazy color schemes and then the possible results begin.
- People are scared and run away, okay they click away.
- People can’t read because of the color scheme. Check out what color blind people can’t see. A tip here. If you have links make sure to underline them and possibly bold them to signify they are links. Most people understand underlined words signify a link is in those words.
- The look doesn’t match the content. By this I mean the feel you have created just doesn’t fit.
Your theme style, color and header need to match what you are promoting. Promoting? Yes, you are promoting your posts, as in you. Will my current theme, layout and everything work for what I am promoting? Maybe, maybe not. I experiment. That’s one thing those of us who for some odd reason think we can give blogging tips do, we are the experimenters. I even have a test blog where I play around with themes to see what they look like and can do.
#4 The Following Frenzy
Yes, we follow, follow and follow even more. For some it’s a trick to get followers and for some it’s a reflex in following people in return. What do you end up with?
- If you are WordPress then you have a Reader so full you can’t get through everything.
- You have so many “friends” you can’t make any FRIENDS.
- You get caught up in the needing to get more and more followers as the Following Frenzy engulfs you.
If you’ve fallen into Follower Frenzy spend 10 minutes each day cleaning up that Follow list. (I might actually take my own advice.) Also you can make sure to follow those ones you really do like by subscribing to their email notifications until you do clean up your list.
#5 I’m Gonna Be Better Than That Guy
Competition in blogging is a thing. You may experience it for a brief moment. Once you do believe me when I say that your readers will notice and some might get turned off. There was a time, prior to two years ago when I had a concussion that brought some reality to my world, when I was competitive. It worked for the big job I had way back when, but for life in general, blogging specifically, it just doesn’t work for me.
- Most bloggers are not here to, or at least don’t start out to, be some guru or god of blogdom. Sure, we all want to be read and be popular to some extent but in the beginning we all have that little bit of reality, until we begin to see followers happen and the comments and then we see someone else like our blog who is sort of competition.
They aren’t. You just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.
#6 No One Really Likes Me (Insert Frowny Face, Tear.)
We don’t get the views each day, the follows, the likes. We begin to think no one likes us. We visit blogs and we think how much better our posts are than those. We wonder why no one likes us.
- You’re new. Be patient.
- Veteran blogs sometimes put out content that is perhaps not as well done as their usual content. Why? Time. Goofiness for the day. Lack of inspiration after blogging for so long.
Don’t worry about them. Don’t WORRY about anyone, including yourself. Just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.
#7 But I HAVE to post because my readers will miss me.
Man, this is a tough one, for new and veteran bloggers alike at times. There is this sense of responsibility to our readers. We think they are just waiting for us to post something and if we don’t they may never visit again. Um, do you do that to blogs you follow? Chill dudes and dudettes. I’ve been in the hospital, been sick, had a laptop go down and people still find me, and they still return. Why? I think in part because I’ve built a community that have my blog in common and met through my blog. Did it happen overnight? Nope. It takes time. Patience. What do I do to build a community and keep readers?
Just keep writing, write honestly, and write well.
#8 Size Matters! BIGGER IS BETTER
We discover how to change the font size and we go crazy at first. It’s not a good thing. You should really only use a different sized font for a heading of a section/topic. Think of how I have been using font size in this article. I know sometimes we will use all sizes of fonts, but make that a rarity. Looking at a page full of every size of font imaginable gets eye weary. Also by using your font sizes in a uniform way throughout your articles, you somewhat train your regular readers to know what to expect. And you do need those section headings at time to break up long passages of text.
#9 My Writing Is Amazing and I am an Original and need not worry about standards.
Have you run across those blogs where the entire thing is one paragraph and about 700 words long? Punctuation is by accident? Capitalization happened because of auto-correct somewhere along the way? Do you know how many times I return to those “I am an Original”?
I’m not saying don’t do it that way. If that’s what you are wanting to do and are going for a certain atmosphere, go for it. Some make a success of it. But it takes a certain type of writing to make it work. For most blog readers, they want to click and be able to read and have a pleasant experience without having to figure out what in the world or how in the world they are reading.
#10 I have to write like this because they expect it.
No, I’m not referring to #9. This is about writing about certain topics or in certain styles. There may come a time in your time blogging that you no longer want to blog about whatever it is that got you started. You have two choices.
- Start another blog.
- Or just start writing what you want to on your current blog.
I’ve written about just about everything here on Ronovan Writes. But then I did choose a good title for the blog to be able to pull that off. I have hits and I have misses and misses and misses. I’m not trying to build a blogdom here.
I simply write what I feel like writing in that moment.
That is the greatest blogging tip you will ever get from anyone. That’s not a brag. That’s telling you like it is. If you write things you don’t care about you are faking it and faking it can be picked up on quickly by blog readers. Some people write about blog tips every day. That’s something they find fascinating. I couldn’t do that and keep it sounding real. Well I might, if I had broken this one down into one per day.
That’s it for me today. 10 things bloggers get trapped into at some point. 10 things to watch out for and avoid. Avoid those traps and you’ll have a pleasant blogging experience for a long time to come.
This article goes somewhat hand in hand with another of my articles I wrote sometime ago called How to Survive the Blog Life. It’s the number one article on my blog.
Much Respect-Much Love
Ronovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.
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