Friday, August 19, 2011

Seriously, Your Blog Stinks! I'm NOT Kidding!



Ha, made you look! Your blog does not stink I swear! But it brings me to a timely topic as blogs have taken over the world as you know. 

Recently I was asked to write an article for the Prairie Wind, which is the newsletter of the SCBWI IL Chapter. My article, that will post in the fall issue, is all about starting a group blog, such as (insert shameless plug for the best blog in the world here) PROJECT MAYHEM! Anyway, it was great to share with others what I've learned about blogging on my own and in a group. Some great writers/bloggers are Cynthia Leitich Smith, Elana Johnson, Shelli Johannes-Wells and sisters, Lisa and Laura Roecker. They are mostly YA (shameful I know!), but great examples of wildly successful blogs.

My question: What are your blogging tips? Don't be shy either! You don't have to have been blogging every day for the last five years or have six billion followers to have great insight. Now, if you’re still too bashful to give your two cents, than tell us what bugs you about blogs you've been on recently, obviously don't name the blogs that bug you--but tell us what bugs you about them! It can be very helpful to other bloggers, just hearing what you don't like! Please though, don't say anything bad about Project Mayhem, middle-grade writers are needy and fragile, well...maybe that's just me! Ha, ha! ;) 

Here's an example: About a year back I had a reader comment that my blog (black background at the time) was super hard on her eyes. It never hurt mine, but I starting asking my friends and they ALL agreed the black background and light font did a number on their retinas! Really? I had no idea! It never bothered me a bit, but apparently it's killer on lots of eyeballs! So there's my tip--ditch the dark colors! Trust me, I know it's hard, it's like shaving your head or something, but think of all the visits to the eye doc you'll be saving your readers!

So, what's your blogging tip, trick or big fat no-no?

xoxo -- Hilary

17 comments:

  1. Angie Hillan8/19/11, 9:23 AM

    I'm so glad you posted this! Some of the review blogs I go on are loaded with buttons and widgets and they take so long to load, I dread going on them anymore. It's ridiculous!

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  2. I try to have recurring post topics so that readers will come to know what to expect and I can talk about things I enjoy and know about.

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  3. Angie, that bothers me too! A page load should take a few seconds, not minutes! :)

    Caroline, that's a great tip. Blogs need continuity! We want to be surprised when we read a blog, but not confused! It's great to have a personable blog where you post about whatever you like, but for a writing blog, I think a platform works best!

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  4. I don't have any tricks. I just go with it and see what happens, LoL.

    I like when blogs upload fast. Some have so many videos, pictures, music players, etc. all over the blog and it takes much too long to upload.

    I don't mind word verifications, but I don't like the one that appears like there's no word verif but after you think you're submitting your comment, it reloads to a word verif instead and you have to submit again. That's pretty annoying.

    I think most people have really wonderful blogs though. Sometimes it just takes a little time and experience to work through the kinks!

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  5. Laura, I've done that too! I type this (what I think is a) brilliant comment, only to never have it post, because I didn't see the word verification pop-up! So annoying! :)

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  6. Mainly loading time, like others have said -- I hate blogs that take an age to load. I just go, "Why am I wasting time on this?" and then close the browser. :P

    Regarding design, I think light colours are best (as you said, Hilary, with the black background example). For content, you need to keep your audience in mind -- if your blog's read by writers, your posts should be geared towards writers.

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  7. Yahong, thanks to the high-speed Internet, we are all more impatient than ever. If I have to wait longer than 7 seconds, I'm already itching to get off the page! Terrible! ;)

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  8. LOVE THE CAT PICTURE! Lol! I agree w/everyone else. Load time is a MAJOR problem w/some blogs. If it takes you a long time to load your own blog, it takes everyone else the same long time! I don't know how bloggers don't get this! Sorry for the rant! Project Mayhem loads fast, so that's good!

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  9. I cant handle when titles and buttons and such are hidden behind formatting or art. I just want to navigate easily around peoples sites. Also, I think when people put Followers near the top it is helpful. I am lazy and hate to scroll down to the end of the earth to follow:)

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  10. Oh, the black background thing is one thing that bugs me about blogs... it really bugs me when people have dark backgrounds with light fonts. White and black is FINE. :)

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  11. I think we have a consensus. Busy blogs, with music, and toolbars, that take FOREVER to load, are my number one blogging pet peeve. Reloading word verification is a close second, though.

    The blogs that I love? Besides this one? Well, they're essentially really random, and with a wide range of reasons. It's really hard to nail down exactly what keeps me coming back.

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  12. I like simple, too. Nothing too busy and that takes forever to load. And, I like text that is broken up into short paragraphs.

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  13. Jessie, ha, ha! You are just like me! I'm so lazy! :) Make the following easy, totally agree!

    Gracie, I'm so glad someone told me that. I had no idea, because they've never bothered me. I had no clue it bothered so many people's eyes!

    Matt, agreed! For the record, yours loads quick! ;)

    Paul, yes, I don't like the super long paragraphs either. For me though, I think they intimidate me! I think, 'this looks really, really long." Yet another sign of my laziness! :)

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  14. Oh, and Anon, no problem on the rant! We all feel that way sometimes! :)

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  15. I don't have any tips, since I blog more for myself than for anyone else. And I'm not a blogger extraordinaire. I see my blog as a "thing I do" and it takes a backseat to family time, career, and writing. I don't have a set routine for this reason. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty bad at this blogging thing. Sorry about that. I just slapped myself on the wrist.

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  16. I like it short, easy on the eyes and amusing. I'm not into blogs that take themselves too seriously. I'm not even sure I'm all that serious about my own blog. Writerly stuff gets, well, boring. I keep drifting from it and might drift away all together and do a not-for-writers thing. Just sayin.

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  17. i did not read the post as i too layzi but please tell me where did this cat came from! its the greatest cat i've ever seen!!!
    0x0x

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Thanks for adding to the mayhem!