Part Three-10 Tips for New Bloggers
1-First and foremost, decide on what type of blog you are writing. This will effect all of the other decisions you make regarding your blog. If you intend to use your blog as a personal journal, to pour out your feelings, reflect on life and to keep a record of your journey through life you might want to make it a private blog. If you are creating a blog mainly to keep family and friends or a spouse say whose on deployment or travels a lot up to date on your life and you do not have the desire to blog often or to really connect your blog with other blogs you might want to create an invite only blog. If the two options above are appropriate for your blog than by all means design it like you want, treat it like a scrapbook or journal, create titles or don’t it’s for your eyes only and has no impact on other bloggers BUT If you do decide you want a public blog where you will be interacting a lot with the blogging community, linking up to lots of other blogs, you want a blog that receives feedback and comments and you would love for your wonderful projects, words, stories and crafts to be shared with the world than the following tips will be helpful for you.
This has been a popular question with us lately: How do I add a party button to a post? It’s fairly simple once you know how. Here are the instructions for inserting a button onto your blog. Locate the button you want to transfer to your blog. Usually
And, here’s how to add a blog button to your sidebar: add a gadget, Basics html/java script
5-Be Mindful When Including Music-So the other day I was visiting blogs to leave comments and opened up several tabs at once. Now I love Kenny G. as much as the next person and Amazing Grace is one of my favorite hymns, and I confess to liking me some Black Eyed Peas…and I don’t mean the kind you eat (I do like those too by the way)…but yikes! all of these songs at once on my laptop was a bit much. Honestly I have taken to muting my volume because I never know what is going to start playing out of my speakers and at what volume level, this can also be really awkward for someone reading your blog with others around. May I offer this suggestion. Consider why you have music on your blog, you as the author most often view your blog in “edit mode” so you are not actually hearing your own playlist. If it is something you really enjoy than by all means leave it on there (it is your blog!) but consider having the option for your readers to “choose” whether to listen or not by not having it auto play, this is the best of both worlds. If you currently do not have a playlist on your blog ask yourself a few questions before adding it. Will it drive away a potential reader who doesn’t like my type of music and do I care about this or not? Will I lose the reader who is like Heather and slightly ADD and can’t read and listen to Kenny G. at the same time and do I care about this or not? How often do I get on my own blog and read my posts over and over again just to listen to my playlist? If the answers are YES, YES and NOT VERY OFTEN than consider not putting a playlist on your blog. If you already have one evaluate why it’s on there. If you really like having this option make listening a choice for your reader so they don’t miss your wonderful post because even though you adore the Red Hot Chili Peppers they’re just not your readers cup of tea…food for thought! A P.S. to this…I was also reminded of something by another wise blogger, playlists will greatly slowdown load time for your blog. If a blog takes too long to load people will probably click away. Another thing to think about.
7-Make your email address accessible somewhere. Hopefully you will have it in multiple places. Here is where I suggest. One- Place your email address somewhere on your main page in the sidebar near the top. If you want to avoid spam you can put (dot) instead of the . before com. I read about an advertiser who posted that they surf blogs to offer items to giveaway or to work with on sponsoring and will surf right on by if they can’t readily find an email address. Wonder how all of those other bloggers get offers from CSN and you don’t check if you have a accessible email address. Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting CSN will offer to host a giveaway if you put your email clearly on your blog, but I can guarantee you they won’t if you don’t. Two-Connect your email to your Google Blogger profile. That is the only way Blogger currently allows us to reply to someones comment if we are using the standard Blogger comment widget. Here’s how to do that: Go to Dashboard. Go to Edit User Profile next to your profile picture. Make sure “show my email address” is checked. Make sure you have an email address listed under Identity. If you don’t want to use a personal email address create one in gmail. It’s free and available to you if you already have a google account. Then select Save Profile. Now when you leave a comment the blog author can reply personally to your comment and answer a question, or tell you how wonderful you are, or tell you to jump in a lake if she hates your comment but either way they can reply which is what we blog writers love most, connecting with our readers. Hopefully you will choose to do both options and you will be inundated with wonderful offers of sponsorship and giveaway prizes, or at the very least your inbox will be full of sweet replies from all of those wonderful bloggers you left comments for because they made it so easy to comment on their blog.
8-Make sure to give your blog a title and place it in the title spot when you are creating a new post. This is how goggle, safari, firefox etc. know how to find your blog post. You have to have a title separate from what you put in the body to create a url, if not blogger will make a url out of the first sentence of your post and there is nothing to link back to. You might be asking what is a url? A url is the “official name” given to a specific blog or post. For example our blog url is wwww.atthepicketfence.com but this post’s url is: /blogging-101-ten-tips-new-bloggers.html and if you look closely you will see my post url is completely different from my blog title: Blogging 101 Ten Tips For New (and not so new) Bloggers. Blogger does not allow you to do this on your own, so you have to bypass the system so to speak. I will be sharing how to do this in a separate post coming up since it is a little too detailed to put in here. For now though, be sure to create a catchy title that includes at least one “keyword” related to your post. For example: both the url and the title for this post contain the word Blogging, 101, tips. Watch for an upcoming post on why keywords are so important for blog growth and how they create “google love” for your blog.
9-Check, double check, spell check, grammar check and then preview your post before you publish it. We all occasionally make formatting mistakes, spelling errors etc. We also realize that blogging is a more conversational tone, so often grammar flies out the window BUT, there is no excuse for not taking a moment to spell check your post and to preview it before you hit publish. (and by the way I caught an error of my own while previewing this very tip, just goes to prove…always preview)
10-If in doubt ask for help. Most of what I learned about blogging, I learned from googling for the answers and visiting blog design blogs. There is a wealth of knowledge out there that people are more than willing to share. Email other bloggers and ask for help. We all have been there, we all created our very first blog with little to no knowledge of what we were doing. The blogging world can be a very helpful community when you put yourself out there and ask for help. Which leads me to say, if you have any questions that we haven’t answered here we At The Picket Fence, are always an email away and will do our best to answer your questions!
THOSE comments we might have to delete…or we could just leave them up for the world to see…;)
Next Week: 10 Photography Tips for New Bloggers!