Six Ways to Make Your Blog More Readable
I love reading blogs. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. Yet, from the reader perspective (and especially the blogger perspective), I tend to look for things in a blog and when I don’t see them, I lose interest or don’t think the blogger is taking the time to consider the reader.
This may not be for the person who has blogged for ten years and makes this their full-time job. Or even the person who has blogger for two years and makes about $50 a month. But for all of us, whether you are just starting out or you are a seasoned veteran, these tips will help make sure you are writing for the reader as well as for yourself.
1) Have visible ways to follow your blog
On my own blog, it seems as if I’ve given everyone about twenty different ways to follow me. So, when I come across a blog where I have to practically do a scavenger hunt to find ways to follow them (and often times, coming up unlucky), I am baffled.
The number one thing you should make sure you have on your blog is ways your reader can follow you. Use them all – from Networked Blogs, to Google Friend Connect widget (if you blog through blogger), to email subscription, to RSS feed, to whichever new widget you can add to your blog so people can read it.
If you don’t have at least some way of people following you, I can guarantee you won’t have any readers.
2) Remove “Captcha” or Word Verification
This goes out especially to Blogger blogs. Let me tell you this – no one likes the word verification. When I have left a comment and suddenly I am redirected back to type in this Ancient Greek cramped lettering to actually get the comment to post, I lose interest very quickly.
From the blogger stand point, I understand your desire to prohibit spam comments. I get them too. There is another way of avoiding that though – have comment verification instead. You still reduce the spam and you will get less and less as time goes on.
3) Photos with Your Posts
My eyes tend to bleed when I see a lengthy post without photos. Just the idea of having to read something on the web without anything to break up that wall of text makes me cringe.
Aside from those reasons, having a photo or two also adds personality to your post and gives a depth to your blog. Quick side note – make sure you have copyright free photos. You can get into trouble, otherwise. You can find out where to get those here.
4) About Me and Contact Me Page
I like to get to know the person behind the blog. This is another “care point” for me. It tells me you care about your blog and it isn’t just something to plaster on the internet for the heck of it.
You don’t have to say too much, but talking about why you blog, a little bit of your background, and what your readers can expect for your about page can be just enough. As for your contact page, direct your readers to your social networking accounts as well as an email address.
Whether it’s a potential guest blogger or a company who may want to work with you, you need to provide obvious ways for people to get to know your blog and to get a hold of you.
5) A quick web page load time.
I have the kiss of death with technology. This means if I’m on my laptop, I want to know I’m about to reach a web page that won’t cause my browser (or a whole computer) to freeze. Get rid of flash ads, get rid of pop up social network widgets, and clean up the general design. Your blog needs to be neat and clean with a simple chic design otherwise you end up coming across like a two dollar hooker on the Vegas strip.
6) Stand out from the crowd.
Whether it’s selling an e-book you’ve written, running a weekly blog hop or writing prompt, or giving away products with your blog name on it, don’t forget to make your blog a little extra special. It’s easy to be a copycat of the great bloggers of our time, but most importantly, you need to be uniquely you.
With these six tips, you can shine up your blog like a new penny and maybe even attract a reader or two. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, but each little step you take improves your chances of success in the long run.
Bio: Richard Larson is blogger and Brand Manager for GoPromotional, leading online promotional mugs supplier.
Post Tags: blogging tips, captcha, contact page, images, syndication