This week I have spent more time reading blogs than I normally do. One blog I rarely read became my favorite blog this week. I’m not going to name the blog, but if you are a blogger, see if the shoe (or, in this case, blog) fits.
My favorite blog:
- loads quickly. Many readers of blogs do not have the patience (or time) to wait for your blog to load. Bloggers need to choose quick-loading templates and limit widgets and add-ons that tend to slow things down.
- makes it easy to comment on posts. Professional bloggers want as many comments as possible. Choose settings so that anyone may comment and also do not moderate the comments. Any comments that are inappropriate may be deleted by you later. Another thing, don’t make readers fill out verification forms (CAPTCHA). There are other ways to avoid spam comments.
- has the blogger’s picture prominent. Readers like to know they are talking to a real person. Another thing, information about the blogger is prominently displayed. People are wary, especially in our electronic age. They want to know about you before offering up a comment. Let them know who you are. (That doesn’t mean handing out phone numbers and addresses. Be cautious but as open as you find comfortable.)
- has the subscription form easy to find at the top. And I subscribed! Don’t hide your light (subscription form) under a bushel if you’re looking for regular readers.
- is simple, clean, and easy to navigate. Don’t have your blog so busy, or so cutsey, that it’s distracting.
- has an easy-to-read font that is dark black on a white background. Reading from a computer screen is difficult enough. Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be.
- uses one striking image per post. One or two should suffice for anyone except professional photographers.
- shares incidents from his/her life. Now, I’m going out on a limb with this last one. How often have you read: Give the reader something they can use; Make it about the reader; Readers won’t come back if you don’t fulfill their needs? The thing is—sometimes we can give the reader what he/she needs without stifling self. Readers want to know about you. And this blogger is brave enough to share. What readers do not want from bloggers is self-centeredness: READ MY BOOK. I AM A GREAT WRITER., etc. They do want to know your heartaches and trials. They do want to know how you handle adversity. They do want to know if you have a sense of humor. They do want to know if you can be trusted. By learning about you, they can also come away from your blog with something useful—if only a chuckle for the day. Don’t hide yourself. Let us, your readers, get to know you.
Do you have a favorite blogger? Does her/his blog share any of these characteristics?