Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 1/28/16

Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 1/28/16

Respond in a timely manner.

As I have mentioned I try to spend a few hours every day reading and networking in the blogosphere.  During my reading sessions I will comment when warranted in anticipation of a great conversation.  And then crickets!  7 days later (or longer!) I receive a response from said blogger, but by that time I have read so much other stuff that I really don’t recall what the comment was about; nor do I care any longer.  This scenario happens often.  Be the blogger that pays attention to your house.  If you don’t care enough about your blog to respond to someone in a timely manner, then I don’t care either.  And neither will the rest of the community.  Responding a week later is not responding in a timely manner, imho.   People respond when you respond back immediately.  My personal rule is to respond within an hour when at all possible, but never more than 6.

To What Do I Attribute My Growth?

On Saturday, Emily, who blogs over on Blogspot, emailed me and asked me how I get people to follow my blog.  And the answer is…I’m not really sure if I’m being completely honest.  I believe part of it has to do with being sincere and honest and not hiding anything from my readers.  Part of it has to do with be willing to create a community. And lastly, I try to create content that I believe adds value to people’s lives. This is the one thing I think many bloggers miss.  Content is so important.  I never just write something to have something to post.  Often times I read through several posts on a page and it simply doesn’t captivate me.  Then I read a page like Fonz or A New Perspective Perhaps or Power Plant Men and I can’t stop reading. So what separates these from the crowd?  I believe it is the honesty that I get from the words that they write.  I like to see vulnerability, compassion, love, anger, frustration and…honesty.  If you want more people to read your stuff, then write something people want to read; have an opinion!  Seems simple, but many miss this.

When to Follow back

This question continues to pop up and I am not sure if there is a right answer.  In the beginning stages of my blog I utilized the Follow-for-Follow strategy.  It worked, but a problem arose in that too many Followed blogs made it difficult to navigate Reader so I stopped the practice.  With that said, I am also not sure why so many bloggers battle with this issue.  If you enjoy a blog, Follow; if not, then don’t Follow.

Open the Post

Any time I see an image or meme someone has posted in Reader I am always cognizant to click on the subject header and open the post.  Why would I do this if I have already viewed the image?  Good question!  I do this to ensure the blogger receives credit for my view.  If I only view the image from Reader, the artist or photographer doesn’t get credit for me having viewed their post.  And as I have confessed, I am an avid stat watcher and understand the value of giving someone their just rewards!  I find this to be rewarding on my end as I know that I have been a considerate participant in the community.  I understand no one will know, but I also believe it is this mentality of others first that helps me grow.

Add a Featured Image

I have noticed that not everyone uses images in their posts.  I do at times, other times I do not.  But what I try to do even on reblogs is add a Featured Image.  Why?  I do this because an image header will draw more attention in Reader than a post without.  When you have no Featured Image, your post hits the market as a simple block ad with a subject header and text.  Very easy for the eyes to scroll past.  But an image, on the other hand, will draw the eye and increase the chances of a visit!

Open Link in a New Window

What does this even mean?  Ever noticed that little box you leave unchecked when creating links?  Why is that there?  Another great question!!  You guys are on a roll!  That box is there to help you with a little known stat called Bounce Rate.  Bounce rate is a measurable that reveals how many people are hitting your page and then leaving without viewing other pages.  A low bounce rate is desirable if your goal is to have people combing through your webpage.  My bounce rate is around 45% which is a little higher than my goal of 40%.  Anywho, to help you get your rate down and encourage people to visit more pages, I suggest clicking the Open Link in a New Window box any time you are creating a link to an external page (i.e. New York Times, other blog pages, LifeHack, etc.).  Not one of the most important tips I’ve ever given, but I thought I would mention it as someone asked about it on Tuesday.

Make Your Page Reader Friendly

I think this happens because people are simply unaware these feature can be changed. Too many blogs have fonts that are too small or fonts that make for difficult reading.  Or a background that makes it nearly impossible to decipher the words.  Never forget that your page isn’t for you, but for the reader!  Don’t select fonts that make it difficult on the eyes or people will leave your page.  I mention this because this week I saw 3 pages that used a font or background that drove me to leave their page.  I recommend adjusting your font size in theme settings and choosing a font that is more of a block style.  Just a thought…

Be a “Considerate Blogger”

I am coining a new phrase: “Considerate Blogger.”  I have 2 basic focuses in my blogging “style.”  First, to produce quality content that adds value to those that read my stuff. Secondly, to focus on helping others and being a Considerate Blogger.  What do I mean by being a Considerate Blogger?  There are simple things I do everyday that stats tell me others do not.

  1. I always click on the original link when reading reblogs.  Always.  This is a way to make sure the reblogger and the reblogged get their credit.
  2. I always click on images in reader and view photographs from the bloggers home page.
  3. I always try to end my comments by signing my name.  Why?  I want everyone to know that I am not a generic responder.  When I respond, I do so genuinely and want that person to know my comment means something to me.  Therefore, I put my name behind my comment.
  4. I always respond to calls of action.  If a fellow blogger asks me to vote for them, or share their post or provides some other call, I respond if it is brought to my attention.  It only takes a few moments and means something to them, which means something to me.
  5. I share others information freely without expectation of anything in return.  Why is this so important?  I believe you must do for others what you want them to do for you.  If you want people to read your page, then you must read others.  If you want people to share your post, then you must share others.  If you want people to comment on your work, then you must first comment.  If you want people to click your links, then you must be a link clicker.

About That…

Fill out your about page.  This one baffles me and deters me from reading.  Here is my thought…let’s say you are talking about fitness.  In order for me to take your words seriously, I want to know who is talking to me.  Are you a fitness professional?  Are you qualified to speak on the subject?  What is your bio?  Have you included a photo? Honestly, I do not read a lot of posts that are done so anonymously.  If I don’t see an about page then I will usually just move on by.

Push Your Calls to Action to the Top of Your Margin

This is something I notice a lot.  If I visit your page I want to find things easily and quickly.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have to search to find Twitter/Facebook links or Email Subscription buttons.  Those are Calls to Action and should always be in the margin near the top right on your page.  Many of you need to rework your pages.  I say this not because I am an expert, but because I am a reader and find it difficult to navigate your page.

 

 

 

 

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84 thoughts on “Blogging Tips, Advice and Blog Strategies – 1/28/16

  1. Some great advice here, Danny. Particularly the segments on making a blog reader friendly. As someone in their first weeks of blogging, this is something I’ve been thinking about so your views are really helpful. Thanks!

      1. Great idea. There really is a lot to consider when formatting a blog. I’m still getting my head around it, particularly things like menus & widgets and where to put what lol.

      1. What this accomplishes, is opens up a new window for the other website, thus not closing yours and provides more opportunity for that person to quickly return and view more of your posts. Often times when someone clicks a link and visits another page, they get distracted and don’t return to you!
        Danny

  2. Good point on the CTA Dan, Based on heat map analysis, most visitors only scan pages in the ” F ” area, primarily over the top fold. So your observation is spot on.

    1. I added this to my list because during my morning reading I encountered 5 blogs that had their social media icons at the bottom of their page. I always seek those out, but most people would never see those. I mean they were buried!
      Danny

      1. I agree.. This happens with free themes like the one I am using currently. Of course I am running a multi variate test for the blog, so eventually I will do the necessary changes..

      2. I picked my theme for precisely two reasons. It provided a straight scroll down for my content and had a right sidebar for my extras.
        Danny

  3. Danny,
    I think many of the points you made are good.
    1. Signing off with your name always strikes a chord with me, because I know what to address them when I write back.
    2. As you give, so you receive.
    3. Writing posts that touch something and have a voice-sometimes this is dangerous because if discussing politics or religion for example, you can tread a few toes and a dissenting opinion might come up, which can disillusion you.
    Susie

    1. I agree on all three, but on #3 I don’t find that to be the case. When I post something that expresses a strong opinion, it is often my most read article. And stepping on a few toes is not always a bad thing. After all, look at the popularity of shock jock Howard Stern. He has made a living out of stepping on toes. People pay attention to different.
      Danny

      1. I can see that. I don’t have a problem with people getting upset at me. But having a strong opinion doesn’t necessarily mean you will get strong criticism. Some disagreeing with an opinion doesn’t mean criticism against you, it just means they disagree.
        Danny

  4. Thank you for these tips. Feel free to message or comment on my posts if any of these mistakes strike you on mine. I try to adjust little by little as I learn more.

    Thanks
    Kandace

      1. Hi Danny, the most helpful tip was to actually click on the links to blog posts instead of just reading from the Reader page. This way the writer can get an accurate number of how many people have read their post. – Emily

      2. That one is a personal favorite of mine. I believe if you do above and beyond for others that it will come full-circle and benefit you in the end!
        Danny

  5. I really enjoyed this post. And as a relatively new blogger, I am learning more about the process and you confirmed many of my suspicions (for example, I also prefer to go directly to a blog with a post that interests me, not just hit “like” on the reader). Thanks so much. – Iris

    1. I think that clicking on the original link is simple consideration. Some don’t practice this but I do because I want others to do the same for me. You don’t get without first giving!
      Danny

    1. Hello! I am happy you found my tips useful! I do blogging tips every Thursday so be sure to check back periodically for more. Also, you can search under Categories in my sidebar and find more under Blogging Tips! Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello!
      Danny

  6. I must admit I have been greatly helped by your posts. You come across as a considerate blogger and your posts live up to that name. Also, I feel I must extend a special thank you as many interesting people have poured into my life through your blog and the opportunity you afford people to meet and greet. God bless you and protect you and your family.

    Warmest and kindest regards,

    Sofia

    1. Sofia, you win the grand prize for nicest comment of the day. You have put a smile on my face and that is the best gift anyone could give! Your words encourage me to keep it up!
      Danny

  7. Yes, yes, and yes! Awesome points! I follow them all myself. Another thing that I would suggest others to do is to have either a home page or a side panel widget that lists their most recent posts. Sometimes it takes me a while to go visit someone’s page again and when they don’t have an easy way to find their recent posts it makes it difficult to figure out what I have missed.

  8. Thanks so much for the great tips! When I first started blogging, I didn’t realize that I was supposed to read the blog posts of others. I thought it was all about me. I didn’t realize that it was a community of people just like me that enjoyed writing and giving information. I’m learning daily and your posts are helpful. Thanks again!

    Sherri (just learned this tip 😉)

    1. That is funny because I was the exact same way! Then I realized I had to focus on others first. It makes smile to know my post helped you in some small way!!
      Danny

  9. Great post with lots of good tips. I knew most of them before. No 4. The signing post with your name was a new though for me. I’ve noticed you di that and I always thinks it’s a very nice thing to do, but I didn’t think of the reason. I have solved that name thing by putting my first name in the profile/gravatar. If I sign the comments with my name I have, up til now, thought that it’s looks like double signatures. But I might have to reconsider that. Thanks for a learning post 🙂
    Oh, I should end this comment with/Anna

    1. Anna, I am glad you liked the post. Yes, I share what has worked for me. I am coining a new phrase “Considerate Blogger” and I hope to help our community learn how to be kinder to each other by doing simple things. My practices have made a big impact on my blog and think it will help others as well.
      Danny

      1. “When you help others, you can’t help helping yourself” your post and your comment started the song in my head 🙂
        [http://youtu.be/JuUZiPh-h7c]

  10. “Honestly, I do not read a lot of posts that are done so anonymously.” This bit made me smile, because for ages I was anonymous and we chatted lots. I love the points, great post. I think the replying to comments quickly is important. Although I must say if someone comments after around 10pm then I might not get to it till the morning, but I always worry I might miss a comment if I don’t respond quickly, especially now when I get 40-100 comments (depends on what I have done that day)

    1. I do the same with late night comments. Most people understand though. And yes, you were one of only a couple anonymous sites that I interacted with much, if at all! But now you are no longer anonymous. lol
      Danny

      1. I feel quite proud of that fact 🙂 I do think it can be difficult sometimes when you are not sure of the country they may be in, I normally give most people 12 hours to respond and then assume they are rude, or wordpress has relegated me to the spam again

    1. There are millions of people every month starting up as new bloggers and they have no idea what they are doing. Some of them on WordPress find their way to my page and I want to be as helpful as I can. 🙂
      Danny

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