Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Finer Details: Making Your Blog Beautifully YOURS - Robin W.

“NEVER judge a book by its cover” ...well throw-away the key because I am guilty.

Often I pick a type of book, and then sort through them by looking for the most interesting; however, when it comes down to option A or option B, what is the deciding factor? The cover. How else should I shift through the thousands of books out there? You can tell so much by a cover. Is it a photo? Is it a painting? Is it pretty? Is it different?

Blogs are similar. There are thousands of cooking, travel, motherhood, faith, and just everyday life blogs out there. READERS automatically think: What makes this blog different, why should I read this blog?

Other than family, supporters, and friends—how do you gain readers or meet like-minded people? Well I am here to tell you there are few things you can do to make your blog originally yours.

simple changes, made personal:
1. Header
If a photo could express a million words, what photo would you pick? A family picture, desert landscape, a flower, a car? If a photo defined your blog...What would you pick? Your header matters. A cool website that helps you to edit photos and add text: http://www.photobucket.com/. Sign up for an account, and upload. After uploading your photos, click edit, and it will redirect you to many different features to edit photos. You can add the title of your blog, brighten up the colors, auto-fix red eye, and do many other very cool things. Photobucket is easy to use and helpful in enhancing photos. [Note: also helpful for newsletters]

Some examples of headers I have done in the past are:

How to do this? Gray Scale the photo [EXCEPT SIGN], add text.

How to do this? Fresno photo (makes it look painted), add text.

How to do this? Combine different photos, add text.

2. Widgets/Sidebar
Next to your post, what do people see? What is post important to you? There are many things you can add to your sidebar to improve travel on your blog. For me, most of my readers are subscription-based, so the first thing you will see is: "Email Subscriptions." I recommend email subscribing because it enhances the regularity of an everyday reader. They receive an email with your post as soon as it is posted. This might lower the amount of clicks on your blog directly, but it delivers posts directly to their email box. One downside is: the email often un-formats your pictures within the post.

Other sidebar/widget recommendations:
1. Photos : I have 4 photos in my side bar. One of myself, and then my three little brothers. Put a family photo in your side bar! Why? First-time reader's shouldn't have to search in your "About Me" to find your picture.

2. Archives/Search : Let people browse your old posts; make it easier by adding either archives or a search bar or BOTH. Very helpful.

3. Categories : Start to categorize your posts as you post, making it easy for readers to find the kind of post they want to read. Then add the categories widget to your sidebar.

4. Comments : This widget highlights the reader! Whenever a comment is posted--theirs or yours--it is added to the sidebar; thus, making it easy to see if someone replied to their comment.

Stay-tuned for the: EPIC Ending of this 4-part series.

Blessings from Jordan,
Robin W

[Security Blurb: Worried about who will see your blog, yet still want readers? What I did was block search engines, screen comments, and post in a different time zone. Simple things to change and helps avoid unwanted readers. Simply go under settings and change your privacy, time/date, and comments. For an individual step-by-step walk-through please email me or comment below. WARNING: WILL LOSE A LARGE READER-BASE, only do this if necessary.]

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...