Everyone wants an audience, whether you’re posting cutsey cat pictures or spewing vitriol about some pop culture wave that ticks you off. Yet few site owners are aware of what makes a GOOD site. Some of the worse offenses include: ugly design (this may be subjective, but come on, there’s some BAD taste out there), cluttered pages with too many flashing doodads, the information isn’t organized in a logical way, or the posts are JUST PLAIN UNRELATABLE because they’re too obscure or, ugg, trite. Are you engaging in bad blog behavior? Let’s find out.
Font, size, and background color are extremely important. If a reader has to squint at the neon green type or dig for a clear menu, they’ll be outta there in three seconds. Choose a large and clear font in a readable color (not a pretty one). Select menu tabs that are located CLEARLY near the top of the page with headings that indicate EXACTLY what the page is about. Finally, choose a background color wisely. Whether you realize it or not, it communicates a subconscious message to readers. Is it hot pink? Then it must be a chick lit or romance blog. Is it black or another dark shade? It must be a site that offers supernatural or heavy content. Be aware and CHOOSY about the message you’d like to send.
Keep it shortish. 250-350 words is the goal, not a rambling post the reader has to scroll through for fifteen minutes. People want to spend five minutes on your blog, or less in many cases! Keep it short or lose readers. There’s plenty of other enticing websites out there that get it right.
See how I’ve done that? It helps categorize the material so readers can skim the parts that don’t interest them and jump right to what counts. So now I’ve kept readers who may not have stuck around to begin with. They’ll notice the layout of the post is appealing and may even want to see what other juicy tidbits the site offers.
There’s been a lot research lately that shows people are more likey to follow a link, comment, or participate in a discussion if they see a photo with an article or post. We’re talking more than 70% more likely! We’re visual creatures. Display an appealing image that relates to the content.
There’s a lot to this little category, so I’ll bullet a few of the bigger ideas below.
- Consider your audience. Who would you like to reach? Write posts targeted toward their interest. If a topic doesn’t relate to your platform once in awhile that’s okay, but generally keep them relevant.
- Give back. Readers want to take something away from your posts since they’re spending their precious time on your site, whether it be information, inspiration, or motivation.
- Be careful with your opinions. If you’re likely to offend a larger number of people than the number you’ll attract, refrain from posting. If it’s an issue you simply must address, fine. But be prepared for potential fall out.
For the love of all that’s holy, do NOT harrass, insult, mimick, or abuse your commentors/reviewers/fellow bloggers. You just wind up looking like an asshole with a thin skin—EVEN IF YOU’RE RIGHT! Take the high road. ALWAYS. Remember, you want to drive traffic to your page, not away.
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