Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More Blogging Smarts

For those who came here to read about spankings, please scroll down the page and you won't be disappointed. This post is the continuation of a list of blogging tips I started back in March. I've been promising to add to it ever since, and today's the day I actually will.

You may recall my forty suggestions for bloggers. At the time, I thought it was a reasonably complete list, and perhaps it was. However, I've thought of twenty five more in the meantime and I'd like to share them with you.
  1. Pace your posts. Many readers examine only your most recent article. If you post much more than once per day, even your regular visitors may miss seeing some of your best work.

  2. Pace your comments too. I've discovered that some readers will not comment after I have responded because they think the discussion is now over. As a result, I sometimes purposely wait several hours before weighing in.

  3. Variety is the spice of life. It also spices up a blog. Avoid posting two similar features back to back. If possible, separate them with a very different post.

  4. When quoting another blog, be sure to reference and link both the author (using the main blog page) and the specific post. Proper citations are a sign of respect.

  5. Do what you can to fight spam comments. I use the word verification feature in Blogger. It's a pain, but it's superior to the alternative. If you get a spam comment anyway, simply delete it without mention.

  6. If your blog is intended for a mature audience, beware of links to or from vanilla blogs or web sites. These can cause problems that no one needs. If a vanilla blog has linked you, you may want to write the owner and politely ask them to remove the link.

  7. Conversely, if your blog is linked by a site you feel is very offensive, you might consider writing to them. This is far from a sure proposition, but it might work.

  8. Many bloggers like to hide long posts "behind the cut." This is a technique whereby they display the first part of a post as a teaser and then ask the reader to click a link to see the rest. This approach has a place, but I tend not to use it. I believe that visitors often skim rather than reading. If something catches their eye, they will dig deeper. However, if the good parts lie behind the cut, these readers will never spot them.

  9. I find that unless a post is positively riveting, many readers lose patience somewhere around 1000-1500 words. Consequently, even an excellent post can be more effective if broken into bite sized pieces.

  10. Most readers never explore a blog's archives. It's sad but true. For them, all those great old posts simply never happened. You can encourage visitors to look around by adding navigational aids such as thematic links, or better yet, drop down boxes.

  11. Be safe. Like a superhero, you must protect your secret identity. If you doubt the importance of this point, consider Fresh Air Lover's recent experience.

  12. When another blog mentions your blog or cites your material, it is good practice to publicly thank them for their kind gesture. Especially if it's a leading blog, these folks are doing you a tremendous favor by sending you traffic and readers.

  13. If you are fortunate enough to have your blog reviewed, be sure to mention that on your blog, thank the reviewer, and be gracious. Even if you don't agree with everything said, there no benefit in issuing a rebuttal.

  14. You may encounter spam blogs that steal your text, or more likely snippets of your text, in order to draw hits from search engines. As of today, there isn't much we can do about these creeps. Save your energy for a worthwhile fight.

  15. Structure your text for easy reading. Avoid long paragraphs and run-on sentences. If you intimidate the reader with huge blocks of impenetrable text, they aren't likely to hear what you have to say.

  16. An artistic presentation is wonderful, but people need to be able to read your text. If the text color is too close to the background color, it will be difficult to discern. Many visitors will choose not to work that hard.

  17. While we're talking about text and readability, if you're expecting any visitors over the age of, oh, say 35, you'll want to select a clean font and a reasonably large point size. I find the default text size in many templates to be too small.

  18. If you see other blogs whose presentation you like, it's perfectly acceptable to view the source from your browser to see how the creator achieved that appearance. I wouldn't recommend stealing their code verbatim, but examining code is a good way to learn.

  19. It's all right to be outrageous or controversial sometimes, as long as it fits the theme of your blog. Many readers like a good rant once in a while. Just make sure you know when you're ranting and, for the readers' sake, please label it as such.

  20. Every time you have an idea for a post, write it down immediately, even if you don't think it's a very good one.

  21. Maintain a file of post ideas. Consult it when you need a topic.

  22. Consider incorporating regular features. I tend to have irregular features, but I have quite a few of them including Spanking 101, top ten lists, the mailbag, the Sunday brunch, and now, the spankologue. These provide a certain continuity. It gives readers a reason to return. Some folks actually do something different for each day of the week. I'm not that organized, but it's not a bad idea.

  23. Remember that the Web is a flexible medium. You needn't stick to a diary format. Your entries don't have to be prose. Consider poetry, humor, music, video, games, or whatever you think readers might enjoy.

  24. Last time, I suggested having a format, a theme, and a brand. That's still good advice, but the trick is to not define these so rigidly that you run out of material or find your blog cannot naturally evolve. A blog is an organic entity. Most successful blogs change and grow throughout their existence. Sometimes, blogs move in directions that their creators could not have foreseen at the beginning. Don't be afraid to redefine your blog when opportunity knocks.

  25. Never miss a chance to say "thank you" to all of the people who have helped you! Especially, don't forget to acknowledge your partner.
As I said in the previous article, I'm no expert on web design, marketing, or blogging for that matter. But I have picked up a few tricks along the way that assist me in this endeavor. I hope they will help you as well.

Please note that I have posted a third article in the Blogging Smarts series.


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14 comments :

CeeCi said...

Bonnie,

Number 25 back to you. You've been valuable to me! You are truly amazing.

CeeCi

Yours said...

thanks for all the great info!!

and thanks for everything i get from your blog!!

freshairlover said...

That's really good advice. Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

I always love reading your blog, Bonnie!!!

*hugs*
Tigger

Daniellle said...

Thank you Bonnie. That's a new list to keep with the other one.

Shimon said...

As a suggestion to have your readers keep coming back, offer a free spanking with every certain number of visits

Fireman Chris said...

Great stuff, Bonnie, especially for those of us who are new to the world of blogging.

Chris

Storm Rider said...

I have just came to the conclusion that I have failed in almost every one of the things you have mentioned!
Oh Well, keeps my X-mas list small!LOL

wind walker said...

i was going to leave a well thought out, incredibly insightful comment about your post, but then i saw a certain gentleman's comment & my thoughts flew out the window!!

good suggestions though.

Bonnie said...

CeeCi - Thank you. Your remarkable talent continues to be an inspiration.

Yours - You are most welcome!

Fresh - Thanks. I've thought about you a lot this week. I hope things are beginning to return to something close to normal.

Tigger - Thanks. I'm always glad to see your comments.

Danielle - You're welcome.

Shimon - Do you really think my readers want me to spank them? :D

Chris - Thanks, though you are fortunate to have a wonderful resource right beside you.

Storm and Wind - Thanks! I hope things are progressing well at your new blog and in every other way too.

Shimon said...

first , I only said a spanking, I did say weather it was giving or getting. It could be the choice of the reader. In any event, as for me, the answer to your question is a definate yes.

SmartNnaughty said...

Bonnie,

Your list is again a wonderful thing. It is common sense and I follow most of them (I think). But, as always, I can improve.

You have been a terrific blog role model. I learn so much from you. THank you for all that you do for us spankos and us bloggers--now don't critique the grammar there; it is too late to figure out the right way to type that! *grin*

SNN

Bonnie said...

Shimon - Hmmm... Now that would certainly be a change of pace.

SNN - Thanks. You've made tremendous strides with your blog. If I've played any role in that success, then I'm delighted to be able to help.

Kittygirl said...

Thanks so much the blogging advice. It is very much appreciated.

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