7 Ways to Build a Better Blog — 32 Comments

  1. Thanks to this timely blog, I discovered the HEMINGWAY site. Truly, I have my kids proof-read mine. Otherwise, I would blog more (-:

    Good idea to test links in articles frequently too .

    • Good point about testing links, Magda! (as I scurry off to make sure all my links still work LOL). I know you can’t check ALL of them … but it makes good sense anyway.

  2. I always look for a way that I can pass their Blog Piece on or Follow them. Like you said. Sometimes it’s not enough information to find who is writing or to be able to tell other’s about the Blog.
    I do like the Hemingway. I spend way to many hours and time editing then what I wrote. I still find mistakes later.

    I’m gonna get that. These were great starting points!
    Personally I like a NoTe or Comment just to let me know you stopped by!

    • I like it when folks comment as well, True. Unfortunately, that’s not something we can control. I’m terrible about leaving comments unless it’s something I feel strongly about. If I don’t have anything to contribute, I will share the link or something, but when you follow 200+ blogs, there isn’t enough time in the day to comment on them all, so I get it.

  3. I would add paying attention to font style and size. I am patient and can tolerate a lot, but when I saw a blog in some curly font (don’t know the name) in RED, no less, I was out in a flash.

  4. Excellent advice Jenny! One issue involving #3 and opening links in new windows: I actually DON’T do this for this reason: some of my readers are visually impaired and they use an automated voice reader which speaks the text to them. These automated systems can get confused when a new window opens.

    Also for this reason, I always make there there is ALT text in the hyperlink to explain to the automated system what the link represents and where it will take the reader.


    • Again, Thomas … you think of everything! I honestly had never even considered that aspect of it. Of course, I need to know how all that stuff works. Sounds like webinar fodder to me … let me know when you get that scheduled 🙂

  5. Excellent advice. I always test my links, every single one and do have them open in a new window. I would like to find another word processor for creating my posts. I use Live Writer and find it limiting at times.
    Thank you,

  6. These are some great things to keep in mind Jenny. I too am going to check out Hemingway. (And I may be just lazy, but I like it when I can subscribe to a blog and have it sent to my email.)

  7. Thanks, Michelle! I hope you like Hemingway as much as I do. I agree with subscription options – every blog should have an email option and an RSS option, in my opinion. Granted, mine only has Feedly right now, but it’s really only because I haven’t had time to investigate any other options. Believe it or not, there are people who hate getting blogs via email (me) and there are people who hate reading via RSS.

  8. I also use LiveWriter with my blogspot one. Because it’s so much like Words , I guess ? I hate the WYSWYG ones ( stuck with it on my Drupal blog). I personally feel that the editor programs offered is what prevent many people from writing /blogging.

    I would be interested in knowing how you go it with Google Documents.

    • I don’t actually use Google Drive to write my posts. I typically write them directly in my blog editor (WordPress), but have been known to write one or two in Word and then paste them into the editor.

      I prefer WYSIWYG (it just saves me from having to preview over and over), but the option is there to use HTML … do you prefer to use HTML to write your posts, Magda? I’m actually looking at new themes for my blog because the current is kinda wonky with formatting.

    • I might even chalk that up as one of my pet peeves, Kristina. I find it difficult to evaluate the validity of the information in a blog post if I can’t tell when it was written.

  9. First off I haven’t found time to blog anything, but I do read several regularly. My biggest gripe is when I get hint to read something (mostly DIY stuff right now) and I am looking for specific information I would like to find it without reading every single entry that has been posted. Nothing like reading several posts looking for a particular brand of something (or research hint) only to have it jumbled up with posts about layer cake recipes and then back to paint techniques. I love headers where the posts are sorted out. Some sort of ‘filing system’ is really helpful and keeps me coming back.
    I love all the tips you gave and the comments were great. Thanks for the info.

    • Agreed, Scaloot. Very frustrating indeed. If I refer back to a prior post or someone else’s article, I always try to include a direct link if possible. On my own blog, I have a list of categories (or tags) to make it easier to find similar posts. Search boxes make it easy for readers to find specific things on your blog too (I’m currently working on trying to figure out why mine disappeared since last week – it’s a big deal for me).

    • Christopher, I love the look of your blog (! You’ve got lots of very well though-out posts. I also like the way you’ve utilized landing pages for your surnames too (something I’ve never gotten around to doing).

      The only thing missing is a search bar. Your sidebar is pretty crowded and chaotic, too. If I could, I would like to make a couple of suggestions:

      1. Lose the “share” boxes for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. in your sidebar. You don’t need them if you have the buttons at the bottom of each post – and it takes up valuable space

      2. Put your follow button at the top. Don’t want to lose subscribers because they can’t find a way to follow your blog!

      3. Remove the G+ followers block from your sidebar, especially if you’re keeping it private – it doesn’t do anything for you.

      4. You can probably safely remove the “about me” box from your sidebar since you have an About Page (which probably also includes your contact info). Just make sure you keep your name somewhere on your blog.

      I know these are completely unsolicited … so feel free to ignore them or tell me to mind my own beeswax. I’m from the “less is more” school, so these are things that stand out to me.

  10. All fabulous advice Jenny. Just one thing that I find annoying on some blog sites, is trying to find a contact for the person. They take the time to write something, but there’s no obvious way to contact them! Makes no sense to me.

  11. Your rule #1 applies to visual annoyance too. Busy backgrounds, blue type on black backgrounds, blogs with HUGE HEADLINES and then teeny tiny body test — what’s the point of putting up a blog if the output is like getting a sharp stick in the eye?

    A blog should be easy to read.

    My other peeve? floating ads which obscure the text. Ditto sharing buttons that obscure the text (I’m looking at you,

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