OK so I did a little research on, well, blogging. It’s something that I’m doing so I should probably have a clue right? (Insert ‘Ooops’ here). So blogging is nothing new. I’m sure that even a lot of my readers either have blogs or have tried their hand at the task once or twice. It’s the same for me, this is far from being my first blog, but I have to say
that this is my most prolific blog. I’ve really enjoyed working on both the site and its content. If nothing else having pretty ‘granular’ (otherwise called super detailed) control over the site has made a huge difference in just HOW much interest I have in the site.
I have a big problem with being excessively curious. I’m one of those people that would push an ‘End of the World’ button before they’d have a chance to throw out a ‘Do not Touch’ sign. OK, while I wouldn’t recommend my ‘Trial and Error’ methodology, I’ve gotta say it works for me. After you’ve nuked a few things you learn how to fix them up, AND you learn how important it is to make a back up before… Oh, heh, I’ll have to remember to do that next time.
So just where am I rambling off to? Well at the end of the post I’ll link up a couple of informative articles on blogging and I wanted to point out some things I’m doing with my blog to improve it a tad.
General Blogging Tips
What are the pros doing? I’m always floored when I listen to WoW vets talking about who they asked to get a good strategy for a nasty boss fight. Sometimes it helps to learn from others. I take a look at the blogs that are doing. I don’t compare the content or the writing style, (that’s gotta be all me). I do take a look at the tools bloggers use to make it easier for readers to use their site. I also look for things the author does to encourage readers.
Making it Easier for Readers
Feeds – I’ve always been a big fan of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds. Basically it’s just a beefy text file with blog posts in. Really they’re just set up so that machines can read them and so that machines can make it easy for people to read them. RSS feeds make it easier for people to read blogs without actually having to navigate out to visit the blog. It also makes it easier for phones and such to take a look at the content without having to download the rest of the blog (which can take freakin’ forever).
Post Lists – Another handy tool I see a lot are ‘Top Posts’ lists and ‘Recent Posts’ lists. These can make it easier for the reader to get right to the info they want to see. Always golden.
Site Links - A list of blog’s page lists helps the reader get to what they want to see. I’ve also noticed that folks who’ve written up guides have a set of links to those guides even if they’re set up as blog posts. After all, chances are that’s what folks are coming to see.
Page Loading – This one is kind of annoying. Everyone has
been to a site that takes forever to load because there’s either a ton of content or it’s got a ton of pictures. Honestly I love sites that have a ton of pictures, but it kind of erks me to have to load ‘em all at once. It’s like when you get the 20,000 baby pictures via e-mail (/sigh) cute but yeah, takes time. My site is a little more intense too because the new lists are all reading from my blog and throwing up the lists (not literally throwing up
though I hope). So I cut back on the number of posts on the front page and now the site loads a lot faster.
Contact ME – Now I’m totally guilty of this one. Sometimes folks don’t want to leave a comment. I’ve been there too and understand. While there is a contact form built into my blogging tool, I didn’t have an e-mail
address link anywhere. For the most part it’s just to prevent spam, but it’s
also discouraging to readers, not golden.
Top Commenters – Here’s another handy list that shows who’s actually been leaving comments on your blog. The more readers comment, the
higher they appear on the list. I took a look at just adding a ‘Recent Comments’ list, but it just seemed a bit cluttered. Whichever way you go is totally cool, but either way shows your readers that you’re totally stoked with actually getting comments. Seriously it makes my day.
There’s a bunch of other stuff I want to do with my blog and my site. I’m sure there’s even more stuff I haven’t even thought of yet. But for now I wanted to comment on what I’m doing so that maybe it’ll help other folks out too. You never know right?
How to Write a Successful Blog: Link
9 Lessons for would be Bloggers: Link
Twenty Usability Tips for Your Blog: Link
Blogengine.Net is the program that actually makes my blog work. It’s built by volunteers who spend their spare time coming up with new and brilliant ways to make Blogengine.Net cooler. To give credit where it’s due here’s the tools I’m using for my blog.
Top Commenters: Link – this is the tool that builds the ‘Top Commenters’ list found in the sidebar of my blog.
Top Posts: Link – this tool builds the ‘Top Posts’ list in my blog sidebar.