I don’t know why some things strike me as funny, but these two pics got me.
Not only do I have a blog, I also love reading blogs and entering other blogger’s giveaways.
While there are some great blogs out there that I love, I have to admit that I am just like anyone else…first impressions matter, and I have often left a blog just because of the layout. The content might have been fun or interesting but if it’s not easy to navigate or is hard on the eyes, I leave. And you can assume other readers do the same thing.
Here are a few tips you can use to improve your blog and make it more user friendly.
1. Make it easy for your readers to follow you.
You just found a blog you like and decide you want to sub via your reader or like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, so you pop over to the sidebar and…you can’t find their follow options. After a quick scroll up and down trying to locate them in the cluttered mess of buttons, badges, gadgets and widgets, you give up, leave the site and forget all about that blog. Studies have shown that when online, people naturally look up and to the right for contact type information, so put your FB/Twitter/subscribe/G+ follow options right there- all in one place. Or get a plugin that floats the linking buttons on either side of your blog. When you have a giveaway with several follow options as entries, don’t make readers search for twenty minutes to find out how to do that. When I can’t find a way to follow you- I leave.
2. Clean your sidebars.
Don’t put every gadget you run across on your sidebar- not that many people want to watch the swimming fish or the unicorn jumping over the cloud. It just makes your site look messy and hard to navigate. We all need ads to cover hosting costs and other expenses related to our blogs, or to pay the phone bill or whatever but place them wisely. People don’t really care if you have ads, they just don’t want to see a jumbled mess of them crammed into every nook and cranny. If you do have a lot of ads, do your best to keep them nice, neat and organized. Sometimes you can’t re-size them and that’s fine, but at least try to graduate them in size or make a spot just for them, so your readers are not bombarded when they land on your home page. And don’t put ads in the middle of your posts. No one likes to be involved in the story of that time when Great-Auntie Winnepeg lost her teeth at Mr. Savey’s Market only to be confronted with an ad on how to raise your own jellyfish for fun and profit, chances are – they won’t finish reading. Keep your ads, just keep them out of your content.
3. Turn OFF the music.
Just turn it off.
4. Tone down that color scheme.
I kid you not, I ran across a blog not too long ago that had neon yellow sidebars, a black background and red text. After I woke up from my fainting spell, I promptly closed the tab. For all I know I am missing out on the funniest, most engaging blog writer EVER, but with a color scheme like that…I doubt it. Bright, happy colors are fine. They are cheerful, YAY!! but stop and think… is your blog really readable? Is it hard on the eyes of those that have left their 30’s and have three different eyeglass prescriptions? If you have popping hearts and little frogs kissing in a rainbow pond…will drop ins think you have something to say or will they think they landed on a tween ” I hart froggies” blog?
5. If you have adult content or content that may offend.
Keep it if that’s what you are about, but perhaps think about a little disclaimer so folks that don’t actually enjoy raunchy posts aren’t caught off guard. They found you because you posted a terrific recipe for mock apple pie, so decided to browse around. They loved your post with the funny pic of the polar bear, then began to read about the new dress you bought, and BOOM! they are f-bombed and grossed out because you are sharing about something that happened when you wore it the first time and… took it off the first time. Give your readers a choice about what they want to read. Just add a little something at the top that says Adult or Caution or RED LIGHT POST. I know I appreciate it when bloggers do that. Just because I don’t enjoy cussing and other R-rated things doesn’t mean I don’t like other stuff on your blog. Being considerate is nice. Thank you
6. Turn off captcha.
Just turn it off.
7. Link to yourself.
If you can naturally add a link to another one of your posts, do it. We like to see what else you have to say. Just like getting lost on YouTube because you followed a trail of similar links- getting your readers to click through and find other fun stuff is a good way to make sure they come back. I linked to two of my posts in #5. Did you go see what the polar bear was about?
8. Check your spelling.
Please? We all miss things now and then, yes. I have a sticky space bar, a screwy right shift and my B,N,S and T keys have to be hammered in order to register the letter, so I am forever going back to fix something. Pleese tacke a minut to fix you’re spelling an grammer so its easer to read that grate post you wrot abut you new cooking clases and why you love capree pands. their is just not enugh time in my day too waed threw an articl that is sew full of mistakkes that it lukks like a furst graeder wrot it.
So, that’s it. 8 Ways to make your blog better by bedtime. Maybe not tonight’s bedtime, but most of these are tweaks that don’t take too long to do.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any pet peeves about blogs? Leave me a comment and tell me about it.
Apparently, Korean boy bands aren’t exactly like American boy bands. They’ve got tons of members so it’s a little harder to pick your favorite, they replace members frequently so if you do have a fave, he might not be there for long. And naturally their songs are sung in Korean, which makes it a little inconvenient, since I’ve had this song stuck in my head all day, and I can’t make heads nor tails of the words except for the occasional English phrase like, “Blow your mind” “Baby” and “Alright” so I’ve just been going around the house singing “Mister simple, simple… Mister simple, simple…” over and over and over again. The boys are quite stylish, too. Because I’m so nice, I thought I’d share, so you too can get it stuck in your head. May I present……. SUPER JUNIOR!!! *The first few seconds are just an intro- wait for the catchy part*
These were emailed to me- if you know who to credit, let me know. Priceless Face Palms from DUMB folks!!
***A criminal who broke into a couple’s house started to take the TV, but instead he turned it on and began to watch. He supposedly liked the program that was on and laid down on the bed. Since it was at night he was tired and fell asleep. So when the couple came home the next day they found him and called the police.
*** A bus carrying five passengers was hit by a car in St. Louis, but by the time police arrived on the scene, fourteen pedestrians had boarded the bus and had begun to complain of whiplash injuries and back pain.
***Athens, Georgia: Demetrius Robinson, 28, wanted to rob a Golden Pantry store late one night, but he needed to pass the time as naturally as possible until he and the clerk were alone, so he decided to fill out a job application. Not a bad idea, except he left his real name on the application, along with his uncle’s phone number. After he robbed the store, it didn’t take long for police to track him down. He didn’t get the job.
***Marysville, California: Arthur Cheney, 64, was arrested after police spotted him driving a car that resembled one used in a local bank robbery. Something told them that they had their man when they noticed a yellow Post-It note on the car’s center console with a handwritten message reading, “Robbery – 100s and 50s only.”
***Boyds, Maryland: While awaiting trial for murder and armed robbery, inmate Quinton Thomas sent a friendly letter to a chum suggesting that he kill any witnesses who were planning to testify against him. He figured he could be so bold because he knew that the prison staff didn’t screen outgoing mail. However, he must’ve sent the letter to the wrong address or affixed the wrong postage, because it was sent back “Return to Sender,” making it INCOMING mail, which IS screened by the staff. He was convicted on three new counts — one of solicitation to commit murder and two of witness intimidation — in addition to the original charges.
I did this one a little different- what do you think this guy is shooting at? To find the answer go HERE, I added the “uncensored” pic to the bottom of that post. Please leave me your guesses. Then go see if you were close! Don’t reveal the answer after you’ve checked, though! Clue- It’s not what you think! LOL
Thanks for the electric guitar you gave me for Christmas,” little Chris Cody said to his uncle the first time he saw him after the holidays. “It’s the best present I ever got.”
”That’s great,” said his uncle. “Do you know how to play it?”
”Oh, I don’t play it,” the little fellow said. “My mom gives me a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five dollars a week not to play it at night.