I’ve already written a post on the basics, 10 Things Every Blogger Should Know, click here if you haven’t read it. I’ve learned so much more now that I’ve been doing this for over one year, that I’m taking the opportunity to share with you here:
1. White Screen vs. a Black Screen.
Images really stand out on black screens; however whenever I get to a blog that is black I leave as quickly as I can because I find the contrast between the white type and the black background hurts my eyes (any other colour will, at some point, clash with the colours in your images) so that’s why I think white is the best colour.
Here is an interesting poll Problogger did on them both—the comments are worth reading as well.
2. Get a professional looking header for your blog.
Those of you that have read this blog since the beginning know I went for months without one. If you are serious about blogging, your header is a huge part of your image. Remember, first impressions are everything!
3. Make your blog look bigger.
There is a wider template you can select. I changed mine after about 6 months of blogging because blogging about design and colour is all about the images so I found it looked better when I could make the images bigger. Also most people have larger screens these days so your small blog will look even smaller on a large screen.
4. Choose your images carefully.
I get a lot of positive feedback on the [beautiful] images I use because they also define my decorating style. It’s one of the reasons I like to click on House of Turquoise blog because I know when I get there, I’m always going to see a stunning image.
Remember every photo on your blog speaks to your style and personal taste, so ask yourself if you’d want it on a billboard with your name on it when you write your next post.
If you haven’t started your blog yet, don’t make the same mistake I did. I know I’ll have to switch eventually but I’m currently resisting the whole idea because of how much work I think it’ll be.
Update based on comments: If you are a hobby blogger, Blogger is great, however if you want to monetize your blog someday, apparently that is why WordPress or Typepad is the way to go!
Basically the way someone explained it to me was, using Blogger is like having a car that only has a steering wheel and nothing else. That’s how many more features and widgets WordPress has available.
6. Inject your Personality into your blog.
Anyone can start a design/colour blog and just start cutting and pasting pretty pictures but we want to know who you are [as well as what you know].
As Gary Veynerchuck says in this video (below). “In a world that’s changing so quickly, where everything is transparent and every part of your movement is captured, what’s going to happen is that the good people will win, and the bad will lose.”
7. Pick the area where you are the expert and that you are passioniate about, and talk about that!
As we’ve been reading, because we are on the wild, wild, web with an audience of millions, your niche can be small and you can still do well! If you don’t love your topic, you will lose interest fast!
Here’s a great post on How to Blog about the Same Thing as Everyone Else (and still stand out).
Very important-If you are just selling your business and not offering any value–no one will read your blog! So give us information and let us see how brilliant you are. Then we’ll get that you are the expert we should hire pronto!
8. Comment, comment, comment.
95% of people that read your blog will never comment—it certainly didn’t occur to me to comment inside the 6 months I spent reading blogs before I started mine–and 95% of the comments you receive will be from other bloggers.
It doesn’t matter how famous you already are, if you don’t create relationships with your readers and respond to emails or follow commenting etiquette, (which is to post a comment in return when you get one) your blog will not grow as fast. That is also how other people will find you, so start commenting!
9. Use Paragraphs Please!
Have you ever tried reading a typed page with no paragraphs? It’s very hard on the eyes, you look up and back, and have to scan to see where you left off and because it’s hard to read [personally] I lose interest quickly and move on.
Read this article by Problogger to find out if your blog is scannable!
Sometimes even one sentence works well to make a point!
10. Be prepared to work hard.
I can’t even remember what my life was like before I started blogging. Since November 2008 when I started my blog I’ve been obsessed and spend an average of 2 – 5 hours a day writing posts, answering emails and commenting on other blogs.
It took 10 months of writing an average of 4-5 posts a week to get high enough in google rankings so that local readers are now finding my blog. I also do on-line consultations as well; however I would say 90% of the business I have received in the last 6 months is because of this blog!
So hang in there, start your blog (or don’t give up), let us get a sense of who you are and be generous with the content you share, and if you have any more tips to add, please leave a comment below. I look forward to reading your blog!
Couple points from the comments: Please turn off your word verification (it is truly a pain) and if you set comment moderation for after 2 or 3 days you can reject spam before it posts to your site as most of it comes on old posts anyway.
Also switching your template to a bigger one does not delete anything.
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