Saturday, February 18, 2012

What I Like and Don’t Like About Some Blogs

imageI read Sew Many Ways blog and on this last Friday she discussed a very interesting subject….what she likes or dislikes about the settings people use, how the blog looks and reads, etc. Sew Many Ways blog Friday February 17, 2012 Read the post she wrote and all the comments people made, especially if you are a blogger.  You can find what people like or dislike and maybe make your blog more appealing to your readers. 

I thought I would follow suit so here is a list of the Dos and Don’ts as far as what I like to see or not see on the blogs I read.  I know everyone likes different things but found out a few definite things that make a good blog in several peoples eyes by reading the Sew Many Ways blog and comments.  Here is my list:

1. I like easy to read print which means no fancy fonts or not many changes of colors or types of fonts per blog post.  Reading on a computer can be very difficult with fancy fonts, they take longer to load too.  Remember everyone is not on high speed internet service.  Changing colors too many times in a blog post is very distracting and hard to read.

2. I do like the print to be right side justified – this means do not center the print as it is very hard to read.   Centered photos and their captions but don’t center all the print.

3. Hyperlink items that you refer to so they can be clicked on to take you to the item being discussed – saves time over typing it in Google, and then sometimes you can’t find the product or article you are looking for without a direct link.

4. Love blog posts with NO music – again it is very distracting and takes longer to load the blog.

5. Do like posts without advertising in the center where the body of the post is located – the odd advertising between posts and in the middle of a post are distracting.  I don’t mind the advertising on the side columns as they do generate income for some bloggers.

6. Do like reading a blog post all on one page – posts where I have to click again to read the rest of the blog post can be annoying as you have to wait again for it to load.

7. I do like good grammar and spelling but overlook it as I know I sometimes make mistakes too, besides a lot of bloggers I read are not native English speakers so how can I expect them to know all our “rules”, especially when I don’t speak,write or read another language at all.

8. Like a search box on blogs or labels to click on a certain subject so I can go back and look at previous blog entries on a certain subject.

9. I like shorter paragraphs with a visible break between the paragraphs – again easier to read than long unbroken paragraphs.  Preview the post for how it looks visually before publishing the post.

10. Photos, Photos, Photos – this should have been at the top of my clip_image002list.  I don’t like to read blogs without photos and they don’t have to be professional quality photos either.  Sometimes it makes the writing make more sense and tutorials make more sense with photos too.  I learned when I started blogging that if I had a photo near the top of each blog post I had more visitors.  I joined a few blog groups like Quilter Bloggers and they show a small excerpt of each blog entry that members post and if you have photo near the top it will be shown on that site enticing more visitors to visit your blog.

11. I like to reply to each person that leaves a comment on my blog and if you are a no reply commenter I have no email address to send a reply.  I have had questions asked of me that I can not answer because there is no valid email address.  So Cal Gal wrote a good blog post on this subject titled “Wanted Quilters That Never Win A Giveaway” posted Dec. 13 2011  She explains how to make sure you have an address that can be replied to.  Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of that post past all the names to get to the rest of her instructions.  Sew Many Ways Sept. 25, 2009 also has instructions on changing from a “no reply” blogger

12. After reading the comment on Sew Many Ways blog post about people not liking the word ID that you have to fill out when leaving a comment on someones blog I decided to change mine to not have it anymore and use comment approval before they got posted to my blog instead.  I got so much spam in the day I had it turned off I turned it back on again.  I guess the word ID keeps spammers from using some sort of automatic commenting so my word ID will stay turned on as I don’t want that junk to come into my email box.

13. I love to know where bloggers are from – I don’t need to know specific town or address but State, Country is nice to know.  So put that on your blog somewhere please.

14. I also like to see a photo of the blogger  - it helps me to picture them when I am reading their blog.

15. I like positive blogs.  Everyone has a bad day once in a while or our friends/family, etc. irritate us once in a while but I really don’t want to read about it.  An occasional gripe is overlooked but if there are a lot of them and I will probably stop reading that blog.  I also try on my blog to not post too much about my health problems although I know I have posted about my clumsy fall down the steps, shoulder surgery but am trying not to report every paper cut or even every medical crisis as most people don’t want to read about that either.

16. Besides the photo of yourself on your blog I like to read personal accounts too, funny stories or interesting things/photos from where you live and work in your blog posts.  What may seem ordinary to you may be unusual and very interesting to me.  Keep the blog fun to read - now that I wrote that I sure hope mine is fun to read.

OK, now I have a few questions for all the readers of my blog.  How are my photos?  Are they too large in the blog or too large when you click on them to enlarge them?  What about my header – is it pleasant to look at, too big, etc.?  I am reluctant to change my header as I had a doosie of a time getting it right the last time I changed it.  Are my blog posts too long as I tend to get wordy sometimes?  How are my tutorials?  Do they explain the techniques so that you can understand them?  What about the things I have on the sides – too busy, too much, etc.?  Does my blog load slow or is it quick enough?

I did not set out to make my blog just about quilting, thus the name Nebraska Views.  I try to showcase my quilting but there are times when I am just not quilting or sewing much at all or have nothing to show quilt-wise.  I like to share what is going on here on our farm, local things going on and other hobbies I tackle once in a while.  I hate it when I go over a week without posting something as I sure don’t want to loose readers because I don’t post often enough.

I am still working on the Pages at the top of my blog and don't seem to find time to get the Finished Projects sorted and arranged like I want....maybe someday.

I am sure as soon as I post this I will think of other things I like or dislike about certain blogs but these are the main things.  I really want people to respond to this blog with their likes and dislikes and please, please, please tell me if there are things about my blog that you wish I would change or add.  I will read all with an open mind and may change something or not depending on if it is something I had not thought of and agree with.  I will also will keep things that I like as well because, after all it is my blog.

So sorry this turned into such a long post - didn't know I had so much to say on the subject!

The cute pictures on this blog post are all from my PrintMaster Gold 18 program.

Happy Blogging – Lynn


Sew Create It - Jane said...

Great post! It was quite interesting to see what you prefer in a blog and I was nodding my head in agreement. I try and do all those things you mentioned on my blog. :-)
The only thing I'm discouraged with is blogger's decision to change the word verification recently and I think it will cause people to avoid commenting which is a real shame.

Elaine Adair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine Adair said...

(me again, no mispellings this time)

wow Lynn - this is a great post - I agree with almost all you said.

I have issues with large banners but I realize we don't all know how to finesse our photos - and mine it too large but ... I also do NOT like black backgrounds with white print - hard to read for me!

Thanks for a good post - I don't have any comments about YOUR posts, so I guess I like what I see. 8-)))

... and BIG thanks to the link to the eagle cam.

Chris said...

Hi Lynn - I posted recently about blogging as well. Some say its a thing of the past. Thankfully, I don't think that's true. Thanks for committing your thoughts to paper...or post. I like your lay out and content. Agree with you on ALL your observations - especially the pictures. I want to SEE what people are talking about - not just read it. Keep up the great work!

eLiZaBeTh said...

I found your blog via a link to the cute denim stocking that you made. I live in Colorado, so we are not that far apart! This post is great, although I have a tendency to change fonts and colors at the beginning of my posts ;) I agree with a lot of what you say about layout, etc. Enjoyed reading your blog tonight!


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