This is my third post in my Blogging Tips series that I started few days back. If you haven’t already you can read my previous 2 posts from here
In this post I am going to outline whatever experiences I had when I started blogging. I and few of my friends have a really bad start. In this post I am going to highlight what you should and you shouldn’t do.
Do yourself a favour. Treat your Blog as a site that is not yours. Now try browsing it. Ask yourself these questions
- Can you search something particularly easy on this site.
- Can you go to a category easily.
- Is the navigation Clear i.e. Did you get lost somewhere and don’t know your way out.
- Is there something that you can do to improve the Visitor experience.
Bottom line is that your site navigation should be friendly so that it cause less confusion when a visitor is browsing your site.
Your Site Layout & Look and feel
As I said before that you are browsing your site as a third user. Ask yourself If you were a real visitor what will their initial impression. Here are couple of NOTs that you should be aware of
- I hate blogs where a Ad pops out of nowhere (like a modal dialog) while I am reading an article. While I think it is Ok if they want to highlight if they are running any specials but Ads should in within Article itself. Making money is good but limit your Ads to display in a way that it doesn’t hurt user reading experience. You can read my Old posts I think I became greedy when I started 🙂 doesn’t work. For me I love writing now and want to give my site visitors a good experience. So I am limiting my in article Ads to maximum 2 depending on length of Article.
- You website theme should be simple and sleek. If you think funky stuff works think again. In my experience on this Blog my bounce Rate decreased rapidly when I made really basic changes to navigation and look and feel. Here is a screen shot from my Google Analytics account.
Now I am using Genesis Framework (aff link) that comes with lot of themes. Pick and choose the right one for your Niche. You can choose any other theme provider or create one yourself if you can do that. Bottom line is that your Blog should look nice.
Keep your Blog to a Niche
Well with this what I mean to say is that If your blog is tech related never talk about vegetables, Well If you have a following then it doesn’t matter if you chuck in 1 or 2 occasionally. User subscribe to your blog to know more about what you know or learn in the field that you are working in. Feeding your subscriber Unknown Unknowns is Bad thing. I did that initially but Now I am limiting myself to posts that I am comfortable writing. So my Blog subjects now are Web related programming (problem solution approach), Blogging Tips (includes Marketing and making money) and generally tech related posts . You will never see me talk about weight loss programmes on my blog 🙂
Never be one sided
Its good if you know one side of the coin but before you start writing its evenly important whats on the other side too. Say for example if you are reviewing a product and are singing praise about that, Its ok if you are comparing to a really bad product but you have to think that Bad product is in the market and has followers. This goes with everything. Never provide half information. Do you research well and then hit that article. Passing on opinions is great way to connect to your users but taking something personal is not a good way to go for. Bottom line is that never ever get personal be it with any personality that you are talking about or a product you are reviewing. Trust is not built overnight. You will have to gain that.
Its a good thing that you accept and display Ads just as did above but say if I would’ve placed that Ad after this full stop. You will definitely say “Jeez what is Jas thinking here. I am trying to read and here we go again” 🙂 From my experience a Floating Ad is a bad thing. A fixed Ad that is not eye killer some where in between your Article is deemed good. In the end you are trying to connect to your visitor and Ads are biggest distract’ers. Bottom line is that Ad are good but balance them out with user reading experience.
OnCe UPON a tiME iN MelBOUne. How did you feel reading that. By quality I didn’t mean how you text is laid but it is a important thing. Thats one example but in general everyone agree that Content is King. Every line you wrote should come directly from you heart and the result will be totally different. Your visitors will love you for being just you. Never abuse and use foul language, Of course you can use foul language if you run a website called learnFoulLang dot com 🙂 Bottom line is that your article should never divert from the Title of your post else your readers will be as lost as you will when you read your post yourself later. Maintain high quality and all major search engines will fall in love with you too.
Ok so these are the main key point I keep in mind, there are lot others but for me above points are the key that should always be followed.
I am becoming more Ad aware so my posts will not have big 600×600 banners anymore. I hate them on my blog because I hate them on others too.
I hope that I was able to deliver some goodies above.
In the next post in this series I am going to talk about How to draw traffic to your Blog, Some really basic points that I follow without going much into granular level details.
I hope that you enjoyed this post.