19/07/2013

Blogger's Secret: 10 Blog Must Haves


As I got a lot of positive feedback on my blogging tips series and as I also really enjoy writing these posts, I decided to keep them going. Last week I had been talking about 10 Blogging Faux Pas thus 10 things a blogger should not do in order not to put his/her readers off. Today I will be talking about the contrary and show you 10 things your blog should have in order to look more professional or appealing.

#10 Blog Archive
I don't know why you would want to switch off the archive but I already saw blogs that didn´t have one. I think an archive is quite important though because if you have interesting content there will be the day where a follower remembers an interesting post and wants to reread it. Another good thing to add to your blog would thus be a search widget. Another case when the archive can be important is when you get a new reader who really fell in love with your blog and wants to read as many old posts as possible or wants to see how it all started and it would be really sad if this person had to click "older blog posts" like a hundred times.

#9 A Picture Of You
It doesn't matter whether you're writing about fashion, beauty, cooking, lifestyle,..., people always want to know who's the person behind the blog. So if you don't mind putting a picture of yourself on the internet you should take a recent portrait and put it where everybody can see it: in your sidebar.

#8 Personality
This goes a bit together with what I said under point 9. Your personality is what makes your blog different from other blogs, it makes people come back for more and it is something they're interested in. This doesn't mean that we need to know everything about you or that you should publicly get emotional every day but it means that you should just be yourself and give your readers the possibility to get a clue of who that is.

#7 Clearly Arranged Sidebar
The sidebar of a blog is more important than you may think. If somebody likes your design and your content they will be really likely to take a closer look at your sidebar, too in order to get to know a bit more about you and your work or to follow your blog. Besides the already mentioned picture of yourself and the archive there should be some social media buttons to make sure everybody can immediately see how to follow your blog. While these are the 3 essentials a sidebar shouldn't be overcharged and it should have a clear design as well. Possibilities to make your sidebar look more clean would be to instal social media icons which are all the same size, use the same fonts as in the rest of your blog and only include pictures of the same size.

#6 Comment Form
Blogging is a lot about communication so a comment form is one of the most obvious essentials. If you don't want to get readers' comments for any reason that's totally okay but if you want to get them you should make sure that your readers can actually find the comment form (not so easy when you have the Dynamic View!) and that they don't get any difficulties when commenting (like captcha code, long loading times which may happen with the Disqus tool,...). Personally I don´t like comment forms opening in another window but that may just be me.

#5 Text
Blogging in a first approach means writing. Meanwhile the pictures we put on our blogs play a huge role as well and for some blogging categories they may be even more important than for others but the people who come to visit your blogs are called readers and not speactators or anything else. Therefor you should also give them something to read because otherwise they may quickly be bored by your blog. Also how do you expect getting meaningful comments if your readers don't have anything to respond to? After all 100 comments just saying "nice outfit" won't get you any further while already a single comment answering the question you had about the way you combined your outfit can get you a step closer to a better style.

#4 Spelling And Legible Font
The other way round the content of your texts can be really meaningful and interesting but if people have to really make an effort to read it they probably won't do it. Therefor make sure that your spelling is okay and that your fonts aren't too small or squiggly.

#3 Large Images
After talking about the text let's get back to the images nevertheless. If I see a blog with small images I will leave it almost immediately because that just doesn't look any professional. Also a lot of people pay attention to details and seeing your lovely new ring in a full body picture that hasn't even the size of your hand is quite hard, don't you think so? Putting large images on your blog isn't even difficult because even the worst phone camera will take them in a size that´s totally okay so please guys, post your pics in large or even better in extra large!

#2 Representative Header
Guess what's the first thing you look at in a blog? Right! The header. So what's the point in having a lame one? It represents your blog and is the thing that people keep in mind. It's just like in real life: the first thing people will keep in mind is not your name, your intelligence or the colour of your nails but your face. Header = face of your blog! Now if your header is just the name of your blog written in an average font that's nothing people will keep in mind. Just think of Chiara Ferragni's header... If somebody says "The Blonde Salad" you will first of all have in mind this picture of her laying in a bath tub full of salad. And her header works because it's concise, fun and convenient. So try to tinker a header that has got to do with the theme of your blog and features your blog's name in a creative way (for example the sauce on Chiara's salad).

#1 About Section
Again this is something that has got to do with the points 9 and 8 but is even more important. People really want to know with whom they deal with and I have often been looking for an about section when I found a new blog I liked. But again just having this section isn't enough, it is about what you tell about yourself in there. Your name, your age, your job and the reason why you started to write your blog and what it will be about are a few musts. However it's up to you how personal you get and in which way you present youself (have you ever thought about making an introduction video?!).

Phew, again that was a lot of writing but I hope that you liked my tips and that you will be able to implement some of them. What do you think a blog should absolutely have in order to be complete? Is there anything you want me to write about in the next "Blogger's Secret" post?

24 comments:

  1. dear, great advices..!!i think is so true.
    kisses

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  2. great post
    xx

    http://losaway.blogspot.com

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  3. Thanks for the tips! I like this series. I don't really know how to improve a blog. I just like photo editing :)

    Mabel
    Life of Mabel

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  4. Hi Carmen, also these tips are very useful. Still I'm working on the about section lol, I know I am so late with it but hope to put it soon once I have the inspiration:) Kisses! xo

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  5. really great and interesting points for be the perfect blogger..
    happy week end
    xoxo

    NEW POST!!!

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  6. interesting tips my dear,
    Ciao
    Nicky

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  7. I may not agree with everything but the majority of what you said is valuable advice!

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  8. I agree that personality is very important!

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  9. Hope this doesn't come across as mean but I will immediately "x" out of a blog with tiny images. What's the point! I can't even see anything :/

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  10. Loved your blog and will come back for sure! I find it very inspirational...

    Oh, I just started following you on GFC and Bloglovin by the way! Hope you come by my blog sometime too! Would love to know what you think about it, and maybe follow me back if you like it? We can also follow each other everywhere else;)!

    These are my links hun <3:
    Instant Milk link
    Facebook page link
    Twitter link
    Bloglovin link

    xx

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  11. love this series! really helpful. I'm still working on putting my personality out there but I think that's easier on video. Have you made an intro video?

    doitfortheirony.blogspot.com

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  12. da hast du wirklich einig der wichtigsten Sachen zusammen gefasst.
    Wirklich gut geschrieben, toll wenn sich mal jemand die Mühe macht :)

    Liebe Grüße
    Mary

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  13. toller post, ich stimme dir in so gut wie allem zu, vor allem den punkt mit dem archiv finde ich wichtig, denn mich nervt es auch, wenn ich auf einem blog den allerersten post lesen will und ihn nicht einfach so finden kann :/
    liebst,
    maze.

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  14. Gute Tipps, ein "About" hab ich auf meinem Blog noch nicht, aber ich habe auch schon mal drüber nachgedacht das mal nachzuholen!

    Liebste Grüße

    Andrea

    http://andysparkles.blogspot.de/

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  15. You are just brilliant Carmen!! I love this series of yours, you say what we are all thinking and I can't help but agree on every single point. Thanks for pointing the comment form issue out, Disqus and Google + never ever loads the first time on my laptop, I always have to refresh the page like three times before I can comment, maybe thats to blame on my bad internet service? I wonder If I am the only one. Excellent points! Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

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  16. These are wonderful blogging tips. Very organized and informative. Thanks for sharing. Pamela

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  17. You're absolutely right about all those goodie point of view on blogging dear! I couldn't agree more! Excellent post

    Have a great weekend to you sweetie!

    http://www.attraction2fashion.com

    Tanya

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  18. very helpful!
    I hope I'm following all :D

    shall we follow each other?

    My new outfit:
    http://styleonmel.blogspot.com/2013/07/printed-and-graphed-up.html#comment-form

    My 3 Summer Looks
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YciaiclRmsg

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  19. wow, these tips are pure gold! excellent advice you gave here :)

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  20. Very inspiring tips.I'd love to have your opinion on my blog.I'd really appreciate it if you would visit it and let me know what you think of it:)xo xo
    Ada
    http://antapal.blogspot.gr

    ReplyDelete


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