Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How Can You Clean Up Your Blog and Gain Followers?


These suggestions are primarily directed towards Blogger users.  If you use Word Press, or another source, please keep reading.  You may just have to tweak some things to make it fit your blog site of preference.

Also, please keep in mind, these are merely suggestions.  Take them or leave them. I won't be offended!  I think all of your blogs are FAB-U-LOUS already!  Just like YOU!

1) Condense Your Button Flair Put all of your favorite blog buttons into one post. Did you know that you can backdate your blog posts? Just above the PUBLISH POST button, there is a nifty thing called Post Options. Click on it. On the right hand side, there is a post date and time (click scheduled and select your date of choice). So easy!

2) Know Your Audience Don't just brag about your kids, your house, your this and that all the time. (Unless your blog is just for keeping people updated on your kids and family.  In that case, brag all you want)  Give your readers something to chew on.  Give out practical information and advice that will help them.  Know your audience.  A good way to get to know your audience, is to do random "polls".  There is a gadget for that in your layout.  (Click on Layout, Add Gadget, then click on Poll).  You might like to ask questions like "what topics would you like to see more of", or "age range of readers" "readers that have young kids, teenagers, or grown kids".  Be creative.

3) Choose Wisely Don't add things to your sidebar that you don't need.  Only put what is necessary and nice to look at.

4) Avoid The Desperate Blogger Tactic Don't seem desperate, aka: don't practically sell your first born child in order to gain followers. That seems a little over the top, but you get the idea.

BUT, do place your "follow" google friend finder at the top of your blog where people can easily see it when they arrive.  I highly suggest having this gadget in your sidebar.  When I'm surfing blogs, and they don't have this feature (unless it is a blog that really catches my attention) I will have no way to get back to it.  Don't let your blog get lost in cyberspace.  You can add this under gadgets.  While you're there, see what other gadgets you might like to add.  Just don't go crazy!  You can rearrange any gadget by dragging and dropping it into place. Then just remember to SAVE!

5) Get Rid of Word Verification!  It is SUCH A HASSLE to have to type that little spam message every time you leave a comment on a blog. But I don't suggest just eliminating that without adding the option to approve a comment.  (I did that and got tons of unwanted advertisements and sex ads). Not fun!

Instead, just be in charge of approving or deleting comments as they come in. This can be done right from your email! To change this, go to settings, then comments (select show, anyone, embedded below post).  Under comment moderation, click always and enter your email address.  Under show word verification, click no.  Also, put your email in next to comment notification.  Save you new settings!

I have noticed not all comments will come to my email (for whatever reason).  You can also confirm comments by going to your dashboard.  They will show that you have "x" amount of comments to verify.  Then you simply decide to publish or delete the comment.  So easy and so much fun!

6)  Track Stats and Take Inventory If you run ads on your blog, track your stats and remove unproductive/unprofitable ads.

7)  Don't Just Fill Space Avoid trying to "fill space" on your blog.  Sometimes, the cleaner the better.  Readers can get overwhelmed if there is too much in your sidebar.  You might consider changing to a neutral/white background with a darker text.  It has been shown that this formatting is easier to read.

8)  Convert To A 3 Column Layout Spread things out by adding 3 columns to your blog.  The Cutest Blog on the Block gives html instruction on how to do this (click here).  If you are html challenged, I can do it for you for really cheap over at my graphics design blog site.

9)  Get Those Codes Off Your Front Page! Do you have some blog code boxes for readers to grab in your sidebar?  Why not create a link to a post with all the blog codes in one place?  Blog codes in your sidebar can be an eye sore!

10)  Create A Horizontal Toolbar Create a horizontal toolbar under your header with important links such as Home, Contact Me, Subscribe, About The Author, etc.  Email me if you want the html code for this.  Otherwise, I can create a simple one for you.

11) Get To Know Your Account Page There is some great information right at your fingertips!  Go to My Account, (next to Dashboard) in the upper right corner.  Do your own research.  Check out some features like Adsense, Feedburner, Reader, Blog Settings, etc.  You might like to edit your profile or even change your picture!


12) Spruce Up Your Look:


Click here to find out how to:
  • create a signature
  • add link within
  • slash through feature
  • center blog buttons in your sidebar 

 Click here to find out how to:
  •  Change your font (for your date, post title and sidebar titles)
  • Create a button
  • Make a code for your button
  • Add a post divider 
13) Sites I Find Helpful For Blogging Backgrounds/Banners/Editing/Etc:

 I hope you found this information helpful.  If you did, please leave a comment below. 



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15 comments :

  1. I try to tweek my blog layout. I like my template a lot (it's "me"), so I just try to work within that.
    Thank you for the tips!!

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  2. Very awesome tips!!! Thanks for entering my very 1st giveaway!!! And thanks for the follow, I'll be following right back!

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  3. Thank you so much. Good tips. After several years online I still learn something new every day. Pretty soon we can begin sharing about Pix-O-Sphere.

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  4. Wow, great information! Thanks for taking the time to share! :)

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  5. Wow! You should have charged people for that info! That was great. Thanks so much for the pointers. I will come back and check this post several times, I am sure. Have a great evening.

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  6. I found this helpful! :-) I'm thinking about having a horizontal toolbar under my blog picture.
    I'm going to go check out some of the links you posted now.
    ~Heather

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  7. Great tips!
    I think I have done pretty good getting my blog to look cleaner. I am confused about how you are saying to post your favorite blog buttons?

    I would be interested in the header tab (about me, links, etc.)

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  8. I love these ideas,my blog is so
    P L A I N ..... LOL!

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  9. That was some great advice.

    Blessings!
    Beth

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  10. This was EXTREMELY Helpful! I got rid of my word verification! :) Thanks for the tips!

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  11. very helpful thanks so much! my blog looks a LOT more like i want it to look!
    Gen

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  12. Hi Traci...would love to have you look at my blog and evaluate. I don't want it to look too young and cute-sy but simple, classic and clean. Tried to do the three columns myself and failed, also the signature and failed. Already had link within at least! Anyway, your feedback would be great. Oh, I also tried to create a blog button and failed. Let's just say, I'm proud of myself that I figured out how to put a photo in the header!

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  13. Traci, these are great tools, thanks I'm going to give a few a go myself.

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  14. great post and wonderful tips!!

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  15. I am forwarding this blog post onto some friends who just started blogging. They have been asking me for help and this just summed it up so well. I am now following you! TWINS! WHEW! I am so excited to read your blog! I am a new follower. Please come follow back if you would like. I am doing some great giveaways right now (ipod nano and itunes giftcard) and have some great ones coming up! Nice to meet you, you have a beautiful family!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your friendship! If you can't comment, try commenting as anonymous or you can email me at curly2880 at yahoo dot com.