We are always looking for ways to improve parts of our life - or, as bloggers, our blogs. Recently I have attempted to organise my blogging by separating out the different themes into four different areas
and so far it is working but that doesn't work for everyone. Here are my Ten Top Tips for Bloggers but this is by no means a definitive list. Feel free to add your Do's and Don't's in the comments.
Have a good name and strapline. Part of your 'branding' (or why people remember you) is to do with your blog name. You will have already chosen your blog name but a strapline supports that and adds to your theme.
Have a continuous theme. Your colour scheme, your header and your buttons should compliment each other because they also support your theme. It is very easy to make a header or some social media buttons for your blog using your own images and an image editor such as Picasa or similar. Kelly has supported her theme by using the roses from her background as her social media buttons.
Your content is your business. What you are already writing is what is capturing your readers in the first place and what is making them return to read more. No-one else can do that for you. Maybe think about a posting schedule (certain subjects on certain days) or posting three times a week but unless your blog is part of your business then retain the freedom that you are afforded. Think about inserting a 'read more' break after the first paragraph (this looks like a torn page on your new post toolbar). It shortens your home page and if someone is landing on your blog for the first time or just has the home page bookmarked then you get two hits in one visit.
Share and share alike by installing share buttons or widgets (my current favourites are from Share This although there are plenty of plug-ins if you are using Wordpress).
Create an About Me page, even if you aren't blogging for commerical reasons. The reader always likes to know a bit more about the writer. Be creative too - Mari has a video on her About Me page which will make her memorable to her readers.
Make your blog 'sticky' so ensure that all links open in a new tab/window. People are much less likely to click "back" on their browser window than they are to close one tab and continue reading the original webpage. Use a "related posts" widget such as Link Within to encourage your reader to stay on your blog a little bit longer. Also, if you install Google Analytics, the 'live feed' is gripping stuff if you're a bit of a stats-and-maps geek.
Sort out your sidebar. Have your important links at the top and badges further down. Badges are great to display your achievements and connections but you want people to stay on your site rather than jump off to theirs. Consider creating an affiliated page like I have on Typecast. If you have a blogroll, keep it up to date or consider hosting a "Recommended Reading" page.
Be a community member by joining a couple of forums and networks and communicating with other bloggers. My most visited are Blogger.Ed, Netmums, BritMums and the Parent Blogger facebook page where there's always lots of discussion around post content, breaking down the technical jargon and general blogging chit-chat.
Get to grips with social media and use Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook to underpin your blogging and to help promote your posts but also to network with other bloggers and readers.
Forget all of the above AND JUST WRITE!