I am quickly approaching the 12-year mark for my little corner of the world. And while there are many others who have been blogging for a lot longer, there are still a lot of new bloggers joining the community every day. As I travel through the blogosphere on a weekly basis reading over 100 blog posts each week, I also see a lot of new bloggers making some simple mistakes which are very easy to correct.
Professionally, I have been working in online marketing for more than fifteen years and the principles that make a good website also apply to blogs. I am also a certified usability analyst which means I have studied and passed a test to say that when it comes knowing the best methods for the use of a website or a blog via design, content layout, navigation, etc., I’ve got you covered! And I am happy to share some of the things I have learned (and those in which I am still learning about).
I have actually already written some posts as well as guest-posted for friends about various topics that fall under this umbrella and I thought it might be a good idea to gather them together.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of hearing Ashley Stock of Little Miss Momma give the opening presentation at the SITS Girls Bloggy Boot Camp in San Diego. She is a relative newcomer, blogging for one year, already a good amount of time in my opinion. One of the things she spoke about is making sure you think about, and possibly write down in a journal or a post, why you are blogging. She said that there will come a day, maybe in the near future, maybe a lot further out, where you will question why you started blogging in the first place.
I think it is excellent advice and something that every blogger should think about doing whether they have been blogging for 5 years or 5 days. I had not previously published my “why” until recently when I provided my reasons to my friend Kasia of Love in the City of Lights in the form of a guest-post.
Once you figure out why you are blogging there is “the how.” One thing that is extremely important to understand is that you own your blog. I was lucky enough to learn this mantra early on in my blogging career. I obtained this powerful nugget and guiding light when I attended my first blogging conference, Blissdom. It had such a profound impact on me and I still remind myself of it often.
What this means is that you set the rhythm for how often you blog, you define what success means for you. In addition you should understand that you are not a number.
I choose to blog every day. That is what works for me. And in this second guest-post I wrote for Kasia, I describe how I do it, what my methodology is.
Design and Usability
Once you know the why you do your blogging and how you do the writing – because no matter what, it all comes down to the content – you can begin to think about design.
A nice design is important but if a reader can’t read your words or figure out what to click or is too distracted, they aren’t going to stay and they aren’t going to come back. I have previously written a post about this topic “Misadventures in Blog Design” which I think will help.
If you are new to blogging you may not know that there is some “legal stuff” that applies to you. The last thing you want to do is get in trouble for something you did on your blog. Make sure you are well-informed.
Help and Guidance
I am a big fan of Probloggers’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. I did the program several years ago and it was a very useful project. You can try to catch the next cycle on the Problogger site or you can do it with communities such as the SITS Girls.
Any questions? I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, or send you to a source who can answer them. Just leave a comment or drop me an email to Andi AT MisadventuresWithAndi DOT com.