Below are what she thinks that makes a successful personal blog;
- Good design. Yes I know it should always be content > design but I’m a designer and one of the things I use to judge whether to stay at a blog or not is the design. Besides, you basically have 3 seconds to capture the user’s attention before they click on the X button. It’s a shame because some people have great entries but I CAN’T READ IT because their font is too tiny for my half-blind-self and there is no absolutely contrast anywhere. And I don’t like the fact that the Hanson brothers are glaring at me while I read your blog (wait, are they still alive?). You don’t have to be an awesome designer and create incredibly sexy graphics but some things you should consider:
White space - The reader will need somewhere to rest their eyes especially on a blog with a lot of text. Clutter isn’t really attractive and unless you can make it work, don’t.
Color and contrast - Light text on dark background and/or vice versa. I personally prefer white/black/neutral background colors for blogs because it doesn’t hurt the eyes after staring at it for a long time. Can you imagine reading my incredibly long ramblings on a bright red background? Ah.
Line height & text size - Tiny 8pt fonts and tight line-spacing is NOT user-friendly and so 2003.
Refrain use of celebrity blends - Again that is SO 2003. I used those at 14 *hangs head in shame* when I was still mall-ratting with my bestfriend at Metrotown and creating layouts for my xKube page (shameless plug for my good old beloved online community).
- Use a common/friendly writing style and tone. I’m inclined to sojourn beyond from blogs accompanying superlatively scholarly chirography peculiarity >> BIG NO NO! I tend to stay away from blogs with over-the-top academic writing style. Good, I get that you are smart but I don’t care because I have a billion other blogs to read and I don’t have time to look up every word you write on Dictionary.com. If your blog is conversational in tone, it will draw in more readers because they can relate to you and people don’t get bored by your super long words most of us won’t even use in real life conversations. Also, a little bit of sarcasm, humor and wit goes a long way. Have some fun, don’t be too serious (life is too short… blah blah blah). Oh and I used Thesaurus.com for every word in the first sentence so obviously I’m not academic at all because it doesn’t even make sense. Muhaha.
- Don’t blog about your break ups. Nobody cares.
- Don’t post lyrics. That’s just lame.
- Pictures. Everybody likes pictures! Just make sure to resize and compress them so they don’t slow down the loading time and if you’re going to have a lot, use thumbnails, pretty please.
- Link others! If another blog/website inspired your entry, it’s common courtesy to link and you might get a link back in the future. It’s all about NETWORKING baby!
- Listen to your readers. If they like something you write, write more about it. It doesn’t mean you have to turn your blog into a niche blog (read next point) but if you balance out your topics, you can keep those readers coming.
- Blog about stuff you actually enjoy. Everyone is telling me I should narrow down my blog topics and cater to a specific niche but I can’t because I HAVE BLOGGING A.D.D! I have way too many interests to concentrate on one specific topic and if I do, it’ll probably bring down the quality of my entries because it’s not something I want to do. Besides, I don’t have time to run multiple blogs and making money off my blog isn’t one of my top priorities. You know how to say once a hobby becomes your main stream of income, it sucks the fun out of it? Totally true. So what do I think? Write about whatever you want and if you’re patient, you’ll find people who will enjoy your blog.
- Ignore last point if your priority is to make money from your blog. Because then you’ll probably want to target a specific niche market.
- Write for yourself first. And then write for your readers. Who cares what others think; what makes you different will make you stand out and people will remember you. Be controversial and stir up some drama if needed (as in controversial topics, not shitting on somebody for no reason). Once you start blogging, you’ll start getting haters but they’ll keep on coming back because they’re intrigued by you and they say that once you start getting them, that means your blog is getting popular. Not that that’s entirely a good thing but at least you’re getting somewhere.
- RSS Feeds. I didn’t start using Google Reader until about a year ago because I preferred going to someone’s actual website but as my blogroll grew, that started getting harder and more tedious to do SO THANK GOD FOR RSS. ♥ Make sure you have a visible link to your RSS feed somewhere on your blog so people can subscribe.
Gee, I don't have any white space (I used to in the old template), did I ever cause you guys a headache? I blog about my break ups and post lyrics occasionally, LOL. Anyway, the bottomline is never give up! Heroes never have it easy.