NaBloPoMo always encourage me to browse new blogs, although, who am I kidding? I am not just checking out new blogs in November. If you’re anything like me, then one of you’re favorite things to do is to explore new blogs and constantly add more URLs to your blog reader.
I had high hopes of checking out all the blogs of the people who have signed up for NaBloPoMo this year, but a) almost 1500 people have signed and I don’t know if I will get to all of their blogs and b) a lot of people seemed to have signed up, but didn’t really intend to post every day (what with the lack of posts in November) and to be honest, there are a lot of blogs that don’t really draw me in when I click on them. I don’t want to sound like a blog snob, but there are a few things that make me fall in love with a blog instantly (and then there are some which don’t).
I’ll share with you what I really love to see when I check out a new blog:
1.) Clean layout. I am talking white background and lots of space, friends. It really makes a huge difference for me. I am not a fan of very busy or dark backgrounds and it’s really hard to find things if everything is squished together.
2.) A nice header image and/or logo. You don’t need to hire a designer for that. A nice photo can do the trick. Just find something that connects the reader to the (main) content of your blog. It’s an instant win!
3.) Neat, easy to read font(s). I love when people use simple and modern font types. As much as I myself love handwritten fonts, they are (mostly) not suited for blog posts. They are hard to read when they’re more than a paragraph long and they make the blog layout look “sloppy”.
4.) Well organized, paragraphed posts. Text is best when it comes in small, easy-to-digest chunks. I like blog posts that are divided in paragraphs and use formatting (bold/italic/underline) to make the text easy to skim for interesting content. (Truth is: that is what most people do.)
5.) Pretty pictures, preferably adjusted to the post width. I love when blog posts include pictures. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take some decent pictures for your blog. Just make sure you have some proper lighting and decide on a good angle (sometimes you have to take a few pictures to get the one shot that will make it on your blog!). Also, when you chose the picture size to match your post width, it makes the layout consistent and displays your photos in the best possible way.
6.) A nice profile picture and bio and easy navigation. I love it when the sidebar has a picture and a short bio of the person who runs the blog, because I obviously would love to know who I have the pleasure of meeting. I also really appreciate when a blog is easy to navigate and I can easily find a contact form and links to social media sites where I can also connect.
7.) Proper grammar and spelling. I know that seems like common sense, but it’s not always a given. I appreciate when people make sure that they don’t have typos or missing punctuation.
8.) Fast loading blogs. If a blog takes minutes to load, that’s too long. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Figure out what is slowing down the blog and fix it.
9.) Easy commenting. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you make your readers jump through hoops to leave a comment, it’s usually not worth my time to try and figure it out.
10.) Good content. Duh. Obviously all of the above does not matter, if you don’t have interesting things to share. Personal stories go a long way for me, too, and what I mean with that is when a blogger opens up about something personal or shares a personal story. It doesn’t mean that I need to know every detail of someone’s everyday life, but I love getting to know the person behind the screen.
Bonus: 11.) I really love it if I regularly read and comment on a blog when the blogger acknowledges me in some way or another. It’s super-frustrating to keep coming back, to read and comment and never get as much as a ‘thanks for reading’ in return. For me blogging is, mostly, about connecting with other people, isn’t it for you?
Tell me one thing that makes you fall in love with a blog!
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Disclaimer: Please don’t take any of the above personally. This is merely a general list of things that I personally find appealing when I visit a blog. It does not mean that – if you don’t do one or more of these things – I don’t like you personally or that I don’t like your blog. If I’ve been reading and commenting on your blog, chances are that I like what you have to offer!