Every day, hundreds of people decide to start a blog. One of the best resources for advice is to ask other bloggers, and for some reason, people come to me for advice. Little do they know that I don’t have a damn clue what I am doing here, I just pretend I do and usually just pass on the advice that I have been given. I have made many, many mistakes in my first year of blogging so instead of giving my advice, I have asked some of my very funny friends to help me. So please sit back, adjust your Poise pad, have your notebook ready to take notes, and I hope a little advice from my friends goes a long way.
I have just started setting up my blog and I am not very good at design. Can you give me some insight into what will keep my readers visual interest? Thanks for your help~Color Blind
Dear Color Blind,
A suggestion from my friend Paige Kellerman is to always put your entire post in red. Readers love the interactive feel of having their corneas slowly burning while digesting your well thought-out content. This is stellar advice if you are striving to drive your readers one step closer to blindness.
Another important thing to remember is the organization of your sidebars. There is nothing better than the appearance that you are in fact an advertising guru and not a writer. I know personally, I love it when I try to read a blog and the ads have vomited all over the text. As a matter of fact, Anna from My Life and Kids suggests this; Before writing your first post, be sure to load up your blog with ads, pop ups, and video ads. Make sure you get paid for every single page-view before you even start! Brilliant Anna. Simply brilliant. Once you are getting rich off of those ads, Kim from Let Me Start By Saying suggests you hire someone to create some fabulous graphics to fill the inches of open space in-between your ads; The more dancing graphics you have on the sidebars, the better, she suggests.
One last item for you to consider adding just to make sure that your readers are fully annoyed before they leave. From Allison motherhoodwtf?; People LOVE opening up a website and finding that it’s musical. What a great surprise! Pick your favorite music and give your readers a chance to get to know the bands you love. Nothing would start your reader’s day off right like having to change their pants. Take it from Kerry at HouseTalkN; Adding music to your site is not good for the bladder impaired. It startles me into kegels every time. Of course this decision is completely up to you, but I don’t know too many people who appreciate a heart attack brought on by Metallica first thing in the morning.
Hope this helps you just a bit. Just remember, busy is key. You want the words to be the last thing your readers look at.
I have been blogging for a while now, but I simply cannot figure out why I am not getting any comments. Could you please give me some helpful hints to help increase my comment count? ~All Alone
Dear All Alone~
Comments are the bloggers equivalent of a football player’s slap on the ass. JD from Honest Mom suggests you take these steps to help increase comment count; Be sure to make your would-be commenters jump through TONS of hoops to leave a comment on your blog. For example, don’t allow them to comment with their name and blog URL – make them register for an obsolete AIM or Open ID account! And of course, don’t forget to make them struggle to translate a CAPTCHA to leave a comment. We all love doing that! Ah yes, nothing like creating yet another account on another website on which you will never remember your log-in name and password. That will surely get them to come back and comment on future posts.
If you implement this plan and you are still not seeing an increase in your comments, you have no choice but to take it one step further. Ninja Mom insists you take this final step to ensure you will see an immediate comment count that would make even the most popular of bloggers jealous; Add extra layers of security. Word verification’s good for keeping out spammers, but what about testing the loyalty of your 5 readers? Consider having them complete an accounting exam, or identify all of the former US vice presidents before being able to comment. Boom.
Everyone tells me that I should comment on other blogs in order to help promote myself, to make my blog more visible to others. I have been doing that but am not seeing an increase in visitors. What do you think I’m doing wrong? ~Too Wordy
Maybe your comments are too long and complex. Take this advice from Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures, it is certain to work; Make sure to leave a comment – “LOL” always works, even on a serious post – to indicate that you enjoyed a blogger’s work. Then casually mention that you’ve started following them. A request for a follow-back and a link to your blog shows that you’re genuinely interested in developing a long-standing relationship, based on your appreciation and respect for whatever it was that person wrote about, which you really did read, pinkie-swear.
If that doesn’t work, you may have to resort to using DG’s favorite comments; be sure to use the 3-two-word comments that bloggers love most…”loved it!” “well said!” and “amen sister” – this really conveys the point that the blog was total shite and/or you didn’t read it. That should really draw in the new readers. Try it and get back to me.
I am have been working really hard trying to make a connection with other bloggers but am not getting any requests for guest posts or to join any communities. Can you help me with that? ~Anti-Social
Might I suggest you take in these suggestions from these more experienced bloggers;
Meredith from Mom of the Year: If you want to be featured in a series that a blogger is running, instead of asking her to participate (or ever commenting on her blog or contacting her in any other way), write a post about how stupid the blogger is and how she was snotty for not including you. Publish the post, don’t tell her about it, and let her find it by checking her traffic sources. This is truly the best way to go about networking and building relationships within the field.
Stephanie from Binkies and Briefcases: Need a blog mentor? Be sure to research your area and find all of the big bloggers who live around you. Email them and invite them to lunch. If they say no look up their phone numbers and call them directly. Be sure to leave lots of personal Facebook messages as well. You want them to know you are VERY interested.
Anna from Random Handprints loves it when she follows a blogger on Twitter, and then finds a DM asking her to visit their site, pin to their really great Pinterest Board, join their Google+ circle, not to mention buy their eBook, contribute to their IndieGoGo fund, and of course, like their Facebook page. Because who doesn’t want to be hounded by every person they decide to follow on Twitter? I know I love DM’s asking me to follow them on Facebook. I just run right on over.
I can’t seem to grow my readership, can you give me some suggestions on how to get more reads on my pieces? ~Struggling for Survival
This may be a multi-level problem, first of all take this suggestion from Kathy at kissing the frog: Feel free to write in stream of conciousness style while centering your text. Don’t bother with that silly spell check – just hit “publish” as soon as you’re done unloading your thoughts. You will appear spontaneous and quirky that way.
Courtney from Our Small Moments suggests that you try this: Conventions stifle creativity. No one really cares about commas, paragraphs, and periods, especially avid readers.
Once you have the spelling and grammar down pat, you may try this advice from Jen at PIWTPITT: I love it when bloggers only write something new every three weeks or so. I make sure to take time out every day to visit just to make sure I haven’t missed something. I so look forward to that one post a month and it really keeps that blog fresh in my mind.
Since this is my blog, I suppose I will offer up this one piece of advice. Please make sure to post two or more times per day. It is super easy for me to keep up with all those posts since I have nothing else to do with my day but sit and read only your posts. Please, once you have an idea, write it and post it even if you just posted something an hour ago. No need to save that for another day when you don’t have an idea to write about.
If you get nothing else out of this post, I hope that at least you could get a good laugh. Really, these ladies are some of the funniest people I know and their expertise is second to none. None of us are perfect, but at least we can have fun and laugh about it.