Thursday, April 23, 2015

What's Above the Fold?

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! I know you're all excited that tomorrow's Friday, but I'm still bringing you a little tip today that may or may not explain a few things and/or make your life a hair easier. I hope you brought your coffee, pen, and paper! Let's goooooo!

So, today is all about that little thing in bloggerland known as a fold. What the heck? Nothing on the web folds, Jo!

Yeah, I know things don't literally fold, but let's think of a blog like a newspaper for a moment, shall we?

Everything a reader sees before they have to scroll down is considered above the fold. Now that we have the terminology down, let's get to what should be there and why it matters.

Examine my blog. You're looking at it right now, and you may still be where you haven't scrolled yet, so take a moment and really look. If you've moved down, scroll all the way back up.

What's the first thing you see? My name, right? Then a description of what you'll find on this blog.

After you see that, you notice I'm involved with utopYA con and INDIE Books Gone Wild. Now it's time for pages on my blog I think everyone who visits should become familiar with.

Awesome. Now you know where you are, why you are, and what kinds of things you can expect to find, right? Stopping here for a moment to talk about why those things matter and do a short comparison.

Remember when I talked about your blog as a newspaper? If you have one handy, grab it. Leave it folded in the middle, please. If you don't have one, use your imagination (or the picture below) to recall what they look like.

Now, you see a description (All the News That's Fit to Print), a title, a date, a price, and a headline, yes? Move on down and see the author's names and the good stuff.

Basically, everything above the fold on a newspaper is to tell you who, why, and what. It's the same with a blog. People need to know what they're getting into at a glance. Period.

But bloggers have extra stuff that should be above the fold:
  • Date of most recent post
  • Headline of most recent post
  • Some way to share the post (or the blog)
  • A way to subscribe to updates
I'm a thorough believer in less is more. Load time matters as much as aesthetics. More than fifteen seconds and folks leave. But the four items above are essential. Why?

Date: So people can see at a glance you're active now
Headline: So folks can be attracted to your writing
Sharing: Do I have to explain this one? Mine's buffer, but you can use anything.
Subscription Method: So people don't lose your awesome blog

Folks might look around for a way to subscribe or share if it's not in their faces, but don't bet on it. Make it easy to keep up.

I'm not going into other things you need to have. Everyone chooses differently. I used to have my bio, all kinds of widgets and banners and things, but my blog took forever to load. I cleaned house. Confusion does not encourage repeat visits.

Do you love it here? Why? Why not?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

2 comments:

  1. This is a good reminder about doing blog maintenance. Very helpful post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jo! I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again...I love your blog. I've learned SO much from you. That being said, I’ve just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Here's a link to my post: http://kjfarnham.com/2015/04/26/the-versatile-blogger-award/

    Would be great if you participated! No pressure though, of course. I know how busy you must be. :)

    ReplyDelete

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