Do you visit your own blog? Do you pay attention to the clutter/continuity/legibility? If I click on your blog, do I know instantly who you are and where I am? Is your blog well organized? These are questions we're going over today so grab that pencil and paper and let's get going!
Go take a look now and write down the following:
- Number of Ads (count them)
- Size of Font (large, small, decent?)
- Contrast (red on black? purple on black? yellow on white?) of both posts AND sidebar matter.
- Legibility (how many spelling errors do you spot?)
- Ease of Navigation (search box or link list?)
- Recognition of Name (is your blog title and url the same?)
- Busyness (how many elements do you see before you scroll?)
- Ways to Follow (how many, and how far must you scroll before finding one?)
- Easy Links (count them and where do they point?)
- Imagery (does it match your content?)
- How many other blogs are you linking to?
- Can I contact you or connect with you in an obvious way?
- Does your blog title match your URL?
- What do those ads do for you?
- Can a large number of people read your blog easily?
- How's your contrast? Contrast is how well your type shows up on the background.
- How can you reduce spelling errors?
- What links or content can you ad to help your readers find what they're looking for?
- If you didn't know who you were, would others if they found you from an outside link?
- Do you see your name right away or a way to find/follow you? How does that impact your readers?
- Can you improve upon letting interested readers find you elsewhere?
- Think about your photo for a minute. Is it relevant?
- Of those blogs you link to, how many link back?
- Where do your contact links lead me?
- How can you fix the consistency?
- DELETE 9/10 of the ads. I don't need to scroll longer than your post. Bottom matter does not get my attention and clutters up your blog. Keep your ads relevant. If you want to promote your book, GREAT! Make a new page and link me to it. If I find your writing interesting, I'll click it and buy.
- If your font is small or curly or grungy, go to a larger font size and do away with the "cutesy" elements. You don't need them and it irritates readers.
- Please, for the love of all that's good in the world, make your font black and your background white or some other color combo that's high in contrast (no purple or red on black, PLEASE). Make sure there's a background for other elements, as well. I hate it when I can't read what you've posted.
- Give me easy to find ways to follow you on every platform you appear on. Make it easy to find. Don't hide it in a barrage of ads or other crap I'm gonna have to sift through.
- Be consistent. If your blog doesn't match your FB, Twitter, LinkedIN, and website, change it to match, please. Your readers and fans need to be able to identify you at a glance.
- Break your blog down into topics and give me a handy link list or go tag your posts with relevant key words and provide me with a search box.
- If your picture is your book cover, that's great and all, but what happens when you have fifty books out there? Are you gonna use them all? No. Make a decision. Either brand with your face or a logo along with your color scheme and font choices, please.
- Are you promoting other people more than you're promoting yourself? Yes? Well, if they don't return the favor, STOP. Work with people that work with you.
- Change either your blog title or the URL that goes with it. They should be the same.
Note the URLs of all are either jomichaels or writejomichaels. You'll know, by the consistency, that you have the write one when you find me.
Remember, you can get tips like these in my book The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. For just $2.99 I talk branding, formatting, and design for indies.
Don't forget to enter the blog party giveaway! There's three copies of The Indie Author's Guide in there just waiting for you to win!
Question of the day: Did you find your blog needing a lot of changes? Did you implement them as you went?
Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!