Friday, 15 August 2014

Tips for Blogging - Important points to take note


BLOGGING?

Recently, I have been teaching a close friend of mine about blogging because she isn't familiar with blogger.com. In the past, I have received a few emails or comments from people who tried to seek help from me in creating a blog. I didn't really reply to some (Really sorry, but) it is really not so simple to just type everything in the comment box. 

Honestly, I don't think that I am a professional in this field. HTMLs give me a headache and when I started blogging 2 years ago, I merely used trial-and-error + Google to slowly improve my blog layout to what it is today. It's far from professional-looking but definitely much better than before. 

So... I'm sorry to disappoint you if you're thinking that I will be going through a step by step process in this blog post. In fact, I would like to only focus on some tips and advices to create a better blog. 

Just a disclaimer: I don't think that my blog is perfect as I am no professional website designer, but I am constantly looking for ways to improve the look of it! And I would like to share my personal experience and ideas with my readers. 

Here are some of the important points that can attract/ sustain readers' attention. Of course, it may or may not work for everyone as blog content and your personal influence/ popularity are quite essential factors as well.

DOMAIN NAME


Choosing a domain name is one of the most basic steps. A great blog name is used to solidify your existence and reputation in the blogging community. People will remember and recognize you for it because it is the FIRST thing that readers will see. 

☑ Concise and Straight to the point

☑ Easy to remember

☑ Something you can relate to

☑ Unique and Original

Your domain should be something short and sweet, something that captures the readers' attention. To put in simply, it's just like branding isn't it? It should be something unique or close to heart so that you won't ever regret it 3-5 years down the road. If you want to be take on blogging seriously, oh god, please don't pick a childish ahlian/ahbeng-ish name like xiia0emozxc.blogspot.sg. (Major turnoff)

Why I say keep it short? People can't be bothered to remember long names like you-are-my-wonderful-love (Sorry, I just can't think of a better example, but you get my point?). If you reallyyyyy find it hard to think of one, just keep it simple and stick to your name. Most of the popular bloggers that I follow use their name as blog domain. 

And lastly, try not to change your name half way through your blogging because it could affect your blog traffic. After all, not all of you will want to change your real name after being recognized for THAT name for so long right?


BACKGROUND COLOUR


This is also a crucial point that determines if new readers want to bookmark your page or revisit again. The background covers more than 70% of the website. Always remember that your blog layout and colour makes the first impression on your visitors!

Have you heard about colour psychology? Each and every colour represent different emotions for different people. Again, just like branding and packaging, colours play a vital role. And you should NEVER neglect the value of it.

☑ Pleasing to the eye

☑ Stay away from vibrant colours

☑ Keep it simple

I personally dislike backgrounds with messy patterns or vibrant colours. It gives me a real headache just by staring at the screen and to be honest, it's super uncomfortable for the eye. Yes, vibrant colours do attract people's attention at the start, but such contrasting combinations cause difficulty in reading and is likely to drive your readers away eventually.

I've actually used candies as my background at the start, in which I felt that it was a bad idea after awhile.. Not only does it look less professional, it's quite messy as well. After a few changes, I have decided to stick to White because it looks clean and neat, and works well with a dark font colour (Like black). If you feel that white is too dull, you can try incorporating colours into your logo or heading, don't forget that your images already have colours and it is more than sufficient! 


FONTS



Fonts are essential for reading. After all, it determines how the words look like right?

☑ Use common fonts

☑ Use dark colours, preferably Black

Sometimes I find myself attracted to those beautiful cursive fonts. But always remember that it is your readers who are reading your blog. It is best to choose a type of font that people are used to reading. The most common types are Arial or Time News Roman. Yes, it may seem boring but you wouldn't want to choose something that is unreadable right?

Fonts are also best read when it is Black in colour as it is the most contrasting colour from a light background like White. Just like how school assignments are required to have fonts in size 12, it would be the same for blog posts too. For blogger.com, there is a selection for font size and I picked Normal.


IMAGES

http://kangphoto.com/
Do you know that many do not actually read the content on your blog but merely scan through the photos? I admit that I do that sometimes, especially if I am not a follower of that particular blog.

No doubt that having a great writing style can make you stand out, however, you should be aware that there are tons of blogs out there in the blogosphere. Reading every single word could be very time-consuming and that is why photos could be a crucial point to whether your readers will stay.

Impressive photos DO NOT mean that you have to pose in the prettiest or sexiest way to seek for the wrong attention. It simply means that your photo should have at least decent quality.

☑ With appropriate brightness and contrast

☑ Clear photo that does not appear grainy/ blur

☑ Large/ Extra large size

Even with a pretty good camera, photos can turn out looking dark sometimes due to the lighting of the place. I would always use Photoshop to edit the brightness and contrast to enhance the photo. If you find that Photoshop is too expensive, another alternative is to download free photo apps to edit your photos. You can try PS Express.





These are just some of the essential points to look out for when you are creating a blog! It might not determine your "blogging success", but knowing some of these tips could be useful! 

Feel free to leave a comment or share this if you find this useful! 

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