02 July 2015

3 Template Pet Peeves and How To Solve Them

When someone clicks onto your blog, the very first impression you're going to make will be your template.  If it's chaotic, readers looking for hassle-free information will be instantly turned off.  You don't want to make your followers work to find the information you put so much time into producing.  Having a template that works for you and your followers is a must.

Here are a few common mistakes that really tweak my tail, why they're damaging to your image, and some suggestions about how to fix them.

CROWDED SIDEBARS.  This makes your blog look busy and chaotic, and it draws the focus away from your posts, which should be the main attraction, and onto the sidebar.  Also, when you have a plethora of buttons, but they're all slightly different sizes, it looks tacky.

Try this:  For blog rolls, instead of having line after line of buttons, put them in a marquee.  It isn't a difficult code, I promise.  Google's got your back.  It will save a lot of space and make your blog roll look much cleaner.

UNFORMATTED POSTS.  Taking the time to make sure your posts are formatting correctly makes a universe of difference.  Though it may take an hour the first time, once you know what to look for, it only takes a minute or two.  After a few posts, you'll fall into a routine and your posts will come out looking just the way you want them every single time.

Try This:  If you've got a paid Wordpress blog, try this nifty plug in: Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin.  I've never tried it personally but I've seen other people use it to great effect.  It costs some money, but it will apparently shorten the amount of time you have to spend formatting your reviews.

If you're in Blogger, use the "preview" button that's two over from the orange "Publish" button in your post edit window.  By previewing how it looks, it's easy to go back and fix any extra paragraph breaks, etc.  If it still isn't looking like the hot mess you were aiming for, experiment sometime.  Click buttons.  Search Google.  Ask for help.  If you're blogging for the long haul, professionalism is key, so take the time to make it work.

WHO ARE YOU?  One of my number one pet peeves in this world is visiting a blog and not knowing anything about who runs it.  Readers are stereotypically introverts but hiding behind your blog?  That's a turn off.  You don't have to put up a picture of yourself, but I definitely want to see a name and where you are in the world, at the very least.

Try this:  If you don't want to use the Blogger "About Me" widget, then use a simple text or HTML widget from Blogger and introduce yourself.  Include your name, your country/state (if applicable), and roughly how old you are.  Look at how your favorite bloggers do it.  If you need help, there's Google, and fellow bloggers.