Bloggers, please

Reading time 8 mins

I read and subscribe to a lot of blogs. I am a blog addict. When I first started in 2010 I was just a blogger, then I realized I had better get to know some of the other bloggers who were in my niche. Being a {insert niche here} blogger I didn’t really need friends to sell my content, but I wanted to know how other bloggers had their sites. I was always searching for ideas for fresh content. I commented like a mad person to get my name out there and that mostly did the trick. I started off like most people with a blogroll that consisted of people who had me on their blog roll. I don’t just blog about {inset niche here} anymore, so readership is harder earned, but feels so much better. Now I just don’t care if people blog roll me. I read what I like. I comment because I have something I wanna say, and because I know bloggers love comments.

So, I find myself seeking out new blogs and sometimes I want to scream at their owners. I know quite a few people who have great content, but are still on blogger. Blows my mind really. I know one wrong post, or advertiser and they will likely loose all their content. Your content isn’t really yours on blogspot. They are hosting you, and they can decide you are too offensive, making too much affiliate link traffic or whatever and then just make you disappear. It happened to me. Starting over from scratch made me more aware of options I had. With wordpress everything is possible. Some things I have needed help with. Having friends who blog, I found people that could help me and I learned how to make my blog better. If you love your blogging, invest a little into it and you will have more freedom over your content.

Blogging is more than just great writing, unique reviews, or great photos. Blogging is also a way to meet new people. I love discovering new blogs and unique content. I also believe firmly in this.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Stephen King

Since blogging and writing are my passion. I take that to heart. I live by that. This is a list of my top pet peeves. I look at sites and see this stuff and I am instantly annoyed, or I assume you are really new. Let me show you what I, as a blog reader, look for.

 

  • Easy to read content.  If you are blogging on a mostly black blog, please please change the color of writing from white.  Your blog is not easy to read.  Do you actually read your content?  If you did the you would know that shit is not working.  Get grey or red or better yet, change the background color.  Please and thank you!
  • A search bar.  If you a review site and you peaked my interest with a few posts, I may want to check if you have reviewed something I know.  It gives me a basis for comparison.  If I loved it and you hated it then well, at least I would understand something about you.  Not having a search bar means I will never know.  That is very frustrating.  Also, it’s fun to see what people are searching for on your site.
  • A twitter account.  Come on, for crying out loud!  You are not going to be able to make an impact there if you don’t exist.  Social media is really important, especially for bloggers.  I get so frustrated when I see blogs without easy to find links to their social network.  You should be on social media, how else do you expect to find readers.  In this present time we have access to so many things.  The world has become smaller with our use of technology.  I have “friends” that I can talk to almost daily on the other side of the world, all thanks to twitter.  If I have a question about something, I can do a quick shout-out to twitter and I am almost guaranteed a response.  I can #hashtag and event, idea, or subject and find plenty of resources (or stupid comments at least).  Get on there right now if you aren’t.  Follow people.  Other bloggers especially.  If you work with companies, ie. review stuff for them, you should follow them, too.  Say something to them and ask them to follow you.  A follow list on twitter is not like a blog roll.  It is not going to cost you rank or anything to follow someone.  Are you not on twitter?  Really?
  • Easy to find social media buttons on the front page.  Do this now if you haven’t got them.  That is so annoying.  I wanna follow, but I can’t because you didn’t think enough to show me were you hang out on the web.
  • An easy way to subscribe.  If it is not on the front page, you are doing it wrong.  I am not going to look for too long before I decide I don’t want you in my email, anyway.
  •  An easy comment system.  I know a lot of you are trying to prevent spam from occurring but really?  I have to sign in to comment?  Guess what, I won’t bother.  That shit sucks.  I know some bloggers use Disqus and have no problem getting comments, but I bet they would have even more if they didn’t.  Think about that!
  • A blogroll.  Really, no blogroll?  So you write a blog, but you don’t read any?  Maybe you don’t read blogs but you like other informative sites, share that then.  What do you read on the net?  Nothing you just write your post and log off?  I doubt it.  Your readers probably want to know what you read.  You should get some friends.  Other bloggers, especially in your niche will help you grow your blog.  They will inspire you and give you a place to leave your comments.
  • Original content.  Post something that is actually yours.  Stealing is a big no, no when it comes to blogs.  I recently had a blogger submit content to my review round up site and half the posts contain stolen content from other bloggers.  Since this is a smallish community the blog theft was found out and exposed. (thanks in big part to social media)  We look out for each other, and stealing is not a sin that will not soon be forgiven, or forgotten.  Also, I hate to see a well designed book blog and find it is nothing more than blog tours and cover releases.  You want readership and to make affiliate money?  You have to be willing to put the work in.  Do something along with posting those pretty, free graphics.
  • Optimization for mobile usage.  Some people like to look at sites on their phones, ipads, tablets, kindles, etc…  If your site is not readable on a mobile device you are missing out on readership.  What?  Really!  I have read, commented, and subscribe to blogs from my Samsung phone.  Get mobile optimization on what you have, or use a theme that supports it.
  • Images that fit.  It is more annoying to me to see images spilling over into your sidebar than you could ever know.  Nope, I don’t care if it was just that one time, because you have preset graphics.  That is pure laziness.  If you don’t care what you site looks like then I can guess you probably don’t care about quality content either.

 

This is a bit rant like I know. I am an avid blog reader. I subscribe to so many blogs I get fresh content daily via email, and I read almost all of it. I might start off on a familiar site and end up on the other side of internet clicking blogroll, facebook, and twitter links. I read all kinds of blogs too, not just book blogs. I know what great blogs look like. I know what readers are looking for. Some of those bloggers pay to have their sites looks awesome. I made this, and every blog site I have owned on my own. I take a certain pride in creating content that is easy on the eyes and I make changes when I think something isn’t working. I want to fix something before my readers, all two of them, even see it. I have invested time in this site. It isn’t that hard to create a site with easy to read content, great graphics, that is easy to follow and subscribe to.

This is not directed at any one person, or site. I just had to get that out before my head explodes. I am just sick of seeing people doing it so wrong. Got some things you see on blog sites that are driving you crazy? Comment with them here.

Subscribe to never miss a post!
Awesome People Share. Be Awesome...
By | 2016-11-02T14:43:25+00:00 Thursday, July 17, 2014|Blogging, Discussions, Mind Vomit|39 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.

39 Comments

  1. Åsa Winter July 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Great information. Finally I’ve been kicked up the ass to sort out a blog roll over the weekend!

    Åsa x
    Check Out Åsa Winter’s most recent post- DarlaMy Profile

  2. Molly July 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Great advice here. I couldn’t agree with you more about logging into comment. I just don’t and WON’T do it. Also you have reminded me of a post I have been meaning to write about image usage on blogs… so more on that soon

    Mollyxxx
    Check Out Molly’s most recent post- Just one lookMy Profile

  3. dizzygirld July 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Aww, thanks for saying my blog looked good. 🙂

    I don’t like having to log in to comment either and I use disqus on my blog. It can be set up to where it’s no more difficult than what is required to comment here. You can comment as a guest and use whatever name and email address you want.

    One thing I do need to pay more attention to is mobile optimization. I don’t even have a smart phone so, I have no idea what my site looks like on mobile devices. I did have a plug-in for awhile that had a separate theme for mobile devices but it wasn’t working out that well.

    • dizzygirl July 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Leave it to me to typo my own name and not catch it.

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      July 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Your site is great chic but, how do you live without a smart phone? Lol! That sounds horrible!

  4. adriana July 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    I absolutely agree about logging in to comment. What.the.actual.fuck.

    Also, I am one of those bloggers who really doesn’t read other blogs much.
    Check Out adriana’s most recent post- 6 Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway (Multiple Prizes)My Profile

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      July 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      You have been doing this a long time. Not everyone likes reading blogs and I get that. I am just such a blog fan. I love looking at new sites.

  5. Beck July 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    One thing to add is that if you need help with something that is a layout issue, don’t be afraid to reach out to another blogger or someone like DomSigns for help. We all want to see each other succeed at making a great blog.

    When I notice someones layout is very plan, no header, a lot of white space, only a few links on the sidebar, and maybe a few banners not aligned… I think they don’t put a lot of work into their site and I usually stop reading there. Your design is your first impression on your readers. Make it a good one!
    Check Out Beck’s most recent post- iCollection Brocade Racerback Corset & Matching G StringMy Profile

  6. Brianna (The Book Vixen)
    Twitter:
    July 18, 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I will most likely forever be on the Blogger platform. Book blogging is solely a hobby for me and the costs associated with self-hosting on WP just aren’t in my budget. So I try to make the most out of my Blogger blog.

    You have made my day! I’m giddy that you think I have a great blog 😀
    Check Out Brianna (The Book Vixen)’s most recent post- In My Pocket: Luzme, Kindle Unlimited, and more!My Profile

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      July 18, 2014 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      It looks like you own your domain. Although they may host you, you are not on a blogspot.com address. Your graphics are in line and look great. I am sure you spend a lot of time on your site making it look awesome, so don’t be so surprised people notice my friend!

      • Brianna (The Book Vixen)
        Twitter:
        July 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

        I own my domain, yes, but I’m still on the Blogger platform. The most important thing for me is backing up my blog. Not only downloading a backup but having a back up blog elsewhere 🙂
        Check Out Brianna (The Book Vixen)’s most recent post- Write On Review-a-Thon {6} Sign UpMy Profile

  7. Julie S.
    Twitter:
    July 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    This is excellent. All great points. One I might disagree with is the blog roll. I read a lot of blogs, and that list changes often. I feel like including a huge list of blogs on a sidebar is overwhelming and not really visually pleasing. Instead I like to share the posts I like from bloggers I follow in my weekly sharing the bookish love post and on social media.
    Check Out Julie S.’s most recent post- Sharing the Bookish Love – June 25, 2014My Profile

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      July 26, 2014 at 9:53 am - Reply

      I use a separate page for blog I follow/love but I update it a lot. I don’t think a huge list on the side bar is good either.

  8. John August 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    I find with every iteration of my blog, I get better at making it more what I want. I am going to change my BlogRoll to a separate page, just never have the time as it involves a certain about of PHP programming.

    And the trouble is, I keep changing my mind about what I want my blog to look like! 😉
    Check Out John’s most recent post- Flash Fiction Friday: The tricksterMy Profile

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      August 8, 2014 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Absolutely, me too! I must look at new themes like once a month. If I find something I think is fresh and works I try to implement it. Reading other blogs inspires me.

  9. Jade August 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    I’m one of those bloggers who doesn’t read a ton of other blogs. I have a handful that I subscribe to (mostly people I have met in person, or whom I feel like I know personally from having interacted with them online so much) but I just don’t have the time for reading that many. However I do LOOK at other blogs a lot, for the same reason you mention here – to see what other bloggers are doing that is fresh and new and that I might want to try on my own site. I love the web design aspect of blogging almost as much as I love writing, and am constantly on the look-out for new ways to present not only my own content, but the websites I build and design in my “real” (ie non-kink/sex blogging) life as well.

    I’ve been kicking around a redesign on K&P recently, and had considered adding a blogroll again at one point, but have found that linking to specific posts or blogs within the context of a blog I’m writing just feels more useful to the reader in general, and more authentic, somehow. For instance, I very seldom click on a blog listed in someone’s side bar blog roll, and almost *never* click over to a “blogs I read” page, but I clicked thru on several of the blogs you listed in your post. The exception to that is the really nifty blogroll widget that had the blog name and then the name and date of their most recent post. I used to see that a lot on blogs, but never got the code for it loaded to my own site, and now I don’t see it very often, sadly.

    Excellent points throughout!

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      August 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      Yes, I remember using one of those back when I used blogspot. Blogger has an easy widget for that. I know one for worpress exists, I have seen it on other blogs that I know use wordpress. I bet it would require an hour or twi of plug-in “witchhunting,” as I like to call it. Thanks for your input.

  10. ScrewLooseHoney August 16, 2014 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Aw, mannn, but I don’t wanna get a Twitter account! I have been avoiding that for…how many years now?

    My blog is on WordPress because, frankly, I stumbled across it first. I have wondered about the other blog sites, but am far too invested (read: lazy) to switch to a different one. You prefer WordPress? I’m curious at to why that is. Thanks!
    Check Out ScrewLooseHoney’s most recent post- Getting rammed by a middle aged woman with a sizable strap-on cock. (Plus, my take on service.)My Profile

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      August 16, 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

      It has much more customizable options. I can do so much more with wordpress.

    • CavaSupernova August 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      Haha, I so hear you, ScrewLooseHoney. I’m only on WordPress because it was the only one I’d heard of. I keep meaning to self host on there but I don’t have the time to find out how. Been on my to-do list forever. Glad I’m not the only one!
      Check Out CavaSupernova’s most recent post- Masochists, hook-ups and whores… It’s @e-Lust #61My Profile

  11. Oleander Plume August 18, 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

    So much great advice, thanks for putting this together. I never even took into consideration how my blog would appear on a mobile device, good to know. I’ll be revamping a bit, that’s for sure!

  12. Diane Kepler August 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Consider me suitably chastened. 🙂 I will endeavor to change.

  13. Penny September 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Excellent points Karen– I love this post! It annoys me as well when I read someone’s blog and get excited/want to tweet about how awesome they are, and then I can’t find their twitter info. Thanks for putting this together, and for including my site as an example! I’m honored. Also, I’m hoping to redesign soon…there’s always room for improvement! 🙂
    xxPenny
    Check Out Penny’s most recent post- Sex Blogger Life: Real TalkMy Profile

  14. Heaven September 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    What a great post Karen, I am always revamping my website because something is out of place or the colors don’t fit. I think my first thing on my site was a blog roll because I followed everyone. If not the first it was out of three things I put up. I started on blogger and it sucked I quickly switched to WordPress and thanks to networking and some good people I have stuck with it. It is nothing like to have free rain on your own content. Without worrying your site will be shut down.

    • KarenB
      Twitter:
      September 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      Thanks Heaven! I, too, am always revamping my site. I change the sidebar order about once a week. I doubt I will ever be satisfied with how my blog looks. It is my labor of love.

      • Heaven September 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm - Reply

        Yea it is impossible to stick with the same thing. I have Beck who helps me out and between the both of us being picky until it is done to our liking we then stop. I even have to tell her to get off at times it is fine then she will turn and change something and let me know, LOL. Hey change is always good too.

  15. Shanda September 8, 2014 at 8:19 am - Reply

    My blog is a work in progress (still doing the foot work) and this post was really helpful in that process thanks

  16. Sweeten Dirty March 26, 2015 at 3:04 am - Reply

    I just recently went self hosted and love it. Things are even more customizable than straight WordPress, let alone Blogger. Great post. I (think) my blog is up to par, lol.

    I agree, logging in to comment is annoying. If I have to log in, I probably won’t bother. I admit though, I do most of my reading in a RSS Reader, so I miss a lot of the awesome designs of blogs. It’s just so much easier to have all the blogs I follow on one page.
    Check Out Sweeten Dirty’s most recent post- Fuck ItMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      Twitter:
      March 26, 2015 at 6:20 am - Reply

      If you are happy with it, that’s great. I see bloggers complain about traffic, but then don’t consider how their blog looks to others. This is my list. I have to check out your new design. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
    Twitter:
    July 14, 2016 at 8:53 am - Reply

    LOL Karen 🙂 Tell us how you really feel :p
    I agree with some of these for sure! I have trouble with darker backgrounds too, I think it has something to do with age, and my eyes not working as well as they used to 🙂
    I need to maybe update my blogroll, as I read some new blogs quite often 🙂
    Have a terrific Thursday and happy reading! xoxo
    Check Out Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews’s most recent post- Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #73 – Don’t Tempt MeMy Profile

Leave A Comment

CommentLuv badge