The very awesome April over at Good Books and Good Wine is hosting this 15 DAY CHALLENGE for book bloggers! I’ll admit that my love of blogging has wained in the last few months since learning I was pregnant, but I’m ready to get that love back (which started with reading an ENTIRE BOOK!) … I hope this helps!
Today’s question: Write 15 bullet points about things that appeal to you on blogs.
YES! This is one I know!
1. Clean sidebars. I can’t stress this enough. I hate it when I want to follow someone, but the ways to follow are buried in ads, widgets, countdowns, pictures, etc. Make it easy for your readers!
2. No CAPTCHA. Does this really need to be said? If you have CAPTCHA on your blog, disable it. Nothing worse than trying to comment on an awesome post only to be deterred by a CAPTCHA code that you just can’t crack.
3. Easy to read fonts and backgrounds. I don’t like squinting. I don’t like highlighting a passage in order to read it. I don’t like the feeling that my eyes are burning when I’m trying to read your blog post. Yes, that font that you really like might look good to you, but use something easy for your readers — something that’s actually readable.
4. Actually posting reviews. What’s the point of a book blog if all you’re going to post are memes, book blitzes, and blog tour posts? If I scroll to the end of the first page of your blog and don’t see a review, I’m very much unlikely to follow you.
5. Personality. I love getting to know the blogger behind the blog! This doesn’t mean posting all your life’s problems and all the medications you’re on, but posting things about you. Put yourself in reviews, do update posts, share things! I want to get to know you!
6. For Blogger blogs — the ability to comment using Name & URL. NOTHING annoys me more (well, besides CAPTCHA) than wanting to comment on a post, only to see that I can only use a Blogger account, OR there’s a WordPress option, but for some reason it doesn’t “read” my blog. Having a Name & URL option makes things EASY for your readers.
7. Regular posting. Now, I know that come the new year I might not be able to do this as much as I do now, but I do like *some* kind of schedule. I hate it when I get to know a blogger and love their blog, only for them to have HUGE gaps in between posts. It makes me wonder if you’re still there.
8. Actually having some space. I hate clutter. There’s one thing to have a cluttered sidebar, but it’s another thing to have a completely cluttered blog. I like being able to see where the post is and where the sidebar is, etc. It’s also nice to have space between paragraphs, or between the synopsis and the review, etc.
9. Formatting. Yes, formatting matters. If everything in a post is kind of mish-mashed together, with no rhyme or reason, it can make it hard for me, as a reader, to want to read what you’re saying.
10. Customize it, yo’. One thing I love is to see customized headers, buttons, and even meme buttons. It ties a blog together and makes it look awesome! And I know how much work goes into doing something like that, so go you!
11. Having a search function. Sometimes I like to find things on your blog. Make it easy for me to do so! And have it at the top — hiding things isn’t nice.
12. Sound off. I get it. You like the fancy widgets that have cool sounds. Unfortunately, when I open your blog at the wee hours in the morning with the sound cranked on the laptop, I do not.
13. Not just reviews. Yes, I love it when you post reviews, but you know what else is fun? Having something else that brings readers in, showcases your personality, and is fun! Like my Four Weeks of Bookish Awesomeness last year. It was so much fun to put together and it was something different from the norm.
14. When you reply to comments. Sometimes I don’t make it back to your blog to read them, but what I love, love, love, is when you have a plug-in that can send replies to my comments to me. It’s not about getting ALL the comments, but about forming a community and having a dialogue. Be thankful for your commenters.
15. Having fun. It’s easy to tell when a blogger has fun with their blog — when they’re NOT viewing this as a second job, but a fun hobby where they get to read and share the books! We LOVE books! Show us your passion! Show us your humour! Show us that you love books, too! Have FUN on your blog and don’t try to make it so professional and un-personal that it seems to fade into the background.
Whew! That was tough!
What are some things YOU like about blogs?