15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day Eight (Hosted by Good Books & Good Wine)

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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?   

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21 thoughts on “15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day Eight (Hosted by Good Books & Good Wine)

  1. I agree with all of these except #4. Well, let me rephrase that. I agree with #4, but with some modifications. I think reviews are appropriate in the book blogging world, and should be included when possible. But if you were to go to my first page? Depending on the day of the week you might not see a review. That being said, I do attempt to replace it with original content and only participate in one meme. Of course, that’s just my own opinion! I don’t like reading reviews as much as I like reading discussion posts, original content, personal posts, etc.

    But everything else? Yes yes and yes! I hate when I go to a blog and some “wind” noise comes on. Or CAPTCHA! I can’t seem to ever get it right on the first try. And of course, having fun always comes first 🙂 I always feel bad when I see bloggers leaving or taking a break because they lose that part of blogging. Gotta have fun!

    • I think most of us did get into book blogging to write reviews, so I guess what I mean is that we should be posting SOME reviews — not just book blitzes, blog tours, etc. Original content is one thing I LOVE on blogs — it shows personality and also that you’re in this more for just getting blog hits. And it shows you have fun. I love coming up with original content. You’re really good at doing it, too. 🙂

      I’ve taken breaks before, but I think that’s mainly because I overdo it — or sometimes I just need to spend time on other things.

  2. Definitely agree with all these! Especially #1! I cannot fathom the sight of overflowing sidebars. 😦 😦 12 too! I hate opening a new tab to view a certain blog only to have my ears suddenly bombarded by loud, uncalled for music.

    • I don’t mind the captcha where you drag the cigar to the duck or something, but the ones with letters and numbers can be so confusing! I’m not sure WHY people insist on keeping it on their blogs?

      Yes — only ONE sidebar! Two sidebars are too cluttered looking!

  3. Captcha is horrible and I want to throttle it sometimes. I like reviews, but I also like the original content and discussions. I need to work on formatting for Glo-Worm, like I did kind of on ORI, but so time consuming right now D:

    And Sound, OMG I hate it! I hate when all of a sudden something is blaring, I tend to say eff it and close the window rather than mute my computer. Especially the old ones that are expired and still ticking away!

    Yeah, I pretty much agree with all of your points…lol

    • I think original content is key — that’s one thing I didn’t really include and should have! It’s nice to break out of the book blogger mold and do your own thing.

      I think the ONLY TIME sound appears on blogs is when my speakers are turned way up. It always scares the crap out of me!

  4. Haha this is wonderfully snarky. I love it. This whole challenge is so fun and I want to do them all…

    I agree with all of these, especially the ease of finding the follow/search functions. If I don’t see where to follow you, I’m not going to hunt around for it. And CAPTCHA? F-off with that 🙂

  5. Kristlyn I’m intrigued with your no 6, I’ve got a Blogger blog and currently use the standard commenting app but unfortunately I can’t seem to get the reply per comment working and I like commenting back as you’ve done above, can you recommend any commenting app that doesn’t make you log in?

    • I’m really not familiar with the apps or plug-ins that come with Blogger … maybe someone else can help? I’ve just noticed that there are a handful of blogs I follow and would like to comment on where I can’t because they don’t offer the name/url option. Sorry I’m not much more help!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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