How To Have The Bestest Blog Ever

OK, OK, I’m sorry. I’ll act a little older than five and stop saying made-up words.

Without further ado, I present to you a short list of things I have learned in nearly three years of blogging. It’s funny how much I’ve taught myself about changing the structure of my blog during that time simply by messing around. So what follows is a description of very easy things you can do to not annoy people and hopefully gain followers. What follows is a list of stuff that makes me go, “Ooh, this is cool, this person knows what they’re doing!” and subscribe to your blog.

  • Post frequently. I love some blogs that update every day. I love some blogs that post maybe once a week. I aim to post every other day but what with college classes, 4-H commitments, visiting colleges, and all the other hassles of my junior year, I may not be able to for much longer. How much time can you reasonably spend on the computer? Not everyone has the ideas or time to write a lot, so figure out what works for you. But if you’re averaging like four posts a year, that’s probably a sign that blogging is not for you.
  • Vary the content of your posts. Even if your blog has a theme of sorts (which mine does not), it’s not too hard to stop from falling into a rut with all your posts about the same thing. I follow a guy who blogs mostly about books, with some posts about pop music and life in general thrown in. He keeps things interesting by not always writing about books and even when his posts are about books, he reviews novels from many different genres – I never know what I’m going to find there next. I also follow not one but two girls whose posts are almost always about reading, writing, andΒ Doctor Who but again, those topics never get old because they know what they’re doing. If you’re clever, you’ll realize that there is so much you can do with just one topic. Praise it, criticize it, make it happy, make it sad, talk about it seriously, talk about it humorously.
  • Try to post meaningful stuff. It drives me out of my mind when a person whose blog I read posts something like, “Oops, today I don’t have any ideas for a post! LOL” If you’re out of ideas/time, just don’t post! It’s OK to do fun stuff – I love fun stuff! I have a weakness for filling out book memes! – but put some effort into what you write or I will sic Gollum on you.
  • Ignore the people who say, “Well, I don’t think you should write about ___.” I am not saying that you shouldn’t take suggestions. By all means, do so! However, there is probably going to be at least one person who rains on your parade and criticizes all your posts. Honestly, I think that unless you are a famous person with lots of admirers, you should be writing your blog for yourself and not your readers. Post what you enjoy writing.
  • Make your blog easy on the eyes. Please, please, please. I think simple themes, background colors, fonts, and the like are the best. My background color can hardly be called nondescript, but at least it doesn’t interfere with reading the posts! Basically, if you have hot pink text on a black background, you are a truly terrible person.
  • Communicate with your readers, and make it easy for them to communicate with you.Β LET PEOPLE COMMENT. I’m going to rant about Blogger quickly now: this is my biggest pet peeve with the site. It won’t let me comment because I’m not logged in to thirty gazillion things at once; it makes me type those stupid and practically illegible codes like L0LBUTT123 only to say that I was wrong so my comment didn’t go through; it swallows my comments for no reason at all. I’m not saying not to use Blogger but if you do – if you blog on any platform – and you want to see what people think of your posts, you have to make it possible for them to respond. And respond to what they say! I love when someone responds to my comment on their blog because I know I wasn’t ignored.
  • Make your blog easy to navigate. This may be the most important thing of all. When I find an intriguing blog, sure, I look at their recent posts. But I also look at what they have done in the past. Naturally, I can’t do that if they’ve made it difficult to find things. Categories, tags, and monthly archives all exist for a reason and while you don’t have to have all three like I do, it does help to have at least one.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
This entry was posted in Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to How To Have The Bestest Blog Ever

  1. Awesome (and helpful) post! πŸ˜€ I often fall into ruts (by writing about nothing but, well, writing). Or if I have nothing to post, I do memes (I’ve done far too many of those recently). I should probably think of something else to write about. Probably. πŸ˜›

  2. matttblack42 says:

    I need to work on that first one. My blog was at it’s most popular back in May when I was posting every other day. I’ve been inconsistent lately, but I’m getting better. I have an almost finished post scheduled for tomorrow and an idea for one the day after that.

    Oh, and you just summed up why I hate Blogger. I know a lot of people who use that site, and I’d like to comment every once in a while, but none of my comments ever get through.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *high-fives* I read about three or four Blogger blogs that let me comment. I read quite a few more that are frustrating so sorry, no comments from me. It’s just not worth it to wrangle with the computer for five minutes when it only took me thirty seconds to type out the comment.

      • Lydia says:

        Out of curiosity, what can those of us who are on Blogger do to make commenting friendlier towards readers from all platforms? Probably turn off the word verification, right? That can open the floodgates for spam comments, but it’s worth it if everyone can comment.

        Blogger is a great platform when you’re starting out, but eventually there are small things that start to be frustrating. It’s fairly easy to build a community inside of Blogger, but then it’s hard to reach out to bloggers from other platforms. I wish Blogger (and even WordPress) was better at integrating with other platforms. In the next couple months, I want to start over with a new blog for my personal blogging, and I’m excited to try a different platform.

    • nevillegirl says:

      @Lydia:

      Yeah, I think the word verification should be turned off. But I’m pretty sure you can still stop spam comments with this setting that requires the blogger to moderate everything. Taylor Lynn, one of the other commenters on this post, has that on her blog. I have it on mine, because WordPress is stupid and thinks practically everything is a legit comment.

      Agreed. WordPress is AWESOME for finding other blogs – if they’re on WordPress. I’ve found Blogger blogs pretty much just through the blogrolls of WordPress blogs.

      • Lydia says:

        Word verification is evil. And comment moderation works, but I’m too lazy to stay on top of it. I think we’ve got everything on TBC set as loosely as possible. We do get a lot of spam, but Blogger filters most of it out. Also, Cait managed to set things up so that the older posts have comment moderation turned on. Which helps a ton.

  3. orphu44 says:

    I’ve fallen in a pit of apathy and haven’t actually finished a blog post in ages, and have just about entered the “well, I’ve gone so long without posting already …” stage.
    I really need to finish a post. *goes to see if a finished post can maybe happen*

  4. Artgirl says:

    Thank you, Neville. As I am very new to blogging myself I will keep all of this in mind.

  5. okapigirl says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve actually been wondering how to improve my blog, Rainbow of Words, and this gave me loads of ideas.

  6. Good advice. I completely agree on the readability aspect– weird fonts and radioactive-green text just doesn’t work for me.

    And the Douglas Adams quote at the end was genius.

  7. Taylor Lynn says:

    As I’ve been going through the process of getting back into blogging, I’ve been considering this sort of thing lately; specifically, what I think is important in order to turn my blog into the kind of blog I’d like to read, and what kind of atmosphere I want my own blog to have. Like, I’m trying to post at least once a week, more often if I can manage it without overwhelming myself, but in posting with that amount of regularity, I’m also attempting to keep the posts shorter and compulsively readable. And I want to make it a simple and crisp yet welcoming corner of the internet, so I’ve put together a minimalistic design that I think is both functional and pleasing to the eye. Obviously, these aren’t aspects every blog needs, but they’re perfect for what I’m going for!

    And I agree, communication and connecting with followers is a key part of why I enjoy blogging so much, and I love when bloggers respond to comments; I usually subscribe to receive emails about follow-up comments on the blogs I read, so that if the author replies I can engage in a conversation with them in the comments section. As you very well know, of course. πŸ˜‰

    Also, those gibberish confirm-that-you’re-not-a-robot things Blogger puts in the comment section–I can’t stand them either, gah! Thankfully, I know how to take that particular feature off my own blog. πŸ™‚

    • nevillegirl says:

      Because of my every-other-day posting schedule, I’ve been posting either three or four times a week, but I’ll probably cut back to 2 posts a week later in the school year. Unless I can handle school AND blogging really well, which I probably can’t. Oh well. School is more important.

      Indeed. *pats* I’m glad of that.

  8. Lydia says:

    Good advice! I’ve been blogging for roughly the same number of years as you have and I agree with everything you listed. As far as the posting regularly bit goes, I know from experience that it can be really hard to pull your readers back in and get them to start interacting again after you’ve been gone for a while. On TBC someone is usually posting every day. But I’ve really slacked off on my personal blog, mainly because I’m ready to move to a new blog and a new blogging platform. The last posts I’ve written (which were spaced quite erratically and far apart) only received three or four comments, whereas I was usually getting eight or nine comments when I was posting regularly.

  9. Thomas says:

    This post contains such wonderful advice; I agree with all of it! It’s important to vary your content even if you do have a theme or unifying concept within your blog, and it’s also necessary to keep what you write meaningful, even if you throw in a more fanciful post every now and then. Also, thank you for the maybe shout-out? (:

    • nevillegirl says:

      Thank you, and you’re welcome for the shout-out! You have a cool blog and it’s one of the few I read that aren’t all over the place in terms of content. (Not that lots of topics are a bad thing; it just means their blog is different.)

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