I read somewhere on Facebook this week that list posts are passé. Done. Over. It turns out that I didn’t get the memo because I LOVE to write the darn things. List posts help me corral my thoughts and line them up in neat little rows for you all, which is virtually impossible without a dot point or two. So excuse me while I am all passé and share this week’s tips to make your blog reader-friendly. They aren’t rocket science {or rocket surgery, as we say in my family} just simple tips that will keep readers flicking through or coming back to your page.


Design and Layout

I’m a sucker for white. You can probably tell. And when you spend as much time online as I do, nothing loves your eyes more than dark type on white backgrounds. I also like wide spaces and nothing too crowded. As a reader, I don’t like my eyes hopping all over the place while reading the content. Yes, I check out sidebars, but on my own time. I don’t want them closing in on me! Run your eyes over your page. What grabs your attention, and should that REALLY be the first thing that does?


Share button and subscribe links.

I find it difficult sometimes as a reader to share a post or subscribe to a blog. This seems a little ridiculous given this is the point of writing one {in a lot of cases}. Turn on your share buttons if you are in blogger. Add a widget such as JetPack or something if with WordPress. Make it easy to share your blog. I know it’s possible to copy and paste or use a toolbar add-on like Add This or something, but that’s hard work for me, the reader. Don’t make me work for it.

Similarly, if I want to subscribe, I want the button to exist at the top of your sidebar. The RSS feed is what I’m after, and I want it to work. Blogger has the friend connect, making it easy, as long as you have the widget installed. WordPress bloggers make sure your links work and that they are easy to identify. Offer some options if you’re concerned. If I read a blog I like, I want to find it again. So I subscribe. If I can’t find where to subscribe in a few moments, I move on. Plenty, PLENTY more fish in the sea.


Spelling and grammar

I’m as guilty of this as you can be, I think. I publish quickly with errors and mistakes. I don’t mean to be careless; I like to think of it as passionate or spontaneous. But whatever spin I want, it’s annoying and hard work to read a blog with poor writing skills. It’s something I work on every day. Something I think we all should be working on. Obviously, some people are crazy talented and have all the skills. No disrespect to them. I think that’s about enough said on that.


Popular post/topic links/categories

Ever since Blogger introduced the popular posts widget, I’ve loved this idea. But as a reader, I love its GUTS. I love to be able to click on a blog’s most popular posts. You find the most random things clicking on those links. I love that. Most bloggers will tell you that those are hardly their best work {sometimes they are} but it gives you a feel for the blog. And as a reader, that’s essential.

It’s also important to use your categories and use them well. I have almost 15 on my blog. Too many by most standards. Ok, all standards. But I keep them true to form, and I think that if you need something, you’d be able to find it. As a reader, I love clicking straight to the categories and finding everything in one place. It makes it easy. Say I come to your blog for a post about cooking sugar-free. Your blog may have the rest of your life there, but if I click on the topic links {if used correctly}, there they are. All the sugar-free cooking posts in one. Easy.


A welcome page

This is something that comes from the ProBlogger 31 days to a better blog eBook. And something I’ve only implemented on this blog in the past few months. It’s a landing page. A “Hi, you’re new here” type page {that’s mine}. I use it now to land my Twitter, and Facebook clicks through. It’s a fixed page with a small welcome, some directions around the site and a few posts I love, as well as some posts readers love. It gives them an overview of what to expect here, feeds them deep into the site and gives me the chance to introduce myself before they flit away.


Sometimes it is the simple thing that makes ALL the difference. The ease of use of your site. The impact on the eyeballs {does it exhaust your eyes to read it?}. Take a look at your site, send in a family member or friend who doesn’t read it often. Get them to write down their first impressions, ask them to find their way to a couple of your main pages—that sort of thing. My Hubby does this for me sometimes. It can be a bit brutal on the ego, but it gives it to me straight. Plus, he will complain until the cows come home if it takes too long to load. So make that your mission. Get your site reviewed by someone you trust.

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