As a blogger who blogs and reads and supports other bloggers I have a few confessions to make.
1. I really don't understand why anyone would design their blog to be user UN-friendly. For example, making the font tiny or difficult to read in some other way (contrast). I really don't think your main font, that your posts will be published in, should be a script, "handwritten" or in some light color.
I realize I feel this way because I have bad eyes. But the thing is, I'm not the only person in the world who has bad eyes. And when I go to a blog that I can't see, I regretfully have to click away. Why would anyone want that? Wouldn't you rather make it easy for ALL readers to stay and read what you've taken the time and effort to write?
2. Along the lines of #1, I think photos should be published LARGE. I figure if you go to the trouble to include pictures, you want your reader to take notice of them, right? However, don't make them so big that they overflow outside your post area. That just looks unkempt. Which leads me to....
3. I don't enjoy blogs that are really cluttered. It totally distracts me from the post I'm there to read. I have quite a few things in my sidebar, but I've made sure it's all formatted nicely, flows straight down the page, nothing flashy, scrolling, blinking or makes noise.
4. If I've come, read and enjoyed your blog and decide I want to follow you in some way, I hate having to search for follow buttons. If I can't find them, I can't follow.
5. Speaking of following, I really don't understand why any blogger would not be on Twitter. Twitter is such a happy, fun and supportive place. If I read a post I really liked, I want to tweet it to tell others about it, but if the blogger isn't on Twitter too, I can't give them credit, thus pointing potential new followers in their direction. This makes me a little sad. By the way, the place I have the most followers? Twitter.
6. I think sidebars should be on the right. This is because we read from left to right. If you decide to have two sidebars, I wish you wouldn't make your middle area, where your posts live, super skinny. Your posts are the meat of your blog, not all the crap in your sidebars. The sidebar is where you accessorize your blog.
7. It doesn't feel very good when another blogger forgets they agreed to do a guest post for you. It also doesn't feel good when they ignore tweets from the blogger they forgot about. People should try really hard not to do that. If you do forget, admit it and apologize. Basic common courtesy here, people.
Tip: Use a calendar for blogging. Google offers a very nice, handy one for FREE. And, it will email and text you reminders!
8. Word verification/Captcha is really annoying. I'm not one who will refuse to comment on a blog that is still using it because, well, I don't know it's there until after I've typed my comment and once I have already gone to the effort, I'm not just abandoning it. Guess I'm stubborn like that. BUT, the thing is, you don't need to use it. I happen to know that both Blogger and Wordpress have comment spam filtering. They will catch it. I've only ever had ONE comment squeak through that I considered to be spam, and I simply deleted it myself. Not a big deal.
9. If a blogger wants to write sponsored posts and host giveaways, or even make money with their blog, I'm all for it....as long as this is balanced with what I really love about the blog. I admit, I'm NOT into the blogs that ONLY post reviews and giveaways. Unless of course they're hosting a giveaway I'd like to enter. Speaking of which, you should totally enter blog giveaways! You have a much better chance of winning them than the big sweepstakes on larger, corporate websites. I can attest to this, as I've won more than a few cool things now.
10. The number one thing I look for in a blog is authenticity. When I can tell that the blogger is representing their true self, I have the utmost respect. A sense of humor is a close second. Third is finding something I can relate to. Maybe it will only be one post. But that's something, right?
Is it OK that I've said these things out loud? Would you add anything to my list?
(This post is hanging out at yeah write #57.)