Is Your Blog Welcoming?

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122 thoughts on “Is Your Blog Welcoming?

  1. G’day theeditorsjournal,
    What a lovely surprise I received in dropping in to thank you for you visit, like and follow. If only I had read this page fifteen years ago, I may have saved myself so much frustration, but then in thinking about it, the hard part is now behind me as I understand everything you have said here, it is advice I will try to follow, thank you πŸ™‚

  2. I have no idea if mine is welcoming or not… I’ve only just started it… but I did try to follow your simple advice in this post. The toughest part was getting the ‘about’ section to make any sense, as I want to blog anonymously. I guess that page will remain a ‘work-in-progress’ for some time! Thanks for posting this article. I am looking forward to more such tips from you. See you around.

    1. You hit the mail on the head perfectly! It is as much a work in progress as you are! Now that you have started you’re going to find all sorts of things, (from other bloggers) that will change your style or writing voice and you will keep updating to reflect this…all perfectly normal.
      First click on your page was a lovely experience visually already. – Game on! πŸ™‚

      1. Absolutely. I’m learning something new every day, both from messing around on my own and the fine examples of other blogs (including yours). Keep it coming!

    1. Your blog is delicious, arty and read-y. The extremely appropriate and blindingly well thought out but simple logos means that a fairly full side bar still seems uncluttered, clickable and interesting.

      It is, from what I have seen, also technically sound from the user interface side… really good in other words! πŸ™‚

  3. Great advice. I have 18 followers (not exactly record breaking ha!). But just that fact that I can visit with people from all four corners of the globe and share ideas makes me happy. I love blogging and what it has brought into my life.

    1. I love your attitude HL! It is the attitude with which I have chosen all my jobs in life and guess what? A lot of the time other great things ricochet off that because ultimately passion is a magnificent accelerator.

  4. Great post! I have tried to keep my blog light and airy with dashes of colour, not sure whether that is what comes across though?
    I have also recently started to write shorter pieces. It seems that people don’t have the time to read anything over 900 words.
    I’d love some feedback from you and others. If you have the time of course πŸ™‚

    1. Personally, I really like your blog. You can dip in and out of whatever takes your fancy much easier than my own. With your arrangement titles are key because of what I have just said.
      The one possible issue is your very large header pic. On a large screen it doesn’t hold me up a jot, plus I’m a visual person so I like large images that set the tone. But someone with a smaller computer or small tablet / phone + a degree of laziness might be less inclined to scroll down.
      Because you have to scroll down you lose that instant ‘Kapow! – Here’s what I have to say b*tches!’ You have to judge how important you think that is.

      One solution if you like the pic as much as I do is just to get rid of some of that lovely sky.
      Hope this helps, as there really isn’t much to even try and fault. The blog is lovely. End of.

      1. Wow!!! You have made my day missy! Thank you sooo much! I wish I could post this feedback on my blog somewhere for all to see lol!
        I totally and utterly agree with you re the header and I have tried a few times to reduce its size but to no avail 😦
        I don’t know why that is.
        You’re right though, the site does look a lot better on a mac/pc.
        Thank you so much for taking the time to have a look and for commenting. I really appreciate it.
        Hope you have a fab evening. : ))

      2. If you got my previous comment and you go for it and get accepted – get settled in then ask your personal assistant to get the art department to reduce your header for you. They will just cut off a bit of sky. You can just direct them how much you would like them to cut. ‘Kay?

      3. I am struggling to increase my social media presence. I don’t have many blog followers compared to most people I follow or visit. I have set up a facebook page and a twitter account but am only accessing a few people and engaging with even fewer (25 blog followers, facebook 68 likes, twitter 175 followers). If you have any tips – I would be very grateful. Bless you πŸ™‚

      4. I am going to fob you off, but in the nicest way I know. I think our scout team might be able to help you, (I’m sure I’m getting on their nerves right about now) but I shall tell them to contact you. Are you up for that?

      5. Oh my gosh yes please!!!
        I don’t even know what a scout team is but I would be extremely grateful for help.
        Thank you so much for referring me and for your responses. Bless you lady :))

  5. Thank you for the tip. While reading the comments, I find it refreshing and kind that you would take the time to visit blogs and give tips on improving them. Thank you for your time.

  6. Reblogged this on TGR Worzel the Sixth and commented:
    I’ve been in two-minds about re-blogging, preferring to write my own stuff rather than re-post other peoples stuff, but i) I’m interested to see how it works ii) I’m happy to help the best blog postings reach a wider audience and iii) this particular posting fits in with the theme of my blog.

    So lets give re-blogging a try and see what happens…!

      1. I wasn’t aware that anything I added when I re-blogged your post would appear here as a comment, but that’s OK and my first impression is that I rather like the way this works. I think I will do some more re-blogging, when I find suitable posts.

        The one thing I have noticed is that I now want to re-blog all sorts of things that don’t fit with the main subject of my blog. I feel the genesis of an idea for my eighth blog evolving out of this experiment…!

  7. This is great advice. To say the least, mi casa lacks visual appeal. It was a freebie theme hastily chosen just to get my blog up and running. That being said, you get what you pay for and I’ve seen so many more blogs that truly reflect their purposes. You always have to come back to your purpose. Have spent the morning working on a more visually appealing design that invites readers in, plus maintains my desire to keep the blog simple and uncluttered, kind of unlike the lives of whom it celebrates, my family members! As a professional writer, I try to keep the writing crisp, with posts that are short, sweet and to the point. In the most recent post I tried mixing it up with a power point turned video regarding my husband’s renovation, of sorts, of our deck. It’s going so well, I might add. Would like to include pics of family members, but have been unable to convince husband we won’t attract stalkers. He’s somewhat unconvinced family members don’t have the mass appeal of the Kardashians! JK. If/when someone visits my blog feel free to comment on anything. I’d appreciate the feedback. Have a great day!

    1. Hi Julie hope you’re well? I don’t know if the theme there now is the old one or the new one and I’m slightly burnt out now so don’t want to comment with fuzzy brain. Hopefully someone else on this post might take up the baton as you requested. Couple of words – what I saw was indeed nice and simple and accessible but I would normally read a few posts too which as I said I’m too burnt out to do.
      Looking forward to seeing the deck reno vid – hope I get the time to go back and see it!

  8. This is great. My first rule of thumb and I’m hoping I’m accomplishing it! I can’t stand to go to a site or blog and have it be so cluttered that I can’t even find the content. I re-read my posts several, several times before publishing them – I try to stay as simple as possible while still maintaining my personality. It also drives me nuts when there’s no search option. I’m surprised how many blogs don’t have that. I’ve been lucky enough to learn some of this from my prior jobs but this is really great and basic info anyone can follow. I keep trying to improve…(Your comments welcome here.)

    As for readership – I’ve been doing this for 9 months and still don’t have that many blog followers directly. But I get a lot of traction and people who follow from other places so you just can’t let that “number” get you down!! (Although, WordPress bloggers who follow me tend to be the most dedicated and awesome commenters btw!!)

    So glad I found your blog…..Thanks for your energy and dedication!!

      1. Your post and responses to comments are very instructive. I only started blogging last month and find it satisfying to put on the screen thoughts that have been buried. Most of my blog views are generated through an anonymous email blast to fifty plus accounts. So my stats are quite low and only have a handful of followers; but was surprised to see that you are one of them. I will look at your previous posts to find ways to improve my blog but would love to hear your thoughts of the blog, as well. Many thanks for your editorial guidance! Jaytoe

      2. Hey Jaytoe, took a quick look. Visually beautiful. There is a lot to read and as I told allthechaosyoucanmuster I’m a bit burnt out after about a long time at my desk and don’t want to say stuff that isn’t genuine, as I can see that YOU care about what you write. So let me leave it for now and come back re-energized – although the titles certainly draw me in. If I get too busy and forget you know where I live now, come knock and remind me.

    1. I would struggle to fault your blog (Me Myself And DIY). Everything is set up clearly, simply, accessibly in my humble opinion. I love the headers, the logos, the stories and DIY projects. You already know I like the projects I have commented on before.

      Scooters story has to be my current absolute favourite. So now you basically need to generate more visitors and by the way, you do have great commenters which is often just as entertaining as the post itself on a lot of blogs. (Mine are of course better – but hey! Lets not fight about it!)
      Regarding gaining more visitors: I’m going to pass your details onto our scout team and see if they feel they can help you. I hope that’s alright.

      1. Ahh yes, Scooter will steal my thunder every time – LOL! He’s such a rock star and how can he help it since he’s so beeuuoootiful – I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang with that cat?! HA! Wouldn’t you know he hasn’t gotten back in his mid century mod bed since the first week I gave it to him? Such a snob! But we love him just the same – you can’t tell he’s 15 years old can you? Anyway – I always welcome feedback. Thank you!!

  9. I really get the idea of looking at it like your life/home – I guess everyone wants their blog to reflect how they come across in real life, just sometimes we need a reminder!! Xo

  10. So funny you should post this today… O spent half of yesterday dumping my boring About page in favour of a more engaging static page. (About is still available by link) Also revamped and streamlined. As this is my second MHD site, I am determined to do it properly! Great advice, as always. And I’m with Tabitha on this one. I don’t know when or if you sleep because 250k is a lot of people to keep up with. You are always a favourite and welcome comment on my own blog, and I thank you. Keep the good stuff rolling, EJ!

    1. Well lets take you for example Mother Hen. Visiting you is never a chore. Clearly I don’t need to visit people who bore me. I refuse in life to be bored – life is just not long enough!

      And no I don’t sleep! Remember I also edit the magazine. You know how kids don’t sleep on Xmas eve ‘cos they’re all excited about Xmas day? That’s the adrenalin I run on. My ‘secret’ is simple. Love what you do!

      …And ooogh yes! Loving the new set up! All the info is there on first click with posts to sample straight away. (Not even saying that I disliked the old one either!)

      1. hmm well I write what I like.. and most people who visit me are now friends ..
        although since I was not active for more than a year, I have lost some of these friends ..

        my goals are just to meet good human beings and I have met a lot of them , thanks to my blog ..
        πŸ™‚

      2. Exactly Bikram, some people want to write books, some people want to make money, some are happy just to make connections and if you are happy with that then your blog is doing it’s job. πŸ™‚

  11. Great food for thought and something that has already made me realise a few changes I need to make. Not sure about the fonts you’ve used here πŸ™‚ and also suspect an equal tip in your success is that you have managed to comment on many, many blogs across a very diverse agenda and make us all feel a little loved and ‘followed’. Of course content is important and I enjoy your carefully chosen tit bits that easily appeal to your broad and diverse audience but I suspect you are not one lone person? Maybe I’m being too cynical and really I don’t care. I’m enjoying your ride (so to speak!!) and seeing where it goes.

    1. What can I tell you Tabitha? On this blog, I’m a lone (hard working) ranger. There is not a milli-second of my day wasted and I know how to do what most people would achieve in a month in one day.

      Cynical can be good, but don’t let it fool you into ‘oh she knows special tricks that’s why she has many followers.’ I don’t do anything that I haven’t done or wouldn’t do if I met you on the street. I relate. I remember your papa was not well and ask you next time I see you – because I give a sh*t. To me it’s just human. It’s just polite. It’s not a secret.

      I will hopefully show folk how being merely interested in others – (not pretend follow me / I follow you interest), plus a bit of technical know-how, passion and some support can make the difference in blogging.

      I can assure you that I don’t comment on a lot of blogs to make folks feel loved. I comment on a lot of blogs because I have always been a curious person and am interested in a vast array of topics and ever ready to enquire about more. I have nearly 200 blogs in a folder that caught my eye weeks ago that even I haven’t found time to read yet! I speak languages that I taught myself. I learnt to build computers and a ton of stuff I wouldn’t presume to bore you with. I am curious.

      This is (one of) MY passion(s) – if it isn’t yours there is not a thing I could say that would make you believe how easy ‘work’ can be if you find your passion, focus and are not lazy – all at the same time.

      (Not suggesting you are lazy as I have no idea if you are or not of course – generally speaking!)
      I love that I’m being questioned about having helpers to run this blog, it just confirms that I rock.

      I have seen blogs run by 5 people with only a handful of followers after 2 years online. Numbers have nothing to do with it. Stop seeking reasons not to kick ass and focus on the answers how to.

      Not that you asked but your blog is beautiful by the way.

      1. Thank you. I too was being curious as well as cynical. I enjoy your posts and the debate you have started today as well as the tips you have kindly given people. I totally agree that it is not about numbers and you are right on where I need to focus my efforts…

  12. Your tip sounded like the essentials of a commercial ad… catchy and straight to the point within 30 seconds. haha! I haven’t given the stats much thought: it will pressure me all the more as a beginner.

    I do not know the basis of “too wordy” as well. For me if a sentence doesn’t help the whole topic(or anyone else), I’m sending my backspace button to attack it quickly.

    1. Oh God no! Don’t bore yourself with stats if you are a newbie. Keep it fun!
      Too wordy? I have a 26″ screen. Some posts have filled it from the top to the bottom. Solid paragraphs. No breaks.

  13. I just started blogging in December. I’m not sure what I’m doing really but I have (drumroll) 50 or so followers. I know it’s kind of corny but that is successful to me! 50 people I don’t know read what I write! How can I reach more readers? Keep blogging…. Is my guess!:)

    1. You hit the nail on the head! 50 is better than 49 is better than 20.
      50 is good for exactly the reasons you stated Amber.

      Mom, baby and the little pooch are all absolutely GOR-JUSS! The life stories are interesting, the pics adorable. So?…Well, let’s work on putting some more zeros on that 50.

      I’m going to hand you the Team and see what they can do to help you okay? But stay tuned for more tips.

    1. Peter I am honoured that you think I could help. I have not done a vast appraisal – so this is just what hit me straight away. Some of the things I see in your posts I have covered in some upcoming tips so do come back and read them. I won’t double my workload here if you don’t mind.

      “I started writing a bunch of other posts about it, and to tell you the truth there’s a mess of posts in my dashboard that’ll probably never be finished. I have a small mountain of unfinished 1/2 thoughts played out and entertained just enough to make me feel like I was doing something about them, then left and forgotten, abandoned really.”

      These are YOUR words and reflects not only your dashboard posts but the ones that are live. ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ is a great name for your style – but a little less of the Mad Hatters would make your tales more readable. I mean that with the utmost regard (as I love Alice In Wonderland and her chums) – but the Mad Hatter is known for veering off the subject at hand and being a bit spacy to say the least.

      Your blogs are wordy because this is what you are doing. To make them accessible to others plan them a bit better. Edit them to get the core message or story out a lot faster. Give them a beginning, a middle and an end. A lot of folk could relate to your health issues, the catfish situation and everything else if you would allow them to get to it quicker.

      Hope this helps…for starters?

  14. I’m not sure I want to know EVERYTHING about you. Mystery is sometimes mercy. But I WOULD like to hear your advice re: suggestions for my blog. Am really up in the air about it . . . keep or dump . . . give up or try again. ???

    1. No! No! No! We’ve been here before Cheryl! KEEP! I’m going to go offline and get someone to contact you.

      Stop this ‘give up’ crapola!

      Plus if you knew everything about me – you’d love me EVEN more! πŸ˜€

    1. OMGeee! Do you know how many times I have visited your blog???!!…And yet you are so right! I had no idea there was a drop down menu there! I mention this issue with various themes in an upcoming Tip.
      I really like your clean theme by the way from an aesthetic point of view and an easy reading point of view too.

      Solutions:

      There are questions to ask yourself:
      How important is this hidden information to you?
      For me the key one is your About info. But you could have this as a sticky post at the top (like mine) if this theme will allow it. Then you could also tell folks there about the drop down menu. But…sometimes even with that folks can be a bit lazy.

      This is a real case of aesthetics versus hooking and keeping visitors.
      Categories and being able to find the rest of your cool stuff is important too, so you might consider bringing just a few things back.

      See what works – ask your most ardent visitors if they have ever clicked the hidden menu before and would they be more inclined to investigate more posts if they were right there in the open.

      Also is it possible to have more posts on display? Right now there are only 2 before you have to click for older posts. Does this help any? Hope so.

      1. I’ve decided to go with a new theme – still got the easy-read font and pleasant aesthetics, but now I have visible menus too! I’d be interested to know what you think of the new look.

      2. WordPress have a wonderful selection of themes in my opinion. It would be hard to not find at least one that satisfied most needs.

        I think it’s great. It’s as nice as your other one because it keeps the spare minimalist vibe you wanted and now everything else is so accessible but still uncluttered.

        Yup love the font. Fonts are the thing I don’t love about my own theme, but I chose to keep mine for now.
        Good choice I think, but what matters is that you’re happy with it?

      3. It’ll take a while to be used enough to it to decide if I like it, I think. A bit like trying on a new hat: you have to get over the ‘I look weird (i.e. different) in a hat’ thing before you can really decide if it suits you.

      4. Which again is the beauty of WP. Plenty more hats to try… or even return to former hat. But I wouldn’t BS you. It works. The design aspect is less than the previous, but no one’s going to cold shoulder you with this one.

        Either way it’s the content and usability that must march forward as well as I have seen terribly designed sites do very, very well and I would not include your blog in that same breath.

  15. YES! Finally someone who’s giving advice to people like me who want to reach more people but sadly cannot. 😦 I look forward to more posts like this. I think my blog is pretty aesthetically pleasing, but then again I’m only using a theme from WordPress that’s free. I’m open to suggestions!

    Thank you!!! xxx

    1. You are most welcome Sarah! I actual think WP has some real kick ass themes and it is good to start free and let the momentum of your growing success allow you to then move to a paid one later – should you choose. But your blog IS aesthetically pleasing! And I love the sign offs. I’m going to have someone from the team contact you. Please kick my a** if I forget.

    1. I think your blog is rather nice actually, yes some of it may be a little wordy but it is not the worst I have seen by far. Did you take all those images? The garden ones are fab and the water fall one is divine. Would you be interested in a very general tip for your blog – something that struck me immediately?

      1. Well deeply impressed. So…you know what struck me? Permaculture. A definition. When I first read your About page the brain didn’t kick in – several hours later…doh!…it’s something to do with permanence…but where? In the garden? And how does that work?

        Clearly this is a passion of yours, so an introductory definition would help convert the uninitiated (like me). And not just a definition that I could get from Google, but YOUR definition and why it’s important enough to blog about it. Just a couple of extra lines that puts the blog, all the plant pics and the ‘awesomeness of cohesive relationships’ into quick context for a newbie visitor, as folk don’t tend to read 4 to 5 posts before they leave a blog – unless you have really hooked them! And fear not, I do it all the time, that is, forget that what is in my head has not been expressed sufficiently on paper to potential readers. Does this help any?

  16. I am always thinking about how to make my blog appealing….it’s a work in progress that’s for sure… thanks for the advice…looking forward to more πŸ™‚

    1. Hallo my lovely Krystol! You have a superb CV and have already done some amazing stuff. You are clearly a go-getter and I love me some go-getters! I don’t see why you wouldn’t accumulate a large audience, especially given the right tools.

      1. Me either! I usually blog about writing, but recently I started to talk about myself a little so the readers can get to know me. But, I’m wondering what am I doing wrong. First, my blog has 3500 followers, then it went down to 2300 and it’s slowly climbing up again. Hmm, I don’t know. Thanks for the compliments about my blog!

      2. How odd! Might be a glitch or WordPress getting rid of dead blogs…I’ve seen that quite a few have given up or moved along in the last few months alone. Although your numbers dropped are quite high.

      3. Yes. I’m slowly getting back up there. I notice when I follow people’s blog, they come and follow mine. But, I don’t want them to follow just because I did. I want readers to actually interact and like what I write. It takes me about 3 hours to read all of the blogs I’m subscribed to. Some I comment on and some I just like, but I have read and visited many.

      4. Same here. I love to visit folks and spend good hours doing it, but remember that people will appreciate you in different ways. Some people have told me they have been lurking in the background for some time before they finally make a comment.
        Just keep at it, you’ve got some good stuff. I myself have visited you 3 times today alone, so I will make it a 4th and comment! Don’t get too frustrated and hopefully I may have some future tips that will help you convert lurkers into commenters and interacters.

        Onwards and upwards! πŸ™‚

  17. It’s true. simple but effective advice. Sometimes its a good idea to visit your blog as a guest and see what others see (a good tip I have been given is follow your own blog)

  18. So agree! Website and blogs are suppose to be easy to navigate. If people wants to know more about you, that link is supposed to be right there! Not somewhere hidden where no one can find it!

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