- LAYOUT: Ok, how many times do you visit a blog, take one glance at it, and then exit out? I know I do that a lot. The MOST important thing to me is a blog layout. It should be appealing. It should be easy to read. And it should be you. You should have a font that is easily read, clear pictures (and ones that are big enough to see!), and a well organized layout. Also, it should represent you and what your blog is all about. For all you readers that have been around for a while, you know I like to change my layout. I'm very fickle and like to "improve" it! Ya, I could probably go longer spans without changing it up a bit but I think change is healthy. I'm continuously growing and I think my blog should represent that. Also, with each new layout, I'd like to think I'm improving my blog (you should have seen my first layout!!!). Starting a blog is pretty easy, especially with blogger. But you have to customize it to really stand out.
- GRAPHICS: I divide blogs I read into two basic categories. Picture blogs and reading blogs. I'm more of a... creative/visual person than an intellectual/brainy person. So I prefer blogs with lots of pictures and most of the time creative/beautiful things. Now, this is just me! So whenever I go to blogs, I'm looking for good pictures, good graphics, basically a nice visual appeal. And if I see something I like, I may read whatever there is to read. Once the layout draws me in, the pictures basically are the deciding point on whether I want to add them to my blogroll or not. Of course, there are a few blogs I read just for that, reading. But those are exceptions ;)
- CONTENT: Once I've decided I want to keep reading a certain blog, I'm continually draw in by good content. Of course, I like the crafty/DIY blogs but I also like just lifestyle/inspiration blogs. Just make sure it's interesting and something YOU'D like to read about. If you don't want to read it then someone else probably wouldn't either.
- GETTING OUT THERE: So once you have a blog and have built up content, you've decided it's time for some more readers. Sooo get your name out there! Do button swaps, talk to other bloggers, contact fellow bloggers for things like features/guest posts/sponsoring. For christmas, brandon bought me an advertising spot on A Beautiful Mess. It was EXPENSIVE but it really got my name out there. Sometimes you have to do that. If you have the money, I would definitely suggest buying some sponsor spots on big blogs like that but just make sure you and your blog are ready. Because people will be coming to your blog but it's your job to make them want to stay. And to continue reading for however long. Also, kind of an obvious part, make sure your blog would appeal to those readers. Otherwise, it's just a waste of money.
- BE YOU: It's so hard to get lost in the world of blogging. You want to be a great blogger but the most important thing is, you have to be you. It's easy to be influenced. But at the end of the day you will only be happy doing what YOU love doing. And be proud of it. I've got a lot of support from friends and family but I've also got a lot of people that scoff whenever I try to tell them what I do (my work and blog). It's a very real thing to me and I'm so grateful for the happiness I've found in it. So I just ignore those people's remarks and remind myself of why I love this so much. I don't get paid for this, I do it because it's like my bowl of ice cream at the end of a hard day. I look forward to blogging everyday. I look forward to reading other blogs every day. I'm constantly inspired by the blogging world and it really helps me from going insane in the little dumb suburb I live in. I've found my own little niche and love sharing it with the world. I don't pretend, I don't push myself too much. I just do what I can. And do what I'm comfortable with. And I just try to be as real as I possibly can.
I hope these little tips will help you guys out. I'm so happy with this little blog of mine. And I can't thank you guys enough for the love and support you show me. (: