As I mentioned last week, I’m helping out with the #SITS31DBBB (31 Days to Build a Better Blog) Challenge for the next five weeks. If you’re not on board, there’s still time to join in – head over to the SITS Forums and just jump in! As part of the challenge, I’m blogging on the weekly 31DBBB theme here at KludgyMom once per week.
This week’s topic is Assess Your Blog. It’s designed to get you thinking about your blog’s current state to figure out what’s working (and what isn’t).
If you’re anything like me, your blog is like your baby. You get attached to it. Very attached. If someone said your baby was ugly, you’d never believe it. You’d be aghast and horrified that anyone would think so.
While your real life baby could NEVER be ugly…your blog baby might. Sorry.
So today’s post is all about giving you tips on how you can determine whether your blog is ugly – a Glamour “Don’t,” if you will.
Here are a few common “fashion mistakes” that Glamour calls out on people. See if any apply to your blog. Ask yourself the hard questions.
Don’t Wear Your Pants Too Tight
Women who wear their pants WAY too tight attract attention in all the wrong places. They’re cramming too much STUFF up in there! Well, the same thing can happen with your blog. Think about your site. How many categories or general topics do you have? Did you say 20? That’s probably too many. How many blog badges do you display? You lost count? No good. Don’t overdo it. Keep your blog focused in all areas on a handful of things and do those really well.
Don’t Let It All Hang Out – Distastefully
Nobody wants to see overflowing cleavage, a nip slip, plumber’s crack or outrageous muffin top. And guess what? There are bloggy equivalents:
- If you’re going to share super intimate or personal stories, do so tastefully. (If your blog is all about distastefulness or outrageous humor, that’s an exception) I recommend reading Robin Farr’s post at SITS about blogging honestly without losing your dignity.
- If you tend to share “day in the life” sort of posts, keep in mind that we all engage in skimming. So we’re going to skim right over that play-by-play of every last thing you ate, drank, said and did from the time you got up to taking your kids to soccer to going to bed. Edit.
Don’t Overdo the Designer Labels
Only peeps like Paris Hilton can get away with rocking an LV purse, Chanel shades, a Kitson shopping bag and a Dolce and Gabbana dress (and even then, she still bugs us all). So don’t plaster 5,632 product ads all over your site. I guarantee that you’re not making *that* much money off the ads, so why not be more selective and thoughtful with what you promote? Promote YOURSELF first and make room for a few judiciously chosen ads.
Don’t Forget Your Pants
Remember when Brit Brit was photographed a few years back in a top that she thought was a dress? Her buttocks were out for the world to see. Everybody was all, “Um, Brit? You forgot your pants!” There are 2 things you should not forget to put on your blog:
- Your email address. Don’t say “but I have a contact form.” That doesn’t count. I’ve worked in blogger outreach for brands, and I am more likely to pass you over for an opportunity if I can’t find an email address to put in a spreadsheet (so I can track who I’ve contacted). Please. Go check your site right now.
- Social media icons. I don’t want to go hunting for your Facebook widget or nose around on your contact page for your Twitter handle. Get social media icons on your blog, and give them prominent placement above the fold.
Don’t Overdo the Bling
Do you watch Toddlers and Tiaras? The girls are ridiculous. They look silly all blinged-out. And so do blogs with too much bling. Blog bling is anything that distracts the reader from the real deal: your content. Think about what blingy items you have on your site: sharebars, music players, scrolling widgets, flashing lights, 12 different photo sliders – and eliminate everything but the essentials. Keep your site clean and people will focus on your content.
Don’t Wear A Poorly Fitting Dress
Nothing looks more chic on a woman than a well-tailored dress that looks like it was made for her. A poorly fitting dress can make a beautiful woman look schlumpy. Your blog design should be well-tailored – to YOU: your personality, your vibe, your goals. Don’t try to emulate someone else’s design. Tailor yours to you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Wear White
“No white!” you say. “It makes me look pale and fat.” So you avoid it. Big mistake! White worn well can be fabulous. Don’t be afraid of having white space on your blog. White space is a good thing – it makes your site look fresh, well-designed, and focused.
That’s it! Are you committing any blogging Glamour Don’ts?