Is Your Blog A Glamour Don’t?

by Gigi Ross on January 17, 2012

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.

how to blog better

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?

About the Author

I'm a blogger, wife, mom of 2, Jason Mraz fangirl and social media geek - not necessarily in that order. I write about parenting, lifestyle stuff, technology, social media and pop culture.

{ 40 comments }

Mrs. Jen B January 17, 2012 at 4:01 am

I won’t pretend I don’t have work to do. I really do. However, I’m still going to say this: It amazes me how many people have music blaring from their sites. I thought that was over.

As always you’re a font of wisdom – thank you.
Mrs. Jen B´s last blog post ..Cheesy Olive Dip

Sandra Kohlmann January 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

I hear you on the music. It’s awful! I almost always have music, tv, or a podcast on when I’m reading blogs. The last thing I need is to have bad (in my opinion) and/or sappy music blast from my computer when I open a blog!
Sandra Kohlmann´s last blog post ..Bubba and Uncle Joe

Vicky January 17, 2012 at 4:33 am

Thanks for this! It was a nice little “to-do” list for me to keep me centered. I’m doing this blog challenge and it has really kept me going on how to change my blog for the better.
Vicky´s last blog post ..Look Awake! The Low Maintenance Face

Sorta Southern Single Mom January 17, 2012 at 4:36 am

Great summary. I’m not participating over at SITS, because it’s just too crazy right now, but this I can do!

Thanks for the update!
Sorta Southern Single Mom´s last blog post ..A Southern Series: Football

By Word of Mouth Musings January 17, 2012 at 5:36 am

Oh, just have to read this again just for all your comparisons – you are so witty and wise!
By Word of Mouth Musings´s last blog post ..Fertile Myrtle and The One Night Stand

Kir January 17, 2012 at 6:23 am

I am very excited to read all 5 weeks of building a better blog. I am currently very happy with my blog, since I moved to WP, have it freshened up and now there is a lot more space and it’s easy to get around (at least I think it is..LOL)

thank you for all these, it was really a perfect way to explain it to all of us. :)
Kir´s last blog post ..RemembeRED: Self Awareness

Brittany {Mommy Words} January 17, 2012 at 6:26 am

Awesome as usual Gigi. Funny and true. And you have reminded me to tweet out one of my better posts on blog design again for the SITS girls. Hope it is okay that I do that :)
Brittany {Mommy Words}´s last blog post ..The Case of the Itchy Scratchy Baby and the Nipple that Wasn’t

Miriam @ Sometimes I Veg January 17, 2012 at 6:38 am

I think I’m responsible for a couple of the fashion don’ts, and I keep swearing that I’ll redesign it soon.

Thanks for the great post.
Miriam @ Sometimes I Veg´s last blog post ..Creamy Heart of Palm Soup

Kelley January 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

This was great, Gigi! I tweeted it out. I already made a couple of changes. FYI, I read just about every one of your posts, but via e-mail. I’m sorry I don’t pop in more to let you know what I think about your posts. They’re all great! Glad you are over at SITS. It’s nice to see a face I “know” over there. :)
Kelley´s last blog post .."I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter" and me

Jessica January 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

Great tips Gigi, pinning…
Jessica´s last blog post ..One Day

Sandra Kohlmann January 17, 2012 at 7:33 am

Thanks for this post. I got rid of an “award” badge that was nothing more than an ad for another blogger. I also streamlined the sidebars of my blog, so it’s cleaner and more focused on ME. Excellent advice.
Sandra Kohlmann´s last blog post ..Bubba and Uncle Joe

Jackie January 17, 2012 at 7:33 am

Hmmm…. I’m going to check now. It probably isn’t that neat & clean.

MommaKiss January 17, 2012 at 7:53 am

I need icons, I’ll get my designer working on that ;) And the white space – especially BLACK ON WHITE writing. Yes, I had to yell that.

Carolyn West January 17, 2012 at 8:26 am

Great post… hopefully I’m following all the advice.
Carolyn West´s last blog post ..Bam! I’m Kicking It Up!

Emmy January 17, 2012 at 8:33 am

Great tips! I am in the process of giving my blog a makeover- want a cleaner look
Emmy´s last blog post ..Embroidery Hoop Wall Name Decor

Armi Niemi January 17, 2012 at 9:51 am

Great tips! Thanks for sharing. – I added my email and mobile phone number to my main page :)

Brenna @ Almost All The Truth January 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

Definitely great tips! I need to work on my sidebar for sure.
Brenna @ Almost All The Truth´s last blog post ..Top Ten: children’s books for social justice

Dakotapam January 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

Thank you for the tips Gigi! Nice, actionable steps. I really need to work on getting my social media buttons front and center, as well as making my header look more inviting…and more like a dress I would wear! Thanks! I am hoping to gain a lot by working on this SITS challenge!
Dakotapam´s last blog post ..I See Me! Personalized Book Review and Giveaway

SchoolhouseKat January 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

Thank you – I have been thinking about how to update for 2012 and this gives me lots of ideas!
SchoolhouseKat´s last blog post ..Sheetrock, upholstery, geometry, and me

Nicole @MTDLBlog January 17, 2012 at 11:52 am

Fantastic post! I love how you connected it to Fashion…SO relatable!
Nicole @MTDLBlog´s last blog post ..10 Songs From My Youth {Listable Life}

Carolyn January 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

Once again, I found something I need to change on my site. Thanks for this!
Carolyn´s last blog post ..Meal Planning Made Easy (+Printable)

julie gardner January 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Thank goodness my blog is perfect.
Just like the fit of my jeans.

Wait, what was that? I need some adjustments?

Crap.
I mean “Thanks!”

XO
julie gardner´s last blog post ..Today call me inspired

Lady Jennie January 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

My first thought was – I hope she doesn’t have examples of don’ts (and I’m on the list). :-)

Great tips;
Lady Jennie´s last blog post ..Prayer. And Humor.

JDaniel4's Mom January 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I love the word pictures you painted about aspects of blogs. I am now thinking about mine.
JDaniel4′s Mom´s last blog post ..Pause Life for a Moment- Amy’s Assorted Adventures in Africa

Leigh Powell Hines (@Hinessightblog) January 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Great post. Very clever and great way of displaying the information.

Byn January 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

THANK YOU!! This was so well written, concise, entertaining AND informative. I have such a bad case of ADD I can’t seem to focus long enough to learn from a lot of the “how to” blog posts I see. This was fantastic.

Now, I just have to figure out how to get the facebook button on my blog without taring my hair out or throwing my laptop across the room!

Byn
Byn´s last blog post ..Puppet Making Series: Part 2/5 Mouth & Head Assembly

Kristin @ What She Said January 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Great post using some really good analogies. I always loved the Glamour Don’ts section of my Glamour magazine. :)
Kristin @ What She Said´s last blog post ..Babyonce and the Mayan Calendar: Coincidence?

nikki January 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I like my blog, but would love to add more glamour to it. I think this was a great post btw.
nikki´s last blog post ..Sales Psychology – Do You Use It?

Ms. Kathleen January 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

This was so interesting and full of excellent information. Giving my blog the once over and over and over… Thanks for sharing…

Now back to SITSGirls :)
Ms. Kathleen´s last blog post ..Dinner for Two Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas

Paula @lkg4sweetspot January 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

These are so great! Thank you for posting them. Very useful. I like the idea that less is more, that is always any easy pitfall to fall into.

Making Our Life Matter January 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Thank you for the good advice. As a new blogger to self-hosted WP, this is a great way to focus on what I should be doing right. Would love it if you could stop in and take a look :)

Have a wonderful week!
Making Our Life Matter´s last blog post ..Dear Spammers

Ms Connie @ Parent Picks + January 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Thanks for the tips! I am participating in the #SITS31DBBB Challenge as well, so I appreciate the extra help. I see I need to make some changes….
Ms Connie @ Parent Picks +´s last blog post ..LEGO® Books: What Will You Build Next?

angela January 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Oh, this makes me want to participate so badly, but I feel bad not doing it 100%.

This is such good advice and written in such a fun, light manner. Thank you.

Jamie January 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

This was a GREAT post, and I love the comparison to how clothes are worn.

Kimberly January 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

All great tips and I love how you connected it to fashion! This definitely has me thinking what I can do to my own site.
Kimberly´s last blog post ..Bump Watch 2012

Susan in the Boonies January 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I’ve been wondering if I should wear more white. I know I need to lose my “categories” and do a couple more categories of pages at the top of my blog. If you have any feedback for me, I’m open to it.

Sandra January 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Ugh…I’m guilty of so many of these. My hoohoo is hanging out all over my damn blog. I need to go buy some panties or something…I’m doing it again, aren’t I?
Great tips! I wish I had read this a year ago. I have made quite a few blog faux-pas that I wish I could take back.
Sandra´s last blog post ..Speaking truth…

Leighann January 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Fantastic tips!
My favourite is the one about the social media buttons, I hate having to dig around for a twitter button or a facebook page.
Leighann´s last blog post ..When Honesty Doesn’t Pay

The Bearded Iris January 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I’m here because Leighann (above) pinned it! Thanks Leighann! This is PERFECTION! I love the part about the white space. I purposely learned how to tweak my html code so I could add more space between my side bar items. Now I’m off to update my categories so you can’t see my muffintop.

(But I’m keeping the cameltoe. It’s my signature Glamour Don’t!)
The Bearded Iris´s last blog post ..I might have to change grocery stores after this.

Carolina February 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Great tips! I’m learning so much by taking part in the SITS blogger challenge. Can’t say that I’m ready for the fashion runways of NYC, but not afraid to go out in public!
Carolina´s last blog post ..7 Quick takes Friday Bad Thing/Good Thing

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