Weekly Geeks: Improving my Blog

WG Book Pile URL_thumb[3]Two conversations inspired this Weekly Geeks. First, during Book Bloggers Appreciation Week, Amy asked us to write about our blogging goals. I noticed many people’s goal was to acquire a larger readership*. Then during a Twitter conversation Natasha from Maw Books said she was told by a non-book blogger that book blogs were confusing. Which brings me to our topic.

Take a look at your blog as if you were someone who has never seen a blog before. Imagine they are looking for something specific. Could they find it? Could they find YOU again? Be able to contact you? Would they understand your jargon?

With these questions in mind, start making your blog more reader friendly. You can do as much as upload a new template to adding a subscription button. Here are some ideas:

*Add meta tags to help people find your blog.
*Add a RSS feed button.
*Add a contact page.
*Make sure as many people as possible can comment on your posts.
*Make your blog searchable.
*Check your links.
*Explain your rating system, if you have one.
*Create a glossary if you use a lot of blogger acronyms ie- BBAW, BTT, ARC.

These are just suggestions. There are probably a million more. Check out Blogging Tips on the Book Blogger’s Ning for more ideas and advice.

After you’ve accomplished all you can, write a post telling us what you did or even what you plan to do down the road on your blog to help your readers.

Now if you haven’t thought about your goals, it’s a good time to do so. Maybe you haven’t thought about readership, maybe you could care less! Then where do you see your blog in a year. How do you plan to accomplish that? Write a post about it.
I have no idea how user friendly my blog is.  I have practically zero technical knowledge, so my blog is pretty simple when compared with others.  I hope by just immersing myself in the book blogging sphere will help me to gain at least some of that knowledge, and so far it’s working.  Perhaps a little slowly, but I’m getting there.  Honestly, I don’t even know what a meta tag is!

I would have said when I started this blog that readership wasn’t all that important to me, but at this point that is not true.  I would love to have a lot of readers, so gaining readership is an important goal for me.  I attempt to network as much as possible by commenting on other blogs and participating in memes.

Really though, I don’t have an concrete plans for improving my blog.  I just plan on continuing on with what I’m doing and picking up some tips and ideas along the way.

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13 Responses

  1. I think what I’ve come to value the most are the comments, rather than readership. I’ve met some great people through comments at my blog and commenting at other blogs, and it’s really expanded my world significantly!

  2. Hello! Welcome! (I just said all this in reply to your comment at my blog.) It seems to me that you and I share similar goals in why we blog – for a chance to talk about books, right? Do check your email – I’m sending you a link offering a quick easy WP sug. 🙂

  3. I didn’t know a lot about blogging when I started either. I only found out about meta tags recently because of other bloggers’ conversations. That’s one of the reasons I made it my WG topic so that new & even experienced bloggers would be motivated to look into these things. I learn best by doing it myself so all I know is from trial and (a lot of) error. I still have tons to learn.

    Good luck with your goal!

    PS- I love a simply designed blog!

  4. Your blog is very user friendly. There isn’t any clutter, you have a nice page with all your reviews. a search box – everything I look for!

    Keep up the good work!

  5. YIPPEEE!!!! wahooo!!!!

  6. I like your blog the way it is. It loads faster and of course you have good stuff posted on it!

    Weekly Geeks: Blogging Tips

  7. Hello Lola – being part of Weekly Geeks is a good start to networking. You might also like to think about joining Sunday Salon – there’s a link on my blog if you want to pop over.
    Metatags – they are actually just tags such as you have used for this post. You might want to think about adding a category. What these do – when people clisk on the tag or category it takes them to a list of other posts in oyur blog that use that tag or category. Some people display the tags in the side bar. I no longer do – it just got too long.
    The best way to learn about blog widgets and features is to explore someone else’s blog to see what the various bits and pieces in their side bars do. Good luck with yours.

  8. Meta tags are things you put in the header to give search engines an idea as to what topic you’re covering in your blog or post. My post is here.

  9. Interesting. I’ve had a few people tell me my blog was hard to navigate. In truth those people tended to be computer illiterate. They were pretty much only used to blogger so anything different confused them. I do have a lovely explanation on my welcome page as to what each page is for.

    Once they actually read ny welcome page it became easy for them to navigate. Your design is fine.

  10. Hi, great blog. Bright and uncluttered. I like your challenge page: I’m definitely going to do that on my blog.

    I have a 2009 book list, and I’m slowly going through, linking the titles to the relevant pages… Might be something you’d consider doing?

  11. One of the first principles of web dev is, keep it simple, stupid, better known as the KISS principle! I like the fact that your blog’s uncluttered and neat.

    The tabs on the top are intuitively labeled, so any first-timer would be able to find their way ’round quite easily, and personally, I love tag clouds.

    Oh, and I just realised, I really need to have a section on “book blogs I visit”… it’s a nice touch 🙂

  12. I’ve been doing this for 2 1/2 years now and didn’t understand a word of the whole meta tag explanation either! Whatever! 🙂

    Keep up the great work here and thanks for all the comments you’ve been sending my way lately!

  13. I am going to look around a bit more but I agree with previous commentators that your blog is intuitive and pleasing to the eye!

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