22 Feb 2013

blogging tips :)

I don't think I'm a good blogger but I do try very hard to improve with each blog post. One thing is that I have been blogging or running websites since I was fourteen which makes me think that I was born with a nerd gene - not that I think that's a bad thing (there are worse genes to be born with, I'm sure... the serial killer gene, I'm looking at you).

I'm always surprised by how many people read my blog and although I don't comment very regularly on other blogs, it doesn't mean that I don't read your blog. And sometimes, when I read other blogs, I  think of things that could be improved. For example, I rarely read blog posts that don't have at least one image and I also rarely read blogs that are badly written, have a poor design and colour scheme or use poor choice of fonts (my eyes can only take so much!). I sound like such a snob but my eyes have taken so much battery over the last few years of study that I try not to strain my eyes too much now!

I thought it'd be helpful to share some blogging tips that work for me to ensure the smooth running of a blog. 

B E   O R G A N I S E D  //

For me, the best way was to have a blog section in my binder.

Within this section, I have a 'blogpost ideas' insert and also a monthly planner where I write in when blog posts have been scheduled for. This ensures I always have a backlog of posts to go live as I note down ideas I have instantly, and then act on those by using this insert.

Having this section in my blog also ensures that I am consistent with the posting of blogposts as I can see gaps easily in the monthly planner (undated monthly planner inserts).

U S E    P I C T U R E S  //

The saying that a picture can represent a thousand words is quite often true. I often cheat and prefer to use more pictures than text if I am in a lazy mood.

Ironically taken with my iPhone camera.

Make sure your pictures are of a decent quality - grainy pictures mean that all the detail will most likely be lost and you might as well not even have included a picture. Try and use a digital camera at the very least (mine is a 14.7MP camera, and although not the best on the market, I've found the picture quality okay the majority of the time).

P R O O F R E A D  //

I'm actually quite bad at this one! I try and proofread every post I put out now but sometimes, mistakes still slip through the cracks. However, it's better to have tried than not to have bothered at all as one mistake corrected is one mistake less, right?

B R E A K   U P   T E X T  //

Too much text in one go = eyes go all funny = window closed promptly. Just sayin'.

D E C I D E   O N   A   N I C H E  //

It took me a bit of time to decide where this blog was going. I have a lot of interests and choosing which ones to focus on was quite hard. However, having spent basically the last six years focussed on science, I wanted to channel my creative side into this blog.

An example of channeling my creativity (at the time, I had not seen this idea anywhere
else).  Washi taping old cans.

That is why now, I try and combine being creative with being organised, and at the same time, being fashionable but without any emphasis on what clothes I wear (so, no 'what I wore' posts). So, if I had to categorise my blog, I feel it is more of a lifestyle blog than anything.

D E S I G N  //

I'm all for choosing a design that represents you as a person (I'd like to think mine does!) but choosing a background or cursor that causes someone to develop motion sickness probably isn't the best idea. The same goes for text - try and choose one that is easy to read. Think about a font that would be used to write a CV - I think that's a pretty safe rule to go by.

C O M M E N T S  //

Personally, I always try and make an effort to respond to all comments made on my blog. I think it comes down to how much spare time you have and how many comments you get, but for me, I like to reply because I always think that if someone has taken the time to leave a comment, I should respond - and quite often, I enjoy this as it's nice to get to know readers :)

Sometimes, you might get a negative comment. I've been quite lucky and have never had this but if it does happen, just ignore it. Like everything else in life, nothing is liked by 100% of the population so we just have to learn to filter and ignore those who seem set on belittling and hurting us.

/ / /

I think it is important to say that I am also still learning when it comes to blogging. I have made mistakes in the past so I don't profess to be the perfect blogger. However, I do feel that it might be beneficial to write a few improvements on things that I have experienced whilst reading other blogs and write a few tips based on mistakes I have made in my blogging past.

In my opinion, the most important piece of advice anyone could give about blogging is to ensure that you enjoy it. And that piece of advice is pretty much applicable to any activity you do, be it a job, playing a sport or learning a musical instrument or language.

I hope this has been helpful :-)


  1. Thanks for this blog post, I found it really interesting to read with lots of helpful points. I am new blogger and it's great to hear some points from established bloggers! Emma xx

    1. Glad you found it useful :-) I wouldn't say I'm that established, but having done it for so many years, I have learnt a lot so thought I'd share some of the more useful things I've learnt x

  2. really interesting tips! In my opinion, having fun is the 1st tip!

    1. Hehe, the tips aren't really in order of importance - more like a general list :-) x

  3. I'm just starting out so this was a perfect read! Lot's for me to think about, I especially like the idea of setting up a blog tab in my filo. ^_^
    Thank you! x

    1. Glad you found this useful :-) The blog section in my binder really helps with balancing blogging with other busier parts of my life, especially at the moment. Hope it works for you too! x

  4. I´m not sure about, but I think this is my first comment on your blog. I read it now for a long time and absolutely enjoy and appreciate your work. I also felt bad about the small amount of comments I get on my blog, but who am I to point with the finger, as I don´t comment as much as I read.
    So sorry for that, and "HELLO! I´M A READER AND LIKE YOUR BLOG VERY MUCH!" ;)

    Would you do me a favour?
    Could you check my blog, and give me your opinion, what I should change??
    I´m thinking about a new design and Niche for a long time now, but never REALLY took action about. So I´m very interested, what you would reccomend.
    My Blog is elfenfisch.blogspot.com and I´m looking very forward for your advice to elfenfisch1 AT gmail DOT com

    And by the way: Lovely Post. Blogtipps are always useful ;)


    1. Hi Nina,

      thanks for your comment :)

      Unfortunately, whilst I would love to do that, I really don't have the time at the moment. I would suggest looking to see what templates you can find on Google for inspiration if you're really stuck :) x

  5. I completely agree with all these tips/points. One of my pet peeves is poor spelling. You can get away with poor grammar maybe by simply not knowing any better, but spelling, there's no excuse for that. Not with spelling check programs readily available. I'm not perfect, either. Just sayin'.

    I, too, am a big fan of your blog and hope you're around (sheesh, since FOURTEEN?!) for many more years. :)

    1. Ahh, yes, poor spelling. Luckily, my mac picks up on bad spelling (a lifesaver!) so that's rarely an issue here. However, I understand that for some, English isn't their first language so some patience is necessary in that department too.

      Aw thank you! I hope to continue blogging. I'm not sure where the direction of this blog will head in the future, but I am sure it will keep to time management in some form due to the impending further study I will embark on later this year :-) x

  6. Great tips. I love your blog post ideas sheet. I think I'm going to do that. I do have a section in my planner but I don't have a form so the ideas are all over the place!

    1. Hehe, I will be doing a blog post on my 'blog' section in my planner soon :) I use a variety of sheets in it but it helps me organise things to do with this blog x

  7. I agree with the colour scheme. A page my husband reads is turquoise with red letters, so hard on the eyes.

    1. Turquoise and red letters?! Who on earth would think that would be a good idea :s my pet hate are black backgrounds. They make my eyes go all funny :( x

  8. These are really great tips. I especially like the one about finding your niche... Im still working on mine.... And definitely working on my organisation hahaha x

    1. Glad you found these useful. The niche thing takes a bit of time - I think that even if you know what direction you want your blog to go in, it takes a bit of time to really hone on into that subject :) x

  9. I agree with much of what you said here! I think it's so important for bloggers to pay attention to the small details, as well as the main posts. Color scheme and layout are big ones, as well as adding photos (I try to add them to every post, but sometimes the post doesn't warrant them or I don't have an appropriate one - I need to work on quality and eliminating so much shadow).

    My biggest pet peeves are:

    replying to comments - I hate when I leave a comment on someone else's blog and they don't respond, especially if I've left a rather long comment. I don't need a full conversation, but just knowing that the blogger appreciates that I've visited and taken the time to say something in response to what they've posted means a lot to me. I try to respond to each and every comment that's left for me, even if its a simple "thanks." It just goes a long way.

    Proof reading - I never send out a post that hasn't been proofread at least once, though sometimes it's twice or more. In addition, I double check every link I add to the post.

    Organization/Clarity - I'm not great writer, but at the very least I try and put my thoughts into an organized manner, if only so the reader doesn't get lost along the way. It's very confusing to me when someone starts out saying one thing, jumps to another subject, then returns to the first without any warning of transition. It just leaves me baffled.

    Niche - I wouldn't say that my blog is solely one thing. My purpose is to write about an array of things, anything that comes to mind really, because I don't want to limit myself or my writing. However, I do feel that one needs a jumping off point, so if a blog is mostly about a specific topic, that works for me. Branching out or changing it along the way is okay too, because any writer will grow and therefore, so will the writing.

    Whining - I have to say that I don't see this often, but it does come up. I'm not trying to limit anyone's right to express themselves or share their opinions or experiences, but it turns me off as a reader if all I'm reading is the writer whining that they don't have this, they want this, they don't like how something is done, etc. (although the something not liked may have a place if the post is a way around it). The purpose of writing is to get your ideas out there, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't tell people how you feel, but there is a way to say it without making it sound like you're asking for something from the reader. That's just my opinion, though.

    Great post!

    1. I totally see what you mean about adding photos with some posts not needing them. I often shy away from topics I want to post about just because I can't think of a creative way I could incorporate a photo! Maybe I'm just too scared of writing too much and just end up rambling!

      I agree with the comments thing. Sometimes, I've commented on blogs to not even receive a 'thanks' or a reply - so how do I know it's even been read? It seems quite juvenile, but it's nice to know that the writer cares that someone has taken the time to leave a comment. That's why I always try and reply - I love engaging with readers too as quite often, you can end up finding a topic for another blog post just by talking to a reader!

      Proof reading I am trying to improve at! I have quite a short attention span so having the patience to check a blog post is something that I am working hard at. I've noticed that your blog posts rarely, if ever, have mistakes! A definite added incentive for me to put more effort into proof reading if I were to use your blog as an example!

      Totally get what you mean about the niche part. I think it's nice to have an occasional post that is somewhat unrelated to the primary topics as it is nice to read something different once in a while. You make a good point in that by writing about a different topic can help a writer grow - I never even thought of it that way!

      Haha, with whining, I have to put my hands up and say that I may have been guilty of this in the past. Usually, it's when a company has provided poor customer service or has a poor quality product that inspires these rants! x

    2. Regarding proof reading - what a lovely compliment, thank you! I'm a bit of a perfectionist though, so my blog having few mistakes may make a bigger statement on my perfectionism than anything else. And being a perfectionist isn't always a good thing. It's often a huge hindrance in life.

      Ah, I hope I don't offend anyone with my whining comment. It may not have come out quite right. I have no problem with people voicing their opinions about anything that happened. After all, I'm sure I've done the same, and it's also why writing is good, to get out those feelings. But I'm referring more to whining about a situation that someone is in and could change themselves and seemingly is looking to the reader for some sort of input or help. Feedback or sympathy is one thing, but hoping that a reader will change something for the writer is another. (And maybe this is not what's going on at all, just the perception of that.) I'm not referring to any blog in particular here, just an observation I've made while reading and scouring the hundreds (thousands maybe?) of blogs on an array of topics that I do. But I'm not sure I'm getting out my point without sounding contradictory in some way. Bah! - never mind! ;)

    3. Nothing wrong with being a perfectionist - I used to think I was one (especially when it comes to creative things) but my writing leaves a lot to be desired compared to yours so maybe I'm not one after all!

      No offence taken on my part at least - I completely see what you mean I think, in that, instead of whining about things, they should just do something to change it. Quite often though, I think it is hard to take that first step to change (depending on what it is) so some support may be what the writer needs more than anything so I guess I can see the two different sides in that. It's the blog posts that are ranty without any reason to be that i don't read. Luckily, those are few and far between on Web Finds or any other fashion blogs I read now :) x

  10. Great tips, Angela! I would agree with you for most of these. Bad grammar and spelling are what turn me away from some blogs. I can tolerate it in some cases, especially when I can tell that the blog author's first language is not English, but sometimes it just makes things too difficult to read. White text on a black background is also very annoying! As is any font that is too small or not clear enough.

    Photos aren't as critical to me, but one thing that I don't like is large blocks of dense text. I do like to see a good balance of photos and text, although there are some cases where I have avoided a blog since I felt that it had too many photos and not enough text. I'm a writer myself, so the words are important to me.

    One thing that you didn't really mention here is posting regularly. I hate seeing blogs sitting for months with no new posts. A regular schedule is important to me, whether it is once a month, once a week, or every other day. The actual frequency of posting is not as important as simply maintaining a regular schedule.

    Another thing that I see some bloggers doing is writing posts to apologize for their lack of posts! That always turns me off from a blog. Most readers probably don't notice if a blogger misses a few posts, so don't mention it. Just move on.

    1. Thanks Heather :)

      Agree with you on the white text on a black background. It really, really, hurts my eyes. Unclear fonts is also something I dislike - handwriting fonts are usually the primary culprit for that! As for small fonts, I hope the font used on this blog isn't too small for you...! I have been looking for a balanced font for a while now and am not 100% happy with this one either but it will do for now!

      With photos, quite a few of my posts are photos only. It's usually the posts about a Filofax/binder, etc that are photo heavy as there isn't much explaining to do as they are designed as more 'show' posts than 'show and tell' posts :) However, I know what you mean. If you are to go for a purely photo post, it's not really blogging!

      Posting regularly is something that I understand not everyone can do - so for that reason I didn't mention it. Some people who have blogs only use them as and when they have something to say, and that is totally fine. They may lead lives that are too busy to blog on a regular basis and finding time to sit down and write a post a week, for example, may not be possible.

      I actually don't mind people who apologise for a lack of posts. I have done it before and do it because (personally) I like to be reassured that the writer is ok and also hear about what the writer may be up to that has caused them to take an unexpected hiatus. But that's just me :) x

  11. I thought I might be the only one out there who doesn't read blog posts because of colour/font/design; glad to know there are others!

    I just love your blog layout, Angela; it's so uncluttered and easy to read. That 'CV font' tip is GREAT advice!