Well, after a whole year of rolling her eyes at my blogging
I hope you will welcome Sherri to our crazy blog world at her brand-spankin' new site, Noise Overload. She will be tickled to get a few comments!
As Sherri and I chatted a bit about her new blog (she caught me walking the aisles of Walmart today), I thought of some old and some new blogging pearls. Here are some of them (are we EVER done with this conversation?):
1. Check the box, and include your blog name in your display name . Yes, this is the box that allows people to reply directly to you via email. It has possibly been THE most important friendship tool for me in the blog world. It may take me a while to visit you (I do try) but, honestly, I only get out to visit other blogs in the wee hours of the morning, and even then, only a couple times a week. In between visits, I can reply directly to you, and check up on you. I hope you will feel free to do the same for me! When your display name includes your blog name, that's just one more way to encourage blog-name recognition and helps us get to know one another.
2. Check your settings. Since I don't get out all that much, I like it when a blog has at least two weeks (or more) of posts on the "home" page. That way I can see what's been going on with you in one click (I know, I know - I'm lazy!). If I have to search through archives to read more, I am less likely to go digging for more gold in your blog-mine. On Blogger, this is under the Settings tab, Formatting sub-tab. Mine is set to 30 days. Any more (I'm told) makes the blog slow to load, especially if you post a lot of pictures.
3. Watch your picture names. If you do not want Cyber-creeps to know your name, last name, or kids' names, don't name your pictures. Leave them the jumble of numbers the camera randomly assigns, or one right-click on "properties" will tell the whole world your name or worse, some sicko will will be able to do an image search on "kid in diapers," and bingo, there's your kid.
4. Keep it short. Blogging "experts" recommend 500 words, maximum. If you are a Really, Really Good Writer, I can read much more, but I get bored of my OWN writing if I go much over 700. Break it up into parts and let us enjoy your story in small bites.
5. Write from your heart. The whole reason you have a blog is just that, so it can be YOURS. If people don't want to read about what you want to write about, they can move right along. Don't get hung up in the number of hits your site is getting, and don't be afraid to state what you believe. Chances are, you may say something that someone else was thinking, and voila - a friendship is born. If you are a published author (or want to be) or are selling something, you you will have a different purpose for your blog, and that's okay. The rest of us are just out here wanting to be friends, and just like in the real world, it takes all types. Let's celebrate each other's contributions, whether you are a ringleader, a thinker, an organizer, or like me, just someone who enjoys being in the room with you (now if only there were something chocolate we could all share across cyberspace to seal our friendship!).