You might have noticed that I’ve added a few new pages to the blog. They all revolve around blog hops, link parties and whatever else they’re called (it’s a work in progress). There are so many of them, I thought it might be nice to accumulate and organize them, so you can find whatever blog hop you’d like to. I’ve put up a separate page of the blog hops that I actually manage to visit regularly. I’m hoping to get better at visiting more of these…
When I started blogging, I thought I’d use it as a way to keep track of my knitting, as an extension to Ravelry. I like the Ravelry project pages, but you only have so many possibilities to share images and your notes with others. And I wanted to find out more about other people’s experiences. Then I came across the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week shortly after I started blogging. It was a nice way to challenge me to go beyond writing a few paragraphs and occasionally throwing in a few photographs. Plus it gave me the opportunity to think and plan more as to what topics I’d like to tackle.
Then I started to blog on other topics – mostly on food, but also a bit on photography as I was improving my skill set. A bit of commentary here and there, little insights into my everyday life, posts on other crafting projects, and all those funny things that popped into my head, like Monty Python, and you have the basic building blocks of my blog.
I won’t bore you with the evolution of my blogging year, but needless to say, I learned a lot – mostly through my own blogging, but also through randomly visiting other blogs. I wrote a bit about my blogging motivation the other day, but since I’ve been poking around other blogs so much, I’m going to make an additional short little list:
- Have something to say. It doesn’t have to be a high-flying theoretical or academic post, or a hilarious little joke. It’s about what interests you. If you like it, chances are that someone else will like it too.
- Even if you’re just saying things to yourself, you still have an audience – at least of one.
- Don’t write long, run-on posts. It’s like in school when you were writing papers. Don’t write looooong paragraphs – they make it hard to read, plus, you tend to skip over long posts. Remember tl;dr.
- Structure what you’re writing. You dont need headers – you can also use visual interest, like photographs, sketches, videos, whatever you’d like.
- Make sure your links work.
- Watch your typos.
- Have a regular blogging rhythm, whatever it may be – once a month, once a week and so on. If readers know how often they’ll find new content, then they’ll also stop by. If there’s no content for, oh, forever, and then content for a few days in a row, it might not get seen.
- Respond to comments. I first thought that it might be obnoxious if posts with comments had a response after each one of them, but I think people appreciate answers. I apologize to all early blog commenters who didn’t get a reply.
- Make sure it’s easy to read your blog. Crazy colors, blinking links, annoying pop-ups or text that’s hard to read – if I can’t even get to the content, I won’t be back. Don’t link to crappy or dangerous-to-my-computer websites.
- Bazillion of images and ads and so on in the sidebars (especially when you’re using both sidebars). This is a pet peeve of mine. I know there are a great blogs out there, but some of them are so hard to figure out. If there are so many sponsors that I can’t figure out what’s your content and their content, well, that’s pretty darn annoying.
- I like categories and tags, and archives – all of these make it easier to find content. I’ve been looking at a lot of blog hops, trying to figure out what and when and so on, and so many times, posts don’t have categories. And no tags. Too many tags are annoying, but use these methods to help your audience – and yourself
- It takes patience to build a blog, and an audience. Your writing will improve as you blog regularly. The post scheduling function is your friend.
- Chose what you want to keep private and what not, then stay consistent. If you want to publish your name and other personal information, and link up to your personal Facebook page, and so on, good for you. But be conscious regarding your choices.
- Oh, and if you don’t want to share where you are and what you’re doing, make sure to turn of the geotagging function on your camera, or that information will also be out there once you’re uploading your images, especially through a service like Flickr.
- If you’re using content that will load slowly, make sure you add titles and descriptions to you images so people will know what you’re talking about even if the links don’t load or work.
- It takes time to grow a blog. There are lots of posts out there on building your blog, let me know. if you’d like to provide some links. WordPress for example has a good post on how to get more visitors.
- Comment. Be consistent. Be interesting – or more particularly, if you’re commenting, don’t comment spam people. If you post a standard, irrelevant post with a link to your post everywhere, it’ll just annoy people and actually keep them from visiting your blog. Plus, you might end up in people’s spam filters.
- If you’re blog hopping, include links to the blog hop in the specific post and not just somewhere on your blog or on a link page – it has something to do with back linking. Also, it is apparently really important to also put in a text link – it has a lot to do with Search Engine Optimization.
Whoa, this is a long list! I didn’t think I’d have this much to say. I hope it was interesting and not too much of an infodump. Oh, that’s another thing to add: – Avoid infodumping – keep your audience in mind.
On a side note, the post title was inspired by the little bunny FooFoo rhyme. I had no idea that there really is a thing named Hoppity Hop. I just called it a bouncy ball, just one with handles. I have good childhood memories of hopping along on one of those in Kindergarten. It’s one of those childhood things. I always liked the ones with a ring better than the ones with the individual handles – somehow the looked like weird cow udders. Or long nipples. In fact, I remember a gym teacher calling them nipples. Oh well, they were easier to grasp.
I bet you won’t get that image out of your head now that I’ve said that. *snicker* Well, I guess that sometimes happens when you reexamine your childhood from an adult’s viewpoint. But at least I can try to erase that image by providing you with images of other retro Hoppity Hops out there: