I'm sorry, this post has begged to be written for a very long time, but I never had the chance to sit down and actually write it.
This is, in essence, my personal blogging fundamentals.... basic things I think bloggers should and shouldn't do. No, not rules. Just my suggestions.
Continue reading at your own risk.
If you want comments, ditch the comment moderation.
While people may still comment, no one is happy to type in tyghrd or pingu or ented, I promise. It's an awful inconvenience, and will discourage commenting.
If it's spam you're worried about, then two things: 1) Blogger automatically detects spam and will remove it to the spam folder for you, and then you can delete it. 2) most likely, spam will not come flooding into your comment section like locust, meaning if you get any at all, it'll be manageable.
If you want, disable commenting on posts that are older than __ number of days, whatever you set it to, because most of the spam I've gotten has come from my oldest posts.
Your font choices should all be readable.
You can have pretty fonts that are still readable. Anything that's super calligraphy-esque or curly, etc. will be difficult to decipher, and sometimes, looks unprofessional. You do want people to know what your blog says, right? ;-)
Use tags in moderation.
Having 200+ different categories when they aren't all necessary will most likely overwhelm people. Not so say that you shouldn't use any at all, either-- that's just as bad.
Thin them out, though, if you can. You may still have a large-ish number-- I have about 26. But again, if you do in fact have enough subjects/posts that actually need different tabs, then at least they're being put to good use. Savvy?
Have an "About" page.
At least half the people who visit your blog will want to see an "about" page, I promise. It's the first thing that I look for when I visit a new blog. And the "view my complete profile" link doesn't count. Tell us what the blog's about, a little about yourself if you so desire, and anything else you would want to tell a newcomer. Having an about page is like shaking the visitor's hand and making acquaintances for the first time.
Unless you're looking to freak people out with a sudden noises they weren't expecting, please don't include autoplay music.
Aww, come on! I know that's what you're saying.
Yes, yes, I know some of you really, really love your music and want to share it with us. I understand.
But it scares the heck out of people sometimes; and we'll just turn off the music or close out of your site. Yeah.... sorry. Keep it if you want to, but don't say I didn't say anything.
The "enter" button is your best friend.
Why, you ask? Well, you see....
Biiiig chunks of words on a computer screen= major headache and no reading.
Break up what you have to say into smaller paragraphs as much as possible- it's much less daunting, easier to read, and makes your blog look friendlier.
I mean, it's like a big chunk of concrete in the middle of your way if you write posts that consist of one or two huge paragraphs.
Pictures and color give life to your blog-- it's a good idea to include at least one picture in each post (I'm still working on that.....) and have your blogger profile picture in your sidebar- and maybe pictures of your favorite books, movies, people, buttons for other people's blogs, whatever! Think of your blog as a picture book. It makes people happy.
This isn't a rule book.... just my opinion :) Take it or leave it. Better yet, comment and let me know what you think: did I forget anything? Did I include something that I shouldn't have? Let me know, please! I don't have CAPTCHA ;)
Thanks for reading!