Book Blogging 101: 10 Things That You Must Have on Your Blog

There are numerous things that you can include on your blog, widgets, gadgets and hacks galore. But there are a few things that you should have and certain ways to set-up your blog, these are ways that promote readers to stick around, or at least make it easier to keep in touch.


Layout of your blogLAYOUT

From simple designs to elaborate spectacles, the layout of your blog is the first thing that your readers will see upon first visit. If they see a Hot Mess, they will assume your blog is a mish mash of ridiculousness. Well, most will. Make your layout easy to read and keep things in a nice order, most important on top. Things do not have to be simple, they just have to be easy to navigate and understand. Best practices call for left to right design. Your content on the left, your sidebar(s) on the right. We read from left to right and up to down – so use that when setting up your design.

Logo DesignBRAND

It doesn’t have to be a fancy design by a world renown marketing firm, it just has to be legible and well placed. On first glance readers must be able to see your blog name and get the gist of what you blog about.

 

SearchSEARCH

Readers should be able to search your blog with ease. What they want to know about you might not be available on your front page, a search function gives them the ability to find everything on your site.

 

Get Social on your blogSOCIAL

Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? These should all be available on your blog with handy external links to those sites. Not some crazy portal to a Twitter page that shows stats, but an actual link or quick follow script. The more clicks it takes, the less likely your readers will follow-through.

Subscribe to your blogSUBSCRIPTIONS

You should have easy to find follow and subscription options on your blog. You should probably only promote one major one and then offer alternatives in a lesser capacity, or different “lower real-estate” on your blog.

 

Comments accesibleCOMMENTING

While again obvious, it is not always utilized. Test your blog when you are signed out of Google. See how easy it is to find your comment area or leave a comment. Do you have captcha installed? Is it easy to figure out? The harder it is to comment, the less likely it will be that readers comment.

Easy to navigateNAVIGATION

Your menu system should be prominently located and easy to navigate. Again use a hierarchy system, the pages you think are the most important should go first. If you have too many pages, try using a dropdown menu. If it is available, breadcrumbs are a great way to keep things user-friendly, along with sitemaps.

Share your blog!SHARES

You should always have a way for readers to share your post. These should be located at the bottom of each post. This offers a call to action: “Did you like this post? Share it with your followers.”

 

relatedRELATED POSTS

They have read one post, you want them to read more. Another call-to-action should be a related post app — and a good one. Search around, see what others are using and how well they like those.

 

contact formCONTACT

This sounds obvious, but I have noticed that a lot of blogs have no way of contacting them. There is no email listed, or twitter accounts located on the blog. You should always have a handy contact form or email listed on your blog.

 

Parajunkee, Urban Fantasy, Blogger Tips

 Question of the Week:

“Now that GFC is going away, how can we share our blog stats?” – Anon

Technically, Google has not announce that GFC is going away, it is just a suspicion, considering Google is trying to push people towards G+. But, I would suggest preparing for it, just in case. Be  Blog Prepper. Push people to subscribe via email instead of GFC. Install Google Analytics and use your pageviews as your stats, they are the ones that matter anyway, because that is who is actually visiting. You might have 3K GFC followers, but it doesn’t mean any of those subscribers are actually reading your blog.

Parajunkee, Urban Fantasy, Blogger Tips

Book Blogger News:

I would like to introduce you to Author Jennifer Rush
Or at least Mike Mullin would like to, and then he will explain why she made a big old BOO BOO, she even drew pictures. It has since be deleted, but Jennifer Rush decided to describe the different kind of “haters” that give her bad reviews. Because, if you don’t like her book, you of course are a HATER. It was a very dumb move on Rush’s part, considering only 5% of her reviews on Goodreads are 2 stars and below. The post was very reminiscent of the line “Ignore them, they are just jealous.”  Mike Mullin, the author that brought us Ashen Winter, brought more attention to Rush’s silly rant, with a blog post of his own, in which he reasserts that Reviewers are awesome, and Rush is Wrong, but kind of amusing. We love you too Mike!! XOXO And Jennifer, I haven’t read your book, so I don’t know what category I would be in, Lover or Hater…but really if I did negatively review your book, it’s not because I’m jealous, or a mean-spirited spreader of evil…its just because I didn’t like your book. Period. {source}

Shailene Woodley = YA Book Star
Woodley, star of The Secret Life, has now been cast as the lead in The Fault in Our Stars. Woodley is playing Tris from the epic dystopian Divergent (pre-production) and now Hazel Grace Lancaster of Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Oh and Psst…she is also going to be Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider Man 2. {source}

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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