Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The How-To's of Blogging Series {Part 9}

Today we continue with Part 7 of "The How-To's of Blogging Series". I am hosting this awesome series with Melissa over at The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife so make sure and visit her blog as well. This entire week will be filled with posts on how to make you a "better" blogger, so make sure to come back because there will be a new topic everyday. You can find out who will be posting this week by clicking here

If you missed the posts from earlier this week you can find them below:

Hey Everyone! I'm Jeni from over here at Two Shades of Lovely! Teaming up with Melissa over at the Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife for this "How-To's of Blogging" was so much fun and I've already learned so many great things from all of our guest posters.

My friend Kendel and I started this blog two months ago as a way to promote our Etsy Shoppe. I guess you could say I've been "bitten by the bug" of blogging - because it has evolved into so much more for me.

When I first started blogging, I really had no experience or any idea how to "make an impact" on readers, let alone get them to want to continue coming back to my blog! The tips below are little things that I've learned and have tried to do myself to keep you guys coming back, and lingering on the blog for longer!

We have progressed as a society - intelligence and a formal writing style no longer go hand in hand. In fact, I enjoy reading blogs when I can almost hear the writer's voice as I read. I still believe in using proper grammar, but the occasional misplaced exclamation mark, improper paragraph structure, and even made up words are all of the things that make your blog YOURS and give it a true sense of who you are to your readers.

 Disclaimer: If you do come back to read the Two Shades of Lovely Blog - you will be showered with the occasional unnecessary "SHOUTY CAP" or two {Fifty Shades of Grey reference anyone?}, made up words {I'm a firm believer that "zumba-ing" and "awesome-ness" are both words!} but I will try very hard to keep my commas and  "their,they're,and there's" in check!

Using live links give your readers an opportunity to be directed to read other blogs of yours you think they may like, view other sites and related items that you want your readers to check out.

I love reading other people's blogs that direct me to other related, useful links that I may not have found otherwise.

{For Example: Click Here to learn a few things about us you may not know!} 

Every established blogger has their "greatest hits" - the blogs that they are extra partial to or in some cases, those which have had the most views (or both!). Perhaps it's a great DIY tutorial, a story that tells a tale of why you are who you are, or even a fun post filled with pictures of your trip to Hawaii.

Some blogs have a place at the top of their blog that directs readers to a collection of their favorite/popular posts. {you must add a page to do this}

Another option is to place photos along your sidebar that link the reader to a specific post.
If you use Blogger, you can do this by clicking "Design" in the top right-hand corner in your blog page. Then click "Add Gadget". At this time, you can add the picture you want to represent your post, link to it, and you can use it wherever you want on your sidebar.

This is perhaps the greatest way to keep me at a blog for hours {literally!}
That nifty little widget at the bottom of a post really keeps readers interested, and allows them to read other related posts that you have come up with! I have found some of my greatest DIY ideas, best giveaways, and helpful blogging tips from clicking those helpful "You might also like...." posts!

*NOTE: As a new blog, I don't have many posts {YET} - but you better believe, when I rack up some posts, I will be installing this little widget!*

I snagged a screen shot of The Life of a Not So Ordinary Wife's page. She not only had the "You might Also Like" widget shown underneath the pink arrow, but also this shows a great example of what the popular post sidebar can look like! She exhibited two great ways to keep her readers on her page for longer!

Click Here to get your very own "You might also like" Widget on your page!

Blogs that I visit are often filled with buttons, links, and graphics that direct you to another source. I think that is great, giving photos source credit, referring to other blogs, and using those links are a must, but many times, those links direct you away from YOUR blog.

There is a simple fix - simply enable those links to open up new tabs/pages when your readers click them!

If you find that a link you have posted is not opening up a new tab or window, you can simply edit the HTML of your post and add "target=new" before the URL of the link address

Voila! Now you have a way to direct your readers to other great pages, while keeping them on yours as well - the best of both worlds!

I am by no means an expert, and I am quite certain that there are other means to keeping readers coming back for more to your blog, but these are just a few things that I have found to work, as both a reader and a blog writer.

GIVEAWAY WILL BE WEDNESDAY! Dana from Wonder Forest has been so kind to offer all of you a FREE copy of her very own e-book for bloggers "Blog Wonderful". Stayed tuned for the giveaway at the end of the series!!


  1. Hi, found you through the blogging series on Life of A not so Ordinary Wife and think you have SUCH good advice for someone who has only been blogging for two months. Thanks for sharing! I am new to blogging this year too and would love for you both to stop by my first giveaway at A Baker's House. No pressure to follow my blog if you don't want to, just enter the Rafflecopter to have a chance to win!

    1. Holly!
      Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm so glad that you gained some knowledge from our series. You better believe I will be following your blog and stopping by!

  2. Couldn't leave a comment of Life Of A Not So Ordinary Wife's giveaway post, but one thing I learned was the picture shadows thing. I never ever noticed that!

    1. Isn't that shadow code great? Makes everything on your posts look so much better!

      Thanks for coming by!


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