February 15, 2009

Blogging Tips, Part 1

My interview in the upcoming issue of Stringing is all about blogging. You'll have to wait and read it for some tips on writing a successful blog. I've had a few people ask, how do I start a blog, so I thought I'd share some basic tips.

Go to blogger.com. There is a big orange button that says "create a blog". Follow along the simple steps to have your blog up and running in minutes. There is also a tour and videos you can watch on creating your blog. Don't worry about any techie stuff right now, just opt for the basic settings.

Some things to think about:

Your blog name - keep it short and simple. If you have a business already, use that name or something close to it.

A tag line - this can help you keep your content on track and let's your reader know what they can expect to find on your blog. My tag line for this blog is: "Art beads, jewelry-making and handcrafting a business." And that pretty much sums up every post you'll find on here. For the Art Bead Scene our tag is "Celebrating art beads, inspiring those who use them." Again, helps to keep us focused on what we write about each day.

Banner - that's the image along the top of your blog. You can do a simple text banner, using the blogger template. You can create one with photo editing software or you can purchase one from a designer. I like the ones created by Thompson Designs. A banner is like a welcome mat, it can instantly let your readers know a little bit about your style.

Design - keep your blog easy to read, like black on a light background or a black background, with white text. Don't add anything with animation or sound, this will slow down your blog and isn't appreciated by readers. You can add a fancy background later or change the color or your blog border for a little flair.

A word of warning about ads, you can have ads from google ads, project wonderful and other sources added to you blog. Make sure if you go that route, you have more content than ads. I don't visit blogs to read ads, I visit them for inspiration!

Join me tomorrow for tips on those first few posts.


LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Heather, you hit my top 'aggravation points' with animations, those annoying things some people use that follow your cursor, and advertising. Also, my eyes go crossed when trying to read magenta text on a red background.

I agree with all your points and would just add one thing - post fairly frequently! Some of my favorite blogs (like Art Bead Scene) also have a schedule or routine - to motivate frequent updates.

Thanks for a thoughtful post, Heather, and congrats on the interview.

Lisa Gatz said...

excellent suggestions. Your blog is really full of good content and pics!

Sue Runyon said...

Saw the article in Stringing Magazine and stopped in to take a look. Great blog! I'm following. Sue