Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What do you like on a blog?

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I'm quickly approaching the year mark for blogging and feel the need for some overhauling. I've played with format and layout, occasionally added a gadget or two, but mostly the changes have been small tweaks. I'm thinking I need to take a poll on what people like and don't like about blogs to help me improve Writing with Hope.

One thing that drives me nuts on other people's blogs (besides CAPTCHAS--if you have them, disable them NOW please--here's a post from JA Bennet on how to do that) is not being able to find the FOLLOW ME button. I hate it when I arrow up, down, up, down and can't figure out how to say, "YES, I want to read your stuff!" I feel so old and like a technical failure.

I know people have a preference on comment boxes (again, GET RID OF CAPTCHAS!) and I'd like to know your preference on that and all those other little things scrolling beside the post. I'm sure there are linky things and add-ons I have no clue about and maybe need on my blog.

Depending on comments, I might attempt one of those actual poll-gadget-thingies, then I can get statistical data and share what I learn :) So please, pretty please, let us know your druthers (my mom would be so proud that I just worked in a-man-you're-old word on here! Druthers = preferences to those of you who don't have a mom who says near-extinct words like that).

So here are my blogging questions for you :)


1. What is your favorite part on other people's blogs?

2. What are your pet peeves?

3. What makes you a follower?

4. What are the most important gadgets to have?

5. What page tabs/links do you enjoy?

**Have you seen something really cool lately?**




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AND . . . after you tell me your blogging preferences, check out Cassie's interactive interview with her agent today :) Hop over to Reading, Writing, and Lovin' It! to get your questions answered by Brittany Booker of the Corvisiero Literary Agency!



35 comments:

  1. Must admit I like my blogs easy to read and navigate. Like you searching for a follow button can be a headache. The other thing that is off putting are blogs that take ages to load (maybe it's just my computer!). Seems to be if they have loads of video/adverts/graphics etc. If I'm short of time I may think twice about clicking on them. Interested to see what everyone thinks on this.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Suzanne! Totally agree on the pages that take a long time to load. I usually just navigate to another blog when that happens.

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  2. I like sincerity. When I visit someone's blog, I want to feel welcome and get a sense of who the person is. I don't like blogs that are platforms. You can tell the difference between someone who blogs to sell books and someone who blogs for the community.

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  3. Oooh, a questionnaire! I like it :)

    1. Personality!
    2. When I have to squint or blink a few time to read what's there.
    3. Usually when they follow me, lol. Or because they are just super full of awesomesausage and I have to get to know them.
    4. The GFC button! How the heck do I follow you if I can't find it??? ;)
    5. Current projects, helpful links, previous posts spotlighting other awesome bloggers. :)

    And thanks Miss Hope for spreading the word about the interview! You rock!

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    1. Right on! I agree with all your thoughts, Cassie :)

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  4. I don't care much about gadgets, other than the follow me ones.

    One pet peeve is when sites take too long to load because of everything. If I'm on the fence about adding a site to my Google Reader, this could push me over the edge. If it's a really great blog, I might put up with it.

    I've seen a few blogs with graphics behind the text. I find them hard to read. I like easy acces to archived blog posts. Especially in the beginning when I'm first checking them out.

    I like seeing what projects writers are working on. I understand not everybody likes to share, but I really enjoy reading that stuff.

    Another thing I think is important is a way to contact through e-mail. There were a few authors I wanted to invite to be a part of my Big Reveal posting. But they had NO e-mail anywhere on their blog. And these were people who's books had sold, but hadn't yet come out yet. And 140 characters in Twitter isn't enough to explain.

    Those are my few comments.

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    1. Oh, those hard to read blogs are a struggle for me too! They make me feel old when I have to squint to read ;( And the no email thing can be frustrating. I only added mine a few months back after I realized other people had that as a regular thing. It's helpful to reply back in comments too :)

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  5. 1. What is your favorite part on other people's blogs?

    Opportunities. Whether they're contests, meet and greets, or interviews with agents. I almost always read those. I remember one blog doing a breakfast-social type deal, where each commenter brought a virtual food to the table and then was asked to check out another commenter's blog. I found some cool people that way.

    2. What are your pet peeves?

    Biggest pet peeve you don't do, so no worries--hard to read text. HATE it. Like neon blue on black. I hate black backgrounds, period.

    Also not a fan of clutter, especially ads.


    3. What makes you a follower?

    If the blog has a lot of the things I marked in #1, if the person is super funny, or if they're blog is informative in some way. Often I start following a blog when the author leaves comments on my own--it grabs my attention.

    4. What are the most important gadgets to have?

    SEARCH. I like being able to search for particular posts or topics!

    5. What page tabs/links do you enjoy?

    Honestly, outside of the normal blog, the only other tabs I check out is contact information. That is a must!


    Much luck with the blog!

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    1. I love it when I stumble onto a blog with lists of things going on! Kimberly Gabriel's Art of Infiltration and Sharon Bayliss' Blue Word are great for this :)
      And those black backgrounds behind text make it a challenge to read :(
      I've now added a search box--thank you!

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  6. I like blogs where the person really shines through. There are so many blogs to follow and it can get lost in my head if I don't get a sense of who the person is. Other than the follow me button I don't really care about gadgets. I do prefer easy to read font and colors. Other than that, make me laugh. Haha.

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    1. If I laugh during a blog post, I'm a follower for sure! Thanks for your input Jenny :)

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  7. voice, content, visits back - those are what get me =)
    presentation after that, and i like seeing a pic

    pet peeves are captchas and posts that have no white space. paragraphs, people!
    oh, and too many videos or moving gadgets, takes too long to load!
    your tabs and gadgets and posts are great!

    see me tomorrow if you're interested in a header =)

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    1. I love white space! I'm a slow reader so if a super long, unspaced, too many word post comes up, I tend to leave without reading :(
      Thanks for the feedback Tara!

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  8. 1. What is your favorite part on other people's blogs? I like a variety.
    2. What are your pet peeves? Word verification
    3. What makes you a follower? If the person seems genuine, I follow!
    4. What are the most important gadgets to have? Google Friends Connect, blogroll, profile, other links, past posts
    5. What page tabs/links do you enjoy? About me
    Blogger's default is with word verification. Wish they'd change that. Most new bloggers have no idea it's on.

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  9. Okay so for me I like to follow by email cause I'm far more likely to keep up. Melissa Maygrove just told me how to add that to mine, it was so easy. Pet peeves-word verification. I like when people have a good sense of humor. I like some snark. If you have a good sense of humor then pretty much anything you post about is going to interest me. I like a page or tab on what the person is working on or what they've completed. and yeah, the About Me tab is cool too. Even though I don't have one! LOL. Hmmm . . . have to fix that.

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    1. Love funny and snark, keeps me reading! I've added a follow by email button :) Thanks Lisa!

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  10. I am a sucker for a great background. It's not that it makes or breaks me following them, but if a blog has a neat background, I'll stop for a little while to take it all in. My pet peeves are word verification and not being able to find out who the blogger is - name/contact info/etc... What makes me a follower is hard to say. Lately it's been if they follow me, or if I have a common interest. Gadgets are a tough question - I like the ones like you have that show progress on work. I also think it's important to have clear follow/subscribe/rss feed buttons on the blog. Page tabs I view are usually the profile pages. Good questions to ask!

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    1. I agree with everything you say! Thanks Lara :)

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  11. I like the content to be short and sharp as that's what leads me to follow a blog.

    Another preference is for regular posts, even if it's once a month. It makes it easier for me to follow rather than logging in every day on the off chance they've posted.

    I don't like catchpas, but I understand why people have them. What I don't get are having catchpas AND author verification.

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    1. I'm with the short and sharp content, especially when I know I need to catch up on blogging :)
      Thanks for your thoughts Martin!

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  12. I love the ability to receive posts via email - (it's a gadget). I never check my Google Reader - I'm way too intimidated by it. But I love receiving emails about recent posts from my favorite bloggers. I'm sure to check out their posts every time that way.

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    1. I've added the email gadget, thank you Kimberly!

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  13. #1-I like blogs with good content and reading the blogger's responses to comments they receive.

    #2-Difficult to read text, word verification, no post archive history or one that is three characters wide.

    #3-Content, something worth following. I also try to reciprocate follows although that can be a challenge sometimes from just opening the Google Friend Connect image. Doesn't always show the person's blog link for me. Anyone know why??

    #4-Following gadgets

    #5-Varies

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    1. Hey, Jeff :)

      I hate to butt in here, but I think I know the answer to your GFC question :)

      It won't link back to their blogsite if they have set their profile that way. It's defaulted to privacy, just like with the email, so they have to set the profile up to make it visible for other bloggers to see. :)

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    2. Thank you! That's good to know. I always feel bad when I'm unable to follow back and worry that I'm overlooking something that I should know.

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    3. Oh, I know what you mean by that three-character-wide column thingy, frustrating!
      Thanks for explaining #3 Cassie. I have often gone to follow back someone who follows me and I can't because their blog link is missing. Silly privacy thing :(
      Thanks for the feedback Jeff! :)

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  14. I've learned that sometimes hitting F5 a bunch of times would make the Follow Me prompt pop up....Happy almost-one year anniversary to your blog!

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    1. I'm going to have to try this F5 thing! Thanks Cynthia :)

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  15. I agree with Jeff that following gadgets are super important - not just GFC, but linky or email subscription options, too. People follow in different ways.

    I also really like clean looking blogs. Too much clutter makes my brain go all white noise on me. I like that your sidebars are thin and separated from your posts. It keeps your site looking clean but fully-developed. Congrats on coming up on a year!

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    1. Great input Daisy! And thank you :)

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    2. I agree on a lot of others' points... too many bells and whistles make my computer slow up or even crash! The main thing is getting a sense of who the person is so I'm interested in what they're up to etc. I don't like author verification on comments because you don't know what others have said or if you're the first one. I like it to seem like a conversation.

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  16. I like being able to get to the comment box from the main page, like I can right now with your blog. Don't change that!! And yay for NO CAPTCHAS. I think most people have got the hint by now that I hate them. ;)

    I love your blog, personally, but can understand the need/want to change the look. I do that to mine now and then. :)

    YAY for coming up on a year!!

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