|Blogger Tips for Crafters|
1. Follow Button
We all wish to have followers and in turn follow blogs we like. But many a times you may have had to scroll all over a blog to find the follow button and at times new blogger’s even neglect to add one! Some bloggers sidebars have so many links that the most important “Follow me” button gets lost somewhere!!
Check on your blog the position of your follow/subscribe button and place it right at the top of your side bar or at the top of your blog – this makes it easy [and even tempting] for visitors to follow you!The pic shows how my friend Barbara proudly displays and invites her followers!
2. Following a blog? -Leave a calling card!
It is so thrilling to log in and see you have a new follower isn’t it? You would of course like to know who it is but Google friend connect doesn’t always give that information. So when you decide to follow a blog let the blogger know and leave a comment with a link to your blog. You will almost always get a thank you visit and they may even follow you too!
I love to comment on blogs I follow and always try to visit bloggers who comment on my blog. Who doesn’t love comments? We all blog to share and interact so the next time you see something you like, do let the blogger know and spread some love and cheer!
To productively use your time while commenting
- Many comment forms have a “jump to comments”. If you click on it you can directly reach the comment form and you don’t have to scroll through the numerous earlier comments hence saving you quite a bit of time
- Say No to word verification – many new blogs especially have word verification enabled on the comments. Its a big turn off and time stealer as it’s so difficult to decipher the double words and even more tedious to type it .
Blogger tips - comments
How to turn off word verification:Got to Dashboard, click Settings--click Posts andComments--scroll down to "Show word verification ?" and click on "No".
- Use keyboard aids or shortcuts software-my secret is a freeware called speed typing which helps me add favorite phrases [such as saw link on MIM], my name and blog signature in my comments by typing just a few letters!
[Since I use the same software in my ENT practice that is why you may see a "deviated nasal septum" creep into my comments at times!]
4.Respond to comments
Responding to comments is good blog etiquette!With the current blogger scenario there are 4 ways we can respond to comments
- Email- if you have linked your blog to your email address each time a comment is left on your blog,you get an email. If you are someone who is comfortable emailing you can just “reply” to the blogger with a thank you note.
The catch here is if the commenting blogger has not linked her email to her blog account [called “no reply blogger”] you will not be able to reply to her. I personally don’t like to email to comments as I’d rather enjoy a visit to the blog, see my blogger friend’s new creations and leave a comment.
Some wonderful bloggers make the reply emails so personal and witty that I actually look forward to the email reply to my comment!! [Ann of snap edit scrap is a maestro at email replies!]
- Reply button-This is so easy to do as you can reply to the comment on your blog itself. It makes your whole comment section interactive and all your blogger friends can enjoy the conversation!
The only drawback is that the blogger who commented may not be dropping back in to see if you replied!
This is especially great in a challenge blog where everyone can see the replies. Sunehra of Itsy bitsy does such a commendable example of this type of interaction at the Itsy Bitsy Challenge blog she hosts!
- Blog return visit –This is in my opinion the ideal response! You can see the blogger‘s creativity [so much more appealing than an email screen!] and the blogger will be happy getting a comment on their blog!
I especially find it easy if the commenting blogger has left a link to the blog in the comment itself. I love the clickable signature which Lisa of Mermaid crafts leaves in her comments.
I recently discovered that leaving signatures in comments is a controversial practice as it may be interpreted as spam--dont know how the craft blog community feels about it .Personally I feel its easier to visit the blog if a clickable link is there!What do you feel my friends?
- Comment on their new blog post - Sometimes when 2 people follow each other’s blogs and you have developed such a good relationship with your blogger friend, no emails or replies are required….each comments on and supports the others new blog posts as a routine.
I am so fortunate to have such a comfortable relation with many of my blog readers .When I see their post on the dashboard I pop by and comment and they in turn do the same!
Edited : The Itsy Bitsy Blog is currently not active
Edited : The Itsy Bitsy Blog is currently not active
5.Flaunt your favorite posts
There must be a post or tutorial you are proud of…give it more visibility and life by adding a picture link on your sidebar.
Khadija of creative mind does this amazingly well.
You can also make a separate "page" on the top of your blog with photos and links to your popular posts
6.Label your blog posts
At the time of writing a blog post or later, add relevant labels such as “ Card , Quilling” etc .
Do add the labels widget on your sidebar too. This is such an easy thing to do but surprisingly many bloggers don’t bother! It just makes it easier for a visitor to explore your blog by clicking on a topic of interest to them !
Caution: dont let your labels list grow too long [mine is too long and I need to do some cutting and chopping] .A trick to avoid long labels list is to choose the labels you want displayed by clicking select labels.
|Blogger tips - labels|
7. Re-size your photos
Though I had already written about resizing photos in blogger photo tips I am sharing once again the importance of this as I came to know recently that a couple of my blogger friends [who had been blogging since 2010/2011 only] had exhausted their free storage space at Picasa [the default image storage site for blogger]. Picasa provides only 1 Gb of storage for your photos and if you exceed that you have to pay for it!
Resize all the images to less than 800 pixels before uploading to blogger
Once you log into to your picasa account scroll down right to the bottom of the page and you will see what % of your free storage you have used.
|Blogger tips- picasa storage|
The above pic shows the storage space I have used [Just 1.28%]despite the numerous photos I have shared in tutorial posts.To check how much storage you have in your google account click :Check your google picasa storage
8.Simple SEO tactics -Good Blog Post title
For the newbie SEO or search engine optimization of a website helps search engines such as google index your website!
For a craft blog one of the simplest SEO tactic is to have good blog post titles. Your title need not sound witty it just needs to be something someone would search .
Check out this post by Dr Jaya which she has titled as "Flowers with square punch"! Hers is a relatively new blog but search "square punch flowers" on google and her blog turns up on the first page which is an achievement for a new blog! While you are at her blog do check out her other projects and especially her blog post titles which are so SEO friendly!Hers is one new blog which has the potential to become very popular!
For some simple SEO for your blog photos see Blog Post Photos tips
If you are interested in SEO there are lots of other complicated stuff you can do but maybe we crafters would rather spend time crafting than bother with such technicalities!
In addition to this 4 Must Do’s for new craft bloggers
- If you are a new blogger you have to go out there interact and comment on blogs in your niche as otherwise you wont improve your blog visibility or grow your blog readership unless you are an SEO expert [which most of us aren’t!]!
- Join craft challenges – you don’t have to create a masterpiece to submit for a challenge -the point is to have fun and learn! The best resource for craft challenges is Paper Playful. To help Indian crafters, I have created an Indian Craft Challenges page which I update with the current challenges.
- Join linky parties-My favorite Papercrafters linky party is MIM and through MIM I have found so many blogger friends like Loz and gained so many followers too. If you can master the art of linking to Linky parties your craft blog readership will grow in leaps and bounds!
- Share good photos- No matter how beautiful your project is in reality if your photo is all blurry, grainy and dark, your readers just wont be able to appreciate the real beauty! You don’t need expensive cameras to take good photos [though having a canon would maybe make editing unnecessary!] .To know what I mean head over to Erum's blog..her photos are stunning and some of them were taken with a mobile!!
Do See this new post too: 10 Blogger Tricks to a better Blog
I hope this post will be useful to both newbies and experienced craft bloggers. Do share your tips too as we are all learning!