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Things That Make a Blog a Blog – A First Step of Blogging

As you can imagine, a blog is a very customized thing.  A person’s site is just as individual as the person running it.   That said, when I first visit a blog, there are certain key elements I expect to see on every single one.  It’s generally how I can tell a personal site from a business site.

What’s Your Name?

You’ll want a header with your blog’s name.  It’s your first impression, so make sure it portrays exactly what you are aiming for.  This may change with time, and that is okay.  I know my normal header and holiday headers are all a little cartoonish and fun.  That may not be great for everybody, but it is what my site is all about.  Find your voice through your header and writing style.

Who Are You?

An “About” page or tab is a must!  If I log onto a site and can’t find some background info to help me get to know you, then I assume it’s a business site and move on.  A good “About Me” page gives just enough info to get me to connect with you without becoming blabby.  It’s a great place to highlight the big points and fit in some personal bits that will help readers like me connect and want to read more.

What Do You Like?

You’ll want a category list and/or an archives page that make your past posts easily accessible.  Readers looking for general categories like debt or budgeting can easily flip through that way.  Or people who want to try to read your stuff from the beginning can find a quick place to start.

How Can We Connect?

Subscription buttons so readers can at least subscribe to your RSS Feed, Twitter account, and/or Facebook account. I use a WordPress plugin called “Subscription Options” to help me place my set on the top of my right sidebar.  If they can subscribe, they can keep in touch with your writing even on the days they don’t have time to stop by like usual.

How Can I Find More?

A search box is a must.  I wrote a whole post about this here – http://howimakemoneyblogging.com/let-me-taste-your-soup-the-importance-of-a-search-box/.  But just know that you must have a search box of some sort.

Legal Stuff

You will need a Privacy Policy, a Disclosure Policy, and a Disclaimer.  You can find easy templates online.  The Privacy Policy and the Disclosure can be in a tab or sidebar link to a page.  The Disclaimer seems to be found directly in sidebars.  You need to let stupid people know that you are not their brain and they should use their own.

If your blog has these basics, it can survive right from the start while you build it up. If you don’t give yourself a “hook” that will catch interested readers, it will be hard to build a following no matter how hard you work.

What else would you consider a blogging basic?

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3 comments to Things That Make a Blog a Blog – A First Step of Blogging

  • Dee

    Ooooo newbie blogger gold!

  • Free, good, information about the topic of your blog. Like if its a pet blog, attach a forum with basic care advice. Stickie the best of the best. Ataching how-to’s is also great bonus, since you could publish them as separate searchable page to attract viewers. Take your best summary of a widely searched topic in your area of interest, post it on your fb and youtube pages.
    People like photos if they are well edited, sized to load super fast, and hold the attention. I do not know how much wasted effort I have invested in a well-covered book.
    Dont wait for everything to be perfect, launch, then re-launch. Getting started is most important step.
    Don’t use a tablet, like this one. It is a pain to edit and use.
    Make sure posts and pages are done and saved, backed up. Servers can be erased, so make sure you have the originals.

  • I have yet to put up a disclaimer! *gasp* I know, that needs to happen like, yesterday.