The Official Weblog of Ronnel Andaya

Not Another Pretty Blog

In Technology, Thoughts on August 17, 2009 at 9:52 pm

While doing my work here at Virtual Assistant, Inc., I have come across countless pretty blogs both in their layout, graphics and content, not to mention their readership. So the big question is, how can an aspiring blogger emerge from this vast sea of beauty?

Search the web and you’ll find lots of tips about it. But most of them, of course, pertain to how you are going to layout your content, how to decide the color palette that you’ll be using, how to incorporate graphics to your pages, how to design your logo, and how to increase the page rank of your weblog.

Trust me when I say that all of these won’t work without the tips that I am about to divulge to you. Don’t be deceived by the headings. It isn’t that fancy as you might expect it to be, but you’ll get the point.

The Mark-up

Codes. There are certain things that you need to take into consideration when blogging. Not only must you ensure the validity of your source code to the standard markup specifications and that your mark up are search-engine optimized, you must also follow principles and certain code of ethics when posting to your blogs.

Discussing blog ethics comprehensively can be very tedious. But let me mention some things that you should be doing and the things that you should be guarding yourself from committing.

  • Besides the fact that Google crawlers hate content duplicates, plagiarism is punishable by law in many countries. It is better to have no blog updates than to copy someone else’s work. It is not prohibited to cite someone’s words. Just make sure you inform your readers who was the person behind that great idea and possibly a link to where that specific idea can be found.
  • The truthfulness of everything you post is a necessity. Veracity is most often violated by people in the web. Not only that this will ensure a good standing in your online presence, this will also protect your dignity as a blogger and as a person. By the way, who would want to read a compilation of lies?
  • Your prospect readers will be spending a portion of their time reading your blog updates. Why not make them aware of the policy to which you adhere in making your write-ups? They have the right to know in which part of your posts are facts, opinions, or advertisements. You should provide at least a disclosure policy somewhere in your blog.

Head. Just like the head of our HTML source codes containing the title and keywords of that page, you should also have in your own mind what you are posting in your online journal.

You must be sure, especially when dealing with potentially debatable topics, that you really did your homework, that is, you did research and that you really understand what you will be writing about.

You must be a master yourself of the topics you want to blog about. Search-engine crawlers do retain these keywords in their databases as does your readers retain what they have read from your blogs. You don’t want to cause misinformation or confusion.

Body. According to man’s physiology, a human cannot survive without the brain and the heart. Since you already have the brains in your chosen topics, then there is only one thing left, your heart. You must put your heart to whatever you are doing, including blogging. A blog post written with passion will come a greater way than that which is not.

Don’t post about things you would not like to just because you were told to do so.

Strong Tags.Whatever you post in your blogs can be possibly seen by the whole world. You must have a strong conviction that what you have written is correct. People might despise you for it but if you are sure of what you have told the world, then you have nothing to worry about. Just like your good ol’ <strong> tags, assure your readers with your conviction to the validity of what you’re telling them.

Emphasis Tags. Early life of the HTML involves the use of <i> tags. But with the newer version of a more semantically structured language, it is replaced with the <em> tag. This imposes a good analogy to what your attitude should be when writing your posts.

Truly, blogs started as nothing but a personal journal made online. But not any more. Now, it isn’t always about <I>. You must think about your audience. You must give <emphasis> to them. Ask your self what they want to read. If you can do this, then not only you will be keeping them, you will also be attracting more readers to come to your blogs.

Accessibility

I’m not talking here about the accessibility of your pages to the disabled. Better if you do, but what I am trying to say is that you as the person behind the blog must be accessible. You must make sure that your readers can keep in touch with you.

I know the vastness of the work responding to every comment or emails you receive each day. Just tell them, and surely, they will understand. But never hide yourself behind the cloak of anonymity while doing detrimental things to your fellow blogger or person.

The Design

Logo. A logo is a visual identity of an entity and, in this case, you. Like a logo does, make it clear what you and what you are not. Be yourself, and don’t be a hypocrite. Surely your reader will love you for who you are and for your honesty about yourself. Isn’t it better to be loved for who you are than for who you are not?

Colors. Be creative! Give each of your post a color to describe. Life itself is colorful. This will prevent your blog from being dull and your readers from being bored. Incorporating variety of feelings to your writings will surely keep your readership.

Space. Last but not the least, make room for your reader to breathe. Enable your comment forms and open your end of the line and mind. Listen to and respect what they are saying. Don’t delete comments because they are against your views. You have your imperfections. Learn to know and change them. There is always room for improvement.

I know that if you do all of these, your blog will not be just another pretty blog. But what I don’t is what’s in your mind about keeping your blogs better. Please, speak up! The comment form is enabled for you.

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