Hey I Like your Afro

An open letter to new bloggers, don’t take it personally
June 16, 2009, 2:26 am
Filed under: Mitzi's view | Tags: , ,

Dear new blogger,

First of all, welcome to the blogosphere! It’s great to add a bunch of fresh new opinions, ideas and tightly cropped “about me” photos to the blogging community.

For some of you, blogging has been something you’ve been debating about doing for months. For others, blogging evolved to be a project of sorts, something to do to pass the long hot summer hours. Either way, whatever the reason you’ve decided to dedicate yourself to a Blogger or WordPress account, I would like to propose to you fresh-faced bloggers a user-friendly application called a blogroll.

What is a blogroll you ask? Well simply put, it’s an optional application (or “widget”) that sits on the side of your blog in a list format, and links to other blogs that you read/like.  As a blogger, you even have the option to include more than one blogroll in your blog. Mind-boggling, I know. Every blogging platform (including Blogger, WordPress and Typepad) allows users to include a blogroll on their blogs, and makes it pretty fool-proof. Need some help? Check out these resources: Blogger help, WordPress help.

Why is it important to have a blogroll? Well the blogosphere (read: the blogging community) has been sharing information for years already and has users around the world taking part in some very interesting conversations. The beauty about blogs is that there is little instruction as to what you can include in your blog. Essentially, the main criteria to blogging, is to write about anything and everything that you’re interested in. That being said, although I’m sure your thoughts and opinions are entertaining enough to captivate a reader’s attention for hours at a time, what happens when they’re done with viewing your page? Without offering readers something else to click on, or another way to dialog, you’re essentially ending the conversation. You’re not allowing the reader to engage in another opinion or even a similar opinion. The reader has no trail to follow, they end up in dead space.

Advantages of a blogroll:

Blogroll as a personality indicator: We’ve all spent more time than we’d like to admit making our blogs look just right. We’ve adjusted the photos, played with the colors, scrutinized every blog template to find just the right one and have hopefully come up with the perfect formula that says exactly who we are, this is My blog. A blogroll can be an extra element to do just that. Blogrolls can reveal to readers what they’re going to be in for as they read your blog. What kind of blog is this? Is your blogroll a list of fashion sites, photography sites or political? Whatever you’re reading, tells the reader, that’s what you’ll be talking about. Use that to your advantage.

Blogroll as a traffic booster: One of the best things you can do to boost the traffic to your blog is to get linked to as many places as you can. Every blog you include in your blogroll has that much more of a chance of getting viewed by readers. And if you include a blog on your blogroll, it is polite bloging conduct to reciprocate the gesture. That’s how you create a blogging community; a blogosphere.

Finally, let’s keep this conversation going. Comment on blog posts you like, discover new blogs, and read the blogs you link to. Why? Because it’s nice.

Looking forward to getting to know you new blogger,