Here’s the thing: This is not going to be an “advice” kind of post. Not that I have a beef with those, it’s just… who am I to give anyone advice? I’m pretty much a mess. But. I do, personally speaking, enjoy knowing what readers and fellow bloggers think about stuff. I always take people’s opinions into consideration when I am revamping stuff on my own blog. So maybe it can be useful to you! Or maybe I just like to throw opinions about stuff at you, either way.
None of these are deal breakers, either. It takes a lot for some random element of a blog to be a deal breaker. Nope, they’re just things that when I see them, I get a wee jolt of happiness. 😀
Here’s the theory behind this: If I like you, I am probably going to like your friends! When I first started blogging, this was the main way I’d discover new blogs. I’d go to sites that I’d already built a rapport with, then I’d go visit their faves, assuming that we’d likely have some stuff in common. And yes, this works more often than not! And, it’s fun to see if we already have friends in common. (If you want to see my faves, they’re scrolling along the bottom of the page!)
Ohhh, this is such a favorite of mine, especially when I find someone who is a bookish twinsie, (like Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction). This way, when I need to know if there’s a decent likelihood of me enjoying a book (or series, or author!) I can just scroll through the person’s lists like a real creeper.
Now, I understand the limitations with this. When I was using Blogger, this was the bane of my freaking existence, updating every time I posted a review. Now that I have WordPress and Ashley’s awesome UBB Plugin, this is much, much easier. As in, I get to set it up and then never think about it again. So if you do not have WP, I fully understand why this is the hugest pain in the ass ever, feel free to move along.
See what I did there? I used an affiliate link in the last one just so I could talk about it in this one! This may not even be a popular opinion, I don’t know (let’s talk about it in the comments, eh?) but I love when people have affiliate links. Here’s why: I can support you. By buying a book that maybe you have convinced me to buy, or by talking about some bookish merch that I can now have as my very own. Or maybe I was going to buy a book anyway, so why not let you earn a few dollars? I try, as much as possible, to buy from other bloggers’ links.
Because real talk? Blogging can get pricey! And even if you don’t spend much, you’re still investing a shit ton of your time and energy. So dammit, I want to support you whenever I can. Sure, I may be broke too, but this is a good way for us all to win!
Another possibly unpopular opinion! But my ultimate favorite blogs always earn an email subscription from me- and not just from some spam email address, but from my actual email that I check on the regular. Because I am a mess of a person, and this alerts me to your posts in a timely fashion! I like to think of it as an extra layer of security to make sure I don’t forget that a blog exists in the chaos that is the inside of my mind. Plus, this is a really easy one to do- and free, too! Unless you have a fancy mail subscription option, of course. But that is for you to decide. I personally am down with free email subscription.
Oh, as if there is any better way to stalk my friends’ old posts! In seriousness, it can help in several instances:
- If you are unable to maintain a review list (for those aforementioned reasons) then it’s easy peasy to find your past reviews!
- Maybe I remembered you posting a cool thing and I forgot to save it, and now I really want to re-find it, but it’s been a few months and who wants to scroll back through 32 pages of posts?
- Perhaps you have a post series of some kind, and I would like to find your old ones- this is an easy way to find them!
This is another super easy way to make things more user friendly, which is why I love them so much!
This goes hand in hand a bit with the last one. If you are talking about a series of posts or something, a link is super helpful. Similarly, I love a link to Goodreads when discussing a book! But here is my biggest “tip”: If you really don’t want to be bothered with linking to Goodreads, I feel you. But perhaps throw the title of the book in the post, and here’s why: A lot of times, my elderly eyes cannot fully read the font on the cover, especially if it is small! Or I mean, don’t if you don’t want to? Again, it isn’t a deal breaker.
If I have decided I like you, I probably want to befriend you on all the things! Let us follow each other on Twitter, be Goodreads pals. I will like your pictures the two times a year I pop onto Instagram. Whatever social media you like, if I can locate you there, it makes me happy. Because in an effort to be… not a weirdo, I am not going to look for people on social media. And if you don’t do social media, that is cool too. Because sometimes it is a real pain in the ass. That isn’t what this post is about at all but we might as well say it while we’re here.
Oh, I am sure you are a fabulous human! With all kinds of interests and quirks and such. And look, I don’t want to know your middle name or social security number. Hell, you don’t even have to use your real name (since I know that a lot of people don’t- but I can promise that I am Shannon, here there and everywhere, in the interest of following my own advice). But a few things about you is nice! You can still very easily keep your anonymity while telling me the details of your favorite show, place you love to travel, pictures of your dog, whatever.
I like getting to know people, and it makes blogs way more memorable to me. If I can think “oh, that is Sally with the white fluffy dog!” (this isn’t a real example) or “that’s Val who pretends to be innocent” (that is a real example, don’t let her fool you), then you instantly become more likely to worm your way into my mind for future visits! I guess you could even make up a fluffy dog, but like… don’t, because that might make me sad when I find out the fluff was all a viscous lie.
Don’t lie to me, this is not you and your dog.
Ah, the most important! And the thing that all the blogs I follow really have in common at the end of the day. Perhaps this one is a moderate deal breaker for me, come to think of it. Because I find myself drawn to people who seem really authentic, really passionate about the things they enjoy. Really, if you are being yourself and having fun, that shines through more than any other nonsense. Sure, the other junk can help make your blog more user friendly or whatever, but at the end of the day, if you’re doing what makes you happy, your blog will absolutely be a place that people want to visit!