"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

3 Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your "Virtual Real Estate"


First impressions are important.
Don't believe me? Think about it.
How many times have you judged a book by its cover?
Or a man by his Brook's Brothers suit?
Or a restaurant by its decor?
True?
In fact, even in real estate, closing the deal depends largely upon presentation and curb appeal.
So does your Blog.

As an avid reader and lover of all things creative, I devote a good deal of time to "cruising the scene" and checking out the on-line spots of my followers, fellow bloggers, and the top dogs in my niche.

I've seen a lot of great stuff, and I've seen some things that make you go hmmmmm.

With this being said, here are some factors to consider in attracting visitors and maintaining a loyal following.

1. Make your site inviting! I love when I visit sites where you almost feel that you're sitting in someone's living room because it feels so comfortable and not forced. Yours can be too. To achieve this it's nice to have appealing colors that are easy on the eyes, a photo of who you are, a welcome section, and a little Bio about the person behind the words. A sense of humor and sincerity doesn't hurt either.:-)

2. Respond to readers' comments. This may seem silly, but when I visit a site and don't see much interaction between the blog owner and the audience, it's a turn-off. Remember, good communication is always a two way thing.

3. Add take-away value. In other words, don't just rant and rave about you and your life and escapades. Provide guests posts, interesting links, photos, quotes, or something for folks to sink their teeth into.

And, as a bonus, make sure your site is easy to navigate and user-friendly!
That's my take for today. What are your thoughts? Did I miss anything? Do tell...

Image credit: Simon Howden

6 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    I think you covered everything. :) I also like to see conversation between the blog owner and the commentator. If I don't see this, then I am reluctant to leave a comment myself.

    Page speed is also important because if it takes too long for the person's page to load, I am more likely to click away.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Evelyn

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  2. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 9, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Good points, Evelyn. I forgot about slow load times--that can be a real bummer. :-)
    Thanks for your time and your thoughts today!

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  3. Jennifer: Great post. I think you are so right that you have to think about the experience that other people have when they come to your blog. They should feel comfortable and like what they see. I would also agree with Evelyn about page speed. That is an important one. I think also bloggers have to be careful to not make it too difficult to comment. I know people are always on the lookout for Spam, but when you make commenters jump through too many hoops to leave a comment, it can work against you.

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  4. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 12, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    Excellent input, Sibyl. I totally agree about the "jumping through hoops" experience; I've had too many :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I agree, think you covered just about everything. I think a blog is usually a reflection of the author, so we do need to assess what our "curb appeal" is saying to others. Like our writing, our blogs reflect our tone and style.

    I prefer clean, relatively uncluttered blogs that don't take too much time to load. Easy navigation is a plus,and I don't like to have to hunt for the comment link. Little things make a difference when you have a lot of blogs to visit, or your computer is having a slow day. :)

    Good post, thanks.
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  6. Jennifer Brown BanksSeptember 14, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Thanks, Karen. I value your input.:-)

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