Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Road Trip 2022 Feature 2

A total of 37 blogs signed up for the 2022 Road Trip

Starting in July, visiting just a handful of blogs per month would accomplish the whole trip!

Let's Do This


Check back next month for more blogs to visit from the A to Z ROAD TRIP!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

#AtoZChallenge An Alphabet of Blog Tips

Guest Post from Susan Sanderson

Hi, A to Zers and other readers! I hope you will find something interesting and helpful in this alphabetical post of blogging tips.

Accessibility: It is worth taking time to fill in the ALT box for photos and images on your blog so that visually impaired readers can hear about them. Some people may also appreciate blogs with dark text on a plain light background rather than the reverse.

Image of Alt Text example

Blogger/Blogspot is a blogging platform from Google.

Comments are searchable on the internet. Be honest, but kind! It is often easier to comment on blogs when logged in to a related service. For Blogger, this is Google. For WordPress it is WordPress. Other blogging platforms are available!

Directions may be necessary if your blog is difficult to navigate.

Enthusiasm for your subject and for blogging will be apparent to your readers.

Formatting your posts makes them easier to read. A clear font, good text size with short paragraphs and space between them make a good impression.

Greeting your readers may draw them in and help them feel connected to your post.

Hop is part of blog hop. The A to Z Challenge is a blog hop. There are many other opportunities to hop from blog to blog leaving comments and generating interest in your blog.

Ideas may be found in the most unlikely places. Jot them down in a notebook or an app. If you are stuck for an idea your notes may help.

Journal: Many bloggers use their blog as an online diary or journal. Be careful how much personal information you share online.

Knitting and other crafts make interesting blog posts for other knitters and creative people. ‘How to’ posts are helpful. Search engines like them too!

Layout is similar to formatting. Photos or images may be aligned left, right or centrally. Their size may also be adjusted. A preview will show whether the text beside an image is in such short lines that it is irritating.

Music is a universal language. Is there music, which is relevant to your post? You may be able to choose whether to link to it or to embed it using HTML.

Numbers: Don’t be despondent if you don’t have many visitors to a new blog. It takes time to build up a following. Tell your friends. Share your posts on social media. Take part in blogging challenges. Visit other blogs and comment if you have time. The numbers will increase.

Originality is important. There may not be many new ideas, but your way of writing about them should be (and almost certainly is) unique.

Pictures should be your own. Failing that, there are sites where copyright-free pictures may be found. If you wish to use a picture belonging to someone else, always ask their permission and credit them 

Questions: A question at the end of a post is likely to prompt more comments than a post without a question.

Research is interesting. I have learned a huge amount as a blogger, which I would not have discovered otherwise. Research is important. Your readers expect to read reliable information.

Shortcut keys help save time. My favourite is Control +V to paste text into my blog. Control+Shift+V pastes it as plain text, which is useful if there are hyperlinks in the text, and if the text has a different font, size, or color.

Theme has two meanings for some A to Z bloggers. If your posts for the challenge are linked by their subject matter, that is your theme. You might let others know in a Theme Reveal post. (Signing up for the Theme reveal ahead of the main challenge is a good way of increasing the number of visits to your blog.) For WordPress bloggers there is a wide choice of ‘Themes’. These are the designs available for your blog. Blogger also gives some choice. (Did I mention other platforms are available?)

Understanding of other cultures is something the A to Z Challenge facilitates. Bloggers participate from many countries around the world.

Vexing Emojis: While the occasional emoji can dress-up a post, using long strings of them will be stressful for visitors using text-to-voice. Each emoji is read as a description, sometimes a long description. For example, ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿพ is read as "Man: Medium-Dark Skin Tone emoji," which is fine once, but is annoying to hear twelve times in a row.

(V Contribution from J.)

WordPress is not the only blogging platform, but it is the one I use most. It allows bloggers to ‘like’ posts and comments and to rate posts with up to 5 stars, if this feature is enabled by the blogger.

Xenophilia is the opposite of xenophobia. People from foreign countries should be welcome to read our words. We can visit their blogs too.

Yourself: Your readers will notice the difference between a post consisting of information and one, which has something of your personality about it. The tag ‘Personal’ is popular as most people are interested in people.

Zebra is perhaps an unlikely choice for Z. ‘What has that to do with blogging?’ I hear you ask. The theme I chose for my main blog has a Zebra in the heading picture 

image of blogger labels

Twenty six hints are too few to include everything. An important omission is the use of categories and tags (Wordpress) or labels (Blogger). These help people find your blog posts. 

What else have I missed? Please add you own hints in the comments.

Writer bio: Susan always wanted to be a writer.  In 2012 she revived her interest in writing with a project to collect the kinds of sayings, which were much used in her childhood.

Blogging was intended as a way of improving writing skills, but has become an interest in its own right.  Susan experiments with factual writing, fiction, humour and poetry.  She does not yet have a book to her name. Her interests include words, languages, music, knitting and crochet.  She has experience of the world of work, being a stay-at-home mum and an empty-nester.   She is active in her local community and Church, where she sings alto in the choir. She is a member of the Association of Chritian Writers. She and her husband live in the north of England. 

Follow her on Twitter @suesconsideredt