Dec 19, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog?

This past week I've been trying some new ideas on my blog. For one thing, I changed the background. I've been blog hopping, looking at other blogs and trying to get some ideas on where I wanted to go with mine. In the process I discovered a lot of bloggers out there are still sporting the Blogspot template they picked when they set up their blog. For some that may be okay and exactly what you want, but for me it was down right BORING! While searching for a background that I liked, I came across some fun sites I thought I'd share with you. They are easy to load under customize/add gadget/html. All the instructions are on the sites and are very easy to follow:

Delightful Dots

Shabby Blogs

My Style Backgrounds

The Cutest Blog on the Block


Aqua Poppy Designs

Most of those have a "scrapbook" look to them. There are others like, PYZAM.COM, that offer a huge variety, but installing the code is a little bit tricky for the novice blogger.

Something else you'll want to do when sprucing up your blog, is add some fun stuff to your sidebar. You can get tons of ideas by just clicking around from one blog to another. You'll want a good picture of yourself and a short bio, too.

In trying to create more traffic on mine, I've also come up with some ideas to bring other bloggers on board. I have a theme for most of the days, like:

Music Monday - I post a song and the lyrics along with a brief reason why I like it. Does it fit my mood? Does it go with the book I'm writing? And so forth.

Tagalong Tuesday - I search through all my blogging friends sites who have posted within the past 24 hours and pick a sentence or two to quote on my blog. Then I link it back to their story, so they will get some traffic as well.

Writing Wednesday - I try to put something writerly on there, but not always.

Thursday - Is just a misc. day.

Friendly Friday - I have a guest blogger, post a picture, short bio and their story along with links back to their blog, again creating more traffic for them. This week it was Valerie Ipson. Her post was great if you want to check it out HERE.

Saturday - I usually post the same thing I post here. (okay, I'm lazy, what can I say)

Sunday - Don't usually post anything unless it's spiritual.

So that's it. I know I won't be perfect and I'm sure I'll miss a day here and there, but picking themes will help me know what to write and help create a buzz so when my book gets published I will already have readers lined up. Just in the past 4 days, I've picked up 3 more followers and have had over 100 visitors.

Hope this helps those that are just starting out or who may not have a blog yet. And for those that are pros, leave us a comment about how you blog or where you get your ideas.


  1. I don't have plan, really, for my blog. I usually post every 3-4 days (though I'm trying to step it up) and my topics vary. I'm a bit lax, I suppose.

    I love your layout and your setup, Christine. Congrats on the new followers and extra hits!!

  2. Lovely ideas, and your layout is great! Of course, I'm a scrappy type of blog person myself! :)

  3. I haven't heard of all of those background places, so thanks for posting them, Christine. I like to change my background every few months, just to refresh my look. Plus I love fun new backgrounds.

    One thing I love to do is play around with my font colors as well. Whenever I have a dark background, I change the font to a light color to make the words more readable. And when the background is light, back to dark I go.

    Looks great, Christine!


  4. As a full time writer, I consider regular blogging a part of the job. It's a wonderful part -- I also consider it morning coffee with friends and colleagues, and a place to brainstorm.

    blogspot drove me crazy -- especially since it kept insisting I didn't exist, although I'd had an account for years. The templates, the reliability,and the service at wordpress is much better, so I moved everything over there.

    I think you've got some really good ideas about bloggins, although I'd suggest not getting too structured about it - -something might come up that doesn't fit in with the day's theme.

    And, of course, I feel blogging is an example of "to have a friend, you have to be a friend" -- if you visit and comment on other blogs, and regularly seek out new-to-you blogs, you'll find more and more reciprocation and build a bigger support network.

    It's part of the gig, but it should also be part of the joy.

    Have fun!

  5. A huge old warning about Pyzam - if you use it, it will strip out your sidebar information. I found that out the hard way ... lost information I'd been gathering for over a year.

    Thanks for this highly awesome list!