Judy Blackmore | Digital Strategist |  Marketing & Communication

Blog: 101 ~ For Bloggers

‘Blog 101’ is a post that was born from my study and research on the current situation of the blogs of fashion, lifestyle or cooking. The basics for a good site are the same for everyone.
My research born from the need of offering to my clients a better service: I have already fixed a fashion blog “Camelia And Glitters“, and another one “Unwritten” (a Geek Lifestyle Blog very special and full of useful articles) is about to land, and, on the agenda, I have to restyle other blogs.
In order to offer them tailored and really useful advice, in the last months I have studied the Italian scene (as well as foreign) of the various blogs, from the ones of the peak to which we all aspire, to lesser known ones.

[su_heading style=”dotted-line-violet” size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”15″]Colors’ matching.[/su_heading]

[su_frame]Esempio Palette per Blog[/su_frame]I usually see blogs in which there are colors that clash between them, but above all I see a predominant pink in those female websites.
Girls! Do you know that there are a lot of colors besides the 50 shades of pink? I really mean it, pink is not always suitable. It can make your blog childish or too much superficial.
Usually, these shades can be used in the details, together with other predominant colors.
Pink is not the only side to sentence. There are also wrong colors’ matching: for example the overuse of FLUO colors, red and yellow combined, fuchsia and red.
Every color has its function, every combination is useful for say something to your followers; the rules that regulate these combination are very similar to the one that you probably use every morning to get dressed before getting out. On Pinterest you can find a lot of palettes that you can use in your blog, and some of them can hold also the pink!

[su_heading style=”dotted-line-violet” size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”15″]The excessive use of the Cursive Font.[/su_heading]

[su_frame align=”right”]Esempio Uso Eccessivo del Corsivo nei Blog[/su_frame]Cursive is an elegant and refined style of font. It’s dead sure. However you have to use it in the wright way and place.
I saw blogs that used the italic both for the title of the articles and the sections in the sidebar (the lateral column that can be both to the right and left from posts), it makes all very confused and bad taste.
If you want to use the italic you have to choose the right font: it allows a clear reading of words written in small letters and small capital.

[su_heading style=”dotted-line-violet” size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”15″]The Missing Person’s Sidebar.[/su_heading]

[su_frame align=”left”]esempio-missing-person-blog[/su_frame]Surfing the various blog, in order to make my research, I usually saw that the sidebars seems like a wall dedicated to missing people than to a column of support of the blog.
The main purpose of sidebars is to extend the info in the Homepage (or in the blog) that you can’t include in the main menu. It’s usually utilized when the Homepage of a site isn’t static but it’s a show of the last articles.
A lot of people utilizes badges extended for every social network, so they have 4/5 huge blocks with clashing colors, when they can just choose their favourite social network and use an extended badge; and then insert the icons with the links of the other socials.
The same is for banners that promote the big clothing industries or the affiliated websites. Remember that one thing is the advertisement and the other the signalling of models as they were kidnapped from a serial killer.

[su_heading style=”dotted-line-violet” size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”15″]Photos and “the Unknown” Copyright.[/su_heading]

[su_frame align=”right”]esempio-copyright-blog[/su_frame]I will never get bored of saying, neither in 10 years. Google is not the official photo dispensary. It exists stock-photos’ websites both free and with fee. How many times have you done a search on Google using the images and save the photos for both illustrative purposes (cosmetic products, clothes, accessories) and decorative (landscapes, sunsets, etc.) and you have used in your blog?
Well, that’s one thing that you mustn’t absolutely to do. EVER. Each image in the net is subjected to copyright and to the user license (if you want to know more).
Remember that we are in 2014 and in full digital era to say: “I did not know” as an excuse no longer applies.

[su_heading style=”dotted-line-violet” size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”15″]Images and their editing.[/su_heading]

[su_frame]esempio-foto-editing-blog[/su_frame]I know that some bloggers don’t have graphic basis, and they don’t even know what Photoshop or GIMP are, and this could cause some problems with the beauty of the blog.
If you take a picture and you post in your site, try always to put your personal symbol (called watermark) that helps you to identify it as yours. If they are outfit weared by you, there are no problems: no one can pass off as you, and if they cut the head from the photo they won’t make a good impression. I’ talking about photos as make-up, clothes, various shopping, etc…
A possible solution – that excludes the use of any adjusting software – is to create a billboard with the name of your blog and insert it in a harmonious way into the picture.

[su_heading style=”dotted-line-violet” size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”15″]The length of the posts[/su_heading]

[su_frame align=”right”]esempio-lunghezza-post[/su_frame]Do not you ever read an article and has it left a bitter taste in your mouth?
But not being able to understand what is the thing that really gave the most trouble or did you like the least?
Many times the articles are too short, leaving you with a bitter taste when something is not enough. I know very well the difficulty of writing a kilometric post when describing a mascara, but the fact that Google (used for example as the largest search site in the world, at least on this continent) penalizes the contents that are less than 360 words.
I always recommend to my clients (as well as friends) to write articles of minimum 500 words.
Then, logically the length can also vary depending on the topic: review of a cosmetic product is different from that of a film, or a recipe or a critical/reflective post.

[su_heading style=”dotted-line-violet” size=”20″ align=”left” margin=”15″]Formatting, let’s give a good measure to the glance. [/su_heading]

[su_frame align=”right”]esempio-formattazione-post[/su_frame]There are clear rules that are part of the SEO, but they can be combined with the beauty of your blog.
The posts have to be justified (just like this, when the speeches are clear to the sides of the page, and they are regular).
You should use as bold and italics to highlight the most important topics and emphasis of certain words or phrases.
If the post is long, it must be divided into sections and you should use titles (H1, H2, H3) that generally follow the meaning of the speech. How could they be, for example: Introduction, Thesis, Antithesis, Conclusions.
Insert images wherever appropriate: that they stay on topic, and are mainly related to the topics discussed. Insert images for decorative purposes only annoys the reader and penalizes your work.

[su_divider top=”no” style=”double” divider_color=”#1b2338″]

If you came here, it means that you loved the topic, maybe you have a blog, you gained just 6 points (in my opinion they are the principal ones) that concern the beauty of a blog, the practicality and the right settings to achieve the SEO parameters.

In how many of these six points you find any similarities in your blog? If your answer is equal to or greater than 3, maybe it’s time to renew your little masterpiece.

I know that a blog should reflect even the person who wrote it. These are ideas to think about. Many bloggers write just for passion, and they don’t want to make a qualitative leap, and they are happy of what they have created. My post helps everyone start to be not satisfied and they want to try to change something; and why not maybe also improve something.

Besides, for Fashion Bloggers I suggest to read the article of Alessia Savi, as guest blogger on Valentina’s website: Fashion Blogging, you really do it in the right way?

I’m trying to organize an on-line course, for that who concern all these topics: Copyright, SEO, Graphic. A personalizing course on the strenght of the attendees’ knowledges. It can last from 4 to 8 weeks, through skype, slides and exercises. If you are interested, please contact me!


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