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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Some Bloggy Questions

Lately I've been pondering my blog and trying to think of ways to make it more appealing, both to myself and to you all. I've decided that I am tired of my current look and want something new, but can't find the time or energy to learn how to change it and can't find the money to pay someone. I'd like something super simple this time around, so in theory I COULD do it- right? I have an idea in my head of what I'd like, I just have no clue on how to put it onto a blog. I don't even know how to add text to a picture to make a header, perhaps this doing it myself idea isn't so good.

I've also been pondering the scope of my topics. I feel like I lost a lot of readers (or at least a lot of commentors, I have yet to figure out how many people are subscribed via Reader) when I broadened from mainly books. I've been thinking that I should go back to separate blogs for sewing and reading. What about kid topics? Should I have a THIRD blog about that? Should I just not blog about the boys? Not everyone wants to hear about kids all the time. I DO have three blogs. I could brush the dust off the two others. Or have two and just mention them sparingly? I'd really like to use a platform that has the ability to link them all under one main home page while keeping the page elements the same for each (same theme, etc.) Any suggestions? Do you (as a reader) typically follow blogs who change URLs? What if I had a giveaway of something (books? bags?) when I changed?

And, how do you feel about ads? I really don't noticed the ads in the sidebars of blogs or at the end of a post.I do dislike blog posts that seem to be a paid advertisement. My husband says I can quit my job when the blog pays the mortgage. (yeah, like that'll happen...)

So please, leave comments, let me know what you like. Do you like multiple topics? Dislike it? What do you like in the sidebars? What do you actively dislike? (No worries, there will NEVER be music on my blog!) I don't want to make changes if people don't like it. Change is hard! Help me out here.

Edited to add: A super sweet someone volunteered to help me here, so you guys gotta pony up and tell me what you like! Super sweet someone- I will email you later this morning!


  1. I don't mind ads as long as they aren't those paid posts (hate! hate, hate, hate!).

    Also, you can figure out how many Google Reader subscribers you have by putting Books. Lists. Life. in the "add subscription" section of Google reader and when it gives it to you as a suggestion, it should say the number next to your post name.

  2. Now that is helpful information!

  3. I have been thinking about making a change too but haven't decided exactly what or how. I've been debating about whether to torture my husband by enlisting his help yet again or paying someone to come up with something for me. I wouldn't even know where to look to find someone to design something for me.

    My commenting has slacked off in general lately. I do subscribe to your blog even if I may not comment frequently.

    I know there are other platforms that do allow multiple pages that would allow you to divide your blog into sections. That might be something you want to look into further--maybe even set up a test blog in wordpress or another platform to see what you think if you haven't already.

    I tend to ignore any ads unless they are overtaking a blog.

  4. I like multiple topics in one blog. See, the way I look at it is if I connect to YOU... then everything about YOU is interesting. If you put all your stuff in different blogs, then I have to follow all of them, which means subscribing to even more blogs when I'm already overwhelmed with my blog reading.

    I don't have suggestions for sidebars. Anything is fun there. Stuff that shows your personality. Ads don't bug me.

    And I LIKE music! :) Just not automatically started when I click on your blog.

    Did you figure out your subscribers? I looked for you! I discovered a little different way then what janssen said. :)

  5. I don't comment here often, but I've subscribed to your blog for awhile. I find I comment less regularly at book blogs, since if I haven't read the book I don't have much to say :-). You probably have a lot more reader/subscribers than regular commenters, or at least that's my experience.

    I'm in favor of multiple topics - in fact, I'm a practicioner myself. I don't really want to keep multiple blogs, so mine is all over the place.

    I'm really only bothered by ads if they seem to be overwhelming the content, and since I do most of my blog-reading in Google Reader, I miss a lot of them anyway unless I come to comment.

    This may not be very helpful, but there you go :-).

  6. literary feline, I haven't been commenting as much lately. I have a new office configuration though and it's making me a bit more daring at work.

    suey, between you and florinda, I'm starting to lean to keeping it together. I had to admit that I don't like to subscribe to multiples of the same person.

  7. I come via reader (as I do all the blogs I subscribe to) so I usually don't notice things like formatting, colors, graphics, or ads anymore! Only when I discover new blogs (which is sadly not very often).

    To add to Janssen (don't have time to read the rest of the comments so sorry if repeating), if you subscribe to your blog, there is a button at the top right corner that says "show details" (if yours looks like mine it is right under the "list view" tab). Here you can see how many subscribers you have. I've found that it doesn't really mean anything, though. I have about 50 but I certainly don't get 50 comments each post--or any post. ;)

    I've seen that giveaways can help temporarily--but honestly, the gimmicks are sometimes a turn off. What I think helps is making sure that you make your rounds to other people's blogs as well. And this is hard with little time, but if someone doesn't come around to my blog every once in a while, then I can't always make the time for them either... I'm not sure if others have the same perspective but that's my two cents. :)

  8. I've been debating myself whether or not to combine the 3 blogs I have that I (somewhat) regularly post to. I wonder if I'll lose visitors that come for the specific topic for that particular blog (hope that made sense).

    My blogs all have the boring blogger templates. I don't have the time or money either to do anything different right now.

  9. I'm subscribed via Reader and am not good at all about commenting. :-( I don't mind multiple topics on a blog and as someone who used to maintain multiple blogs - it is a pain to keep up with! It's easier to have it all in one blog. Ads don't bother me as I often don't click through to the blogs I read unless I'm commenting and even then, I just ignore the ads myself :-). I would say the most important thing is to find what works for you.

  10. I was going to say the same thing that Trish said about finding out the number of subscribers. I can see that you have 44. I think that you need to decide what it is that YOU want out of blogging and let yourself and not your readers define your niche. As for commenting, I've noticed that it has slowed down with summer upon us. For example, here I am trying to make the rounds after two weeks of hardly visiting anybody. As for ads, I'm also trying to figure out how to best capitalize on them. I have a few ideas but nothing concrete. There's a way for first time readers coming from search engines to have ads show up but not for your regular readers. I just haven't had time to sit down and figure it out.

  11. I meant to write this before--but I love seeing the pictures of your little monkeys here! I don't think you need a new blog for that. ;)

  12. Thanks everyone for your imput- Obviously I changed it. I am happy with the decision to keep it all together now, but I'm working on tabs at the top to make navigation easier. I'm also going back to edit my labels so there aren't so darn many of them!

  13. YOU being happy with it is the most important thing!! I'm also trying to go through my labels also to clean them up. This blogging is so much work! ;)


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