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D for De-Lurking & Design


D

De-Lurk Yourself

First things first, if you are a blogger (new or old) and you have a list of favourite blogs that you go to– De-lurk yourself by leaving a comment on that blog !! That’s how the other blogger is gonna know you exist and can start interacting with you. 

I’ve talked about lurkers in the past.  A lurker is someone who reads your blog and leaves without a trace of showing they had been there ! I’ve even asked my readers to de-lurk themselves so that I would know who was around.  You have absolutely nothing to lose by de-lurking.  Think about it like this, you would only be sharing your blogger voice with everyone on that blog comment thread and I’m pretty sure the blog author will be chuffed to know they have a new reader. 

So what are your waiting for ? Yes you, right there, I can feel you lurking over my blog – just leave me a comment already !! Pretty please ?

lurker

Design

It doesn’t’ matter how great your content is if your overall blog design is not easy on the eye !  In the last few years of blogging, I have given my blog at least 4 design make-overs to make it more appealing to my readers.   I have asked for feedback about features that readers may / may not find comfortable and when your readers tell you that something can be fixed – it generally means you need to get yourself in gear and fix it.

There’s a simple rule of thumb I try to go by when selecting a template – it should be minimal and cater to the features you want to showcase.  So a light background with dark text (dark – not bright) works wonders and is so easy to read.  I’ve seen some blogs with florescent text and it hurts my eyes so much that I just skip to the next blog !

There are thousands of free design templates one can choose from for their blog – it really depends on the theme of your blog.  I quite like the magazine / paper layout templates that are out there –particularly the 3 column ones and that’s how I got around to using the template that I have now. You could also choose to invest in a professional blog design service – especially if you have your own custom domain.  I’ve been meaning to get around to doing that and hopefully I will in the next few months.  That’s when I’m likely to find the perfect custom template just for my blog.

Are you using a custom design for your blog or are you using a template ? Do you change your blog design – if yes, how often ? What made you change the design ?


21 comments:

kavita said...

I used to be a lurker... remember?? and then you sent me that tweet telling me to De-lurk myself. :D and ever since then I've been commenting. :D

dirtylittlewhispers.com said...

I change mine as soon as I get bored, or when something changes. After I had perfected my first blog design I changed the blog name... Back to square one!
I love designing them, just wish I had more time

Damyanti said...

I'm quite a lurker--- so your advice on de-lurking is spot on :). Cool post on blog design--- mine hasn't changed in 4 years.

Look forward to the rest of your challenge run…
--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z
#atozchallenge

JDC said...

Need to redesign mine but can never find the time.

Vero said...

De-lurk, what a cool term! I'm all for de-lurking. There's nothing greater than comments and engaging with other bloggers, even if it's just to say "Hi, I like your blog, have a nice day!" > "Thanks, that's nice to hear! You too!"

Blog design - clean and simple kicks ass! Tons of ads and blinking things, green fonts on red backgrounds and plugins as far as the scrollbar can reach are really painful on the eye.
I use a custom made theme for my blog, one I've modified myself after a free template. I hope I won't tweak it very often though.

The Hopeful Romantic said...

But I love lurking!! Sonetimes I read and move on because i feel i have nothing to add...however, i will think a little harder!

Enjoying the posts!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I try to leave comments every time I pop in to read a blog but sometimes everyone had said exactly what you want to say and you don't want to seem stupid by saying the same thing someone else has uttered. It often comes across and just commenting for the sake of it and not for actually have something significant to say.

Am I making any sense?

Taryn Elliott said...

Great AtoZ post. I know how you feel on feedback. We love it. But it's used less and less these days. Retweeting is about all you get. *sigh* I love being RT'd, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to get the little hey there, hi there.

design is a HUGE deal for me. I'm like you. If it's hard to read then I'm not going to strain my eyes. Sorry. I've got limited time and I spend far too much time on my damn computer. (I love it, crave it, am addicted to Trixie--yes, she has a name. LOL) But I'm not going to get eye-strain for your site, sorry.

And you have a nice, easy to read blog.

Miriam said...

I'm de-lurking to say: the trouble with asking for feedback on design is that everyone has a different opinion. For instance, I find the font of your posts a bit annoying to read, but presumably others don't agree.

Clare said...

Everyone should de-lurk. You never know what great connections you might miss out on by simply reading and never commenting. Plus if you love something you've read on a blog, it's encouraging for the blogger to get feedback from you.

I agree a good blog design is really important. A friend and I were discussing this last night. It's bad to be too garish, in your face and bright, but it's also bad to be too plain and have nothing about you shining through.

After interesting content, a good design is the thing I look for when deciding if I'll follow a blog.

Dazediva said...

@Kavita .. yes I remember; and I'm so happy you de-lurked when you did :)

@DirtyLittleWhisphers .. I'm the same that way; I change design once I'm bored. And I really wish I had more time too !!

@Damyanti .. Ahh but you aren't lurking on my blog - so thank you for that :)

@JDC .. welcome to my blog :) do you design it yourself or tweak up existing templates ?

@Vero .. De-lurk is pretty cool isn't it ? I heard it the first time in 2009 and de-lurked on someones blog after reading it. I really like your blog design, I've seen a similar template and have been wanting to try it out on mine as well .. I know what I want my blog to look like, I just have to find time and someone who can design it for me :)

@TheHopefulRomantic .. I know that feeling !! Been there before :P

@ADaftScotsLass .. I completely & utter hear you !! I know that feeling ! In fact I swear I wrote that on someones blog !! We do think alike you know :P

@Taryn .. welcome to my blog :) And thanks for your feedback. I'm like you - I spend A LOT of time on my laptop & if I have to strain myself then it's something I have to give a miss to.

Feedback is great - and its always nice to know someone took the time to leave a comment, it makes me feel good about myself, my writing & my blog as a whole.

@Miriam .. Thanks for your feedback. Its true that everyone has an opinion but unless e.g 70%+ give you the same feedback; its the blog owners call to decide how to interpret that opinion.

I can understand how you might find the font on my blog annoying to read; I had one other person tell me that some time ago .. I think 'cos its a bit slanted but not cursive it might have that effect - but I like it more than the typical fonts only because its more 'me' :)

Dazediva said...

@Clare .. your comment came through just as I finished replying to everyone else hehe Agreed, good content & good design are both factors I consider when I follow a blog. De-lurking is fun, and you're right - the connections you make with some people are just unbelievable. I've made some great blogger friends, who are also on my Twitter, and this summer I'm going to be meeting about 5 of them between London and New York :)

Tara Tyler said...

great advice! shy people, come out and play =)

Dazediva said...

@Tara .. thanks for stopping by and de-lurking :) Do you have a Twitter account I can follow you on ?

sulekkha said...

I have never been a lurker :) I enjoy writing comments on other blogs as much as reading comments on mine. My site's design hasn't changed, it's simplistic and clean.

http://sulekharawat.com/2012/04/04/d-is-for-dad/

Cassam said...

I always leave a comment on a blog as long as I can think of something to say on the subject. I only started my blog in Aug of last year and I've changed it a few times just really to see what it looked like.

Merrie is a said...

Guilty as charged: lurker! Great way to get people to leave a comment. As for my web/blogsite, I had a "professional" design my first one, but it became such a challenge for me to use that I switched about a year ago to blogspot and designed my own.

Dazediva said...

@Sulekkha .. That's good to know :) I know I definitely lurked for the first few weeks / months when I started my blog off.

@Cassam .. that's great to hear and impressive that you are already taking part in a challenge. My only suggestion on your blog design would be to move the 'about' and 'archive' section towards the top so that people can find out about you quicker & see your past posts.

@Merrie .. welcome to my blog & thanks for delurking :) Definitely not guilty today ! When I did a post on a it a while ago, I managed to get 10 readers to delurk which is super cool !

Anonymous said...

Somewhat delurked, hopefully!

btw, when it comes to design: A little less Segoe Print as your font (it's not the most readable thing), and you can make you theme a little higher contrast - black text on brown background isn't the best combination.

Dazediva said...

@Anonymous .. thanks for kinda de-lurking :) Thanks for your feedback as well. It appears to be a bit of a loading issue - my blog design is actually grey on the sides and the content is on white with black text .. will see what I can do to change that. I actually find Segoe Print really easy to read and its similar to my writing style.

Anonymous said...

This Blog was most helpful, your ideas are straight to the point, and the colors are cool too.

 

A Bit About The Diva

Expressive. Volatile. A Dancer. At times a Writer. A Lover. A Friend. A Woman of many shades - which shade shall you uncover ? What you see is what you get .. think you can handle that?