It turns out as you add and check the links for more than five hundred blogs, you learn a few things. I’m not talking about in-depth, content stuff. These are basic things I noticed.
All blogs should have dates on their posts. ALL. There is no acceptable excuse for not saying when your post was written. I can’t imagine that there is a blog template that doesn’t give the date automatically, but if there is, then you have to put it in at the top of your post. Looking at some blogs, I couldn’t tell if the posts were from last week or last year. Um, and if I can’t tell, I don’t use them.
Authors and illustrators should have their personal name listed on their blog. Your reader shouldn’t have to dig around for it. Also, authors and illustrators should have their books listed on their blog. I can’t tell you how many blogs I found where the author talks about her book without any indication in the post or on the page of what that book might be. Perhaps what happened is that your blog was an extension of your website, so you didn’t feel the need to say who you are and what you wrote. Maybe you were only writing for your friends who already knew these things. But it’s a brave new interconnected world out there, and you want your blog to be part of the whole package in selling yourself and your book.
There is an exception to identifying yourself by name, if you choose, and that is if you are writing a book blog rather than an author blog. Certainly, there is a lot of overlap, but basically a book blog focuses on book news, writing ideas, kidlitosphere happenings, and a little bit of your own book and life stories. An author blog focuses more on your own experience, your own book, and the other things are secondary.
What have you noticed in your blog reading that you’d suggest to other bloggers?