Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fine tuning and creating perfect blog posts

It is seven months since I started my blog, and thirteen months since I started my garden!  My original thoughts were that I would be able to track progress, see when I had sown seeds, and monitor harvesting time.  By perusing other bloggers great blogs, I have fine tuned mine a lot and wonder if some of my ideas might be helpful to others. 
At first I didnt use labels, thinking they created clutter on the page, and then I saw someone who had them in a cloud, and thought - oh gosh I like that!  Of course then I had to go back and add labels.  Just recently I have realised that if I want to go back and look at what happened this time last year I would have to have an easy way to search the blogs posted in this month.  I started editing each blog then realised that there is a quick and easy way to do it! If you just click on the little square next the blogs in the dashboard and go up to the label drop down menu you can attach any label to that particular bog, or section of blogs.  How cool is that!  while on the subject of labels, I went through my cloud and consolidated all the ones that were similar and grouped them under one label.  For instance all under tomatoes, instead of some under cherry tomatoes, ripe tomatoes, etc.   Or frogs, and green frogs.
I do want my blog pages to load quickly, and dont have a problem with that since I have an old camera that is only 3.5mp.  Most of my photos are about 40000byes and 308 X 408.    I do intend buying a new camera in June, so want to keep an eye on how large my photos are.  Right now I am posting them as large or extra large - so might change that if my photos end up too big. You can always double-click on a photo to see more detail and I would prefer to use that option than have people fall asleep while waiting for all my photos to download.
I do like the way my blog loads up with the post first up.  I want to see new and exciting photos every time.  I find I get impatient when you have to download a bunch of header photos (that you see every time you open the blog), so I kept my header simple, and then increased the width of my page to full size, and just had my quotes up at the top right hand bar.  So new information is viewed first.  I like the simple easy to read format, and I find the colour gentle to the eyes..  My template is Minima Stretch.
I have been tempted by many gadgets, but so far have resisted the urge on most of them.  I do love link within and the Garden Definition of the day. Useful ones I think!  Links to blotanical, statcounter and copyright tabs I have placed right at the bottom.  Maybe I am a bit pedantic, but I want you to read my blog first rather than all the other stuff!
Now, this by no means an instruction for others on how to produce their blogs - that is the great thing about blogging  -  is its individuality!  In the beginning I was really quite blind about blogging (now I am only half blind and sometimes fumbling in the dark) and just wanted to share some of the cool things I have learnt the hard way.  I am in no way a technical person, and prefer not to follow long lists of instructions about setting page width etc.  I am a simple gardener after all!  I have so enjoyed blogging and thought if I somehow eased the path for a couple of newbie bloggers it would make my day!

Some of the things I am still having trouble with:
There doesnt seem to be spell check on the posting page!
Often when I try to post a comment (on my own page) it wont post and gives me an error message.  Blogger help is no help at all in this regard.


  1. aloha,

    lots of great information about your blog and things that you have learned, i even picked up a few tips that i will definitely incorporate into my blog

  2. I think you've done a great job here of figuring out what works for you and what works for a reader. I love the fact that your photos load quickly and that the post itself loads right away. I also enjoy your sidebar -- especially the Gardening Definition of the Day, but also the quotes (I'm a big May Sarton fan). Well done! -Jean

  3. You've done a wonderful job with your blog. I like that everyone can create their blog exactly as they prefer. Your "keep it simple" idea is key, I agree. I also agree with your concern re. spell check...it'd be nice to have one. I'm interested in the copyright tabs and starcounter...where do you find them?

  4. As a designer, its nice to see someone realize how important usability is in a website. I'm going to redesign mine a little later on, but i think I like my header too much to change it... By the way, you can spell check your comments by right clicking on the word!

  5. Lots of good points to consider.I have been looking at the labels thing myself and it is now added to my list of things I really ought to do one day.

  6. Thanks all for the kind comments - I didnt want to sound presumptuous - sometimes I feel as though I am fumbling around in the dark.
    Right click doesnt work for me, Rainforest Gardener. I noticed it went away when I updated blogger :(
    Kimberley, those copyright tabs and statcounters you can access just by right clicking on my icons. Thats how I got them - from someone else's blog!
    Dont wait too long, Sanddune, as the catching up is quite time consuming!

  7. Rainforest Gardener, your header is very nice, I have been meaning to comment on it. Very rainforesty!

  8. Just me. I like to have fewer labels. If it is only just the 1 post on that topic, you and I, can use that Search Blog box top left. I prefer to use much more general labels to pull together related posts.


I love interacting with all my readers, thank you for your comments. Have a great day!


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