Newbie Blogging Blunders

Anyone who blogs faces this dilemma – content or design? Though I enjoy content, it is more difficult to produce than messing with the sidebar order or a new profile pic. And nothing provides more delight to my anal retentive nature than a perfectly chosen widget, placed in the perfect dimensions, doing exactly what I want it to do.

Tonight design wins again; my excuse is that I feel the site, requires it. Thousands of plugin options beckon me with their tantalizing adverts. I tango late into the night… back forth between “dashboard” and “home page”…trial and error… how many times can I hit ‘refresh’ in 5 minutes? (Note: F5 key rocks as the standard hotkey to refresh your browser).

In the end, a blog is about content. Blogging consistently and frequently seems to be the secret to success. However, learning design has taught this newbie a few things:

Readability rules – The main reason I chose to change blog sites is to have greater control over fonts, spacing and sizing.

Usability is tantamount – Within 2 secs of a visit, I want people to find the content they came to read and participate. That means rigmaroles like comment sign-in should be a breeze and email subscriptions even easier. [Still working on simpler comment sign-in!]

Don’t mess with code – I have done my share of copying and pasting HTML code onto page templates, sometimes it works, usually something is off. This is a big late night time waster. Fortunately, I have the privilege of having a code writer on our MB Mission staff team, Matt Hayashida, he is amazing. Thanks Matt.

Unclutter the screen –What you DO NOT add is more important than what you keep. Maintain a clean and simple look.

Have fun – Creating this blog has been a blast. Don’t be too shy to try things.

Keep your vision in mind – The vision for this blog motivates me to make it better. It is a place which provides relevant content and conversation starters for anyone interested in mission, leadership, discipleship or church.

My prayer is that God raises up a generation of leaders who will become all God has called them to be; leaders who will not wait until they are old enough or smart enough to impact their nation but will get on with it now as humble servants!

Let’s live like this summer is our last! Welcome aboard.

In the world of blogging what have you learned?


11 Responses to Newbie Blogging Blunders

  1. another blunder? complaining that you aren’t getting much traffic/comments. i tend to stop following when there’s lots of pity parties.

    great layout & colour scheme make this really easy to read.

    hope you are well–praying for you guys often.

  2. I got some great advice from a friend who left the very first comment on my blog. She shared “as Simon told me when I sort of freaked out that people were actually looking at my blog, ‘Write because you love it. .. All the great stuff people write comes from the fact they just wanted to write something, not because the felt they had to :-)'”

  3. Looks good Sam! Although, I did like the look of the previous one too. I think I liked the bigger pictures, especially the header, but must admit every now and then your big face in the margin startled me. Smaller is good too.
    You’re a talented writer and have lots of great ideas and thoughts to share. Keep it real!

  4. When I left for TREK, a mom of a former TREKer suggested two things for my blog that have stuck with me:
    1) keep it short
    and 2) put lots of pictures in!

    These were awesome tips for me when I was on the field. Sometimes its easy to get caught up in writing lots of details that people really aren’t actually that interested. Writing a story is a great way to share some of the awesome bits of whats going on overseas!

    Now that I write more for the fun of it (and a bit for keeping people up to date), I find that writing about stuff that is really on my heart, circulating in my brain, and just relevant to my life is the most satisfying to me (and maybe catches the eyes and hearts of others too?).

    Always love reading your blog, Sam! Glad you’re keeping it up! (oh, and ps – the new design looks great! :))

    • Sarah thanks for the comments, very helpful. Good to hear you’re alive and well. Glad you like the new design…hey do you prefer the blue colored font for titles or the orange (see most recent post), appreciate your opinion.

      • Hey Sam! I’ve been kicking it so many places – life has been busy! But I’ve ben thinking about an update email for MB mission soon… or an in person visit ;)

        Hey, I would love to comment about the blue versus orange, but right now all the titles look back. So, I am guessing I am too late to comment? Anyway, I keep coming back to your blog all the time! :)

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