Friday, May 15, 2009

(Bump) Blogging Tips

This was originally posted on June 18, seemed to be helpful to some, so I thought I'd bring it back to the top for those who missed it the first time. Plus, I've added a few more tips.

So, several people have asked me for some blogging tips. It seems that Tricia and I have helped to inspire several people to begin blogging, which I think can be a good thing. Blogs can be fun and informative and even impacting, sometimes. But, they can also be used for a whole lot of nasty stuff as well. Here are a few tips I have if you're just starting out. Some of these tips are just my personal opinion, and some are pretty tried and true.

> Decide what the purpose of your blog is going to be. Whether it's to share your life with family and friends, create discussion about certain topics, educate people about a particular subject, etc. Whether you don't care about readers or hope that you'll retain a large amount of regular readers. It will be extremely helpful if you and your readers know what your blog is all about so that you and they can know what to expect.

> Don't start a blog unless you're serious about continuing on with it for however long you're willing to commit. Nothing's more frustrating that getting involved in a good blog (as a reader), only to have the author stop posting for no good reason.

> Pick a blog title that is descriptive. It can be funny, or cute or matter-of-fact...just make sure that it describes what your blog is about. I check out blogs every now and then just because I see an interesting blog title, and it can be frustrating when the blog seemingly has nothing to do with it's witty title. I have three blogs that I update regularly, and all three have titles that are descriptive to a certain extent. Again, it will help your readers to know what to expect.

> Blog about what you're passionate about. I'm passionate about the things/people I blog about here on CFHusband, which makes it easy to write often, and gives my readers the feeling that I mean what I say (and say what I mean). I believe, that blogging is both at it's best and worst when people are compassionately honest. The key is speaking the truth in love. I've lost a lot of readers because my writing is not always butterflies and cotton candy, which is a bummer, but a reality. But, I've gained a ton of readers for the same reason, which is very cool.

> Find your niche. Don't be hesitant to read other blogs and borrow from their writing style, topics, themes, but don't feel like you've got to do everything that every other cool blogger is doing. My blog is unique for many reasons, most of which have come naturally and simply from my own personality and preferences. Most of the time, when I try to copy something unique that other bloggers are doing, it just doesn't work or feel right...I've got to be me and blog in the way that feels natural and fun.

> If you're wanting people (other than family and friends) to read your blog on a consistent basis, you'll need to commit to posting, at least, a few times per week. I've discovered, as an author and reader, people quickly lose interest if you don't post every 3-5 days. And, obviously, the more you post about the stuff your passionate about, the more people want to read.

> If you want to build your readership, invest some time into reading and commenting on other blogs that are similar to yours. Blogging is a great way to connect with other people like yourself, and the best way to do that is to seriously become interested in other people. Having said that, there's nothing I hate more than people who comment on my blog JUST to try to get people to go read their blog...BLAH! Keep your motives true.

> Link like there's no tomorrow. Anytime you mention something that your average blog reader may not be familiar with, link to a story/article/website where they can learn more. Anytime you mention a specific movie, person, website, book, etc., link it so your readers can have more to look at. Most people read, to a certain extent, to learn something new, so give them as much info as possible without having to spell everything out by writing it yourself. Linking makes it easy for you and your readers to get the most out of your blog. Just make sure your links are trustworthy.

> Unless you want to deal with idiot comments from idiot people (and by "idiot", I mean people who comment only to be incredibly nasty/cruel), either limit comments to only people who have blogger accounts or enable comment moderation. This is the only big thing I would do differently from the start with my blog if I could. 'Nuff said.

> Prepare for the trolls. An internet troll is someone (usually anonymous, but not always) who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion. If you're blogging, about anything, you will eventually attract a troll or two...just trust me on that. Know ahead of time how you're going to deal with the mean, nasty, hurtful and ignorant comments. If you want my advice, see my last tip and simply choose to delete and ignore.

> Keep the clutter to a minimum and the organization to a maximum. There's nothing worse, IMO, than a blog that is cluttered with an unorganized mess of pictures, videos, links, music playlists, etc. It's not bad to have all of those things, just try to present them in an organized way. Aesthetics go a long way in making people feel welcome and comfortable when reading your blog.

> Label everything! Whether you have a minimum number of labels, or a whole lot like me, label every one of your posts as well as anything you have listed on your sidebar(s). This will not only make it much easier for you to find something you wrote five months ago, it will also give your readers more accessibility to everything your blog has to offer. I get asked the same questions over and over again, mostly by newer people who missed it the first time I gave a piece on info, and while I'd love to answer every question, every time, I just don't have the time. Give your readers the resources to answer their own questions (and don't get too frustrated when, no matter how many different ways you link and, people still ask you for a piece of info that they could easily find themselves in 30 seconds).

> Write in short paragraphs like a normal person. If you want people to enjoy reading your blog, please, break your posts into smaller paragraphs. It just makes it easier to read. My brain just cannot concentrate long enough to make it very far through on a 500 word paragraph. End of story.

> Unless you want to cause early blindness among your readers, stay away from the following in your posts:
- White font on black background (or anything similar).
- Yellow font on white background (or anything similar).
- Red font on any background for more than a few words.
- Bright, Neon colors, especially pink and yellow.
- Multiple colors of fonts in one post.
Seriously. Just trust me. Please.
Check out this good Color Palate Website for help in coming up with a good color scheme for your blog. You may be the most creative, eloquent writer on the face of the planet, but if you're blog isn't aesthetically pleasing, you won't have many return readers.

> Also stay away from using the following words (at least, excessively):
- Random
- Musings
- Ponderings
Do a google blog search for any of these words's not that they're bad words, it's just that everyone and their great uncle uses them on their blog too. Unless you like getting lost in the crowd, or you really are random, or you have some seriously deep and/or funny musings and ponderings (check my sil, Janet's blog for a good example of seriously funny "musings"), just avoid using them. (and by "seriously", I don't mean that your mom or kid brother tells you how random you are...ever watch the American Idol auditions?)

Anyway, there are my slightly sarcastic, but completely honest tips on blogging. Take 'em or leave 'em. Don't be offended if your blog doesn't follow all of my tips, unless you think I'm really that important, which you shouldn't, unless that also means you're going to include me in your will, which you really shouldn't do either.

Unless I'm related to you.


PS. What are your blogging tips?


chanceofcrazy said...

The only thing that I might add, Nathan is this.
Write from your heart. Don't write like you're advertising anything. Talk to your audience just like you're talking to a friend. People read blogs to get to know and befriend others. If you're an expert that's one thing. Finding your voice to write is extremely important and will help you build traffic.

Nate, you do a fabulous job of this I might add. We're praying today for Tricia that her chemo isn't too unpleasant and that you guys are home again soon! You're story on my blog is still #1 read story.


Courtney said...

I agree with bird on a wire. Btw, I have been lurking on your blog for a few months now. Your story is incredible. And I love, love, love that you give all the glory to God, not many people do that nowadays! Nice to meet you.

Unknown said...

Just a further comment regarding aesthetics - I have run into more blogs lately written in all-caps. I don't even stop to read them.

Good points!

megasam said...

I am so glad you posted those tips today. I just started my blog and have only posted three times. I got most of my inspiration from you. I have even started taking pictures differently after looking at all your pictures. And I must say that my pictures have been much better since taking some clues from you. I hope that my blog will be interesting to some people, although I will never get the readership that you have. I just needed a way to let others know about my husband and hopefully find others that have the same health issues. I probably never would have started blogging if I had never found CFHusband.

Thank you for the inspiration. I hope that I can be half as good as you at expressing myself. I posted my blog on your previous post because I have added a link to your blog, I hope that was okay. But since this post is more relevant the blog is

And as always I am praying for all three of you.

Unknown said...

For goodness sakes, follow these tips! I am a graphic designer, and it is possible to have a creative blog AND keep it informative/readable/fun. These are all stellar design tips (white on black=big no no.) I read this blog daily. It offers so much so clearly (visually and spiritually).

I agree with bird on a wire, too. I just write like it's my journal. (I call it my blournal, ha.)

And if anyone needs a banner for your blog, visit my blog for a link to my banner site! I'll whip one up for you. :)

Youth Leaders said...

I try to include picture, just a few per post, and all in the same theme. I also like to look other blogs that have pictures.

Anonymous said...

Yes include pictures! Nothing irks a reader more then a boring blog! Thanks Nate for the tips!

The Gang's Momma! said...

Great tips! I have a blogging mentor that I love to read - her style and her voice keep reminding me all the time to stay focused on my mission.

And . . . "people who comment on my blog JUST to try to get people to go read their blog...BLAH!"

ROFL! Cracking me up. Can't ya just spot them from like a cyber mile away?! tee hee.

Praying for you guys in this new leg of your journey. Been recommending your blog all over the place these last few months. Praying and believing!

Dea said...

Nathan - You never cease to amaze me. Your courage in the face of adversity is so inspiring. Not only do you educate people about CF, but you spend time helping people with the more mundane, like this post. The world is really a better place because of people like you and your wonderful family. Thank you for all you do and I am praying for the best possible outcome in all of this.

Kristi said...

Readers love pictures and videos. :) Which you do an EXCELLENT job of supplying us with Nathan. :)

Darcy said...

I would suggest a serious consideration of how much "personal" information you want on your blog. I post lots of stuff about my kids and use their first names but have made sure that I only have listed the state and area of the state that I live in and the nearest "big-city" that I live near for safety sake.
You may also consider using nicknames for your kids instead of their names. If you don't want some "freak" to find you, think like a "freak", do name searches on your entire family to make sure it doesn't pull up your blog when you enter your child's full name. I also have pics of my yard but not the outside of my house.
Just something to consider.

Jenn said...

While we're on the topic...

I'm semi-new with this blog stuff and have a really simple question (SO simple I feel slightly dumb for asking, but it's driving me nuts!)

How do I bump up a blog post???

I tried editing it, but it still saves it to its original spot. I can't find any options for rearranging. Any tips on that, anyone?


RiLes said...

Awesome post - really helpful! Definitely agree and will take time to make some adjustments on my own blog :)

Coach Prentice said...

I will add you to my will as a thank you for the shout-out. :)

Mary Knapp Yahoo said...

Since I am not a blogger myself..can only comment on my thoughts as a reader:

I never know what to find when I click on this blog - life stuff - faith stuff - great photos - information on blogging or any number of subjects.

Tears might fall or I might burst out laughing.

Maybe that is the key to great blogging also? Mixing it up?

Life is not static...maybe great blogs (like this one) refect that!?

Unknown said...

I echo the "post pictures" comment! I find that if I come to a blog that hasn't posted pictures in a few days I'm bored. And honesty. I will read honesty - not meanness or constant complaints - but honesty, absolutely.

That's the postmodern mindset for you though - we gotta know the real story!

Also, there seems to be a few anonymous posters in blogland that get their kicks ruffling feathers. I've seen numerous moms in crisis experience this. I regulate all my comments for this reason, and it also eliminates occasional spam. Sometimes I choose to let the "bad" comment though, so I can discuss it, but other times I just delete it and keep the poster from getting their desired spotlight moment (because it seems that's what they want).

Heidi said...

Your blog may be the only one that can make me cry with one post and laugh with the next.

YES to getting rid of the light font on black background - it has triggered migraines for me which is unfortunate when I really want to check up on a family we're concerned about! I love the thought and effort you've put into designing your blog.

Praying you'll be soon home again and able to find peace through this newest challenge...

Julie said...

Poor spelling/grammar is something that turns me off to a blog. That and using too much "texting" lingo...

Not that my blog is always grammatically perfect, and I make my fair share of spelling errors, but I at least attempt to get it right!

Thanks for the other tips!

Julie Nickerson said...

From my blog, I've noticed these things help.

Posting a lot of pictures
Being honest
Being able to laugh at yourself.

Real life can be funny especially when you have kids.

Katey said...

Thanks for the blogging tips. I've been following your blog for at least 6 months and check for updates regularly. You've inspired me to start my own. I have CF and had a living donor double lung transplant (4 yrs post tx). If you want, check my blog out at:
You and Trish are definitely some amazing people!

Natalie said...

Thanks so much for your tips. I am one of the people who you inspired to start a blog. You have a lot of talent. I love your videos and your pictures are amazing. I will pray that Tricia has no side effects from the Chemo and that she can finish treatment much closer to home.

Kate said...

Good information--it was your blog that inspired me to start mine but I usually feel very inadequate next to some of the other blogs I read, which are funny, creative and engaging. My sister gave some good advice, which I would probably add to what you wrote--she suggested I write like I'm writing in a journal (so you have a chronicle of your life's events). I would like to know, since I've had trouble with this--how do you get started? What should your first post include? A bio or do you just start writing for that day?

not up to code said...

I like a clutter free blog. I find that loads of advertisements and flashy things on the margins make my eyes tired and are distracting. I tend to spend very little time there.

I have to agree with another poster about being able to laugh at yourself. Blogs tend to be a place for the very opinionated to vent and I think readers appreciate a blogger who doesn't take himself/herself too seriously.

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

Tip: Back up your blog! I've seen blogs dissappear into thin air. I try to remember to archive mine each month and back up each month on an EHD (external hard drive)

Our Two Blessings From Above said...

You inspired me to start blogging!!! Thank you!
I am so new to it, but I am having a great time.

I don't feel there is any right or wrong to anyone's blog. If I don't like it or agree with it, I don't visit it again. That is what makes it so neat.

I love your blog and that is why I visit it so many times a day!!
Your blog has changed my life!!

God Bless you and your family.

P.S. I wish I had some blogging tips. Yours are great!

amy smith said...

hey- i think you CAN enable comment moderation if you want to.... but you get so many comments, that might be a pain in the backside. :)

The Lockwood Family ♥ said...

My blogging tip is simply to share from you heart the great things that the Lord has done...and if you have a amazingly precious, adorably sweet, miracle baby with big blue eyes, you may just pick more than the average number of readers.
We've been super busy this week with a group from Idaho that has come down here to help in the ministry for a week, and I miss checking up on you all regularly...but I haven't missed praying for're in my heart and mind often.
Praying you will be home soon!

Emilie said...

1. know your grammar
2. don't tell us what you had for lunch.

Kimberly said...

Thank you so much for this information and for sharing your story with the world!

I am tagging you! I have been tagged and now it is your turn...I also hope this gets more people reading your blog. You can visit my blog for the instructions. Have an awesome day, glad you guys get to head home

MamaOnABudget said...

I was going to say what Amy did - you still can enable comment moderation if you want to, Nate. Especially since you read all your comments anyway, you wouldn't have to publish the mean ones.

My tips for others - if you want to spare your readers eyes, PLEASE don't do a dark background with light text - especially white on black!

And, really, I think anyone should blog. If you aren't ready to share your feelings with the world, use a site like livejournal or opendiary (I'm not sure if blogger lets you...) where you can post to just specific users... or just you can read! I'm so thankful that I have my blog from just a couple months after I was married (5 years ago), through pregnancies, births, illnesses, deaths, moves - you name it. Since I know exactly who is reading my blog, I can talk openly about my family and post pictures of my kids without wondering if some creep is out there e-stalking us.

John & Michelle said...

I agree with all of your tips! Sometimes the blogs I read, mainly about adoption, are way too "decorated". Too much is just too much!!!
Love and Prayers,

Beebe said...

You give geat instructions but I don't think there will ever be a blogger as good as you :-)

Unknown said...

Hmm.... I really liked your tips, especially since I'm relatively new at the blogging thing. I'll take all the help I can get.

Unfortunately, I am in "violation" of a couple of the suggestions. I think I might post a poll on my blog to determine if people are having any problems with its readability - it's bright pink font on a black background.

Thanks for all that you do and all that you share - the blogs I appreciate most are the blogs that "keep it real".

Rose_J said...

I would also suggest not adding music to your blog, as I find it be "irksome" as I can't concentrate on reading the blog posts.

Unknown said...

1) Spell Check
2) Spell Check
3) If you use photos, the copyright watermark is a grand idea for your own protection. My BFF has high order multiples, and their sonogram images and photos from the birth/NICU were "hijacked" from their blog and posted on another multiples site with phony family information for the purpose of getting donations for the "hijacker."

Amy Lynn said...

Thanks for the great blogging tips, Nate! :) I am so guilty of doing many of the things on my blogs that you mentioned not to do. :( My blogs are truly pathetic. I have been meaning to get the chance to redo them and just needed advice on how to make them better. :) Your advice is just what I needed. Thanks so much. :)

I wish I had some tips to add, but unfortunately, I am too new to add any. I truly enjoy reading this blog & am so thankful that you started it. I know it has been an encouragement to so many. :)

Amy in Oregon

Amy Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Lynn said...

I meant to add that I am so embarrassed by my blog that I still haven't told anyone that I have it. :) Hopefully, with these tips and the ones in this comment section, I will be motivated enough to make some changes. That way, I can at least feel comfortable enough to tell my friends and family that I have one. :) LOL! :)

Jesse said...

Uh-oh, I guess my blog is in violation too. I did not notice that the lighter text might hurt people's eyes...but then again, I think the only person who reads my blog is my mom. =)

One personal opinion: I know a lot of people like to have a music playlist on their blog. Honestly, I always mute my computer, because I have a hard time reading when the music is playing.

Rita Andrews said...

you know you can set your comments to moderation....but for may be there a while moderating them all....

I love your story!

Megan @ SimplyThrifty said...

If you're going to blog, don't blog just to get comments. I find it annoying when people beg for comments in their blog. The blog should be to share and if it's interesting enough or someone has something to actually respond to, they will leave a comment on their own accord...without being guilted into it. That said, I love getting comments but try not to ask people to leave comments.
If you have music playing, please reconsider. I am often multi-tasking when I blog and I hate opening a blog up and having to either mute my whole computer or look for the pause button on their webpage. Annoying.

Jen said...

I have no blogging tips, but a question. How do you separate a post into paragraphs? I have tried and tried and can not figure it out. Can you please help me? :)

I love reading your blog and checking in on your beautiful family!


Heidi said...

Wow, enjoyed this post alot. Hummm, I've had my blog for about 3years, but, only for pics to show family at first. I started trying to actually blog a little after reading your blog and a few others. You are right all of your tips. Some of them hit home so I will have to go change a few things now that I am educated. Seriously, your blog is Entertaining, heartwrenching and informative all in one.

Katie said...

Thanks for the tips Nate. I have to agree with them all. I'm trying to improve my blogging skills. :)

I have been following the Confessions since January and have been in awe of your entire story. It truly is amazing! God is GOOD!

Just Me said...

This kind of makes me laugh, but I think you have made some VERY good points. I have actually done a very good job of keeping my blog boring so as not to get very much "traffic". I also try not to post comments on people's blogs who DO get a lot of traffic because then people may actually go read my blog...but I guess I'll press "publish your comment" this time...and take my chances.

Praying for Tricia and the PTLD. I hope she has minimal/no side effects from the drugs they have to use to treat it. I am glad they are allowing you to go home between treatments.

00 said...

I've actually never had any problems with white font on a black background...maybe the issue you had was more with the actual font and not the colours? Or maybe I just have really good eyes?? I don't know. I think that the big thing is to write consistently. I too hate when I get drawn into a good blog only to have the person seemingly disappear off the face of the earth.

anno said...

I took up blogging nearly 6 years ago and with hindsight I wish that I'd a) determined what purpose the blog had...was it a mummy blog, a current affairs commenter blog, a spiritual blog or what?? and b) I wish I had blogged the 5 months of pregnancy that came at the beginning of the blog. I didn't know then that it would be my last pregnancy and I was a bit worried about putting all that "personal" stuff online. Now it seems not to matter so much and I really wish I had that record on my blog :(
I am not sorry that I have it though. The blog has kept me sane and it's heaps cheaper than therapy!!
Praying for you all as you face this new hurdle.

Katy said...

These are great, Nate! Thank you so much for sharing!

Steph said...

Those are great tips! I had to make sure that my blog was "pleasing to the eyes"...didn't want anyone going blind or anything :)
I'm praying for your family today and over the next several weeks!

Kimberly said...

Well, my tips would be more about being a good blog reader to some extent. I hope I don't step on 50 toes here - no 1 person is being thought of as I write this - just my experiences in general.

Remember, the person doing the blogging is a real live human being with all the range of human emotion, even negative ones - give them the freedom to express it all. Be very careful not to put the blog writer on a pedestal - no human being is all positive 24/7/365 - we all have our own human foibles, rage, fear, pity, disappointment, pain, crises of faith, along with all the fabulous emotions that go with being a human being. Give your blog writer the freedom to express it all by not pigeon-holing them into an expectation that's impossible for anyone to meet all day every day.

When you put someone on a pedestal, it's a long way to fall. If someone is always being put there, they may decide not to share the "ugly" stuff for fear of disappointing their readership. I don't know about you, but for me, that's the most fascinating - how you go from a complete pity party to a complete trust in God, or from being so angry you could spit nails to being able to say I forgive you. That's the meat of humanity and strong faith IMHO. We can all slap a pretty face on our "pig" for the public, but it takes true courage to share the bumpyuglies too.

Also, remember, just because you are reading someone's blog does not mean you KNOW them. You know about them. You know what they are chosing to share with you and the rest of net-land. If it is someone truly out to have an honest open blog, means you know an awful lot, but you still don't KNOW them as you would if you were involved in their day-to-day real life.

A blog is someone's real life, not a soap opera. Don't get so caught up in the "story" that you forget that your blog writers are real people with real families, real lives, and a real ability to be both bouyed and hurt by comments left for them. As noted above, you don't have to and should not gush all over them. Communicate in an honest way and keep it kind and constructive.

MelB said...

I am a new blogger and highly appreciate these tips. Thanks!

Apple said...

Ha! I'm gonna laugh when you get lawyers pounding down your doors because "random" people have included you in their wills!

sarasusen said...

Just so you know, I changed the color scheme on my photography blog after I read your tips. (I had white writing on a black page) So there... I hope you're happy now (grin)But I will admit, I like it better now. Thanks for the tips... I'm new to the blogging world!

Daniele said...

I've been visiting your blog for a while now and praying for you all frequently. Your story has often reminded me of ours; we have a terminally ill daughter whose two-and-a-half years have been a medical rollercoaster. As has been the case for you, it's been our faith and the prayers of many, many people all over the world that have sustained us through every day.

I've also wondered which nurses in the NICU and docs (esp. neonatologists--we love those folks!) have been your favorites around Duke. We've definitely met some angels along the way there.

Anyhow, we're praying for you all. And if you want to check out our daughter's blog (no pressure!), it's at I'm pretty sure I've followed all your rules...!


La Familia Garcia said...

I totally agree with don't make the post too long without breaking it up! You can have a long thought but break it up with a pic or new paragraph or something!

Also, when you pick a Nate mentioned, stick with it! don't dramatically change your writing style just to be funnier or whatever.

This blog has proved a great way as a witnessing tool! Give God the Glory! Share your testimoney! Be real. Thanks Nathan for this example.

Sabrina said...

did you customize your site through the blogger dashboard or do you use another application such as wordpress? I am fairly new to blogging and wanting to design a little more since my blog is about designing. If you get a chance, check it out.

Mrs Redboots (Annabel Smyth) said...

I blog about my ice-skating, but do occasionally mention other things (like when I post a sermon on-line). Unfortunately, too many people were reading it and thinking they recognised themselves, so I had to make it "Friends-only", which it is possible to do on LiveJournal.

My tip would be: you never know who is reading, so beware! Always use nicknames and other identity-hiders if you are mentioning outside people.

MahoneyMusings said...

Wow...some interesting insights. I've just recently started blogging. I had been wanting to start blogging a long time ago, but didn't think I could make it 'good enough'. But I finally decided to take the plunge and I'm learning as I go. Deciding how much of my life to make public has been the most difficult thing so far...even though it's just a blog that my family and friends read. Thanks for your tips....although, I'm sad you won't like my blog name....yes...I use the 'm' word. :)

Continued prayers.

Rick Lawrenson said...

Whatever your subject expect someone to comment about a George Strait song that fits.

Unknown said...

On, you can publish your blog in book form. What a great permanent memory!

Alisha said...

I've been reading your blog for a while so I don't think I missed this...what ever happened with the whole blog awards thing? Did you win?=) If I missed it you can feel free to never speak to me again...ok, so you never have, get the idea=)

psalm13914 said...


I have been following your story for many months now. Praying along the way. Thank you for sharing so much of your life to us blog addicts. I hope the trip hope was a good.
I just started out my own blog page, and added your page a fave blog spot to check out, please let me know if thats not alright with you. I will continue to be praying for your dear family.

God Bless

Shannonheick said...

Thank you for the great tips! I'm new to this and really love doing it. Nate, could you (or anyone else reading this who knows) tell me how to make a link? I generally think that I am pretty computer savvy, however, I have been unable to figure this out. I can get a website link but I can't get a word link. For example, if I am citing a link about blah with the web address, I don't know how to just put the word "blah" in blue letters so my peeps can click on!
by the way- your family is now a regular on my prayer list! again, thanks for the tips!

mrsmac said...

shoot, now you've got me doubting my entire blog design. i went with a blogger template- mayve time for something new? hmmmm

MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

In the midst of everything you are dealing with, you still offer advice, great advice, too, I might add. I feel like I know you because of the way you write. May the Lord continue to keep you strong and your family unified in Christ Jesus. Thanks for all the tips!

Lyndsay said...

Hi Nate,
This post was so timely and helpful for me as I try to get a blog up and running this week. I have a question for you about blog etiquette – if I want to link to someone else blog (either in a blog roll or in the text of my post) should I first contact that blogger for their permission, or is any public blog just open for me to be linking to?
Thanks for your help. I continue to pray for your beautiful family!!

Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba) said...

I'd never thought about the not putting red on any background. (My blog's theme -- a WordPress theme -- is black and white and red -- with the red on a white background.) But my readership has been rising slowly but surely (up to an average of almost 60 a day over the last few weeks -- WHOO HOO), so I guess I'm doing o.k. :)

The best piece of advice I've ever received about blogging is to read, read, read and comment, comment, comment if you want readers. At first, you MAY find yourself commenting because you hope for "return visits." But, with time, you'll get some visitors whether you comment on their blog or not, you'll decide you don't care, or both. :)

I've also gotten some new readers as a result of comments I've left on other blogs. You just never know what's going to strike someone's fancy.

My blog runs the gamut from deeply personal (our decision not to have children -- we think) to really silly (my trying out the new lawn mower while wearing my bath robe and clogs). People get a kick out of the "strangest" things... sometimes blog topics I think will be of interest only to me get the most comments... and then the one I think others will find interesting is greeted by nothing but the sound of crickets chirping. :)

But I have fun, and I have quite the cross-section of readers, both of which make me happy.

Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba) said...

Oh, and I WISH I'd thought more about my blog title. My first title was "Random Ramblings." Ugh...

When I switched to WordPress, I changed the title to Ramblings by Reba (which was my Blogspot Web address), but I still wish I'd thought of something more original. When I started the blog, though, I didn't know any better. :)

"Ramblings" is another REALLY popular word in blogs. Since my name is Rebecca (nickname is Reba), the RBR thing works o.k., and I DO ramble (as you know from reading my comments), but I still feel a bit unoriginal.

Jen said...

Thanks for the tips. I just started my blog today (I had a few other attempts but they didn't work out). I hope the template I chose is suitable...I like it.

I totally agree about the breaks in paragraphs...I am slightly ADD and lose focus after about 5 sentences in a row :O)

I started it to keep family connected across the country. I find I don't have time to email/call everyone when something happens that is 'newsworthy'.

All 3 of you are in our prayers!
Jen in NY

Unknown said...

I've just caught up on your back story and am now catching up on the rest of your life, and had to stop and say thank you for this post.

If nothing else is gained from it: PARAGRAPH BREAKS ARE YOUR FRIEND, BLOGGERS. If I go to a blog and see a straight column of words, I move right along.

Anyway, I enjoy what little I've read of your blog and am keeping my fingers crossed for a healthy future for your family. Gywneth reminds of Thumbelina, she's so preciously tiny!

Oh and I've been there, done that with the comment moderation nonsense. Some people just suck, they can't even help themselves.

Steph said...

just wanted to say that this post--and spending lots of time reading your blog (it's GREAT) and thinking of you and Tricia--helped inspire me to start my own (mom/family-oriented blog)--the idea is mainly to help provide more of a narrative for all the photos I share with family and friends, but you really helped motivate me with these tips. thanks!

Carolyn said...

Thanks for your blogging tips. I tried to use them as I just started a blog! I have not posted here in a while (I used to post as "Wheaton mom" though it's been a while) because I kept forgetting how, but I do read and check on you all and continue to pray for you all. Now I think I have figured out the technology, and though it's a bit of an experiment and I'm not yet telling anyone about it, I'll see what happens. So exciting to see what God has done in your family, and I continue to pray for you all and Tricia with this latest news of cancer. May God continue to use you and bless you for His glory.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your tips. I actually came across the original post and tips and somewhat got my inspiration to blog from you.

I have no experience with the trolls yet, but will take your advice and have seen those hurtful comments in the past here. Delete. Ignore. Wouldn't you think people have better things to do with their time??

Burgess Family said...

lol thanks :)
If I start I blog I will most definitely go by these guidelines.
Emily B)

Julie said...


(Unless it's on a video that you can click on.)

Also never have the text lighter than the background.


Heidi said...

Thanks so much for the tips. I am relatively new to the blogging world and these are great tips for a newbie. And I'm not just saying that so you will follow me!! LOL

taniooch said...

thank you so much for all that useful information. as a beginner to all this it is invaluable to know. will keep following your story. thank you again

HoundDogMom said...

I have been reading your blog for sometime, been a lurker. You and your wife provide so much inspiration to others. And your daughter is such a cutie pie. It amazes me HOW much she like her Dad. I love the Blogging Tips and will take them into consideration. I started one of those "funny" blogs because my son is grown and I my life revolves around 4 Hound Dogs. Please check it out sometime and give me some feedback. The hounds are just beginning to blog more. God Bless, Sherri

Laurel Tucker said...

Thanks for the blog tips. I've got to go take my white on black off now!

Does anyone have suggestions on better editors for their blogs? I hate the blogspot formatting. It never ends up looking like the preview or the edit mode. I never know where my pics are going to show up. What do others use?