Last week, I blog-partied, visiting over thirty blogs, and somewhere around the tenth blog, I had one of those “Isn't this interesting?” moments. I realized that most of the blogs were lacking a name.
Now, I don’t mean the blogs didn't have clever names. In fact, writers are extremely clever and so I found many blogs with “punny” names. Like “The Write Word for the Job” (which I totally just made up. The writers’ blogs I visited were much more clever than that). What I didn't find on all these clever blogs was a name to identify the writer, a little something something to tell me who was behind all the clever words. Oh, there were occasional “About Me” tabs, but honestly, when you’re flitting from blog to blog, who has time to stop and click on the tabs?
Or maybe that’s just me. The point is, visiting a mystery blog is like…well, it’s like getting a gift with no idea who the sender is. You know how that drives you crazy? A tag with "To: You, From: Guess Who?" When you receive something nice, you want to know who to thank, right? You do not want to go zipping around here and there, trying to track down the Secret Santa.
Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, eventually, it was more than just my personal pet peeve. Around the halfway mark, I started to feel bad for all these talented bloggers—skillful, funny, madly creative bloggers who were writing their hearts out and not getting the promotional benefits to go along with it. Because see, one of the great perks for writers who participate in a blog hop or a blog party is getting new visitors to the blog. And if those new visitors connect with the blogger, they’ll be back.
So how do you, as a blogger, make that connection? Share a few personal details; give your readers a peek at your personality. Who’s writing the blog? And throw in other information: social media sites you’re on, or your membership in organizations, or where you've been published. And put these details on the front page. Sidebars are a great tool for that kind of info, and ready-made info widgets are yours for the taking (and slapping in your sidebar).
Just a little writing tip, sort of my “To: Bloggers, From: Cathy C. Hall” holiday present. And hey, if you don’t need it, I’m fine with you re-gifting it.