What kind of plug-ins should be in your actual post? If you have a hard time seeing where one post starts and one ends, it’s too much. I’m talking about those “related posts” thumbnails and “rate this post” and “responses” and “retweet” and “Stumble-upon” and all that other stuff.
I have a retweet button at the top of my post. People are more likely to spread your links if it’s easy ( grazed over that earlier). However, a two-layer widget that allows you to retweet, stumble-upon, digg, facebook, everything else on earth, is overwhelming.
How many posts on your home page?
This really depends on what is in your sidebar, how long it takes your layout to load, and how many pictures you use. If your blog loads fast, put “All posts for 7 days” as your selection. If it takes longer than 15 seconds for everything on your blog to load, don’t do more than five or six individual posts. Otherwise anyone who is trying to find something in your blog is going to be annoyed at how long it takes to load.
If you have a lot of pages, you should have a site map. It’s a link at the very bottom of your website (or at the top) and is just as easy to find as “Contact” or “About.” Use your discretion where to put it. Mine is at the very bottom.
A sitemap is an alphabetical list of links. It should have everything crucial, everything that your menu has, and other stuff that you think is important but that you didn’t know where to link, only in alphabetical order. If in doubt, put it in. Who knows what someone may be looking for?
And by “every link” I don’t mean “Every Post.” that’s what an archive is for. I mean all the important stuff.
The best kind of archive is the kind that is collapsible, and shows the title of your post. It’s called “hierarchy” Remember: only dates mean nothing but dates with titles are the best.
Posting a “sticky post” at the top of your blog is great—as long as it’s not as long as a normal post in and of itself. You don’t want a bunch of links and stars and dates and colors, its distracting and—there’s that word again—overwhelming.
Just like how I didn’t post this whole series in one long blog post like I was going to. Because as I typed it in Microsoft word and it ended up being five full pages, I realized it was overwhelming.
Post length is different, because some posts just have to be long (guest posts, reviews, interviews etc) while some are only a few sentences (promotions for other blogs, etc.). Remember that as a blogger, it’s ok to rant and rave for ten pages. Nobody will read it, but it’s ok. It’s your blog.
But I am more likely to read several paragraphs than four pages. In fact, I’m more likely to read five or six four-paragraph posts than I am to read one ten-paragraph post. It’s psychological.
I hope this series helped some of you. Let me know if you’d ever like me to do something like this again.