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Be a blogging couch potato

It's April, hurrah and you know what that means. Yes, tax returns and the beginning of a new fiscal year but also (the best part), it's time for another round of questions answered.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2009 16:10 IST
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Hindustan Times

It's April, hurrah and you know what that means. Yes, tax returns and the beginning of a new fiscal year but also (the best part), it's time for another round of questions answered. Welcome to Extreme Blog Makeover, Blog Improvement style! This week is a bunch of "general feedback" questions and here's the first question from Sumit: QI have started a blog at Could you please go through it and suggest possible ways to increase readership.

At first glance, Rustic Reflections makes my eyes hurt a little. White on white? What were you thinking, Sumit? What you need is a little touch of colour - I mean, minimalism is all very well, but a person likes to be able to appreciate a contrast, especially when they're reading. Maybe a nice pastel behind the white of your posts? I see the pretty rainbow pattern there (it's a sort of layered effect blog), but I'd still recommend picking another colour as the base.

Here's the second thing. In order to enjoy a regular readership, you need a regular blog. Your last post is dated March 15 and the one before that is in January. I know these are busy times, but if you want people to visit you, you need to give them a reason to visit.

Also, get rid of the ellipses when you write (note: an ellipse is the '...' you see between sentences, often used as a substitute for the comma or fullstop.) I see your posts are well thought out and reflect on your opinions, which is a good thing. Also, it's nice that you've used your imagination with your layout and yet, not gone overboard with the widgets. Just update more often, avoid grammatical pitfalls and make it easier for poor souls like me to not strain their eyes.

Next up, a question from Mitesh: QI have started a new blog - about my experiences, memories and life in general. Can you please have a look and let me know what I can do to improve my blog. Please also give advice on template, colours, style of writing, and other things required to improve my traffic.

The very first thing you need to do to get more traffic Mitesh, is to change your URL. Okay, so if you're accessing a blog through Firefox on a private computer, all you have to do is type in one word and the rest of the link pops up. But what about people who use other computers or browsers? It's really hard to remember very long URLs and I would suggest you change that immediately. No one is going to have the patience to type out so many hyphens.

Second, you need to update more often. I cannot emphasise this enough. If I was a regular reader of your blog and I saw your post on January 6 and I very badly wanted to see what else you were going to write about so I visit every day for three weeks, you can bet my patience would run out by March.

Plus the last two posts are just photographs, so as a reader, I can't even make excuses for you, saying you might be too busy to write. I liked some of your posts - especially the one about you as a child, trying to save your tired mother by washing the dishes yourself. That's sweet, that's real and I can see a real flair for narrative you have going on there. Give us more of that.

Your template is okay. Not mind boggling, but not dreadful either. Try and personalise it a bit more, put some more thought into the header, so that when it first loads people know exactly what to expect. Right, that's my answer quota met. Remember to write to me with all your pressing problems, and I will fix them as best as I can!

Meenakshi writes at Send her your queries at meenakshimadhavan@

First Published: Apr 07, 2009 16:08 IST