how to make your fashion blog more user-friendly

by grechen on September 10, 2010 | RSS | FOLLOW ON TWITTER | FACEBOOK |

  1. open links in new tabs – here, I’m referring mostly to sidebar links, like your blogroll. You don’t want to lose readers to another blog when they might intend to come back.
  2. link images!!!! I am always so disappointed when I go to click on an image and I think it’s going to go directly to where I can buy something, only to find that it just goes to the page-holder for the image itself. if you’re featuring an image captured from another blog or magazine, link to the source (also credit it underneath – there’s no such thing as TOO much credit). if it’s just an outfit post, don’t link it at all – not even to the image itself.
  3. make your RSS feed easy to find & subscribe to – DO NOT just rely on the icon in the URL bar of browsers.
  4. have an option where readers can sign up to get your RSS feed via e-mail. I do this with MailChimp and love the flexibility I have with the design and the timing of the e-mails this way vs. just using feedburner. your RSS e-mails should be as interesting as your blog…
  5. make it as easy as possible for users to comment – use the akismet plugin for wordpress to capture spam, use the commentluv plugin to feature commenters latest posts, and allow the commenter to comment using their name/URL. I don’t know if this is a Blogger thing or not, but there are so many Blogger blogs I want to comment on that make me use my google account, which doesn’t link anyone to anything….I’ll still comment if I REALLY love the blog, but I’m always more inclined to leave a comment if my blog is linked.
  6. make your twitter link easy to find so your readers can interact with you in “real time.”

What do you guys think? Any other ideas on how to make your fashion blog more user-friendly?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashe Mischief September 10, 2010 at 11:35 am

That’s a great idea about using the image to link to the product as well– though I’m using more collages now, it doesn’t hurt to have a text link to the product as well as the image link.

“3 make your RSS feed easy to find & subscribe to – DO NOT just rely on the icon in the URL bar of browsers.” Yes yes yes! I can’t tell you how many times I DON’T subscribe to a blog because of this.

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grechen September 10, 2010 at 11:40 am

with collages it’s harder to link images – unless you use an image map – and text links underneath would be totally acceptable, but i’ve always liked to be able to click on images and go to an item. it’s surprising to me how few fashion/shopping blogs actually consider that.

and i’m with you on the RSS thing. it’s just so important to make things as easy as possible.

thanks so much for your comment, as always :)

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Kathryn September 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

Love these tips, especially the one about linking pictures. See you at brunch soon!

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bestofbkyln September 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Hi! I found your blog on IFB! I really like it. I have a question, though. How do you make your links open in tabs? I know that sounds silly, but I’m kind of new and still learning the ropes! Thanks so much!

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grechen September 17, 2010 at 8:04 am

when you’re writing a link in HTML, you just add target=”_blank” after the a href=”http://www…..com” and before the >. i was referring mostly to sidebar links, like your blogroll, so you don’t lose readers, as opposed to links in posts. will edit that in the post, because you don’t want all the links in your posts to always open in new tabs, that would be annoying.

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Jessi Lou September 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Thank you for the advice! Saw your link on IFB!

http://thechicaddict.blogspot.com

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Emily September 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Great tips! One more would be to add share buttons to each post. It’s easy to do, users appreciate easy share ability and it’s good for your traffic too!

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Janine September 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Great advice! The one about linked images is definitely a pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately I think that Blogspot links images to themselves automatically. :(

Maybe one of your tips should have been just “Don’t use Blogspot”!

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grechen September 19, 2010 at 7:49 am

haha…maybe i should have made that one no1, but it’s too long of a post just to make it a “tip”….

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Katie September 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Great tips for this newbie! :) Thank you! I agree that I like to read emails that are just as interesting/styled as the blog. Reading feedburners emails can be boring.

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Christina September 24, 2010 at 11:11 am

Great tips! Love your site! I definitely agree with the open links in new tabs tip. I try to remember to do it. I remember reading on ProBlogger that you shouldn’t do that. If the reader wants to go back to your blog they will. However, I have found myself clicking on a link on a blog to another blog, and completely forgetting about the one I was originally reading! Therefore, I will continue adding the option to open links in a new tab–unless the link is to another post/page on my blog : )

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