Welcome to The Blog Report

I'm so glad you stopped by and hope you find this blog an interesting read. I've been blogging since April of 2006, currently the author of six public and two private blogs. In the beginning I knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Over the years through trial and error, frustration and elation, and a few tears I've learned a lot. However, the learning process when it comes to blogging continues to evolve. Here you will find a hodge podge of my blogging experiences, useful codes and how-tos, sprinkled liberally with my opinions. Enjoy!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Blogging Fallacy

When I first started blogging I was elated at the ease of which I could set up and design blogs using basic templates.  At some point I started tweaking basic templates and I still do.  I don't use custom made templates for a couple of reasons.  First even though I could sit down and design a custom made template myself why reinvent the wheel?  Designing a custom made template is time consuming taking away from what I felt was more important, blogging.  Custom made templates are available free of charge with a link back but you are restricted to their design and colours as well as their image hosting site.  The down side to this is if their image hosting site becomes too popular your background may easily become a series of bandwidth exceeded graphics which is rather ugly to say the least.  The next alternative is to buy a custom made template design.  This is quite feasible but for many bloggers it just ads an additional cost not only for the first design but each time you decide to change your design. 

Blog design in many ways becomes a blogging fallacy.  Some bloggers are so intent on having the best design without realizing the design is just window dressing.  Search engines do not see the pretty graphics you so lovingly designed, tweaking the colours to perfection.  Search engines see your blog as text which is one reason every single picture appearing on your blog needs the alt="" tag.  Without search engine traffic you can have the prettiest blog design out there but what does it matter if no one sees it?

I don't think there is anything wrong with using a basic, generic blogging template at all.  Sure it may have the same layout as other blogs that's as far as it needs to go.  You can tweak to your heart's content to get your own unique look and feel then move on to what is really important, content.  Too many bloggers spend way too much time making their blogs look gorgeous but their content is nothing but fluff if even that.  Readers aren't looking for pretty they are looking for information and content.  As a blogger, I try to focus on content first and design second.  I realized a long time ago that content is king!


Laura said...

You can customize a basic template with your own graphics and a bit of extra code. In the end a basic template can look like something you did yourself.

Garden Gnome said...

So true Laura!

John | Daily Photo said...

I prefer to see a nice clean template. Why are so many custom templates cluttered with unnecessary graphics :-(

Mar Matthias Darin said...

While using a generic template may work well, I believe the blog owner should change a few things to make it their own. Seeing blog after blog with the exact same template (no changes at all) makes me question whether or not the owner really cares about their blogs.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi John, I think a lot of custom templates are cluttered with unnecessary graphics because the blogger either likes them or thinks they will bring in more money.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Matt, I agree with you that the owner should change a few things to make a generic template their own. Even if it means custom graphics but you know each blogger has to do what they are doing to achieve what it is they want to achieve with that particular blog. For example this blog uses a very generic, slightly tweaked template but that is for a very specific reason. While this approach works for this particular blog it would not work for my other blogs.

Anonymous said...

O nice overview of blogging,i want to add a little bit I know a lot of people and myself too who after a week of posting get sniffed of and want to have an easy way of posting plus to seo your blog is another tuff job to do,for all those beginners out there i want to advise them to use an auto blog posting software by using which they can post content to their blogs and can post their blogs to blog directories easily.

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