vatel
(Willem Claesz Heda)

Dear All!
Greetings!
The old geezer is at it again!

Foodbuzz bloggers are a great many and they also represent the whole spectrum of our world. But they share only two common factors: the love of good food (and drinks) and the English language (at least for a start!).
The natural consequence is a need for postings not only of high interest, but also of high quality standards.
Accordingly, I would like to share some my views on what would make an attractive page to all visitors.
True to say, these are personal views and anyone has the right to disagree with all of them!

Size:
Out: a webpage stretched all over the screen (and beyond…)
In: A clear-cut webpage with neutral margins

The eyes can take in only 60% of the whole screen as a single image without having to move right or left. If they also have to move up and down as well, they will quickly send a negative image to the viewer’s brain.

Screen wall and wallpapers
Out: Big colorful heading taking over 30% of the screen upon entrance
Overwhelming wall paper.
Loud invasive music.
Too many sponsor banners
In: A simple and precise heading introducing the viewer to the true nature and purpose of the blog.
Music is fine if you invite the visitor to click on it.
The less graphics, the better
A white or light neutral color background.

Having to scroll down a page because the heading is taking almost the whole of the screen will stop many viewers into their tracks.
Big red hearts all over the screen because Valentine day is around the corner, or rainbow stripes slicing across everything are tacky and cheap at the best, and a painful hindrance at the worst, discouraging potential visitors from the very moment they discover a new blog.
A webpage looking like an advertisement billboard will achieve only the opposite result.
If your posting is good enough to be read until the end, only then viewers will be more enticed to peruse through the commercials and eventually click on them. Let’s face it: a conservative estimate would amount to at least 10,000 viewers hitting on any banner at least once a day to make any significant profit.
Unless you are a third-grader reading a picture book, would you expect to read a magazine with the text printed in yellow over a black background, or vice-versa?
A blog is no less than another form of magazine.

Pictures:
Out: Framing.
Staggered alignment.
Very large pictures
Excessive “copyright naming”
In: Pictures of a reasonable size aligned along the left margin border
Pictures used as related reference to your posting.

If your posting is about a topic more than a report, one single picture or graphic should be enough.
If you write a recipe, introduce more pictures (a smaller size that can be enlarged with a click are best, then) to illustrate various steps if absolutely necessary.
If you write about a meal at a restaurant, do not illustrate your posting with a single pic of yourself in the company of the chef unless you are both superstars (in which case your place is in a magazine or on TV!). Visitors will expect a good photograph of each dish you enjoyed! This is where real sharing starts!
Bloggers have a right to protect their pictures (I personally don’t), but enormous names written across the pictures are terribly detrimental to the pictures themselves. Sensible small lettering should be enough (fine, I understand that anyone can “cut out” a photograph!).

Titles:
Out: Pompous declarations.
Empty grand announcements obviously aimed at luring in more viewers
Interminable titles.
In: Short, precise and truthful titles

Your title is the first and lasting impression given to the visitor. The posting will live by it!

Font:
Out: Large fancy lettering
In: Small readable standard lettering

Too large and fat lettering will uselessly expand the article to infinity.
A visitor should be able to size up the first one or two chapters quickly instead of stretching his senses into a painful search.
Large fonts will only conceal a lack of quality or contents like an over-chilled wine or a scalding-hot Japanese sake.
When necessary, bold black or red letters for subtitles should be sufficient.

Syntax, Grammar and spelling:
Out: Lack of punctuation.
Typos.
Poor grammar and syntax
In: Proofread your article before publishing it

If “non-native” English speakers make an effort to write their postings in English, “native” speakers should make an effort to write in style. After all, “non-native” bloggers will learn a lot from their “native” friends!

References:
Out: Constant references to oneself, one’s own past postings or articles
Omission to refer to other postings or articles from which you had a fair reason to borrow.
In: Introducing other bloggers’ work or websites, especially when their postings are directly related.

Referring to related blogs in your posting will become another reason for visitors to come back

Cheers to that!


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