There is a certain amount of style needed to have a really complete blog. Great words and conversations will only get you so far in the blogosphere. We all know that what great blogs really need is flare… blog bling-bling if you will.
In my opinion, blogs would just not be as fun if it weren’t for the fact that we can make them whatever we like. I often think that no matter what age you are, what you do on your personal blog has alot in common with the way teenagers decorate their rooms. Of course, I haven’t seen anyone in the gardening realm putting up poster badges of sexy half (un)dressed gardeners yet, but I think that someone should start working on that right away. I am pretty sure I have room on my blog for one of those. But back to the topic at hand. It’s a way to get across who you are and since it’s your space, you can put whatever you like on it.
The latest and greatest in blog decor is sometimes referred to as widgets, flare, magnets or badges. Sometimes memes come with little decorations for your blog, too. Basically, we are talking about any little piece of code that you can add to your site or blog to make it a little more you.
On my gardening blog, I have quite a bit of flare.
- I have the weather badge from weather.com which tell what the weather in Cleveland is at any given moment.
- I have the badge from the This Garden is Illegal Flower Quiz that shows that I tested as a hydrangea.
- I have the Gardening definition of the day from GardeningKnowHow.com which shows a different random gardening definition each time someone visits my site.
- I have my Top 100 Gardening Sites ranking, which shows where my site ranks on that list.
- I have the Moon Phases badge, which shows what stage the moon is at.
I have been seeing some interesting flare on other gardening sites as well.
Whispering Crane Institute has a Yahoo Answers badge, which show what questions he has answered lately. Yahoo Answers can get addictive once you start answering some questions. They have a whole section on gardening and there is plenty that needs answered, and frankly, well, let’s just say you will feel really smart after you read a few questions..
I think Dianne Rambling on… wins the “Most Flare On a Gardening Blog” award. She has a ton, but because I only have time to write a few, I will say that I really like the Yahoo Avatar badge and the Frapper badge. If you are looking for some more ideas, you need to take a wander over there.
My Bay Area Garden chooses to use gardening book covers (courtesy of the Amazon Associate program) to decorate her blog. Bonus is that you know these are good books and you are helping to support a fellow gardeners plant addiction when you buy the books through their links.
Kerry’s Garden has a really awesome badge from Kiva.org that displays people in developing countries who need some capital to get their businesses going. It’s not a hand out, but a hand up as you get your money back. Loans start at $25. As much as I love to splurge on a must-have new plant, maybe I should consider loaning a little to someone who needs it a little more.
Everybody needs a little bling in their life. Yep, lots and lots of ways to make your blog your space without having to resort to signing up for MySpace *shudder*.