blogging tools and tips

Kitchens, Blogs and F Words #AtoZChallenge

why organizing your kitchen is like managing your blog

Or rather, why managing your blog is similar to organizing your kitchen. 

Considering you spend the better part of your life these days in both places, just as important. eh?

No?

Okay, don’t answer that!

Talk about a crazy K post!

I am in the process of uncluttering my kitchen (and my blog) and in the process, had such an a-ha moment over the similarities.

I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, the hub of my home, just as much as I enjoy spending blogging. And, just like the kitchen, I find that a blog is just as challenging to organize, with so much going on in there.

(Feel free to admire my revamped home page. Go look! I’ll wait!)

In my kitchen, my friends and guests come to check out what I cook, give me feedback (pun-ny, right?) and enjoy hanging out with me.

On the blog, readers come over to: read, check out what I’ve got to offer, respond to my call to action, if any, and of course, just hang out with me.

See?

Of course I want everyone to feel happy when they’re here and smile when they leave.

Interestingly, like the kitchen, there’s only so much space on the blog to catch a visitor’s attention. With so many people coming by or passing through to share this space, it is necessary to organize it in such a way that it is easy to navigate. Yay, clickable links, no?

There are ways to make your blog look good (who’d have thought I’d give design advice, eh? But here I am, just the same!)

I use four F words. No, no, not those. These are good F words that make your blog look good when you focus on them. (F for focus!) I use the same F words in the kitchen too!

  • Features
  • Flow
  • Function
  • Frequency

Features

These are the essential elements you need on your blog: your content, your contact info, your “about me”, your social media buttons, email subscription form, your (special) offers, and all those things you need specifically for your blog to meet your blogging goals. Unless you’re remodeling, you wouldn’t change these, just as you wouldn’t change your refrigerator, microwave, oven, stove, sink, and dishwasher—unless you were remodeling.

Flow

This is all about relativity. How do your blog’s features relate to one another? Think navigating between the kitchen’s features where the sink and dishwasher are close to each other. You want everything to be easily accessible so you can efficiently turn out that meal.

Similarly, on your blog, you want everything conveniently placed so your readers find it easy to navigate and enjoy their browsing and reading experience. Goes without saying that you want everything working perfectly—your links, your forms, your load time. Yep, a well-equipped kitchen where you can find everything easily equals efficiency. Who prefers dead links and super-slow?

Function

What are you trying to achieve? Incidentally, readers on a blog use the F pattern when they browse. So what you want to do is place things where they expect to see them. Being cute and creative is nice, but not if it doesn’t serve its purpose. A good layout groups similar features together. Quite like you would place your kitchen supplies close to their function—groceries in the pantry, chopping, measuring, slicing, blending tools together near the preparation area, dishes, utensils and other accessories in your cutlery cabinet—in the same way, arrange your blog’s elements according to their function, rather than scatter them around so your readers miss them. In fact, give good sidebar! If it doesn’t make you money or help you connect with your audience, it doesn’t belong there. Make that valuable real estate work for you.

Frequency

In my kitchen, although I start out with organizing it each time I clean, stuff does spill over after some days—stuff that I don’t use frequently and stuff that occupies space that should be put to better use.

It is the same with blogs. The home page starts out looking nice and clean. Slowly, the widgets and the badges add up. Something we saw on someone else’s blog seems like a perfect fit and before we know it, we’ve got it, never mind whether it adds value.

The point is, if it does not serve you or your readers, chuck it. Can’t let go? Give those things you love a separate page, just like you pack up those Christmas decorations—bring them out and highlight them when relevant. There’s a big difference between “want” and “need”, you know!

Find it hard to decide what to keep and what to lose? Sit back and think about what you want to accomplish. If necessary, get professional help to steer you.

Sigh. If only organizing my kitchen were as easy as organizing my blog!

Do you agree that organizing your kitchen is pretty much like managing your blog?

Do you think these F words will help you organize your blog better?

And just in case you think I am nuts, did you know that the visual editor toolbar in your WordPress post editor is called the “kitchen sink”?  Ha ha!

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    April 13, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I love this post. Cooking and blogging – Never in my life had I heard this analogy and yet I find myself agreeing.

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    April 13, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Clever analogy there, Vidya! 🙂 I’m probably guilty of adding too much stuff, but at least it’s all well-organized and doesn’t interfere with actual content. Your revamped homepage looks great!

  • Reply
    Menaka Bharathi
    April 14, 2017 at 12:24 am

    What a comparison Vidhya, when I think of it, there does exist all the similarities. I am one person who is a little shabby at decluttering. I love little things, even plastic, and store it till it literally cannot be used. I do sometimes feel I could have given off to someone who could have used it. My kitchen has many such storing places, he he, my blog too, I have one or two fiction posts too. Cant let go you see.
    Launching SIM Organics This April
    *Menaka Bharathi *
    *SimpleIndianMom*

  • Reply
    Suzy
    April 14, 2017 at 8:17 am

    In 2003 I did a course on website creation – 2 things stood out for me – content is king and less is more. I try to keep my blog as simple as possible. And frankly I never look at any widgets on any blog. Good post and new homepage looks good.

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    April 14, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I can’t imagine you swearing, so when I saw the title, I went, “Whaaa?”

    A long time ago, when I was just building my blog, I would add any and every widget I saw on people’s pages. Eventually it looked so overcrowded that people didn’t know where to look when they visited my page. I’m still learning the art of decluttering and “beautifying” though 😀 Would love to get it done like yours, clean and neat.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 14, 2017 at 10:54 am

      I’ve always kept my blog design more or less clean. I have other blogs to experiment with 🙂 And me not swearing…he he he. I have a very rich vocabulary! I am just too well-behaved to use it indiscriminately! Hugs, Sreesha. Oh, get it done like mine: I am happy to help. I love playing with themes and design.

      • Reply
        Sreesha
        April 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        Ah ha! Will make you “misbehave” one day then. Wait 😛

  • Reply
    Marcy
    April 14, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Very clever post. Of course my own blogs and my own kitchen definitely could use a lot of decluttering and organizing. Maybe someday I’ll get there!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 14, 2017 at 11:33 am

      He he! It is an ongoing process, Marcy! My blog is far better off than my kitchen! Hugs and thanks for coming by! I love that your K post is Kitchen too!

  • Reply
    Namratha
    April 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I haven’t yet come to the phase in my blogging journey where I really need to declutter, cause I haven’t yet created enough. But never too early to start, huh? Loved your comparison between the kitchen and a blog. And Neat Homepage:)

    Celebrating ‘Women & their work’ all April @NamySaysSo K for Kitchen Queen

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    April 14, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Awesome use of the letter! And that’s funny about the ‘kitchen sink’. Happy Blogging (and entertaining)!

    http://darlamsands.blogspot.com/

  • Reply
    Cathy
    April 14, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    What a clever post! Love the comparison of a blog to the kitchen. Well, my kitchen is always a bit of a mess so you can imagine my blog. Hahah! Neither one get the full attention that they deserve but I do like to bake and I do like to blog but I like quick results, too, so don’t go in for anything too long and demanding in both places.

    Love the new look of your home page. Lovely layout and illustrations. I smiled when you suggested to go look and you would wait. Your sense of humour is so cute!

  • Reply
    Shailaja Vishwanath
    April 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Valid tips all of them! An overhauling is needed every now and then just like cleaning up those storage containers and swapping them out periodically.

  • Reply
    Asha
    April 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Nice juxtaposition of kitchen 🙂 I liked your four Fs too

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I was just reorganizing some drawers in my kitchen so I think this is a nice analogy. I like the F words and believe they can be used for other areas as well. I’m one that, once I get it the right way I like it, I don’t change much until I have to

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    April 16, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Loved this post and the analogy too. 4 Fs you mentioned are absolute must for a blog, though I was thinking of the other F 😛 Flow and Function are so important. Recently, I visited a few new blogs and for the life of me, I couldnt figure where their recent posts were. And one blog is so cluttered with garish widgets that they distract you from reading the content!! *Rant over*
    I love your new homepage. It looks so organised and neat and soothing!

  • Reply
    Tina Basu
    April 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    what a comparison! Love the Fs. I am extremely bbad at clearing the mess most of the time – but when i am in the mood its all sparkling and barren!

  • Reply
    Sandra Williamson
    April 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve been blogging for a while but since joining the A to Z Challenge I realise I have a lot to learn. I love your post and think I might need to do a little decluttering on my own blog, thanks for the hints.

    ———-
    Sandra, Aspiring family historian, fellow participant in the #AtoZchallenge
    http://ancestralresearchjournal.blogspot.com.au/ – Sandra’s Ancestral Research Journal

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