This post is coming out of the original idea (almost two years ago) that spawned this series in the first place: presentation. Now, when I say presentation, I do not mean of the actual blog itself; I mean the posts. The look of the blog, the decoration, is a completely separate issue and one that I don't feel qualified to speak about as I barely pay attention to what a blog looks like. Maybe some people do, but that's not me. In the same way, I try, at this point in my life, to pay as little attention to the cover of a book as I can (but that's a post for another day (and something I've talked about before (somewhere))).
For most people, the number one thing that will affect whether someone will give your blog the time of day is post length. And, if you've been around my blog for longer than, oh, a couple of seconds, you'll see that this is something I completely disregard, but, in that, I'm in the minority. Most people want short posts. Short posts with, maybe, a list involved and, even better, pictures. And, if you really want to grab people's attention, it should be a picture of a cat being weird or spazzing out. But the real thing is length. People want to glance at your blog and think, "Oh, I have time to read that." If there is anything to make them think that they will have to come back later, most of them won't bother. So, yes, if you're really trying to bring in followers, I think it's good advice to keep your posts between 400 and 600 words.
Personally, I prefer longer posts with more substance, and I will keep a post open all day in order to finish it if I need to (as I sometimes do with some of Briane's longer posts). As such, I also prefer to write posts with actual substance rather than talking about talking about that substance as most people do. I'm more of the essay test rather than the multiple choice option. As such, I'm okay with the fact that some people skip over my posts as being too long. But it's something to be aware of in the way that you approach the way you post and has everything to do with the personality of your blog.
The next thing is a big one for me, something I hate and mentioned in part three, and that thing is constantly apologizing for not having posted recently. Seriously, just don't do that. So many people have what amounts to a running blog of apologizing for not having posted and promisings to do better. Especially those people with posted schedules. That's the worst. First, I'd say, just don't post a schedule. Do what you do and let that be it (sort of like letting your yes be yes and no be no without making promises you may break). But, really, I think most of the people that post schedules for what and when they're going to blog do it for themselves--to try and impose it on themselves--rather than to inform the reader of what's going on. At any rate, people with posted schedules seem to be the worst about actually following those schedules or posting in any consistent manner, and, then, every time they post, it's an apology for being behind or having not posted in three weeks or three months or whatever. Honestly, I don't care why you haven't posted. Whatever it was that caused you not to post was something that was more important to you than posting on your blog, and, actually, that's okay. You don't actually owe anyone anything. No one is paying you (probably) to be posting, so don't apologize for not doing it. Because, honestly, I don't care about your apology. And, especially, I don't care about reading an apology from you every few weeks. Tell me something interesting. So, unless there is some really interesting reason as to why you didn't post (other than that "life has just been SO busy!"), just get to the interesting and skip the apologizing. Really, people understand that there is a life outside of blogging (except, maybe, Alex, who I think may actually be a computer program that goes around commenting on blogs).
And, then, here's the thing that started this whole idea: If you are going to have a blog, especially a blog about writing or if you're writer with a blog about something else but as a representation of you're writing, LEARN HOW TO WRITE!
Having said that, I will say this:
If you're not a writer and have no aspirations to being a writer, it's not such a big deal. Which is not to say that you can be all slapdash with it, but I know I'm not very critical about the writing of people that just have a blog for fun-ish type reasons. I mean, most people don't read and write at that high a level (last I checked, it was 4th grade, but it's been a while since I've checked), which takes us back to the math thing: If you're not in a math field, I don't expect that you should be able to do advanced algebra or anything like that. Basic arithmetic, yes, but not the more complicated stuff. English is the same way. So, if you're not a writer and not trying to be a writer, I don't expect more than the basics and am not going to be... distressed... when that's all I see.
However, if you are a writer, learn to do it. Learn how to use proper grammar and punctuation. And practice it on your blog. Your blog should be a reflection of your style, and, if your style is not knowing the difference between "than" and "then" or "accept" and "except" or "site" and "cite," words that have distinct definitions and should not be so easily confused, then I'm not going to have much interest in reading any books that you write. And, well, probably, will not have much interest in following your blog for very long.
Just to be clear: I'm not talking about typos here; I'm talking about consistently using the wrong words. And, maybe, it's elitist, but, if it is, I can't help it. Learn your words. Especially "than" and "then." I hate reading through posts that use "than" every time "then" should be used. It makes me want to pull out my red grading pen, but, well, that doesn't work out so well with my monitor, so I have learned restraint.
And, really, if you're writer and most of your posts have to do with writing, I will have no respect for you if you can't manage to do it correctly while telling everyone else how to do it. The writing, that is.
[As an example, during a-to-z, someone had a post about the proper usage of semi-colons and, then, had a handful of incorrect usages in the post. Yes, I pointed it out only to have my comment deleted. The only thing that upset me about that is that blogger had at the end of the post something about letting her know if she'd gotten anything wrong. All I can say about that is "don't ask if you don't mean it."]
Having said all of that, yes, I do know that I probably have an unfair advantage in the whole grammar department, but I also view it as a writer's job to know, well, how to do the whole grammar thing. Especially the things that have hard and fast rules, like the definitions of words. I'm not necessarily going to get all picky on the commas. Not all of them, anyway, because, sometimes, comma usage is subjective and is dependent upon what the author wants the sentence to say. Sometimes.
So there's my rant. But, seriously, if you're writer, even if it is just a blog, you ought to have your best face on it. Sure, some people can't tell the difference, but is it worth the risk? [I have quit following more blogs because of the bad writing on the blog than for any other reason.]
All of that to say: how you present yourself is important. There are probably other things I could mention here, but I think these are the top three. Which wraps up what your blog says about you... at least for the moment.