I like the AA format. Maybe we should all do that
For your first question, what makes you want to read mom blogs? What makes you go back to those? Studying some of our own habits can be very beneficial for moving forward on our own blogs. For me, I LOVE big photos. If I see too much text, I get scared that I have a big article to commit to. Photo’s help segment and break up “the story” and lessen any commitment issues. And like you said, we are voyeuristic whether we like to admit it or not. We like glimpses into each others lives. I try to keep that in mind when I’m publishing but I never feel I can do it quite as well as blogs that I’m inspired by.
#2 is a great questions. As a web designer, one thing I always have recommended to my clients is do some goal planning and suggest to start with where you want to end up. For example if you want to eventually have a mailing list, start collecting emails right away. If you are going to start on blogger (because it’s rumored to be easier for newbies) but want to eventually switch to WordPress, just start on WordPress. Sometimes transitions can be a lot more work than expected to minimizing mass changes later can be helpful. Focus also is something I wish I had better when I started. Better defined main tags and categories. I think I would of been a more regular blogger if I didn’t feel so scattered.
#3 What annoys me about new bloggers? Stealing blog posts and photos! That’s a big one. Or having things being very poorly credited. I’m not a fan of a photo with the word source under it then the link. Give proper credit and be generous with your links. Generally, if I use a photo from another blog post, that photo links directly to that blog post. I make it very clear that there is more where this came from, click through.
#4 That kind of relates to #2. If I was starting now, I’d start with WordPress probably. I’ve always used Joomla so I don’t have a lot of experience with the different platforms but way back when I was taking on clients, most sites I designed and programmed for were Blogger and WordPress. WordPress had more template and plugin options. WordPress was my 2nd favorite after Joomla… 10 years ago at least. There’s so many platforms these days. I’ve used a ton and there is a learning curve with all of them.
Since you’ve already moved and would have to move again, I would suggest spending some time researching and actually using different platforms for a little bit then commit to one. Use the free WordPress for a bit (don’t move yet, just to play with) and get a feel for it. I’m seeing more Wix bloggers not too. I haven’t heard a lot of feedback about it though, just starting to see more.