lkj

05 July 2012

what makes a good blog?

love this! here

The past few days I've been working my butt off and I'm finally feeling like I'm on top of everything. Such a good feeling! I've been offline quite a bit the last week or so, I've been reading a ton + giving mum a hand to make sure that everything's sorted for the wedding. Keeping the productivity momentum going tonight by sorting through my subscription list on Bloglovin'. Lately catching up on blogs has started to feel more like a chore than something I look forward to and I'm pretty convinced that its because I'm trying to read too many. I only allocate a little bit of my time to blogging and as much as I'd like to read absolutely every blog that I'm interested in - it just isn't possible!  


I've had a couple of emails recently asking my advice for 'how to start a blog', which is incredibly flattering because I'm still relatively new to this, and am by NO means an expert!  What I am however, is an expert in 'things that I like/dislike when I'm reading blogs'. Whether or not I keep reading something is entirely dependent on how I generally feel about what I'm reading. If I have no feelings, or I'm bored then chances are I won't go back. This is something that people cant 'do' anything about, sometimes you really understand where a blogger is coming from and sometimes you don't. As long as you're blogging about things that you're passionate about and that matter to you then you'll find some like-minded people - it might take some time but you will get there! 


The blogs that I personally enjoy generally fall into two categories:

1. They're inspirational/motivational in some way + I really get something out of reading each post.
2. I like the bloggers voice and can relate to both them and what they're talking about.

Generally, as long as a blog falls into one of these two categories then I'll read it. Whether I subscribe to it and keep reading it is a completely different story. That depends on a whole load of other things...

so true. here

Design/Layout
Call me superficial but I like things to look nice. This doesn't mean that I only read blogs with custom layouts,  I just prefer thing that are easy on the eye and simple to get around. This includes having an 'about' section that's easy to find, because its probably the first place I'll go. Please don't have music playing automatically, playlists are awesome but mostly I'm already listening to music when I'm online, so I just get annoyed when something else starts playing. There's also the problem where I tend to have like, 50 tabs open at once & I can never figure out which one's playing the music. Its a terrible situation to be in. 

Pictures
Just yes. Images are good, they add pizzaz and give people a good idea of what you're talking about before they start reading. Some blogs I 'read' just to look at the pictures. They don't have to be your own - just make sure you credit the original source. Link with love people! 

Comments
I've definitely already mentioned my dislike of comment verification, but the way that bloggers respond to comments makes a big difference to me. I much prefer my comment being responded to by email - I tend to forget which blogs I've left comments on and I rarely go back to check for a response. If I get an email though? Not only does it remind me what I've said but its also a great way of getting a conversation started. Some of my best blogging friendships have started out from a conversation that got going because of a comment. I prefer to respond to comments this way + I find it much quicker as well - I can reply straight from my phone/inbox. 

Sponsored posts/guest posts/giveaways
All of these are great every now and again, so long as they fit the blog. Some blogs randomly have sponsored posts or giveaways that seem to have nothing to do with what the blog is usually about. Promoting  products/other bloggers/ small businesses is a great part of blogging, but its quite easy to tell when someone's just said yes to a feature with no thought for whether it fits with their content. Having guest posters is a great way of introducing your readers to new people, but remember that they're sticking around because they want to hear what YOU have to say! 


here

But the biggest thing of all? 


ORIGINAL CONTENT!


Yes, everything else is important to me - but I will still read a blog that does ALL of the above if the content is original and interesting. There are literally thousands of blogs out there and it may seem hard to be original, but no-body else is you. So just be you and you'll be fine.

Question time: What makes a 'good' blog in your opinion? I'm curious!

14 comments:

  1. It's definitely the voice for me.. my favourites are personal blogs that let you into a persons life a little.. I find that they inspire me to try new things and live my own life a little better xx

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  2. Oh I so know what you mean about keeping up with reading your blogs. I've got four categories - not sure: for new blogs, sometimes: for blogs to read when I have extra time, daily: for ones I really enjoy, and LOVES: for ones that are my favourite. That way I can prioritise my reading list. That makes me sound crazy, doesn't it?
    I fully agree about organised layouts, and having nice pictures. Also, I will often skip over a blog that doesn't have an about section. I like to know who I'm reading about...

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  3. I love the first quote! Blogs really are amazing/pointless tools haha.


    love from NYC,
    Tay

    http://www.taylormorgandesign.blogspot.com

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  4. I am so impressed with you V. You blogger, you!

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  5. Loving the Oscar Wilde quote Vic!

    I'm a fan of simple, clean layouts, lovely photographs, a blogger's voice and original content (which even if they are blogging about similar things that others are, often comes through with the blogger's voice if that makes sense?).

    They're the big ones for me and they're the blogs that I go back to over and over again. I like to feel that a blog is a part of someones personality, and if I can get to know them through the blog (or at least feel like it) then it's a winner for me.

    Great post, and thanks for the tip about Calella on Twitter, I don't think I ever replied (I'm sorry!).

    Kate x

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    Replies
    1. That makes perfect sense - I know exactly what you mean! I think thats why its so important that we be ourselves when we're blogging - we all have our own spin on things!
      Hope you found a holiday! x

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  6. I pretty much feel the same way you do. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I feel overwhelmed with all the blogs out there. I have a handful that I go to daily or often. It's honestly usually people that leave me comments. They are "my fans". They take the time to visit me and comment, so I turn around and do the same thing. Other blogs I just visit once a week or so, but read everything all at once that I have missed. As far as what I like about other bloggers,...I like feeling like I am really getting to know the person. I like people sharing bits of their life with their readers. Personal & lifestyle blogs are probably my favorite. I used to be strictly a design blog, but got bored with that. I love my life, so I started sharing it. :)
    (jdsmurf11@yahoo.com)

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  7. I agree with you on everything (as always). I think the layout and the pictures are a big deal for me. I'm not going to read a blog with an ugly layout or rubbish pictures, and that's the truth. The pictures don't have to be professional or taken with an amazing camera (I use my iPhone a lot). But you have to put some thought to them. I can't stand when people take pictures of products and have a messy/not clean background...haha. I guess I'm saying that the pictures are REALLY important to me. Blogs are about content, but they're also a visual experience :)

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  8. I agree with you! The layout is important. I'm new to blogging and now that I've been checking others' blogs, I've realized I do get attracted to blogs which have pretty layouts and then I go to the posts. And picture quality is necessary too. It's a turn off if the picture quality is bad. And ofcourse, then the posts. I start reading them and if I find the post interesting, I keep reading. And being original, well that's the most important. :)

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  9. Gosh, I hardly ever respond to comments by email! In fact, I only do it if the question/comment is personal or I want to have a long chat! I do try to reply to all comments though. I'm a bad commenter, and I don't expect people to comment on my blog for that reason, so I try to take the time to be nice when someone does!

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  10. i love ALL of these quotes.
    all so true!

    xo the egg out west.

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  11. This has been really helpful on what to focus on with my blogs. :)

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  12. Hello. The content is really nice

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment - I love getting to know you guys and I really appreciate each and every note you leave!

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