Tuesday 21 January 2014

What makes a blog readable

I've been doing a bit of thinking and analysis lately into what makes me want to read a blog, and cross referencing my thoughts with which of my posts seem to get the most interest.

I've narrowed it down to six main characteristics:

1. Be honest. The things that I like reading about the best are real. I don't want to read about a perfect world, because that only makes me feel bad when my own goes pear shaped or doesn't compare. For the same reason that trashy magazines sell so well, I want to read about something honest and real, warts and all. I love peeking into other people's worlds.  I don't think that anyone has a perfect life all the time, and if yours is, then I don't really want to hear about it! Only joking, but really, the most appealing blogs are honest about what's going on with them and for bonus points they have a bit of meat to them and give me something to think about.

2. Be yourself. If I'm reading your blog, it's because something in it grabs my attention. I like reading about you. Tell me about your life. Use language that you'd usually use. Write the way that you speak and inject your own personality into your prose. This also links into the topics you choose. Write about things that interest you, because when you're interested, other people will pick up on that enthusiasm and passion too. Besides, who wants to write about something that isn't interesting to them? Let alone read about it.

3. Be timely. If you're going to post about say, a summer heat wave, make sure that you do it when it's still summer and still hot (for you). Sure, some of your audience might be in a different hemisphere or weather pattern, but if it's timely for you, that's going to show through in the language that you use. I can't even tell you the number of times I've had a post sitting in draft for so long that it's just embarrassing to post. More often than not, I junk them, but sometimes I can re-write it to make it more topical and relevant. Also, when writing about a recent topic, it's going to be fresh in your mind and you'll have a much better ability to make it sound interesting and appealing for your audience.

4. Be relevant. Sure, maybe I'm harping on the same characteristics, but hear me out. Think about the audience that you're trying to appeal to, or the readers that you have. What sort of a blogger are you? Are you a food blogger? A mummy blogger? A fashion or lifestyle critic? Are you aiming to appeal to others interested in the same things? Then write about things that are going to appeal to your audience. People come to your blog because they want to read about what you're up to. You've obviously written something they want to read about... so keep on with that relevant writing!

5. Be consistent. There is nothing more annoying than finding a good blogger, only for them to post sporadically. When this happens, I tend to stop checking them regularly, and drop them off my feed. If they do post something else, I'm now likely to miss it and they drop off my radar completely because I just stop caring. So if you've hooked me and I care about reading you, don't hang me out to dry waiting for an update! Share what's going on!

6. Involve me. Blogging isn't always just a one way interaction. My favourite bloggers have built themselves a little community of people who feel like they know this person. Friends if you will. Friends converse. They ask each other's opinion and they talk. Involve your audience. Let them comment on things, ask them questions and interact with them. Who knows, you might even gain some new real life acquaintances out of it all!

What hooks you on a blog? Where do you spend your valuable internet time?

1 comment:

  1. I agree and very insightful! These are the same reasons why I keep coming back to your page :) xx -d



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