I know a good blog when I see it.
And I don’t know that mine is.
I’ll explain further. You see, in January, I happened across a good blog, Peas and Thank You. I think a friend of a friend said something about it on Facebook. After the initial reading, I was hooked. I knew I liked Mama Pea enough to give her some more of my time. So I went back and started at Day 1. And then I read every single post that she’s written on that blog. This took me a couple of months and I did it will nursing Clara or when I had free time during the kids’ nap. Travis thought I was crazy for getting caught up in a person’s life whom I had never met, nor will ever probably meet in real life (although wouldn’t that be lovely!).
Maybe it was crazy. But all I knew was that I liked this woman’s writing, the way she thought, what she ate. Mama Pea’s humor was quite similar to mine. She has two kids. We’re both stay-at-homers. Sarah made going vegan look SEXY! She had a good blog.
After discovering Peas and Thank You and getting up-to-date, I needed something else to fill that space. I needed a new blog. That’s when I found Janetha.
I think Janetha had commented on a P&TY post…something witty, I’m sure. I checked out Meals and Moves and loved it. So again, I started at the beginning and read every post to current time. She wrote from the heart and wasn’t afraid to “be real”. As I read her words, I could understand exactly how she’d say what she was writing. She liked hummus and cottage cheese and owls. She had a good blog.
I’m currently working on a couple more blogs. I’m almost finished with Katie Unger’s “Yes I Want Cake“, and it too, is a good blog. Go there – you won’t regret it! Some other blogs…well, I’m just not sure if they will stick yet or not. I’ll not disclose which ones, but I’ve definitely run across some that I will never read again. If you want me to take time away from my family or Arrested Development, you’d better have a good blog! (As an aside, if I comment on your blog, then you can be confident that I LIKE your blog).
All this got me thinking – What makes a blog GOOD? What makes readers want to come back everyday? Do you need to have an interesting life? Write well? Quality pictures? Giveaways?
Does one have to account for every morsel that passes their lips? Every workout they do? Post 3 times a day?
THE ANSWER: It’s all SUBJECTIVE!! What one person likes, another might dislike. God created us all as individuals, with varying passions, strengths and weaknesses. There are niches and space for every type of person in this world, and as an extension, their blogs. Knowing that it’s not my job (or right) to judge another’s creativity is liberating. I just know what I like…and what I don’t.
As for Lindsay’s List, I want readers to enjoy themselves, to be encouraged, sometimes challenged, and always happy that they came back that day. And I can always get better.
So I’ve made two lists: things I like and things I don’t like. That way, I can keep the good and not even waste time with the bad. Keep in mind: these are MY likes and dislikes. Again, it’s all subjective.
Things I like about the blogs I read:
- Quality writing
I, myself, enjoy WITTY banter. I like it when someone takes the time to set up a good joke. When I read someone else’s writing, I appreciate correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. But, when the writing is good, I can overlook these mistakes. Quality writing is KEY for me – I’ve been to blogs where the pictures were AMAZING, but the writing, sub-par. And that was a deal breaker….I haven’t revisited.
- Good pictures
If writing is the entree, photography is the garnish. Aesthetically pleasing, but unnecessary to the quality of the dish. I can see the obvious need for high quality pictures in food blogs because you want to convey to the reader just how amazing your dish is. The author can see, smell, and taste the dish, while the reader can only see, so you’d want your pictures to be the best they can possibly be.
Quite frankly, my pictures could use a lot of work. But I’m eager and willing to learn more. Please, someone, teach me!
Good bloggers are true to self. Meaning that while their posts may vary a bit from day to day, their CORE never sways. Janetha will always be a meals and moves girl, Mama Pea – a story teller. If I were to categorize my blog, I’m not sure what I’d put it under. Healthy living?? Funny living?? I’m working on my direction right now.
Things I don’t like:
- Recycled pictures
Please, oh, please take the time to post new pictures!! I can understand that there might be the rare occasion where you need to recycle a picture, but I’m not coming back again and again to see the same old tofu recipe.
- Responding to comments
The frequency and quality are both an issue here. I may eat my words if this site every gets huge and I have like 80 comments per post, but I am so grateful when a blogger responds back to a comment that I’ve left. It says A) that you took the time to read my comment and B) you value what I have to say. The quality with which you respond matters as well. Don’t just do a smiley winky face….ask me a question in return. Our readers are the reason we blog, right??
- Arrogance/Self Promotion
Another thing that irritates me: when I’m being sold something. I’m absolutely fine with having ads (I just applied to be a FoodBuzz Featured Publisher) and even the occasional link to something that you like. But to name drop in every.single.post about what’s on sale at your store, well, it’s just a bit much.
While I know that this blog will evolve into something that I may not even be able to imagine right now, I want it to remain true to self and to my life. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not that interesting. My meals are BORING and REPETITIVE. I do the SAME things from day to day. My pictures DEFINITELY need help!
However, I DO have some things going for me. I have confidence in my writing. I’m a pretty descent story teller. I’m kinda/sorta funny at times. And I’m smart…almost to a fault. :)
But maybe the biggest positive: I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself.
Don’t believe me? Come back tomorrow. :)