I’ve been in the blogging world now for almost NINE years. Yep. I’ve learned a thing or two about blogging and today I’ve taken a look at my favorite blogs and compiled of list of things that make me love them. AND things that have made me hit that awful Unsubscribe button in my reader. I’m learning too even after 9 years so I’m taking notes on my notes!
- Don’t apologize for your content. I’ve done it and seen people do it. Don’t start a heavy post by saying, “Sorry this is so heavy today”. Just let it be heavy. Same for funny. If you’re posts are normally heavy but you throw in a light-hearted fun one, don’t say “Sorry this is so frivolous”. Just let it be funny. However, if you have offended someone and realize your content was hurtful or not written with the right heart DO apologize. It’s ok to make mistakes in blogging.
- Speaking of the funny, BE funny sometimes. I truly believe God has a sense of humor and even if you write spiritual posts, you CAN have a sense of humor about some things. BooMama and The McMommy Chronicles ALWAYS make me laugh.
- Use quality pictures. Well, first USE pictures. If The Pioneer Woman has taught us anything it is that you need pictures in your posts. I’m always more drawn in when I get a sense of the post from the pictures. If you’re not a photographer, use a stock photo rather than a bad personal photo. If you’re looking for a blog with fantastic pictures, look no further than The American Mum. Beautiful!
- Write consistently. This does not equate to write every day. Even if it’s once a week, do that all the time. In fact, some might argue that readers look forward to your posts more if they are infrequent, but consistent. Anne Jackson has started blogging only twice a week and I look forward to those days! However, it’s almost a guarantee that Pete will have a blog post up every morning and I look forward to those too!
- Share you. Whether you write a personal blog or niche blog, always share your heart. But be wise when you’re angry, frustrated, mad or sad. You don’t want hurtful words written in the blogosphere for everyone to read forever. There is a reason for the DRAFT mode of posts. Sometimes they need to stay right there in your draft folder! However, I find that opening your soul lets the best blogging happen. Moosh In Indy and Ministry So Fabulous both share the good and bad and I love them for it.
- Change it up. To be honest I get tired of reading the same type of content on personal blogs (niche blogs are defined by the same stuff over and over so I don’t mean them). Show me all sides of you. I DO want to hear about your kids, the music you love, what’s eating at your soul, etc, etc. OhAmanda and Musings of a Housewife are two people that have a great range of posts.
- Be creative. In life or in your posts. There is not much else I appreciate more than seeing someone use their talents in a creative way. Carlos Whittaker and his wife Heather are both fantastically creative.
- Be inspired by and link to others. I love when I read a post and they mention they were inspired by another blog or book that I read. I think it really enhances the connection to that person through that 3rd party. Just this morning, Mommy on Fire linked to Jesus Needs New PR and I couldn’t help but get a little excited someone saw the same thing as me! A caveat to this…don’t make every post a rehash of someone else’s posts.
- Offer tutorials or solutions. Even if you’re not an expert at anything (like me) and can’t post wonderful food blogs like The Pioneer Woman, you DO have something that you do well. Share it so others can do it too. Works for me Wednesday hosted by The Diaper Diaries is a great way to start sharing (and promoting) your tips. (Update: Not sure what I did to mix this up but it’s hosted by We are That Family! thx Alicia!)
- Write what you’re passionate about. And be honest about it. If you’re passionate about a pair of jeans, then by golly, post about them. If you’re passionate about what God showed you in your quiet time, then share that. I think the key to someone connecting to you is if you are PASSIONATE about your topic.
So there you go, ten simple steps to a better blog.
What did I miss? What makes you go back to a blog every day or makes you hit that unsubscribe button?
Read more Top Ten lists over at OhAmanda