To Blog or Not To Blog

Monday, 18 November 2013

What makes a good blogger?  what makes a good blog?  Are the two mutually exclusive?

There's such an intense focus upon ranks and popularity that many tremendous blogs can go unrecognised.  I know that SEO's and PR people find Google Rank and Domain Authority deciding factors in what necessitates a 'Good Blog' whilst bloggers may see parenting site rankings of blogs as the holy grail of success, yet I've visited plenty of high ranking blogs and granted some are incredibly well designed with great content yet others seem to mainly consist of reviews and sponsored posts with little substance inbetween.  Don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to the odd review or sponsored post, I can be quite mercenary, yet I like to think it makes up the minority of my blog content.

What is blog success though?  Is it page hits? Ranking? The amount of PR opportunities offered? The amount of followers one gets? How many awards a blog has received?

Likewise what makes a good blogger?  Is it how popular they are within social media circles?

I've been blogging and journaling online for around 16 years now in various places and under various guises (livejournal, deadjournal, ujournal, vox, scribble,nu, blogger, wordpress to name a few) even now I have several blogs that are semi-active.  Yet, it's only been in the past four or five years that I've blogged to an audience as opposed to just friends.  I'm not a particularly good writer, I don't especially have anything of interest to say, I'm not savvy with the design aspect and I have very few followers and I doubt I'll ever be nominated for an award, but that's okay with me.  It really is.  People are reading it, I can tell from the statistics.  Occasionally they'll comment too and to me personally one single comment means more then a few hundred views.  I'm not popular, I'm too socially inept to be cool.  Again, I'm okay with that (most of the time!)  I'm always incredibly surprised when someone says they like my blog and I enjoy the times when I've been approached to guest post or have had my posts feature on other sites.

What do I personally look for in a blog?  I like to get a feel of the person who's writing (not like that, don't be a perve!) a glimpse into their mind/heart/life.  I like bloggers that have a 'voice' in the way they write.  I like to be made to feel something, whether it's laughter or sadness or even simple camaraderie when I read their posts.  I like honesty and an element of genuinity.  Some bloggers I'd like to know, other bloggers I'd like to be. I like reading blogs that are written to be read not to just be liked.  I like everyday documentation of the little things in life, the inner narration of other peoples minds and the experience of their life.  I like opinionated rants and information too.  I like those who write merely because they like writing or need to write without being precocious or pretentious.

The best blogs and indeed the best bloggers, in my opinion, are those that don't try to be popular or even aim to be. They have avid readers rather than thousands of followers.  They're popular not because of their actions but inspite of their lack of action in the blog world.  Those that write for themselves.  Those that write just to hope that someone, somewhere may read it.  The every day ordinary people who know not of their unique brilliance.

There's all sorts of reasons to blog, for the challenge, popularity, opportunities, money, exposure, influence etc.  All perfectly valid reasons to blog.

Me?  I blog because it's easier and cheaper than therapy.  I blog because for that short time when I'm typing, I can pretend I'm talking to someone and not just to myself inside my head like usual.  I blog in some pathetic attempt to leave a mark somewhere...proof I existed.  I blog because I like to write.  I blog because there's a comfort in the possibility that someone somewhere might read it.  I blog, primarily for me. Occasionally, I blog because I really need some money.

Why do you blog? What makes for a good blog in your opinion?  What about a good blogger?

18 comments:

  1. I've only recently started reading your blog because even though I had liked your fb page I didn't actually realise it was you! It was only when I started blogging last week that I worked that out :) I've really enjoyed reading it :)
    Becky

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    1. Hey lovely. I miss you! ... are you okay? xxx

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  2. I'm like you, I blog for the therapy of doing it. I get immense enjoyment out of putting my insane ramblings down. It's a pleasant bonus when I get some nice feedback. I think I've just about broken double figures with followers on my blog but as dear old Ma used to say, "It's the quality not quantity what matters". For me, if one person has smiled or empathised at something that I've written...that'll do for me. x

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  3. I blog to be wildly popular, rich and worshipped by all. Or cause I like writing somewhere without censorship, deadlines and an editor. One of those two ;)

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  4. I blog to be wildly popular, rich and worshipped by all. Or cause I like writing somewhere without censorship, deadlines and an editor. One of those two ;)

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  5. I blog because I love to write about my life, experiences and record daily thoughts...previously I wrote journals for 26 years which sit dusty in the loft. It is a legacy for the children as well. It's great to get a comment, or a follower - but I have refused to do reviews or sponsored posts because that's not what I write about!

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    1. I think that's anyways a plus. ... People who write because quite frankly they like to write.

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  6. Beautifully written, I echo EVERYTHING you said.

    I think the whole charts malarkey does more harm than good. So many see it as a reflection of how good a blogger they are. I hate seeing people demoralised due to some suspect metrics.

    I blog for myself, the few PR opportunities I get are just a bonus but never arrive through my chart position or any SEO magic (I don't understand SEO!)

    Likewise, some of my favourite blogs don't even appear on any chart.

    I'll stop ranting ...


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    1. Rant away :-) I do like a good rant!

      I guess writing is like tv shows and music. ... Just because something is popular it doesn't mean it's good.

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  7. I agree with all of this - I blog for me, and because in the future there will be a record of our family life. And because I just enjoy it, and find support and inspiration in other blogs I read. Great post xx

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  8. Hello! New reader here. Just wanted to you're such a good writer! I don't really read looong posts but you always get my attention :)

    Also, to answer your questions:

    I mainly blog because I like to keep records of my thoughts and adventures, especially now that I'm newly married (new adventures!). It's also a great way for me to showcase my creativity and it makes me happy that some people do appreciate my work, albeit few. :)

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  9. I enjoyed reading this post because you've absolutely hit the nail on the head here in every way - I blog for the same reasons as you and my favourite bloggers are the ones you describe :)

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! X

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  10. There is so many deciding factors that make a great blog. I hope that my own blog constitutes a great blog. I have tried to make sure that I don't clutter it up with too many sponsored posts or reviews. I want to provide my readers with great content. I recently added giveaways to my blog, I wanted to give my readers an incentive to come back and to give them a chance to win gifts. I just try not to over do it. It has taken me a long time to get a ton of traffic.

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