When you have two quite different blogs (as I do) it’s interesting to go back to the start and look at how the first blog evolved. As I did this I can see a clear evolution – from general interest to narrow niche. Among other things, I learned…
- It’s perfectly OK not to know exactly what you’re going to blog about.
- It’s perfectly OK to know exactly what you’re going to blog about.
- Either way, you’ll probably change your mind.
- If you’re blogging for business, it does help to have a plan, just don’t get too hung up on it.
- Blogging is still personal… even if it’s a business blog. Some of you goes out there with your post.
- Blogging is a journey – and an education. Enjoy it. If you don’t, it’ll be a grind.
- Blogging takes time… many give up when they fail to see instant-results.
I’ve been meaning to write some blogging articles for a while. I just keep seeing interesting stuff on Social Media and I’m restive until I’ve got those thoughts out on my blog. So my list of blogging topics lies there staring (I imagine) reproachfully at me while I juggle the million and one other things to think about, talk about, and do. OK, I’m only half joking.
But since I am getting increasingly more questions about blogging a series on blogging with a business slant will be coming soon.
For now though, I wanted to kick off with a post that’s really compiled from my readers feedback.
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same…
Back in August 2007 I posted on what thought made a great blog. My top things included:
- Excellent content
- Few, if any annoying adverts
- Good spelling and grammar (yes, it still counts)
- Regular updating
I asked them what they thought made a great blog.
I enjoyed everyone’s responses so much that I thought they were worth a post in themselves. (Hint – your readers comments are a prime source of ideas for blogging – more on that later).
Anyway, reprise – here’s what readers thought makes a great blog, slightly edited.
What Blog Readers Want
- Compelling content – interesting, well organised, well written, well presented, focused
- Clear, intuitive navigation – please, don’t make me think!
- Good spelling, grammar, and sentence syntax – the odd typo is o.k…
- Proper formatting (paragraphs, effective use of white space, scaled photos etc.)
- Imagination, creativity and talent and talent
- A Contact Me link or page – Prominently placed, please!
- Regularly updated posts. Regularly updated posts.
- Easy access to past articles (archives, related posts, site-map…)
- Lets the personality of the blogger shine through
- A consistent and true “voice” – show your passion and feeling!
- Overall blog presentation – make visitors want to stay
- Good use of linking services, e.g Technorati
- Clean and fast loading pages
- Few or no ads. Discretely placed ads that don’t obscure the content and don’t intrude
A little over a year on and not a lot has changed. These things are still important, because they are the things that make readers want to stay on your blog and read what you have to say.
If you’re contemplating blogging – particularly if you are a business thinking of using blogging as one of your marketing tools, if you’ve started blogging or are an old hand… commit these top 15 blog must-haves to memory. As one of my readers says… they should be blogging law.
Care to add to the list? Is there something else you feel makes a great blog? Add a comment and perhaps I may recompile the list to include it. I’ll be expanding on the different elements in later posts (as well as on my own blogging challenges).