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Where I reflect on the direction of my blog and what makes me visit other blogs
Around the corner is #BlogHer12, and I’m going. I’m quite excited to be going, in fact . . . yes, BlogHer markets themselves, rightfully, toward women — but it’s “the event” for bloggers to head to. Knowing that a good portion of the bloggers whose places I frequent will be at an event, that’s well within driving distance of me? Well, that leaves me with no choice but to go.
But, now that I’m heading to a place where “the showcase” is our blogs, I’m left thinking about mine.
I’ve “launched” several times, and I still really, really like this iteration of DRAL. Sure, I wish I could post more, and I wish that I could spend more time editing what I do write, so as to make my writing better. But, my posts about keeping active, and eating right, and hating the scale, and time with family, and my love of most anything breast related are fun to write . . . and, ultimately, I have this blog as a place to have a bit of fun and keep myself honest.
Heading into BlogHer, though, I want to make sure that my blog is “as good as it can be,” but I really don’t know what that means. I mean, I know don’t have a stellar design. While I’m quite technical, and I can create a site that looks like something someone with good taste might draw up, the actual “coming up with what will look good” is foreign to me. I’m still actually playing around with my own WordPress theme, but that’s all just fluff.
But, then again, isn’t a lot of blogging fluff?
Well, no, I don’t think so — but, still, I’m thinking of tweaking the look & feel around here, to make it more “mine,” if only to match the business cards that I’ll likely be designing & ordering within the next few days, because I hear they go over well at the conference, and, seriously – I do love it when new people stop by to visit around here.
All of this got me thinking about Katie‘s post about being an irresistible blogger. There are bloggers whose words I can not not read. And I’m not too un-vain to admit that I long to be on the “must read” list of others. I mean, I know I’m a “daddy blogger” amidst1 a sea of “mommy bloggers” (a fact I relish2). I’m a fat man with a fitness blog3. I’m a gentleman who spends a disturbing amount of time thinking of boobs. In short, I don’t fit into most any niche.
So, I’m left thinking about the blogs that I visit regularly, and what makes me want to come back.
- I do notice the look & feel of any blog I visit. If I visit regularly, I do notice when things change. But, I’ve never made the decision to subscribe, or unsubscribe, from a blog based on the looks. I know there will be countless people, in just a few weeks, telling me how important the look of my blog is – that it’s the window into “me,” but, in all honesty, a flashy blog just doesn’t impress me, and a schlumpy blog doesn’t necessarily turn me off4.
- Everybody knows that typos happen, and I’m ultra-forgiving (unless the person committing the typo is me, and in that case, I go all “John Belushi as the Samurai Chef” on myself). But, if I can’t read your writing without reading it aloud, I’m going to have a hard time coming back. I know, between texting and twitter, that every character matters — but, I want your writing to lead me to think, I don’t want to have to think in order to read your writing.
- While I’ll fully admit that I’ll partake of an intentional sentence fragment for style, I find proper grammar unbelievably sexy on any blogger.
- It needs to be easy to comment. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when I leave a comment, only to have to fill out a CAPTCHA verification, and then find out that the blogger needs to moderate my comment.
- While I seldom read other people’s comments on someone else’s blog (I just don’t have the time, and I know, if I start, I’ll get sucked in), I love it when I hear back from a blogger on whose blog I commented.
But, above all of that . . . well, I think the thing that makes me want to read a blog is the voice of the blogger. If there is one fear that I have with the social media invasion, it’s that storytelling will become a lost art. When I read a blog post, I want to feel like I’m sitting down with the author, and having him/her tell of the events. Heck, in my head, I’ve actually assigned voices to most every blogger that I read regularly (it’s particularly jarring when someone’s real voice doesn’t line up, at all, with the voice I have given them, imaginarily). The best blog posts read like they’re merely a story told in the middle of a much longer conversation.
My favorite bloggers, well, they’re the ones who I feel like I have those conversations with, often.