I've only been blogging for about 8 months, but I still get a lot of emails from people asking me about what I suggest new bloggers should do. Why anyone asks me that truly boggles my mind. I've been blogging for less than a year, I make about 74 cents a day from advertising - that's a rough estimate - and I still find a way to run races at a middle of the road pace, despite hours of posts from reading lightning fast runners.
|Average runner. Top notch strange face maker.|
So while I may not rank up there as a big blogger, runner, or chef, I am a super big blog READER. I'm a pro, in fact. Here's my list of things I love about blogs, and what I hate.
Going Long: There's nothing wrong with a long post (see the current page you're on - sorry about that). My eyes just really, really appreciate breaks. Not only are short paragraphs easier to read, but they mean I'm less likely to skim.
Font Like This: Just no. This is not readable. This is painful. I should not have to highlight the text in order to read it when I'm only 6 inches from the screen.
Happiness: Hold on, this one needs an explanation. Happiness is great. But peppy, awesome, the world is amazing all day long and the sun shines 24/7 in unicorn land? It just doesn't seem real! I like to keep my blog upbeat, so I can appreciate a happy blog. But showing imperfections shows that you're real, and makes you a more likable blogger, in my (truthfully, often very flawed) opinion.
|No one is this happy all the time.|
Depression: I know, I know - I'm a hypocrite. I just ragged on the whole happiness thing. But admit it - no one likes to read a blog that is Debbie Downer every.single.freaking.time.
|But I don't want to read about this level of depression all the time, either.|
Raw Meat: Random quirk. I squirm a little bit when I see pictures of raw meat in recipes. I'm probably on my own for this one. It just seems...unnecessary? Raw chicken breast aside, I love recipe step by steps.
Not Practicing What You Preach: Nobody is perfect, and I understand that - as do most blog readers, I'm sure. However, reading a blog about how important rest days are, or eating enough calories, or stretching after running - anything, really - with the blogger doing the exact opposite? Drives me crazy.
Photos: I promise I can read, but I love having photos along the way. Maybe I have a short attention span? Who knows. I just like pretty pictures. (Like this guy!)
Common Interests: Even if you're super, super nice, I'm probably not going to read your blog about mechanical engineering or homeschooling children. I'm being honest! I don't feel obligated to read blogs, so I only read what I enjoy.
Be funny: No, like really funny. I like some serious posts, and I like reading training logs from athletes. But what keeps me coming back time after time is reading material that makes me laugh. Do you need to be a stand up comedian? No, although that might help. But a sense of humor is definitely appreciated. (Like these ladies!)
Sugar: This one is probably just me. I like to eat healthy foods most of the time, but sugar is like crack to me. I just want more cupcake porn, people. Help a girl out.
So there we have it. My far from exhaustive list on what I love in blogs, and what will get you booted from Google Reader. I do realize that these are completely my own, personal preferences. Some of you might think the exact opposite, and that's fine. But I'm curious....
What makes a blog a winner for you? And what gets it booted from your reader?
In full disclosure, I'm sure I do most (if not all) of these things. I'm far from perfect, and my blog certainly isn't. And everyone likes different things! These are just my loves and peeves.