Here are things that I DO like. These are in no particular order.
- Being relatable. Sharing a perspective on life that I can understand and appreciate. Having a persona that makes me want to be friends with the person in real life.
- Honesty. Telling it like it is without making excuses or hiding relevant information.
- Humor. Appropriate humor.
- Connecting with readers and responding to communications. If I post a comment on someone's blog, I very much appreciate if they respond to my comment and/or if they post a comment of their own on my blog. No black holes.
- Everything in moderation, and mixing things up at least once in awhile. This could mean different topics, different writing styles, different types of pictures.
- Writing with intention and clarity.
- Having an appropriate balance between the amount of text and the amount of pictures/graphics/video.
Now, let's move on to the things that I do NOT like. These again are in no particular order.
- Lots of sponsored content and/or advertisements, where the blogger has turned themselves into a marketing tool.
- Recurring narcissism, vanity, and self-pats on the back where the blogger aptly describes or displays their own awesomeness. This is made even worse if the blogger belittles others at the same time.
- Typos, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes
- Frequent pictures/details of designer clothing, gourmet restaurants, 5-star vacations, high-society events, expensive shopping excursions, etc.
- Constant complaining and/or airing of dirty laundry. I've seen bloggers who wrote posts shredding their workplace, their colleagues, even friends or family. Do they not realize that blogs are public by definition, and that the targets of those posts may someday see what was written about them?
- Excessive pictures/details about kids or pets, and/or excessive selfies
- Posts on useless topics, e.g. details of household chores, trips to the post office, meaningless food consumption. I'll definitely pick reading fewer posts with substance over reading frequent posts about nothing.
What are the deal-breakers or deal-makers for you in the blogs you read?
I don't particularly mind if people discuss the same topic on a regular basis (such as daily workouts), but I like when they're creative enough to give a different spin on it each time. I want to feel like I'm having a conversation with them about how crazy/weird/awesome/hilarious their day was....ReplyDelete
I completely agree! It is great when you feel like you're having a conversation with them and/or can almost hear their voice speaking as you are reading. And since most bloggers have a blog focus or handful of topics that they write about, putting forth different spins on those recurring topics is HUGE!!!Delete
I get really annoyed when bloggers don't self-edit. Some people put up really long-winded posts with excessive wording and details and thought trails. Sometimes I wonder if they read their own content, or just bang it out, hit publish and leave it at that. I feel like I re-read my posts like 20 times before I finally hit publish. But maybe that's because my career has included a lot of writing and editing, and others reviewing my writing, so I'm hyperaware of it.ReplyDelete
YES!!! I definitely dislike when blog posts are too long-winded and go into way too much detail. Maybe all those details are meaningful to the writer, but it can be really hard for a reader to get through. If I have to hit "page down" more than a couple of times, I often end up just skimming through the end. And I re-read my posts about 20 times before I publish them, too, since I'm very conscious that anything you put out there is essentially permanent!Delete
You don't have to worry that my blog will have 5 star vacation posts, that is unless I win the lottery! I hope I'm not posting too many selfies. I'll have to watch myself! :)ReplyDelete
Pete, you definitely do not post too many selfies. Your blog is on my reader list, which means that I like your blog a lot! =)Delete
Aww, thanks.Your blog is on my list too, for all of the positive reasons you listed above. However, I won't hold it against you if you ever post your posh vacation pics!Delete
Thanks, Pete! And I am not a posh vacationer - I am all about finding travel deals whenever I can! So no posh vacation pics from me, LOL. But even if someone did post posh vacation pics, I wouldn't mind so much as long as they do it in moderation. I've seen certain bloggers where they are posting about their luxuries all the time. It's too much.Delete
I like blogs that perfectly demonstrate the personality, wit, charm, creativity, and intelligence of the writer...like this one.ReplyDelete
Thank you, sweetie! I also like blogs that discuss sports from an intelligent, personal, creative, and humorous perspective, while also displaying the same characteristics for the writer... such as yours!Delete
I agree with a lot of things on your lists. In general, I just want to read blogs that are written by real, genuine people that I would likely get along with in real life (anymore, I don't read a ton of blogs authored by people I haven't already met!), and your lists seem to weed those out :)ReplyDelete
I really hate seeing sponsored posts, especially since you often see the same sponsored posts on several blogs at the same time. They already strike me as fake, but even more so when I see the same thing over and over again.
I think I do pat myself on the back for being awesome kind of a lot (or maybe that's just in my head?), but I swear it's just because I'm shocked by some of the stuff I can do. But I save most of my selfies and pictures of my dogs for Instagram because that's what that's for. I've been on an unintentional blogging break this week, in part because I've been really busy at work, but also because I just don't have anything I want to talk about right now. I agree with you, I'd rather read a few quality posts here and there than know what people are eating or other mundane details. Not every little thing warrants a blog post, IMHO.
I realized the significance of your blog name/address awhile back when this topic came up another time! I am all about reading blogs that are REAL - and the majority of my current reader list (including you) are folks that I am friends with in real life. =)Delete
I also remember you mentioning that you didn't like reading bloggers who were in it to make a profit, and I couldn't agree with you more. It is definitely annoyingly obvious when certain companies are looking for blogger advertising. Sometimes I wonder how they select certain bloggers to approach versus others, too.
I have never noticed you patting yourself on the back in your blog. You post about your training plan/efforts and the results of your hard work. There's a big difference between that and something like, "Here's a picture of me right after I passed five other runners. The idiot dude in red thought he could keep up with me, but I left him in the dust. Notice my great running form, too. Clearly I am awesome." It blows my mind to think that there are people out there who think that way.
I am a big fan of posting just when you've got something of substance and/or that you WANT to write about. For all of us who blog for fun, there's no reason to force posts, you know?
Oh, my blog name isn't quite as deep as you give me credit for ;) It actually came about because I had previously written a food blog and co-authored a style blog, but felt really limited in what I could write about - so this was me "really" blogging about whatever I wanted. But I'm glad that I do come across as real!Delete
It kind of seems like companies have lists, and I'm sure analytics come into play. I remember seeing questions about analytics on at least one race ambassador application and a few products I have been contacted about - that turned me off because, frankly, I don't care how many hits my blog gets (and honestly, I have no clue - I never check that!).
Heh, sometimes on Daily Mile I do boast about lifting more than guys in my class or in the weight room, but that's as far as I'll go in bragging like that. But I'd probably cut all of that out and just say I'm awesome :)
So what ended up happening with the food blog and style blog? I would love to read both!Delete
Yeah, blog stats are not a great measure of readership, in my opinion. I get so many spam hits. Plus, I'd rather get just a couple of readers who post intelligent comments versus a dozen skimmers. Quality over quantity!
That is awesome that you can lift more than some of the guys around you! Rock on, Anne!!!
This is a very interesting list. I would love to see some of the other lists you have read (the ones that inspired you to write this) because it's, well, interesting, like I said, to hear what people think.ReplyDelete
I agree with A LOT on your list. The big one is being genuine. I like the blogs that are doing it because they love it, not because they want to get free stuff/are fishing for compliments/want comments to lift them up/whatever.
I prefer a mix of pics and text, too. And appreciate different topics (not all about kids/pets/always about running/blah). No back to back diary style posts. No smugness. No "how to"s from non experts. Be a part of the community.
There are a lot of things I do that are on your "do not list" - too many pics and mundane posts. But I write because I get joy out of it. :) And try to keep my attitude in check. :)
If you want some blog recs I can think of one that meets this list. But how frequent do you want your posts? Sometimes she is down to one a week.
Here's one of the posts that inspired me to write my list: http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/10/10/what-do-you-look-for-in-a-blog/Delete
Oh my goodness, don't even get me started on the bloggers who flaunt all their free stuff and/or are fishing for compliments! I've seen one fashion blogger who frequently posts pictures of herself in a borderline-obscene bikini, for example. Is that really necessary? Blugh.
I couldn't agree with you more about how good bloggers are part of the community. There is no rank when it comes to blogging. It's very unsettling to see certain bloggers that seem to think that their readers are privileged to read their blog.
I think you post a good mix of pictures and text, and I love how thought-provoking and unique a lot of your posts are! You clearly write because you enjoy it - and you definitely keep it real, which I appreciate very much. When I talk about too many pictures, I am talking extremes like when the blog approaches being more of a photo album than a true blog. And when I talk mundane, I am referring to the daily posts about, say, standing in line at the grocery check-out line!
I'd love to get some blog recs! And I am much more about quality vs quantity - so I don't care at all about frequency of posts. Please do share!
Ha ha! But where is the "do not like" in that link?! LOL. I will have to keep in mind the clean humor. Ha ha ha. JK. I keep in clean. On the blog ;)Delete
LOL! Something I have been asking myself lately, is "why am I looking at these things online that bug me?" (like the bikini blogger) I was actually thinking about writing about that, but I realized I just mark A LOT of things as read. So that I don't get annoyed. And try to keep in mind that they are just doing it for fun too (and that this is a good clue not to try to be their friend irl!)
I think there is a rank, in some blogger's minds. Which is scary. And sad. It's not a popularity contest. Or maybe it is, for them?
Aww, thanks. LOL. I have seen some posts with so many pictures I feel overwhelmed and don't even reply.
I was thinking of this blogger - a lady who is studying to be a nurse. She makes me laugh. Very responsive and fun. http://runningfororeos.blogspot.com/ And looking through my blog roll made me realize that is the only one I would recommend that don't already read! I apparently need new reads, too! Well, like I should take the time, ha ha.
Oh, and I think you would like SOME of the posts here :) http://www.imrunningonfumes.com/Delete
Thanks for the two blog recommendations! I will definitely check them out.Delete
You are probably right that there is a blogger rank in some folks minds. Sadly, for some folks probably everything becomes a popularity contest. And some people really do take their blogs way too seriously. I think it would be really hard to be a full-time blogger.
And to reiterate what I'd mentioned to you over email, I will be the first to admit that there are certain blogs that I just shouldn't look at altogether because of the annoyance factor. But, I still do for because some still have some good content, despite the annoying parts, and some of them I just get curious. For some, I get "train wreck" syndrome where I know that it's gruesome but I can't help but look!
Interesting list. I also like hearing other people's opinions on things- especially if they are a bit different from mine :)ReplyDelete
I echo a lot of Kim's point above. Nothing makes me click close on a post faster than some sort of "how to" by someone not qualified. I also despise self deprication.
Anything related to food turns me off too. Most photos of food look like crap. And I surely don't want to hear about the new diet someone is trying.
People complaining about their lives. Just stop and focus on the positive peeps!!
I like people being genuine. And I'll take all the pet photos over babies any day. :)
What kind of blogs are you looking for?
I'd love to hear more about what you look for in a blog yourself? Likewise, I don't appreciate when unqualified folks post advice. Some of the "bigger" bloggers do this a lot even though they have no credentials other than being self-imposed marketing tools. I actually enjoy a certain amount of self-deprecating humor because I think it keeps things down to earth. However, I definitely dislike true self deprecation because it frequently strikes me as fishing for compliments.Delete
Speaking of food pictures, I heard about some chef who hated all the food bloggers taking unprofessional pictures of his restaurant dishes so much that he offered to email professional pictures to the customers for their use instead. I think he also offered like a 10% discount on the bill if the customers left their phones with the check-in desk, such to ensure they wouldn't take pictures. That's some serious business!
Yes yes yes yes yes on people complaining about their lives. And I don't mind a moderate number of kid/pet photos. It's just when folks inundate you with, say, pictures every single outfit that their kid wears. Not to mention that I value a certain level of privacy. I don't think it's good to be posting a constant reel of pictures of your kid for the entire world to see.
Almost all of the blogs I currently read are running blogs, but I also read a couple of fashion blogs. In general I am always looking for down to earth blogs about health and fitness. Do you have recs?!?!?
Hmm maybe I'll make a post inspired by this one ;)Delete
That's just nuts about the chef! I'd gladly leave my phone up front to save $$ ;) I just get so grossed out by what 99.9% of people post food-wise. Plus it can be a smidge triggering for me (foods and diet "tips" alike)
The kid photo thing I've thought about a lot since we plan on having one sooner than later. And you're spot on by questioning the privacy. Between Facebook and the blog, I don't post anything really personal. And I've pretty much decided not to post any photos of my future minime online. Guess different strokes for different folks ;)
I'll have to round up some of my favorite blogs for you if I can remember them :) been so busy at work lately I'm not reading much- plus for many of the reasons above, I'm just turned off by blogs and solely keep mine as a journal. :) I'll have to get back to you!
I'd love to hear your thoughts in more detail on what you like and dislike in blogs! I would absolutely leave my phone to save on the bill, too. That kind of savings can really add up, especially over time!Delete
I am also selective about what I post on my blog, and I hardly post anything on Facebook altogether. I've seen some folks post EXTREMELY personal things on Facebook. We are talking things like how they were sexually abused as children. It's amazing how people seem to feel this huge sense of security just because of the online setting of these communications.
I hear you on being busy at work, too! I go in spurts with blogging and reading blogs. I'm looking to things calming down in the office for both of us very soon!!!
I like your list! I don't necessarily look for all of those things in a blog but there is a nugget of truth for me in all of those aspects. I admit, having a personal style blog makes it a bit difficult for me to post "other" stuff without seeming like I'm off-topic, but I do try to talk a bit about what I'm doing here and there. And I NEVER want to come off as someone who sold out. As envious as I can be of bloggers who get all the free stuff and opportunities from Old Navy and Adidas, etc, I agree that when everyone is posting the same thing on the same day you just kind of roll your eyes and move on. It actually makes me LESS interested!ReplyDelete
And, YES! Bloggers should respond to comments/tweets/etc. What's the point of writing a blog if you don't want to engage with people?
Thanks, Erin! I thought about the fact that there will be some exceptions to the items on my list. For example, on style blogs you come to expect a lot of selfies because that's the best way to illustrate how an outfit looks. But where I draw the line is when someone blogs about, say, going to the grocery store and posts pictures of themselves in front of the store, in the produce aisle, in the freezer aisle, in the checkout line, and at the exit. It's overkill. Everything in moderation, please!Delete
I think your style blog has a great mixture of posting styles and topics - the shopping summaries, the daily outfits, the reader questions. And I enjoy that when you post your daily outfits, you talk a bit about what's going on in your life that contributed to selecting the components of that outfit. So I think you've got a great mix!
Amen to bloggers responding to comments/tweets and working to develop relationships with their readers! In my opinion, that is one of the biggest downfalls of the "really big" bloggers in that they generally have too much traffic to engage with their readers on an individual basis!
Just for you I will start posting all kinds of selfies! Just kidding :-)Delete
Hehehe. Actually, if I recall correctly, did you recently mention that you just got a new camera? If so, no better way to get acclimated to the new camera then by using it, right? =DDelete
Great list! One of my big no-no's is when you have to jump through a million hoops to leave a comment. As a result, I don't follow as many blogs that are on blogger. (I love that you don't have the "type the word in the box" thing on yours.) Disquis is also blech in my eyes. I get why people use it, it's just annoying, so I'm very selective about those blogs.ReplyDelete
Here's a question: do you "hate read." You know, read the blog of someone who you used to like but now they annoy you and you just want to see what dumb stuff they'll say now? You're such a nice person (and much more mature than I am!) so I'd be surprised if you did. I never used to, but I guess I have too much free time now. Haha!
Thanks, Amy. I agree with you that it gets frustrating sometimes when you are trying to leave a comment and then you have to log in to something, wait for it to load up, enter the text on the spambot, etc. I have trouble with Disqus when I view blogs in the office - I think there is some kind of network restriction that doesn't allow Disqus to load up properly. I am glad that me removing the spambot filter makes things easier on my blog!!! And I am glad that the comment settings on your blog are easy, too!Delete
Thank you for the kind thoughts on my "hate read" potential. =) There are definitely some blogs that I used to like, but they've taken a turn in directions that I no longer appreciate. I do find myself still checking in on them every so often, trying to see if what I used to like might still be there. When it isn't, I do get frustrated. But curiosity frequently gets the better of me, you know?
So interesting and true!!! As far as reading blogs, I like to read blogs of people I would like to be friends with and/or admire and am inspired by. Honestly, for me I blog about what I want to write about and hopefully to remind people to stay positive. As long as I stay true to that, I hit publish!ReplyDelete
Katie, I couldn't agree with you more! On that note, I always enjoy meeting the person behind the blog, too. It gives more meaning to their blog when you can relate that to what they are like in person. And positivity and trueness to oneself are HUGE when it comes to blogging. Especially the trueness! Everyone has their down days once in awhile, and I think it's okay to share that in moderation. But there is really no substitute for trueness!Delete
I agree with a lot of these do's/dont's. I am just glad you didn't say no randomness/variety blogs - lol.ReplyDelete
I like to read content that is genuine and I also like people who don't take themselves too seriously. I am not a fan of straight on running blogs that only talk about running... especially the my pace was x and I am disappointed to have run x distance so much faster than the average person for the millionth time variety. Or the I ran 600 miles this week and have no idea how I got injured....And I get annoyed by "healthy living" bloggers who are promoting unhealthy or extreme behaviors.
I like a positive attitude and a bit of snark and to read blogs people who I feel like I would want to be friends with/get to know.
I like doing product reviews and giveaways which I know is a turn off for some people. I try to only showcase products I love/want to try and hope my readers get that sense.
I agree with Katie - if I feel like I wrote something that I would want to share and that comes from a good place, I am good with it.
Erica, I like randomness and variety, and I am all about people that don't take themselves too seriously. I also agree with you that variety is important. I have definitely seen running bloggers who get extremely technical with their running, and never write about anything else. It's like their blogs are just detailed training logs. And there are definitely some HLBs that promote some scary extremes. What bothers me, too, is that those HLBs get lots of comments in support of those extremes, too. Not good.Delete
With regards to product reviews and giveaways, I like them as long as they are something that the blogger themselves has sought out and is sharing because they generally like the product. That includes you! Not to mention that you've positioned your blog from the start to be one about great product finds, especially from small local companies. So those are all in your purview and I appreciate that! What I do not like is when bloggers promote products that clearly do not align with their point of view and may not even like, simply because they were approached by that company. There is one running blogger who frequently has sponsored posts and product reviews about random things like car rental agencies for example. That doesn't seem very relevant to running, especially if done frequently!
Oh - and I also like bloggers who engage/respond/return comments, etc!ReplyDelete
ME TOO. It makes a huge difference when bloggers spend the time getting to know their readers! What's the point of a blog if it's just one-sided? That's the big difference between journaling and blogging, in my opinion.Delete
This is such a great post, thanks for sharing! I tend to enjoy blogs that share genuine thought-provoking posts, but I still love reading those random blogs where the person just shares daily life. Pretty pictures are also fun to look at :) One of the things I absolutely cannot tolerate is constant whining/complaining ('woe is me' mentality). It drives me crazy! Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with whining (no one's life is perfect so it's ok!) but I've had to stop following a few blogs because every.single.post was about "the struggle". Personally, I read blogs for inspiration and positivity...because who needs more negativity in their life right?ReplyDelete
I also love bloggers who interact with their readers (i.e. respond to comments). It shows that they value their readers.
Thank you, Irina! I am all about genuine, thought-provoking blogs and I do appreciate pretty pictures, too! My photography skills are not great and most of my pictures are taken from my phone, so I appreciate and notice people who have good photography skills. It's such an art!Delete
I also get frustrated with the constant discussion about "the struggle." I couldn't agree with you more that it's okay to express your frustrations once in a while. I think it actually makes the blogger more human if they do, because I've seen the opposite extreme where bloggers were so sugary positive all the time that it didn't seem genuine. But if given the choice between the two, I'd definitely gravitate towards too much positivity versus too much negativity. Nobody needs more negativity in their lives!
YES on responding to comments and valuing readers! The interaction is the difference between blogging and journaling! If a comment goes into a black hole and never receives any type of acknowledgement, then it's not very inspiring to keep commenting, in my opinion.
"The struggle" - That's a great way to put it!! I never thought of it that way but that's definitely one of the things that turns me off from reading a blog.Delete
Yes on "the struggle"! While it is certainly understandable and expected that all of us go through tough times and challenges, it is again about keeping everything in moderation!Delete
There are a few blog that I really, really like and some that I really don't like. Those so called bloggers that do it for a "job" really irk me. They post about every single little thing (stupid stuff) and most of it is just sponsored stuff. Sure, I am going to believe what you write about the product when the company is giving you the stuff for free and/or compensating you. Plus, they're so darn lazy to proofread and edit their posts that then they're filled with typos. At a "real" job, stuff like that would get me in trouble. Sigh, I could go on and on about it. Call me a hater or jealous. Whatever. :-)ReplyDelete
Zenaida, I agree that some bloggers, usually full-time bloggers, really seem to be more focused on quantity of postings rather than the quality of postings. What's amazing, too, is how fascinated many readers seem to be about the details of their daily household chores, etc. I've also seen so many posts now that start out with the basic disclaimer that "I received this [item] from [company] in exchange for [sponsorship post]. All opinions are mine." Hello, poster child!Delete
And yes - it must be nice to be able to post with reckless abandon without having to be concerned about someone giving you performance reviews for your work. I think this is why so many people want to start their own business, and for a select few, blogging is one way to do so. (BTW - I've heard some folks joke about meteorologists having it good because they don't have to worry too much about getting things perfectly right, LOL)
The meteorologist comment made me laugh!Delete
Hehe, glad you liked it. =) Although, I am sure professional meteorologists would bristle at my suggestions! The grass is always greener elsewhere, isn't it?Delete
do not forget to visit back friendsReplyDelete