I’ve often wondered what makes a “great blog.” Experts say that content is key; but really… what else besides content makes a blog worth reading? What else might be important for readers to see that will make them want to linger around your blog longer? How do “those” blogs get voted in the “top 50 of…”? While we all have target audiences for our blogs it would be nice if more people that saw your site actually stayed and looked around. Don’t you think?
During a recent discussion with my tribe on Triberr about making changes to a blog so it looks more appealing, I did a major brain dump of things that -in my humble opinion- make a blog worth reading. I subscribe to over 30 blogs that I mostly read daily with very limited time and they are all very different in the topics they cover (not just parenting and food blogs).
Working full time, running a household, and raising my kids means that I have very limited time dedicated to reading blogs and making comments; but I do it and enjoy it. So what makes me stay and read around someone’s blog? Four reasons:
- Good content. Your content must be something I am interested in and written well. I am not talking Wall Street Journal writing skills but decent is very important.
- Easy to read. If you have a dark colored background with a light font it’s probably a no-go for me. I rarely read more than half way through the post without exiting out. I’m sorry, but it’s difficult. If you have a white background with grey font make sure your font is very legible, because otherwise, it’s difficult.
- Easy to navigate. Can I find what I am looking for quickly? How do I contact you? Can I subscribe via email? How many hoops do I need to jump through to make a comment on a post?
- Appears “clean.” Are your sidebars crowded, unaligned, and distracting? While I know many of you monetize your site through sponsors and ads, there are ways to organize them so they don’t look messy.
I am not saying that my blog is perfect. However, I want to create an inviting place for you to read my posted opinions so that hopefully you’ll come back. Here is a quick suggestion to determine if you blog needs fine tuning: pull up your page and stand 2-3 ft back. Could a complete stranger (who doesn’t visit your site often) navigate through your site easily based on the four points above? Are the “buttons” on your sidebars distracting the reader from the post your wrote? If you are unsure that your blog could use some sprucing up; ask a friend for their constructive opinion. I also suggest you pull up your blog on a smart phone to see if someone can read your post. I often click on links shared on twitter on my phone while I am waiting in line (efficiency is key, right?).
Stay tuned for Wednesday’s post. It will give you line item suggestions of little things you can easily do that will make a huge difference. Don’t want to miss it? You can always subscribe or check out my Facebook page. In the mean time, another great post to visit is 5 Tips To Great Networking From Home.