I tend to follow blogs and tags, and when I find a blog I like I hit the ‘follow’ button. Almost every day, I go to my reader and read posts by the people I follow, then I hit my tags and look for new authors.
But what draws you to a blog? What gets you to hit that ‘follow’ button?
So in no particular order, here’s a few of the top things I look for in a blog before I hit ‘follow’.
- Content: Obviously, the content has to interest me. But even if the subject doesn’t necessarily interest me, if the author can present it in a way that is entertaining or interesting, that will get me to read on and possibly hit the ‘follow’ button.
- Switch Up: This kind of relates to the first point, but it’s slightly different. I tend to like blogs that post about different things. Sure, themed blogs are awesome, but it’s nice to read personal posts or see pictures or something different now and then. I also like learning about the author – not in a stalking-like way but in an interested person sort of way. I try to do this in my blog as well, because I find it so important when I’m looking at blogs.
- Easy to read: I like blogs that are easy to read and navigate. It might be because I’m inherently lazy, but I don’t want to struggle to read your post against a harsh background or have no way to navigate through your content. I’m also beginning to hate the small comment box in some themes. As you’re typing, the box is unbelievably thin and you can’t see what you wrote before the current line you’re typing. Maddening!
- The author cares: I think you can tell when a blogger cares about their audience. When they write about a topic they provide links, do research and talk to their readers. These little things really draw me in. Sometimes it’s the little things about a blog that I love.
I’ve read through blogs that tell people what they should do to create a great blog, and I’m sorry…but some of their tips I don’t care about.
Here’s two examples:
Pictures: Honestly, if you provide me with food-for-thought, make me laugh, make me think, make me cry (or sniffle…I don’t cry…honest) and there’s no picture, I don’t care. Pictures are over-rated in my opinion. I do like seeing pictures but they’re certainly not what makes me ultimately follow a blog.
In those cases I’m all for the pictures.
Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimizing your blog for search engines might be a great tip, but I find it makes many blogs unreadable. I don’t want to see the same search engine catch-phrase sprinkled throughout your blog post. It’s obvious and annoying. Just write what you want and let Google do with it what it will. That’s what I think anyways, although I’m probably 100% wrong.
So what sorts of things get you to hit the ‘follow’ button?