Friday, March 7, 2014

Seven Things I Love About Your Blog




I have a blog. Maybe you do too. My blog happens to have recently had a Lent-related explosion of popularity. But don't worry, I'm not going to get too big for my britches. I'm not even going to talk about my blog today. Today, I'm going to tell you the things I love about YOUR blog.














1. It Has Content

Maybe some days your blog is about your field trip to the cracker factory or a bunch of pictures of a particularly crazy bug you saw, but it's not ALWAYS about that. Your blog isn't all mashed potatoes, it's also meat. You write content. You share your opinions. 




I don't have to always agree with you. Sometimes it's even better if I don't. If I always agree with you, when I comment it has to be something like "Awesome, this is so great." When I don't agree with you, I get to try to craft the perfect comment that will change your whole worldview and entertain you while doing it. So fun.

Sometimes you share reviews and giveaways with your readers, but those aren't the majority of your posts. When I click over to your blog, I know I'm going to get to read something worth reading.

2. It Doesn't Hate Comments

Speaking of comments . . . Captcha. How I do hate thee. I'll carefully two-finger type out one of those finely crafted comments mentioned above, hit publish, then -- BAM. I have to prove I'm not a robot. I already wrote a WHOLE POST proving that I'm not a robot. I don't think I should have to squint at those dumb little numbers.



So then I have to decide, do I take a stand against captcha and just navigate away? Do I teach that blog a lesson it'll never know about? But what if I really LIKE my comment?

YOU don't do that to me. YOU understand that I don't need that kind of angst. You are willing to put up with the spam comments, because you are a BLOGGER and that's what bloggers do.

Pro tip (because I like you so much): ever since I disabled anonymous comments I get almost NO spam. It's an extra step for people once, to sign up for an account, but then it's all one step commenting after that.

3. It Makes Me Feel Connected to You



Look! It's my
friend Bonnie!
I love that reading your blog makes me feel like I actually know you. I like that there's a picture of you on the sidebar so that I have a face to put with the stories. Also, your email address is there, just in case I'd like to get in touch. Even though I probably won't. It's just nice to know it's there.
Yay! It's my friend Haley!


I really, really, really (did I mention, really?) like that you don't have cutesy nicknames for your kids. If your children are named Pete, and Susie, and Peggy, I think it's really swell if you call them Pete, and Susie, and Peggy on your blog. I'm okay with you calling them Steve, and Clara, and Katie on your blog. I'm fine with you just not mentioning them, if that's not the kind of blog you write.

I'm just so very glad that you understand how awkward it is for your readers if you insist upon calling them The Conductor, and Smarty Pants, and Miss Wigglebottom. I just. I just can't write those "names" in a comment.

I'm so glad there are no walls between us.

4. It's Nice to Look At

I like that your blog is uncluttered. It has some some open space. Your sidebars aren't crammed full of pictures of other people's blogs and buttons for blog awards that are really just chain letters. You have some ads if you must. You grab a button or two for a favorite link-up. You display an award of which you are particularly proud (I do) but overall, you have a professional, uncluttered look.

You would never randomly center your text. You know that centered text is disconcerting and hard to read. Your posts have a readable font, short paragraphs, uniform formatting, and are illustrated with something. Your own photos, memes, whatever. Reading nothing but words seems like homework. 


5. It Displays a Certain 
Command of the Written Word

Proofreading. You do it. You ask someone else to read it. Maybe you even sit on it for a day before you hit publish. But you don't write posts full of errors. Because that would drive people nuts.



Blogging is fun and community and interaction, but first and foremost it is writing. It's more casual than some writing, certainly. Sometimes, we bloggers use funny made up words or sentence fragments so that our posts will read more like speech. More like talking to a friend. (See what I did there?) 

But I know how hard you try to write well and to avoid spelling and punctuation errors. I appreciate your efforts.

By the way, I realize that typing this paragraph virtually guarantees that there are spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors in this post. It would be lovely if you would email me to point them out.

6. It Appears to be Written by a Lady 

Some folks seem to feel the need to prove to the world that they're not just one of those lame Catholic Mom Bloggers by peppering their posts with . . .



You're not like that. Your sophisticated command of the English language means you have thousands, nay, tens of thousands of words at your disposal. I love reading all of them.

Also, you almost never tell stories about poop. 

7. It's Fun

This is probably what I love the most about your blog. Maybe it's laugh out loud funny, or maybe it's just sweet. But it never takes itself too seriously.

You know how to discuss important topics without weighing them down. You know that just because practicing our faith and raising our families are the most important things we'll probably ever do doesn't mean we have to be big ol' downers about it.


So that's it. That's why I love your blog. Keep up the good work.

For more blogging advice, check out what Bonnie and Grace have to say on the subject. And for more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary.



SHARE THIS POST - {PINTEREST}

45 comments:

  1. Nice. I feel so validated ;-) When I read your blog title, I actually thought you were offering to review your commenters' blogs. This made so much more sense.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooo...I follow all of these, except I am guilty of the randomly centered text. I didn't realize it's hard to read. I don't really think it is, but I'm considering changing it.

    Also I'm thinking about fonts. And line spacing. Your lines are spaced further apart than normal. Do you compose in Word or another word program and use a 1.5 spacing? What line spacing do you use?
    -Amelia@OneCatholicMama

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amelia, I read your blog, and I have never thought that it was difficult to read. Then again I am "guilty of randomly centered text", too. I think your blog is enjoyable to read. :)

      Delete
    2. I'm actually not sure about the spacing Amelia. It isn't something I've done intentionally. I often compose in the notepad app that came on my iPad, then cut and paste it into blogger. Maybe that's why. Or maybe it was built in my by blog re-designer. I don't know.

      Delete
  3. Under the photo about grammar, the second sentence uses the word "that" when I think you meant "than". I'm only pointing this out because you invited us to. I have this freaky quirk that makes it hard for me to miss errors on other blogs but I always end up with something wrong on my own. Something about the splinter in someone else's eye while ignoring the plank in your own, unintentionally!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh man. This is such a timely post, considering that just!last!week! I finally got the go-ahead to stop using the lame pseudonyms and use real names! Hurray! I feel like you can love me now. =)

    If you wouldn't mind (and have the time...), if you could check out my little blog and give me suggestions? Maybe? My e-mail address is on the sidebar. I would truly appreciate it- I'm a feedback junkie!

    Have a happy Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Kendra, I'm a recent follower and a bit of a blogger and a Catholic convert. I am enjoying getting to know you, your faith and your family. Thanks for this post, I think these is a great overview of what we all look for in a blog. Now off to reassess mine :-) Warm Regards, Tammie
    tammie@ttedesigns.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I couldn't concentrate on the blog part of your blog because your jewelry is so amazing.

      Delete
  6. I've been debating over the nicknames since we do call our children them regularly. I learned a lot about where I am in blogging by the seven day challenge. My focus right now is too build up my que with content posts, so that I can fluff it up every now and then. Any tips you send are appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I also got a big surge of people on Ash Wednesday. (My favorite search term was "Is Ash Wednesday a holy day of navigation?")

    Although I've been writing blog posts for other people for a living for awhile, this is my first time handling the "back end" of a blog so I'm still learning as I go.

    And I still have so much to figure out! For example, how do I make it so that, when I comment here, there's a picture of my face and my name instead of just my URL?

    Also, my blog automatically sends comments from people who have never commented into the moderation queue. Is that as bad at having a captcha?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have been reading your blog for about a year now. I enjoy it very much.

    This post is interesting to me because I am not sure how to take it. Is it just an opinion post about what you look for in a blog or is it meant to be a blogging tips post like Bonnie's and Grace's? I think Bonnie makes a great point in #5, "Know why you're blogging". Grace sums it up with her #10, "It's just a blog". I think the comment from Charlotte (WaltzingM) in Grace's post is great. Her advice is to "Blog like nobody's reading. Blog for yourself first."

    While I agree with a lot of your points here, it is important for me to remember that if I write and design my blog for other people then I am working for them. In my opinion, that does not sound like fun. If I wanted Catholic mom fame or to make a lot of money, I know that I would have to write more content and try harder to be funny. I will never be able to brag about a large readership or an endorsement or book deal, but that was never my goal in the first place.

    I blog for my family and friends. They do not mind endless pictures of our field trips and nature walks, or my garden and knitting projects. Honestly, that is what I look for in the blogs I read, as well. I like to read about other happy homeschooling families that share similar interests. In real life, my Catholic homeschool community is very small, so it is nice to meet other families through their blogs. I don't want every post I read to be a "how to" tutorial or manipulating my thoughts on a certain topic. Since I usually don't want to read posts like that, I usually do not write posts like that either.

    My blog is my space. I can not make everyone happy, and I am not going to wear myself out trying.

    Sorry my comment is so long. I just wanted to work out my thoughts about this subject. When I read blogging tips, I sometimes get the feeling that I am doing it all wrong. It is good for me to take a moment to remind myself that there are not many set in stone rules to blogging correctly. If anything, there are suggestions for the bloggers that want fame and fortune and suggestions for the rest of us that just want to feel connected to other people that have similar interests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This post is about what *I* like on people's blogs. Do with that information what you like. I'm sure other people have other opinions. :0)

      Delete
  9. Eeek. I fail at so many of your loves. But, this is good for me, as someone new to blogging and wholly computer illiterate, it is good for me to get a feel for what others appreciate. Though, you can't please everyone, and what someone likes is not necessarily what others like. I don't feel like you meant this as a "everyone who blogs must follow these rules 100%" post, but as more of a "This is what I like in blogs I read" post, hense the title.

    All that being said, I think these are great suggestions and I will spend sometime this weekend re-vamping my little blog! Hopefully.

    Also, do you know how I can make it say my name when I comment instead of my stupid blog title that is missing a letter totally unintentionally. (How is that for proof-reading fail). Maybe I should just totally start over. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you need to create a Blogger profile. I have profiles for Blogger, Disqus, and Wordpress so my little photo shows up on all the different kids of blogs.

      Delete
  10. Oh, Captcha. OH, CAPTCHA. DIE.
    ~ Country Girl's Daybook, recently: These things I love (vol. 4) http://bit.ly/1fbGB3c

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow. I'm feeling a little defensive after reading this. Like maybe you came to my blog and wrote this post. hahah! Oh, well. Can't win them all.

    I will still read you. I think to each her own with blogs, because it shows our personality so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry! That wasn't my intention. I still read plenty of blogs that don't do all these things. But I really like it when they do. :0)

      Delete
  12. Awesome. This is so great. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so with you about Captcha! It's such a pain! And most blog software is good enough these days that there's hardly any spam that makes it past the filter anyway. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fun and Inspiring! Loved also seeing your Marine. I have one too. The Marine Corps can make being Catholic quite lonely. Mine is in the Reserves though and just a little longer till he's out. How about yours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Marine has been out since 2001, but once a Marine always a Marine, right?

      Delete
    2. My dad is a retired Colonel in the Marines. He's amazing. God Bless your dear men and God Bless America!!

      Delete
  15. Ughhh Captcha! It's the worst. I've tried to kindly suggest to a few blogging friends that they remove it, but no one listens.

    On a related topic, one thing I love to see in the COMMENTERS on my blog is when they link their comment to an e-mail address, and I can actually e-mail them back to respond to them personally (especially when they have a question for me). I wish everyone would do this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Christine! This is so true. I have gotten pretty good about tapping the name to see if it has a real email address attached before I write an email response now, but before I figured that our, I wrote many a response to "no-reply."

      And now, when people ask me a question, and I reply in the comments, I always wonder if they ever came back to see it.

      Delete
    2. This! It's why I switched to intensedebate for comments (which was super-easy once I actually disabled the mobile site, which kept throwing it off) - no captcha, and people are prompted to enter their email addresses. I figure if they don't enter them, they must not want to have a response emailed to them, but there are soooooo many bloggers who USED TO have their email addresses linked who don't anymore!

      I blame Google.

      Also, guilty on the centered text (because I like how it looks with the pictures, buuuut I see your point) and poop. All the poop. But I blame my hilarious 3-year-old, who is always talking about poop. And also I clearly have the sense of humor of a toddler.

      Delete
    3. Well Rosie, six out of seven ain't bad! I hadn't considered outsourcing comments.

      Delete
  16. I loved your approach. Not just a 7 tips to a better blog. Thanks, Kendra!

    ReplyDelete
  17. On the topic of feeling like "I know you"... I woke up this morning from a dream in which my family was meeting your family at a basketball game and I was trying to figure out how to treat you since I felt like I knew you so well and you had no idea who I was. The problem, I guess, of "lurkers" who don't have blogs. But I do love reading your blog... and thus you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for occasionally stopping over at my blog even almost none of these apply to my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Why thank you, Kendra. I think your blog is swell, too. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. This was great!! I'm reconsidering my use of nicknames on my (still new to the world) blog...but I'm still hesitant about names! Maybe initials? I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen that some bloggers have just changed their kids' names on their blog, calling Bobby Johnny. No nicknames, and no one is any the wiser!

      Delete
    2. I have initials but now I want to do cutesy nicknames just to be an outsider...just kidding!

      Delete
  21. Cool. Those are the things I enjoy in a blog, too. I just started blogging, and while there is so much to learn about the format etc, what I care about most is content. I think I need to develop a system for working on ideas before posting them. What do you do? I have you listed on my blog http://clairesacrificeofpraise.blogspot.com/. I would be very happy if you stopped by!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Loved your post, looks like we have very similar 'loves', I list mine as writing style, content and presentation
    http://sevenlittleaustralians.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/what-makes-blog-captivating.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. Re: your #1. I've been thinking a lot lately about how there seems to be a swing away from having giveaways to having lists of tips and tricks and what-not that makes it pinnable. And then there's blogs that focus on the crazy life of a sahm. Really I think my favorite blogs do giveaways, tips and tricks, talk about the craziness - but then there's some thoughtful essays too, or at least links to other blogs that have thoughtful posts!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm new to the blogging world, and before I jumped in a read a couple of posts by Dwija and Grace that share very similar ideas about blogging. So I love posts like this. It's good for us newbies. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That pretty much sums up my feelings on blogs (and I'm hoping mine falls under these categories, too), but when I think of it, I realize how different each one I read is. Bottom line, I like variety, even in one blog (not just amongst them), and I love how there is so much out there to choose from!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think in the past this would have offended me but now whatever. I agree with your points on why you like to read certain blogs. I know I'm not a big blogger which makes it so much easier to roll with it and not stress. And I enjoy reading all the cool blogs (like yours!) too. I'm a pretty lazy blogger though so maybe if I put effort into it, I could bring in more readers. I'll have to think about this.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi, Kendra! I really appreciated this post. As a new blogger (at "Out of Wonder"), I'm glad to hear your tips on design, and it's also refreshing to find another stickler for proper writing and manners out there -- I love #5 and #6. This is my first time commenting, but I've been enjoying your blog since I came upon it a couple of months ago. My son is only four months old, but I'm looking forward to incorporating some of your ideas for celebrating the liturgical year into our family life as he gets older.

    ReplyDelete
  28. These are all the things I love about your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great points here Kendra, I really like that you shared what you like. I've been blogging for over 8 years now and this definitely gives me something to ponder :) God Bless you!

    ReplyDelete

Have an opinion? Leave a comment.

We don't always have to agree, where's the fun in that? But no name calling or speculating about what people "really" think or mean.

Sorry, no more anonymous comments. Too much spam/unpleasantness!

Including a link? Then use your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

 
SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS