Learning blogging from others

Sunday, 20th February, 2011

28 Day Blog Challenge – Day 20

group_talking

Improving blog writing skills, for me, is not only about the “just do it” philosophy. It’s about research.

Since I started blogging I’ve been interested in other people’s blogs … how often they blog, their writing style, their general content, use of graphics, how many comments they get, etc. One of my actions during my 28 Day Blog Challenge has been to spend more time on research.

So far, my wanderings have usually taken me down the path of blogs within my own field of work; personal development, leadership, education, and business development. I’m getting more of an idea what I like to read about, the styles of presentation I prefer, and length of blog post I’m willing to spend time on. (NB The latter can also be dependent on how interesting the subject matter is!)

I keep reading how important it is to have a plan with your blog. This makes total sense for me, being in the field I’m in. So the shorter-term goal for the research is to come up with a blogging policy to help me formulate blogs in the future.

In  the meantime, here are some of the conclusions I’ve come to ….

1. Paragraph size If the paragraphs look too long it would put me off starting to read it, unless it’s a topic I’m really interested in and I have the time. I usually know when I visit Dan Rockwell‘s blog or Louise B-J‘s that I won’t have to struggle through lots of long paragraphs.

2. Clean look and feel When I arrive at a blog site/page I like to see space around the posts, rather than having to spend time searching to find where things start and finish. White space is best for readability (see Steve Riege) but I’ve also seen some that manage the clean look without being white.

3. Clearly identified Once I arrive at a blog, I want to see the post I’ve been directed towards (or the latest post), and not be distracted by adverts. There’s nothing wrong with using adverts, but I’d rather they don’t overpower the page.

4. Taking a peek! I also like the blog sites where you can see snippets of blogs, such as Tyrell Mara‘s, Craig Jarrow‘s or Vicki Berry‘s.

5. Visually pleasing Relevant content is #1 for me, but I’m very ‘visual’ and am drawn to blogs that are aesthetically pleasing! Monster Thinking‘s blog comes quite close. Blogs don’t always need to contain pictures, but if there’s one that can add to the content, I prefer it.

I’m still no expert and am continuing to learn from others, so I’d love to hear your experience / expertise on this area.

What do you look for in a good blog?

Does your own blog reflect your preferences?

Do you have a blogging plan? How useful have you found it?


(Photo courtesy of Renjith Krishnan)