There is just nothing better than finding a new blog that you instantly fall in love with and want to inhale all of the content and words of wisdom from the author. It’s a buzzy feeling and finding such a blog doesn’t happen every day. So at this point you may be wondering what makes me go all out, grab a cup of tea and binge read a blog until my heart is content. Here’s a few things that grasp my attention (and have me coming back for more!).
CLEAN, EASY-TO-NAVIGATE PROFESSIONAL LAYOUT
I realise that this point may make me come across as superficial but in my opinion – especially in the blogosphere – appearances matter and if you’re serious about your blog, you’ll invest money in making sure it has a snazzy template*. Also in my experience, finding a swanky template doesn’t have to be expensive, I picked mine up for around £40 and the options to modify the layout are endless. In the internet world where themes and templates come in, £40 really isn’t much (although being a new graduate, I totally get that not everyone has spare cash!).
*Disclaimer: If you’ve not got your own template or domain etc, this doesn’t mean that I’d write your blog off – of course I wouldn’t, content is ultimately what matters but first I’ve got to get there. When I click on your blog, the first thing that my eyes take in is the layout, the template, the branding, obviously if it’s looking like the bees knees, my attention is going to be grasped in double time.
No I’m not talking about your actual voice – although I’m sure that is lovely too! What makes me want to explore your older posts is if I can easily identify in your writing that you’re being honest, that you’re passionate about what you’re writing about and ultimately you’re really being you – JUST YOU…even if you want to drop the F-bomb every now and then – that is totally fine by me. I really don’t mind what you do or how you write as long as I can feel that I am somehow getting to know a bit about the real person behind the writing.
SUBSTANTIAL WORD LENGTH
This one really is down to personal preference and will vary from blogger to blogger. Typically most people are busy bees and don’t have time to be reading super long posts – a lot of people are also guilty of skim-reading on occasions *I’m holding my hands up here too!*. BUT, in my opinion, the longer the better (as long as it’s not fluffed up unnecessarily). It’s hard to know what the magic number is because really it depends on what you’re writing about but personally I aim for at least 800 words. If a post is too short, I’m likely to think 1 of 3 things…1) you don’t have much of an opinion on whatever it is you’re writing about, 2) you’re just trying to get your post count up…quality over quantity wins every time! or 3) you can’t be bothered to write a full post. Yikes! This all sounds harsh doesn’t it?!
NOT JUST IN IT FOR THE FREEBIES
In my opinion, you can tell a mile off when a blogger is just a blogger for the sake of the freebies. I’m talking about brands who kindly send their epic shiz to bloggers to review. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with bagging yourself some free goodies and/or getting paid to do something that you enjoy. BUT, if your content goals are just to review, review, review…then chances are I’m going to identify this within seconds and click that little X. I have zero problems with anyone doing sponsored posts etc (as long as it is disclosed!) but if every single post is an advert of some description, unless I’m looking for a specific product review, I’m not personally going to get anything of interest from your blog. I’m sorry if that sounds brutal but if I’m being honest here, I’m talking about what makes me binge read and this factor is a huge no no.
PEARLS OF WISDOM
This is the big one and the one that is likely to steal my attention for hours. You’re you, a blogger, an individual…and probably a whizz kid in other ways like graphic design or reading literature. That means you’ve got something to say, you’ve got experiences, stories to tell…words of wisdom. We’ve all got something to share, even things that we think are insignificant may be really helpful to your reader. Take blogging for example, tell me what you do after you click publish, how you grew your following, how you edit your blog photos, how you stay on top of things…anything goes – just tell me what works for you, I might be able to take something from your system. What I’m getting at is that everyone has something of value to bring to the table and seeing as I’m not a) a genius or b) a robot, my way of doing things may not always be the best way so please share your secrets and methods with me! If I’m reading a blog and I can see that the author has advice or relatable experiences/ventures then I’m much more likely to click from blog post to blog post.
If your blog follows these steps, there is a high chance if I come across it that I will read a lot of your posts – not just your most recent. If it doesn’t, this doesn’t mean I think your blog isn’t worthy, we all have preferences and goals and these points are just things that I personally look for. What about you? I’d love to hear what draws you into binge reading a blog and what you think of the points I’ve made. Feel free to leave a comment below!