Sep 9, 2014

Writing Blog Posts that Folks Will Read

Part One 

Ever wonder wish your blog got more traffic or that folks read what you wrote?  Me too!

There are a LOT of blogs out there and the chances are slim that most folks have the time to stop and read any of our blogs.  With smart phones and feedly and the like, a lot of folks “just look at the pictures” and maybe skim the words.  There are a bunch of blogs I put in that category.  I get all I want from scanning the pictures.  They are amazing!

But there are some blogs, mostly crafty, but some that are not, that I always take the time to read the words.  The author has something to say that I find interesting or challenging or useful, and says it well.  In fact, some blogs have writing that is more compelling that the cards displayed... .

Here’s why I read some blogs.  Basically, it comes down to what do you have to say and why do I want to read it?  And, second, how well do you say it?   I do not care if the blogger posts every day or once a month.  

Some blogs are interesting

Example:  I read a couple of blogs written by folks whose lives revolve around their faith/religion.  This is interesting to me.  There are many times I want to reach through the screen and react. I don’t share the bloggers’ faith/religion, but the details are fascinating and thought provoking. 
 
Some blogs teach me something I didn't know and want to learn.

Example:  “I placed the bling here because…”  “I tried out two black inks and compared them.  Here are the results.”  “Here’s how you can combine mini apple pies with the this stamp set.”  “Do the following with your camera and your pictures will improve.”

Oh, I didn't know that.  Thanks! (Off to find some mini apple pies…)

Some blogs are funny.

Some folks crack me up.  Period.  I don’t care what their cards look like.  They make me smile.  For free. 

Some blogs are honest without dragging me down.

I like open and refreshing – up to a point. 

Example:  Blogger writes that she can’t post all the time and take care of her kids and water the lawn.  She’s tired or doesn't have the discretionary income to devote to stamping that others have.  I get that. I can relate.  It makes the blogger a real human.

Example:  Blogger’s husband is stationed overseas in a war zone.  She writes about that experience.  It is interesting and honest.  It strains her marriage and is tough on the kids.  Her life isn't perfect.  Her cards may be, but her life is not.
 
Example:  Blogger mentions on a regular basis that her marriage is in trouble/stamp companies release too many products/dies cost too much/kid got arrested.  It’s honest.  Sharing the down moments in our lives can connect with me, but a constant drum beat of negativity rings turns me away.  I'm already a glass half empty person.  I need your water to fill me up, not an open plug to drain my glass.  
 
Example:  A blogger shares her son’s serious illness, providing updates.  I connect. I care and am interested.  It is heartbreaking, but doesn't drag me down –it provides me an opportunity to know the person and connect to another human being.  Life, contrary to Facebook, isn't one happy status report after another.

So those are the things that make me want to read a blog.  

How about you?  What makes you want to read – really read – a blog???


Coming Up:  Part Two (Editing your own words so folks will want to read them.)

31 comments:

  1. LOL! I always read your blog posts, but the title on this one will definitely draw attention! I agree with everything here.

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  2. I am glad I get your blog posts by e-mail. I read them and sometimes share your words with my husband. I don't read every blog I come across. Sometimes I just skim the pictures. I like your words. Thanks.

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  3. I like your blog for the artwork as well as the commentary. I find you have a great way with words. :)

    Cathy

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  4. You nailed it on the head for me. I browse a lot of blogs but there's only a few I actually read. Usually it's the people who share a bit about themselves that get my attention.

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  5. Great post. I enjoy your honesty, wit, and cards!

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  6. I loved reading this post! It made me think ! Thanks!

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  7. yup, I agree with all your points.

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  8. What makes me want to read a blog is the same as what makes me want to read a book; the first few sentences have to "grab" me somehow. Humor is a good way to get me to keep reading. The pictures may draw me in but a sense of humor will keep me there.
    Or if the text is a tutorial about the card or project i will stay and read. After reading some entries by the same blogger I get a feel for if the blogger is someone I can relate to, and if so, I keep coming back.
    For instance, your sharing about your Mom Joan was something I relate to as I currently care for my elderly Mom. You share with such honesty and humor i kept coming back. You cards are pretty, i love your style and feel i could CASE your stuff or pick up an idea for colors or layout and translate it easily i to my own projects. So i keep coming back.
    I know you are not looking for compliments or an ego stroke by asking this question. Using your posts as an example is a clear way of stating what I like. A mix of humor and real life struggles ( without being constantly negative) and pretty card projects that you explain how you made, and that are on the clean and simple side😄

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    1. thanks. I never know what to say when someone tells me that she is taking care of her Mom. You would think I would know, but I never know whether to encourage, sympathize, or just acknowledge. So I'll say I hear you. It's hard but sometimes life throws us stuff! Thanks for your thoughts on the blog also.

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  9. Interesting. You are interesting to read. I tend to think people don't want to hear about the ever-mounting workday stress that's draining the life and creativity out of me, so I leave that out, but I agree that a little "real life" makes a blogger easier to relate to. I also like to read the "why" as well as the "what" in a stamping post. I like to know what inspired them, what they were thinking as they stamped, where their head is currently in regard to their creativity. Know what I mean? There are folks, particularly beginners, who want to know every detail so they can learn, and there are folks who simply like to look, and then there are those (kind of like me) who like to feel the blogger is sharing their stamping experience (put that in italics) in their post. It's hard to give all to everyone without making a post intimidatingly long. I guess that's where staying true to oneself comes in. Blog genuinely and it will be a whole lot easier and the readers who enjoy you will stay with you. That said, I don't think I've been doing such a good job lately. Think back to the stress I mentioned... It changes one. I hope I can survive till a year from now when I take early retirement. I typed your ear off, but, see, you made me think. That's a good blog post.

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    1. I'll listen to your job woes! I get it. I do I do!! Good thoughts Leslie! Thanks

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  10. I had never read a blog until I started making cards and somehow found the wonderful community of card makers online. I started reading card maker's blogs to learn, so the only blogs I would read were the ones that took the time to explain the process they used for making the card they were displaying. That habit has remained with me even though I've learned about most of the techniques by now. I still want to know the "how" of any card I take the time to look at. On some of the blogs I read, the bloggers share personal and family stuff and others just keep it to the cards. I don't really care either way. I'm there for the cards and info relating to the cards and the personal stuff doesn't matter to me one way or the other since it's more likely than not that I'll never meet that person or become friends with them. Now don't get me wrong, I do believe that it is possible to meet someone via the Internet and become friends. I have met several people that I consider to be friends through Internet groups, etc. But for my blog reading, I don't have the time let alone the interest in reading too much of the personal business of every blogger whose cards I might like to learn about. Of course, if a blogger has a great writing style, that's a plus. And it's always great when they can bring a smile to my face or even better make me laugh out loud, but that's not really why I read a blog. I don't read other kinds of blogs and time is limited, so if a blog doesn't fill my "card making needs/wants" I don't stay subscribed for long. And just an additional thought about not really being interested in the personal life of the blogger. I pretty much see blogs as a "one way street" where the blogger does all the talking. Yes, you can leave a comment, but how often does that become a "conversation". Depending on how much the blogger wants to share, the reader may feel they are getting to know the blogger, but with only a comment here or there, the blogger is not really getting to know the reader. So, to each his own, but I have better things to do than get involved in the personal life of some blogger who is really only there for his or her own furtherance. The comments left on most blogs I see are are usually senseless anyway. I get so sick of the overly complimentary comments that most readers leave on card maker's blogs. I'm sorry, but every card maker is not a genius nor is every card maker the "most talented" person alive. And even when looking at the cards of some of the best card makers not every single one of their cards is great. They all put out average cards most of the time, but it's the one or two really great cards they put out every now and then that put's them on their pedestal. I've never been one for hero worship anyway, and it just seems like too many craft bloggers live for the praise they receive from all the little "wannabes" reading their blogs. And no, I don't have a blog. It really does amaze me how many craft/card blogs, let along all the other kinds of blogs there are out there. I guess it's just another sign of our narcissistic society with so many people thinking they have something to say that others should be interested in!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to respond. You are right -- having a blog definitely is a narcissistic activity! You are just so "out there." Good points.

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    2. Hi Joan,

      After I posted my earlier comment I thought that maybe I shouldn't have been so "out there" as you called it! :) But, I have come to pretty much always call it like I see it and I stand by my words. I know in this overly politically correct world that many won't like what I say, but I can take their disagreement.

      My comment was so long that I forgot to tell you that I do enjoy your blog most of the time. I used to read your other blog and have to admit that you did pull me into the story of taking care of your mom even though, as I said, I normally don't care to read much personal stuff about bloggers' lives. I lost my mom way too early in my life and she died of a sudden heart attack as did my dad 4 years later, so I never had to deal with taking care of aging or sick parents. My heart goes out to all the care givers out there whether it be due to serious illness of a family member or aging parents.

      Take care and thanks for the feedback on my comment!

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    3. Your comment was totally appropriate. Thanks for taking the time to make it! I'm sorry to read about your parents. Some things are so very tough.

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  11. I read your blog because of all of the points you have alluded to in your September 10th post. Thank you, Joan.

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  12. I totally agree! I used to read your other blog and am so glad I found this one.

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  13. I do subscribe to A LOT of blogs (just like I buy stamping product), but I really only take the time to almost faithfully read a few. Yours is one of them. A few of the other commenters have ones I read. And there are few others that fit the categories you described. Working full time, doesn't leave much time for anything else. Thanks for keeping the interest in this hobby for me.

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    1. I subscribe by e-mail to a few Blogs, maybe 6 or 7, each for a different reason. Birgit's art always stuns me, and I will be subscribed as long as she posts, even though she doesn't say much and I often can't figure out how she achieved what she did. I'm just as passionate about your writing. If you never posted any cards, I would still come here. If you wrote a book, I would buy it and give it to everyone I know, because you are gutsy and honest, and thoughtful. Thank you for being you!

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    2. I agree about Birgit. Gorgeous stuff and thank you for your kind words!

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  14. Well, Joan, I have to confess, I mostly look at the pictures when I get a chance to blog-surf! But I *read* yours because you make me laugh! I'm feeling guilty after reading this post, however, because I am usually "all business" on my blog. For one thing, my life is basically boring, punctuated by brief periods of panic and craziness. And I guess way back when I started a blog and DID have time to actually read blogs, I was taken aback by the ones that seemed like soap operas. Still, I knew that it was that person's blog, and that person could say anything she chose on her own blog. (Yours has NEVER seemed that way, BTW.) I think that's one reason I avoided being a "real person" on my blog. Maybe part of it is just laziness, or habit, or whatever. But you have made me think about it, and you are GREAT at that--making people think about things without sounding "preachy" or "teachy" about it. There. I did it. I opened up. . . (on someone else's blog). ;-} Have a wonderful day, Joan!

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    1. I'm honored that you even glance at my blog!!!! I love you Debbie. You are such a class act. Say nothing or everything (not) about your persona life on your blog, I'll always read every word of your blog and gaze at your cards!!!

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    2. {{{Joan!}}} I just now saw this. You are a DEAR. Yes, I was shouting, with a smile. . . ;-)

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  15. Do you "read" comments that are late to the reading of your posts? I don't automatically get any blog posts (don't know how to make it happen and probably would be overwhelmed if it did happen!) but when I want to sit and read blogs I read. I have 2 blogs on my "favorites bar"...yours is one of them...Simplicity is the other! Those two I read regularly...regularly is the key word and needs a definition! Regular, a time when I decide I want to read to understand rather than skim...

    Haven't read since Sept. 1, today I'm being regular and playing "ketchup" because I decided to read to understand. I enjoy your CAS and the tidbits that you include in your post.

    I don't care to read blogs that get "paid" to promote a company. I don't handle the difference between needs and wants very well yet in my life but I've been working on it the last 2 years and am doing much better than I used to. (Finished that with a prepositional phrase so I could make myself laugh as I'm not anyone more than a common folk but I know not to end a sentence with a prepositional phrase!)

    Thanks for continuing to post the money sense comments on Sunday, I need that as much as I need to see a card! kramomma

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    1. Yes, I get an email with each comment and gratefully read every one! Thanks so much for yours. I don't handle needs v. wants very well either, but we are trying, aren't we??

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  16. I'm obviously late to this party but thought I'd add my two cents. I glance at many blogs but actually only read a couple. I have to say that the writing style/persona is what grabs me. I love Susan's blogs (simplicity: the comparisons of inks, layout hints and the how's and why's in her creative process. Questioning my Intelligence: for her thought provoking commentary and wit). Your blogs (yes, even the previous ones) for the excellent balance of combining the stamping with a light dusting of personal, topped off with a wonderful wit. Pioneer Woman: love her writing. Personal, sarcastic, doesn't take herself too serious, all while being Wonder Woman.

    Words. Everyone can type them, but only a few excel at stringing them in a fashion that captures.

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  17. I'm a reader - the words are as, if not more, important to me as the pictures. I think you've probably covered all the bases in your post...
    I don't subscribe to many card-related blogs, because I don't want to be flooded with more than I can take in, and although life has been busier recently and sometimes I can only catch up once a week, I like to read each post through.
    p.s. - the link to the Absorber didn't work for me, but since I probably couldn't get it over here anyway, that's no big loss.
    p.p.s - I loved your Lovely Leaves card. I know you say markers and distress inks - but it has that lovely look of Polished Stone done with alcohol inks.

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