What do you look for in a blog?

question markI read a large number of blogs on a wide variety of subjects in different niches.  Aside from subject matter there are some things that are likely to encourage me to become a regular reader.  That line of thinking made me wonder about my readers.
What do you look for in a blog?
Which blog features are must haves?
What does it take to entice you into becoming a regular reader?

I’m inviting you to add to the list I have begun below.

The Blogger

The character of the blogger is the most important thing to me. I like to feel there’s a real person behind the words reaching out to me, to move and touch me with their own unique experience and vision of life.

  • is an authentic person who is both passionate and knowledgeable about their topic without being condescending
  • is original with a feisty spirit of can do
  • provides a profile and a statement of purpose for the blog
  • states how frequently new content is usually published
  • provides links to sites with high quality resources in posts and in blogroll
  • provides contact information
  • responds to readers’ comments

When it comes to the blogs that I return to again and again, just to see what’s new, it is inevitably because the author has captured my interest.

The Theme

  • minimalist, non-cluttered design
  • attractive
  • pleasing and restful to the eye
  • frames content
  • intuitive and easily navigated
  • provides a way to subscribe by RSS feed and/or email

The Blog

  • content is front and center
  • uncluttered sidebars
  • easy to use commenting  setup
  • lacks distracting pop-ups or auto-play music
  • lacks advertising
  • or has minimal advertising and placement of advertising does not outrank the placement of blog content

The Content

I look for common sense, researched information and true feelings expressed.

  • an attention grabbing title that accurately reflects the content
  • original and unique
  • focused
  • is free of typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors
  • post length preferences vary from reader to reader – some prefer brevity  and simplicity- content presented in bullet points –  structured in  short paragraphs with space between them, others prefer longer more comprehensive posts
  • has substance
  • is updated regularly
  • informs or teaches me something
  • entertains  me
  • contains humor (clean)
  • inspires me
  • challenges me
  • contains an invitation to participate in discussion and helps readers  add to the content of the post, so everyone benefits
  • has a graphic or photo to add some visual interest
  • quality writing and stimulating content, presented without distraction
  • high quality writing written in an engaging style that flows
  • contains links  for verifiability, acknowledgment, examples, and context.

Quirk. Eccentricity. Genius. Content I won’t find anywhere else.

That extra ‘something’ of time, effort, engagement, competence, caring, a world view that is worth respecting – those are the kinds of things I look for in a blog.

Appreciation for the contributing bloggers:
Sandra Lee
Mark Armstrong
Dave Bonta
yun yi

Related posts found in this blog:

Building a blog with readers in mind
Blogging: How to lose me as a reader
Minimalist Blogging: Strip it!

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