Blogging has been a bit in the firing line recently. I have honestly been in a bit of no mans land when he came to sides, I could see it from all angles and having been on the debate team in my youth (yes I was a nerd!) I feel I could have a put across a valued argument for both blogger and blagger sides of the fence. Crikey I won the year 8 the debate for arguing that battery hen farming was a good thing (which it is not and I don’t believe) but I won the case all the same…maybe I should have been a lawyer?…Mmmmm *thinking*…anyhow I digress!
This week the stats revealed themselves again and whilst we all sit there and pretend we don’t care, secretly the inner nerd in all of us wants to be the A grade student. Maybe it is the teacher in me, but I am not happy with anything below a C! Maybe it is the perfectionist in me that strives for more? But truthfully I was a little gutted this week. That being said, I find it interesting how stats (as in page views and uniques) are not in the equation, a lot of it is based on in links. This is great as it means people are talking about you in their blog or website, but it then does not account for the readers who don’t blog.
So this got me thinking, there has to be more than stats that makes a good blog? We need to rediscover what is important here and that although we like the high grades, a blog can be good regardless of its stats (or so we hope, otherwise I am in trouble!). What gives a blog star quality, ensures it has the X Factor and makes people want to come back for more?
So I asked out on twitter and got some great responses. Plus I will be in the good books of those who responded as I have linked them in..so another stats for you there my lovelies!
Without further ado..
Ensuring the blog is personal and written from the heart of the author was a strong contender. Both the Boy and Me and Yummy Mummy Flabby Tummy both said that personalisation was key. Being able to relate and empathise and feel like you are amidst the family, like a fly on the wall. Readers want to feel they know you. Average Mum Rules said ‘A touch of humanness, non-preachy, empathetic, approachable’ which I think sums this up!
Newmumto2 said and I quote ‘ Yuck X Factor is boring, like over talking about how great your kids are!” She admits she does this and it made me laugh as I am sure we are all guilty of that but her tweet went onto explain that great stories and idea are needed. It can’t be the same and that people want to know the truth, the good and the bad days! It needed to be gripping. Mummy matters added that ‘the ability to transport you to a different time and place,’ reinforcing the idea that it portrays a gripping story.
Wit and humour came up by Stay at Home Dad and proud and although we can’t all be Mammy Woo’s and Northern Mum, who leave my sides splitting, a sense of humour is important. People want the truth yes, but they also want to know that you can see the funny side. Laughter is the best medicine so they say, and I know that a lot of my blog reading is to give me advice and make me feel better. I don’t want to always be left in a state of despair. That being said there is a time and place for heartfelt posts and humour is not always appropriate. It’s a judgement call.
Finding a niche is important to attracting readers, I suppose mine is the twin thing, but ensuring a variety of posts in my opinion helps to keep attention. I think I can be very guilty of maybe being a bit too bitty and also getting snowballed with reviews, which can sometimes be boring, but I do always make my reviews personal. I always try to include something that someone may comment on if they read it, but usually they just want the comp and fair play to that, and the fewer people who know about my hobbit feet the better hey? I am still learning to find the right balance of post to write and it is a learning curve. I know that I need to concentrate on my quality of writing and that is my new years resolution…lets get Christmas out the way.
No one wants a liar. It is that simple. People read and accept the principle that the blogger blogs with integrity. We or I believe what you have to say. We know that there can be danger with an online community but I have found the blogging world to actually (despite the odd debate which is healthy) be a friendly, welcoming, warming environment and have had the privilege to me some lovelies in person too. Don’t let the side down and pretend to be something you not.
So there we have it, the X Factor components to be a star blog! I am still striving to meet all these criteria, but hopefully when I can say proudly, I do all this things, will I be so worried about my stats? Probably …but here’s hoping.