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What makes a blog have the X Factor?

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..

Personal

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!

Content

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.

Humour 

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.

Variety

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.

Truth

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.

MM

xx

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30 comments to What makes a blog have the X Factor?

  • I honestly have no idea what gives a blog the X Factor. I think you know it when you see it. It’s the thing which makes people come back time after time. It’s the thing which persuades readers to re-publicise a post on your behalf and, eventually, grow your readership. If we knew what it was, we wouldn’t have to call it X.

    I agree with all the ingredients suggested by your followers. To be honest, they could all be put in one box: integrity.

    What is blogger integrity? you may ask. Well, now you’re just annoying me…

    HUN

    • Yes the whole thing really is a minefield. I think your right that word of mouth is better as you can get lots of readers but they just be flicking through. Always nicer if someone wants to re-publicise.

      I won’t ask you about integrity – not one who likes to annoy! :)

  • Interesting post! I missed the twitter conversation or I would have directed you to Bangs and a Bun, who gave a brilliant talk about this at last year’s blog camp in London. Now she has a massive following, but says that her first year was rubbish until someone told her to really put her personality into it. She says if your blog reflects your individual style it will be a success with likeminded people, which will lead to wider interest. Good one – just got to figure out what goes on in my daughter’s head and I’ll be top of the ranks in no time!

  • Like HUN this question has driven me crackers. It is impossible to step back objectively from your own blog isn’t it? Or even to define sometimes what wins you over in other blogs. This is a cracking list, I like Multiple Mummy blogschool a lot ;) The best advice I was given was to be yourself, but when I analyse that it just makes me feel slightly schitzophrenic. I think my blog is like a puppet show with all the different parts of me fighting to upstage each other.
    Totally agree with Actually Mummy, be yourself and attract like minded people!
    Look at your Wikio my dear, it’s amazing xx

  • At the end of it all, if you enjoy your blog and what it represents then that is all that matters! Great post!

  • oooh fab post lovely. I like blogs that are easy to read and that I can relate to. You are doing brilliantly though and have not been self hosted for long. It takes time to sort things out again. I love your blog. xx

    • Moving to self hosted had had it’s good and bad points. It is hard having to start again, when you worked so hard in the beginning to build things up.

      Onwards and upwards so they say and thank you for loving it. It loves you right back! xx

  • Excellent idea for a post (and very good quality writing!), but seeing it in black and white makes it all sound so daunting. I lost sight of who I was long ago – stressed mum, apprentice vicar’s wife, half-hearted career woman, frustrated gardener – so have no idea what shows forth in my blog. But thanks for the tips.

    • That the problem, when you wear so many hats and spend most of your life not being called your name it is hard to remember who you really are, but then this is where the blog can be used a space of expression.

      :)

  • Thanks for the link!!!!

    But one thing I have learnt in this blogging m’larkey is stats go up and down, do this because you enjoy and relish when people say you made them think, smile, or even cry. Store the memories of your children for when they are older, bleat your frustrations when you want a shoulder to cry on.

    My theory is for one person to really love your writing is better than a bus load of tourists just passing in through your blog.

    Jane x

  • D’you know what? With this post you owned the stage. You smashed it! You gave me goosebumps. You’re blog certainly has the likability factor. I can tell you’re on a journey and you’re certainly the dark horse of the blogging world. You’re my favourite.

    Ooops sorry think the last one was the wrong show!

    My favourite blogs make me laugh, or cry, or think or say I do that too. They make me feel something I guess. Great post, by the way!

  • Thanks for the link-up chick. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I also want to chuck in integrity.

  • I do wonder if luck also plays a part. It is like being the popular kid at school, how does that happen? I have no idea.

    For me it is all about keeping my blog close to who I am and only posting about what sits right with me. My stats and ratings seem to say that works.

    Cheers Mich x

  • Hiya :-)
    Some brill comments there!Im very new to all this and honestly don’t know what attracts people but I have been reading blogs for years.
    Just recently I have found some great blogs by British mums and they have really become some of my favourite reads.
    Lots of the people who have commented on this post are bloggers I love,so a big *hi* from me to all and Multiple Mum what I really like about your blog is that you seem very truthful,your blog is a good mix of things,I know you have done allsorts of different things in your life so you can speak from all different perspectives and you actually commented on my blog a couple of times so you interact even with newbies :-)
    This is a long rambling reply so I’d better stop as it might not even publish knowing my look!
    Love Jess

    • Thank you kindly, that is very nice to say. It is hard trying to keep on top of everything but I love reading blogs, as that is how I started, so I try desperately to read as many as I can.

      Hope to go back and visit your soon too. xx

  • Jenny Paulin

    This is a great post Kerry :)
    I like blogs that have the aaaaaw factor mixed in with topics I can relate to and of course cakes!! Lol
    I have said before that comments on my blog mean more to me than starts because they stay the same on your blog whereas stats go up and down. I like the fact that I get my ‘friends’ pop round regularly for a read.
    xx

  • Well my review of Perform Parties has an in-link to you my sweet so I hope that helps you be the A student you want to be.

    You have a SUPERB blog, so keep up the good work.

    And you are lovely to boot.

    Liska xxx

  • Great post. I feel I have lost my way a little with blogging at the moment regarding content but that s the paradox – you blog about it with passion and honesty and find your way back ….. the key is with an honest blog where you canm feel the passion behind the words makes a very readable blog. Hope that makes sense.

  • Hi there.
    This was a really interesting post, I clicked through in hope that I would find the secret to a great blog. I am new to blogging and can not believe how much time it takes up. Being a working Mum and not wanting my time with the kids to suffer I find that my housework is being neglected. I also think my husband is getting jealous of the laptop!
    I feel that I have joined in a whole new community and I am enjoying the blogging experience. It has been great visiting blogs and reading posts, only this afternoon my children and I made a teacake recipie from a post I read on The ‘Royal Mumness’ and it tastes good.
    Oh I have waffled on, sorry, but thanks for sparking up the conversation. Emma :)

    • Thank you, I don’t think there really is an answer, or certainly not a rule book anyone can follow. I have fallen head first into the addictive world of blogging and my hubby too can get a little computer envy! It is very cathartic and enjoyable though and as you say gives you loads of great ideas. Have popped by yours now so will keep up to date with your posts! x

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