My 1st post on blogging got a pretty decent response. I had written it when I was still new to the blogosphere. Now, having spent a considerable amount of time reading hundreds of blogs and being significantly regular with my posts, I am trying to interrogate what factors make or break a blog.
This analogy struck me while having dinner in one of my favourite restaurants last Sunday. I have been to this place umpteen number of times but on this particular visit I consciously thought - what is it that brings me back to this place? Alright… let’s put it this way – why would you go to a particular restaurant?
a) the food is really good
b) you like the ambience
c) the service is flawless
d) it sets a standard
Ditto applies to a good blog!!!
a) Excellent food: Everyone’s in search of good food for thought. Good writing and good topics are definitely the first things that draw readers to your blog. Like a specialized v/s multi-cuisine restaurant, you too can find your forte. You could either maintain a blog that projects you as a pro in a specific subject (media, photography,etc.) or offer the world on your plate. However, do not forget to lay emphasis on the presentation. Well-garnished food not only looks good but also tastes better. Quotes, pictures, etc can give a complete facelift to your posts.
b) Ambience: Many people seem to underestimate this but the fact remains that the look of the blog matters. It doesn’t mean that your template should be fancy or extremely stylized; it should be visually appealing and ‘clean’. Personally speaking, a blog with thousands of links on either side puts me off and leaves me hunting for the actual post.
You love to go in a restaurant where you feel most comfortable. Similarly, the reader should be comfortable when he/she visits your blog. They should be able to concentrate on the substance of your blog. I’ve come across some blogs where a heavy backdrop moves with the cursor. It’s very irritating and I end up with a headache :P
c) Service: Ask yourself - is there any way my readers benefit from my blog? If yes, they are sure to visit your blog time and again. ‘Benefit’ here has no one definition – you may be a pro in some field helping them with information or you could be engaging them in a dialogue/debate that helps them look at the finer nuances of life.
d) Set a standard - Inconsistency can become a big hurdle. When you go to a restaurant, you know what to expect from that place; the same applies to your blog. It’s important to maintain a standard. People visiting your blog should not be disappointed. Do some homework – find out which posts are most popular; what is it that your readers appreciate on your blog. Accordingly, try to improve; experiment a bit if need be!
They say, if you pour your love in food, it is sure to taste better. So no matter what you write, if it’s from the heart it will definitely be appreciated :)
If you have any suggestions, do share!