I just wrote a self-congratulatory essay on my blog that included several guesses about why some of my posts get read and others don’t. That got me thinking why I read other people’s blogs, and why I skip most of what I pull up.
Of course the title is paramount to getting me to read. If it’s cryptic and requires opening to understand what it’s about, I’ll almost always pass.
My favorite are short stories. They don’t have to be fiction, though I like that too, but human interest stories about what the writer did on a certain day or week, or while on vacation are often good copy. Vacation tips are priceless, pun intended, especially if they are money-saving. A good writer can grab me quickly and keep me to the end. I just read a blog about someone’s relationship with a friend that spanned decades, but the gist was about sharing the act of knitting washcloths. It was a fun post that made me feel good about life and friendship. I was compelled to push the “Like” button. Moreover, it contained a link to the pattern; a major bonus.
I like useful information, like cooking and baking, and how to quickly get a meal on the table. Recipes are always welcome, and suggestions about changing ingredients make it personal and provide credibility. I’ll at least think you’ve tried it and are not simply reposting from a cookbook.
Information about technology, not particularly how to build a rocket, but rather how to save money on heating bills and water bills, will get my attention every time. I’m an environmentalist and love to read about saving the environment and my bank account.
Crafting ideas are another favorite. Upcycling and refashioning old clothes, using found objects, and collage techniques always draw me in. Scrapbooking seems quite popular, but ATC’s, or any little project with instructions, are often a fun read. Needlework, including crocheting, knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, and sewing, will be bookmarked. I like to be encouraged to try something new. I appreciate all “hints” when reading directions.
I write opinion pieces, now and then. I remember a tirade about lying when I was selling my car that just had to be written. But normally I steer clear of this genre and wonder if others do as well. Screaming can be easily gotten from MSNBC and FOX, both good reasons to read WordPress rather than have the air sucked from your lungs by television.
Most importantly, a quick scan must show that it’s around 500 words AND rife with pictures. If it’s a recipe, I want a photo that makes me think I can smell it. I like to be inspired by scenes of people eating the food. If it’s a pattern, I want lots of pictures. Big pictures with lots of color attract me. Detailed close-ups help me, and people like me who have difficulty seeing well, but I get frustrated when my screen needs to be adjusted to capture the picture as a whole.
Reading other posts also makes me feel I’m adding to the legitimacy of WordPress. Writing is the ego boost of blogging, but actually reading is the best part of all of this. If you make me laugh, I’ll be looking for more of your posts. If you make me laugh hard, I’ll be subscribing almost immediately. And if you manage a good combination of all of what I’ve just indicated as a “good read,” then I’ll likely link you to my blog. Isn’t that the ultimate compliment when blogging?
And, No. These pictures have no connection to this post, but I imagine a surprising number of you looked at them and far fewer of you would have made it to this point without them.