What makes for a good blog?
The author’s voice, for one thing. If a post engages me, it’s often because I feel like I’m connecting with a friend, someone who shares my interests and is willing to discuss them with me. It also helps if he/she has a sense of humor and a mostly positive attitude.
The quality of the writing. I’m disappointed with sloppy spelling and grammar. I like to learn something new, so I’m always on the lookout for great content.
Consistency. Stuff happens, and it’s really hard to post something every day or even every week. But I love it when my favorite blogs come through as expected. When a blogger goes off the grid for months at a time, it’s like being ignored by a former BFF. Medical emergencies and family obligations are acceptable reasons to be inactive, but if intend to take a blogging vacation, please let your readers know (so I don’t worry about you or wonder if it’s something I said or did that made you ghost me).
That said, the following blogs meet or exceed my high standards. If you read my Friday Creative Juice posts, you’ve probably already seen some articles from most of these. And I’ve profiled several of these bloggers.
My Top 10 Favorite Blogs (in no particular order):
- My OBT stands for My One Beautiful Thing, something Donna Kramer is determined to find anew every day. That doesn’t mean she can’t get a little snarky, like when oddities surface in her weekly Thursday Etsomnia™ post.
- Life Lessons. Judy Dykstra Brown is an artist, photographer, and extraordinary poet. I think I discovered her when I began participating in photography and poetry challenges. When I interviewed her for ARHtistic License, she was so generous with her time and her stories that I had to split her profile into two sections, Part I and Part II.
- Travel with me. I hardly get to travel, so I do it vicariously through this blog. Toonsarah is an excellent photographer.
- A Farm Girl’s Life. Allison grew up on a farm. She loves animals and art and music. She is also a fantastic photographer, as you can see in this post featuring an ocean sunrise. She also just recently got married, so there are lots of romantic photographs from her wedding. Just browse. It’s a feast for your eyes.
- Sketch Away. I love Suhita Shirodkar’s style of urban sketching.
- Time for Tangling. Linda posts an incredible Zentangle tile several days a week and tells where she found her inspiration.
- Cee’s Photo Challenges. Cee Neuner has almost 11,750 followers. It is not unusual for one of her posts to have over 100 likes. She’s an awesome photographer, and she’s generous with hints to make you a better photographer too. She runs four photo challenges, including the beloved Flower of the Day. Her blog is also a clearinghouse for other photo and writing challenges, so if you’re looking for inspiration, check her out.
- A Writer’s Path. Ryan Lanz shares his writing expertise and also that of other writers. (I’m also a contributor.) Every writing topic imaginable gets covered from a variety of angles. Excellent writing blog. Followed by over 29,000 readers.
- Folk Dance Musings. Andrew Carnie is very active in the Tucson area folk dance scene. His blog contains directions for hundreds, maybe thousands of dances from all over the world. He often knows who the original choreographer was and can give historic and stylistic background on the dances. The directions are often accompanied by videos. When I write an “I’d Rather Be Dancing” article, his blog is the first place I go for research. I also rely on his directions when I teach at Phoenix International Folk Dancers.
- Your Classical is actually not a blog but a radio station website devoted to classical music. I signed up for their daily download feature, but it’s so much more. There are streaming playlists and stories and musical podcasts. If you like classical music, you’ve got to bookmark it. Have it playing in the background whenever you’re working on your novel or making art.
Now it’s your turn. In your opinion, what does it take for a blog to achieve excellence? What are some of your favorite blogs? If you’ve blogged about this topic, feel free to add a link in the comments below.
As an increasingly inconsistent blogger, I agree with your standards for choosing excellent blogs. One thing that my favorites have in common is that they respond to their readers! Some bloggers are so amazing at connecting with their followers — Cee Neuner is one that seems to visit each and every person who posts for her weekly challenges. Brian at Bushboys World is another who gives thoughtful responses to comments.
Some blogs that I follow are well written and informative, but they never respond to a single comment. I still read them, but I don’t bother to try and comment. And others have so many hoops to jump through to comment that I don’t bother there either. 🙂
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Cee and you both are so good about responding to commenters. That’s what keeps the dialog flowing. Always a plus!
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You certainly have a wide range of interests! Likely keeps your brain alert 🙂
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I sure hope so, Mary. My poor brain can use all the stimulation it can get!