Yesterday, while I was lounging around bleary-eyed and sniffly, I went to the Etsy forums looking for a distraction. I started a thread with a promise to read every blog posted within it. I admit that I didn't expect to get eight pages of response! I swear I read every single one though.
While visiting over one hundred blogs, I started to try and view them critically and figure out what I liked and didn't like so that I could improve my own blog. So, being an avid listmaker, I made a list of my turn ons and turnoffs that I encountered in my blog travels. These are just my opinions as one reader. I'm speak in generalities and, of course, there are always exceptions.
My turn ons are...
- at least one (preferably large) photo with every post. Liz of Hobbledehoy's blog is full of gorgeousness and bunny love. I put a photo with my posts whether they relate or not. Maybe that is a bad thing but I think it helps organize the space.
- a friendly conversational tone. Personality is important to me. Marmeecraft's girlish sweetness is what keeps me frequenting her blog.
- medium-length posts. I usually don't have the attention span for more than four paragraphs about a stranger's personal life but one sentence usually makes me want more. I suspect that only the truly ferocious readers will get through this whole posting of mine!
- profiles with smiling faces. Look at how cute and welcoming Michelle from Cicada Studio is!
- spacious design, upbeat writing and a little humor.
- a healthy variety of topics. Elephantine has a really enjoyable blog that reflects her varied interests. It's also beautiful and chatty.
- handy information like resources and tutorials. These things are so nice to come across because they make me feel less like I'm wasting time playing on the internet. Nature Manipulated compiled a whole bunch of tips for sellers on her blog that I'm sure is of great use to many. Sara from GirlsCanTell is also such a treasure trove of helpfulness.
- A good handful of links to other bloggers. If I enjoy your blog I'll certainly go fishing through your link list.
My turn offs are...
- music that automatically turns on. I was using many different tabs while reading and songs made me have to search frantically to stop them. I usually have music playing already so another song at the same time can be very jarring.
- black backgrounds. I feel like they can be hard on the eyes sometimes...probably a stylistic must for goth types though! Scott Bulger really made it work though since he has so many black and white photos.
- tons of animated doodads and sidebar information. The pages are often slow to load and take me too long to figure out what is going on. Paper Girl Productions has a very busy blog but it's orderly and suits her giddy aesthetic.
- gloominess or angst. A little here and there is just natural but too much gets depressing.
This exercise helped me see a few things that needed changing in my own blog. I especially realized that I could be more helpful and informative instead of just talking about myself and my makings (that is why I made this post. I hope it's helpful rather than hurtful). I also plan to change my blog's appearance a bit by incorporating more white and adding a profile picture. I updated my "admirable bloggers" link list too to include some new favorites.
I truly enjoyed spending an obscene amount of time reading these blogs. Etsians are certainly an entertaining bunch!