For me, a blog is good if it satisfies the needs of the author. Everyone’s need is different.
For some, a blog is a business. The author will derive some income from having a blog. Maybe it is from Google Ads. Maybe it is because it has paid subscribers. Maybe it receives PayPal donations.
For some, it is a real way to keep an online log of what is happening. I have seen blogs that were an employee’s work history for the day. Others use it as a diary. Some use it to allow friends and family to stay in contact and feel a part of the author’s life.
For some it is a real means of publishing a literary work. For others it is a way of expressing feelings that are inside of them. For some it is a way of voicing political opinion. Blogging is flexible enough that it can fit any personality or any need. But, it must satisfy the author’s need.
You can’t write a blog, because some said, “You should write a blog.” To be a successful blogger, there must not only be the need, but also there needs to be, within the author, a passion to blog. It must be satisfying to the author, or it will be a passing fad and be dropped.
Ok, so you decide that you have the need and the passion to stick with it, what is next? If you are one that only needs an online log to reference in the future, then the answer is “Not anything.” Find the platform that will support your need and do it.
For almost all of the rest of the people who blog, then it will be growing a readership. A growing readership means that people will find your blog and return over and over again to read it. What I just defined is a person that is not just blogging to be a part of a social community. There are growing number of social communities, such as My Space, that have a lot of younger members that just want an online home and all their friends will visit them, just because that is what they are all doing.
I am not saying that there are no serious people using My Space. There are. However, My Space is a platform that invites a cluttered environment. When I look at some of my grandkid’s Spaces, I almost get dizzy with all the STUFF lying around their area. It is sort of like looking at a messy room.
Assuming that you are not the typical young social My Space user and you want to write a blog and have others read it. What are some of the things that help?
First I would say it is how clean and easy the presentation is on the blog. The colors must make it easy to read the text. The design should not have too much visual distractions. And the organization of the layout should be easy to navigate. One of the nice things about the free WordPress themes is that they provide a structured environment that fills most of these requirements. All you have to do is pick a theme that satisfies your personality or the personality of your blog and you are covered.
Next is going to be the content of your blog. How well is it written? Does it have a lot of misspelled words? You will become a better writer by writing. A good spell checker will assist you in keeping all words spelled correctly. However, spell checkers are not perfect. If you write “rite” when you meant, “write”, it will not be caught. That means you need to read what you write to see if it says what you intended it to say.
I find things in material I wrote years ago that I don’t like and I re-write it. Writing is difficult for me. It always has been. I am among the world’s poorest spellers. I am also a poor typist. My mind runs ahead of my fingers and sometimes what I think doesn’t get on the page. However, I know what I intended to write and when I read it, I sometimes read it as I had thought it.
You may have seen the research done by Cambridge University related to spelling. Your mind will compensate for misspelled words and you may miss your own errors. I read, and reread what I post and I still make mistakes.
The last part of content is not the technical aspect, but is it interesting. It doesn’t have to be interesting to all people, but it should be interesting to your target audience. If at all possible, include a little humor once in a while. Many times if you are trying to make a point, people will remember it more if it has humor attached to it.
Probably the most important thing is a blog must be FUN for you. If you are not having fun, you are not going to care about quality and it will be apparent to your readers.
That is it for this entry. Now go have some fun! Remember, a blog a day keeps the doctor away.