Blogging advice

What I look for in a blog

As a blogger I like to be a part of the community – I look at a lot of different blogs every week, and today I want to share the things that make me follow one. Keep in mind this mostly applies to book blogs!

 

Decent grammar

I don’t mind a few typos, but when sentences become excessively long because the blogger doesn’t know how punctuation works, or every other word is misspelled – that’s when it starts to bother me. And no matter how good your posts are, if you can’t spell I’m not staying.

 

Dedication and effort

When I go to your blog, I want to see the effort you put into it. I want to see long posts with lots of details. If all your posts are short and show little effort, why would I follow you?

 

Creativity

This doesn’t mean every single post has to be original. I participate in tags and awards all the time, that’s fine – but I want to see something of yours. If you don’t have any original posts, at least make your tags/features/whatever interesting and personal. I want to read something that makes me think this person stands out, and I want to follow them.

 

Reviews

This is kind of specific, but I love people who review books. I know tags are usually the most popular posts, but I don’t really like reading them. I don’t care about your personal life (as harsh as this may sound), I care about books, and I want to see honest reviews. If I visit your blog and see that you have reviews of books I like, I’m staying 100%.

 

A good sense of humour

Some people try too hard to be funny, and some don’t try at all – I always appreciate something in between. I don’t like posts that set out to be funny, because they usually aren’t, but if you throw a bit of humour into your reviews, I can assure you that I will love your blog.

 

No arrogance

This is mostly related to the comments section. If I leave some form of criticism, I want to see you handle it like a grown-up. There’s no need to attack someone who is trying to help out, and if you get all defensive it just shows that you’re childish and arrogant. Someone who reacts badly to comments will definitely get unfollowed (or not followed at all).

 

A good feeling for what’s problematic

I feel like this is missing from a lot of blogs. I see so many people review books that are very problematic, and they just don’t point out these things. If there’s sexism, homophobia, racism or any other form of discrimination in a book, I want you to talk about it. Otherwise I’m gonna think that you can’t see those things and are oblivious to the way people who aren’t like you (straight, white, male, etc.) are treated a lot of the time. Either that, or you consciously decide to ignore it, which is even worse.

 

Other stuff

The following things aren’t mandatory, but they definitely add a lot to a blog.

  • Shared interests. This one is pretty obvious. If you like the same books (or the same stuff in general) as I do, it’s much more likely that I’ll stick around.
  • A focus on LGBT+ themes. If your blog is dedicated to the representation of queer people in literature, movies, TV shows, or any other form of media, I will stay 100%. What can I say? I’m gay trash.
  • A user-friendly design. This one is not very important to me personally, because I read blog posts on my phone, so I don’t see much of anyone’s template anyway. However, I used to read posts on my computer, and if a blog had bright colours or was confusing in any way, I would leave immediately. Try to keep it simple and easy to read – and also, don’t put too much in your sidebar, it’s annoying and makes your blog hard to navigate.

 

There we go, those are the things I look for in a blog! If you have any recommendations for blogs you like that match these criteria, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! And of course, let me know which things you look for in a blog.

‘Till next time and happy reading!

tumblr_m94v62LH871rvwcdj

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “What I look for in a blog

  1. Great post! I was thinking about writing something similar. I also find some of these things annoying when I’m considering following someone new. I like an index of the books they’ve reviewed, a simple layout with easy to read fonts and colors, and reviews that look as though they’ve actually read the book. Too many times I open a review that’s 300 words and think how is this an adequate summary of of 600 page book? That just about fits the synopsis. That’s one of my pet peeves. I like decent length reviews that have more than just the reviewers feelings. While I can appreciate adding how a book made someone feel, it’s also something that annoys me if every review sounds the same. I also need a rant review to state specific reasons why the book didn’t work. I often read these ridiculous reasons for why the book didn’t work and have to wonder about the review and if the harsh criticism is warranted. It also makes me question the reviewers ability to adequately review a book, which has led me to unfollow or not follow that person. I like to see a good mix of books on a blog. I read pretty much everything, so I like to see a good sample of different genres. Some people focus on one genre and that’s fine, but that person usually has something that draws me in, like their personality, review style, or solid writing. I’m blabbering. Sorry. I have so much to stay on this topic. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree with all of this! I wish I had more reviews on my blog, I used to put up about one a week, but I’ve been in a really annoying reading slump for, like, two months. πŸ˜”
      You totally should do your own post! I’d love to see it. πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was in the worst reading slump the first two months I blogged, and because of it, I didn’t have as many reviews as I would like. The past month or so I’ve read a lot. I was trying to work on adding new reviews and getting ARCs. I hope you get out of your slump. It took me a long time to work through it. I started reading multiple books at the same time. This way if one bored me I’d read the other. That’s helped me stick with it the past few months, but it’s not for everyone. Yeah, I think I will post something about what I look for in a blog sometime this month. I never got around to writing it all down. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we might be best friends. Don’t use poor grammar in a book blog unless you mean to for emphasis. I seem to be posting a series of reviews of books that were entertaining but problematic if you take a moment to think about them. I feel like I’m stomping all over some people’s favorites but I’m also wondering why no one else is pointing this out.
    New follower!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post!!! I feel guilty saying it, but aesthetics play a big (probably too big) a part in if I follow blogs. Sometimes I’m just like, OOOH PRETTY, *FOLLOW!* then end up unfollowing once I realize their content is actually not great lol. My top criteria is probably writing quality/insightful-ness. If I’m not getting any new perspective from the blog, I won’t follow it. I also really like humor. Great post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I look for very similar things- decent grammar, creativity, humour and reviews are all things that definitely attract me to a blog. I sort of agree with you about the arrogance thing- but on the whole I’ve found people on the blogosphere to be very respectful of other opinions. I rarely leave criticism of the blog per se, but if I’m debating someone’s ideas I’ve never had anyone be rude back. People can continue to disagree or get bored of the discussion, but that’s fine by me. (Of course, on my own blog I’m happy to debate anything- it’s part of the fun!) In all honesty though, I’m a bit more wary of blogs seeing things as problematic. Unless, say, someone reads “Noughts and Crosses” and fails to see that it’s blatantly about racism, then I don’t care. I’m more bothered when people try to push agendas for something that is blatantly not about certain issues- like seeing Throne of Glass as anti-women or something. Again, this is rare in the book-blogging world- but for me poor interpretations are something that would instantly put me off a blog. Great post- sorry for the rambly comment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm, the whole pushing-agendas thing is not really what I meant. If a book has a character who is really sexist and doesn’t get called out for it, I want the blogger reviewing the book to point that out – that’s what I was trying to say. πŸ˜ƒ
      I talked about the no arrogance bit mainly because it actually happened to me. I left friendly criticism on a blog and got a very rude response. πŸ˜‚
      I really appreciate the long comment! x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I found it really interesting to read through this! I always like to see what other people look for and see if I can improve it any way. I usually look for people who have similar interests (so that I’ll be interested in their posts) and good graphics. With the amount of effort I put into designing and graphics, if someone else pulls it off really well I can’t help but appreciate it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, this was really helpful, mainly as I’m trying to get a better handle on what my readers want to read. I have to say that I’m very guilty about not posting as many reviews as I’d like. I always feel like I need to let the book soak in, and for me to really think about it before I start, which always forces me to post reviews very slowly…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh really? I just always feel like I have a better grasp of the story and how I feel about it after a day or two. Some books, I think are amazing immediatly after the finish, but a couple days later, I’m always think “well, actually this could have been better, and I don’t like how this went.. etc etc”

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I do like this post. I know I especially agree on the point that you brought up about using proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I find it so satisfying when someone writes a post and actually checks it (and double-checks it) for mistakes. This is going online, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In regards to noting problematic elements, I find it helpful to remember that not everyone comes from the same background. I did not learn much about gender studies, colonialism, etc. until college. That means that you could have a very well-meaning individual who has simply never taken a humanities course and thus hasn’t been exposed to the same conversations that you have. They might really be blind to certain types of sexism or whatever, not because they’re a bad person but because literally no one has ever introduced a new perspective to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never learned anything about gender, sexuality, etc. in school either, all my knowledge comes from my own research and the internet. πŸ˜ƒ
      Of course you’re not a bad person if you’re simply ignorant, and you have every right to blog. This post is about what I personally look for in a blog, not what I want every single blog in the world to be like. There are lots of bloggers who don’t care or don’t know about anything problematic and still have lots of followers. I just won’t be one of them. πŸ˜‰

      Like

      1. I hope it didn’t come across as my saying YOU thought they were bad people. I just encounter this a lot where my friends judge other people for not understanding something, but my friends have had different educational experiences than I think most other people have had. And I think we can improve our dialogue by reminding ourselves that most people probably aren’t coming from a place of ill intent. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, no, of course not, no worries! I completely understand what you’re saying, but I think it’s fair for me to not follow someone who doesn’t see discrimination. It might not be their fault, they may have a different background, but it’s not my job to educate people on the internet. I read blog posts because I enjoy them, and I don’t want to follow someone and read their posts just because I feel sorry that they don’t know anything about diversity and discrimination. I hope you know what I mean – you make a very good point, and I appreciate the discussion. πŸ˜ƒ

          Like

  9. Hi, I started a blog for Barnaby Allen. I also published his first epic historical novel Pacific Viking as an ebook in September when he was already seriously ill. He died this month and it is my mission to share his voice. I am looking for different ways to do this. I came across your blog and read the info on blogging. Maybe writing book reviews could attract people to the blog – and I like reading. Thank you for that idea. Hannele

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s