April 24, 2015

How Interesting Is Your Blog?

The best piece of blogging advice I ever read was mind-blowingly simple: Before you hit publish, think to yourself, "Would I click on this post if someone else had posted it?"

It's one of those things that's like, well duh... until you try it out. And then you realize that it isn't exactly so duh after all.

In fact, it's actually sort of hard. I mean, I think about it a lot and I still sometimes post six slightly grainy pictures of my weekend and call it a day. But looking back, would I care about someone else's slightly grainy pictured weekend?

The answer is probably not.

(That is, unless you're Beyonce. I mean, 7/11 is the music video version of a blurry iPhone Instagram of an identifiable concert pic... but I can't. stop. watching.)

Now, there are some exceptions to this rule; there are a select few blogs that I will read even if the post is titled "Most Cost Efficient Toasters for your Beige Apartment." Because some bloggers can make even toast in a beige room interesting.

But for everyone else? If you wouldn't read it on my blog, what makes you think other people are going to want to read it on yours?

Yet even with this advice, I am still trying to figure out exactly what people really want to read on a blog. What it takes to be a "big blogger," as one might say. (And what it takes to stop people from sending me blog review inquiry emails beginning with "Hi Jenn.")

But I can tell you exactly what sort of blog posts I do and do not like to read. So in case your target audience is 24-year-old patent agents with an affinity for Bloody Marys and Beyonce dancing on her patio, here is what you should blog about:

Recipes that require less than five ingredients, all of which I don't need to Google. There are some people who keep smoked Spanish paprika on hand. Others drink wine from a box.

Lists about pretty much anything. Lists are just so easy to read, and in a world where trying to pay your cable bill can make you cry... I like easy.

Personal Drama. I don't recommend hashing out your problems with your boss online but if you do, you can bet I'm reading it. It's like watching the Kardashians, only less butt and more intrigue.

Blogging Tips. I do a lot of things for this blog. I mean, my blog is 99% of the reason I use Twitter. (The other 1% being this:)

Your opinion on controversial topics. What can I say? Like weddings and reality TV, opinions are better controversial. (Wait, what?)

Funny Things. Seriously, it doesn't matter what it's about if it's funny. It can be about dog sh*it but if it makes me laugh out loud, you've got yourself a new blog reader.

Fashion posts of any sort. Look, I get this is a big thing. And maybe I'm just jealous. But I just can't get into someone looking at the ground at 15 different angles, whether they're wearing a blanket scarf or a clown suit. (Ok... I'm definitely just jealous.)

Something I read yesterday. There are cool cats and there are copycats. Rewording someone else's post is the latter.

Posts telling me what bloggers shouldn't do on their blogs. No one needs to tell a blogger how blogs should be blogged because there are no blogging regulations. That's the beauty of it. (Unless you're a fashion blogger, that is. Then you need to stop.)

... Alright, still jealous.