What makes a blog great?
Welcome to the year 2017, where news papers and discussion forums have been replaced by the Millenial’s virtual alternative: the blog. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade then lemme fill you in on what you’ve missed. Blogs are online sites, usually ran by a small group or individual, dedicated to writing about a wide array of topics from cooking to American football in a casual, informal fashion. If you are like any of the 3.2 billion people who use the internet daily you’ve stumbled across a blog or two before. And with mega-outlets like Barstool Sports and Buzzfeed ruling the digital world, you’re probably well aware that not all blogs are made equal. So let’s talk about what makes the difference between having a kickass blog or just a glorified online journal.
(A Kickass blog ^)
There’s a saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but everyone has been guilty of doing exactly that, so the first great way to ensure an awesome blog site is to have an awesome layout and design. In his articles, Why We love Beautiful Things Lance Hosey explained, “brain scan studies reveal that the sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand movement. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things; beauty literally moves us.” In other words, the design of a blog has an immediate impact on the reader reception of the site. But the beauty of site’s design also affects the context of the blog’s posts. Hosey sheds light on the Golden Rectangle and its relation to people’s ability to read and retain text. “a Duke University professor demonstrated that our eyes can scan an image fastest when its shape is a golden rectangle. For instance, it’s the ideal layout of a paragraph of text, the one most conducive to reading and retention”. Human of New York is a shining example of a site with incredible web design using rectangles for every post and providing readers with vibrant pictures to look at. Not to mention its one of the most visited blogs in the world.
But a good looking design isn’t enough to ensure a blog’s success, the subject matter is just important. Brian Carrol in Writing for Digital Media identifies carve out a niche as another great strategy towards building a successful blog. Blogs with specific and well-pointed topics of discussion tend to fare better than those with broader subject matter. Blogs are typically used to provide quick, interesting information and readers generally like to have an idea of what posts will likely be about when they visit a blog site. For example, Cuteness Overload has attracted a massive following by almost exclusively posting articles about our cute furry friends like this guy.
Despite most of their post being informal and largely nonsense, sometimes all the world need is pictures of adorable animals and when people are in need of a cuteness overload, they know exactly which site to visit.
Finally, a blog should be able to develop its own community. While pictures and interesting topics are important, making readers feel like they’re are part of the blog shouldn’t be overlooked. People love to feel apart of something greater than themselves and blogs often offer the perfect platform to do so. Brian Carrol explains that blogging is an “expression of community” allowing people to congregate and discuss the topics that matter to them. Providing a comment section for readers to offer feedback is one of the best ways to get them involved.
So before your fingers start firing away building your perfect blog keep in mind:
- The design of a site goes a long way, make it pretty and remember those rectangles
- Stick to a specific topic to drawn in an audience
- Establish a sense of community within your blog so readers keep coming back for more
Follows these guidelines and maybe you could be running the internet’s next big blog site!