After being in class for just a few weeks, I have come to the realization that creating an excellent blog is more challenging than one would initially think. In today’s fast paced world, it is no longer sufficient to have a blog with good writing. Rather, a successful blog must integrate interesting content with creative form. While writing still functions as the “gut” of the blog, other features such as layout, structure and color need to be strategically considered. Hosey underscores in Why We Love Beautiful Things that we cannot be passive consumers of design. Consequently, an excellent blog will incorporate math in the form of art by utilizing the golden rectangle. A blog with a layout that parallels features from the golden rectangle will retain a strong audience since the human mind is hard wired to search for beautiful things. The following link demonstrates the benefits of the golden rectangle in more detail: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/golden-ratio-in-moden-designs/.
In addition to intertwining content with form, good blogs will avoid summary and focus on analyzing interesting subject matters. Rosenwasser explains, “…when people analyze, they break things down in order to see them more clearly and construct their understandings of the world they inhibit” (55). By doing so, blogs that analyze examine a topic beyond the surface level, allowing readers to see something in a new light. An admirable blog will use strong analysis to provide clarity and alternative viewpoints to those typically considered. Another aspect that I believe is vital for a sensational blog is creating a voice. Being yourself and allowing your personality to shine threw the computer screen will make the blog unique. Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow, says that the key to success is to stand out- to be a “purple cow”. I think this concept translates well in the world of blogging because repeating what has already been said is boring, readers are not intrigued by an ordinary cow. An exceptional blog will not be a standard cow, instead it will create an authentic voice and won’t be afraid to veer off the beaten path. A blog I admire is The Bloggess because the writer provides a unique perspective and is not afraid to be candid with her opinions.
An outstanding blog is aware of the audience and will capture their attention immediately. Morris explains this well: “Good first sentences prompt us to perk up our ears. We read a good first sentence, the lights go down, the music starts, and we look around for popcorn and candy. First sentences allow us to predict what the language that follows will do.” Since the blogging industry involves a lot of touch and go, the first impression truly matters. In addition to hooking the audience at the beginning, a good blog will also retain the attention of the audience as well. I believe that excellent blogs encourage comments and feedback from readers. Allowing readers to feel engaged helps create a community and Rorabaugh emphasizes the importance communities play on the reputation of blogs. Finally, I believe the more personal the blog, the more successful it will be. For example, having an about the author section will provide transparency and establish a sense of trust between the writer and readers. I believe The Skinny Confidential has a desirable ‘about’ section because it provides personal information about the writer, but not too much information. In addition, I believe blog rolls provide a personal touch that will also permit the blog stand out in a positive way. Overall, a blog that intertwines content with form, analyzes subjects in a new form and focuses on the audience, serves as the perfect formula for generating great success.