Thursday, May 19, 2011

What makes a good blog?

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So blogger has given me my posts back, though the comments seem gone forever. Enjoy...

It’s interesting how we all write differently and our blogs are so different from each other. I follow a lot of blogs and my typical blog round every two days or so is about 50 blogs. And on each blog, you see a different topic, a different style of writing, a different personality, a different story, a different life. And this is one thing that has kept me excited about blogging in my year plus of starting this blog. For me, it goes beyond having my own blog, posting my own stuff and expecting and replying to comments. As a writer who loves reading, I am inspired by the different voices and stories, it gets the wires in my head sparking – but in a good way :).

Of course, there are the similarities too. After all, we are all human and sometimes life throws the same experiences at us. For example, a lot of our student bloggers are looking forward to exams, a couple or so are looking for jobs, a similar number just got jobs, yay!, and I can remember some of months ago when a few bloggers popped out them babies. So yeah, it can sometimes seem like you’re reading the same thing over and again, especially when it comes to memes. I know I’m the chief culprit at that, 25 Question Tag anyone? Lol…

Now to the topic of this post; what makes a good a good blog is being able to stand out. It is imperative in this milieu of different and similar voices that a blogger strikes that note of uniqueness. For those of us that love blogging, that love people reading our posts, and love those comments, the truth is that if your blog does not stand out, your visitors may not return. I know there are a few bloggers who even though their blogs are not marked private would prefer it to be as undiscoverable as possible; I’m not talking about those. I’m referring to some people that get one comment per post, and wish it were five. Or look at their 10 followers and wish it were 100. What do you do? You need a good blog, a blog that stands out.

But how do you make your blog stand out you ask? By being yourself. Yes, you can look at what other popular bloggers are doing, and try to note some things to try. But don’t try to write like them, and even worse, never copy their work! That’s plagiarism, especially if you do not attribute it. If you do not have time to write a post, leave it, it’s not that serious. If you try to post everyday because the other person is doing it, you may end up burnt out. However, if you have it in you to post three times a day, go for it, just make sure there are some ads on your blog to at least buy pure water, :)

I’ll stop here for now. This is just a preamble, I’ll be writing more blogging tips and tricks in the coming weeks. Leave a comment or question and I might mention it in the next one.






46 comments:

  1. Im really looking forward to those tips Myne! and what you have written is soooo correct! I remember when I started blogging about a year ago and i was trying to find 'my voice' ...I thank God i finally did

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  2. Good, very good. More please...lol

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  3. Nice tips Myne.The advice you gave is actually applicable to life,the moment you start copying someone,you become boring.Nice one!

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  4. nice tips...new to blogger and still trying to find my way around...will be checking back for those tips *winks*

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  5. In my experience, the 'do you' principle certainly works but it can be tricky sometimes to find the balance between 'being you' and respecting the space as a public forum.

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  6. Well said Myne! Its the truth. Being urself is really key to standing out. And like Sisi Yemmie said, finding your voice is another thing.

    I've read tips over the internet on how to make a good blog and one thing that seems to stand out is the fact that your blog must have a primary focus. Can someone look at your blog and say 'this is a blog that fouses on....'?

    Thanks for this post. I know the series is going to help a lot of bloggers. Infact, I'm inspired to start doing my blog reviews again.

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  7. Now, this is the REASON i like coming here ALWAYS...:)))..so am waiting for the tips on blogging..*rubbing my hands gleefully*

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  8. "That’s plagiarism, especially if you do not attribute it...." (Whitman, 2011)

    Chai... this plagiarism thing is following me even on blogger! :)

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  10. Looking forward to the tips as well!

    I think I would say I'm one of those "private" bloggers. But not everyone is like me.
    I'll share a small "tip".

    Often to keep your blogger "privacy" you have to forfeit "popularity". (Both words are inter-changeable in that sentence.)

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  11. Yeiiiiii... I am looking forward to the tips Ms Myne :)

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  12. Thanks for the comments, all, and for the tips you added too.

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  13. patiently waiting..and like you said the important thing is just be you :)

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  14. For me it's the just the way the writer engages his/her audience.
    On a totally different topic, I just want to give a shout out to Myne for been featured on Nigeriaworld.com: http://odili.net/news/source/2011/may/15/500.html

    Keep doing your thing.

    Your biggest Seattle fan...

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  15. Well written article, I agree wit u dat one has to be themselves definitely.

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  16. The reasons people blog are as vast as their personalities. I never went into blogging to try and stand out. I'm not even sure why I started. I guess I thought it was a way for me to say things to "no one in particular", but that changes, doesn't it. I never dreamt that one day I would have 200 followers - it never occurred to me.

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  17. I love blogging! I can't wait to read your tips.

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  18. Well said Myne, one just has to be themselves. Waiting for the remaining tips :)

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  19. lool loved this post. I laughed so hard at the part were u said "jst make sure there are some ads so u cn atleast buy purewater" :p
    I agree with u. there are so many blogs out there and a blog shld be able to stand out for people to keep returning. I know i've personally visited a gazillion blogs but there are only a handful i return to every time. Apart from that, i feel like as a blogger, u shldnt jst sit and wait for readers to come. u have to find them and bring them to your blog. By visiting other blogs and leaving comments, u attract others to your blog.

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  20. Thanks for this word of advice Myne,looking forward to the rest. :)

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  21. it's so true that your voice will make your blog unique. And then some people choose to stick w/a certain theme or topic. That works, too.

    can't wait to see your tips! :o) <3

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  22. Thanks Neka, I didn't even know that! Nice...:)

    @Kitkat and LTM, that is also true, and I'll talk more on that in a future article.

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  23. Great topic!

    The best blogs seem to have lots of blogger/reader interaction.

    I also like bloggers who are funny.

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  24. Great post.
    I'll be waiting for the tips
    Thanks

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  25. Thank God blogger restored your posts. Waiting for the rest of the tips

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  26. Definitely like this and looking forward for some more tips as YSU Continue searching for her voice :)

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  27. Good one. The first and most important thing- be yourself. That's always good advice in every part of life

    Adiya

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  28. Good one. The first and most important thing- be yourself. That's always good advice in every part of life

    Adiya

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  29. Myne your blog doesn't like me lol, its always giving me a hard time. It used to disrupt my internet connection now it takes all day for me to be able to post a comment :(

    Anywho, i think part of what makes a good blog is relating to the audience while also being able to make them think.

    But i anxiously await your own tips :)

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  30. @LadyNgo, I'm sorry to hear that, I can't imagine what is going on. I try not to have too many things going on.

    I agree with you on relating to the audience, that is very important.

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  31. you are so right, it is really important to find your voice and stick with it. personally i look at my blog and i think i have tried to stay away from being a magazine/gist type blog, i have always wanted to write about random things that affects everyone's life basically, and i sure hope i still am on track. ps:havent read "A love rekindled" will grab my copy this weekend, hopefully u will sign both books i have when we see.

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  32. "what makes a good a good blog is being able to stand out. It is imperative in this milieu of different and similar voices that a blogger strikes that note of uniqueness... the truth is that if your blog does not stand out, your visitors may not return" - I agree ma.

    Bring on the tips ma. We all need to learn from you. I spoke at a seminar back in Nigeria on tips to successful blogging and I shared my experience. The feedback I got amazed me. Several people are struggling to blog out there and they need these tips ma. God bless you.

    - LDP

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  33. I think finding your own voice is important too; be it humor, hard truth, student,entertainment, girl next door, opinionated without apology :). Secondly minding your grammar and spellings!

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  34. Hmmm. Nice & educative. For me, blogging is about letting out those imaginations that swell my brain. If followers come; good (& I will appreciate them)! If not, I'll still be writing.

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  35. Thanks for the comments.

    @Dianah, I agree that when you see how much people love gossip, it's tempting to jump on th boat, :)

    @LDP, thanks dear. That's so true, a lot are interested, just not sure how to go about it.

    @Ginger, Yeah, that too :) It is a turn off for me personally to come across too many bullets.

    @Olumide, nice sentiments. Then this set of tips may not be for you. But I get you, when I first started, I didn't mind that I had no visitors, I just kept writing.

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  36. Great idea, Myne. I agree that a unique writing style and a distinct voice are critical.

    Waiting on your further ideas.

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  37. Hey Myne!
    Been a while. Thanks for stopping by tp see how I was doing. I still owe you one.

    Great post as always, by the way. I've missed many of your posts, but it's good to be back.

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  38. Thanks Nana, I agree.

    @Naijamom, wow, you're back! Nice to read from you again.

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  39. I certainly agree about being yourself, never fails!
    Hope to read part 2 of this post, interesting... xx

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  40. I've really been looking forward to this post and had it in my inbox for days so I could give it due attention when i opened it and I'm glad I did. You are completely right Myne, there uis so much blog advise out there all saying the same things that it's really refreshing to get some with a fresh take. Most say don't bother about the follower ship. I agree don't obsess about it but to me deep inside if I am being hones, everytime I see one more person follow or evidence of another visitor that stops by to comment, it feels good that someone I don't knwo somewhere paid inough attention/interest to what I say to give of their time. You know its like saying you do the job for the love of it but you're secretely please when the boss gives you a pat on the back.
    The other point which I really appreciate is the focus on voice rather than how short or long posts must be. I think that's very prescriptive advice and no matter the length, if your blog sounds like the unique individual you are, then it really is worth any amount of time it dictates. Not that I have this down pat yet (the voice thing)....I've only been blogging since January this year and I'm just winging it right now, surprising myself with what blogging is bringing out of me and I like it, so it seems do 70 other people. I mean to keep this up, your post is very encouraging. Ime-na

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  41. haha... pure water lol
    Lovely tips, guess its all bout creativity n being urself

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  42. Thanks Plus1 and Chizy K. So right.

    @Wendy, your comment is awesome, you hit the nail right on the head! I think you're doing a great job on your blog too.

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  43. Myne, I have ordered a book by Teju Cole titled 'Open City'. Do you have any interview on him?

    The book is selling and the review in the UK and US newspapers were very good without criticism.

    Teju used to write for NEXT newspapers and I used to enjoy his articles on how to write etc. The Bobo has made it o.

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  44. Hello Myne,
    I came accross your post on Nairaland.
    I was lucky to figure this out early in my blogging career (2008). It's all about knowing who you are blogging for and the best method to monetize your blog with such audience (that is if you intend to make money off your blog) To answer your question,"What is your Purpose for Blogging?" I'm blogging to add value to a defined audience and make "Full Time Income" doing it.

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  45. Thanks for this...you made my night

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  46. I have a blog, but I don't see myself as a blogger!! the stress is too much, keeping up with post and trying to gain new followers and visitors.

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