Friday, August 31, 2007
1 The Voice of the Blog: What Compels Me to Write & Read Blogs
(Addenum: I realize that this particular post is somewhat off-topic, in that it's not exactly about running or fitness, but since the subject matter IS about blogging, it IS somewhat relevant, if only indirectly so....)
Isn't it refreshing to know that this blog is a mini-narrative of a person's life (or rather, an aspect of a person's life), instead of just being one of those usual commercial blogs out there in the blogosphere that solely exist to push products? I just love those blogs that are nothing but ads, ads, ads, & absolutely NO content. Hahahaha. (I'm kidding here, people!)
And don't you just absolutely love how so many of them push product so hard into your face that you just want to wring your hands & walk away??!!!! ;-)
Well, I promise you that I won't do that to you, dear reader.
Now while I realize the need to make a buck, what I'd really like to know is just how many of those zillions of fly-by-night sites (that seem to replicate endlessly like mutant amoebic blobs & look like they were slapped together in two seconds flat!), are really that effective in selling their products anyhow? And you KNOW which ones I'm talking about. People seem to think that if they have ten zillion blogs, with names that are only slight variations on a theme, like http://sellyourproducthere.com, http://sellyourproductnow.com, http://sellyourproductoday.com, etc., that this proliferation will help take them to the next level of selling. I think this is a load of crap. 'Tis better to have unique blogs that distinguish you & your product(s) from the herd, and to devote your time to writing a few GOOD blogs, as opposed to 10,000 mediocre endlessly mutating blogs that waste your time & everyone else's to boot. Most people don't even LOOK at blogs after the first 10 you've listed with similar names. It's just market saturation without any distinction. I'd like to know what the thought processes are for people who set up these flimsy little blogs that took 2 seconds of effort & ALL look the same. Where's the FUN in that?! I mean, even if your focus is business-related, there's DEFINITELY a better way to market yourselves, people!
Simply put, the most effective commercial blogs out there are those that know how to target/reach their audience, and also offer something to the public (i.e., free tips & advice, etc.) instead of just being concerned with "sell, sell, sell, baby!"
Now of course, I do have two company blogs of my own, Ladybug Tea Co. & Welcome to My Planet, but again, the focus of these blogs is to discuss the various subjects surrounding the businesses I run (i.e., fashion, jewelry, tea & spices, entrepreneurship, etc.), & not just to discuss the products I make.
I personally prefer reading blogs where I can learn something interesting & have some fun in the process. I think that most people would generally agree that if you've got some spare time for blog-reading, it better be something interesting that immediately captures your attention. Now, I realize that this is, of course, highly subjective. And before you get the wrong idea, I'm not necessarily advocating the idea of grabbing the blogosphere spotlight by by any means necessary either. However, my point is that it's important to SAY something of value in your blog. And not just hear you talk about the fact that you ate a banana at 2 pm today. Ooh-ooh-ah-ah-ah! Let's distinguish ourselves from our simian cousins a bit more, shall we?! ;-)
The most compelling blog voices out there are those that SAY something meaningful. That's what makes ME want to read your blog.
It's also subject-specific: Of course, like any other person, the blog topics I most enjoy reading reflect my own personal interests; they are usually either recreational (i.e., music, film, TV, fashion, cooking, fitness/running, health/nutrition, cats, humor, literature, writing, etc.), philosophical (interesting, funny, &/or thoughtful personal narratives, or blogs about people's own original ideas or a discussion of others people's ideas -- the subject can be about pretty much anything in the universe), or anything geeky or entrepreneurial in nature (blogs focusing on small business administration, investing, retail, new technologies & techie gadgets, blogging, etc.).
Yes, that certainly covers a lot of territory. (I've got a lot of interests, & the blogs to match them all! OK, maybe not all.) Now maybe other people aren't interested in as many subjects in blog format, but then again, maybe they are. Of course, the larger point is that no matter what your topic is, you'd better have something meaningful to say..... And it also helps to be funny & unique while you're at it. ;-)
Let us not forget the first rule of blogging: Don't put your audience to sleep! ;-)
IMHO, blogs are best when they are a source of enlightenment & entertainment all rolled into one. They are a great way to share & exchange resources, a excellent source of practical information, a way to communicate with the world at large, a means of promoting yourself, your vision, &/or your products, as well as a window into the minds of others.
As for why I blog: I find it to be extremely fun, useful, & often highly cathartic. I love the act of writing in general (& of course love reading just as much!). So, it's not so surprising that I really enjoy blogging. (I hope it shows!) And of course, I hope that you enjoy reading my blogs just as much as I love writing them!
So thank you, my wonderful faithful readers out there in the vast wide blogosphere, for reading, commenting, faving, & subscribing to my blogs! You are what makes the blogosphere great. You make these blogs a truly interactive experience. I can't thank you enough for your interest & loyalty.
Until the next blog post.....