Why I do [don’t] read your blog?

8 05 2012

Where are the pictures????

I’m pretty picky when it comes to the blogs I read. There are a ton of bad ones out there, but also quite a decent number of good ones. I won’t name any in particular since I don’t want ninjas attacking me in my sleep!

Here is what I like in a blog:

  • topics I am interested in
  • minimum of a photo with every post ideally lots of photos
  • high quality photos
  • decent writing
  • reasonable spelling [I’m not perfect – you don’t have to be, but quick isn’t spelled kwik!!]
  • blog template/layout/colours that are comprehensible and easily readable
  • regular updates [less than once a week and I lose interest]
  • on going stories/topics I can follow

Here is what turns me off:

  • no photos = no reading on my part
  • few and/poor photos = less reading and maybe I’ll stop visiting
  • terrible spelling and poor writing = I’ll give up trying to understand what you are on about
  • post your heart rate/power meter data frequently and my eyes glaze over
  • post endlessly about trips and bike builds you are planning, but never complete either and I lose interest
  • post less than 1/week and I stop coming by
  • post erroneous info regularly

The key thing for me in a blog is that I get what I expect to get from it. I can accept infrequent updates if you are on a tour in a remote area. I can accept mediocre photos from a someone on a great tour who is able to write well. What I can’t deal with is randomly posted content that is never what I expect to see when I expect to see it.

As a blog author it’s very important to set the reader’s expectations to match what you are going to deliver.

Let me leave you with one tip to make your blog better [something that I learned the hard way] – post about things you have done – not things you hope to do. Especially if looking back you aren’t scoring about 90% on achieving your goals/projects. We have all read blogs that go on endlessly for months about gear selection, route planning, etc… for some major bike expedition that fails after the first week because they didn’t train or prepare well in real life – despite spending so much time on the blog. It’s lame, but not as lame as when the same person starts blogging about racing the GDR next year and spends a year going on about that only to fail to start or fail after day 3.


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8 responses

8 05 2012
Greg Weber (@onespeedgreg)

Well said. I tried blogging.. Just couldnt get into it.. I look at your blog and some others that are done well, and wonder if burnout ever hits? I think I blogged for about 3 weeks and was just over it. Im glad there are folks around that enjoy it.. You have got me going on the whole kiteboarding thing..And I thank you.

8 05 2012
Eric

I agree. One thing I might add that would make this blog better for me is allowing for full posts to show up in rss feeds such as google reader. I regularly skip posts on this site because it just takes longer to get to the content.

8 05 2012
thelazyrando

@Eric – my content already sees enough piracy on SPAM sites that giving them access to the full feed would exacerbate the situation.

The other reason I don’t do full RSS feeds is that the blog template and layout/design is part of the art of blogging. Just getting the text and images in a reader does not convey what I created. Sort of like looking an artists at some photos of an artist’s pictures rather than seeing them hung in a gallery where the lighting and relationship of each element has been chosen.

Ultimately if that means less people read each post I can live with that. I don’t get paid for this and whether 2500 or 2200 people read this blog everyday is irrelevant to me.

8 05 2012
Eric

@lazy – I mostly read blogs from my iPhone so the formatting I end up getting is less than optimal, but I can fully appreciate what you say; you obviously care about and put much thought into what you do and it shows in the quality of your posts.

8 05 2012
Chandra Eswran

I see someone I recognize!
Paz :)

8 05 2012
Swtchbckr

Hi there, i only found your blog a couple months ago. I agree 100% about what you’ve said about blogs. I blog too, but alas i break a couple of your rules, i dont often post pictures, and my posts are generally only a couple a week (based on a couple of off road rides a week). Also mine’s pretty ‘local’ in focus. Sometimes i post pics, but not every post, and they’re generally only taken on my cellphone. i began blogging mainly to keep track of, for example, when i last rode a particular trail, or with whom. I seldom talk about stuff i’m going to do… except my dreams of owning a pugsley one day…

Enjoyed seeing a that Troll a couple of posts back, i’m rockin’ one of them with an Alfine 8spd as my daily commuter (which i one day intend on touring on)

Keep up the good work.

8 05 2012
champs794

I know nobody cares about my (unlinked) content, very much because my interests are too eclectic.

For what it’s worth, I have a Google Reader app for Android (NewsRob) that fetches the Readability/Instapaper version by default.

9 05 2012
alan

This is an excellent blog I check a few times a week.
Well done Vik!

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