Does Your Blog Have a Flavor?
The blog flavor (the term is invented by me, I guess) is what makes it unique. Have you ever tried to look at your blog “from outside” to see it the way your visitor does? Would you subscribe to this blog? Why would you (or why wouldn’t you)? Ok, I’d started reading blogs long before I started blogging and can honestly state here that there is more of a blog reader in me than of an author. Sometimes it is really hard for me to tell why some particular blog is so popular, but most often I can see those classic attention grabbing ‘website flavorants’ (one more term by myself) that makes it stand out from the crowd.
Blog flavorant #1: your blog attitude. What is an attitude? This is anything from being an emotional writer to expressing your honest independent opinion. I do know that Gabriel dislikes Google and I see Tad getting very emotional when speaking about language and the usage of words. This knowledge makes me closer to the author, I can’t help seeing and sharing his feelings. Attitude makes a blog sticky and unique. It stirs up either interest or excitement (or even hatred) but it leaves no reader untouched.
Blog flavorant #2: your blog unique ideas. This is an evident one, I would say. No visitor will want to come back to your blog unless he finds anything new, be it fresh examples, invented terms or your own research. Even if you are telling someone else’s story, you can always give your own examples or express your personal opinion.
Blog flavorant #3: your blog face (i.e. design, logo, color scheme, overall formatting, etc). Website design determines the first impressions that are hard to conquer afterwards – this is what makes a visitor stay for a second [instead of leaving immediately] before he starts reading. It is also a key element of branding. The best example which I can come up with right now is DoshDosh of course. You can either like or dislike his overall website theme but you will never forget it: Maki’s design is consistent and unique and it sticks in the visitor’s mind.
Blog flavorant #4: your writing style. I love Shana’s apt allegories and metaphors, and I adore Rebecca’s sense of humor. Unique writing style makes me a blogger’s loyal reader as I too care about language.
Blog flavorant #5: the person. Does your blog have a name behind it or is it written by an impersonal “admin“? Blogging itself is highly social – it connects people (‘people‘ is key here) with common interests. Your readers are your friends who will communicate with you by commenting your posts and helping to promote your site in social media. If you don’t have a person and personal story, it will be really hard to build friendship and hence loyal readership.
Blog flavorant #6: the blog audience. Do you know your [potential] readers? Do you speak the same language to them? Are your readers your customers or your partners? Each of your blog posts should be meant for a particular group of your readers. For example, my practical tips (e.g. my article on branding a domain name) appeal to a more general audience (read: possibly, my clients) while my personal niche related thoughts (e.g. my post on social media marketing) get a positive response from internet marketers like myself. Blogging is not about you speaking to the crowd, it’s about you communicating with your readers.