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.
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Excellent “flavorants”, Ann. And it’s good to create your own terms.
I’m trying to find my own flavorants on my blog, and I must admit, it can be hard, especially the style and language as English is a foreign language to me.
Nice post Ann and good timing too. We have a client starting a new blog next week and I’m giving him this link. Btw, blog flavor? I like it! It sounds kinda sexy w00t!
“Knowing the audience” is the hardest part. You get comments from buddies, link whores, trolls, and few folks who discovered your blog and really like it. Unfortunately, 99.9% of your readers don’t leave comments, don’t participate in polls, and don’t call/email/IM/Twitter you. Feedburner/MBL/server-stats provide just an impression …
@Hjortur Smarason: same here – I too blog in foreign language; and your blog does have a favor (most evident favorants are a person and unique ideas). Keep it up!
@status_girl: Lol… a few more ‘sexy’ words by any of us and we are doomed to seo well… you know what… 🙂
@Sebastian: you are perfectly right! Thank you for stopping by – that’s an honor for me.
I love this post!!
You are right Ann…. a blog needs flavor. Something that brings us (the readers) coming back for more. A bland blog just doesn’t do that.
Oh, by the way, I’m thrilled that you listed my Social Desire Blog as a Blog with Style. That means so much to me.
Thanks for the comment, Shana, your site is an excellent ‘blog with favor’ example!
I really prefer a Baskin Robbins blog with at least 28 flavors. But then I do have a short attention span.
Your post defined branding perfectly and did so without “marketing speak”, excellent!
As a Normal Challenged Artist™, I am a big fan of “flavor”, attitude and fun graphics are my weakness, lol. It was the martini image on your post that drew my attention as I’m slightly martini obsessed too!
Great post on the internet works. I used to just simply to a little blogging but I found out that social bookmarking and search engine submissions are also helpful for marketing. I will be trying that soon.
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