Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Makes a Must-Read Blog?

This week, I kicked off a blogger support group that's been in the works for awhile. It's a small group. There's just 5 of us, but I hope that we all get something out of it. As part of the group, we will be sharing blogging tips and advice through  a group e-mail, in addition to commenting on each others blogs and promoting with social networking. It will run for six weeks. If all goes well, I may do another six-week group after this. If interested, please e-mail me at so I can put you on a waiting list.

While participating in the group, I also want to explore some blogging issues here to get input from readers and other bloggers, all with the idea that we can improve our blogs to help meet our writing goals. Advice, tips and experience are all welcome in the comments! 

Today, I read How to Be an Irresistible Blogger on BlogHer.

She maintains that most irresistible bloggers make connections with their readers and are great writers.

Is this true for you?

Why do you keep going back every day or every week to read certain blogs? Is it the connection factor? Or is it more about the writing? Or is it something else?

I've been thinking about my must-read blogs and why I keep reading.

Here's a short list of the blogs I read with almost every new blog post and why:

The Girl Who - I love Monica's writing style. Some of her posts are lengthy, but I usually hang on every word and often find myself laughing a bit. She's witty and endearing. As far as connection goes, I don't feel it on her blog. I've commented a few times, but my comments don't get answered. She gets a lot of comments, when comments are turned on, but I don't see her presence in the comments too much. But, I keep reading for the writing and I'm disappointed when she hasn't posted in a while.

Plant City Lady - This one is mostly about the connection. Carol and I have been following each other's blogs for a while. We've e-mailed, she's given me advice, we've promoted each other's blogs, and she's one of the members of the blogger's support group. I also enjoy her writing style on a topic that isn't common in the blogging world.

Mamapundit - It's hard to define why this blog is a must read for me. I'm not in love with Katie's writing style. It's okay. Every now and again she writes something I really like, but often her posts are too long. She's present in her comments and has responded to mine on occasion, but I don't feel a strong connection. I've been a follower for over two years, though. I think I'm caught up in her story, which is pretty dramatic. 

Outside the Box - This one is about connection, too. I know Micky in real life. Our kids have played together and go to Sunday school together. I know how much she likes to write and I'm rooting for her. I love how she's gotten more comfortable with blogging and writing for the world to read as she's gone on with her blog. I think that comes across in her writing style. She's also a member of the blogger's support group.

I have several other blogs that I read semi-regularly.

Penniless Parenting and Resweater both have really good information on a consistent basis. They have the kind of blogs I feel like I'm getting something useful from every time I read. Whether it's a recipe, a tip or an idea, I keep going back to see what's going to be offered up next. Incidentally, Penniless Parenting is a part of the blogging group, as well.

What are your must-read blogs? Why?


  1. I appreciate including me in this first group of bloggers supporting each other.

    I read widely on news, food, Alzheimer's, homeschooling, counseling, theology, and family blogs. I must have over 100 bloga on my dashboard and some that come to my e-mail as well.

    The ones that come to my e-mail from places like .net or demand my attention to get rid of them in my InBox. Some of them after I comment make me sign back in. That is annoying so I don't always write or read these blogs.

    I tend to like the ones that do not need blog approval and where the comments added some back to my InBox--all from addresses I believe. However, Barb, we have made that connection so I know you will post my comments after you approve them.

    I connect with you because you are sensible and organized and real. You discover. I want those qualities in my blog as well.

  2. Carol - You brought up an interesting point regarding comments and approval. I used to have open commenting, but got hit with some serious spam from a porn site. They left over 100 spam comments and they were still rolling in, until I finally set my comments to need my approval. I had to go through and delete all the spam comments. Until recently, I had the captcha on my blog, too. I read a really great article on BlogHer about why us bloggers don't need both, so I got rid of that. I'd love to get rid of the moderation, too, but too many spam comments come in for me to want to get rid of it.

  3. I must confess, I'm not a blog fan. but the standard of presentation and especially the quality of your content makes this blog most enjoyable.

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