Wednesday, 20 January 2016

What Makes A Blog 'Good'?

Blogs have been in abundance for a long time now, with the 'blogosphere' growing at an increasingly rapid rate, but what makes the good ones stand out among the rest?

You can choose any genre or niche or whatever you like to write about, but if you’re not confident in what you’re doing, it shows – and the quality of your content / work can suffer. I use to struggle with writing about beauty all of the time, because I did eventually get pretty fed up with it. Now I just throw caution to the wind and blog about whatever comes to mind, and I'm much happier with my blog because of it (although it may mean losing a few readers along the way, it's much better to write a blog you love than one you don't). I personally love blogs that mix it up, and it always good to show a little bit of your personal life and thoughts too (obviously only whatever you’re comfortable / happy with). Feel free to take risks, write about what you love and never feel like you have to write / blog about something for the sake of doing so.  

I know it’s not within everyone’s budget to buy fancy cameras or spend hours on photography, but truth be told, beautiful photos really do help a blog. Websites are, naturally, very visual things and there's nothing quite like a bunch of bright, beautiful photographs to attract an audience. If you blog about makeup, make sure to take photos of the products, swatch them, and if you’re feeling confident enough, photograph yourself wearing them. Outfit photography is a little difficult to do by yourself, so get someone to help you out – and if that someone knows their way around a camera, it really helps! Natural lighting is key for good photos, so try taking them early in the day. It’s pretty easy to do during the summer, but during winter, it means getting up a little earlier and trying to make the most of the winter morning sunlight! Obviously if you're not a beauty/fashion blogger, good photos aren't quite as necessary but pretty images are known to draw readers in more than just plain blocks of text.

I’ve stumbled across blogs several times and immediately clicked off because of a gaudy design. If I’m really interested, I’ll read on a little further, but it’s kind of hard when a blog’s background is shocking pink and slightly headache inducing. Keep. It. Simple. Monochromatic layouts have been pretty popular for quite a while, and it’s simply because they work. You can make the most beautiful and elaborate looking logo for the top of your webpage, if you like, but make sure to keep the bare bones – the blog posts themselves – simple and easy to read. They are, after all, the core of your blog and what will keep readers coming back for more!

As I said earlier, it’s entirely up to you to reveal as little or as much personality on your blog as you wish (bearing in mind, the simple rules of internet safety, of course!), but the one thing that runs true for every blog on my Bloglovin’ feed, is that the blogger themselves are easy to identify, in terms of how they write, how they take and edit their photos, and of course, by the little face in the sidebar of their page. This is quite easy to do if you’re a fashion blogger who regularly posts photos of their outfits, but otherwise, it’s not so easy. It can be as simple as uploading a photo onto your sidebar and writing a little piece about yourself underneath. Give the readers a face they can link with your work, and a little bit of basic information about yourself, and it helps them establish a much better connection between what they’re reading and who wrote it.

At the end of it all, it is, of course, your blog and you can do whatever the hell you like, but these are just some of the things I’ve learned myself over the last two+ years - and also what draws me to the blogs that I enjoy!
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.