Why do people read blogs?

A few months ago I asked my readers why they read blogs. I was in the inevitable blog doldrums, no motivation to blog, and felt no sense of inspiration. I wanted to know what it was all about and why I should bother. I wrote a post, asked my readers ‘Why do you read blogs?’ and got a really interesting response from a lot of people!

In summary, this is what I learned from my readers’ comments:

1. People want to connect.

Sometimes this means they want to connect by interacting with you, leaving comments or tweeting with you.

Sometimes they want to connect by simply dropping by, lurking but smiling and nodding in agreement, as they learn that someone else feels the same as they do about something, even in their very different life.

2. People are interested in People.

People read blogs for the personal touch the blog offers over a magazine, newspaper or advert.

They like that there’s a human behind the blog who shares their ups and downs, their tips or life hacks, and asks for advice back from readers.

Readers stop by a blog again and again to hear how a story progresses: is your child beating that illness, is the house renovation progressing nicely, are the raised vegetable beds producing—oh, and they love to hear how to make those veg beds too.

Readers also enjoy watching a blogger’s writing style develop over time.

3. People are curious.

Blog readers are fascinated by glimpses into different lifestyles, homes, hobbies and points of view. Blogs offer insight into every day lives, how it feels to be that person, and live that life.

4. People like to know they’re not alone.

Sharing your stories helps people to realise that lots and lots of people across the globe experience something similar.

5. People like to improve.

Blogs are the perfect place for learning from others.

People like to discover if there’s a better way of doing what they do. Through blogs we can learn how others deal with step-kids, or how to bake something different for a friend’s birthday cake or what to do about carrots that won’t grow straight, or how others cope with redundancy.

6. People like to feel normal.

Real stories about real people coping with real situations—both the bad and the fab, are some of the beautiful things about reading blogs.

7. People like to Escape.

A blog that entertains or amuses is a great way to make a person stop, put the kettle on and escape the daily grind for a few minutes.

8. People like to read good writing.

You don’t have to be Margaret Atwood to be a good writer. Good blog writing is writing that is proofread before being published, it is writing that is succinct because readers don’t have a lot of time to read all their favourite blogs, it is writing that turns an ordinary subject into something interesting, useful and/or amusing.

9. People Like Authenticity.

And integrity. Feeling respected is important to readers.

People like to know they’re reading a real story when they click on a blog. They like to join in and support or share with you. Fake blogs are unpopular and fake blogs that pretend to be real make the blogging community angry. No one likes to be taken for a fool.

One thing readers love about blogs as opposed to magazines or opinion articles in newspapers is that they know most bloggers write without the need to impress an editor, or the urge to be controversial just to boost sales. Real, honest writing is what blog readers like.

10. People like the closeness of a blog.

They like to know that the writer is right there, within reach almost. Even on an anonymous blog, if a reader wants to ask the blogger a question they usually can and the blogger will usually reply. And often a blogger will visit a commenter’s blog and that reciprocal discussion creates a friendly feeling.

11. People love inspiration.

Whether it’s a book suggestion, a new craft technique, or an incredible tale of bravery, people love to be inspired.

So tell us, why do you enjoy reading blogs?

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About Michelle Garrett

Michelle Garrett is the author of The American Resident, where she blogs about making a life overseas, raising a blended family, herding cats, chasing chickens and attempting the Good Life in Essex. Michelle is a freelance writer and BritMums editor.

16 Comments

  1. 27 January 2012 / 18:20

    All of the above; I have a significantly large blog reader and fail to get round them all regularly, but I try to read as many as I can, when I can. I like to keep in touch with people I’ve been blogging with for nearly 5 years and I enjoy discovering new blogs. Learning about other people is so useful to anyone; it can enrich your life and teach you about a new lifestyle.

    CJ x

  2. 27 January 2012 / 19:12

    What an interesting post! I read blogs for the connection with other people and I agree about the importance of authenticity. I love blogs that don’t take themselves too seriously, but I value honesty and if that means a serious, tear inducing post sometimes then so be it. If I can help in some small way by commenting then I will.

  3. 27 January 2012 / 20:01

    Super post and I agree with the majority. I read blogs because I’m nosy and I like lots of information. I’m particularly fond of those where the writer takes a tongue-in-cheek approach rather than taking themselves too seriously. I learn a lot from other people and get a broader cross-section of advice more diverse than from family and friends. Really though, who doesn’t like a poke around someone else’s life? Or is that just me? Should I hang my head in shame?

  4. Susanna
    27 January 2012 / 20:10

    I started blogging when I had a gazillion kids everwhere and I just loved the feeling of not be the ONLY ONE. Great post Michelle.

  5. 27 January 2012 / 21:00

    I think for me its all of the above. Its also good to know your not alone in situations , people do understand, can help/support. Great post

  6. 29 January 2012 / 16:08

    I think I read blogs for all the reasons you mention. Also, I know it might sound weird, but I often wonder if I’m ‘normal’ and if it’s just my family that’s mad and am I doing things ‘right’ etc…and sometimes, reading a blog you identify with gives you that little glow inside when you realise “ahh, I feel like that or that happens to me!”

  7. 30 January 2012 / 12:59

    I think connecting is the main reason for me, and interest in other people and their experiences. It’s really nice to read real people’s experiences, good and bad. It makes it very relatable, even if the people are from completely different lives to your own.

    I also find that the blogging community can be so very friendly and supportive. I love reading to find out about good causes, and also to offer support to people going through tough times.

  8. 30 January 2012 / 16:55

    It actually makes me remember things I’d completely forgotten about university and childhood – almost like dreaming when you’re up at altitude – it’s a good thing.

  9. 31 January 2012 / 18:30

    I am trying hard to be a successful blogger and ended up asking the same question and searching the net for answers. Didn’t expect to find a comprehensive list I can pin up to remind me every now and then why I should be blogging.
    Many thanks!

  10. 23 June 2012 / 14:40

    I read different blogs for different reasons. Some inspire or teach me. Some make me laugh or cry. Others help me to connect with others who are in the same boat. I love the interaction and being able to help as well as being helped.

  11. 24 July 2012 / 18:35

    So glad I stumbled across this great post. It’s so true that people are very social and curious. We want to be with others and also have “voyeuristic” tendencies at times. I find that even on other social platforms like Facebook & Twitter you have people that just want to see what’s going on and those who really engage. I actually wanted to “de-friend” people who never posted anything but were looking at my posts and pics on facebook at one stage. Subsequently I realized that Just like in life, some people are the life and soul of every conversation while others are content to just be there and enjoy the buzz of the chatter. We all have different needs and reasons for connecting. Thanks for this post.

  12. 21 October 2012 / 18:43

    I find other blogs inspirational. I have never parented before and it is a constant learning curve so I love to see how others do it, what they do with their children and different activities so I can take something away to make my life better. x

  13. 21 October 2012 / 19:06

    I’ve been writing a weekly column – now blog – about family life for 9 years, and the one thing I think you have to do, and the one thing that people really like, is give of yourself. Your points about feeling that you’re not alone & authenticity absolutely nail it. Are you the only parents that have told your children if you say a special ‘magic prayer’ and flush the dead goldfish down the toilet it’ll go to a special watery Heaven? Absolutely not…

  14. 05 December 2012 / 21:27

    Great piece. When I first started writing and following blogs the blogosphere was a strange place where avatars got together and made it all a little smaller. The world has changed a lot since and I love the closeness and realness that blogs bring to all sorts if topics. It’s a fantastic way to communicate, not quite falling into fiction or journalism. It is quite unique!

  15. 11 December 2012 / 08:18

    Great list and I agree with them all but for me its mainly about connecting over a shared experience. It doesn’t have to be a daily blog which follows the intimacies of someones life though but a one off article that captures something I can relate to.