Recently we asked our 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.