What's the difference between a blog with thousands of readers and one with only a few? With the exception of advertisement and how long the blog has been open, what is the difference? I've been reflecting on this subject for ages. Mainly, I've been trying to define why I like certain blogs so much; what makes me follow and read faithfully.
HOW TO HAVE A BAD BLOG / BE A BAD BLOGGER: Focus wholly on catching up with what's new in the blogging world. Do everything the popular bloggers do and pretty much just copy them. But -- warning -- try to cover it up so no one notices that you're actually copying. Do everything they do and comment even if you didn't read the post. Get your url out there and everywhere. Be annoying about it, they'll come eventually! And always, always, always check your stats and followers box. If you don't get more than 14 comments, it was a bad post. Try to do something more like what the popular bloggers do next time.
Alright, that is pretty extreme, but it happens and I've seen it. But seriously? Are we really that pathetic? What's even the point to blogging if that's the sort of junk we're going through to get more readers? If all we care about is getting more readers? Let's be real for a bit: What makes you want to follow a blog?
HOW TO HAVE A GOOD BLOG / BE A GOOD BLOGGER: authentic and unique content. Some photos (even if they're just some snapshots, they don't have to be DSLR, just your best. It's better if you actually took them). A clean design (it doesn't have to be fancy, just nothing florescent or hard to read or cluttered. Simple is generally best). Relatable posts. And an author that engages with readers and isn't constantly begging for more readers.
It sounds so simple, but anyone with experience will tell you that it is extremely hard. Being authentic is hard. Want to know why? Because we're all constantly slipping (even just the teeniest bit) into the bad blogger hole. You haven't gotten a follower in a few days or maybe a week. You haven't gotten many comments on your latest post. So you look to the popular blogs for ideas...or, to make it sound better, "inspiration." (+.) You see something you like, so you do something similar. You still don't get many comments. So you find something else and -- let's be honest -- copy it. And it goes on, over and over and over. You keep copying and copying and copying, but nothing gets you more comments or readers.
What is this, guys? What is this? What makes you want to read a blog? Authentic content. And all of us know that. But we keep copying popular blogs because it got them comments and followers, and we thought maybe that would work for us, too. It worked for them because they came up with it! They started it. It was authentic because they did it first. It's not authentic when you do the same thing, so no one cares. It's nothing new. And I don't understand why we ever thought copying would work for us.
Readers want to see something new. Something that you thought, saw, did, or created. They don't want a replica of what Ms. Popular Blogger did.
I've fallen into that trap before -- the trap of thinking that copying will work. Maybe you have, too. Maybe you're in that trap. Just crawl out if it, friend, because it's a lie we always seem to believe. You're strong, you're incredible, and you have bounds of potential. Let's stop trying to do what's popular and let's create something new. Popular is so overrated, anyway. And, let's be real: You guys are amazing in your own way. You don't have to be Hannah-amazing or Carlotta-amazing, or anyone-else-amazing. Just be you-amazing. [and because you know much I love quotes, I made this for you: http://pinterest.com/megankm/be-you-amazing-quotes/]
+. But seriously, guys, there is a such thing as inspiration, and there's also a such thing as going too far. And because Kylie is just amazing and fantastic and seriously one of my favorites, she did a excellent job of uncovering this topic, so check out her post: http://spencerandkylie.blogspot.com/2012/04/letter.html. By all means, go get inspired. But make it your own.