Skip navigation

Blogs That Stand Out

Recently, someone complimented this blog, saying “among all the blogs I’ve looked at this is one that really stood out”. I loved the compliment, but it also got me thinking.

What makes a blog stand out from the blogging crowd for you?

What is it about a blog that makes it stand out from the blogging crowd for you?

Is it the pretty? The interesting web page design that makes it enjoyable to look at as well as read? Or is the pretty pictures or way the information is presented, regardless of the content?

Is it the content, the words, the ideas, the point of view that captures your attention and keeps you returning for more? Do you have to agree with their opinion or perspective or do you make return visits because they are the opposite of your point of view? Or because you find it entertaining?

How much does the entertainment or thought-provoking element matter to you when it comes to returning to a blog? Or is it the educational value? Do you come back because you keep learning new things?

How has your “return factor” changed since you started blogging? Do you find yourself returning to the same blogs since you began blogging, or has your “blogging crowd” changed and now new blogs stand out that are different from when you started? How has this changed and what is it about the blogs that make them make your top blog list?

What are the elements that make a blog make your top blog list? I’m really curious. Is it consistent across all the blogs in your top blog list? Or do different blogs meet different criteria?

So, what makes a blog stand out for you? And why do you keep coming back?

Best Blogs recently asked this same type of question:

There are one hundred and six thousand blogs and counting listed on wordpress.com and finding your blog is like finding nickles on the street. Chances are we won’t find it. What can you do to get noticed?

That’s really tough. I would make friends in the blogging community. Add people to your blogroll and comment on other people’s site. And don’t forget to have good blogable material. Write about what interests you and have a passion for it….What do you think constitutes a “good” blog?

I want you to really think about what makes a blog stand out from the crowd, and then answer me this: How does your blog stand out from the crowd, or what should you do to make it stand out from the crowd?


Site Search Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

11 Comments

  1. Posted May 3, 2006 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for commenting on the situation Lorelle. As for what makes a blog stand out? There’s no single good answer. If there was, everyone would copy it and everyone’s blog would be good. I think that part of it comes from personal traits. Their “about” page, their writing style and the rest comes from their commitment. Those traits are hard to re-duplicate and thus a good blog is created.

  2. Posted May 3, 2006 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    For an unknown blog that I come across on the net

    1. Look
    Although content is king. Look is the king’s clothes.
    Most of the time good looks comes with good content because the author bother to make it look good.
    If you do not have skill to make it look good, make it plain.

    2. Content
    How do I come ot an unknown blog?
    By following a search or a link.
    I take a few seconds to scan the content. If it is good, I browse around the site and bookmark it.

    Back to the look. If I’m searching, I would open multiple sites. Even sites gets a chance of being look at but the good looking site gets the attention.

    Another point that I had noticed about how I navigate is the favicon

    Since I use Firefox, I have typically 20-30 tabs open on multiple windows at any one time.
    How do I go to the site that I look at a few seconds back? I notice the favicon on the tab.

  3. Posted May 3, 2006 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    I thought the general rule is, if you don’t get hooked within the first 30 seconds of reading a blog, chances are you won’t be coming back to it.

    Where do I stand on being noticed. Not much at all, 3 years and some odd weeks and I hardly get about 100-140 unique hits a day. I guess for a personal blog, there isn’t really much there to stand out from the crowd, not that alot of that matters. Do I want to stand out from the crowd? That would be very nice, but because I’m a personal blogger, content for me has to be king…which is not…or I’m not reaching the right people.

    How I can reach the right people, that…is a question not even technorati could solve for me. So it’s still the slow climb uphill to see who actually comes back to my blog and read.

  4. Posted May 3, 2006 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Pleasant design is important, but not necessary. A million and one web designers would like to disagree with me on that probably, but all I need to do is point you toward The Best Page in the Universe (depending on what page you’re on, NSFW due to language).

    And contrary to what a million and one writers will tell you, it’s not all about content either. I think a huge portion of the web is about your personal staying power and commitment. I love Maddox’s site and terrible, morbid humor, and that is about his content, but he’s also got a history behind his website, and that’s what I see most big guys fail to mention in telling you how to start your site off to a good start, how to make yourself stand out. Chances are, no matter how great your content is or how beautiful your designs are you aren’t going to have much buzz around your work for a year or so (in most cases, unless you’re being linked by big-name sites). For one, few people know about you, but secondly, you don’t have a lot of content yet.

    Logic will tell you that more content–not even quality content!–equals a better chance someone will visit you. Blogs stand out this way in search engines, honestly. If you search for something and get five results from one site and only one result from another, unless that one is really applicable to what you’re looking for, you have a better chance of going to the site that has five relevant links. This isn’t to say it will ultimately be the best, but it’s long-term contribution to the internet will make it stand out in ways that newcomers cannot achieve.

    Gimmicks also help a writer stand out, just like in advertisement. “The quicker picker upper.” “I’m thinking Arby’s.” “Double your pleasure, double your fun.”

    Maddox’s gimmick has been “The Best Page in the Universe.” You don’t think something like that could get searched by hundreds of web novices, now, do you? If people will search for things like “the end of the internet”–which I saw someone do after a series of funny commercials about that–then they will most certainly search a phrase like that. They’ll also remember it. Catch phrases are handy; long-term commitment to the web will help get it out, and you can’t get that over night.

    My website has grown exponentially in the last year in terms of visitors. But I’ve found, to a great degree, this had little to do with content or design. It had to do with the fact that I’ve been on the web consistently for the past seven years, and my name and URL, or variations of it, are planted in thousands of places. (When you search “leliathomas” on Google–my typical username–you’ll have thousands of results.) I’ve left hundreds, if not thousands, of comments on blogs just like this one; I’ve been in forums. I’ve helped people and debated with others.

    My catch phrase has been “new art with an old style” for the past two years, but one of my main gimmicks has been humor. I’m not always a humorous person on my website, but humor draws a lot of people there and many end up staying. I only use old-fashioned signatures in emails; everywhere else, especially if it’s informal to a great degree, I’ll use a signature with something funny in it and link to my website via its words. One thing I’ve loved doing is using straightforward definitions. I mean, honestly, have you ever looked up the straight-laced dictionary term for “orgasm?” It’s humorous and out of place in many a setting, and it draws people toward it in a sort of “what the hell?” way.

    Another suggestion is an obvious one. Get linked to–and not just by anyone, but by someone with some history behind them or with some staying gimmick of their own.

    As a final note, however, be yourself. I see hundreds of people trying to start things for money or fame, and it comes off as fake and lame. Don’t write about something unless you’re interested in it. It will not only make it easier on you, but it will also make your site more enjoyable because users can tell the motive behind something usually. Yet, just like in real life, a lot of people get on the Joe Cool bandwagon, forgetting that it’s their own unique personality and taste that will make them stand out from the crowd.

  5. Posted May 3, 2006 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Edrei, that’s true about the first few seconds being vital to a user. Makes me wonder, then, why so many high end web designers think it’s wise to put so much of their interesting side content in the footer.

  6. Maria
    Posted May 3, 2006 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I have to guess success is relative to everybody. For me, the key factor is content, and how interested I am in that particular topic at the time. Interesting content can be educational, personal, or visual. It doesn’t matter, as long as I feel it regularly adds to my life. But of course, my interests may change.

    I only read regularly those blogs whose RSS feed I’ve bookmarked on Sage (Firefox). And with other things I’ve subscribed to, I only have space for 10 blogs. That’s it. If I find a new blog I’m interested in, something else must come off.

    For a blog to get added to my Sage bar, I must have been checking it out for some time. If I realize that the blog has posted content I’ve found interesting most of the time, I’ll consider subscribing to the feed.

    Presentation is important, but not a deal-killer as long as the navigation works, and content is interesting enough (at least at the time). For instance, I have recently unsubscribed to two blogs whose designs are beautiful, but I’m just not that interested in their content any more. And this theme, Lorelle, is not the most beautifully designed, but I can navigate the content ok, and at the time, I’m very interested in most of what you write about. Another example: Although I’m interested in what certain web guru has to say, his RSS feed kept bringing me articles from blogs different than his, so bye-bye.

    I guess if a blog has so-so content, but it’s beautifully designed, it may catch my attention initially. But if the content doesn’t add enough value (and value could be simple personal entertainment), presentation alone won’t keep the blog standing for long. And that, coming from a web designer.

  7. William Parry
    Posted May 3, 2006 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Constant blogging is all well and good, but you can have breaks. I had a break for a while and I still got quite a few people taking a look (which was odd).

    I find talkative material the good, things that people can comment on and make a contribution. I post across a large amount of categories (as I’m sure other people do too) and I can therefore appeal to more people.

    Beautiful design is not that important a factor. Take a look at one of the most popular blogs on WordPress.com – http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/03/04/the-role-of-anti-marketing-design/

  8. Posted May 3, 2006 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I vowed to write an average of a post a day. I’ve gone well beyond that. But I made that pledge to myself because I’d seen many promising blogs suddenly grind to a halt with new content and eventually die from neglect.

    People think this blogging thing is easy. But I’ve noticed the ones that are good at it and get a lot of traffic are the ones who work at it and try to squeeze in a lot of variable content. That’s what I’ve tried to emulate. In nine months, I’ve gone from being lucky to have 100 page views a day to averaging well over 400.

    I think having a photo or illustration with an occasional entry to break up the gray helps, too.

  9. Posted May 5, 2006 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I think consistent, high-quality posting is the most important thing you can do to make your blog stand out – not only today, but a year or five years from now when people will still be exploring your archives. People like to tell other people about interesting ideas or new ways of looking at the world, and if you can provide originality and expertise that helps people succeed in life, you’re well on your way to standing out from the crowd.

  10. Posted May 9, 2006 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Blogs that stands out is “a matter of interest and opinion”. Whether I am looking for something specific, bored and stumbled upon what might be of interest, or just looking for mix content, I am more inclined to visit again base upon the receptiveness of the host and hostesses.

  11. Posted October 19, 2006 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Nice to read this section. Can someone go to my site, take a look and give me suggestion pls @ http://www.mydreamjournal.com

    Thanks. I am a newbie. ok maybe this is not the correct place to post this request. Pls excuse if it is.


8 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] I just read Lorelle’s article Blogs That Stand Out, and it occured to me that blogs are like music. [...]

  2. [...] I just read Lorelle’s article Blogs That Stand Out, and it occured to me that blogs are like music. [...]

  3. [...] I wrote recently asking you all about what makes a blog stand out from the crowd, and some interesting comments came up. I think that some of these are worth discussing. [...]

  4. [...] Blogs That Stand Out [...]

  5. [...] Blogs That Stand Out [...]

  6. [...] Standout! Be different. You can’t do that if your blogs theme looks like everyone else’s. [...]

  7. [...] just read Lorelle’s article Blogs That Stand Out, and it occured to me that blogs are like [...]

  8. […] Blogs That Stand Out […]

Post a Comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,272 other followers

%d bloggers like this: