When I first began blogging a year ago I did a lot of research. I was nannying close to 60 hours a week for two kids who went to school and a 2 year old that loved her naps so I had a lot of free time. At the time, I wasn’t happy where I was and knew I needed a change. I had gone to J school and interned at both a daily newspaper and a national monthly mens’ magazine, but I wasn’t doing anything with that experience . Writing is something I loved but it is also something that takes a lot of hard work and dedication to really make it big. So I started researching,
I looked at hundreds of blogs from all different niches. I scoured fashion, parenting, fitness, finance, and gossip blogs for weeks until I really narrowed it down to food and finance. Two things people have to deal with on a daily basis, and two things I am passionate about. From there it was time to dive in deep into other PF blogs and see what the market and audience liked.
There were some blogs that I looked at for the first time and thought, this is perfect! I loved the writer, I loved their story and it was easy to get around their pages. Then there were others who were just a complete mess. I am sure they had great information but I didn’t want to even stick around long enough to check it out. There are many things that I looked at when I started researching blogs and here are just a few of them.
Layout and Design
Navigating a website should be simple and easy. If it isn’t an organized and clean look to the site, most people will leave without looking into the actual content or what the writers really have to offer. Content is important but navigation and design is just as important.
About Me Pages
I want to know the author’s story. This especially is true when it came to personal finance blogs. Knowing someone’s background explains a lot about what the blog is going to be about. There are some blogs about new parents and how they are dealing with the new life that they brought into this world. Then there are bloggers who talk about their massive amounts of consumer or student loan debt they have acquired. Different stages in people’s lives are important also because it shows their point of view on finance and paying down their debts.
How often a blog is updated is a really important factor into a lot of aspects of keeping a blog. If I see a blog hasn’t been updated in a few weeks or months even, I immediately think that the information is old and not relevant so I move on.
I love a blog who has a lot of knowledge but brings it down to a personal level. If I wanted to read a news story I would head over to Forbes and start reading away, but I don’t. That is why people read blogs, to relate to them.
Content is obviously important. You can’t put up a bunch of crap and expect people to come back time and time again. But there are other factors that go into a good blog. What do you look at when you visit a blog for the first time? What do you want to get out of the experience?