Makings of a Great Blog
I’ve always been a blog aficionado. I technically started my 1st blog in 2001 when they weren’t that popular, and have read different ones throughout the years since then.
Now that I’m blogging “for real” here at SMTT, I follow a lot of equestrian blogs. At the moment, it’s up to 302! Of course not all of those are very active, but I pretty much glance at most posts that go up from those 302 blogs (especially Monday-Friday, I get a little slack on the weekends) even if I don’t always comment.
From all these blogs, I obviously have my favorites. Different things in blogs are going to appeal to different people, but I’ve observed some patterns that depict a good blog in my mind.
If people know that you generally post new blogs every morning, they are going to reliably come back to visit your site more often. This isn’t to say that life gets in the way some time, but good blogs have a content schedule and stick to it for the most part. Erratic posting with long lulls in-between or unexpected makes it hard to retain readers. Blog All Stars: News from Oak Creek Ranch and Viva Carlos
We all like pretty things – especially in blog posts! Sometimes if I’m super busy, the pictures tell 75% of the story for me in a blog post. Even if you don’t take the pictures yourself (I am often guilty of taking stuff off of tumblr – proof in this post), adding pretty visuals can help break up long paragraphs of text and give readers a “breather” before they move on to the next extended paragraph about you working on perfecting the sitting trot. It’s also always better to vary up pictures if you can. We will notice if you re-post the same picture 100 times (guilty!) as well as take 500 cross tie pictures (also guilty!). Blogging All Stars: Equestrian at Hart and Pia’s Parade
Not every blog is the same, and lord help is if they all were. There are some really good, unique equestrian blogs out there because they have identified a niche and stuck with it. Maybe it’s a detailed training journal, or a tour of the hunter/jumper fashion world. Either way, you know what you’re in for when you visit these blogs and keep coming back because we enjoy what they have to offer. Blogging All Stars: Bakersfield Dressage and Horse Country Chic
Let’s face it – we blog about our horses because we love them. We love the sport, the ups and downs, and we can’t imagine our life without horses. Part of the reason I’m reading your blog is because I enjoy reading about your trials and tribulations and I want you to succeed. The more enthusiastic you are about the love for your horse, your goals, your drive… the more I want you to succeed! Blogging All Stars: Cash’s Steppin’ Up and Polka Dot Periodical
It’s hard to be naturally funny, but at the same time people love to laugh. You don’t tend to see this as much in equestrian blogs as you do in other genres, but it’s still present. Good comedy in an equestrian blog is like a happy bonus surprise. Blogging All Star: Little Bay Horse and Poor Woman Showing
No one is perfect. Whether you are showing on the AA circuit or trying to get your green broke horse to go in the corners… we all have struggles. Every rider in the whole world has struggles. So it can be a little off putting to read blogs that only talk about how awesome they and their horse are. Being aware of weaknesses and sharing them with the world in combination with sharing your triumphs gives me a clearer insight to you as a person. Showing what you’ve overcome only makes me more excited for your future success! Blogging All Stars: Alchemy Eventing and Fly On Over
Of course at the end of the day, it’s your blog. It doesn’t matter if I like it or if the world likes it – blog because it makes you happy. All of us bloggers know that these little online journals can be quite the time sink, and you should write about whatever works for you!
I should also add that for every few blogs I featured in these categories, I could pick a lot more! There are tons and tons of great blogs out there, these are just a few of my favorites.
28 thoughts on “Makings of a Great Blog”
How true! I know all of these things are things that I look for yet I have still become an erratic poster. One thing that I don’t slack on though is pictures 🙂 thanks for the shout out- it’s nice to know they are noticed!
I need to start blogging in the morning instead of the middle of the night! Or atleast schedule my posts! 🙂
Also shouldn’t have jinxed myself by saying it wasn’t jacket weather. We have a frost advisery now and we might get flurries in the morning! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Unless you won a super awesome Horze jacket that is! 😉
It’s hard to keep up a schedule with working full time. I usually brainstorm a list of blog posts for the week and then write them a day or two in advance.
Loved this post!! I’m following the majority of the blogs you posted about, but I saw a few that I’m not following..I’ll have to check them out! I’m always looking for a new blog to follow. ^_^
Thanks so much for including me! I’ve been told I’m too “enthusiastic” about horses-all by non-horsey people!-so it’s nice to hear otherwise! 😉 Of course, I don’t think there is such a thing as too enthusiastic about my pony!
Enthusiasm just shows you’re young and passionate and not jaded like the rest of us 🙂
Thanks for the mention friend!
I loved hearing what you loo for in a blog. 🙂
Thanks for the shout out! I swear I’m not naturally funny. It’s just that my horse loves to do cruel, embarrassing things to me that people construe as amusement. Thanks, Bobby. You dick.
I’m a big picture person–if I’m scanning a potential new blog to follow, if I don’t see at least one picture a post, I’m probably not going to add it to my list.
Bobby is like the Shirely to your Laverne 🙂 y’all are hilarious together as a team!
Great topic. I love blogs with pictures and I actually prefer ones with the blogger’s personal pics. I won’t post a blog if I don’t have a photo to go with it – and I’m not even a photo kind of gal – so now you know I’m mostly taking them just for the blog! 😀
My favorites blogs are ones that aren’t too wordy (don’t have time for books) and do have a little variety to their topics like training, tack review, show experience, lazy day stuff, etc. I don’t like when they stray off topic completely and tell me about their sick mom all week (in an horse blog).
Pictures draw me in too for sure. It’s usually only after I’ve been to a blog a lot that I read posts without any pictures.
Aaaah, I miss the days when I had a popular blog… when I had the serious desire to regularly blog. When people would come hunting for me if I didn’t post at least every other day. When people would come running to me at shows just to get a look at Gogo. When she died, the blogging kind of went out of me… I try hard to keep up with it but it isn’t the same anymore. I don’t read very many blogs anymore either… it’s a very strange thing.
I keep meaning to read more blogs and try and motivate myself to get back into it more… I need to really do that!
I honestly don’t think I could blog if something happened to Simon. You’ll get back to it as you feel like it abs I for one enjoying going to your blog to read updates on your cool projects 🙂
Love the list. I agree with most of the points. I think consistency is key UNLESS you just really like the particular blogger or their story. If I have made a connection with a particular blog, I do get concerned if they haven’t posted in awhile and wonder what is up. I will check my blog feed in hopes they will post soon. The other thing (back when I had time to comment on other posts which I have been really crappy at lately) is ease of responding to the post. I really do like to respond, but I hesitate when I have to enter the captcha (think that is what it is called?) or log into a particular account. User friendly is definitely critical!
Yeah there are definitely plenty of blogs that I still love that don’t update frequently.
Cool post! I need to update my blogroll and cut out some that no longer update. Regular updates are definitely a key to a good blog.
I’m guilty of the long lulls between posts. Work and life seem to get in the way, along with writer’s block! I think I’m going to work on a bit of a schedule for posts for the fall/winter. I sometimes get ieas for a post and then forget about it when I sit down at the computer.
Thanks for the mention, Lauren. I could easily have listed SMTT in several of your categories! Like you said, I blog for own purposes as writing really helps me process my riding. :0)
Love the list! And new blogs to look at!
I try to use a lot of photos and post regularly (at least a few times a week). I like all of your key points, they make sense.
Yes I love all your adorable Shy photos 🙂
Such a timely post for me — since I’ve started to be more serious, I’ve been working on scheduling content and writing ahead of time, but it’s certainly not easy! It sure makes me appreciate my fellow bloggers even more!
P.S. Thank you so much for the shout-out!! I really appreciate it! Although, my last few posts weren’t very humble… I’m pretty sure I ended one with (and I quote) “Yeah, we’re fucking awesome!” haha
Pssh we don’t have to be humble all the time 🙂
Good post with great points!
I am big about pictures breaking up the words and I really like to follow someones journey and see where they go, such a fun process to be apart of! 🙂
Aw you’re so sweet! Also this was a great idea because it gives people ideas to improve their blog and also highlights some blogs to follow. And I always envy the funny blogs! I’m so envious of people who can naturally be funny- I’m just not one of those people 🙁
I think I enjoy your blog because of many of these qualities- updated regularly, graphic lay out is superb (I’m a stickler about how content is laid out), concise, funny, and lots of pictures! 🙂
Great post 🙂
Thanks for the shout out! I’ve found that even in going back and visiting old posts of my own I get bored without pictures. lol. So if nothing else it’s a selfish act!
this was a great post, I liked the different angles you highlighted. Definitely made me think about my not at all deliberate blogging process!
Thanks for the mention – you have given me the warm fuzzies on this cold rainy day 🙂 Also I have to return the love because seriously this is one of the my fav blogs, so go you.
I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say thanks for writing this! I’m a new blogger and really needed to see this (I’m seeing some Fjord photography in the near future).
Great post! I started EmisaGem back in 2009 as a way for my family and friends across the country to catch a glimpse into my new life in CA- I didn’t allow comments and truly felt like it was a personal journal.
W, E, &, E is much the same way for me- still personal snapshots of my daily life (with big pictures- a must for me)! I love being able to go back and see the goings on.
All that said- I love blogs (like yours) that offer though provoking topics and great conversations! In fact I usually don’t end up commenting because I’ve spent the day thinking about my feelings about said topic and by the time I get around to it there’s a new post to think about!
I envy those who have the brain functionality to brainstorm up these great posts after a long day at work, horses, life, etc!