about writing and life and God

What makes a good blog?

on August 26, 2012

There’s loads of stuff on the blogosphere on what makes a good blog. I’ve read quite a lot. But I remain bemused and puzzled. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with different topics and the results have been as unpredictable as the stock market. (For those of you who don’t know, stocks and shares behave according to ‘a random walk’ – i.e. nobody knows, so it’s really just gambling under another name. Yep, your pension and mine…)

Yesterday, the stats were higher than previous Saturdays yet the topic mainlined on dementia and caregiving, something which previously had not received as many views as posts on writing, which seems to be the most popular.

‘Lies, damned lies, and statistics.’ My own feeling is that once you start playing the numbers game, you’ve gone wrong. A business or a church which focuses on numbers has taken their eye off people – individuals.¬†It’s hard – nay, impossible – to get to know a single individual, discover what their needs are and minister to them (which in business terms produces the sales/income/profit) if you’re focusing on the numbers, the crowd. The only way to deal with a crowd is to aim for the common denominator – what will ‘they’ want? And as our tv channels show only too clearly, that soon becomes the lowest common denominator!

To adapt Abraham Lincoln’s wise statement, ‘You may be able to serve some of the people some of the time but you can’t serve all of the people all of the time.’ ¬†Especially en masse.

So what to do? One honourable strategy is niche targeting/marketing. Work out who you want to talk to/reach out to and write for them.

The other is the old but possibly even more honourable: ‘To thine own self be true.’ Write what you feel called to write. Do it to the best of your ability.

And don’t check your stats every hour!


One response to “What makes a good blog?

  1. Pat says:

    Always To thine own self be true.
    Family motto (got two more, one rude, one daft!) and appropriate in all things.
    I have found that I write pretty much as I speak and people will either connect or not. If I try to do something other than that, don’t think I will connect with anyone.
    What makes a good blog? What do I know? Been here five minutes and don’t have a clue.
    To thine own self be true seems as good a way to go as any.

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