Qualities of a successful blog

As I mentioned previously, I have been thinking a lot towards what it means to have a successful blog. Even though I have a blog myself, the primary purpose of my WordPress account for the majority of the time is to read through and look at an assortment of the different types of blogs that I follow. I contemplated the blogs that I enjoyed immensely and thought critically why there were others that did not capture my interest. I essentially came up with a list of things that I would consider highly important qualities of a successful blog, the word successful being defined in this post as having lots of followers and traffic (though it can be defined in many other ways as well – such as one’s own happiness or how much knowledge can be spread). I know for sure that I don’t possess many of these qualities, but because I have them listed down concretely now, I do keep them in mind more when I write and post and thought that they would bring good insight and perspective to other bloggers out there 🙂

  1. Photo Quality
    1. I think it’s so important that if you have pictures on your blog that they are ones of high quality. All of the more famous bloggers I follow all have professional photographers who follow them around everywhere. Obviously, this isn’t possible for everyone. But I have a Canon t2i and learned how to Photoshop and edit myself, so if you try, you can definitely do it. Even if that’s too time consuming for you, a quick iPhone picture and a nice VSCO filter works just as well! Choose your pictures carefully and thoughtfully and always have your audience in mind.
  2. Uniqueness
    1. Although there are the classic home and lifestyle bloggers and the motivational speech writers, the more popular ones possess their own unique flair that draws readers to it rather than say the other five bazillion fashion bloggers on WordPress.  This can be anything – for ex. Happily Grey, a fashion blog I follow, always has a specific style of photography, a type of mood – or A Beautiful Mess, which is everything bright and happy and overflowing. I also admire Seams for a Desire for writing in both English and Spanish so she can also appeal to readers in English-speaking countries. Find your own niche and present it so others may see that you are someone unique in the midst of the sameness.
  3. Presence
    1. Along with uniqueness is the idea of presence. This idea is much more abstract, and I doubt that I can concretely say what steps can be taken to achieve it. Presence, as best as I can say, is when bloggers do an amazing job conveying their self through their blog that devoted followers end up following less for content than for emotional attachment to the person. For example, I really enjoy reading Love Taza’s blog and Oh Dear Drea yet I am nowhere like them in any way – a mother of three and a passionate vegan?! The reason is because I am drawn to their selves, their faces, their lives. I suppose one way to achieve this is through writing – really attempt to convey who you are as a person, your values, your personality, etc. This is perhaps the best way of showing the type of human being you are.
  4. Consistency
    1. Presence can also be helped along by consistency of posting. More popular blogs always have a set schedule of posting or post at least three or four times a week. When people see your blog post on reader over and over again every day, they are bound to become more familiar towards you or at least your picture. It also looks more professional for your blog if readers don’t have to guess when you will post and rather know approximately when you will be.
  5. Improvement
    1. Finally, improvement. I put this last because it isn’t really necessary, but I think that the very very best blogs that I follow have dramatic signs of improvement from their original content. I’m talking big names such as Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl or Chriselle Lim of Chriselle Factor. These people started off as simply fashion bloggers, people just like us looking to do something as a hobby or pursue a passion of theirs, but because they constantly sought to put their whole hearts into it, deliver the best all around quality, they have become the big names that they are (given quite a bit of luck as well). For example, I read an interview about Gary Pepper Girl and how she used to put money towards traveling to crazy places just so that she could find a good photography spot. Now, I look at her work and gasp at every article of clothing she wears and read eagerly every editorial she puts up. She has been invited to Cannes, is on the best of Forbes in Asia, and has shot with many magazines including Vogue. In short, if you want a so-called “successful” blog, don’t just settle for what you have – always think about improving your blog – maybe for yourself, but also for your readers because I think they deserve it for their faithfulness and trust in you and your work as a blogger. This improvement doesn’t have to be as dramatic as Nicole Warne’s but can be achieved through small things such as photo quality or consistency in posting or presence and things like that. It just takes one small step for a more successful blog! 🙂

Design

Design has always been something that I have been interested in – a bit of graphic design, a bit of art, typography, etc. So, today I wanted to share some of my favorite inspirational design websites currently! 🙂 [not in any order]

  1. CollateScreen Shot 2016-01-12 at 8.30.01 PM.pngCollate is a tumblr-esque website with minimalist display broadcasting some of the most beautiful designs currently in existence. The two defining factors that distinguish Collate from other websites for me is the display and the content displayed (which I guess means everything lol). The display is really nice in the fact that it shows multiple shifting images within the same space on the website – thus showing several different aspects of the company, artist, etc. being represented. And in terms of that being represented, Collate does a really good job of really displaying a variety of different types of content – videos, magazines, artists, companies, restaurants, anything!.
  2. Design of the WorldScreen Shot 2016-01-12 at 8.37.24 PM.pngAs one of the first design websites that captured my eye, it will be the one that always has a special place in my heart. Design of the World is laid out in a different way than Collate but also it focuses less on art and aesthetic design, but more on utilitarian design – how can we use design in a way to benefit the world? How can we create something beautiful that can also be used? Geek out over the Makoko Floating School or gush over the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall, the world truly has a lot to offer and a lot of talented people out there.
  3. Mr-Cup – Graphic Exchange Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 9.02.51 PM.pngI just discovered Mr-Cup, a new favorite of mine because letterpress! Mr-Cup or Graphic Exchange or Mr. Cup, whichever you prefer, is actually a shop website, selling graphic designer Fabien Barral’s letterpress calendars, coasters, etc. On his blog, he also attracts a variety of different graphic designers, typographists looking for inspiration. He features his own work with letters, but also the work of others, all displaying the art of letters, penmanship, and expressive ideas. Barral also recently expanded on his blog with the start of his own design magazine – Walter Magazine. For more information, just check out the various links in the header of his website that I have linked.

An Announcement

I think I’ve decided that it’s time to move some of the more personal “musings” of my life over to my tumblr … efferuescent.tumblr.com because it’s a lot more suited for thoughts and random scribbles of memory directed for my use.

I will still be keeping this blog up because I think I’ve got a lot more followers than I used to have who expect things that I post that are more formal – fashion reviews, my comments on interesting articles, inspiring quotes, etc., etc.

I’m pretty excited for this next move, because it’ll keep both my sites pretty organized and give me some motivation for some new posts (hopefully!)

Anniversary!

A couple days ago was the anniversary of my blog. I started my blog September 2013 and I am quite surprised that I am still continuing it. It originally started as a place for me to just express myself and to really just write for myself. However, on a whim, I decided to leave it public and encouraged browser searches because I wanted to know if someone would actually read my blog. The thought that one individual beside myself was wondering about the author, had the thought of me on their mind, even for just a second as they scrolled was astounding and mind blowing and not deterring at all (which varies a lot with types of people, I know).

A year later, my blog is still a place for me to express myself and to write for myself simply because all of my followers, or at least most of my followers, don’t know me at all! They may know things about me, my appearance or my style of writing, or the things I do, but they don’t know know me (if that makes sense). Therefore, everything that is expressed… well it doesn’t matter too much that they know because they can’t actually affect me emotionally, I suppose. At the same time, this blog has become something greater. It has been a place for me to share the things that I have never before shared – fashion, deep thoughts, style, pinterests of my favorite food, my love for watercolor. It has also become a place where I can try and encourage all those around me… to bring some sort of guidance and my own perspective on the world.

I realize now that my blog can be used for greater purposes than just my own personal thoughts. I hope to continue this effort of reaching out to people all over the world, so that they may laugh with me and cry with me, understand my thoughts, support the passionate organizations I support, or just bring to them a lovely, interesting article to read.

Here’s an interesting progression of how things have gone. Still really surprised as to why I suddenly got so many views in the last month on my blog, but that’s okay, I wont’ question it and just accept it and use it. Happy anniversary to me 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 6.55.55 PM

Link

Humans of New York

Humans of New York

I have been following Humans of New York for a year now… and it has grown and grown and grown. It now has 9 million followers on Facebook.It is one of the only sane places on the Internet… one of the greatest websites for humanity. The questions Brandon Stanton asks are normal everyday questions and they bring the whole world together. It is absolutely inspirational and awe-inducing the different quotes and captions that he has put into each and every picture that he takes. Each question he asks and every picture he takes is a reminder of the world that we live in, the humanity of the people around us, the joy and the sadness, the beauty of this earth.