Keeping Up With Bloggers

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Our resident hound asked, “What characteristics make for an interesting blog? Do you regularly read many/any blogs (besides this one)? Why or why not?”

I read several blogs, though probably not as consistently as I would like. The main issue is lack of time. I simply can’t read and comment on every blog post of every author, seamstress, musician, and teacher with whom I’m acquainted. I subscribe to a few blogs, which means that I get email notices when there’s a new post. Most are author blogs, and I like to support my favorite authors by reading about their new releases, how they cope with distractions, and the remarkable events in their lives. Elizabeth Meyette, Diane Burton, and Diana Stout are local authors whose blogs I read regularly. Even when they’re not publishing new material, they’re hosting fellow authors, or participating in author giveaways and other events. I also subscribe to Kristen Lamb’s blog, because she gives writing advice in a unique way that I find entertaining.

Some blogs are wonderful for researching specific bits of information. When I’m writing a historical romance, it’s much easier to get the information I need from a blog post than it is to wade through volumes of material. Many times I’ll get the answer I need as well as a citation in case I have further questions.

A few years ago I subscribed to a lifestyle blog written by Andrea Dekker, a young mom who lives on the north end of Grand Rapids. She had a lot of great ideas for decorating on a shoestring budget, nice recipes for simple but nutritious meals, and but her lifestyle advice was way too spartan for my taste and eventually I stopped reading it. She’s still blogging, and a quick look at her blog tells me her message of minimalism and organization is still the same.

I get regular email messages from The Fabric Hut and Fleece Fun, two sewing companies that actually look like blog posts. There’s a hook that usually refers to the season, a holiday, or an obscure special day (like National Panda Day) and then it shows a project, along with a link to the instructions, and then (of course) a link to purchase all the needed materials. I still enjoy them, although I very seldom actually sew any of the featured projects.

As for interesting blog characteristics, I think it depends on the type of blog and its purpose. But in any case, there should be some organization. For example, if it’s a food blog, I’ll be looking for some sort of index organizing recipes by ingredient, the occasion, or the method of cooking. I consult various cooking blogs to find ways to use what I have on hand. If it’s a crafting blog, then the index should reflect the different types of projects. There are times when I need a quick gift, or I have a bunch of fabric and need a good way to use it up. On an author’s blog, the books might be organized by series, or maybe writing advice. Since I like to read books in a series in order, I’ll often look to see which book I should read next. 

Appearance is also an important factor. It needs to reflect who’s blogging and the subject matter addressed. A gothic novel author is going to use darker colors and a different font than a sweet romance author. The picture in our heading is quite literal – four foxes, and one hound. We’ve had this picture for quite some time, so perhaps we should brainstorm ways to update it.

Do you read blogs regularly? If so, what makes you come back?


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in author's life, authors, blogging, Daily life, Patricia Kiyono, The Author Life, time management. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Keeping Up With Bloggers

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    excellent points all.
    You could be a consultant for people with blogs that need to be organized!
    Something I’ve found — in a few of the blogs I’ve encountered — is that there will NOT be any recent content added. Not weekly, not even monthly… so it looks like the blog manager just abandoned it. Sad… after all that work to get it up and running.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks for the compliment! Yes, many blogs have been abandoned, including one I started long ago. I keep waffling between starting it up again or deleting the whole thing. But keeping up with two blogs is quite a time commitment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TIME! That is the biggest problem. Blogs and Vlogs, I find myself thinking that I will go back and see favorites or more interesting ones and by that time, more have been put up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Yes, it’s difficult to keep up with new content, especially when you have different areas of interest. And even when I’m able to visit, I’m not always able to implement. I’d need several hundred hours a day to sew every quilt, cook every dish, and incorporate every writing tip that I read about.


  3. Time is a big issue when it comes to reading blogs. I have to admit that it isn’t something I have done lately. I used to read quite a few of them, especially food blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Food blogs are fun, especially when you have something specific you’re looking for. For our family St. Pat’s Day meal, I couldn’t believe how many different ways there were to make the corned beef and fixings!


  4. Diane Burton says:

    Thanks for the shoutout for my blog, Patty. I’m honored you read it. I haven’t kept up with blogging the way I used to. Same reason I don’t read a lot of blog posts–time. I try to keep up with my writer friends’ posts. Like you, I love Kristen Lamb’s posts. She really cuts to the heart of writer problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Time is an obstacle to reading blogs for me. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.


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