In a previous post’s comments folks here indicated that social networking is a topic of interest, which is way important. For those of you interested in jumping right into lots of social networking, I suggest you make some blogging friends, a topic I covered in, How to make more blogging friends and be insanely popular!
There’s a lot to social networking, which we’ll get to, but first I thought we’d take a look at one of the most basic blog networking steps – reading other blogs…
If you like to blog, there’s a pretty good chance you also enjoy reading blogs. That’s good news, because reading other blogs is key if you want to get anywhere with blogging
Reading other blogs allows you to see what flies and what fails, only at the cost of a blogger who isn’t you. Yay. Reading a successful, entertaining, and hip blog is cool because you see what works and what keeps readers, (you being one of them) coming back on a continuous basis.
Reading a really bad blog is just as educational though; maybe, I’d wager, more educational. While it’s not always easy to see why a popular blog is popular and then enact that success at your own blog, it’s super easy to read a terrible blog, and promise yourself, “DO NOT DO THAT – EVER.”
Reading other blogs is not just a simple reading deal either. You can’t really know blogs unless you visit blogs. Blogs have unique aspects. Blog aspects you pick up just by visiting includes things like visual appearance, organizational structure, multimedia applications, and more. You can use ideas you enjoy at your own blog, and avoid annoying ones (i.e. IMO pop-ups and music).
But most important:
Blogs are blogs. Which sounds silly, but give me a random blog, and I can tell you in about three seconds flat if I’m at an blogger’s blog vs. a non-blogger’s blog. Blogs have a tone and style all their own. The term blog has expanded over the years to where I’m not sure you can say, oh that’s a blog and that’s not, but there are still some things I don’t expect to see at blogs. To me, blogs are not novels or school texts. They’re not full of sale pitches for one item. They’re not tech writing, magazines, or lacking in personal opinion. When I see blogs written in college term paper format I cringe, because that’s not the blog I’m used to.
I can’t explain it perfectly, but I do know that when you’re at a non-blogger’s blog, you always feel it, and it crushes the experience.
Blogs have special qualities like bold text, bullets, humor, news flashes, personality, and many other things, all unique, but they’re not like other forms of writing that you learn in school, and you can only learn blog style by visiting and reading plenty of blogs.
Last but not least…
When reading blogs, don’t just stay in your comfort zone. I could read green and architect blogs all day long, but would I learn as much as I might by wandering out of my comfort zone? Probably not. I really dislike celebrity blogs and I’m not that interested in cooking, but I have friends who blog these topics, so I’ll wander over. Even though the topic is not my fave, I still learn about different styles, tones, and tricks, and I almost always gather new blogging ideas.
Find new blogs to read:
Honestly, I find most of my new reads organically, through friends, or through people who comment at my blogs or link to me. I also enjoy a good stumble. A great post to read is Chris G’s, Where To Find Fresh Blogs and How To Get Your Blog Discovered; which as you can see covers more than just finding blogs, but still, it’s a big help if you’re new to blog discovery.
What’s the most valuable things you’ve learned from reading other blogs?