10 Reasons Why I Obsess Over your Blog
I feel like bloggers are always asking what they can do to grow their audience. While this is a good question to ask, I don’t think it’s the right one. Instead, I think bloggers should be asking what they can do to keep their audience! Why? When a reader loves a blog so much, they will share that blog with their friends and invite others to check it out to and that is what grows an audience! At least, that’s how I work. When I find a blog that I just adore and obsess over, I will share it to high heavens because I think other people should partake of the goodness! So, today I wanted to share the 10 reasons why I obsess over a blog and 10 blogs that I obsess over.
These are just my observations, but I truly feel that when bloggers hit these 10 points, they have the potential to grow their reach by the thousands simply because they keep their readers coming back for more AND those readers share with their friends.
Your font is easy to read AND you use correct grammar
This may seem like a small thing, but having an easy to read font is one of the first things that I notice. If I click on a blog and have to strain my eyes to read the post, chances are I’ll be way more distracted by trying to decipher the words than enjoying the actual content. When a blogger ensures that my reader experience is as easy as possible by thinking about what fonts and colors they use, I’m definitely going to come back and read post after post!
When I first launched Hey There, Chelsie, one of my most trusted blog buds reached out to me and mentioned that the new font in the body of my posts was hard for her to read. I was so grateful for her honesty and quickly went to work to figure out how to change the color and thickness of the font so that it would be easier for the eyes! I don’t want people to turn away from the content I work so hard to put out there because they can’t read my words!
Additionally, the English teacher in me really loves correct grammar. Maybe it’s after many years of grading essays, but when I’m reading a post and come across an incomplete sentence or the wrong usage of “there/their” it’s like running into a brick wall for me. I just want to reach for my red pen and make all of my editing marks! Obviously, I’m not perfect and I don’t expect anyone else to be perfect either, but when a post is full of grammar mistakes, it makes it really hard for me to read and enjoy your content!
TIP: If you struggle with grammar or spelling, downloading Grammarly is a MUST MUST MUST! It’s a chrome extension that checks your grammar and your spelling across all of your web activity (so where normal spell check might not work). It will catch your extra commas, incorrect use of apostrophes and spelling errors. It will also open up what you are working on in a new window and mark of all the things that might need to be fixed. When you are done editing in the window, it will apply all of the changes to whatever original window you were working on in the first place. I’m telling you, it takes 2 seconds to download into Chrome and will prevent you from making a ton of mistakes!
A blog that I obsess over that has easy to read font and never slaps me in the face with a grammar mistake? Ashley at AshleyLamar.com! She’s the reason why I discovered Grammarly and I love reading about her journey through self-love and overcoming fear!
You put thought into your photography
I’ve dabbled in photography for years and took a few courses in college. I even do a little side hustle at ChelsieCaroline Photography and shoot family portraits and engagements once in a while! I am a super visual person and photography is one of my favorite creative outlets, so naturally, if you put thought and effort into your photos, I’m going to obsess over your blog. Beautiful photos inspire me, help me see things in a different way and really draw me in!
This does NOT mean that you have to own expensive photography equipment! I follow several bloggers who do the majority of their photography on their smartphones and their photos are just as beautiful as if they were shot on a DSLR. It’s clear when a blogger puts in that little extra bit of effort and places their product in natural light and puts some ribbons to help add some texture to the photo! That’s what I obsess over: bloggers who take that extra moment to thoughtfully photograph their images!
A blog that I obsess over who has beautiful, thought-out photos? Easily Kelsey at A Balancing Peach. I could scroll through her photos for DAYS! They are just so beautifully thought out and edited. And, NO, I do not think she is lying about her life because she takes the time to take pretty pictures; I think she is a talented photographer who has a way of showing her products in a new way! The photo below is just one of her amazing shots!
Your Email Newsletters are informative and helpful
When I first started blogging, I was so anti-email newsletters, it wasn’t even funny. I was already having a hard time managing my inbox and didn’t want any other emails coming in. I had no clue what I was missing out on! There are some bloggers out there who put so much effort into their newsletters and include information in them that has completely changed my blog life!
If you put as much effort into your email newsletter as you do your blog and I get excited to get your emails every week, you can bet I am obsessing over you and your blog! My inbox is prime real estate, so I love it when bloggers don’t take advantage of that and really try to make my inbox full of additional value!
The best example of this would be Melyssa from The Nectar Collective. She sends out a weekly email and it’s basically like an extra blog post FULL of actionable content and information! She includes additional tips to rock your blog biz, updates me on any of her free webinars (which are always worth the time to go to) and shares inspirational messages that always motivate me to get off my bum and go to work.
You really dig DEEP into your product reviews
I love makeup, in case you hadn’t caught on to that already. I LOVE makeup, so I love reading beauty blogs. And, I’ll obsess over any beauty blogger who takes the time to really dig deep into a product review. It doesn’t help me decide if I should buy some kind of makeup if a blogger just writes: “I liked the color of this eyeshadow” and leaves it like that. I want to know every. single. thing. about the products that are being written about. I want to know what the texture is like, what the color pigmentation is like, how long it wears for, if it creases, if it has fall-out, and if it blends out nicely. I want to know how long your foundation wore for and if it settled into fine lines. I want to know how you applied the product: Did you use primer? What brushes did you use? Did you set it? What did you set it with? I want to know about it all, especially if it’s a high-end product that I have to invest in.
What’s a blog that I obsess over who does this? Easily Making Mrs. M! Jaelan does an amazing job really digging deep into the products she reviews and her Urban Decay/Costal Scents dupe post literally blew my mind. So in depth and I now can buy the Costal Scents palette with full confidence that I’m getting a great dupe!
You follow FTC laws and Disclose!
This is more directed at those who monetize their blogs (but don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of blogs!) FTC disclosure laws are a pain, I know, but they are there for a reason and I’m going to be honest here: I’ll probably stop reading a blog if they aren’t disclosing properly. Why? Because I trust bloggers to be honest with me and if they aren’t disclosing properly, I feel like they are lying to me or trying to pull the shade over my eyes. More importantly, if someone doesn’t follow the FTC guidelines they are risking having legal action brought against their blog! That is bad news bears.
So, bloggers who always leave a disclosure always get my trust. I also will get so excited for you for being able to work with a company for your blog! To me, that means you take your blog biz seriously and I want to be friends with you.
Not entirely sure about FTC Guidelines? Here’s a basic breakdown for you:
- You MUST disclose at the top of your post, preferably before any other text, but it does need to be in the beginning of your post. Your disclosure also needs to be the same size as the rest of your font! (No 2 sized font that no one can see)
- You MUST disclose all social media posts that connect to that post! The easiest way is to just use AD [ad] or #ad, but you can also write it out and say something like: “Thanks to ELF cosmetics for sending me some free swag to try out!”
- Free items count and must be disclosed at the top of the post as well!
You give credit to other bloggers (where it’s due)
The blogging community is by far one of the best parts about blogging! Not only have I connected with so many powerful women from all walks of life, but I’ve made real and lasting friendships with a select few that I can always count on. I talk to some of those girls every dang day, exchange weekly emails with others and have even met up with some in real life! I love reading other blogs and am often inspired by what those women are writing.
It’s completely natural to read an amazing blog post, think about the topic and realize you have something to say about it, too. We all are unique and offer different points of view, so I’m totally all for this It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy when someone writes a blog post that was inspired by something I had written before. And it makes me even happier to see bloggers giving their inspiration credit. For example: “Amanda from Blissful Gal wrote this awesome post about editorial calendars and I thought I would share how I manage mine.”
Of course, there are some blog topics out there that are so similar that you can’t pinpoint exactly where it originated from, and that’s okay! But if you get inspired by a really unique topic on another blog and link back to that blogger as inspiration, I will admire your integrity and continue to obsess over your blog!
Kiara from Blissfully Brunette is a blogger who I obsess over because of her integrity (and her awesome sense of style.) Last summer, I wrote a post about styling an outfit around a pair of shoes. Kiara reached out to me months later saying that she wanted to do a similar post and asked if I was okay with her using my post as her inspiration! She put together an amazing post and linked back to me as her source of inspiration at the bottom of her post. I was so impressed with her honesty and integrity and have been a loyal reader ever since!
You share really cool new things!
I love bloggers who share really cool and interesting things that I would have never found on my own. I live for those kinds of posts! And I don’t mean a list of things that’s typical or similar to other posts out there; I mean a post about really unique things that will completely rock my world and broaden my view of things out there that are available to me!
What’s a blog I obsess over that does that? My So-Called Chaos (and the lovely Miss Angie behind it) ALWAYS has amazing lists and posts that highlight really cool new things! I loved her most recent post rounding up 24 (yes, TWENTY FOUR) Homemade Valentine’s Day Decorations! She found so many cool ideas that I loved reading about and had never seen before!
You get personal and real
It’s hard putting yourself out there on the Internet. I get it. And for some people, it’s just not in their nature to really open up about their personal struggles or stories on their blog. That’s totally okay. However, if you get real and personal on the blog and become vulnerable, chances are I’ll obsess over your blog. There are some blogs/bloggers out there that share such raw and emotional posts and completely change my life.
When I read a blog post that is real and honest and doesn’t sugarcoat anything, I feel like I’m connecting with a real human being. If that post is about something that I struggle with or had a similar experience with, I feel validated in knowing that I am not alone. When a blogger peels back the band-aids and exposes their truest selves, I feel honored and humbled to take a part of that post. Of course, it’s not realistic to write deep, personal posts every time, but a blogger who isn’t afraid to be real and to open up about struggles really helps me connect with them and invest in them as a person.
Summer from Coffee with Summer does an amazing job of opening up on her blog and being honest and real about her personal struggles. Her post about why her mom didn’t go to her wedding brought tears to my eyes because she shared it in a real and honest way that made me feel like she was sitting next to me at a cafe, sharing a personal experience over coffee. Not only did her post help me connect with her, but it helped me gain a better understanding of people who live with mental illnesses.
You accept other’s points of views gracefully
It’s one thing to write controversial posts, to stir the pot and to make a point. It’s another thing to write those kinds of posts and know that not everyone is going to see it the same way you do, and to accept various points of views gracefully. I love seeing a blogger write a strong opinion piece and then continue on the discussion respectfully with others in the comment section. No name-calling, no passive aggressive remarks, no snotty replies, just a respectful reply accepting that someone sees it differently and being okay with that.
If I feel safe leaving my point of view in your comment section because I know that you will respond with a thoughtful and respectful reply, you bet your bottom dollar I’ll obsess over your blog. I love a good intellectual discussion where I can share my point of view without feeling like I’m in the wrong for seeing something a certain way, so bloggers who provide that to me in their posts and responses are always on the top of my list to visit daily.
A blogger I obsess over that is an amazing example of this? Lindsay from It’s Simply Lindsay! She doesn’t shy away from controversial topics (like her choice to not take on her husband’s last name) but responds to all comments with kindness and positivity. I know that I am safe to express my point of view on her blog and that I will always get a thoughtful and graceful response back from her!
You make an effort to connect with me outside your blog
Man oh man, does it make me feel super special when the blogger behind a blog I read reaches out to me beyond the comments section! When a blogger takes that extra step to send me a sweet email just to say hi, or when I get a Facebook Message from someone who really enjoyed my recent blog post, I feel like a million bucks! Everyone likes feeling important and special, so when a blogger goes that extra step to make me feel like I matter, I become a loyal reader and follower.
Chelsea from Inspiration Indulgence is a blogger who really steps up and goes above and beyond when it comes to interacting with her readers (at least, she always makes ME feel special!) Sometimes I’ll get a FB message thanking me for a recent blog post or a sweet comment on an Instagram photo, but regardless, I always feel special and I ALWAYS read her blog because of that extra connection!
If you are new to blogging, or even if you have been blogging for a while, but still don’t know how to get your readers to stay excited about your site, go through this checklist (and pin it!) and see where you can improve! Making small changes in how you do things can yield great results!
I’d love to know what blogs you obsess over (always looking for new ones to read) and WHY!