A five part series explaining why I read your blog - part one.
1) I don’t work for the design police
Listicle style blog posts telling bloggers what they are doing ‘wrong’ with their blogs are probably very helpful to bloggers whose sole aim is to make money. To others, who simply want to write and maybe pick up a few genuine followers along the way, those kind of finger shaking sermons can be overwhelming and off-putting.There are hundreds of self-styled design gurus out there sitting in judgement of your blog and writing posts telling you what to do to make them want to read you. I am not one of them. If you lovingly devour the advice of every blogging 'expert' going, then this post is not for you. This is for those people who have told me they feel intimidated by the listicle brigade and their constant stream of rules.
I do not work for the design police whose aim seems to be to banish any blogger who does not fit in with their idea of what the ‘right’ look is. Some writers have told me they do not feel worthy of being ‘out there’ because their blogs don’t meet the standards being touted by others.That is so sad. Writing is a life-saver for many people and insecurity is rife in such a competitive world. How awful that some people may run away from it because an army of self-styled 'experts' has set a standard they feel they cannot meet.
There are many people out there, like me, who do not stand in judgement of how your blog looks. Maybe you like it the way it is, who I am to say it is ‘wrong’? Maybe you don’t want thousands of followers who have decided you are ‘ok’ because you ‘look right’. There is way too much of that crap going on out in the real world. Maybe you only want followers who see beyond looks and style at the substance of what you write. That’s me - that is why I read your blog. I don’t read it because it is ‘pretty’ any more than I would talk to you just because you are beautiful. I have struggled through the most difficult to read blogs because I want to hear you. I have forgiven many hard to read fancy fonts on black backgrounds because what you are saying to me is more important than how pretty and conformist it is.
Last year, I found myself talking to a young woman with cerebral palsy. She was working as a volunteer at a museum. She was exactly like me in every single way apart from negotiating the world in a wheel chair and being unable to make herself understood very easily. Her speech did not flow and her head constantly made involuntary movements which made eye contact difficult for her. My brain had to work extra hard to decipher her words so I could learn about the period in history that was her area of expertise. We had a long conversation during which she gave me the gift of her knowledge. I didn't feel sorry for her. She was full of confidence and happy to chat. I felt sorry for all those who quickly walked past without bothering to stretch their listening abilities a little further. Would you have walked away from her because you couldn't be bothered to come out of your comfort zone and put some effort into listening?
How about we do the same with blogs? I didn't read your blog because it looked 'right', I read it because I was interested in YOU and not your ability to please the design police. I read you because I didn't want to risk missing the greatest writer of all time by being hung up on superficiality such as the font you chose
One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
Next up - reason No 2 of 5 Reasons Why I Read Your Blog