5 Reasons Why I Read Your Blog

A five part series explaining why I read your blog - part one.

why I read your blog

True self-expression is more important than writing to please the masses. If you happen to do both - you are blessed.

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.

This is for those people who have told me they feel intimidated by the listicle brigade and their constant stream of rules. Click To Tweet

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.

why I read your blog

The most enduring texts we live by break all the modern day 'rules' of writing.

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.

There are many people out there, like me, who do not stand in judgement of how your blog looks. Click To Tweet

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

I do not want to risk missing the greatest writer of all time by being hung up on superficiality. Click To Tweet

One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Next up - reason No 2 of 5 Reasons Why I Read Your Blog

20 comments

  1. I absolutely ADORE this. At times, it seems there is no corner of the world where we aren’t comparing ourselves to someone else, or someone else isn’t comparing us and what we do either. It’s so important to stake our claim to our own existence and what we put out into the world. I only read blogs that are non-commodified. I don’t know why, it is just has more of an authentic ring to me, and I know the people are writing from the heart. I don’t think I look at the design either. That’s just what the content is wrapped up in and let’s face it, do you want to read a book because it looks good on the front. There is a reason the adage “never judge a book by its cover” exists. Great post and thank you for voicing what I am feeling xx
    Sarah Cox recently posted…Be patient. Be kind. If you cannot, say nothing.My Profile

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for reading this series – I am happy that it has struck a chord for a few people. It bothers me to think that new bloggers may be put off by the design police and feel like they don’t have the right to take their place in blog-land because they don’t ‘look right’. Technical knowledge may come less easily to some people than the urge to write. My very first blog design was really bad. If I had read some of the more judgemental, preachy writers back then, I may have given up through feeling inadequate and helpless. I just kept writing and gradually tweaking the ‘look’ for my own satisfaction as I figured out more of the techie stuff. I like what you said about comparison – that can definitely be the death of creativity if used in a negative way. Thanks again for visiting – good to have you here!

  2. Your posts always make me smile, Gilly and here I am all set to read the 5 parts of what promises to be a great series!
    I have given up the ‘have-tos’ as well and just want to focus on writing and reading. I’ve turned off all updates from the ‘big’ names in blogging and look out for bloggers I can connect with – like you!
    I have a huge problem read against a black background after my cataract surgeries, but I remember attempting to make the background of my blog black and had many complaints from people with similar problems. Lesson learned.
    The only thing frustrates me is when bloggers write great content and don’t have sharing buttons. Okay so there’s a work around that too, but I’d rather things were made simple for the reader to share.
    Off to check out the second part now!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Inspirational Mary Oliver QuotesMy Profile

    1. Thanks Corinne! I appreciate your time in visiting and commenting. Hope you enjoy the series. I have yet to publish number five which is coming soon! Lovely to ‘see’ you!

  3. There are lots of pretty blogs, and sometimes, I admit, I am a little envious. I often think mine doesn’t measure up. I designed it myself with no knowledge whatsoever about what I was supposed to be doing. The same thing happens with SEO requirements and all the “To-Do’s” around Pinterest. It is overwhelming and I can’t begin to keep up. Sometimes it feels like a high school girl’s clique and I am not in the popular crowd. At the end of the day it is all about the content though. I would love to have readers, but have to understand that if I write decent content someone will read. I have to stay true to my writing and my style. If SEO doesn’t like my titles, then so be it.
    Michele recently posted…3 Approaches to Problem Solving I Learned From a Bird, a Ghost and New TechnologyMy Profile

    1. Well said Michelle. I used to be envious of the time people appeared to have to be concentrating so much on ‘the look’ but that soon evaporated when I started to look at content. There are some blogs out there that live up to their ‘pretty’ appearance but there are many like empty gift-boxes. I think it’s good to tweak our blog’s appearance as and when we have time but if it is taking over the actual point of having it, ie writing, it’s a little crazy. Esecially if it because ‘experts’ threaten to not read you if you don’t do things ‘their way’. That’s just plain arrogant. Yup – just like high-school. I have always hated cliques. Any kind of behaviour that is not inclusive makes me so angry because you never know how badly that may affect a lonely person who needs encoragement.Thanks for reading and commenting – appreciate it.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing on Fridays Blog Booster Party #27. I love the name of your site. LOL I could not agree more. I don’t get many blogs on this party with ’25 ways to keep my bathroom clean’. One now and then is OK 🙂 We all blog for different reasons and it is great when we respect each others reasons and styles of blogging without judging each other. Looking forward to the next episode.
    Thanks Gilly,
    Kathleen
    Kathleen recently posted…The Pinterest Game #14aMy Profile

    1. Well thank you for having me! I kind of did the ‘listicle’ thing tongue in cheek because I do get tired of them. Whenever I see one, (and they are EVERYWHERE!) I always think of the Paul Simon song ‘Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover’! Thanks for stopping by Kathleen.

    1. Yes exactly so they can bugger off. Any website wth asshole in the title has got to be good. Will be visiting for definite. Thanks for comment.

  5. Finally, FINALLY someone who gets it. I used to be a blogger a few years back. I took and break, and now am back. I am struck by how cliquish it has all become, and every other blog is telling me how I should be. I agree: if I like what you have to say, I’ll read it…I will read ALL of it, not just skim through. I found you delightful and a breath of fresh air in a world that has become consumed with blogging propriety.
    Sandra recently posted…When Your Shrink Asks “Who Are You Again?”My Profile

    1. Hello Sandra, thanks so much for reading and sharing your view of this. It’s interesting to hear you say you had a break from blogging – I have only been doing it for around 16 months and have found it is quite a commitment – I am not surprised that people take breaks! I think the first venture into it is a massive learning curve. So pleased you came back! And very pleased you stopped by here. Do come back, I have 4 more parts to publish! Thanks again.

      1. I’m totally looking forward to each part. I actually found myself thinking about you and your wonderful blog today, and to be honest, often when I see a post will have a “part 1” “part 2” etc, I tend to exit because I have fear of commitment (haha) but I couldn’t resist reading what you had to say, and I look forward to each and every other post you will write.
        Sandra recently posted…When Your Shrink Asks “Who Are You Again?”My Profile

        1. You make me laugh! To be honest, I intended it to be one post but as usual, I had so much to say that I thought I’d better chop it up into 5 in case people lost the will to live by number three . I will post the next one today. Thanks for stopping by – really appreciate it. Hope you are doing ok and have found another health professional with a better memory for faces and more respect!

  6. I agree – the blogs I frequent speak to me and the I believe the few followers I have hear me.
    I once received a critique that my blog was too personal and I should have themes that would ‘help’ people.
    My sister once said that I write as if my life depends on it.
    It does.
    I am glad to have found yours as well.
    Mary-Anne at Breathing Life recently posted…Dinosaur bonesMy Profile

    1. Hi Mary-Anne, many thanks for reading and commenting – much appreciated. Yes, people are so ready to criticise and offer their 10 cents worth but it takes courage to share your thoughts with the world. I applaud anyone who puts pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard ) Glad I found your blog too, I have changed the way I look for new blogs and it is really worth it. I have found some really entertaining down t earth writers this week. Many thanks.

  7. LOVE this. And I’m with you. I read blogs strictly because they make me laugh, or cry, or think, or all three. Definitely not because they’re the *thing* to read. Some of the smallest blogs are the most fun to follow. (And God forbid Shakespeare shorten his sentences!)

    Right now, this is also ALL I’m doing online, because I’m on a self-imposed break from the internet for an undetermined amount of time. Sometimes the internet/news/social media’s constant bombardment and intrusion into my life just builds up to a point where I can’t deal with it any more, and I turn it off and go outside. Last week’s college shooting just completely shorted out my desire to interact with the world right now. But I did check my email today, so here I am.

    And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you reading (and liking) what I write. 😀 I’d write a post about not being on the internet, but then I’d have to be ON the internet, so —

    *walks away from desk to finish reading book*
    stef recently posted…Still Here, Just Busy (A Fall Update)My Profile

    1. Hi Stef, thanks for this! I am with you all the way on the self-imposed break from the Internet. I totally get it because it is hard to avoid the steady drip of bad news if you go online every day. Avoiding TV news and newspapers is easy and I was much happier after I stopped having anything to do with the news a few years ago. But then I got into social media and found it is a nightmare for anyone who wants to avoid that incessant pounding of the masses with bad news. Hope all is well with you after your weekend trip to see your daughter. We must catch up when you have had a break from the Internet. Hope it isn’t too long . Enjoy the outdoors – that is what I am going to do tomorrow.

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