What makes a great blog – part 1

In my last post I set out my own ‘vision’ of the direction of this blog. As a recap I’ve duplicated it below:

‘This blog is to give perspective for people who have left their corporate jobs and want to venture into the unknown. Through my own experiences I hope to give readers an idea of what to expect, understand some of the decisions I make as well as ideas and tools to help them along the way. Some of the items will be nitty gritty but as I said before, baselines need to be established.’

With the baseline established, it’s probably a good time for us to discuss how we can make this a ‘great’ blog. I’m going to start by highlighting five blogs and what they can teach us:

http://mingthein.com – Ming is a commercial photographer and his site is naturally dedicated to photography. But he is also a very, very good writer. What sets his blog apart is the educational and philosophical articles and breaking down how photography works. He is probably more ‘famous’ for his gear reviews and how he analyses them for his needs. Knowing him personally he is a genuinely nice guy and will take the time to reply to comments and emails. Integrity is such an important requisite. The written content is all free and there are educational videos that can be purchased.

https://www.quicksprout.com – first up, I am not a fan of how agressive this site can be in trying to sign you up to god knows what. But then again, maybe that’s to be expected from a site that is focused on online marketing. What makes this blog good? The amount of content provided as well as the how it is presented. Each article can be downloaded as a cheat sheet and stored for future reference. Plus the writing style of the author Neil is very engaging. You get the impression this guy knows what he’s talking about.

https://www.hodinkee.com – I have a passing interest in horology and over the last few years hodinkee has become the go to place for all things watches. There have been a few competing blogs on the subject area but this has definitely come out on top. How? They have had some good backers from the beginning which helps but the quality of the articles/features are pretty good and they’ve established themselves as the go to place. We can go as far as saying they influence pricing if they write an article on a certain brand/watch. That is a powerful position to be in.

http://mashable.com – not really a site I’m interested in and I find most of their stuff is pretty much clickbait. So why do I mention them? The ‘how’ they become popular is an interesting story. They participated on other blogs and the comments sections. By building up a presence within the community, people started to read and respect their opinion and it was only a matter of time before Mashable became popular.

https://www.residentadvisor.net – specialist in electronic music and also the go to place for news on the subject. To be honest there are not many blogs/sites on the subject but the standout is their features. They interview interesting artists and some of their ‘film sessions’ are very well produced. On top of that their reviews section is extensive with reviews daily.

Lastly it is worth mentioning ‘medium’ a platform for blogging. The breadth of content is impressive. There is something for everyone. But do we end up with almost too much information to process? I tend to get put off by my feed full of random stuff. Where on earth do I start?

Unfortunately we’ve run out of space for today and I’ll have to leave it until next time to distill the above and clearly outline what I think makes a ‘great’ blog. But before I do, please let me know what blogs you read in the comments as well as why you think they are great!

J

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