Characteristics of a Super Friendly Blog!

Blogging is all about a simple way of publishing online content that is characterized by unstructured thoughts or events in the blogger’s life. However, from simple web logging, it has now grown to a major stature whereby the niche, content, multimedia blogging, blog platforms etc have started influencing how the blogs are built, organized, branded and consumed.

Regardless of some of the variables mentioned above, there are some characteristics of a blog that make it friendly in the eyes of its target audiences. These traits are not any hard to implement technical features but those bare minimum dimensions that would make a blog complete, perfect and most importantly very friendly. The following are some of those adjectives that describe a friendly and successful blog:

#1 Identifiable

Regardless of whether you have a single author or multiple author blog, there needs to be an area (about page or profile description) in the blog where the author(s) or contributor(s) details are available. It is a matter of credibility and about giving the blog some personal touch. A blog without an About page does anonymous publishing which is not really desirable.

#2 Reachable

The author or authors of a blog should be reachable via some mechanisms like a contact page. One could also provide the contact information (email address, IM names etc) directly but a contact page would save the blogger from spam.

#3 Branded

The blog, based on its content, the personality of the blogger and style of writing, should be branded by means of the right color combination, logo, tagline etc so that it feels unique and fresh for its readers.

#4 Unique

A blog is successful when it has some unique content on it. Realistically speaking there will be usually some amount of duplicate or inspired ideas on any blog but there has to be a good amount of very unique information as well.

#5 Pleasing (tone)

The tone of the blogger should be positive, non-cynical and full of energy so that its audience feels comfortable and addicted to the blog. Nobody will come back to a blog that has negativity and pecimism in the blogger’s language. It would be an added advantage, if the blogger is able to add a touch of humour as a final ingredient.

#6 Interactive

The level of interaction between the blogger and its readers (and discussions among readers themselves) is paramount to a blog’s success. Highly interactive bloggers will find themselves in great demand always. The interaction is not only about blog comments but also in terms of following up on offline communication (emails, twitter messages etc)

#7 Unconditional

There are blogs that requires the readers to sign up before commenting. Such conditions would not do any good to a blog. Also annoying features such as sign up popups, flying & flashing content, background audio etc need to be avoided.

#8 Good-for-all

The best blogs are those which have a wide range when it comes to the reader types – in terms of age, sex, race, geographics etc. Well, there could be certain age group tagetted blogs but the broader the audience, the better.

#9 Colorful

A lof of pleasant colors and beautiful pictures would definitely add the much needed relaxing touch to any blog. Use them judiciously, though.

finally…

#10 A lot of smilies

Use those smilies liberally as long as they are not used totally out of context.

Would you like to add anymore traits or adjectives to this list?

Happy Blogging!

Comments

  1. gwen :

    You have written a very useful and well thought article. However, I am no fan of smiley faces as others have said as well! We must keep in mind what seems friendly to one may seem odd or useless to others. Finding a balance is a challenge.

  2. Hi Ajith,

    No post for so long?? What’s up?

    Thanks

    Binaryday’s last blog post… Step by step guide to making money with blog: My first attempt at an ecourse

  3. Richael Neet :

    @ Binaryday , Ajith’s son/daughter seems to be suffering a medical problem. I saw his tweet.

  4. @Mitch, thanks man. Yep, I know that you hardly use any images. Even I do not use too many images unless it’s related to the content. However, I have the habit of using those little images (more like news paper content) at the start of every three posts or so – just to make sure that my homepage doesn’t look so bland.

    @John, thanks for your compliments :)

    @Raju, thanks for keeping it as a reference post buddy :) As for the smileys, yep, many could be against them – especially when you write a lot of serious technical content. Probably blogs with general (day-to-day and personal affairs) content may find smileys very important.

    @George, I totally agree… Even without putting the smileys, one should smile while reading the post if there’s enough ‘feel’ is built into the post :) And smileys are not just about happy mood 😛 Technically speaking, ’emoticons’ is the better term…

    @Kurt, 😆 you are right! Even, I was planning to set up a blog to take on the corruption and some of the goverment people… When you do such things, not only the about page but even your comment habits on other blogs should be carefully implemented.

    @Venkat, great buddy! Good to know that we have a few things in common here.

    @Lax, yes… branding and being unique are the key ingredients to success. However, they need to be well supplemented by some of the other aspects mentioned here.

    @Richael, that’s an important point. Blogging is all about freedom and even the commenters (unless they make obscene remarks) need to be given freedom as well. So if you enforce them to change names, use short URLs, completely avoid keywords, sign up before commenting etc you may end up receiving not only less comments but reduced readership as well.

    There’s another issue with comment moderation as well. Recently I pointed out two big mistakes in one of the SEO posts of a reasonably popular blogs. The blogger opted not to display those comments. I stopped visiting him thereafter. The ideal way should have been to allow such comments and accordingly reply (counter or apologize)

    @Melvin, your blog is super friendly already :) And slangs are also a good way to keep the ‘informal touch’…

    @Kurt, thanks for relieving your blood pressure by being expressive :) You are absolutely right… even I got pissed off with some top bloggers as they never reply to even genuine questions. Actually this treatment is what inspired me to write my post on the blogger-reader engagement models :lol

    @Nicholas, welcome back… I hope you had a good go with your exams. How’s Bangalore treating you otherwise?

    @SK, you don’t score zero buddy… think of the content where you score well above many others :)

    @Chetan, thanks… But you guys provide actually some cool technical content and that’s what I am not able to keep writing :)

    @Jhankora, I guess the basic smileys are built into (ie. recognized by) the WordPress I guess… Are you talking about the comment smileys alone?

    @Harish, thanks for agreeing on the points… Yes, there are not really something like a ‘perfect blog’ out there but one can only improve on certain aspects.

    @Sunil, I shall write an email to you on the affilate front. I have been very busy of late and could not write about certain new moneymaker products.

    @Anish, thanks… But a lot of others don’t seem to like the smileys 😛

    @Ramesh, a strongly technical oriented blogs like yours need to be interactive only when questions arise. I guess you probably are not providing any opportunity for people to ask questions because the posts are almost self explanatory and complete.

    @Simon, yes… high interaction levels would definitely improve further involvement and hence you get more monetary and non-monetary benefits as well. As for the smileys, well, I think I need to take it back as many of you are against smileys in the posts! What if I say ‘smileys in comments’ alone?

    @Gwen, same as the above comment. I guess, smileys in the posts probably is not a good idea but it definitely improves interaction levels when appearing in comments.

    @SK, as Richael mentioned, I am going through some terrible times… Though blogging is close to my heart, there are other priorities ahead of that. The next few weeks are going to be tough for me and hence you could expect some changes in the post frequency and time to reply/moderate comments. Thanks for your understanding!

    Thank you all for your views!

  5. Lovvy :

    very nice post.. i have gone through it and it’s very interesting. Im blogging since last year, but still there was some spices that were not present. Now the mind is opened, thanks dude.. Keep it up..

    Lovvy’s last blog post… Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0 & Movies Mobile

  6. @Lovvy, Good to learn that you liked my tips. All the best for your WordPress blog. I liked it…

  7. Hey there! I love all of these ideas that you have shared. I am stepping back and taking a second look at both of my blogs and this was refreshing to read.

    I hope all is well and happy in your life.

    Tammy-Cricket’s last blog post… Kick Off Your Shoes Whenever You Get the Chance

  8. Nihar :

    I agree with most of the points but don’t agree about the author page. It is upto the author whether he/she wants to give his/her personal details.

    Nihar’s last blog post… March 2009 Blog Traffic & Income statistics

  9. @Tammy, yours is a super friendly blog already and it has an amazing audience that is equally friendly as well :)

    PS: I love that little cricket in your gravatar.

    @Nihar, I agree on the depth of personal details one wouldn’t want to provide. However, unless you are an anonymous blogger due to political, controversial, life-threatening issues, why not?

  10. Gagan :

    In my blog I’ve used condition, that to download my eBook and WordPress themes, users have to subscribe to my blog. I think I’ve to remove it. What do you say?

    • @Gagan, it’s up to you.. If the users are interested in your content, they would subscribe to you anyhow. Otherwise, they are just going to unsubscribe after downloading their stuff… However, signing up as a member to comment may not be very good and that’s what I have been mainly talking about.

  11. Aparna :

    Hey, just came across your blog recently while doing some research. Very informative. Will keep coming back for me. :)

  12. Chandan :

    @Ajit,
    though the sign-up pop up forms are annoying, it helps in building lists of targeted customers and in making sells.

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