Today marks the first of the Guest Panel Series! To go along with this new website, I asked three bloggers three questions in regards to reading new blogs, what they like, and what they don’t like.
With no further ado, here is today’s panel:
Meet the Panel:
- Jackie Banda loves all things social media and it is all part of the PR 2.0 world that she thrives off of. She earned her BS from Utah State in Public Relations and is currently working on her masters in tech & design at Utah State.
- Bethany Rae Cramer is a recent May 2010 graduate from SUNY Geneseo with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Her passion is marketing and she enjoys the fast paced world of events, promotion, and connecting with the media.
- Michael Adams is a Marketing Consultant with special focus on the food industry. He rambles on at micadams.com and currently runs Eddie’s Energy Bars and Green Mountain Mustard out of his home in the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Let’s see what they have to say…
When you are looking at someone’s website or blog for the very first time, how much time, on average, do you spend looking around the site?
Jackie: When looking at a website/blog for the first time I usually spend between 2-4 minutes reviewing it or looking/reading the information that I came for.
Bethany: I tend to only browse through the first page. I’ll read the most recent post and check out the ones below. If these posts interest me, only then do I look further. If the most recent posts bore me, then I doubt any future articles will catch my attention.
Michael: I spend about 5-10 minutes, looking at how often they post and taking a look at the about page to see what the person has accomplished and their credibility on the topic.
What is the number one turn-off that makes you stop reading and go somewhere else?
Jackie: There are two major things that can turn me off when I first land on a new site. 1. I instantly feel like I am trying to be sold something (flashing boxes, pop-up ads, etc.) 2. Too many words! I don’t like arriving at a site and feeling like I have to read pages upon pages to get to the point.
Bethany: Boring topics. I hate blogs that talk about things I have read months before on another. I understand content can be hard to come up with, but if you are going to discuss something you learned from another source, make it your own. Add a twist, share your experience, make your readers feel like they are reading something valuable and new.
Michael: Usability of the blog – I like reading posts with big sub headings and clearly delineated sections. If you write a post on “10 Crazy Things to do in Mexico”, then those ten things should be easily searchable throughout the post – we all know, we’re not going to read what’s below the bold heading. Bottom line: Make your blog readable.
Of the blogs you enjoy, please name one common factor and why it is so crucial to the blogs success.
Jackie: A common factor among sites I enjoy would have to be use of images, photos, lists or video. I enjoy having a variety of visual aspects in a site. A site that varies how it displays information is usually more interesting and entertaining for me to read, in my opinion.
Bethany: I enjoy humor. I read educational, industry and personal blogs, but they all have the common quality of personality and a splash of comedy. Even in professional posts a bit of sarcasm or a joke with jargon shows me that the writer has a true interest in their topic and their readers. You can’t joke about an industry unless you know what it is all about. Comedy is sure to engage readers and keep them coming back.
Michael: I think one common factor is the writer’s personality. When the voice shines through of a company founder or a tech blog, or even a blog that gets 10 views a day, if you can feel the person talk to you, the blog will eventually be successful. I try to let my personality shine through in all of my blog posts and I really think that’s why people enjoy reading blogs from people they know and trust.
What do you think? What are your blog turn-on’s and turn-off’s? Any questions for the panel?
I want to thank Jackie, Bethany, and Michael for joining us and contributing to the very first of the Guest series! Don’t forget, all three of you are one step closer to becoming the owner of your very own guest room here by becoming a Featured Guest.