Help Me Help You

27 07 2008

What makes readers actually want to read someone’s blog?

Whilst reading another fellow bloggers post, I realized that he hit the nail right on the head. Writing a blog is no easy task, let alone writing one that you think someone else is actually going to find interesting. I have so much that I want to say and write about, but what actually ends up on the screen is completely different than what I had originally intended.

It reminds me much of that “telephone” game that you have inevitably played as a kid. Chances are you know it. There are a line of people, the first person thinks of a sentence and whispers it to the next person and that person whispers the message into the next person’s ear and so on and so forth. The last person shouts out what they heard, which, idealistically, is the same as the original sentence. Of course, if you’ve ever played this game in North America, it’s done a little differently. If the first person starts by saying something like, “I see two watermelons,” this becomes “I see your daughter’s melons,” which somehow, by the end of it, becomes something completely different like, “Your mother is a whore.” It’s inevitable that the phrase or sentence is changed as it passes from ear to ear. It’s undeniably the best part of the game, or at least that’s the case in North America.

I’ve never prided myself in being an amazing writer. I need to find a way to convey not only my feelings and thoughts as I get ready to embark on my new adventure but I also want to make it enjoyable for others who want to follow along. I mean…I’m not a bad writer I suppose, but I’m all over the place. I tend to write as the thoughts flow through my mind. I need HELP!

So my question to you is, what do you like reading about? Is it humour that entices readers? Information? (although that could prove difficult as my trip hasn’t started yet. But, if you want to provide ME with information, please feel free.) How can I structure my posts to be more clear? Ideas? Comments? Suggestions? All are welcome.

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8 responses

28 07 2008
Matt

What happened to the poll question?

28 07 2008
Anna

@Matt: I decided to get rid of the poll questions. I would rather pose my questions in the actual posts as it leaves more room for discussion. 🙂

28 07 2008
matt

sure it wasnt the results? lol 😉

28 07 2008
Anna

@Matt: LOL! I’m sure it wasn’t the results. Good to know you’re still reading though 🙂

28 07 2008
itinerantlondoner

Great post Anna, I've been wrestling with similar issues myself recently. And it's also part of the reason I've started writing nearly a year before my big trip – to give me time to practise, to see what works & what doesn't, and to try and find a voice, so that by the time I go away (hopefully) I'll have a better and more readable blog for friends, family, and of course anyone else who wants to read.

I don't think there's any one answer to your questions – all the travel blogs I love are very different, and I think it's a matter of working out your own strengths and playing to them.

That said though, there are a few basics that really help I think: photos are always good, not necessarily on every post, but they break up chunks of writing and make posts easier to read. Plus there's no better way to seduce a new visitor with pictures of somewhere spectacular.

Not writing posts that are too long helps too, I think, as long posts tend to be harder to read. I'd rather have more and shorter rather than long and less frequent.

I think you've got off to a pretty good start, looking forward to reading more!

28 07 2008
Anna

@itinerantlondoner: Great suggestions. I like your style of starting to write early…obviously…since I’m writing 5 months before mine.
I wish I had more photos to post to break up the blog as you said. I bought a fancy new camera and everything. Now just to put it to the test.

28 07 2008
itinerantlondoner

Go and take some photos of your home town! That way you get to practise taking (and uploading) and we get to see more of Canada!

28 07 2008
Anna

@itinerantlondoner: Agreed. I just posted a picture of a waterfall I visit every year in my hometown! Enjoy, there will be more to come.

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