“There’s no better way to lose readers than to stop writing”. I don’t know if that’s an actual quote, but it sounds like it should be…so there it is. I’ve been talking a lot over the past few weeks about making our mark and making connections in this community. Well, talking about these things is one thing, and I try to live up to the ideas I write about. This week I’ve put together a round-up of some of my favorite blogs. I follow a lot of blogs, but these are some of the ones that I look forward to, and I always get excited when I see a new post in my in-box.
It might sound silly, but Joe-A-Day is a great blog. This is a guy who knows exactly what he wants to talk about, and who his audience is. He posts every day, and is passionate about what he’s talking about: G.I.Joe action figures. To be completely honest, part of what makes this blog compelling to me is that I’m a guy of a certain age… I remember my older brothers getting the first 5 ‘Joes for Christmas when I was 6 or 7 and thinking they were the coolest things in the world. Which brings me to the second reason I find this blog compelling. Every figure he talks about and reviews has a personal story. Sometimes it’s a story about tracking that character down, and sometimes it’s a memory from his childhood about the the how and why he thought it was so cool (or lame). The point is, this isn’t just a blog cataloging a collection of
dolls action figures. It’s a memoir using these miniature soldiers as a backdrop.
The route we take to discovering the blogs we enjoy is rarely straight forward it seems. Every now and again, one will show up in my feed and I’ll wonder where it even came from. This isn’t one of those. I discovered Vivian of Oh Shoot! through an etsy site run by her and some friends out of San Francisco, Polka Dot Robot. This is a good example of how each of our sites are connected and should (ideally) channel viewers back to each other. I continue to read her blog for it’s varied content: stories about her daily life, monthly goals, projects, plans and biking. She takes lots of great photos, and where the photos aren’t hers, they fit the content so well, and she’s really good about crediting the source (which is something we should all be better about). All of these things give her blog a certain tangibility, that makes it feel and read like a journal. (Image found here.)
Speaking of photos, I ran across this one by Julie Marie Craig from Always With Butter and fell. in. love. This one is such a wonderful example of the ability to share our interests and passions online. Also the branding is super consistent, and says handmade and attention to detail, all the way through. I have found that I love to read about food. Maybe it’s that feeling of satisfaction and comfort that comes from sitting down at the table with people you love and having a great meal that I relate to. Or maybe it’s the passion of the cook in making some thing wonderful that was always meant to be shared. At any rate, reading this blog, you can tell that Julie really enjoys what she’s doing. Also, I love how she sets up all of her recipes up on a downloadable card with handwritten and typed elements, instead of just typing them in the body of the blog. Details like that, combined with the stories and photos surrounding the recipes really add to the handmade feel of this blog, and the feeling of hanging out in the kitchen with a friend.
Aesthetic Outburst is one of those blogs that I honestly have no idea how I got there (though I suspect it was through Pinterest). At first glance, it was a blog about a family renovating an old farm house, but it’s turned out to be more than that. Updated daily by Abbey Hendrickson, it’s about her family, her life as a freelance artist and crafter, renovating their farm house, and her love of art. She does a weekly round up of cool things she finds on the web as well. This sort of varied content stays thematically focused because it reflects her personal interests, and really helps us to feel like we’re getting to know her personally.
Finally we have Connie To The Wonnie by Connie Sun. I found this by following through a comment left on my friend Ben Hatke’s blog. I can’t stress enough how important it is to leave thoughtful comments that contribute to the conversation on blogs you follow. Not only does it let the writer know that you enjoy what they have to say, but it also provides a path for others to hear what you have to say. Connies blog is set up as an illustrated status message a day, and it is wonderful. First off, she’s consistent, she posts every week day. Her posts are also short, the time spent for me to read them is very small, and the payoff is almost always funny and/or insightful. I also really enjoy that she experiments with the drawings, and does a mix of cartoons and life sketches.
So, now you can picture my mornings standing at the kitchen counter, drinking tea and eating cereal…and reading blogs. I hope you take a minute and go check some of them out yourself, and leave them a comment, help continue those conversations. What are some of the blogs you look forward to reading? Leave us a comment and let us know!