Saturday, May 16, 2015

Reader Perspectives: Blog Advice

During the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, I asked my visitors what kept them coming back to a quilting blog. After all, it's more fun sharing my quilting exploits when I'm not talking to myself. In case you wondered how to be the blog hostess with the hostess, here's what the insightful folks suggested:


Photographs, Minimal Text

It's no surprise that the quilting crowd is a visual bunch. They appreciate skillfully taken pictures in abundance. Detail and step-by-step shots are a bonus, while excessive text is a turn-off. Carol mentioned, "I love blogs that aren't too wordy, but get right to the point with photos and info..like yours!" Cassandra gave an instance where increased text is permissible," I also really like an occasional post that is a more word-y discussion type of topic (how to price a hand crafted item, what is involved in your creative process, finding inspiration, what are your pet peeves, etc.)".


Progress, Not Just Product

Readers want to see why certain fabrics were selected and how the design developed.
Acording to kt, "I like blogs that include the process not just the finished product--I like hearing about the creation of everyone's beautiful things, not just seeing what they've made." Kate Yates put it well, stating, "I like blogs with unique and modern quilts. I also like hearing the stories behind quilts, their design and the quilters who make them." But don't just show your shopping finesse. Jen Barnard wrote, "I like seeing pictures of finishes and works in progress. I've unfollowed a few blogs lately because the only ever seem to show new fabric they've bought and never anything they make with it."  Pre agreed, saying, "I tend to get very bored when blogs show post after post of fabric photos without posting any actual content - no words, thoughts, not even WIPs - just fabric stash photos. "

Tips & Tricks

Sharing helpful suggestions and advice saves us all heartache and makes for greater success.

Tutorials

Undoubtably, the most requested blog content was precise, detailed instructions for projects and new techniques. Readers love quilt alongs and other step-by-step demonstrations and "how to" explanations. Diane Beavers commented, "I keep returning to Blogs for step by step tutorials on projects or items I've never attempted before. The Karma is felt and I'm inspired to truck on and try it again, each time improving from the last. A seam ripper really is a friend:)" Beginner-friendly, small projects were highly requested. Jeneta described these as, "inspiring, yet achievable." Readers also appreciate a variety of sewing projects, such as bags and clothing.

Vibrant Color

Readers are attracted to interesting color combinations. They enjoy seeing a cheery, bright, saturated rainbow of color.

Frequent Posts

As Joanne G put it,"I think frequency of posts really helps keep readers coming back to blogs. If someone only posts every 6 months, I'm going to lose interest."


Innovation

Numerous comments suggested fresh interpretations of traditional blocks, unique projects,and new ideas. As KeriCan said,"I love seeing quilt artists use old techniques and patterns in new ways." Donna also mentioned this blog characteristic,"I've noticed and enjoyed the many quilts with some unexpected design element or surprise in them." Jayne commented, "I love seeing new and different on blogs. I think being innovative and cutting edge is inspiring!" Diane P said, "What keeps me coming back is modern twists to traditional quilts and photos."

Inspiration

Karin captured this idea in her comment, "I've only just started sewing again after a long hiatus. So at the moment quilting blogs are all about inspiration and getting the confidence to start my very first quilt."

Personality

Readers want to hear the blogger's authentic voice and get to know the blog author on a personal level. "I like blogs where the author has a real authentic voice. I love looking at pretty pictures but if I feel like I get to know the author too that is a big bonus," said Little House on the Dairy. Granny Maud's Girl enjoys, "stories that give a little insight to the person." Brenda commented, "I like to see the person behind the blog come through, to get to know the blogger as a friend."  Diana at the Red Delicious Life commended an "online rapport that I develop with that person". Stephanie commented, "I really like blogs and bloggers that are down to earth and throw a little of their self in there. I can google quilt tutorials all day, but I like to feel like I know that person and am interested in what's going on with them." Bobbie said, "I come back for friendliness and honesty. Jan Baker stated, "I come back for great ideas, a peek into someone else's life, and tips for quilting which I very much need."


Quality Grammar

Kristin in Alaska stated, "I have to like the blogger's writing style in order to keep coming back. Bad spelling, misuse of commas, and bad grammar will really keep me away from a blog."


Other Desirable Content

Readers also enjoy giveaways, linky parties, product reviews, and finishes.

If you are interested in getting more ideas about having a successful quilting blog, and tech help too, a series is starting shortly that I anticipate will be very useful.

Follow on Bloglovin
post signature

7 comments:

  1. How interesting! Thank you Afton for sharing.
    I was wondering about the comment about grammar and spelling mistakes. I do know that I make mistakes as English is not my mother tongue. It just surprised me to read that people find having perfect language important in this multi cultural quilting community. We all do our best in our blogs. I will take this knowledge into account.
    The rest of the list is very recognizable and completely matches with my personal preferences for blogs.
    Thanks again!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo com
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for condensing all these into one post...very interesting and helpful for all of us!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great advice from your readers, Afton. May I / we link up to this article as part of the advice series for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop (and thanks for the mention that it is about to start)!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing the info: I'm a new blogger and this was informative and helpful! :-) Hugs, H in Healdsburg

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the great advice! I'm pretty new to quilting, and VERY new to blogging, so this is super timely and helpful to me

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the great tips! That was a great question to put out there! All very great points. The grammar issue has me worried! I would never be put off if a comma isn't in its proper place - and I most likely wouldn't even know. If it's coherent, sincere and holds my interest..I'm good with that!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for this great advise. L

    ReplyDelete