Nov. 4th, 2012

amandagrabler: Amanda Grabler, official photo (Default)
 What makes a good blog? What makes a bad blog?

For me, a good blog provides useful, factual information, is updated at least semi-regularly, offers a way to contact the owner(s) and/or author(s) of the posts, and offers a comment/feedback system on posts (or at least on most of the posts).

A bad blog, therefore, would be the opposite. A bad blog would also be one that is full of malware, or that unexpectedly redirects you to a dangerous site, or which is obviously a scam of some sort. You know the type -- lots of almost helpful information, lots of yellow highlighting, and information on where you can send the blogger money.

But what makes a blog worthy of interaction with its readers and followers? I've been trying to determine this for awhile now, because my primary blog, Gluten Free & Tasty! has followers, and has registered members, but only a handful of comments . . . and I've been writing it for several years. Companies like my blog. They're still sending me free products to sample and review. Restaurants have been pleased when I tell them I've reviewed them on my blog. But I am clearly doing something wrong because I get almost no response anywhere from the GF community.

My blog auto-posts to Twitter, where I have followers (quite a number) as well as to a group and to a page I've made on Facebook, both of which have a number of members, but again . . . almost no feedback. I have even tried sharing posts which were nothing but a question (i.e. 'what are you doing for National Celiac Awareness Day?) or being sure to include various questions throughout posts, as I've read that asking for feedback specifically tends to elicit a response.

I am aware that WordPress, while providing ease of use to the blogger, does create some difficulty because readers end up having to register for each blog they want to comment on, so I tried to find a plugin which would allow readers to comment from multiple services (such as Twitter), and only succeeded in crashing my blog (oops!). Does anyone have any suggestions on WordPress plugins which (a) work with the most current version of WordPress, (b) work with custom themes and (c) are easy to set-up?

I follow a number of gluten free blogs, and the ones I follow have no problems getting people to respond, so what am I doing wrong? If anyone has any constructive criticism for me regarding Gluten Free & Tasty!, I would sincerely like to hear it -- whether or not you are a gluten-free person or not (I want my blog to appeal to everyone, as there are many people out there who can eat gluten, but go GF for family, or can eat gluten, but want to be able to prepare treats for others who can't).

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