When reading advice on blogging you will so often be told that content is key. Quality content is what makes your blog, and yes, I totally agree. If what you have to say doesn't leave your reader satisfied at the end then you have wasted precious moments of their day, and we all know how time poor people can be. I have four children, a horse and two hundred and fifty ewes who are due to lamb this week...I know exactly what being 'time poor' means.
Being an avid reader of blogs, on many different subjects, I have very quickly come to see how content is really only just a small part of what attracts us to a blog. Even though we are told we shouldn't 'judge a book by its cover', I know its is certainly something that I just can't help doing, which is a pity because I'm missing out on a world of fabulous books. For me this applies to my attraction to certain blogs over others.
If a blog page is too cramped or busy or just plain boring to look at I will quickly move away and go find something else to entertain myself with. On the other hand a blog with a pretty template, gorgeous photos or one that showcases beautiful products, places and fashion will get me in hook, line and sinker, and from there, if the content lives up to the look of the site, then I will remain a faithful follower.
As my blog is relatively new to the scene I am working towards creating the best looking page I possibly can, with the hope of one day becoming a professional blogger. For me I'm finding it is all about taking baby steps, making use of a designer, and adding to my blog as funds allow. If I had ever thought a few months ago that I would be making use of a designer I would not have thought it possible, assuming this would be way out of my budget. Luckily there are websites out there that create templates that you can purchase for a very minimal fee. I used Designer Blogs and my template was only $15. From there I have gone back and purchased a custom designed Facebook page a Favicon (which is the little flower next to my URL...I never knew what that thing was called!) and also a custom signature for the bottom of my posts. Without overdoing it I think it is the little things that can make all the difference. And it needn't cost the earth!
Anyway, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite blogs that really caught my eye for different reasons:
Wonderful You - This is a lovely beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog written by Megs who just loves foxes! Her banner is really sweet, with the cutest fox curled up in a ball, and her signature is accompanied by a fox too. (It is the little things that make a blog stand out!) The photos are beautiful and Megs herself is lovely too. (There are so many gorgeous bloggers out there!)
The British Girl - I have mentioned this blog in a previous post, but I'm a sucker for a cute banner and this one is a hum-dinger! It's fun and cheerful and it makes me want to hop on a plane and go and hang out with Beth.
The Tea Drinking English Rose - Ok, ok, yes I know I'm obsessed with all things English, but I do like the idea of someone being as in love with a good cup of tea as I am, although Charlotte-Heather does seem to have better china than me. She takes gorgeous photos and I feel quite relaxed after being let into her world.
Horses and Heels - This blog doesn't have a pretty banner but I like the clean look of this one, and a blog that has a heading especially set aside for 'Horses' and 'Cowboy Boots' is alright in my book. There are plenty of horse-related items on review and it also looks at lifestyle, fashion and recipes.
Jillaroo Jess - For those who don't know a Jillaroo is an Australian version of a cowgirl. Jillaroos will work on big Outback Stations with sheep or cattle (or both), and will spend their days riding horses, mustering and generally getting their hands dirty. If I could relive my 20s I would definitely go get a job as a jillaroo. Jess is a jillaroo out in the Pilbara in Western Australia and if you want a different take on life this is a great blog. I love her photograph she has set as her banner, it makes me want to go ride my horse.
Wedding Chicks - The photographs caught my eye with this one, and although I have been married for five years and no longer have the need for wedding inspiration, I am a photographer and it is fantastic for ideas.
How Sweet It Is - A food blog, the photos are to die for and make you want to lick the computer screen. Seriously. The first time I viewed this blog the opening recipe was for Boozy Coconut Hot Fudge Milkshakes. Need I say more.
What Olivia Did - Another stylish Londoner, Olivia blogs about a little of everything but focuses on fashion. Another beautifully dressed English girl with great legs!
The Pioneer Woman - This was actually the very first blog I got addicted to. Everyone has heard of Ree. If she was edible she'd be her own food group. Amazing photos, hilarious tales of her daily going-ons and fantastic recipes.
What are your favourite looking blogs?