Close
Close

How to Be an Interesting Blogger

How-To-Be-InterestingOne of the keys to building a successful blog is to build something that is ‘interesting’.

But how does one BE interesting?

It’s probably a topic that deserve someone smarter than me to explore but it strikes me that one element of being an interesting blogger (or an interesting person for that matter) is that they are often people who are ‘interested’.

To be interesting you need to be interested

Image by riot jane

This is a concept that I’ve seen many write about over the years (example) but today it hit home for me.

You see I had 10 minutes this afternoon to check my RSS feeds. Regular readers will know that I follow 650+ feeds – so 10 minutes didn’t really cut it so I headed to 4 blogs that I generally find most interesting.

As I quickly read these 4 blogs I wondered to myself why I was drawn to them and realized that what made them interesting was that the bloggers behind them were:

  • interested in their topic - you can tell by reading their work that they are obviously fascinated with the topics that they write about. They love researching it, learning about it, talking about it and exploring it even though they write about it every day.
  • interested in their readers – they seemed to love the conversations that happened on their blogs but also based much of what they wrote about on real needs of readers and helping them.

Applying this ‘Interesting’ Principle:

There are a number of ways that I think it’s useful to think about this ‘interesting’ principle:

1. Starting a Blog – when starting up a new blog an important question to ask yourself is whether you are genuinely interested in your topic. This comes back to working out what you are about when choosing a topic.

2. Hiring Bloggers – last time I hired bloggers for DPS I had a number of criteria that I judged applicants by – one of which was how much I felt that they loved the topic of photography. Ability to write is important – but unless the person demonstrates a love for the topic they’ll probably not be able to take the blog to the next level.

3. Monitoring Your Interest Levels – perhaps a good question to ask yourself periodically when reviewing your blog is about how your interest levels are going on your blog. I think it’s a fairly natural thing to have your own interest levels for your topic to rise and fall over time – but to monitor this can be useful because it means you can take action when it drops (take a short break, find some guest posts, change your posting routine/rhythm, experiment with some new types of posts etc).

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. It’s too bad that sometimes you are not good at what you are interested in or like doing. But if you really like doing it, then you will be successful no matter the difficulty.

  2. prast says:

    to know someone interest something need research even 10 minutes. So, if we categorize our blog in special interest probably would drive traffic.

  3. Scott says:

    Another factor to an interesting blog is the actual quality of the author. There are a few blogs that I read daily on subjects I probably wouldn’t normally, but the authors are just so darned good at what they do. Even with their love of the subject, the blog wouldn’t nearly be as good without that specific person writing it. One of my favorite blogs had an author change recently, and it completely killed the experience for me, although the new author probably knows more about the subject than the old.

    Cheers!
    Scott

  4. Eric Frey says:

    Rajaie, I am of the opinion that trying to write well crafted, and well researched blog posts is one way to actually improve your knowledge or skills in the area that you are interested in.

    Unfortunately, and maybe I’m a bit cynical, I think that enjoying what you’re doing doesn’t in and of itself guarantee success. Darren makes great points on the importance of being interesting / interested, but I think that is only 1 variable in the success equation.

  5. Shanel Yang says:

    Good points! Obviously we can’t be interesting to everyone since we’re not interested in everything. But, that magical intersection between our genuine interests and the interests of our readers is the sweet spot I think we’re all striving for.

  6. FitMom says:

    I am just passionate about running and cycling, so I share it! Hopefully, that is what makes it interesting.

  7. Leo Bottary says:

    To your point, if you’re passionate about the subject matter and really interested in your audience, you stand a chance they’ll be interested in your content.

  8. Mark Frost says:

    A great topic to bring up, Darren. After some failures with past blogs in niches I’m not really into, I think it is great to think way ahead when starting a new blog. If you are not dedicated and passionate about your niche, it will show in your writing and your readers will be able to sense it and may not return for that reason.

  9. Passion = Great works

    And the flair for writing and sharing should be there when bloggers write. Is that what catches your attention too Darren?

  10. sherry says:

    I can’t agree more with this topic. PittWatch’s success can be at least partially “blamed” on the fact that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are immensely popular and people want to know info about them. But there are so many blog posts everywhere about them, that part of what brings people back to mine is that my readers know that I’m not just randomly writing about famous people – that I actually have a large interest in that couple myself.

    As for caring about the readers, that’s true too. I accidentally started a trend on the blog when a post I put up turned into a huge discussion in the comments. Now I regularly get requests to start new discussion posts and the readers love it. I put the most recent one up on Friday evening and now on Sunday morning I have almost 100 comments, which is almost unheard of on a weekend. Taking the readers’ wishes into account really makes a difference.

  11. Paul says:

    great post. the same can be said for ‘brands’. If they want customers to be interested, they need to be interesting. It’s funny how rarely this comes up in brand / strategy meetings….

  12. Felicia says:

    You’ve outlined the reasons why I continue to read your blog. It’s obvious that you’re passionate about what you do.

    Thanks for another practical post.

  13. blog4net says:

    thats a nice point, darren. i think interest backed by dedication only really pays off.

  14. Strong One says:

    Thanks for the tips. I love what I’m bloggin about, but it’s difficult to determine if I’m Interesting? I am definitley interested, but as others have pointed out. You can be interested in your topic, and even be well knowledged about it, but that doesn’t guarantee your blog’s success.
    I have to figure out how my two topics of my blog can become and remain interesting to readers.

  15. Theresa says:

    Eric and Rajaie, I think that if you love what you do, spend the time researching and learning while producing good content, sooner or later, you do subjectively attract a following. It’s not just “practice makes perfect;” it’s more like “perfect practice makes perfect.” I also think that if you love what you’re doing, not only does it shine through, you also tend to keep at it and dig deeper.

    If you love it, do it. It will catch on.

    Interesting post, Darren!

  16. Gala says:

    So what were the 4 blogs that held your interest? ;D

    I think some of us would love to hear about your favourite websites & why you like them so much… if you’re game to reveal that info, of course!

  17. Ari Herzog says:

    Over on social photography site Flickr, there is a tool called interestingness:

    There are lots of elements that make something ‘interesting’ (or not) on Flickr. Where the clickthroughs are coming from; who comments on it and when; who marks it as a favorite; its tags and many more things which are constantly changing. Interestingness changes over time, as more and more fantastic content and stories are added to Flickr.

    Every once in a while, when seeking inspiration to enhance my own photography skills, I look at the interesting photos on Flickr. I notice how the photographers are interacting with their commenters, over and over and over. I notice how the really good photos have color and contrast and unique camera angles. I love reading captions, the longer the better, to better understand the rationale for taking that photo and the history behind its meaning. And I love seeing other photos the person captured.

    Are you more likely to read a post with zero comments or with 200 comments? If you enjoyed reading a past entry of that blogger, does it really matter how many comments are in a subsequent entry? I don’t think so.

  18. bloggista says:

    It’s easier said than done. Being interesting is something that has been man’s desire since time immemorial. It’s something that has to do with the right mix of great personality, timing, luck and charisma.

    It needs lots of hardwork plus all those mentioned above. But in the end, only a few would earn that tag as being “interesting.” Else, then this world would be a boring place to live. I have striven to be interesting, but heck, Darren is way more interesting than most bloggers out there. That leaves us “un-interesting” people fighting it out what’s left from THEM interesting folks. Sigh.

  19. Nate Smith says:

    great post, thank you very much. I was wondering if you could post something (or simply reply to my email) about being a successful comedy/humor blogger. My blog (www.nateisablog.blogspot.com) is simply a humor blog. There are a few recurring themes, and my top ten lists are my most popular posts. I’ve been writing my blog for a couple years now and I always get very positive responses about the blog, but I can’t figure out how to develop a big loyal following. I’ve toyed with the notion of making my blog very specific and only posting about a particular topic, but I really don’t want to limit my possibilities. What are the keys to successfully humor blogging?

  20. I have certainly noticed that some posts I place on my blog are more popular than others. Very few posts of mine have just lit up the chart however I am honing in on what works and what does not. I am one of those new bloggers that is feeling my way. My passion is split in 3 different areas and I am trying to bring the readers in blog-land something of interest to the table.

    Your blog suggestions really do help. Thanks for sharing.

  21. In “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie said:

    “Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours.”

    A perfect example of this is what happens on a forum or discussion board when somebody asks a question about something, and somebody else answers it.

    If you’ve ever hovered over your monitor waiting for a reply to your post, then you know exactly what I mean. You’ll continue reading the answer — and the entire thread! — for as long as it continues to be about you and whatever you’re interested in.

    Now, as to the people who are supplying you with their answers, your question acts as a welcome stimulus.

    Whereas before they might have been just sitting on the sidelines, suddenly they’re up front and center because “Hey! I know something about that! I can answer that question!”

    And the answer — as if by magic — somehow becomes so much easier to write simply because of the knowledge that someone is actually interested in reading the answer.

    It’s like stopping to ask directions of one of the locals. Have you ever noticed how they drop what they’re doing and launch into a full explanation — complete with uphills and downdales! — of how you can get where you’re going?

    It’s just human nature to blossom forth in the sunlight of someone’s attention and interest.

    Unfortunately, *keeping* someone’s attention and interest is another thing.

    My daddy used to call this the “Negligee Factor.” He said that a woman dressed in a see-through negligee is far more sexy and exciting than a woman standing there stark naked … in other words, don’t show or tell all. Leave a little to the imagination!

    Myself, I think of it as the “Scheherazade Factor” … the clever woman who kept her head — literally! — and the Shah of Persia on a leading rein by telling him serial stories.

    “The Shah kept Scheherazade alive as he eagerly anticipated each new story, until, one thousand and one adventurous nights, and three sons later, the Shah had not only been entertained but wisely educated in morality and kindness by Scheherazade who became his Queen.” Wikipedia

    SocialMediaSystems put it this way:

    “The internet writing market is oversaturated; you can get content anywhere for any price, even decently-written content; writing on the web is fully commoditized and has created an environment of perfect competition that is great for buyers and dismal for writers.

    “For content writers, this means that standing out from everyone else is getting more difficult; luckily, standing out to major search engines like Google is becoming easier. As Aaron Wall (of seobook.com) mentions, search algorithms will become increasingly sophisticated and start using visitor feedback as a quality signal; thus high-quality content will become increasingly rewarded, and poor content will cease to be profitable.

    “Thus, the key in producing effective content will depend on how many people like it and how quickly it spreads virally. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean grammatically perfect, incredible prose; it means meaty, focused writing with a point, opinion, purpose, and attitude that speaks to users and makes them ‘vote’ for or link to it. This also means the use of social media will become increasingly important to how well content does on the search engines.

    “This is good news for writers who value quality and have long been frustrated at the proliferation of bad writing on the web. While this in no way means that poor content will stop being profitable, it does mean that a) higher-quality content will become more rewarded than poor content, and b) the more users give value (e.g. via links, diggs, mentions) to an article in the near future, the better it will rank in the search engines.”

    Regards, Elizabeth …

  22. Agent 001 says:

    Yes it is really important to look interesting in front of your visitors. You have to create some attraction in your blogging and writing.

  23. HELLO says:

    I agree the biggest key to an interesting blog is to be interested in it. But sometimes it can get challenging if the topic does not generate enough traffic and discouragement sets in.

  24. It gossips says:

    @Nate
    I think problogger should cover this topic. Using twitter is coming up in my mind when I think about getting big loyal followers.

  25. Sincere interest in your blog topic is key for longevity and success. Just like a regular 9 to 5 job, your output quality will be consistently better if you really enjoy what you’re doing. As human beings, our interests can sway from one era to the next. That being said, everybody has 1 or 2 things that I will call “lifelong passions.” In other words, passions that will last the test of time. Blog quality content about one of those passions, and you are surely headed for success.

  26. Passion and ability are almost always an unbeatable combination! Passion, ability, and written charisma are virtually always unbeatable.

  27. I think also that people who are interested, are generally all around nice people too (just been my experience). There’s a general sense of self-awareness about them that draws others in so in that respect, Darren is probably a really nice person. Please correct if I’m wrong :)

  28. Noobpreneur says:

    Darren,

    Agreed.

    I also would like to add – What makes a blogger interesting is his/her background or profile.

    The first time I visited your Problogger.net is not because of your six figure earnings lessons, but because of your background story.

    Cheers!

  29. Ann says:

    Where do “interesting” and “useful” intersect in the blogosphere? I think I’m trying to straddle the two, and it’s hard!

    I find that the emphasis on useful leads to a lot of “tips and tricks” articles that aren’t all that interesting . . . but perhaps I’m reading too many self-improvement blogs.

    I’m looking for (and maybe trying to be) the writer who can enrich and inspire with soul, feeling – and experience of course – but not just lists.

  30. ChinaMatt says:

    Seems quite logical. The blogs I enjoy do have writers that seem interested in their subjects. Goes along with the old line of “write what you know.”

  31. Scott says:

    You could just be a completely weird person and be into things other people just aren’t into. Of course the odds are way off. Anyways, I find that I lose interest in my blog, even though I’m still interested in the subject.

  32. Jessica says:

    that is exactly true. I have always believed that most of the people who leave things in the middle or are not able to stick to something for longer period of time is because lack of interest or they might not be passionate about the topic.

    as the good saying goes ” to be interesting you ought to be more interested ”

    Jessica

  33. phanatic74 says:

    It’s great to know the person behind the blog. great post . . . . . . Go Phightins !!

  34. Katie says:

    I was wondering the same thing as Gala.

    I am interested in the blogs of people who seem genuinely passionate about what they are writing about and commit to producing regular, quality content.

  35. Being interesting, of course, is a very good thing indeed. Being engaging and actually touching the emotions of the readers and making them sit up and notice – that’s another excellent key to generate popular blogs.

    I enjoy blogs that make me say, gosh, I never considered that before! Or perhaps, hmmmm, that’s a unique take…I wonder how I can apply it to my own writings?

    There’s a tremendous amount of interesting blogs out there – wish I had the time to internalize ‘em all.

    Enjoy, Barbara

  36. “To be interesting you need to be interested:” – This is so true. Blogging takes lot of time and effort. The only way you can keep blogging for a long time is to write about the subject/topic that you are passionate about.

    – Ramesh | The Geek Stuff –

  37. Barbara says:

    Darren. How do you manage to follow 650+ feeds???

  38. ulla says:

    I think that there is a difference between being interested in something and being passionate about something. I am interested in quite a few things – drawing, painting, reading, classical music, creative writing, but the thing I am really passionate about is taking photos and writing a few sentences about them. It took some time for me to find that out, and I didn’t know it when I began blogging. But when it became clear to me that this was my passion I was ready to put some hard work into it.

  39. Suresh Kumar says:

    Yes, I agree your point. The bloggers need to Love their work and post the content that needs to be smarter , this will allows more readers visit their blog.

  40. Sometimes i read blog because their article title in my rss reader is about some IT news, but sometimes i check some blogs only because they have interesting titles. But it’s not every time interesting to read hole articles, title is not content :)

  41. Metro says:

    It’s fascinating to learn about what others are passionate about and what people tick.

    Interest, passion and blogs are uncovering things we never knew. Competition for traffic is forcing us all to use our brains and think.

  42. Believe it or not, this is the same title and topic I am now drafting on my next post. I guess I have to change it somehow.

    Anyway, being passionate on what we blog about is more than just being interested. Passion is what makes us to blog because without it, readers will not find you interesting even if you’re interested.

    Thanks.

  43. I agree with you..
    To make people interest we must make become interested..
    It is a simple principe ..

  44. Carla says:

    I have passion for my subject, but I am a timid blogger so I don’t stretch or add as much personality as I probably should. Being new, I don’t have a whole lot of confidence yet, but I hope that will come with time.

  45. shawal says:

    Good day,

    I find that it a little bit not so easy to become interesting to others,,….

    Sometime when you post a content that you think this is it – my most powerful idea but the back end result are just make you lose your temper…

    And when you just posting any content and suddenly your blog become a very highlighted blog…..

    Its depend on right timing, i think, so keep up the good work and just blog about what you interested in and the result will enhanced itself…..

    Thank You.

  46. Ari Herzog says:

    @Ann – Writing with soul does not come easy. To some people, it’s impossible. If you’re passionate about your subject, your soul will come through.

    @phanatic74 – Phightins?!?

    @Katie – Production of regular, quality content is important but content for the sake of content is bad production. Don’t be forced to add a new entry if you don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute.

    @Carla – It sounds like you have a choice: Do you write with passion (which you say you have), with personality (which you say you don’t), or some combination? Only you can answer this.

  47. MoneyEnergy says:

    I would agree with this, and the point about monitoring your own interest levels. Each post should come from a place when and where you are feeling interested and focused. I started a post the other day but 3/4 of the way into it just realized that for whatever reason I wasn’t really “into” that post, so I stopped. It’s still there as a draft if I start thinking about it again, though.

    But obviously not everything I’ve written so far has been the most interesting of interesting. But I’m getting into a groove slowly.

  48. Usually if I am excited to make the post then I know my readers will want to read it. If I am forcing myself to come up with content just for the sake of making a post then it probably won’t be very interesting for someone to read.

  49. Hi Darren,

    My passion is that we discovered grace and truth
    In Jesus Christ. For one born again you soon realize
    that the Bible is it’s own commentary, and it’s a gift from
    God Almighty to be able to follow Him, Our Helper, the
    guide of the Holy Spirit because He knows the Word
    of God.

    How Unique it is that the Word of God has flow because
    it is inspired by God Almighty Himself. Only the Righteous
    One, Jesus Christ Our Lord gives understanding when
    we are born again. Genesis 1:1-5, John 1:1-5, 12-13,
    Genesis 17-18:19, John 3:1-8,John 3:16, Romans 10:8-11,
    John 17:17-21, Romans 15:5-13, Ephesians 2:10-22, Romans 12:1-2, Mark 12:28-31

    Be Blessed always…Peace!

    Sincerely In Jesus Christ,
    a fellow servant,
    Jim

  50. Kim Roach says:

    The success factor of Starbucks has often been identified as the experience they create for their customers. I think blogs must create that same type of experience for their readers.

    Marketing itself is becoming an experience. People no longer buy products. They buy hope, stories, and experiences. Your blog allows you to tell your story, spread your message, and create exciting new experiences for your readers.

    If you’re passionate about your niche, it can’t help but gush into all of your writing.

    I think it’s also important to really love people…. to love your community. These are people who are spending time with you instead of hanging out with friends, spending time with their family, or watching the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

    And for this bit of time they give, I want to offer them something remarkable. I want to give them some insanely valuable content. There are far too few of us truly trying to be remarkable.

    Let’s all be Purple Cows…