In my research on how to launch my own blog, I read other blogs, articles on blogging, and read the book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt. Being true to myself, I had to thoroughly research “blogging” because I want it to be right. Here is what I found.

The most critical component to a blog is how well readers interact with it by way of comments.

Today, after one week, I don’t have any comments. Do you want to be the first? My #1 blogging goal is how well readers interact with it. As I’ve read other blogs, I found some of the best nuggets in the comments section, even from people who disagree with the blog’s premise. To help enhance the discussion, I have chosen not to approve your comments before they post. I’ll just delete comments that are offensive, in bad taste, etc.

The blogs I enjoy include original thinking or generate thought provoking questions.  I don’t enjoy reading cut and paste blogs that are clearly written for internet search engine (SEO) purposes. While SEO is important to anyone taking the time to write a blog and build a platform, the reader must come first.

Here are some of my other findings on what makes a good blog.

  • I get bored quickly so I appreciate blogs that are easy to read. The writer must pay attention to formatting, grammar, spelling, and syntax. All my professors who ever had to read one of my college papers would cheer if they read these words. They endured a lot wading through my work. While I want to do the best I can to hit this objective, I won’t use an editor as it would kill my creativity and slow down the process. If you see an error, e-mail me and I’ll try and fix it right away. Bottom line, I don’t want to make you work at reading my blog.
  • I hear some blogs utilize ghost writers. I’m afraid of ghosts, so you don’t have to wonder who is writing these blogs. I’ll give full credit to any future guest bloggers.
  • I have one fear about blogging. Once I announce my blog to the world, I’ll quite writing it after two weeks. Or worse yet, write so inconsistently, there is no flow. Call me crazy, but I hope to post three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Let me know what days you think are best.

Finally, I don’t have a name for this blog, except my name. I started blogging last week to test drive the site. In my first blog, I stated that I want to “help people find their right fit in the world, listen and understand one another, and share common purpose to accomplish great things.”

These are broad topics, but they will all be written through my work on Intrinsic Motivation in mind. I see this kind of motivation as core to our being and underlie each of these three areas. This blog is about helping people function well, communicate effectively, and work well together. Please feel free to look back over my original blogs, subscribe to get e-mail updates, and start commenting. I look forward to interacting with you.

What do you think makes a good blog?

What Makes a Good Blog

10 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Blog

  • Steve, congrats on the new blog! The first thought that came to mind as I scanned your first entry was ‘ready, fire, aim.’ I personally believe what we often credit as adequate preparation is thinly veiled fear, self-doubt and procrastination. Good luck, I’ll keep an eye out for your next post.

    1. Hi Mark,

      Your blog ended up in spam, so I had to approve. You actually get the award of the first post. No offense to SecondJon. There’s room for two.

      I get the fear thing. Thanks for reading and interacting.

  • Hi Steve,

    Thanks for thinking through where you’re going with this. I have a feeling most of the abandoned blogs out there were started by those who didn’t think it through first.

    I follow several blogs via Google Reader, and while I check frequently on my phone, I often have a dozen or more unread posts, good titles are essential. If the title doesn’t give enough information, the post may not get prioritized in my mind even for a glance.

    Some blogs I follow share only a few sentences of their post over RSS. This adds difficulty to reading on my phone, because the author has only given me 1 or 2 sentences. To read the rest I have to click through to their site, which may be their purpose for advertising revenue or better statistics on how many times the page has been loaded, but it means I leave the reader to go to the browser, then if I want to mark it to finish reading later or save as a favorite or reference, I have to go back to the reader from the browser, etc. When I try to get reading in when I have just a moment between things, this is inconvenient.

    One piece of advice I value I believe I read in something by Seth Godin. For online material, write as succinctly as possible, then go back and delete half of what you wrote. As someone who tends to talk too much, this advice has helped with blogging and emailing but also in general.

    On this blog in particular, I wanted to comment but there was no comment link down where I finished reading the post, I had to scroll back up to the title, clued in by the following posts. It may be helpful to have a “leave a comment” link at the end of the post.

    I’m adding you blog to my reader. Thanks for writing!

    1. All great comments Jon. First, thanks for being the first to post. You’ll always have this place of honor. I thought of some of your ideas, but cut them due to length. I figured they’d get picked up in the comments. One of my next upgrades is to get the comments link at the bottom of the post. That bothers me too. Finally, I’m honored to be added to your list.

  • Steve,
    My, you are ambitious! I enjoyed reading your last few posts and will make it a practice to do so in the future. While I don’t blog as prolifically as you do, I find that I like topical posts tied to something that is currently happening in the news or business world. To those topics, I try to add some practical experience from my background. Given your diverse experience, this approach should serve you especially well!

    1. Mike,
      Great comments and thanks for your feedback. I must admit that the media is a bit depressing these days, so I don’t spend a lot of time digging into it. Your point is well taken. The work I’m doing in Intrinsic Motivation has broad applications and the news provides a rich source to feed my creativity fire. My kids think I have an opinion about everything so it shouldn’t be too hard.

  • Steve,
    As usual, you are moving into the blog world as thoroughly as you do everything else! For people just getting to know Steve, I have found him to be an excellent career/life/motivational coach, mentor, and most importantly — someone who tells you what you NEED to hear instead of what you WANT to hear. That is something very rare in our culture, and I look forward to reading more of Steve’s posts. I know I will ponder something new after reading, just as I do everytime we meet. Steve, thanks for being a great friend, in addition to helping me determine my motivational strengths — and pointing out my weaknesses and blind spots as well. I’m glad to see you touching more lives out there!

  • Well it looks like I’m not the first, but won’t be the last either! Good looking blog Steve. I think your criteria for a good blog are spot on. I would add that consistency is key too. Similarly, I try to have my Constant Contact newsletter out once a week on Saturday mornings. I typically see a 50% open rate. Pithy is also good…we’re literally consumed by information flying around all over the place. We can only absorb so much, so I think being hit with something profound and consistently will keep folks up to date on the world of Steve Tonkin.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Daniel,

      You certainly are re-affirming some of my fears about just becoming noise. I hope my decision to open this blog to comments without the requirement of preapproving every response will help contribute to its overall relevance.

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