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What is most important to you when visiting a blog?


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I am in the process of building my blog using Wordpress and hosted on GoDaddy. I am looking for input as what I should include in my blog? What do you look for in blog? What is most important to you? Your favorite blog and why it is your favorite blog. Thanks in advance for your valued contributions. I will be going live in a week or two and will post a link soliciting your feedback.

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Easy navigation and multi level menus with descriptive links. The run-on blogs... a months worth of posts on a single page.. I won't even bother with. The same for blogs that you have to click on the "archive - December 2014" type links.

 

As much as folks would like, no one but your closest friends and family members will hang on every word of every post.. day after day. Blogs I frequent are generally very concise. Broken down into categories, ie., "recent trips", "modifications", "scenic photos".. etc. Then further broken down, Ie., under modifications you might have "exterior", "electrical".. etc.

 

I'm not interested in reading about your dogs ongoing health problems, or see what cute wallpaper you just put up just to garner a few gems on your latest solar mod.

 

Those are just examples, but I think you get the idea. The other thing I really appreciate is a "newly updated" section on the home page with direct links to new posts.

 

JMTC

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IMHO!!!

Adventure, location (surprising how many leave this out), pics (very important) and most important - don't repeat (some talk about the same thing over & over; example we ate this today / we went back to ***** today / we had drinks by the RV again / same pics - sunset today, sunrise today).

rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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Think about who might have access to your blog and what information about you they could glean? Some people troll for blogs to find out about people and possibly do them harm or divest them of their possessions.

 

Another thing is the time involved with keeping a blog current and safe. I used to keep up a website when we first started fulltiming but then realized it was taking me away from our travel experience so I took it down. Now I just write an annual Christmas letter and snail mail to those not on computers and e-mail those that are. Those that want to catch up in-between email us and we catch up then.

 

I do feel I have some experience to share after 11 years of fulltiming and now 3 years part timing so I answer queries on a couple of different RV discussion forums to keep in touch with other RV'ers.

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>Pictures that attract attention

>A story of/about the pictures

>Screen Responsiveness so I don't wait too long for a screen to load.

 

I like to see a little about the blog authors... showing what, when, and where they are, etc. I find hyperlinks to supporting web sites about a picture or topic are appreciated. And lastly, timeliness - Make sure to maintain it and update periodically.

 

Good luck!

JIm

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These are my two favorites. Wheeling It gives a lot of information such as campground reviews, location descriptions, rv topics and is an excellent photographer. They go to places we've been and do the kind of camping we enjoy.

 

http://www.wheelingit.us/

 

The Bayfield Bunch is very down-to-earth, humorous, enjoys the Southwest and boondocking, as we do. He does excellent photography and has a neat dog. :)

 

http://thebayfieldbunch.com/

 

I dislike blogs that have a lot of 'Click On Me' advertisements and especially ones that flash continuously. They're very annoying. I also like ones that move around a lot to different places which makes them more interesting. I don't read ones that include family visits and am more geared to RVing. Everyone likes something different.

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Identify your target audience and your purpose in doing a blog. If you are aiming to inform your family and friends about your adventures then personal stuff is in play: (dog, doctor's visits, Christmas photos). If you are aiming to provide information for fellow RVers your focus will be on their interests - campground information, upgrade projects, places to sightsee. You might even focus on something specific like favorite recipes, places to eat out, National Park tips, interesting people you meet along the way.

 

Content is king.

 

Consistent navigation is a must - no "spam navigation" in which people have to just click on stuff to see where it takes them.

 

Media is a great draw - mostly photos but well done video (a lot of work) will put you into the big leagues.

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It really depends upon your goals with blogging.

 

Keeping friends & family up to date? Networking with other RVers? Inspiring or providing resources for those in the planning stages? Building yourself up to be a product reviewer or invited contributor to other media (magazines, blogs, networks), etc? Generating an income off advertising? Becoming more of a 'travel blogger' to get press trips and access to events? Building up credibility to market other products you might offer?

 

In my most honest of opinion.. do what most inspires YOU. Not what others say they like. Your passion will shine through, and those who connect with your unique style of sharing a slice of your world will follow along. Building up a blog and following is a lot of work.. consistency is key, and it may take several months to years.

 

If you have the bandwidth available, we hosted a live video chat on RVing for Bloggers that goes over more of this.. the archive is at http://www.technomadia.com/bloggingforrvers (it's nearly an hour long). There's also some other resources linked below the video if you don't have the bandwidth.

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I like a blog about going to places I'd like to go whether boondocking or SKP parks or NFS. Fancy resorts: not so much.

 

I don't mind ads as long as they're not in my face... and blinking. Top and bottom banners are fine with me since I know that ads help support a web page and pay for hosting charges, etc.

 

WDR

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" What do you look for in blog? "

 

Something other than: we woke up, we ate this for breakfast, we went for a walk, we ate this for lunch, we went to WalMart, we ate this for dinner, we went to bed.

 

If your blog is just for your own family documentation, maybe the diary format is OK. But if you write for a broad audience, daily repeats of your eating & shopping habits will severely limit return readers.

Photos are great but don't go overboard. 12 photos in every post with multiple shots of the same scenes won't be appreciated when the majority of your readers are on limited data plans.

 

just one reader of multiple blogs opinion

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All the above posts have some very good insight. I think I would sum it up by saying keeping it interesting, with a bit of humor and a bit of down to earth commenting. Photos add a nice touch, but they are not all important if you are able to convey things with words. Think about it, Will Rogers or Mark Twain would have been awesome bloggers, yet they needed not a single pic to get their point across.

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One thing I really like about Wheeling it's website is that they have a way you can see their journey by year - displayed on a map with the links, for each stop, o the blog entry that describes their experience and review of the CG/park. This provides a geographical relevance factor that I haven't seen in other blogs. This is relevant because when I am researching and planning travel to a particular part of the country I can look at their map and draw on their experiences. Alternatively, it can also be followed day by day like a normal blog providing a user the choice.

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Thank you for all the valuable information. I hope that can live up the high expectation, I am willing to try, that is with your help. Our plans are for a blog for both the new and the experience Rvers. It will provide information about our travel, locations, attractions, events, work and etc. I agree with most of the suggestions, dislikes, interests. The biggest challenge to find our niche and providing real benefit for our readers. Now it time to back to the keyboard. Expected launch date at the end of this month.

 

Easy navigation and multi level menus with descriptive links. The run-on blogs... a months worth of posts on a single page.. I won't even bother with. The same for blogs that you have to click on the "archive - December 2014" type links.

 

As much as folks would like, no one but your closest friends and family members will hang on every word of every post.. day after day. Blogs I frequent are generally very concise. Broken down into categories, ie., "recent trips", "modifications", "scenic photos".. etc. Then further broken down, Ie., under modifications you might have "exterior", "electrical".. etc.

 

I'm not interested in reading about your dogs ongoing health problems, or see what cute wallpaper you just put up just to garner a few gems on your latest solar mod.

 

Those are just examples, but I think you get the idea. The other thing I really appreciate is a "newly updated" section on the home page with direct links to new posts.

 

JMTC

JMTC: Easy navigation is very important or readers will give up. I will try to be brief and keep it to the meat and bones. Sometime I write like I talk and it can be too much. I don't have a sick dog, but can I tell you about my sick horse.....

 

IMHO!!!

Adventure, location (surprising how many leave this out), pics (very important) and most important - don't repeat (some talk about the same thing over & over; example we ate this today / we went back to ***** today / we had drinks by the RV again / same pics - sunset today, sunrise today).

rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

Mocroc: Yes, That is the purpose of travel blog: how, when, where. Repetition is a common grove that is easy to fall into. Then it becomes a rut and almost impossible to get out of. You will not let that happen?

 

Think about who might have access to your blog and what information about you they could glean? Some people troll for blogs to find out about people and possibly do them harm or divest them of their possessions.

 

Another thing is the time involved with keeping a blog current and safe. I used to keep up a website when we first started fulltiming but then realized it was taking me away from our travel experience so I took it down. Now I just write an annual Christmas letter and snail mail to those not on computers and e-mail those that are. Those that want to catch up in-between email us and we catch up then.

 

I do feel I have some experience to share after 11 years of fulltiming and now 3 years part timing so I answer queries on a couple of different RV discussion forums to keep in touch with other RV'ers.

 

I think about when we started Rving, I must read a thousand blog and asked a thousand questions. I hope our blog will be part of our travel experience.

 

>Pictures that attract attention

>A story of/about the pictures

>Screen Responsiveness so I don't wait too long for a screen to load.

 

I like to see a little about the blog authors... showing what, when, and where they are, etc. I find hyperlinks to supporting web sites about a picture or topic are appreciated. And lastly, timeliness - Make sure to maintain it and update periodically.

 

Good luck!

JIm

Jim: That is a difficult decision about how much personal information to share. The best suggestion is to show up a bottle of Jack Black and you may get too much information. Update: a blog is only as good as the last post.

 

These are my two favorites. Wheeling It gives a lot of information such as campground reviews, location descriptions, rv topics and is an excellent photographer. They go to places we've been and do the kind of camping we enjoy.

 

http://www.wheelingit.us/

 

The Bayfield Bunch is very down-to-earth, humorous, enjoys the Southwest and boondocking, as we do. He does excellent photography and has a neat dog. :)

 

http://thebayfieldbunch.com/

 

I dislike blogs that have a lot of 'Click On Me' advertisements and especially ones that flash continuously. They're very annoying. I also like ones that move around a lot to different places which makes them more interesting. I don't read ones that include family visits and am more geared to RVing. Everyone likes something different.

2 gypsies: Thanks I like Wheelin It blog, it is the clean, easy navigation, informative, and a very good model. They will definitely have a link to on our site. Bayfield Bunch is a nice site, it was my first thought as a photographer. I have reached the conclusion of less photos in the blog. Most of the photos will be in Galleries with links to my professional photo site.

 

Identify your target audience and your purpose in doing a blog. If you are aiming to inform your family and friends about your adventures then personal stuff is in play: (dog, doctor's visits, Christmas photos). If you are aiming to provide information for fellow RVers your focus will be on their interests - campground information, upgrade projects, places to sightsee. You might even focus on something specific like favorite recipes, places to eat out, National Park tips, interesting people you meet along the way.

 

Content is king.

 

Consistent navigation is a must - no "spam navigation" in which people have to just click on stuff to see where it takes them.

 

Media is a great draw - mostly photos but well done video (a lot of work) will put you into the big leagues.

Scott: "Content is King," I heard that before and you are absolutely correct. It will be an information blog for fellow travelers; the new and the old.

 

It really depends upon your goals with blogging.

 

Keeping friends & family up to date? Networking with other RVers? Inspiring or providing resources for those in the planning stages? Building yourself up to be a product reviewer or invited contributor to other media (magazines, blogs, networks), etc? Generating an income off advertising? Becoming more of a 'travel blogger' to get press trips and access to events? Building up credibility to market other products you might offer?

 

In my most honest of opinion.. do what most inspires YOU. Not what others say they like. Your passion will shine through, and those who connect with your unique style of sharing a slice of your world will follow along. Building up a blog and following is a lot of work.. consistency is key, and it may take several months to years.

 

If you have the bandwidth available, we hosted a live video chat on RVing for Bloggers that goes over more of this.. the archive is at http://www.technomadia.com/bloggingforrvers (it's nearly an hour long). There's also some other resources linked below the video if you don't have the bandwidth.

 

 

Technomadia: Current plans are for a resource blog for both the new and the seasoned traveler. The hope is to monetize the blog, but that is in the future. First step is to get off the ground, provide good information, and get readers. My passion is and always will be photography.

I like a blog about going to places I'd like to go whether boondocking or SKP parks or NFS. Fancy resorts: not so much.

 

I don't mind ads as long as they're not in my face... and blinking. Top and bottom banners are fine with me since I know that ads help support a web page and pay for hosting charges, etc.

 

WDR

Those dreadful commercial and worst are the info-commercials. I don't like them either.

 

" What do you look for in blog? "

Something other than: we woke up, we ate this for breakfast, we went for a walk, we ate this for lunch, we went to WalMart, we ate this for dinner, we went to bed.

If your blog is just for your own family documentation, maybe the diary format is OK. But if you write for a broad audience, daily repeats of your eating & shopping habits will severely limit return readers.
Photos are great but don't go overboard. 12 photos in every post with multiple shots of the same scenes won't be appreciated when the majority of your readers are on limited data plans.

just one reader of multiple blogs opinion

ILAO! Eat, eat, eat and then go to Walmart to get more food to eat; I think I am finished with my blog.

 

All the above posts have some very good insight. I think I would sum it up by saying keeping it interesting, with a bit of humor and a bit of down to earth commenting. Photos add a nice touch, but they are not all important if you are able to convey things with words. Think about it, Will Rogers or Mark Twain would have been awesome bloggers, yet they needed not a single pic to get their point across.

Chalkie: Now you know I can not compete with Will Rogers and Mark Twain; but at least give me a fight chance. I can put up nice photo that is assured. Interest, humor, and informative you can count on it.

 

One thing I really like about Wheeling it's website is that they have a way you can see their journey by year - displayed on a map with the links, for each stop, o the blog entry that describes their experience and review of the CG/park. This provides a geographical relevance factor that I haven't seen in other blogs. This is relevant because when I am researching and planning travel to a particular part of the country I can look at their map and draw on their experiences. Alternatively, it can also be followed day by day like a normal blog providing a user the choice.

I could not agree more; it is a great layout, easy to navigate, and informative. It is a little to structured for two traveling gypsies. We will be boondocking on frequent occasions but not like the Wheelings. Working gates guards in the oilfield gave us too much boondocking experience. We are try developing our own niche without being too focused.

 

Easily accessible RSS feed capability. It takes a long time to click on each blog that doesn't offer that to see if they updated it yet.

 

Linda Sand

It already has easily accessible RSS feed. I hope you will number one on our RSS feed.

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