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I Am A Blog Reader. This Is A List Of My Demands:

by Karen Cooper on 8/15/2011 1:49:30 PM

This post is by guest author, Karen Cooper.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 15,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.




Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa.


Did you read that title?  Then you already know what this article is all about.


I am a blog reader.  And it gets tougher.  I am demanding.  (Of course, I mean that in an ever so politically correct way.) 


I am a blog reader, but, let's set this straight:  I don't read just any old blog.  And while a lot of the blogs I read hang out under the FASO  FineArtViews Blogs - Insights Directly from our members!  heading, by no means do I read all of them that reside there.  "Why?" you ask.  Because I am  demanding.   And because I can't afford to give away very much of my 24 hour day to the blog reading arena, so I focus on the good ones.    But for those of you who want to up your readership, here's a list of my demands.  (And of course, I say that with a friendly smile on my face.)


1.  I want you to entertain me.

2.  I want you to make it easy.

3.  I want you to keep it clean and neat.

4.  Oh, and throw in some good information while you are at it.


Already I hear the blog writing experts gearing up their keyboards to comment on Demand #1.  "Any good art blog should be written for information, not entertainment", is surely what several people are getting ready to tell me.  "Grow up and get serious for once" is likely what someone else is thinking.  Now while I may be the slacker that fell asleep in art history class on more than one occasion (seriously, he had a very dry British accent that lulled everybody to sleep), here's the bottom line:  I am your blog reader.  Possibly I am out in left field all by myself with this entertainment demand, but I doubt it.  If you had two blog articles that dispensed the same information, one with a "dry British accent" and the other with an enjoyable lilt, honestly, which would you read?  My inner muse just warned me that ONE of you will insist on the dry British accent.  Ah, well.  You get my point.


Moving on.  Easy--I want it easy.  One click should do, right?  And you know that little icon on the menu bar that looks like a link of chain?  You should use it.  People that worry about sending their blog traffic to other people's articles with that little icon--no room for that kind of worry in this game.  Think of the benefits you can give your reader by showing them other's information on the same subject!  And we really don't need to be concerned about whether or not the reader will follow the link back to us--we have excellent blog articles, and of course they will return.


#3  Keep it clean and neat.  I always thought this was a no-brainer.  But I have a blog author on my no-click list because of rampant use of four letter words.  Wouldn't it be great if we only had a dry British accent versus the enjoyable lilt to discuss?  But sadly, no, we have seedy matters to talk about as well.  And while we're seedy, may I say "please don't insult me with your lazy omission of the use of the capital key"?  Didn't we all learn in first or second grade that the first word of every sentence is capitalized?  And then, are we all using "full screen mode for entry text"?  If yes, look at the menu bar, and count over to the 13th icon.  I like when people use that one too.


Finally we get to #4.  Undeniably, the most important part of any blog, is the information.  Whether it be about the painting you just finished, the award you've won, or an article on prejudice against conservative art--any of those are legitimate reasons for the existence of your blog.  Someone, somewhere, wants that information.  They want to know.


Try to picture that person that wants to know.    What if (ouch) they look like me?  My husband tells me I'm kind of unique, but really, I'm a fairly normal person.  What if the rest of your potential readers are just like me?  What if they are demanding?   Odds are good that they are, you know.  I am a blog reader, and I do have my list of demands...



Thanks for stopping by.  Have a lovely day.


Later, Cooper



Editor's Note:  You can view Karen's original post here.


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Brian Sherwin
Articles must be entertaining to hold my interest. I save the dry stuff for research -- and research alone.

A blog article must have personality. When I'm reading something I want it to leap up and slap me in the face with strong opinions and wit. I want it to be informed -- but informed does not mean that the read has to be boring.

George De Chiara
Point number one is very important to me. If what I'm reading is not entertaining I tend to skip over it or skip it completely. There just isn't enough time in a day to read a boring, dry blog post.

Oh, I am so glad you both voted against the dry British accent. Who hires those guys anyway?!


Brian Sherwin
Focus on original content as well. Furthermore, I see art blogs -- even some of the 'big' ones -- that place, in my opinion, too much focus on re-posting a few lines from another source simply to make the posting quota for the week. There is nothing wrong with pointing readers to other content... but please, please add some thoughts as to why you think the article is interesting... or better yet, write an article about the article and the position you have over whatever issues are covered.

Brian Sherwin
In other words, I don't like 'filler' content. Filler content does not make a blog 'full'. I want ideas.


I have always wanted to ask (without being shouted down) if what you described about reposting to fill a weekly quota isn't just an awful like re-tweeting. Or vice-versa. I would venture that most of the re-tweets of this world simply get ignored. They do at this computer.

And weekly posting quotas? If a wanna-be author isn't willing to make the timeandthoughtandresearch committment to do it right, then I'd just as soon they spare us.

Phil Kendall
I want you to entertain me...sorry I'm an artist who also writes about art...

I want you to make it easy...I try...

I want you to keep it clean and neat. I always do...

Oh, and throw in some good information while you are at it...I try...

The British bit? an act of birth due to the best match of genes on the night of conception. The near-by world war II USAF base had just both my parents were British...we all have crosses to bear...

Marilyn MacGregor
Good article - excellent standards. I agree completely and invite you to take a look at my art/art history blog ArtSmartTalk to see if it passes. I've recently moved it to my own website so there's a link to (Blogger) archives from the past few years:

Denise Mancour
My concern is that I haven't written for awhile. Keeping up is not always easy but I believe that my blog will pass your requirements. I might add that good spelling is also important. I am not always good in that area and have to remind myself to edit and review what I have written before I publish it. Thanks for the information...please take a minute and check out my thoughts.

Phil, the Brit reference came from an art history professor at UNL in the seventies....
But look, he's stayed in my memory this long, he must have been a lovable old chap :)

Marilyn and Denise, I'm headed over for a look. And Denise, I am like you in having to watch consistency, but I think it's a little bit like painting in that, the more we work at it the better it gets.

love it and totally agree... one thing I'd add is to woo me with your photos. I quite often skim over posts and unless I'm captured by the title or a photo I move on, very quickly!

Crystal Cook
YES. And a good reminder too. Entertainment is so important, because really who wants to read a dull blog entry? I think it's all about being yourself, dullness usually is the result of the fear of not being liked, so you don't talk about things that excite you, even if they're geeky (ahem, that's me) or eccentric. People like to read what makes you, you. If you can do that and follow these four rules then that's especially awesome.


You said "geeky" and that got me started thinking (again!) If a blog post reads like an art history text book from the 70's, I would say the personal connection has not been made, and a very important opportunity has been missed.
Politically correct perfection versus geek-dom? I vote geek.
Thanks for writing!



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