This week I am learning more about blogs, I am really excited about this because before taking class I have wanted to blog but really haven’t made a commitment. Per this weeks lesson I am taking a closer look at some blogs that I normally look at.
The first blog I will be looking at is Lizzy Pancakes. I take a look at this blog from time to time for a couple of reasons. One is that I knew Lizzy in college, and the second is that I am thoroughly impressed with the adult she has become. Lizzy’s blog is a recreational blog where she makes food, or shows photography or explains sewing or crafting projects. It is a great culmination of various items that are highly detailed and photographed beautifully. Lizzy shares blog space and invites guest bloggers which improves her traffic. As a person she is highly unique and awesome and I think it comes across nicely in her branding of her blog. She is witty and honest and that shows in her writing and how she explains her projects. Lizzy keeps her content fresh, but since she is blogging in a more recreational manner her content doesn’t always happen in consistent intervals. She does have widgets to share her blog as well as providing information to connect with her on other social media outlets. It is somewhat successful because of the integration and giving her followers the ability to be more connected, however she could be more successful with more consistent blogging. In her blog Lizzy talks about having a sponsored post about a cheese and it links to a group blog about Honest Cooking that she is a part of, which I believe helps drive traffic to her site. I think since I used to know Lizzy personally I would love to see more of her vivacity come across through her blog, and I would want more consistent blogging. Since Lizzy does a lot of cooking there are a lot of potential advertisers with either baking items for her to try out.
The second blog I looked at, is one I love to go to for recipes, called The Shiksa Blog. Even though I was raised in a Jewish home, my mother didn’t really cook or host large family gatherings, so when I got married I was determined to turn that around. This blog helped me do that, it is a very informative blog about various kosher-style cooking. This is a professional blog with advertisers, cookbooks that can be purchased, consistently updated content and various ways to connect. This website is unique in the way that it provides people with kosher style cooking recipes in an easy to follow format that assists with celebrating Jewish holidays. I think since Tori Avey talks about how she converted to Judaism and really takes the time to explain things it helps with her branding and reflects who she is. This site comes up high in the search engine, which is how I found it to begin with. Since this blog is about kosher-style cooking, I believe that it speaks to a specific group of people and due to that it would be greatly improved with an email newsletter system. I have looked over this website and have not found any way to sign up for a newsletter. Since there are so many different Jewish holidays, I think that is something that is missing. I wouldn’t say that a weekly newsletter should be put out, but an email a month ahead of a holiday with recipe ideas and information? I would definitely want that, and I bet a lot of other readers would as well.
Another site I found by searching, is The Pioneer Woman. The recipes that this blog puts out are raved about not only in other blogs, but on Pinterest too! What is most interesting to me is that even though she become popular on Pinterest for a lot of her cooking, her site is so much more. There is a “Confessions” section, as well as an “Entertainment” section proving that Ree Drummond is more than just a woman who cooks. The site gives people great ideas about cooking as well as giving a deeper look into the Pioneer Woman and what she deals with in her life. The way she has her site shows a lot about her branding and who she is, and by sharing in the way she does, it makes her unique. I do believe quite a lot of traffic is driven to her blog by Pinterest, but she also has an email newsletter that people can sign up for, which I am sure gives her a lot of return traffic. This blog is a professional blog with consistent updates, lots of innovative and creative content, ways to share and connect. She advertises her own book as well as having giveaways, some of which are done by advertisers and some of which she sponsors herself. Honestly, this blog is so well developed with such a unique sense of personality that shows throughout the posting that I don’t think anything is missing.
The fourth blog I looked at is called Make It and Love It, it is a semi-professional site about a wife and mom of 3 who would rather craft than clean a bathroom. Who can’t get behind that? I think the fact that Ashley is so open about how much she would rather do crafts and cook than clean is a huge part of why she is so successful. It creates an honest and open relationship that has become integrated in her branding. As seen in the picture to the left, there are many ways to connect with this site, include RSS Feeds and a newsletter, as well as various social media platforms. The main reason for this site is the tutorials section, and this leads me to believe that most of the traffic comes from searches, or word of mouth. Although digging deeper into the site shows some giveaways as well, which is also helpful in gaining traffic. When you get to the site though, there are lots of tutorials and personality to keep you there. There are also a lot of advertisers on the site, varying from Adwords advertising, to specific sponsors. Ashley posts consistently a few times a week and varies which topic she is posting about. I think that something that is missing from this site is the life stories. She has 3 kids and a husband, while she adds anecdotes into what she is doing sometimes, I feel like a whole section could be added on what she is learning being a mom.
The last blog I am looking at is the Tip Junkie blog. This is a group blog with tips and information about a wide variety of topics. Food, Gifts, Holiday and Lifestyle just to name a few. The site has over 147,000 people liking them on Facebook, and even offers a Tip Junkie app! Readers can subscribe via email or RSS feeds, and can also connect on various social media platforms. It is a great site that has compiled data from lots of different women sharing and holds it in one place so that things can be found in an easier format. There is advertising from various advertisers, as well as Etsy advertising from their own store. I really think that this site is missing an “About” page explaining how it was founded and thought up and why it is there. I think that the lack of that information leaves readers without a lot of information about the person who thought this up, and sometimes buying into the branding of the person is what makes you come back for more. Since this is a group blog and has lots of followers on Facebook, as well as a daily tip newsletter, it shows up high in searches and gets a lot of shares whenever someone in the group posts their own tutorial.
All in all, I learned a lot about blogging this week. It makes me think of what my own branding and blog should be about. I have realized a lot while looking at these blog posts. It is not enough for someone to just be informative, I really think showing personality is key to having people truly enjoy your blog and want to come back for more. I also believe that even for a recreational blogger, consistent posting is key, since it gives readers something to look forward to. What do you think makes a great blog?