In advertising, it’s a known fact, sex sells.

Whether it’s an ad for food or drink, clothing, vehicles or nearly anything else, advertising agencies often incorporate an implied message such as “If you buy or use a specific product, you’ll be more popular, get the girl/guy or you’re love life will improve.

Some people buy into that, and when sales soar, they know their campaign is working.

Today’s Lesson

When advertising agencies are writing and designing ads, they normally target a specific demographic be it an age group or a gender. What they include in the ad will often reflect that.

When we start a blog and think about our target audience, we may also have a vision of who will be reading our blogs.

Mommy blogs are normally targeted toward other moms, and blogs about sports, vehicles or technology are generally targeted toward the male population.

By looking at the theme the author chooses for those types of blogs, there’s often undertones of masculinity or femininity.

But what about a blog with a topic that’s gender neutral?

Should the theme also be gender neutral or should it reflect the sex of the author?

If it’s not gender neutral, can the theme or what a blog author chooses to display, discourage readership?

Today’s Assignment

What’s the sex of your theme?

What does it say about you?

If a theme is too girly or masculine, does it discourage you from reading or commenting?

signature for blog post.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Look Who's Talking
  1. Hi Barbara,

    This is a really interesting topic — and the more I’ve pondered this, the more I realize that I’ve actually put a lot of thought into this, even if only tangential or subconsciously.

    As far as commenting, I don’t think others’ themes matter too much to me. It’s really more about the subject matter or the writing and author. Is the writing compelling? If yes, I’m drawn in.

    But, the tables are switched when I think about what I want to portray at my blog. For some reason (although, I’m not quite sure why) I spend a lot more time thinking about how I’m portrayed via my blog to others. I’ve even queried a few regular readers to ask them about their perceptions of my site, and what they expect to find when they visit my site.

    Great Lesson and Assignment!
    I’m looking forward to reading the comments.

    Enjoy your day!
    .-= Check out Lori (JaneBeNimble)´s awesome post: Ten Favorites =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Lori,

      I hear what you’re saying. Knowing others will land on our blogs and make a determination within seconds if they’re going to stick around or not makes us reflect on the message we’re portraying, plus how the theme we’re using might be received.

  2. RCNo Gravatar says:

    Gender has little to do with why I visit a blog. If a blog is easy to navigate, has wonderful writing and I connect with the blogger (male or female), I visit. I don’t care if the theme is masculine, feminine or somewhere in between – as long as it is a fairly simple/clean look.

    That being said, my blog (when I actually have time to visit it and write) tends to scream mommyblogger, which is what I am and why I started blogging.
    .-= Check out RC´s awesome post: In the corner =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi RC,

      You’ve brought up a good point and that is “how easy is a blog to navigate?”. If we land on even the most beautiful blog but can’t find anything other than the current post, we may not take the time to stick around.

  3. HulbertNo Gravatar says:

    Nice post Barbara. The theme of my blog is gender neutral – personal development or self-improvement. It doesn’t matter who visits my blog as long as they’re not too disrespectful. I try my be open to all possibilities or options, but the truth is, when I stumble across a blog that’s specific to only one gender, I am not as interested in reading it. This might be a blog talking about motorcycles or trucks versus a blog that talks about shopping or purses. Although they may work for a specific audience, I enjoy reading blog that are open minded to both genders.
    .-= Check out Hulbert´s awesome post: Do Your Blogging Struggles Still Bother You? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hulbert,

      Yes. Your theme is very gender neutral, as is your subject matter. It’s the perfect combination for anyone who lands on it.

  4. Haha…nice title, Barbara – got me to click! But what would you expect from me, I’m a guy, right?

    I haven’t really thought about it in this way, maybe when a blog author has a picture of themselves in the sidebar that sort of sways what gender the template is.
    .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: Fatten Up Your Wallet by Using Online Videos =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      LOL John,

      You know what “they” say about catchy titles. So much for SEO (search engine optimization) though. 🙂

      Good point. If a blog author wants to make the “sex” of their blog known and the theme is neutral, a photo of themselves in the sidebar will instantly tell the readers who they are.

  5. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    The theme doesn’t matter to me too much since I usually read everything in my RSS reader. So really, contents would matter more. The pictures in the posts actually provides more visual cue than the theme in this case.
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: Why I am No Longer a Gentleman =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      I never thought of that, but when we do read blogs in a reader, we often don’t see the theme. Good point!

  6. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Really interesting to think about.

    The sex in my theme? I believe is neutral but inclined to the masculine side.

    What does it say about me? Probably that I’m a little nuts!

    Did I choose this theme to target a specific audience? To be honest I didn’t think about it but mostly in a theme that was easy to use and reflected what I was trying to say more than to whom I was trying to say it.

    If a theme is too girly or masculine do I get discourage to read or comment? Not really, if the subject is interesting and I have something to say then it doesn’t matter if is a scientist, a mom or a 15 years old girl, I still would read and comment.

    It seems to me that a blogger chooses a theme under the same concepts he/she would choose blogs to read. If a manly theme is required for a guy, then probably he wouldn’t read a blog with a girly theme and if the choice has nothing to do with sex, then probably he/she wouldn’t care on the theme of the blog reading.

    Raul
    .-= Check out Alien Ghost´s awesome post: Hourly Pay =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      You’re right. We often pick themes for a specific reason, other than what they look like. Like you said, is it easy to use and will it work for all we want to showcase. Also, how many sidebars does it have and is it easy to modify.

  7. I think my blog and website is more girly than not due to the fact that the majority of my customers at Green and Chic are women. I don’t think its too feminine though. I would like to think that my site in general appeals to both genders.

    I love design in general so I wouldn’t be turned off regardless if the theme of a blog or masculine or feminine, I wouldn’t be turned off.

    Its the content that would turn me on or off.
    .-= Check out Carla | Green and Chic´s awesome post: Naturity Organic Babyhood Products – As good as it gets =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carla,

      I was just looking at your website and even though it’s a tad girly, I don’t think that’s a problem at all. When we look at stores like Victoria’s Secret, they’re totally girly and appeal to both sexes (well, for obvious reasons). 🙂

  8. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Gender neutral I believe mine is. And that’s how I like it. Given the niche, I think it’s important. For a personal blog, I say go for it – fill the place with flowers or monster trucks – whatever. For a niche site, I think a picture of the blog owner/writer is sufficient personalization.

    There are a few sites that I used to visit but they started including images that were great eye candy but contributed nothing to the topic at hand. And you know what they say about candy – causes cavities. Oh yeah.

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: A Rare Contest Post Thanks To Small Biz Bee =-.

  9. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    I care more about the writing. Okay, the theme can sometimes conjure girlishness or masculinity. Both works for me as long the writer shows a lusty appetite for adventure and discovery. It helps that he or she is considerate of her readers. Meaningless quick gropes or quickies should be at the absolute minimum. Slay me with a post that makes me warm and fuzzy long after I’ve read it.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      The writing is the most important thing, isn’t it? Even the most gender specific blog theme can be overlooked if the content rocks.

  10. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    If a theme is too girly or masculine it doesn’t discourage me from reading; if the writing or topic draw me in that’s enough. I think my theme is pretty gender neutral, though judging by the commenters, my writing style seems to attract more females than male.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Life Coach for the Knobs =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      Now that’s an interesting point. Why would a gender neutral theme attract more comments from females than males? Sounds like a topic for a future blog post.

  11. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. interesting thought. When I was starting out – I knew I didn’t want to go any route that would be controversial as I’m not competent in dealing with those sorts of comments – so the usual when you’re in a conversation and don’t want to cause a furore .. don’t bring up religion, sex, etc – so I steer clear as far as posts are concerned on the blog – though I will bring up subjects that may make people think again – as not just occurring in a specific period of history.

    My theme is neutral and that’s the way I’d keep it in the future. I avoid controversial sites – but I’d read sites where I see other commenters I know posting comments.

    I’d like to think my blog would appeal to anyone in the world – and that’s where I’d like to keep it – as my life … I just avoid the extremes.

    Interesting to read others’ comments – thanks Hilary

    I’d like to think that my site will prove to be attractive to
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Collop Monday , Shrove Tuesday, Amazing Grace and Ash Crosses =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      A neutral theme and a neutral topic will do that – avoid controversy. And if that’s what you want to avoid, I think you’re smart to stay on track with the type of topics you currently share.

      P.S. I’ll be by later to copy down the recipe you left for me. The pancakes sound delicious.

  12. katinkaNo Gravatar says:

    I think my blogging style is pretty gender neutral – and I get about the same amount of men as women commenting. But the blog theme (looks) is definitely on the feminine side, though not much. I use pinkish/purple after all. But straight lines and a font similar to yours.

    Love your new theme btw – nicely done. Gender neutral enough for me.
    .-= Check out katinka´s awesome post: Free will, freedom and philosophy series =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Katinka,

      I was looking at your site and I think it’s perfect for your subject matter. I like how you have your photo to the right and then showcase your post to the left. It’s like you’re talking to your readers. Nice!

  13. I think that each person has their own blogging style that they are comfortable with. I try to keep my blogs quite light hearted and try to steer away from anything too controversial. Although the niche that I am writing in now (about panic attacks) is obviously a serious subject.
    My website has more of a neutral feel as I did not want to alienate my reader base.
    .-= Check out Kaled Andrews´s awesome post: Panic Attacks Cures =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kaled,

      That’s a good point. We don’t want to alienate our reader base by choosing a theme that could be construed as controversial. Plus, with you writing about panic attacks, your readers are dealing with enough problems so you certainly wouldn’t want your theme to make them feel anxious and leave.

  14. One of my colleagues, “James”, over at Men With Pens just came ‘out of the closet’ and told his readers he was female. She tells why she felt it necessary to begin writing under a man’s name. You can read it here – http://menwithpens.ca/a-word-about-james.

    Women are becoming more and more respected and I don’t think we need to be as conscience about the gender style of our writing.

    I feel that my writing is gender neutral, but I’m sure there are times when my gender shows though. Most likely in a phrase or comment.
    I don’t really try one way or the other though, I just write. 🙂
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: “What should I do?” – New Series – Social Media Mindmeister =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      Thank you for the link.

      You’re right. Women are gaining more respect in blogosphere and don’t have to be as conscious of how they write or how they showcase their work via a theme. Like you said, when we “just write”, we’ll become known for our knowledge and labels fade away.

  15. Hi Barbara – I’m still loving this new theme of yours a lot! But is it just me that thinks it’s more feminine than your last? Being a visual person, I think content is colored by theme when the theme itself makes a strong impression. It’s “look and feel,” as we used to say in retail – the impression you get when all your senses take in the presentation of a store, a room, or even a blog.

    I don’t think we can completely eliminate gender from our writing, nor from the presentation we select as its visual frame. I can usually sense when someone contrives an opposite impression for whatever reason – it’s like one or more discordant notes. Complete neutrality might be too bland for me, as well.

    When we’re writing well, we find a way to project our particular voice in our choices of words, topics and their visual presentation. That always has to do with the way we see ourselves and the passion we have for what we say. If that manifests in a masculine or feminine way, it’s purely a reflection.
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: Roaming Through Michigan =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Betsy,

      You’re right. This theme is more feminine than the ones I used in the past. It wasn’t that I did want to show my girly side as much as it was a matter of using a theme that had all of the features I was looking for. Now that I feel more adept in customizing thenes, I find myself adding more feminine touches. And that’s true, a theme can also appeal to more than just our sense of sight.

      That’s interesting what you said about bloggers who try too hard to hide their gender. I agree. It does become obvious. It’s like all the pieces just don’t fit. Being true to ourselves and writing from our passion can totally change the outcome – for the better.

  16. Brad ShorrNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, Great topic and discussion. I think with any type of business writing, you’ve got to first and foremost consider the audience. If you’re trying to appeal to men and women, it probably doesn’t make sense to go in an extreme gender direction on your design, and perhaps even in the writing itself. With blogging, it’s a little easier to take liberties. Readers expect you to be yourself, to write naturally, to have a theme that reflects your personality. I don’t mind blogs with a very feminine design and appeal if the content is interesting and useful. As a matter of fact, blah blogs, with excessively neutral (oxymoron?) designs tend to me rather uninteresting.
    .-= Check out Brad Shorr´s awesome post: Does Your B2B Website Have Personality? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Brad,

      I agree. When we want to appeal to business clients, we need to know who they are and if how we’re presenting the information fits with our message, be it a product or service.

      P.S. I read your current article that CommentLuv linked to and it ties in perfect with your comment.

  17. Rick HamrickNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, you do know how to hook ’em with the title of a post!

    I agree with the folks who commented before me who point out that content, quality, and interest in the topic weigh far more heavily than does any gender-centric issue.

    The folks I read are people who write honestly and from the heart. Of course, I come back more often if they also write really well.

    Thanks for raising the question–it is one worth considering!
    .-= Check out Rick Hamrick´s awesome post: Innovation, simply and inexpensively =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      LOL Rick,

      Those “hooks” help, don’t they?

      Yes. It all comes down to content. A blogger can get the theme part all wrong, but if what they share is resonating with their readers, they will return.

  18. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!
    I don’t think I’ve ever considered a gender slant but you sure have me thinking about this now. I do seem to have more women comment than men, yet my followers are about 1/3 male I think. I’m not intentionally frou-frou but maybe the butterflies turn guys off? Dunno.
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Discoveries in Being Hip – It’s CODE =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      It’s hard telling why more females would comment on your blog than men. I thought butterflies are gender neutral. 🙂

  19. Hi Barbara,

    Interesting post. You touched on a subject that has never crossed my mind. I like to look at various designs and that does not impact my decision to read a post or leave a comment. What matters more to me is the content of the post and the quality of the writing.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: “Here Comes the Sun” – The Re-Invention Begins =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      Like you, I enjoy the various designs. And yes, it does come down to the content whereas the design, on the other hand, might tell us a little more about the author.

  20. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    Emergency thinking skills, self defense, and powerful inner strength often — but not always — tip the scales to the masculine, but I’m trying to change that! I think what I write about should be a part of everyone’s life.

    As for other blogs, content or subject matter more than just about anything.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Is your inner worth at the heart of your power? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      You’re doing a fabulous job of tipping the scales on self defense and emergency thinking issues. Both your blog and ebook are a testament to that. You go girl!

  21. Gosh Barbara, are you ever good with headlines. Two hard hitting words right off bat.

    When you visit my blog you’ll notice that the theme is an empty white notebook ~ whitespace to breathe.

    Is that sexy?

    I think it is. I’ve found my readers to be off the cuff funny, smart, and inspirational. I’d say my readers are both men and women ages 13 to 90. I have a soft spot in my heart for the disadvantaged. Sexy or not, they’re always stylish.

    Julie
    .-= Check out Julie @ jbulie’s blog´s awesome post: 12 excellent blogs to click over to immediately. I mean after you read the list. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Julie,

      It sounds like you have a good handle on who your visitors are and have made your blog appeal to all of them. Then when they read your words, that’s when your true personality shines through. Just like in your new ebook. WooHoo!

  22. The theme of my blog is gender-neutral. I mean, writing is pretty universal, right? However, because I write a lot of posts about motivation and inspiration, I assumed my audience would be mostly female. It is, but I get quite a number of men, too. And, I don’t write to one gender or the other, though maybe I should.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Charlotte,

      I was just looking at your blog and you’re right. It is gender neutral. Although it appears you’re getting more females, I would guess the males like your topics just as much.

      I wouldn’t change “the way” you write. Stay true to yourself and your audience will stay true to you, as well.

  23. DotNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, I had a response all already about sex. Well, anyway.

    YOUR theme is gorgeous — the best free theme on the web, in my opinion! Like the others, I find the theme doesn’t affect my desire to read, unless it’s a really ugly design. My writing is directed at all, but does reflect the fact that Im a woman, but I try to keep the photos and other graphics gender- and race-neutral.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dot,

      That’s true. As women (or men), our writing should reflect that. Trying to be gender neutral in our writing could not only make it more difficult to construct a post, but we could come across as being phoney as Betsy mentioned.

  24. Interesting discussion. I think my blog looks feminine, but since I have several male readers – and clients – I guess it’s not a turnoff.
    .-= Check out vered | professional blogger´s awesome post: Spring =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I agree, even though your theme has feminine touches, your topics appeal to both sexes.

  25. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I tend to think of the design of my site as pretty much gender-neutral. That said – something I hadn’t thought much about until a couple of people mentioned it to me – in the comments section, I definitely sway more toward the female population as far as number of comments. I find it interesting, and figure it’s related to the material that is presented (although, again I tend to think I don’t write toward one particular gender).
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: The Energy Of Our Being =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      Your theme has always been gender neutral, not only when you used the jungle photo, but with the mountain one, as well. As for your content, I don’t think that it’s more female oriented as much as it’s you’re just a chick magnet. 8)

  26. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    I love your headlines!

    My theme’s very ‘me’. I created the header myself, from a photo of flowers at my kitchen window, and all the colours were Pixied to coordinate with the header. My writing’s fairly homely and lyrical and I know a lot of folk find it icky, so I guess the first impression of the site gives folk warning of what’s to come.

    Your new theme is lovely because it’s practical yet soft, cosy but professional.
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: Caldo Verde =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Janice,

      I LOVE your header. The tulips are beautiful.

      As for your writing, you underestimate yourself. I find it to be very engaging and well worth the read.

  27. My theme is gender neutral and laid back but my content is kind of challenging and in your face. I don’t think I ever stopped reading or visiting just because of the theme. I’m more likely to run if the content doesn’t interest me. If it’s fluff I’m gone.
    .-= Check out Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s awesome post: Your True Calling Inspired Business Startup =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tom,

      Your theme may be gender neutral, but your content is all YOU. Like you said, you’re in our face, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.

  28. My blog header is fruits and veggies, but then it is a raw juice/food blog. 😉

    It has become too cluttered, though, so it’ll be getting a redesign in the near future…

    And I just write from my heart. Don’t think I could blog any other way.
    .-= Check out Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl´s awesome post: Sneak Peek at Raw Juice Girl’s New Partnership – with OpenSky!!!! =-.

  29. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Michele,

    As a raw juice/food blog, fruits and vegetables are a perfect match. And I see you’ve also opened up a new “store”.

    I wish you well on your new endeavor.

    P.S. I think writing from the heart is the secret to a successful site.

  30. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    My theme… gender neutral or gender inclusive.
    I blog on Public Speaking and Presentation Skills and try to encourage both sexes.

    Interestingly, before I leave a comment on a blog I look at the comments to see what the gender mix of the commenters is.
    If the commenters are all female… I sometimes don’t leave a comment… feel as though I’m intruding.

    Your commenters are mostly female, but I have spotted a few male faces and so I have no problem leaving comments.

    Not thought about it until now, but even my Avatar is gender neutral.
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: Practice, practice, practice… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      Yes, your theme is gender neutral, but it’s also very professional looking; a perfect fit for your topic. As is your avatar.

      I find it fascinating how you will not comment if those before you are all female. Trust me, it’s not a “secret” club. I think all bloggers love to have both sexes contributing to the conversation as it gives us different points of view.

  31. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    LOL! My blog is very, very girly. It only takes a few moments to figure that one out. But it’s a mommy blog about raising girls. What would you expect? 🙂
    .-= Check out Debbie Yost´s awesome post: Putting Out Fires =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      Yes. Your blog is girly, and rightly so. I also like the story of how you chose the name of your blog. It all ties together.

  32. DotNo Gravatar says:

    PS – I discovered that Blogging Without A Blog was missing from the links on my site, and fixed it right away. It was accidental, should have been there a long time ago. 🙂
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on My 3,172 Favorite Books by michelle =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Dot,

      By the way, I see you also changed your theme. You’re looking good, and undoubtedly having fun. 🙂

  33. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    In the IM/DS niche that I’m in, I tend to seek out female bloggers more. Why? Without a doubt they both give and receive advice with considerably less EGO involved.

    True there are some female “guru’s” that learned what they know from the boys club and even they can be spotted a mile away.

    Color makes no difference to me, unless it’s distracting, but navigation is important no matter the gender.
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell´s awesome post: WANTED – Keyword Research Expert(s) =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      I remember you mentioning that before; how females are your better peers and students.

      I’m with you. Navigation of a blog is VERY important, especially when we land on a blog for the first time and want to read more of the blog author’s work.

  34. Hahaha — not sexy, no. My theme (free) used to be ‘me’ with its warmth and artsy look, I thought. The colors and design invited people in. But that theme hasn’t been upgraded to accomodate WorPress upgrades. So I bought Thesis. And it looks generic until I customize it.

    As with everything I do online, I start from scratch and learn. There are tutorials and forums to help me — it just all requires time. But I’ll get there. 🙂

    I want my theme to again invite people in to sit, sip, and share thoughts. That’s been my desire for several years — it’s what I want for my home too. 🙂
    .-= Check out Barb Hartsook´s awesome post: Do Sports Teach Kids How to Live Life Beyond the Game? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barb,

      I agree, your previous theme was very welcoming. Warm and cozy feeling. But I have no doubt you’ll have your new theme looking fabulous in no time.

      In the meantime, keep the coffee pot on. Watching you “remodel” will be fun to watch as we sip and share. 🙂

  35. Hi Barbara,
    When i started off…right about upto now..I have experimented with many themes. And being the girly that i am…i always find a way to infuse pink in it 🙂
    Only recently when i asked a fellow blogging pal to review my blog…she suggested i reduce the pink cause it might not appeal to the Male readers. It made sense.And i did agree with it.
    {My hubby always thinks all my themes are great…he’s partial :)}
    So i went about removing the pink. I have added warm tones now…and its artsy with the scenic header…i still dont know if its fine….but hey…no ones complaining 😉
    But, for me when i read blogs or land on a blog randomly…themes dont matter…as long as the content is good. But, for my blog..since it is my baby..i tend to dress it up…although it would be fine just simple but you know I love doing it up…:)
    Much Love,
    Z~
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Learning To Flow With The Universal Plan =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      I see that. You’ve removed a lot of the pink. But, as you may have noticed from the previous comments, it’s really not the colors that matter to others, as much as it is the content. And since your content is so solid, I’m guessing you could “pink it up” and not lose a reader one.

      Happy tweaking Zeenat. I know you love doing that as much as I do. 🙂

  36. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    I have to confess that I find it extremely difficult to be objective about my own work, so when I look at my blog I quite simply don’t know what to make of it. It’s the way I want it to be. It contains the art I want people to see and the writing with which I want to communicate my thoughts and feelings. I think I can tell you that much.

    As for how others may perceive it? I have a suspicion (perhaps unfounded) that many don’t know what to make of it. Cartoon images are generally thought to be for a “kiddy audience” in the west, so when they find out that my cartoons are simply for those who enjoy that kind of imagery coupled with a little serious minded humour (sometimes it’s just serious), I’m not sure that they know what to make of it.

    I don’t fight the perception. I just continue to do what I do in the hopes that there’ll be enough folks out there who will appreciate it for what it is and not for what they’re used to or think it ought to be. After all, readers are free to click somewhere else and not be readers of Trottersville. Doesn’t make me overjoyed if that happens but hey…

    When I visit other blogs, I confess that the gender specific thing must be in the back of my mind. I guess I must not be a typical bloke (whatever that is) because anything about cars, sport or male culture in general tends to bore me to tears. I’m also not likely to read a blog about motherhood or arts and crafty things. I tend to gravitate towards stuff that’s about the inner emotional life that everyone lives when navigating the larger sea of life that we find ourselves in. That interests me intensely.

    So, yeah, perhaps it’s gender neutral stuff I’m after, and perhaps that’s what I’m attempting to do with my little corner of the blogosphere. Is it universal? I hope it becomes that.
    .-= Check out Tony Single´s awesome post: Do Over =-.

  37. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Tony,

    What I like about your blog is, it’s You (and Cassy). As much as we may worry about what others think about our blogs, like you said, they do have the option to click off, too. (Just as we do when we land on one that doesn’t appeal to us).

    In blogosphere we’re not going to please everyone, nor should we try. I think it’s when we begin to mirror others, we begin to lose our authenticity. As others mentioned previously, what holds the most weight for readers is the content and how easy a blog is to navigate. If those two criteria are met, I think any blog can be a success.

    P.S. Your cartoons and art work are phenomenal. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  38. Hi Barbara,

    I don’t know that i would consider the new theme at LLI masculine or feminine, I’m interested in your thoughts on that. Does one sex over the other have dibs on lighthouses on the stars?:)

    I know that some people consider Inspirational Writing to be a woman’s domain but I disagree. Men like Lance are smashing that misnomer right out of the ballpark. Everyone is entitled to equal inspiration!

    Great topic today and really makes us think about where things stand. Thanks!
    .-= Check out Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s awesome post: The Tragedy of the Lone Ranger =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wendi,

      You know, I went over to your beautiful blog and stared at it. I’ve come up with the thought it’s gender neutral.

      As for inspirational writing, I’m with you. Although some feel it’s a woman’s domain, I’ve read many blogs written by guys who share the same and do quite well. I do wonder though, if guys are less apt to comment on inspirational topics. Hmmmm.