When blogging, I often reread what Google includes in their Webmaster tools If you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s a wonderful resource for anyone who has a blog or website.

Two of their statements made me contemplate how I blog.

Participate in forums related to your blog topic. Many let you include your URL link in your automatic signature.

Contribute to web forums devoted to your subject matter

When reading blogging tips, I also see bloggers expand on this by saying “stick with those blogs in the same niche as us”. That way we may get reputable links back to us which confirm to Google, we too, are “worthy”, thus possibly increasing our page rank.

I get that.

Today’s Lesson

But, what fun is that?

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to read blogs in my niche all day long. For me, there’s more to my life than just “blogging”.

I like to visit blogs that help me grow as a person, sites which teach, show beautiful art or photography, share stories that make me laugh, share stories that make me cry, plus much more.

For example,

Nearly every Sunday you’ll find me visiting Lance at Jungle of Life. He finds fabulous quotes and then adds awesome photos to accompany them. It’s a great way to start the week; with a positive uplifting message.

Keith Davis writes about public speaking, and even though I’m not into public speaking nor think I’ll ever need the information, because I like to learn more about different topics, I’ll read his writings.

Many of you know Michigan is my home state, and when Betsy of Passing Thru shares stories of her travels to Michigan, I’m there; taking it all in.

For a laugh or a brain teaser, I love to check out Junk Drawer Kathy’s posts on ““What’s That Wednesday” So far I haven’t guessed any of them, but it’s still fun to try.

Sara Healy always makes “Picture Story” posts fun by sharing a photo and inviting her readers to imagine what might be happening or contribute their experiences. Those are always a blast for me as I get to be goofy or am reminded of days gone by.

I’ve been following Silly Girl’s blog for quite some time now. She is a recovering anorexic. Eating disorders have never plagued me, but once I started reading her blog, her stories captured me to the extent I now not only follow her progress to recovery, buy enjoy keeping up on her life, as well.

And Hilary. Each post of hers is like a mini history lesson. I’ve learned more from her blog than I learned from all of the history classes I took in school.

So where am I going with this?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t visit and comment on blogs in our niche, but by expanding my horizons I’ve found I have not only learned more about other topics and have grown as a person, and in the process have met dozens of awesome bloggers.

As I was responding to a comment by Kaye Tench on the “The Secret That Keeps Us Blogging” post, I was also reminded of how when we meet and get to know other bloggers and learn what they do, not only do we get a feel for their capabilities, but we often become their biggest supporters when they launch a new site, product or ebook. And they, for us.

To me, that’s a win-win.

Today’s Assignment

What about you?

Do you take Google’s advice and only stick with blogs and/or forums in your niche?

Or do you frequent blogs that challenge you, surprise you, or help you in other ways?

signature for blog post.

P.S. When commenting, if you’d like to add links to blogs which have become your favorites, please feel free to do so. However, keep in mind, adding links may throw your comment into moderation, so be patient as I dig them out.

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  1. Hi Barbara,

    Wow, thanks for listing the blogs you frequent. I’m looking forward to visiting and making some new friends. 🙂

    I absolutely agree with you — I visit many genres of blogs, too. As I’ve commented here before, it’s all about the writing to me. There’s even a jeweler’s site I follow closely because she’s such a great writer and she’s really funny, too.

    I don’t follow most “blogging” sites, but you’re the exception because I enjoy how you format your posts (e.g., Today’s Assignment/Today’s Lesson) and I quite enjoy the community here, too. I always learn something new here.

    Keep up the great work, Barbara, and thanks for the introduction to the new friends.
    P.S. About that Lance guy, what a guy! I’m glad you mentioned him. 🙂
    .-= Check out Lori (JaneBeNimble)´s awesome post: Front Porch: It Should Have Been Fine =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Lori,

      Unfortunately I could only do a small sampling of some of the blogs I visit/follow, but everyone who comments here knows, when time permits I love to check out everyone’s blog. There’s so much talent in the blogs of those who visit here.

      Your comment reminded me of how we never know where we will find talent. Like you mentioned, you found a “gem” on a jeweler’s site.

      Thank you Lori for your kind words. As you know, I appreciate your visits as well as your words of wisdom both here and on your blog.

  2. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    Variety is the spice of life.

    I definitely read blogs/sites that are not within my niche. And what is so good about that, is the new knowledge I come out of that with. Especially if that’s an area that has maybe piqued my interest, yet is new to me – that’s really great stuff!

    And to top it off…just getting to know people within these other niches is so worth it. Those connections with others, no matter what their particular area of focus…there is still a person behind that, and great things can develop across niches.

    Barbara, what you have created here is a real gift in that it always feels like the human side of blogging. And I like that very much.

    And thank you for the mention…it is always great to have you visiting! (and the same with you, Lori!!!!) Woohoo!!
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Lance,

      That’s true, isn’t it? Variety IS the spice of life.

      You’ve raised another good point, as well, and that is how when we get to know the person behind the blog, that even makes it more interesting for us to read. It’s like they put their special touch on a topic and we can’t help but be fascinated, as it’s a whole package.

      Thank you also for your sweet words.

  3. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Looking at a variety of quality blogs can be beneficial and interesting. While I have a bit of variety in my google reader, every now and again I try to look for new ones.

    While I’m at it, I also have to periodically purge some of the older blog. Sometimes it’s because I’ve lost interest and sometimes it’s because the blog has shifted to something I’m not at all interested in. On occasion, I’ve even left because the blog took a political or religious stridency that became annoying.

    More often than anything else, though, I purge blogs that have gone silent, with no posts for months on end. If I were to guess, I’d say that around 50% of the blogs I was reading in March 2009 are no longer being posted to or have gone missing completely.

    I guess it’s time to look for some new blogs to review again.
    .-= Check out Mike Goad´s awesome post: The Iceland volcano =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That does happen, doesn’t it? We follow a blog for awhile and for one reason or another, we lose interest and move on.

      Like you, I’ve seen many blogs go silent. I always find that sad as most of them had such potential., but I’m not at all surprised you’ve found the “closed shop” rate pushing 50%.

  4. DominiqueNo Gravatar says:

    I do read a lot of Midwest/Midwest travel related blogs, but I have a variety of other topics that interest me and the blogs I regularly follow reflect that.
    Hockey, art, architecture, writing, journalism/media, French, cooking, music, blogging…and a few that are just goofy fun like http://awfullibrarybooks.wordpress.com/ (you won’t believe some of the dated artifacts these Michigan librarians unearth on library shelves!).
    .-= Check out Dominique´s awesome post: Photo Friday-Driving Wilco Road in Empire, Michigan =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dominique,

      That’s right. You’re another Michiganer, as well. If I remember right, the rocks you have pictured in your header are from Lake Superior. 🙂

      That’s a great site you linked to. I’ll have to take a closer look at it, but like you said, it appears to be goofy fun. Thank you.

  5. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    Some of the people do no-follow anyway, but that’s not the main point. I just read whatever interests me and the subject matter doesn’t matter. Also, if you are just reading within your niche, eventually, you would had learned most of the stuff already. I am not saying that reviewing is bad, and definitely you still don’t know everything yet, but why limit yourself? My policy has always been, read whatever that interests me, and comment when I actually have a thought to share (and that it isn’t buried under 200 comments already).
    .-= Check out Kelvin Kao´s awesome post: Puppetry Workshop with Allan Trautman =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      You know, I forgot about the “no follow” issue, but that is another reason why some will follow certain blogs.

      I hear you on if we were to stick to just our niche. As much as it’s good to be an “expert”, staying in our niche could also make us pretty narrow minded. I like your idea of reading anything that we have an interest in, Who knows what we might uncover. Plus, I don’t know about you, but when I read blogs on other topics, I often find inspiration for a post (about blogging).

  6. Like you Barbara, I can’t just read and focus on my niche ALL the time. First of all, my niche is not all there is to me as a person. I do have other interests and hobbies. Many other subjects move me and inspire me.

    Besides – how dull would it be to saturate our lives with one or two subjects (niches)?

    btw – I too love Jungle of Life. There is no better way to start a Sunday. And I just checked out Junk Drawer – what a fun blog! I’m adding that one to my reader now. 🙂
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: Weekend Reading: My fav’s from this week: 3/26/10 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      Yes. Our lives would be mighty boring if all we did was concentrate on our blog niche(s). Isn’t it fun to read other blogs and find stories that motivate us in other ways. I think by doing so, we also become a more well rounded/balanced individual.

      I’m happy to hear you found another blog for your reader. Kathy knows how to make us laugh. 🙂

  7. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    The niche is less important to me than the blogger, the content and the flavour of the writing. I’m drawn to bloggers with a sense of humour and unique perspectives, as well as writing blogs, artsy blogs and personal development blogs. With me writing more in the personal development field, I like to get a taste of something different. The entertainment value is often more important than the educational value.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Beyond the Dysfunctional Family =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      That’s true, isn’t it? We often are drawn in because of the blog author, and not necessarily what they are writing about – although that does become an extra bonus.

      Don’t you also find when we become attached to other blog authors, we also anticipate what they may be writing about next? It’s like they unveil a piece of their personality, one post at a time, and we don’t want to miss the unveiling(s).

  8. KS ChenNo Gravatar says:

    I think it is the matter of choice. I used to read as many as blogs that i love to without considering the niche. I love to visit the blog related to psychology. Yet, most of the blog i visit is related to my blog niche as i really need to learn from others to improve my blogging skill.
    .-= Check out KS Chen´s awesome post: Increase Adsense Revenue with New Feature =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi KS Chen,

      That’s a good point. When we’re trying to learn all there is to know about our niche, reading blogs related to ours becomes very important. Then as we learn more, branching out becomes like a special treat.

      P.S. I also enjoy blogs related to psychology. 🙂

  9. Hi Barbara,
    I agree with you. I like a lot of blogs and if I only did what Google wanted me to do I’d probably have more money and less friends and I’d have more stress and less joy. Who needs it anyway?!?
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: Create a Blog Buzz-How to Blow the Lid Off Ordinary =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      You’re funny. And I agree. Having blogging buddies make us richer than Google can. Let’s face it, how can we put a price on the that?

  10. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    If we did all of what forums, google, and others wanted us to do, the net would be very bland! The link love you just shared is certainly an assistance to each of the blogs along with absorbing what each has to offer is what it is all about.

    New sites are coming onboard the internet daily and WOW! some are very good. Keep on looking and enjoy!
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: Forced Green Is Now 2 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Linda,

      Yes. The internet would be VERY bland if we only followed what “they” say (whomever “they” are).

      Like you, I’m seeing some of those new blogs and they’re adding tons of value to the world wide web.

      P.S. Happy Blogging Anniversary! I see Forced Green is now two. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Go green! 🙂

  11. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. thank you – that’s a staggering comment – just lovely to hear that sort of thing – gives me encouragement .. and we definitely need that within the framework of our own work.

    I’d heard that re joining forums etc.. but as I’m not “niched” as such .. it’s slightly difficult. I look at some word origin and educational blogs – but don’t comment. I don’t belong to any forums. I do like to know ‘people are there’ .. and appreciate their comments – but realise that people get busy and can’t always do it all. I make sure I reciprocate with a comment.

    I’m not sure if I was in a niched area – eg personal development .. that I’d like to constantly be trying to keep up with the Jones and everyone else …..

    I know what I like .. the ones you’ve mentioned, some I don’t know – but I’ll get there, lots else taking my energies at the moment. I follow a food/ vineyard development blog – but daren’t get too hooked on food blogs! I love the mix and match .. knowledge (you mainly & Marelisa & JD), uplifting blogs, self-development, health & spiritual, (too many to mention – that lets me off the hook! But includes Jan of Awake is Good (for her support), Liara of Dreambuilders Australia, Nadia of Happy Lotus, Stacey, Tess the Bold, ‘reading and sharing life blogs’ .. Janice – Sharing the Journey, Davina – Shades of Crimson, etc , Jannie for the fun & light entertainment & Blue Bunny .., and Wilma of Wilma’s blog – & Robin of Naked in Eden – from whom I’ve learnt loads ..

    Actually I need a library to tell all .. and my typing finger is having trouble .. so for all those I’ve omitted to mention .. I can name a few now – sorreeeeee!!

    I just love feeling that I get to know my blogging friends .. and sometime in the future do what Tess and Megan did .. go and visit friends – Joy and Jay .. ; understanding where bloggers are at is important .. and as you so rightly say we’re there as we all progress along this path to success. Won’t that be great – .. some are already on their way developing their passions .. Fantastic ..

    Thanks Barbara .. brilliant post – have a lovely week everyone .. Hilary

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      That’s true. When we don’t have what others consider a “niche” blog, it’s tough to figure out where we should hang out.

      I like your idea of just writing what you find fascinating. I think that’s what makes your blog such a joy to read. We know you’ve taken an interest in something, and love to read your words and look at the pictures as you pass that information onto us.

      LOL I was laughing at you trying to cover all of the blogs you read. It’s not an easy task, is it? I know I thought of adding more bloggers names to this post, but then realized you all could be reading for days. 🙂

      Hilary, have a great week, too. I’ll be visiting you again soon.

  12. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Having a no-niche blog myself, I read blogs with a variety of different styles and topics. Some are entertaining, like the Junk Drawer, some thoughtful like a Sharing Connection, and some are focused on interesting photographs like the Smitten Image. Will Think 4 Wine’s cats are always interesting as I have 3 of my own.

    For coupon savings, I read Hip2Save and Southern Savers, and Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate offers down-home southern cooking and inspiring stories to go with them.

    There is a wealth of informative, entertaining and thought-provoking blogs out there just waiting to be discovered.

    What a dull world it would be if we were all the same!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      Yes, The world would truly be dull if we were all the same.

      You know, your comment reminded me of a conversation I had this weekend with a friend who quilts and I asked her, “do you ever go online and look at quilting blogs?” She hadn’t, so we did. She was amazed at what’s out there – just a click away.

      Just like you said, …just waiting to be discovered. 🙂

  13. I read a wide variety of blogs, including mom blogs, self development blogs, productivity blogs, blogging blogs, personal blogs and more. Google’s advice works well to increase rankings, becuase an anchored link that comes from a page filled with relevant content to your link is the best type of link, but I agree that there’s definitely a fun side to reading blogs and that only reading content in one niche would become boring.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I hear you. Boring it would be. Isn’t it amazing what talent we find when we visit other blogs? We never know when something another blogger writes may inspire us in one way or another. And if it wasn’t for blogging, none of us would know each other, either. It’s a win-win-win.

  14. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    The blogs I like are written by people I like and include ones about writing, blogging, martial arts, personal development, and social media. I’m also on the look out for sites that delve into how the human mind works. You’d think I’d focus more on martial arts and self defense writings, but there’s a lot of the echo chamber going on at this time in that arena.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Gaslighting, is someone using this trap on you? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      The human mind. Yup! Great topic.

      Isn’t that funny how that works? We start blogs in one niche, but find life isn’t that simple. Just as blogging involves more than just writing, the topic we write about also have more variables than we may have at first envisioned. And it often goes back to the human mind – something that affects nearly everything that’s written. Oh what fun!

  15. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I read a huge variety of blogs, though I feel like I have a community of bloggers that has developed and I try to never miss their posts or words. I think having the second blog on architecture and biking for my partner really gets me into other interesting landscapes.
    I got stuck on food blogs in the fall, spiritual blogs this winter, and blogs about the earth and especially water recently. I am a news junkie and since folks persuaded me to not watch the news on TV — I love reading all the news blogs, especially foreign news…

    Oh how could I limit myself…???? Maybe this is why I am not growing so fast or making more money? and I like your list today…one new blog to explore too…hoo hah! ” Good for kids and Billy Goats!”
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: In fair Ashland, we lay our scene… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      So you find that too. How sometimes we are centered on certain topics. It’s like we can’t get enough. Then…. we move on to something different.

      I agree. It would be hard to limit myself to one genre of blogs. There just too much good stuff out there, waiting to be read.

      Where do we begin?

  16. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    Unfortunately I’m subscribed to so many in my niche it’s difficult to break free. lol
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell´s awesome post: Holy Power Outage Batman, Not Again! Yep, Another Two Days Shot to Hell… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      LOL Dennis,

      I’ll bet you could break free. Just click on any of the blogs written by the authors who have commented here and you’ll be “cured”. 🙂

  17. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Yikes – stick to a niche? Me? Never! I’d REALLY have to erase the bored if I did! Give me variety – I’m all over the place. And I don’t think I’m particularly writing a blog that is in a niche either, for that matter. It’s pretty varied in topics and I intend to keep it that way. It’s so much more fun! When I found myself reading too many blogs that were too much the same I stopped reading them. I delete more in my mailbox now than I read!
    hugs
    suzen
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: The Grocery Store Musical – Really! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      You’re right. I’d never expect you to stick to a niche. You are having TOO much fun sharing life – and that is certainly not niched. (is that a word?) Erasing the Bored wouldn’t be the same, would it? That’s what makes it so special – it’s always a pleasant surprise.

      ((hugs)) to you, too.

  18. Hi there Barbara! I read blogs from all over the place and will visit some of the links that you have provided! That’s the reason I come back to read your blog….you always have something interesting to read about!! Here is one for you that you might find of interest http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com

    The woman is amazing. Truly an inspiration to everyone.

    As you are, my friend!!
    .-= Check out JeanneP ~ bermudabluez´s awesome post: Computer RANT! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Oh Jeanne, you are so sweet. Thank you.

      I checked out the link to Stephanie’s blog. You’re right, she is amazing and an inspiration to everyone. I’ll definitely be going back to read her story, as well as about her progress.

      Thank you for sharing your find. 🙂

  19. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    For me, like you, I follow the growth and expand my horizons.

    I do see the point how showing up in your niche can help you make your presence felt. If I figure out my niche, I might just do that 🙂
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: My Top Ten Lessons In Life – Ali Hale =-.

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J.D.,

    Isn’t it fun to find blog posts that help us grow? I know many of your blog posts do that for me. I leave your blog questioning – which is a good thing.

    I see your blog as being part of the personal development genre, but with an original twist, only you could give it.

  21. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    To be honest with you, Barbara, I don’t tend to frequent any forums or blogs in my own niche. I love the art of cartooning but I find I get awfully depressed whenever I visit the blog of a fellow cartoonist. They are quite often far superior at their craft than I could ever hope to be.

    No, I much prefer to read blogs by people from other disciplines and other walks of life. I find that a much more positive approach to my blogging and artistic endeavours. 🙂

    You’ve already mentioned Sara at A Sharing Connection. I adore her blog. I’ll mention one other for now by Belinda Munoz. You can visit her at http://thehalfwaypoint.net . I adore her thoughtful writing style that encompasses all the themes in life that I care about. My words aren’t enough to describe this. I just recommend that you go there and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
    .-= Check out Tony Single´s awesome post: How Pole Dancing Was Made =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      You don’t give yourself enough credit. You are an exceptional cartoonist.

      It is fun to read blogs from other genres, isn’t it? We can learn so much, plus learn about things we may not have even known about.

      I’ll check out Belinda’s blog. From your recommendation, it sound like a “must read”. Thank you for the link. 🙂

  22. I’m a blog reading loose woman – I read all sorts! Interestingly enough, I reader fewer personal development and coaching blogs than anything else, as I’ve been reading that kind of material for years. A psychiatrist would have a field day trying to figure out a pattern in it all, but I like visiting blogs where I learn, laugh, get entertained, can contribute & connect authentically, drool over eye-candy photos of interior design, get inspired, but most of all, where I like the people.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Janice,

      I love how you describe your reading habits. 🙂

      That’s true, isn’t it? When we’re schooled in a certain area, during the learning process we read so much about it, when we have time to relax and read for our own enjoyment, that’s the last thing we want to spend our time on.

  23. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    OMG! Google isn’t God!!!??? LOL

    I pay no attention to that stuff. Maybe it’s a good thing too…I just blog because it’s fun and I follow a very diverse range of blogs. I would get bored reading the same stuff over and over. Plus there are soooo many interesting blogs out there…sheesh…it’s hard to keep up!
    .-= Check out Caroline´s awesome post: Check this out…. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Caroline,

      Yes, It is hard to keep up. And it seems like every day more fabulous bloggers are coming online.

      Re: What Google says. I do take some of what they write to heart, since they do tell us how to get our blogs found, etc, but when it comes to sticking to our niche, I beg to differ.

      I’m also thinking, that information may not be directed toward the casual blogger.

  24. Jay DenverNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    My blog is essentially about anything fence related, so really interesting huh? Can you imagine if I spent the whole day reading about fences? No, like you I enjoy reading a variety of things, but humour is what really gets me. One of my new favourites is theoatmeal.com.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jay,

      I hear you. Although we may be able to learn about a cutting edge technique or new product by reading blogs in our niche, I don’t feel we need to read tens of blogs all discussing the same thing.

      Thank you for the link you shared. I’ll be checking them out real soon.

  25. AlphabetixNo Gravatar says:

    I am so with you. I read blogs of every walk of life, not just those that pertain to web design. They can get old pretty fast. I love to check out gardening and sewing sites, because they’re fun. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right?
    .-= Check out Alphabetix´s awesome post: Get Twitterpated – Product Tweets =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alphabetix,

      That’s true, “all work, no play ……” 🙂

      Don’t you also find when you read blogs outside of your niche it gets your mind off of your own blog/website and when you go back, it’s like you’ve had a “vacation” from that which takes up most of your (blogging) time?

  26. Hi Barbara – Very belated thanks for the mention – I know I can always count on entertaining you with anything Michigan-related! All niche and no play makes for a very dull blogger indeed, in my opinion- I see Alphabetix is thinking the same way. Most of us aren’t singularly focused in our offline lives, and it always made me wonder why we would tend to be in our online interactions as well. Vered makes good points about link values, of course, and I’ll be the first to admit PassingThru may suffer because of that. But I must share what I’m thinking about, whatever that may be. I think there is such a thing as being too predictable. Thanks again!
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: How Can You Tell It’s Springtime in Minnesota? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Betsy,

      Too predictable? NO. We don’t want that. In fact, I think that’s one thing that keeps our readers coming back -not knowing what we might share next. It’s that anticipation.

      I like your attitude Betsy. You write what moves you, not what Google or anyone else thinks you should be sharing. And by doing so, your authentic self shines through.

      Keep those Michigan posts coming. 8)

  27. Hey Barbara,
    I have to tell you….I had no idea google said that…hmmmm
    In that case what i dont know wont harm me right 😉
    I frequent many many blogs..on different topics..and do leave comments on them …I agree with you completely…who cares what google thinks…Google doesnt have a heart, but i do na.
    All that touches my heart I read. Simple.
    I read about blogging, self improvement, stories, funny writers, mashable, Lance, Tumblemoose, Lori, Tess, You…ohh…so many more. Its fun!
    How boring to just blog for the links and ranks. I honestly dont know why links and ranks matter when youre doing something that you love.
    Plus i also read a certain new blog about design (blog boutique) 🙂 Its a great blog ….have you read it lately ?? It has the most talented designer 😉 {wink wink}!
    Big Hugs and lots of love,
    Z~

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      Google actually tells us quite a bit. Some of the information is important, but some, I ignore, or challenge. Like you said, Google doesn’t have a heart, whereas our blogging buddies do.

      The Blog Boutique? I heard the blog author will be updating it with a new series of free headers real soon. I’ll bet you’ll be there to check it out.

      ((hugs to you, Zeenat)) and thank you for the smiles, and winks 😉

  28. Hi Barbara,

    I loved the title of this post and when I first saw it, I laughed. I had no idea that Google offers such a service.

    Personally, I love to discover all kind of blogs. The only problem is time. My schedule is so packed as it is with all that is going on, it is time consuming to read blogs but I do what I can.

    There are a lot of wonderful bloggers out there and it is always nice to discover different points of view and different kinds of information.

    Learning is a wonderful thing!
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: Wondering “If The Church Were Christian”? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      Yes. Google Webmaster Tools is actually a terrific resource for us bloggers. And for bloggers who are serious about getting their blogs found, Google offers excellent tips and services.

      I know what you’re saying about finding the time to read all of the blogs we would like to. There’s SO much out there. If only…..

  29. It’s definitely good to expand your horizons. In fact, it allows you to make new connections and thus help you develop new and unique articles on your own blog.

    It’s hard sometimes because of time constraints, but I enjoy visiting blogs either I have a connection with (with the author) or topics I’m into.

    If it’s not either of those, I probably won’t visit too much, otherwise it feels like I’m trying too hard and it’s not real.
    .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: The Debate: Do You Update Older Posts or Leave Them Be? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      That’s a good point. We often visit the blogs of those we’ve made connections with no matter what their niche is. It really is a great way to stay in touch, isn’t it?

      I agree with what you said about “trying too hard”. If we’re just visiting other blogs in hopes of getting a link back to our site, it’s like we’re selling ourselves short.

  30. LisaNo Gravatar says:

    Absolutely visit blogs outside your own niche, is my thought. How boring it would be if I stuck to certain niches just because that is what Google says is best.

    With most of my sites, I don’t spend a whole lot of time on other sites. But will on occasion. Just can’t seem to find the time. Probably could be benefiting more if I expanded my site searching/commenting, but do what I can.

    As for my personal site that is linked in herein, I am all over the place. Guess if I did more with the $ sites there would be more $ ;D
    .-= Check out Lisa´s awesome post: Eating In the Raw =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I hear you. How sad it would be if a blogger took everything Google says to heart, and didn’t venture outside their niche. With all that’s online, we can all be like a kid in a candy store. But like you said, it also takes time.

  31. Barbara!! How could I possibly not have know you hail from Michigan!?! I know where you hang your hat now, but it is wonderful to learn that new tidbit! We’re practically Sisters — me from Canada way. Do you miss it? Still have family there?

    Well, it’s like Seth Godin said in a video I saw him in — make REAL connections blogging. Real relationships. Real friends. That’s a joy for me indeed!

    I totally agree on Hilary, Lance, Betsy and Sara being friends with a kettle on always, to offer a cup of tea and friendship. Kevin I have only just met. And Junk Drawer Girl I think I did visit and commented on once. She is funny!

    Silly Girl!! She sounds awesome, recovering from that very debilitating disease. I am heading over to her place after I submit this comment! 🙂

    Cool, Barbara. A sweet heart-warming post.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Spring Camping On The Texas Pedernales =-.

  32. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jannie,

    Yup! Sister! I hailed from the U.P. I still have a few relatives there, make it up there once in awhile, but really don’t miss it but do miss the people.

    Seth has the right idea about blogging. It does come down to the connections we make. They are so much more important than the ability to make a buck or two.

  33. JsssonNo Gravatar says:

    Frankly speaking I don’t visit only niche specific blog. I like to visit all kind of blog and share my thoughts. i don’t care for getting links from the same niche. If I had a habit of visiting only niche specific blog, I would have missed your nice post. Thanks for the nice lesson.
    .-= Check out Jssson´s awesome post: Sole F80 Treadmill =-.

  34. I’m a little late to the party, but wanted to thank you for the shout-out to my blog. Incidentally, I am struggling to get a What’s That post up today while it’s still Wednesday. They are harder to dream up than you think. Sigh.

    I do follow a nice mix of blogs. Some about blogging, some pet blogs, other humor blogs of course, and the odd nerdy/educational blog thrown in for good measure. Keeps me well rounded!
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Does the Five-Second Rule Count for Ice Cream? =-.

  35. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Many thanks for the mention.
    I agree totally but as you say Google and the SEO gurus out there advise sticking to your own niche so that the engines know what your blog is about.

    I know what I should do but visiting other types of blogs is much more fun and the comments are much more interesting.

    Don’t think I’ve ever read a post, which didn’t spark a thought.

    When I read your title… Google isn’t God.
    My first thought was… No, it’s much more important than that. LOL
    Once again, thanks for the mention.
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: A helping hand… =-.

  36. […] Google Isn’t God – Have you ever been told that when you blog you should only focus on those in the same forum, type, or genre as our own blog? That by doing so it would create more chances for people to share your information, creating exposure for you and your site? While those things are true, only focusing on blogs of your own niche can get old fast. Barbara shares how reading posts outside you niche is fun and a great way to meet other bloggers. […]

  37. borisNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I totally agree with you. We should explore any type og blog that provide us fun or grow.
    All the best,
    Boris

  38. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I like the Stumbleupon method. It’s great fun to surf andd find pages related to my interests. Mine eyes have been opened to the myriad works of wonderful writers and enthusiasts for all manner of topics.

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: What’s Your Writing Background? =-.

  39. […] discovered the wonderfully amusing blog of Junk Drawer from one of Barbara Swafford’s posts, Google Isn’t God. I love Kathy’s topics and writing style.  This post really made my […]