Information on blogs is free - free button graphicUnless it’s a membership site, the information shared in blog posts is free.

Free to read. Free to benefit from. But not free to copy.

Over the years I’ve read hundreds thousands of blog posts. Some contain personal stories, some have helpful hints and some I read to show support for the blog author, even when I had no interest in the topic.

Thinking about the blogs I read and what I take away from them, I wonder….

What do our readers do with the information we share? How do our words affect them?

Today’s Lesson

For me, I’ve experienced the following:

Some blogs/posts:

  1. Made me laugh
  2. Made me cry
  3. Taught me about important issues such as Down Syndrome, and GMOs (genetically modified foods)
  4. Saved me money
  5. Made me say “WOW, this bloggers is extremely talented. Their future is bright”
  6. Inspired me to share the information on Twitter and/or Facebook
  7. Made me doubt my original beliefs about a topic
  8. Saved me time
  9. Got me more organized
  10. Made me think about my priorities
  11. Helped bring me closer to my goals
  12. Answered my questions of “how to…” or “why”
  13. Made me ask, “Why is this blogger giving this valuable information away for free?”

On the flip side, I’ve also read/seen blogs/posts which had me thinking:*

  1. Should this (usually personal) information be shared online?
  2. Who cares?
  3. I believe this information is incorrect. (poorly researched).
  4. Obviously this post has been written to entice visitors to click on links and/or buy.
  5. I don’t get it.
  6. If I could read the small font and/or actually see the poorly chosen colored fonts printing on the dark background, this could be valuable information.
  7. Where’s the content?
  8. That’s it?
  9. I believe this information has been plagiarized/copied.
  10. I hate these flashing banner ads. *click off*
  11. Who is writing this blog? Where’s the “about me” page?
  12. This information is WAY over my head (obviously I am not their target audience).

Turning the tables back on me, my goal for this blog is to:

  1. Share what I learn about blogging, good and bad.
  2. Entice you to think about a variety of blogging issues.
  3. Inspire you to blog responsibly.
  4. Help you improve your blog/blogging experience via hints or tips.
  5. Invite you to comment and share your thoughts, which in turn, can help others in their blogging journey

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your blog?

Do you feel you’re accomplishing that?

Or do you publish what you want and say, “You get what you pay for.”?

Care to share?

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*P.S. I realize with many of these blogs, I am not the target audience. What is written and how the site is laid out is done so for the benefit of those whom the blogger is attempting to attract.

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  1. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t have a target audience, maybe I should, I basically write stuff of general interest, to me at least, and hope my readers will find it of interest too.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Hydro Poles, Kindle, Nutrition, Religion. John Nash.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      One thing I’ve noticed is when we write what interests us, we attract others who have an interest in the same topics. Although for some blogs it’s important to write for a target audience, I don’t feel it’s essential if we’re blogging for the enjoyment of it.

      • james humbleNo Gravatar says:

        I agree Barbara, i have my personal blog and i really like to write what i really enjoy, i have a decent traffic, i had not monetized it till last month as i knew the day i will monetize it, i will start writing for the niche audience, but i couldn’t resist the temptation of earning a little out of it..

  2. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    What do I hope my readers will gain from reading (or viewing) my blog?

    I hope that visitors will enjoy the photos — mine and public domain that I’ve found. I hope that they will at least read and consider my commentary and I hope they enjoy some of the eclectic links I’m finding and sharing.

    Do I feel I’m accomplishing that? I think there are at least a few people that are sticking with me.
    Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.Friday Faire.–an eclectic list of 15 interesting things, July 15, 2011.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      I don’t know about others, but I enjoy the photos you share. It always intrigues me to view scenes through the eyes of someone else.

  3. maddieNo Gravatar says:


    You say that some stuff shouldn’t be shared on a blog, can you elaborate on that?

    I have a mommy blog and understand that anything location identifying, real last names, etc. should be hidden and not traceable. I’ve even gone so far as to register my domain at a friend’s house.

    But isn’t sharing personal stuff what mom bloggers do? I know this might not be applicable to many of your readers, but what stuff shouldn’t we share?


    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Maddie,

      With blogging having no rules, I’m not saying things shouldn’t be shared on a blog, however I do believe we should be careful of what we share if identity theft or the safety of our children is a concern. (See a previous post titled, Online Privacy – How We Share More Than We Realize)

      Being a mommy blogger does create a different set of concerns. However, after checking out your blog, it appears you have all of the bases covered. Great job!

      • maddieNo Gravatar says:


        Thank you so much for responding and I found the link very informative. In fact, I’ve found a lot of useful content on your site that really does help me.

        I really want to have a blog because being a work at home mom gets really lonely and two year old’s just don’t see the humor of things they way I do. I just want to have friends who can laugh at the little things and maybe think about parenting as an adventure instead of a chore.

        I’m really introverted and it’s hard for me to make friends. Now that I’m blogging, I’m starting to make new friends and I think they like me because they come back. I’m sure most of them are friends of friends. But, these are people who would have never known that I existed. When someone comes to my site, I want them to know that I’m a real person even if I have strange ideas about parenting. I want them to like me. I don’t always want to be the person hiding behind a plant at a party. That’s not the real me.

        Thank you so much for helping us. I’ve tried doing what other mommy bloggers do like product reviews and stuff like that. But, it wasn’t me. (I deleted the one review that I published.) That’s how I found your site because I was ready to just give up blogging. I can’t thank you enough.

        PS I’ve got a grammar book but I’m still learning. Grammar is hard.
        Check out maddie’s awesome post.really, I know what I’m doing…sort ofMy Profile

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          You’re welcome Maddie,

          I commend you for not doing what other mommy bloggers are doing. I think when a blogger finds their voice and follows their heart, we can achieve success (however we define it). I will say it takes time to build a following, but if we stick with that which we’re passionate about, the outcome will be worth it.

  4. AlisonNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara,

    I think free info can be just as valuable as paid one. Too bad many people treat it differently because of that….I hope my readers will find the tips I share practical. It is all about taking action, otherwise nothing happens πŸ™‚
    Check out Alison’s awesome post.Atkins Diet Food ListMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Allison,

      Yes, “free” gets a bad name. However, with the internet, information we used to pay for can now be accessed for free with just a few clicks.

      I like that: “It is all about taking action, otherwise nothing happens.”:)

  5. Dear Barbara:

    Another spot on topic, this one. Sometimes in the mad race of life, small things can be easily neglected and ignored and that is what my blog is about: observing the uncanny and obvious. I call my blog a personal one but I guess anyone could relate to it. I keep my topics general and easy to discuss. I would like my readers to say: “Well, it was always there and how come I missed that.” I guess my readers do that most of the time.

    And I think I share your experience as well from reading other blogs. But I steer clear of some blogs that focus on technology, gadgets and other things that I don’t much find interesting.

    Waiting to read everyone’s comments.

    Hope the Sunday is coming on well.

    Joy always,

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Susan,

      From the sounds of it, you make time to spot those uncanny and obvious situations, whereas those of us who may be in a hurry could miss them. Sharing you finds in your blog is a great way to teach others to not only slow down, but to be more aware of their surroundings. What a fabulous idea.

  6. RickNo Gravatar says:

    >> What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your blog?

    I have a page on my blog called “WhyBlog?” which gives the reason why I blog. The main reason was when my son was away from home in Mongolia and Washington for two years I reported on the blog on his activities once a week.

    I added other reasons (such as promoting an agenda) but it needs an update because the primary reasons change over time.

    >> Do you feel you’re accomplishing that?

    Yes, the purpose of the blog was fulfilled.

    >> Or do you publish what you want and say, β€œYou get what you pay for.”?

    I write what I want. I have occasional posts on politics, religion, and other topics. If I see that a topic gets a lot of visitors I may write more posts on the subject. For example, I wrote a post about European population decline which was visited a lot consistently over the last 2 years. In response I wrote another about the U.S. population. That was likewise well received so I did one on world population.

    Incidentally, you seem to be accomplishing your blog goals quite well.
    Check out Rick’s awesome post.Megan and Paul: Engagement PhotosMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Rick,

      Thank you also for sharing the story of how your blog got started and how you’ve now branched out.

      I like your idea of checking your stats to see which posts are getting the most hits and then writing additional posts to expand on the topic. What a great way to give your visitors what they ask (search) for.

  7. Hi Barbara.

    Well, you are accomplishing what you set out to do on this blog. πŸ™‚

    What I enjoy most about writing on my blog is to know that the reader has been moved in some way, whether it’s through suspense, tears, laughter or reflection. I believe I have accomplished that in those types of posts I have written.

    I also hope that my grammar posts are helping folk too; it’s not the most interesting topic and being a writer who loves to muse, write fiction and poetry, it’s quite an exercise to write those types of posts and make them interesting. According to Google search results, it looks like there are a lot of people searching for information about the possessive apostrophe. I hope readers have learned something from that post I wrote.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Davina,

      I agree. You do “move” your readers. Your writing talent amazes me.

      I know what you’re saying with regard to your grammar posts. Grammar may not be the most exciting topic, but for those writers who want to make a good impression, they know proper grammar is key.

  8. A lot of people are living with the idea that free stuff are useless and valueless, and that’s something not true. A lot of today’s entrepreneurs are rich and up because of the free stuff they read and collected and after they built successful businesses.
    Check out Tractor Games’s awesome post.Jumping RednecksMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tractor Games,

      That’s true. A lot of the rich get richer by taking advantage of “free” stuff, whether it’s something they’ve read online or advice from their peers.

  9. Your objectives have been well met in my case, Barbara. I really appreciate the information you pass along, the way you cause me to question what I’m doing, and the whole atmosphere within which you accomplish this.

    My blog is to present a story that has a spiritual impact by inviting the reader to think about how he/she “does life”.

    I share some of the intuitive messages I receive which support or enhance the spiritual threads I weave into each post.

    Some readers have asked for intuitive sessions as a result of having read a few posts, but that is not my goal. I offer the service because the ultimate goal is to encourage people to use their own abilities to tap into their own sources and resources for the answers.
    Check out Amy@Souldipper’s awesome post.The Tilth of the EarthMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Amy,

      I like how you do that – how you encourage your readers to dig deeper and tap into their own sources. It’s one thing to give others the answers that worked for us, but in most cases, one size does not fit all.

  10. Wow you have accomplished your goals on BWOB Barbara and so many of us are in your debt. Thank you.

    I have just been roaming around with these ideas this past week, because I am officially launching Wise Ears on the 18th of July – Monday.
    I think PW and BA are meeting my intentions. PW I wanted to help folks find their strength in change and I hope I inspire – 300 readers a week, but very few subscribers. Biking Architect, I want to teach about the environment and architecture and the readership increases slowly…those folks really like the flasher sites…the bike riders from twitter sites have been a big boon there…so they must like something that I write!

    Good questions – and when we stop questioning we are in trouble in my book πŸ™‚
    Check out Patricias Wisdom’s awesome post.Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation FundraiserMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patricia,

      Congratulations on the launch of your new site, Wise Ears. I believe you’re onto something. We all want to be heard, and with your wisdom and ability to listen, you’re the perfect “go to” person for anyone who is trying to find answers or for those who don’t feel what they have to say is important.

      I wish you all the best with your new endeavor. πŸ™‚

  11. The reactions different people can have to different blogs basically runs the gamut of human emotion. It entirely depends on what sort of blogs you read, doesn’t it?

    Personally I tend to skip overly personal or emotional blogs and like to (with exception) focus on colder more impersonal technology news and tips related to website development. These blogs I read to learn things and feel informed and like I’m improving my craft.

    I know other people who read very personal online journals, which reveal the most intimate of details. This is very different than what I read of course but they are both considered “blogs”.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Freddy,

      Yes. Blogs do run the gamut.

      That is one thing about blogging and reading blogs. We can choose which ones to frequent. The technology blogs are filled with very valuable information which, as you said, can help us improve our craft. But there’s also a place for the personal ones, too. It all depends on our reader’s preferences.

  12. In Nigeria where i come from, lots of folks love free things. But it may have different meaning to different folks. My boss once received a software from someone and when he inquired about the cost of the software, he was told its “free”. He was later overheard telling others, that the software may be pirated. So the truth of the matter is- Free info still have their value depending on who is using it. It has to do with the mindset of the user.
    Check out clement sadjere’s awesome post.Your decision and choice in life will ultimately affect your destinyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Clement,

      That’s a good point. For some, “free” can imply something is wrong with it. However, those who are looking for a bargain, whether cheap or free, may need to do further research to insure that what is “free” doesn’t come with a hidden cost.

  13. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t target my blog for any one specific group. If I did that, I would have to run three different blogs. Instead, I think of my blog like a newspaper or a magazine. I don’t expect everyone to read every post.

    That being said, I write posts that will appeal to teachers, hip-hop fans, writers, skateboarders, runners, etc.

    I hope people find something of interest in it. That’s why I do it.
    Check out Chase March’s awesome post.Worse Ways to be Stuck InsideMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      I think how you have your blog organized makes it’s easy for your readers to find what they’re looking for. That said, because you have a passion for that which you share, your readers will enjoy it too. πŸ™‚

  14. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! I hope my readers share the info I post about since I am blogging about food/nutrition and health, which really affects us all. I sure hope people get a sense of good research being done on my topics because there is a lot! I tend not to share anything personal any more beyond giving recipes occasionally of things that are a bit different but healthy. In that vein, I also don’t read personal blogs. I’m looking for content and what I might learn so in a way it’s strictly business for me.

    The concept of “free” is something I never thought about! I want to help educate people about health and wellness and I’m sure not in this for the money. Having said that, I will be charging for my book! haha! Even my “food coach” business is so reasonably priced compared to most nutritionists – every client I have is different and I work with them according to their needs, especially with staying in budget. If I was doing this for the money…….hmmm, I cannot imagine that but I know I’d be charging a lot more! As for the blog, it is truly giving away info that people need and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi SuZen,

      I hear you, and feel the same way. If we have something of importance to share on our blogs, price doesn’t even enter the picture. But like you said, if we write ebooks (or provide other services), charging for those is different considering how much more work they entail.

      I like your idea of working closely with clients and charging accordingly. That has to be a great feeling to know you’re helping someone (or a family) change their eating habits and get them on the road to a healthy new lifestyle.

  15. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. certainly your blog is an inspiration to me .. learning about the world of blogging as well as a broader view .. particularly through your commenters, who make an enlightened bunch to hang around with ..

    I enjoy my blog and am so lucky to have some great commenters too .. I’d love to have a wider audience – just not sure which direction and what it’d be called .. also because of the ‘nature of my intention’ ie to provide something for people to think about and mull over, or more importantly to provide an interesting read, that could be read out loud to someone who needs some stimulating input and from which the post will generate other ideas and thoughts .. leading to an easier entree the next time they meet.

    Cheers for now – I’ll be back to read other contributors .. Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.The Journey of Life and Death ….My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      You definitely are accomplishing what you’ve set out to do. Not only are your posts an interesting read, but for me they are also educational. I never thought how reading blog posts could aid in helping those who need stimulating input, but that’s a good point.

      ((Hugs)) to you and your Mum. πŸ™‚

      • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Barbara .. thank you – really just a page in a book – with a few or more different topics that the carer/reader/family member can stimulate the frail person, who needs a different look at life – which amuses/educates … a sort of Readers’ Digest with a difference .. but one that can be used by that visitor … to open up different discussion points – much the same way I do when I read blogs I often use Wikipedia mainly, or Google .. if I’m looking for that extra snippet of information … educating myself as I go.

        Cheers and thanks for popping over and checking out the left-right game! Hilary
        Check out Hilary’s awesome post.The Journey of Life and Death ….My Profile

  16. I publish what I want, but not because “you get what you pay for” but because the blog is *my* space,and I stopped worrying about whether people will like it or not.
    Check out Vered | Social Media Consultant’s awesome post.Vat19: Brilliant Use of Social Media MarketingMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I agree. We should not worry about what others like or dislike since we can’t please everyone. Being true to ourselves is key.

  17. What I love about the way you wrote this post is that you offered two sides to a story then asked for a third. That’s so clever!

    You really pointed out some interesting ideas in that some blogs truly are inspirational, informative and moving.

    I quite agree with you about the how important the choice of font colors are necessary for a information to be readable.

    Thanks as always.
    Check out Julie @ jbulie's blog’s awesome post.6 reasons my blog readers rock. ❒ ~ check βœ”My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Julie,

      It’s amazing what talent we find in the blogosphere, isn’t it? And if we don’t like the blog we landed one, we can just click a link and find another. Never a dull moment….

  18. Hi Barbara,

    Yes, we have to consider the target audience of the blog as well. But generally, it has to LOOK enticing, user-friendly, and the words should easily and comfortable be read by the blog visitor.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Calli,

      Good point. If our blog isn’t appealing to our visitors, it doesn’t matter how good the (free) contest is if they don’t stick around.

  19. I write on two business blogs. For one I try to give anyone who reads about running an online business valuable information. Whether it’s about marketing, seo, free lancing, you name it. The second, I try to give internet safety tips to parents and all internet users really. Since I’ve started focusing towards safety on the second blog, I’ve seen a significant increase in readers.
    Check out‘s awesome post.How to Make your Resume Internet-ReadyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Erica,

      That’s smart on your part to be aware of your numbers. The value you provide in your posts not only helps your current readers, but is attracting more, as well. That’s what growing a blog is all about.

  20. Hi Barbara,
    First, I’d like to tell you that you have a nice looking blog. And from just reading this one post, I could tell that I will find great value inside.
    I can say that free or not, if we can take away something that we can learn from, will help us, inspire us, or make our lives better, then it can have value.
    You’ve summarized most if not all that I’ve also experienced in reading lots of blog posts. I haven’t reached the thousands yet but when I do I hope that I’ll be knowledgeable enough that I can also make a positive influence on my readers.
    Thank you for sharing this gem.
    Check out Theresa Torres’s awesome post.I Need a Credit CardMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Theresa,

      Yes, even something as simple as a sentence or quote can make our lives better or make us think a little differently. Value comes in many forms, doesn’t it?

  21. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I always like the way you surface your thought provoking angles on familiar topics.

    > What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your blog?
    I actually want them to gain the skills to pay the bills and lead a better life. I’ve seen first-hand what exotic knowledge can do for people, and I’d like more people around the world to have the power of know-how. Whether it’s mental models, or strategies, or positive psychology … or simply inspirational stories and words of wisdom … there are so many sources of insight to draw from that really do help us “stand on the shoulders of giants.”

    I’m actually trying to figure out how to flow more value and how to take things to the next level. I’m thinking that I should start sharing strategy skills and business skills. I think these are hard to come by, and I’m lucky to be on a team where every day we focus on strategy and reshaping business and technology.

    I think I need to share more principles, patterns, and proven practices. It’s a fast-changing world and people will need a new set of skills and strategies to thrive.
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.Kahler’s Drivers and Six Scripts that Create Limiting LoopsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.

      It’s good to see you. πŸ™‚

      I must say, you do accomplish what you set out to do with your blog. I know I’ve learned a lot from it, plus enjoy your posts about individuals who have “made it”, and how they got there.

      I like your idea of expanding and writing more about strategies and proven practices. With you being a person who can say, “been there, done that”, learning how you did “it” would be very beneficial.

  22. Hi Barbara,

    I admire how in a time when commenting on the actual blog has diminished your fans are so faithful. That says so much about how true you have stayed to your goals after all these years and your readers loyalty. It’s wonderful!

    I still write at LLI with the same goal to inspire people to make a difference and to live their lives with passion and purpose, however, now that I have focused so much more on the creative business coaching, I know that my audience is a lot more focused than it ever was in the beginning. I think perhaps the tone has changed a little over the years. Since we write three blogs and the newsletter each week, I try to keep LLI the more personal and inspirational of the four of them. I HOPE that is getting through!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Wendi,

      Your words do inspire your readers. Never doubt that.

      You’ve raised a good point. As we grow, as our blogs grow and as we branch out into new endeavors, our voice (or tone, as you said), will also change. For me, it’s always fun to see that advancement in fellow bloggers.

      P.S. You’re doing awesome.

  23. I think one othe biggest mistakes a novice blogger can make is to start a blog just to make money. I think you have to give value first and then people will like you and maybe they trust you enough to buy something from you.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mario,

      That’s true. A new blogger can try and push products to their readers, but if they haven’t built up trust, chances are their readers won’t buy.

  24. KennethNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I have been working online, writing numerous articles from various employers. Since I would need ideas for my topic, I would read numerous blogs in the process. Since the topic were fixed, I have read blogs that have topics that I haven’t heard of. Honestly, I have appreciated the value of blogs especially the information they provide. I noticed the different writing styles of bloggers as well. Though my purpose is just work, there are times that I would laugh, smile and contemplate while reading. I have been tying to learn tips on how to become a good blogger, and my goal is to post a blog someday.
    Check out Kenneth’s awesome post.How To Pick Up A GirlMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kenneth,

      I know what you’re saying. With each blog we see different writing styles, as well as different methods of displaying the same information. What fun you must have – to be able to travel around the blogosphere and experience all there is.

  25. RichardNo Gravatar says:

    I read some funny blog post before and with a cartoon illustration, that say ” If you write a blog and no one comment on it, is it still a blog.” Its quite funny since the cartoon illustrated looks funny too.
    My point here is not every free stuff has a value. Whats the use of some free tool and no one is interested enough to use it.
    The bottom line is that, as a blogger or etc. We need to supply the need of our target market.
    Check out Richard’s awesome post.Ways to win the lotteryMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Richard,

      That is funny. However, many blogs become very popular and comments are turned off.

      Yes, If we offer something for free, it should have some type of measurable value, especially to our target market.

  26. Online gamesNo Gravatar says:

    People have made the mentality that free information is useless and even if they can have less information if they pay for it. Its wrong mentality they should try to change it. We can know more without paying. I have experienced.
    Check out Online games’s awesome post.Jump RacerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Online Games,

      That’s true. Some people feel “free” means valueless. However with what’s available online, in some cases it seems senseless to be shelling out money.

  27. RonNo Gravatar says:

    The things that I’ve learn about blogs are ..
    Blog posts will give us things that we can learn.
    We can be hurt and be happy by just reading blogs and
    we can be able to share and apply things that we’ve learn about those blogs.
    Check out Ron’s awesome post.Vital Exercise to Reduce Your Man BoobsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ron,

      Definitely. With all there is to learn from blogs, not only can they inspire us to make improvements in our own lives, but we can pass those lessons on to others.

  28. dquote fatanNo Gravatar says:

    Dear Barbara, Before commenting to this nice post I would like you to know that i`am Indonesian, I learned English from school and peoples post through their blogs. And Yes indeed as we know people sometimes are blogging for money they are ( If we can say ) 100% do not cares about others need, they learned SEO and trying to get as much visitor as they could through search engine in other to gain Click for their “Adsense” or affiliate links. but for me Blog is blogging and blogging is something called “Who You are and what you want people out there know you about”

    Dearest Barbara, once again “English is not my mother language, I hope you get my point “

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dquote,

      That’s a good point. We all blog for different reasons. If we follow our heart, chances are our readers will gain value from our words.

  29. Leila GoNo Gravatar says:

    When browsing blogs to follow and tweet, I always look for these three elements – Information, Humor and Photos. Of course, there are also other factors like usability, design and audience. Since these are also the things I use to spice up my blog πŸ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Leila,

      That’s true. We are often attracted to blogs which mirror what we like to do with our blog. Not only can we get ideas from other bloggers, but even inspiration for something greater.

  30. ceejayNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara, your post made me ask, β€œWhy is this blogger giving this valuable information away for free?” I don’t really put that much thought in writing my blog except for the content and what I aim to accomplish by posting it. There are factors beyond my control, such as how many will actually get to read it and how a reader will react to my post. I can promote it as much as I can and put years of research into the facts presented on my blog, it still won’t guarantee anything. As long as I’m genuinely connected to my article and not blogging about something as irrelevant as “Why the Spice Girls broke up”, then I will leave it up to the readers to decide how they will take it.
    Check out ceejay’s awesome to kiss a girlMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ceejay,

      I agree. Value is in the eyes of the reader. Even if we (ourselves) read a post and don’t see value, that’s not to say the next person who reads the same post won’t benefit from it.

  31. I believe that everything has an intrinsic value, albeit some are small.

  32. JoseNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, I have read lots of useful info for free because people wrote it with passion, they love to write about their experiences and they have not problem to share their knowledges. You can learn lots of things without shelling out money πŸ™‚
    Check out Jose’s awesome post.Conoce el BlackBerry Torch 9800My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jose,

      You’re right. Some of the most valuable information can be found for free.

  33. MariNo Gravatar says:

    I have just started my blog and I tend to be torn between giving readers what I think they want and wanting to do things my way. Based on how people are finding my site, I would say that I need to go in a different direction, but I’m not sure I should… know, having a vision for your blog versus giving people what it seems they are asking for. Thanks for the food for thought.
    Check out Mari’s awesome post.Get Blog Name Ideas By Getting PersonalMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mari,

      That can be tough. That said, I do believe we can find ways to do both – follow our heart AND please our readers. It just takes a little bit of trial and error.

  34. I would like to add that there are some blogs which are huge source of Information..And at the same time several one without any useful post..But all of them are excellent platform to interact with the people and gain experts suggestions..Beside the post , the comment are also very useful to follow.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi PHP,

      Good point. Even if we find a blog we don’t feel has value, we might find just what we’re looking for in the comments.

  35. Monex fraudNo Gravatar says:

    In fact in a recent one question interview series on ProBlogger three separate bloggers talked about how this helped their blogs in 2007 I guess what Im saying is that post length can be a key factor when it comes to a blog being well received or not however it takes time experimentation and being in tune with your reader to know what that post length needs to be. Whether your blog requires long posts or short ones or a mix thereof really depends on what youre trying to accomplish and what your readers come to your blog for. Thats what the readers want.For a blog like Zen Habits where readers come for more in-depth articles on self-improvement and quality-of-life issues I cant do a bunch of short posts and continue to grow.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Monex,

      Yes. The length of posts can make a difference. Some blogs do better with longer posts, whereas others are successful with short ones. I think with a little experimentation, we can determine what works best for our readers.

  36. hempNo Gravatar says:

    Its not clear just yet what exactly makes a blog successful we have some ideas and we know some blogs succeed and others fail but there just isnt a set of hard and fast rules about writing blog posts..Lots of new bloggers struggle with the question of how to write better blog posts how to attract more readers or how to promote community. The world is saturated with blogs and while you may have a unique or engaging writing style and your stories about NYC may be completely mind blowing people just arent drawn to blogs on such general subjects..You need to look for a way to create a market and then corner it what is it about your experience in New York that makes your voice worth listening to?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hemp,

      Yes. We do need to make our blogs original. With so many blogs on the same topics, by doing things a little differently, we’re more apt to attract a larger following that the competition.

  37. I really just have a hard time actually creating MEASURABLE and realistic goals for my blog. But as you stressed, value is everything. Write blog posts more often, provide quality content that my short term goal.
    Check out John@Google Cash Monster’s awesome post.Google Cash Monster BonusMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      It can be hard to create measurable and realistic goals for a blog. That said, I think it depends on the blogger. Some measure their progress by the number of comments they get. Some by subscribers. And others are happy if they’ve helped just one person.

      Your idea of providing quality content is spot on.

  38. AmaniNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I am currently running two blogs.

    So, for my first blog(it is a food blog), I am hopping that reader will learn about foods and cultures of my country. And for my second blog I would like to promote my part time making money by investing in foreign exchange.
    Check out Amani’s awesome post.Make money onlineMy Profile

  39. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Amani,

    I like your idea of having two blogs. I’ll bet you reach a wider audience that way – one, those who are foodies, and secondly, those who hope to make a little extra cash.

  40. For me the blog I run is in support of by business.

    Slightly less formal article of interest that are associated with my niche, but in some cases more tenuous.

    The idea is to inform, keep the brand name out there, bond with the reader and demonstrate that there is a real live individual behind the scenes!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Gary,

      That’s smart. When we’re trying to promote our brand, it makes a huge difference if an individual knows there’s someone behind the scenes and they’re not just landing on a dormant website.

  41. VartiNo Gravatar says:

    Often it’s true – free doesn’t offer any real value OR free offer has some hook in it that will make you pay them money πŸ™‚ Rarely someome gives anything for free to the public πŸ™‚
    Check out Varti’s awesome post.Vārti un vārtiΕ†iMy Profile

  42. most of the blogs that I’ve read are very informative and interesting. I have discovered a blog, which take a lot of various posts from other blogs without rewriting their articles and that kind of things turned me off. Some blogs also give me ideas on how to save money especially with their thrifty ideas and recipes. I hope that the readers will gain some insights about interior designing after reading my site. I felt accomplished if they could learn some tips about the topic that I’m dealing.
    Check out interior design decoration’s awesome post.Adorable Kids BathroomMy Profile

  43. I love to get my readers thinking. For the same thing I value your blog as well.

    I prefer blogs that are not all about selling and only selling. You can really spot them from a mile. I think that blogs that really have the original content and reflect the person who is behind it should make the most out of it. Financially and spiritually, so to speak.

  44. WilmaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I’m so far from perfect in blogging. In my previous blog, I wrote ‘how to’ articles based on my experience. I forgot about ‘who’s the author’ too. I think I’ll start to make a goal like you