What attracts YOU to the blogs you read?

Sad Yellow Jacket

Sad Yellow Jacket

I have a plan…

My blog hit 1000 followers a couple of months ago. It seems like a milestone in a way, since I did not have the Sign Me Up! subscription button on my sidebar the whole time I have been blogging.

I was not even sure a garden blog would garner a lot of interest, so I was reluctant to offer a subscription. Are you one?

Many of you are relatively new here and I am grateful for you hopping on board for whatever reason you chose to find this blog interesting. I have followed some of you as well. So that leads to the question, “What attracts you to the blogs that you read?”

AAJetWing

Want to take this journey?

It is a loaded question, no? I really am not expecting you to answer specifically by name to spare feelings, but…

There have been a few posts lately questioning what content they should post and what  readers might find interesting. My guess is they are suffering from falling readership in just asking.

Caribbean_Sea

I have even broached this subject before in The Secret Life of a Boring Blog. It was a very engaging post, eliciting a number of thoughtful comments, even some squawking.  I am revisiting the idea differently, plus I have a plan…

BlackGrackle

What might be an infinitely more useful question is, “Why did I quit reading your blog?” Chirp, chirp, boring, chirp. But, rather than open that can of worms today and stay upbeat and helpful about it…

I listed reasons I thought were pertinent. What is it that draws readers in?

Dogs_On_beach

Let’s see if I miss any.

GrosPiton

The Tips

  1. Absolutely gorgeous photos, the ones you just drool over so much you just want to be there in those far away locations. People like to escape.
  2. Do they write like they care if we return? People like to know others feel as they do.
  3. Do they have personality? People just like people
  4. Want to know what their contemporaries are thinking? People want the closeness of friends and respect their thoughts.
  5. Are they helpful? People like to get better at doing something.
  6. Are posts informative? People like to learn and expand their knowledge.
  7. Do they have a compelling topic? People are curious.
  8. Are posts delightful with humor? People like to feel good and smile.
  9. Does a blog make me want to take action, try what they posted? People like to be inspired.
  10. Does it offer pithy opinion and commentary? People like good or intelligent writing.
  11. Need friends? People need to connect to people.
  12. Do they start a conversation? People like to gab.

St.Lucia_Street

So what interests you and why?

What topics grab your interest? Actually you may help out a few of my readers that have had these concerns.

My advice to them is keep it fresh and keep it unexpected. Don’t rehash information you can repeat or find just anywhere.

And read my post The Secret Life of a Boring Blog. It tells the reader everything I think about blogging and so does the long, thought out comments that resulted from the post. Set aside an hour of time though, the post and comments are very long ones.

SurfShack

So how do I answer the questions I posed…

I explore, so a large variety of topics excite me.

Band_On_Train

I look for new and different. I search to find things recently discovered in science, art, design, earth science or technology. Maybe I get a smile from those with the knack for funny. Of course, beautiful things anywhere and things unexpected are always welcomed. These things keep me coming back for more.

Most importantly…

I visit those that visit here and leave a link, because I assume I will like the same things they do. How about you, what floats your Ducky?

RubberDucky

Precipitate a change in your weather vane and let the wind blow where it may.

The plan…

Leave a comment, then pick a blog you don’t know from those that commented also – and go have a look. Would this not be a nice thing to do each time you visit a post, explore blogs that find the same things you find interesting? Oh and make sure your link works too.

Let’s try this for those that comment here. Place a link from your blog to your favorite post or current post in my comments (one to encourage others to check you out) so others may find you.

Let’s see if we increase everybody’s readership! Make sure they learn how you found them so that they may do the same. Add freshness to your reading and theirs too!

WeatherVane

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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129 Responses to What attracts YOU to the blogs you read?

  1. Christy says:

    Hi Donna..this was a very imformative post. I started my blog in December which is tough to do for a gardening blog. There’s just not much to see in my winter garden so I’ve tried to be creative. I found most of the blogs I follow by reading the comments left on other people’s blog. I then go to that person’s blog and read some of their posts and the “about me” section. I want to find something in common, mainly a love for gardening and wildlife. I like to get ideas from other posts; plants for the garden, landscaping ideas, garden decorations I see in the picture, how-tos for my garden and so on. I enjoy a little humor in the post. The most important thing I’ve learned about blogging is to just be myself and blog about what I enjoy!

    • I too have found many blogs by clicking on comments. I also post what I enjoy and things I find that might interest others. Often those things come from my varied reading. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  2. Interesting post. It seems like you have a knack for relating to people and drawing them into a dialogue. I enjoy your conversational tone. I find several things to be helpful when blogging. 1. Stories – people can relate to personal stories. 2. Questions and explorative writing – Get people thinking and help them discover new insights for themselves. There are many more – these came to my mind first.

    I like your list too. Thanks for the post.

  3. Thoughtful and helpful post as always. It’s so helpful when someone thinks deeply about this topic and summarizes her advice–sometimes it confirms one’s vague impressions or ideas and other times it gives some new ideas, but it helps everyone move forward. I also started my gardening blog in the winter (last year)! I guess that’s when gardeners have time to write.

  4. Laurrie says:

    I am looking for affinity. I want to read about gardeners who plant the same things I do, have suggestions, and are focused on design challenges for a suburban lot in my kind of climate. That’s why bogs that feature tropicals, desert plants, houseplants or cooking and crafts don’t hold my interest even if they are well done and the commenters have been nice enough to comment on mine. I like the affinity with bloggers doing what I am doing, but offering new ideas about it.

    I also lose interest when a blog only features close ups of flowers. I want to see plants, and read about their culture, and see how they fit in a garden, not just look at endless pretty flowers.

    I do exactly what you suggest — I often click other commenter’s blogs to see what they are about, since they commented on posts that I find interesting. And that has been a great source of new finds!

    Thanks for this stimulating topic — it’s making me think : )

  5. HolleyGarden says:

    I’m obsessed with gardening, so if I find a gardening blog, I’m in! But, for me, it has to (usually) stick to gardening. However, if the posts are way, way, way too long, or if there are too many subjects presented in a rambling fashion, I find it hard to follow along. I used to like to “Follow” with google reader, but have now found it easier to follow through “Email Subscribe”. Unfortunately, I’ve lost touch with a few blogs that I really like because they don’t have that option. I also agree that people’s personalities come through, and I like cheerful posts! I can tell you are a happy person, so I always enjoy reading your blog. Since you’ve been so generous enough to allow, the link to my blog is: http://dreamingofroses.blogspot.com/
    Thanks, Donna!

    • I find always posting on gardening is hard to do without repeating. I could post every day on it with what I have learned, but I find it is difficult to find subjects that seasoned gardeners are unfamiliar. That is why I travel so much to gardens by others. It is fresh and different than my own, and I can talk design. I may do a page on my blog with gardens I have visited. You gave me an idea!

    • Diana Studer says:

      If a blog has a subscription button, you can also use that for email. But I have a separate – subscribe by email button for reader’s convenience.
      I have found new blogs to read by following up interesting comments ever since hmmm was it Frances of Faire Garden suggested it to me way back when I started blogging. A blog must interest, entertain or inform me to find a place among the 100 in my Google Reader. Couple of weeks of busy RL meant over 2 hundred posts were waiting for me (including 5 from Holley). Now down to 150.

      • Thank you for stopping in, Diana. You seem to do that when I do posts that get a lot of commenting activity. 😀 I know I am not in your reader as you once wrote to me to tell me so. You went on to tell me that my blog does not interest you as you mentioned as a criteria for those lucky 100. So a big thank you for taking the time to both come and comment. It is much appreciated. Good luck in reading 150 posts. I know how time-consuming that is when busy. How does a blogger break into the 100? That is one packed list.

        • Diana Studer says:

          (I found this when it came up on Blotanical’s shortlist, but you say you don’t use Blotanical any more)
          You said on Alistair’s post that you would be writing about blogging, so I’ve been looking out for THIS post of yours.
          You have a polished gift for drawing out enthusiastic discussion around your posts!
          My Reader is constantly changing, some come, some go – much like a garden bed ;~)

          • I go to Blotanical a couple of times a month. My main problem is time. I am very loyal to those that read here and many are from Blotanical originally. I did leave a comment on Alistair’s post on blogging ( http://www.aberdeengardening.co.uk/diary/2013/02/02/looking-back/ ) and was going to add his link in post, but then got the idea that everyone who visits should post a link. It is fun seeing the diversity of bloggers that are reading certain blogs. Already, some of my varied readers have subscribed or visited some of the gardening blogs, so that made my day. I am more about helping others when I can. I know many of my posts have received good discussion, and I like when others participate. I also don’t care if they agree because even in disagreement comes great ideas and often change of heart. I don’t use a reader, but should because some do fall through the cracks. But, like you, it would change often.

  6. Really great post and very informative! I always find that there is a delicate and great balance to be made between posting what you want to be writing about, and what others find to be interesting. It’s wonderful when those two things mesh. However, I have often found it interesting that some of my favorite posts are not as popular — and a post that wasn’t as meaningful becomes a huge hit on my blog. The balance is being interesting and engaging, while still being true to yourself!
    And on that note — please come enjoy some homemade waffles while I go check out some of the blogs that have commented on this post! 🙂 http://greendoorhospitality.wordpress.com/
    Kenley

    • I find that true to a point. I always post on things that make me happy and hope others feel the same way, but I found that I have distinct groups of readers that have little interest in some of my posts, yet others find them just fine. My posts on science finds are an example. I have a great interest in these, but many gardeners do not. Same with food. You would think all gardeners would like food posts, since they grow or raise a lot of it, but that is not always the case. I love to cook, so food posts interest me.

  7. Oh, love that rubber ducky! Thank you for the tips. You have inspired me to do better in my blog, even if it’s just a little piece of corner for myself. => I loved that post of yours, The Secret Life of a Boring Blog. That was eye opening. Congratulations on the 1000 followers!

  8. Phil Lanoue says:

    Terrific post! I enjoyed this very much!

  9. A.M.B. says:

    Great post, Donna! I read blogs for entertainment and for inspiration. There have been a few I have stopped reading and it’s usually because the author’s posts took a negative turn. I’m not a fan of rants, unless they are particularly thoughtful. I especially love photography blogs because they take me to places I’ve never been and show off skills I don’t have. Your blog is one of my favorites.

    • Inspiration is always high on my list. I want to learn and I want to dream in some cases. I don’t mind rants because they are often the most entertaining in people’s reactions to them. Also, when one speaks their mind, I find that refreshing. I am very drawn to photo blogs too, for learning and for the beauty.

  10. John says:

    I can usually never fully explain why I’m attracted to some blogs and not others. You always have fantastic pictures (especially of birds) and since I’m a bit of a bird watcher, that’s my main attraction to your blog. Your garden related postings are almost a secondary bonus. The post about hawks a few weeks back was so great that I forwarded it to my Dad who’s a birder. He not only promptly subscribed to your blog but also sent me an angry e-mail demanding to know why I had not alerted him sooner to your awesome blog.

    I love Conrad Art Glass and Gardens and Quarry Garden Stained Glass, they also have incredible garden photos and the scope and scale of their gardening projects is immensely impressive and incredibly inspiring. Root Simple, Holy Scrap Hot Springs, Ramshackle Solid, and The Art of Manliness encourage me to make, repair, and build things, and the Archdruid Report and Roger Ebert’s Blog have very well written posts about a variety of topics. Other blogs I read either post more infrequently, are written by friends, or don’t necessarily capture my attention as fully as the ones mentioned above.

    After writing all this I realize that I’m supposed to be attempting to advocate for my own blog, but I understand and accept that 1) my writing isn’t really all that compelling, 2) my pictures/videos are OK at best, and 3) the inconsistent subject matter in my blog doesn’t really inspire people to subscribe to the blog or visit regularly.

    My blog got started about five years ago and has 21 followers, all but a handful who are family and friends, so I’m not setting the Internet on fire by any means. I initially wanted a forum to practice my writing but when I decided to move from Southern California to North Dakota it became the perfect medium for keeping family and friends back in Southern California updated with my antics and misadventures. To me the blogging format was perfect, longer than the sentence or two update you could get from Facebook, and ideal for posting pictures and videos. Sure, Facebook updates and a Holiday newsletter could have sufficed, but this way I have a forum where I feel I can rant a bit, pass along gardening tips and Gluten Free recipes, and proudly show pictures of my deaf dogs.

    The frustrating thing for me is never knowing what is or isn’t working on my blog. I’ve asked open ended questions, asked for suggestions and comments, even requested people to honestly reply to the question – “Why does my blog suck?” only to hear the chirping of crickets. Oh well. Thanks for the thought experiment and now I’m glad that I have a scapegoat to blame for my (lack of) productivity today!

    John – Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes

    • Your blog has gone through many changes since I have been reading it, but what got me reading it was your dog adventures. Thank you for recommending GWGT to your dad. I have lots of birds coming up too, one pretty rare one mid-month. I enjoyed your long comment too. I will subscribe to your blog, I read it all the time anyway. I will be number 22.

    • John–Made myself subscriber #23. You didn’t supply the link to your blog: http://deafdogsandgnomes.blogspot.com/ (Note: Probably a Blogspot vs. I.E. 8 issue, but your blog doesn’t load in I.E. for me–I just get a background of wooden planks and nothing else. It successfully loaded in Firefox.)

      • gauchoman2002 says:

        Thanks John!! Yes I do have certain issues with I.E. and since I usually do everything in Firefox I never become aware of the issues with other browsers. That’s a pretty lame excuse I know, but I tend to blissfully wallow in my own ignorance.

  11. Loving your post – makes me think about why I blog, what I blog, the blogs I follow, etc.:) I love to read a mix of blogs – live vicariously through other bloggers adventures, daily life, etc. – learn new things and maybe gain new life experiences for myself by exploring new things – love photography and travel – enjoy a good book review – you name it I am open to checking out a blog. Happy Friday:)

    • I often think why I blog mainly because I am often off topic from gardening. The posts are related but related in a sideways manner with all the photography and wildlife. I like your travel adventures very much. I don’t travel as much as I would like, and like you mentioned, I can live through your travels. I also am slightly dyslexic so reading books is limited, but I do follow book reviews because if I am taking the extra time to read one, I want others to like and recommend it.

  12. Dana S. Hugh says:

    Hello there! Well…, it depends. Sometimes I’m in a mood to read a blog and sometimes I just/only press “like” because of the pictures. So that being said, I follow a blog first by look ( photos) then by content. I’m more into travel’s & photography blog.
    Congratulations!

  13. Thank you all for leaving such insightful comments. I just got back from a biopsy and will be visiting you all after I rest a bit. Going to be scheduled for surgery shortly. Hoping that it turns out all OK. Keep clicking on each others’ blogs and make my day.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Donna. Please let me know how you surgery comes out. I will be sending positive thoughts your way!

      • Thanks Christy. My surgery is an out patient surgery at the hospital. They are just removing a mass and no anesthesia which is great since I never had it before. The specialist thinks it is routine and the biopsy on it should be negative. All I will just have is a nasty scar I hope. So fingers are crossed!~!~!

  14. Now that’s a great post!!! Thank you, Donna!
    🙂

  15. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, Hope the biopsy and surgery turns out well!
    Wow, 1000 followers! Good for you! I make lots of mistakes with my blog and don’t post on a regular basis. I appreciate blogging friends who stick with me despite all.
    When it comes to the blogs I like, I guess I appreciate wit, humour, good content and pictures. I do try to check out new blogs on a regular basis and will click one of the links above. Take care!!

    • Thanks, Jen. I have high hopes on the medical stuff. I was surprised to have the surgery though. Better to have than to not. That is nice you check out new blogs. I do it pretty often when new viewers pop in here. I have found some really good ones this way, but am always loyal to those that come here. Each day I pick a few that I see rarely and visit them too, just to see what they are up to.

  16. Donna, first, please take care of yourself and relax. Everything s going be OK. And as for this post. What I love about my blogging is that 1) it serves for myself as a repositry, an archival tool, 2) surprises me bringing back things I completely forgot, 3) is a great tool for communicating, 4) can be a good tool for reviewing my work, sometimes is works like a mirror, you can watch yourself from another perspective. What I love about other’s blogs is that help me connect with persons that I could never thought of meeting. Reading comments is useful mostly, I have found interesting blogs through comments, they are another kind of conversation. I have to say that nowadays I don’t have that much time for reading blogs, which is a pity because I know there are absolutely very interesting experiences about many topics I am interested in out there that I would love to know about.The exchange is energetic. Take care, Lula

    • Thanks Lula. The blog is a good place for storing your photos and for all the reasons you mentioned too. I never really looked at it that way. You comment on ‘exchange is energetic” is a good one. So true.

  17. Well, to some extent, I’d say all of the items you list are a factor in which blogs I read. But if I had to pick just four that were most significant, it would be the following (in no particular order):
    1. Quality of photography. I think that is self-explanatory.
    2. The author knows more than I do about stuff I care about (gardening and related) and is good at sharing that info. Or, at least the author has interesting opinions about these matters.
    3. The author has an appealing personality. This can come through in humor, in the pleasure the author takes in their garden, their loved ones (including animals), or other things.
    4. Reciprocity. The author reads my blog – and leaves comments.
    All four of these are not necessary. However, it takes at least one, and preferably two, of the above qualities to motivate me to really follow a blog.

  18. Helen Johnstone says:

    An interesting post. You have loads of subscribers. I seem to have reached a critical mass of readers and stats and havent been able to move up or forwards for ages. I have started looking for new blogs to read and link to and attract more readers. I will go and visit one of your commentors

  19. janechese says:

    I prefer a combination of artistic photos interspersed with bits of writing.Sticking to one topic is good If it is a big long paragraph, going off in tangents the author loses me. I am busy reading blogs but have other things that need to be done as well.
    A topic of interest to me personally will grab my attention and have me reading all of what is being said or I will save it until I have more time to peruse it.
    I found you through another blogger who re-blogged you.

    • Don’t we all have important stuff to do each day. 😀
      I like my job in architecture but I often wish I had nothing to do but go out and photograph at really cool places. Then post everyday with what I find. My blog would be photo after photo. I like reading posts and usually make sure to finish them. I am not a skimmer, but you are right, it has to hold one’s interest.

  20. Sue says:

    Interesting topic with lots to consider. My blog is less than a year old and I’m still learning how the whole blog world works. Although my intention was not to create a gardening blog, that seems to be the direction it’s taken (probably because gardening is such a large part of my life). I find when I divert too far from gardening, my stats drop off but I’m not going to let that deter me from posting about what I do and find interesting.

    As far as what attracts me to a blog, the initial draw is usually great pictures followed by humor. Maybe I live vicariously through others but I enjoy blogs that give a glimpse into the writer’s life. Let’s face it, nobody is one dimensional. People have varied interests and do lots of interesting things. My blog roll is mostly garden blogs but I also read recipe blogs, fitness blogs and blogs written by people who are living lives I find fascinating. If I can tell by reading a blog that the writer is someone I’d enjoy hanging out with, I’m going to keep reading.

    One aspect of maintaining a blog that I struggle with is the time commitment. Between writing my own and reading and commenting on others, I often get behind and don’t do as much of both as I should. As an example, after I post this comment, I will start following links others have posted and an hour from now I’ll be wondering what I can grab quick for dinner before I go to bed. What better way to spend a blizzardy Friday night?

    Rest up-good luck with your biopsy results and impending surgery. Keep writing!

    • Thank you, Sue. I went to your blog and was very surprised. You have a nice post on the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. As a designer, architect and Master Gardener, my intent was to make a garden blog, but I quickly tired of it (when that is all it was) because of doing it as a job day in and day out. So I skirt around gardening with things I think others will not know or at least find interesting. As my blog name says, I visit a lot of gardens. I talk design too. But I do love photography and have been doing it since 1982, and art since forever, so that became a focus since many garden bloggers seem to like it also. Like you said, nobody is one dimensional. Many of us have varied talents too.

  21. This is a wonderful post and really helps all of us who are in the blogging world. If there ever was a post I thought should be fresh-pressed, this is it ! Thank you so much for your clear, concise and intuitive sharing.

  22. Take care of yourself Donna and congratulations to you on one thousand followers! I follow a blog that is informative and well written with high quality photographs. I am drawn to stories about garden ventures and enjoy a bit of humor along with good information. It is nice to see posts where the personality of the writer also shines through. It is enjoyable to visit the links to other bloggers who have commented on a post and check out their blogs since I feel we have something in common and I love commenting on posts when it turns into a great conversation! So overall…quality information, quality photographs and good writing are what make a blog interesting. Great post Donna and by the way I just purchased the Nikon Coolpix P510 because of your hummingbird photos-so thanks!

    • Thanks for the input Lee. Also, I am pleased you got the P510. It is a great camera and surprised my socks off when I used it ten days straight. I had the Coolpix P5000 that the P510 replaced for me and always thought that a good, clear image maker. I still have it, but it does not hold a charge, even with a new battery. I sent it in for repair and it never was fixed correctly.

  23. alesiablogs says:

    Blogs that catch my eye:
    1. A great read with photos that compliment the story line is mandatory~!
    2. I love gardens, birds, and nature so reading about these subjects are fun for me.
    3. I also enjoy someone willing to share straight from their heart.
    4. I look for skilled writing and purpose in hopes of learning from others.
    5. History is big thing for me too. I have learned so much about other countries that I never knew about! WOW…

    • Thanks Alesia. You added some good points. One that is hard to do often is having the images follow the storyline. It is better often to find images on the web that can be used to support a story, but that takes time to find those that are free to use. I just had someone do a search with this “picture of cardinal in winter non copyright” and guess what, they took the photo anyway.

      • alesiablogs says:

        I use almost all my own photos and if I write a blog on a subject that I need to take a photo off the web, I always give credit to where it came from..I rarely use ones off the web. I like my own photos even if they are not professional…I think the personal touch is worth so much more.

  24. Indie says:

    My favorite blogs are those that bring a smile to my face, have great diy tips and how-tos, or really show off their personality. I love garden blogs, but I really also enjoy when bloggers post about how people lived ‘back when’ or how people in different cultures live. The only posts that I really dislike are those that are very confusing to me (like I missed a lot of backstory or need a terminology cheat-sheat) or those that are very long without being interesting enough.

    I am a newer gardener, so what are probably basic, boring posts to seasoned gardeners are still interesting to me. So much to learn still! What attracts me the most to your blog are your stunning photos (which I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times before!)

    • Thank you Indie. I know there are many new gardeners out there that love to learn the tricks of the trade and there are even more seasoned gardeners willing to help guide the way. But be cautioned that some give advice that is not correct and that is darn hard for a beginner to differentiate. I am speaking more to those offering drainage or paving advice (also varies by region of the country) than planting a shrub or tree per say (even though I have seen bloggers advise tree planting in a wrong manner too). There are those that do them so wrong, it is damaging to a property. I can only say in these cases, double check with experts. Also on plant varieties, check with your local independent nurseries or extension office, because plants grow very differently in different areas, even only one county over.

  25. My two biggest factors are: 1. Comparing gardening information with people around the world, and 2. Connecting with people who are real and genuine. With gardeners, the second one isn’t too hard to find. Great photography is important, too. Your blog combines all of these things. Great post!

    • I am always amazed at how differently gardens grow worldwide and it is great to see them throughout the year. Number 2, I don’t think I met anyone I did not think “real or genuine,” even though the web is ripe for that kind of behavior. GARDENERS ARE JUST A HAPPY BUNCH. 😀

  26. EcoGrrl says:

    Well first thing’s first: your photos are bleepin’ phenomenal. Sometimes I just come by to stare at them. They make me love life.

    My blog has evolved so much over the past 4 1/2 years since I started it, and I’m humbled by the many people who have come by, since my blogger days to my past year on WordPress, from unleashing my personal stories and finding empathetic souls, to the work I do in helping others in their careers, it’s really interesting and beautiful how many cool people I’ve met (including my sweetheart!).

    Sometimes a blog just hits a chord. I love Yancy’s blog over at http://fiveseed.wordpress.com/ and I love the simplicity of Cherie’s images and words at http://renaissancegardenblog.blogspot.com/ and I love the interviews at http://renaissancegardenblog.blogspot.com/ and the reviews at http://dansdirtbox.blogspot.com/ and the art of http://dylanbug.wordpress.com/.

    Everyone has something to say and express – how lucky we are to meet people from all over the globe because of this blog community!!

    • Thank you for the nice compliment. You were very fortunate to meet so many nice people including your SWEETIE! What a great thing. I will check out the links soon. Thanks for adding your experiences and links.

  27. Helene says:

    Congratulations on the 1000 followers, what a milestone! I have had my own website since 1999 and started blogging 2 years ago as a natural progression from making my website. I needed a more ‘social’ forum than a website could give me, and my blog certainly fulfils that brief! I have met so many nice and interesting people these two years, and I have learned so much! I am disabled and have the last 2-3 years been housebound. All my photos are taken within my house or garden and my tiny garden is the most important ‘room’ in my house. I was afraid, when I started blogging, that I would run out of things to write about, but I use my blog as someone to talk to, I talk to you – the reader/visitor, and I make it quite personal. That’s my style – certainly not for everyone, and some people will say I write far too long posts. Possibly true, I myself don’t particularly like those posts with one photo and one sentence, I often skip them unless they are written by people I have bonded especially well with already.

    So here is my point: you ask what we want from a blog post, the short answer to that is: we all like different things, just as in every other aspect of life. What’s right for me as the one craving a bit of social life via my computer might very well be very different from someone who just pops in for a couple of minutes browsing. I like reading and don’t mind long posts, needless to say I am not a tweeter, far too few words available! I try to write about different things, but my garden is in focus most of the time. I spend a lot of time visiting other people’s blogs as I learn a lot from what I read and it is how I ‘go out for the day’. I feel very privileged being invited into people’s gardens all over the world. And I also visit people back who have commented so I can expand my list of blogs I follow, although I have so many blogs I follow at the moment that I need to apply for the day to be extended with at least 4 hours. I can have an application for that ready tonight, anyone know where to send the application please leave me a comment on my blog: http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk

    • I can fully understand your blogging direction, and sympathize with you being housebound. That is nothing to be taken lightly. I fear the day when that happens to me. I am also very chatty on my blog and enjoy people getting in a discussion. It makes blogging very worthwhile. I don’t mind long posts either as you can gather from my own posts, but the ones that have too many topics in one post do get to be too much. Like those that connect to multiple memes. I have done this with more than one topic, but as a reader there is too much jumping around to hold a reader’s interest when it gets to be four or five topics in one post. Also, the ones that say the same things over and over or pick topics done to Ad nauseam. Or whine continuously about anything. I know I said I would not take the negative route in this post, but that is three things that stop me from reading one’s blog.

  28. Donna–You’ve always made it a focus of your blog to help other bloggers “do it right,” either by discussing what makes for good photos or what makes for good posts. I’ve followed your blog for a long time because you successfully meet all the challenges in the 12 “Tips” you’ve shared. When I started my Mon.-Fri. photoblog over 2 years ago, I approached it with the same mindset that I have used in my 30+ years as a course developer for Ohio University’s distance learning program. I create course materials for students who can’t just walk into a professor’s office to ask for clarification concerning instructions, their assignments, etc. I have always put myself in the seat of the student “out there” and have asked myself if I could be successful with the print materials I’m providing them.

    So, I would add to your list of tips: “Do they put themselves in your place and seem to be aware of and sensitive to the needs of their target audience?” In preparing the weekday posts for my “pun-ny” photoblog, I ask myself these questions:
    (1) Is the photo of high quality and interesting by itself?
    (2) Does the title of the post “nail” the humor of it?
    (3) Are my captions immediately funny (i.e., do my readers have to work too hard to “get” the humor?)
    (4) Do I often use culturally-specific references in my captions that would leave my international readers saying the equivalent of “Huh?”
    (5) Does everything about the post meet my “family-friendly” goal?

    Here’s the link to a favorite post of mine: http://thedailygraff.com/2012/05/30/he-cant-argue-because-his-mouths-full/

    And now I will visit a few of the blogs of the other commenters! –John

    • Thank you so much, John. I am unfamiliar with the job you have at Ohio State. Do you answer the student’s questions individually if they need assistance? Distance learning – is that for students that study over the internet? Anyway, it sounds like a demanding job, one filled with a lot of writing.

      Your tip on sensitivity to the reader’s needs is very important and very good advice. I often wrestle with who actually is my target audience, since I do have variety in my content and posts. Also, the title is so important, almost like ‘advertising’ a post. When in advertising, a copy writer often gave me the title before I did the art, but sometimes I created it and then did the art. I seem to have lost my knack for that, as my titles have not been quite as catching. I like doing captions too. I used to do it more often and those were always popular posts. SO HEAR THAT READERS. John does a lot of captioned images on his site and they are witty and funny. Number 4, I often forget that one. Not so much that I commit cultural faux pas, but sometimes forget that there IS an international audience, especially when I am doing commentary. Family oriented, I say yes, because I never posted hawks on the kill or photos of nude subjects that I do in my photography group. I would have to get have them to sign a release, and I never did that anyway.

      Great advice John. Hope readers check you out.

      • First, I work for Ohio U. (OU or the “Bobcats”) in Athens, OH, and not Ohio State U. (OSU or the “Buckeyes”) in the state capital. They’re 3 times our size, but we’re older (founded 1804). My job involves helping faculty adapt their classroom courses for either correspondence courses or online courses taken by students all over the world. The instructors teach the courses; I just help them develop the course study manuals, websites, and exams as the course editor/developer. It’s my job to make the instructors look good, and to design a user-friendly learning experience for the students. –John

        • Now I understand. At my University we did not have your position as we had no correspondence courses. We did have night course though which was a separate department. You have a job that has a lot of responsibility to both instructor and to students. I can see why you have the blog that you do. It is a good outlet for the serious nature of your job. My blog is like that too. Architecture is all serious and very structured, so the blog lets me be creative in a more fun way. Thanks for clarifying.

  29. I think I am one of your most faithful readers so you know I enjoy your blog. What do I look for in a blog (and try to supply to my own readers): quality content. That means informed text, captivating photos, good writing, and substance. My advice to new bloggers would be post less and make each post a quality product. It is obvious to all readers when a blogger just slaps something up there in order to post, and I resent the time I spent going there to find nothing I want to read. However, I am happy to take time out of my day to read a substantial post even if it is long.

    • Yes, you have been one of my most commented readers too. I know I am at the top of your blog stats there too. I so much agree, QUALITY. Where did we hear that before? I too have issue with those posts without substance and that are misinformed. Being a professional, I see it quite often. Gardening is one thing, but those venturing into things architectural, like building retaining walls for instance, should not be offering advice unless they have had years of study. I have seen walls over three feet that will have a structure collapse in time, and bloggers are still telling others how to do this. Yipes!
      And you noting posting frequently, well, all the “advise” bloggers on blogging suggest frequency. That one is tough to decide on. I post every two to three days, but many sites say everyday. That is just too hard, unless it is a series. Then you want the flow of material. I like the WP Post a Day and follow one blogger with photos, but I would not ever be able to keep that pace.

  30. Bill S says:

    As a newbie to blogging (is that a word ?) since December 2012 to be precise I have already realised that you really can’t grab an audience by writing a diary type blog, it’s all far too repetitive. My main interest is all things gardening, been at it for fifty years now so I think I know a fair bit but always willing to learn. I like to think that I can take photographs, again , having started with roll film then 35mm and now the wonders of digital but having seen some of the work that is turned out on blogs, Flickr, Nikon etc. I can quite easily see that I have a lot still to learn !
    So, what am I looking for in a blog, something that can teach me the ‘arty’ side of photography, something that will show me presentation skills in the design of blogs that will make my blog more attractive to look at and read. Finally anything about gardening, I’m hooked anyway !

    • Funny, because there is a few popular bloggers that do just that. Like you, I always feel that it becomes repetitive after a while though. With 50 years you really must have seen it all in gardening. I have so much respect for those that have been doing for so long. I meet farmers in my Master Gardening duties. I was one of the people one would call with questions. I could never feel right about telling a old time farmer info though. I always thought they saw everything in their careers. Questions on fields of corn, for instance, I sent right to Cornell, or called my friend the extension officer. I may know it for the casual gardener, but don’t have the experience for large scale farming. That is also an example of what I say about blogging. Just post what you know!

      I too started in film. But once digital came, and I was doing documenting photography, I lost the art and then ignored the technique. Then I quickly realized, I was losing the passion. I jumped back in and got in gear. Glad I did, because the fun is back. The blog made me see this too. Thanks, Bill for adding so much to the conversation. I hope your learning goes well. You will catch up quickly like I did having had so much previous experience.

  31. Nell Jean says:

    I am attracted to tjhe blogs of Gardeners who plant in similar ways to my plantings and grow in a somewhat similar climate. Like Christy, I want to see whole plants and a view of where they grow, not just a single flower close up.

    I admit to regularly reading some blogs that are about the author’s everyday life, up close and personal: Mom’s illness, the boyfirend’s hangups, the pets that throw up or fight, the divorce, the new baby (not in the same household) the best friend’s facelift, interesting. On the other hand, I tend not to often mention my own hangups, illnesses, former life, future plans, pet antics, secret wishes and so on.

    The most disinteresting blogs I know are the ones that use photos gathered off the interenet, cited or not unless they are infrequent and used to illustrate something. Multiple photos of sunsets at the beach are not on my list of must see, either. Photos should have a reason, like ‘show and tell.’.I skip over wordless posts, I want to be told why I’m looking at something and whatt it is. Maybe it’s perfectly clear to others, but I need text.

    • I think many of us are attracted to blogs gardening in our regions, since practice and planting is very appropriate to growing conditions regionally. I think many that do macro do it out of a love for photography. I often have mentioned that people take a wider view to see more of how a garden grows. It is much more beneficial and helpful to others seeing how a plant grows and what it partners with in a landscape. But also, regions determine how certain plants grow and are not similar across the country or world. For instance, in St. Lucia, tiny houseplants are the size of small trees and large shrubs. But outdoor plants here in a shorter growing season do not reach heights or girth of plants in warmer zones. So by this I am saying it is not always what one will expect in different regions. That is the disadvantage of only using blogs for gardening advice, but if it is regional, al least a plant has possibility to acquiring the same proportions and health.

      I don’t mind those using internet photos, as long as they are free stock images. I also don’t mind sunset images because they are very soothing and calming, something nice to have in everyone’s life. Plus a good photograph inspires.

      You need a link: http://www.seedscatterer.blogspot.com/

  32. Marguerite says:

    Thoughtful post Donna. When I look at new blogs I think my number one priority is the writing. Specifically if the writer shares a bit of their personality. Gardening is my main interest but if a blogger writes about another topic in a particularly engaging way then I’m just as likely to follow them. I can, and will, overlook bad photos or a poor layout if I’m interested in what someone has to say and they are enthusiastic in sharing their story.

    • I like good writing too, posts that make me think, learn or find humor. Like another blogger mentioned, stories are really entertaining. Gardening is mostly the main interest of many that come here, but so is photography. I, like many others also span both. I enjoy well done images, so that has been a part of my desires for blogs that I follow, but does not keep me from those that have great writing. The writing generates dialog and I feel that is really important. After all, what is blogging without dialog. I find the likes on WP often make for a quick look, not even one generating a view on one’s blog. I find this not a great way to blog.

  33. Rebecca says:

    I’m sure glad I had/took the time this evening to read this post (and a few of your others) AND every single comment here & your responses! You truly are a committed blogger. The way you take the time to respond in specific ways is DEFINITELY one of the characteristics of a genuinely caring person!

    I have several blogs and have tried to keep the various interests of my life separate for the past couple of years….but I’m seriously considering consolidating them. Just can’t make up my mind if this is the best choice.

    • I have two blogs and rarely post on Green Apples. http://greenapplesgarden.com/. My newest post is http://greenapplesgarden.com/2013/02/08/egret-rookery/.

      It gets to be too much, but I use it for overflow from here. When garden walk season comes around, I post there more often. I found I could not make the other blog different enough to make it worthwhile. In fact, I started it as a all round design blog with a friend of mine who quickly tired of it because the readership of garden blogs is so much less than that of interior design blogs. So I was left with a blog I was not sure what direction to take it in. But I like they way I designed it and have not thrown in the towel as of yet. I have no insight to pass on with what you should do on consolidating, but would say if it keeps you from having one successful blog, then by all means combine them. What is really strange about the other blog is that posting less than once a month, I get really good traffic on searches. You might consider your traffic too.

  34. oh my its the photos that i like the most thats what draws me in

  35. I like blogs that are genuine and have personality.

    • You are the second person to say that. Beth also said “genuine and real”. I find that is common in garden bloggers and never felt any were anything but genuine. I would add honest and sincere too. Personality is always a plus. I especially like those that are upbeat.

  36. Carolyn says:

    Donna, my humble opinion is your list of TIPS nail it exactly on the head. I would not, could not, change or add to your list. Perhaps that’s why I so enjoy reading your posts… you remind me of a younger version of myself… but with so much more energy! It goes without saying, but here I am saying it… your posts really do meet the criteria you suggest. Thanks for all you do to help others grow and do the same. You make the blogging world a better place.

  37. igardendaily says:

    Hi Donna! I have read your smart post and most all of the responses and have to say I can identify in some way with most everyone! First, I am drawn to blogs and then back again for amazing photos. (That is how I found yours and became a follower) Second, I like humorous, reflective or instructional writing but I must say I tend to like posts that are shorter in nature.

    I started blogging because I spend so much time gardening I decided I might as well start talking about it and sharing with others. (Additionally, I decided it would be good to start using my brain in this way, keeping the writing skills sharp and staying semi-current with social media.) I live in an area where it is somewhat hard to find other people that are majorly into gardening so my blog helps me connect with gardeners in other areas plus it has helped me find some local people that enjoy it as much as myself.

    I have struggled a bit with figuring out who I am really targeting – fellow experienced gardeners that are as obsessed as myself (for camaraderie) or beginning gardeners that may find my blog helpful. I feel many of the posts on my site are not instructional enough for a beginning gardener but then again if many followers are experienced gardeners, “how to” posts may be boring or uninteresting unless trying something trendy or new. I ended up somewhat resolving this problem by becoming a garden writer for my local community magazine and doing “how to”/beginning gardening articles for it with my blog information available so people could check it out if they wanted more. Therefore, most of the content on my blog is focused on connecting with other experienced gardeners.

    That said, I love this post and it gives me a lot of think about and possibly some changes to make! Plus, I want to check out several of the blogs from the comments posted here.

    Andrea – http://www.igardendaily.com

    • Thanks for your long thoughtful comment. I see am not the only one that struggles with a target audience. Congrats on your magazine writing. It must keep you busy and always thinking “garden”. I am lucky in living in WNY because it is a huge garden town and region. I was a member of a couple of garden clubs and my master gardening group, so finding those that share the same expertise is quite easy. Also, these places give me chances for lecturing too, where I can really share experiences.

  38. Brian Comeau says:

    Quite an accomplishment Donna. I believe I’ve said it before but you do have amazing talent as a photographer and writer. I was looking for some new blogs the other day and was looking under some of the recommended and was surprised (more of a “hey I know her”) when I saw yours listed. Of all the blogs out there that they could pick it says something to have yours chosen listed.

  39. Karen says:

    I like great photography in posts, informative writing but not too much. Humour is great, but I think great posts come from the heart. Wow 1000 followers.

  40. I like to learn new things so I like blogs that provide information I don’t already know or a different perspective that I haven’t considered before. I think like most people have commented excellent photos, unique voice, originality, inspirational and the blogger’s passion shines through their posts are absolutes. Since blogging has become more popular there is more competition for readers. We could spend every day all day reading blogs but alas, who has time for that? So as you point out we pick and choose. I am impressed with your milestone but not at all surprised since you have an excellent blog in every way. Congratulations!

    • Thanks Karin. Learning is key with me too. I am always finding new things to share that has info that many would not know (I subscribe to Science). I enjoy all the science behind things you find in and around the garden, from cool insect facts, to how warming will affect the future.

  41. Pearl says:

    Very interesting post. I’m drawn to blogs who share the same interests I have. For instant, gardening, cooking, birding. The first thing I notice when I visit a new blog is the photography. There has to be photos and they don’t have to be professional (mine certainly are not) but just good photos. I like informative posts but I don’t like exorbitantly long posts. I soon get bored and leave.
    I intended my blog to be mostly about gardening, but didn’t like not having anything to blog about in the winter so I added recipes. And I love to travel and have family and friends who love those posts so I do those occasionally as well. I struggled a long time about what I wanted my blog to be. I finally decided my blog is about me and my interests and my blog is going to reflect that. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a lot of followers or maybe it’s that I’m not a writer. That’s the hardest part for me!

    • I love photographing in snow, so I easily find things things to blog about in winter. Also, it is a great time for looking back through the year at blooming gardens and also assessing gardens and blogs. But, like you, I love to cook so recipes find their way to my blog on occasion. It is a time of year I take to invent or try to repeat recipes found in restaurants. I love to experiment with food. Followers come for many reasons, not just the writing. If they did, my blog would have very few. I am not passionate about writing like I am with art and photography. It is something that I HAVE TO DO. I look at the text as something I must do as complement to my images. So a key to blogging success really is having passion. I have passion for travel too, so you posting on that is a great topic.

  42. Great post, I try to ask myself these questions that you proposed….I know I like a blog that posts often. I really try to do that on my blog. My little garden blog is more visual and with few words.
    Just a glance into the garden, and hopefully a bit of inspiration. My photography has improved so much since I started my blog. And whoa baby…I don’t have even a fraction of your followers! But the followers I do have are really great people from all over the world!

    • I am glad to hear you say you like a blog that posts often. Each time I a do a blogging post, people talk about posting too much. I always read that one must post frequently to keep an audience. I guess if one looks forward to a blog each morning, posting often is good. I follow six that post everyday, and would miss them if they did not.

  43. Your posts always make me smile, Donna! Insightful views and useful tips, as well as humour and beautiful images, make me return to a blog again and again, and WordPress in particular is a friendly community. Although I wish there was a tool that made it easier to keep up with all the blogs followed and commenters. Glad I dropped by in my lunch hour today! 🙂

  44. Fossillady says:

    Hi Donna, I can see why you’ve been successful, your photos and comments are engaging. Congrats on reaching a thousand followers. If that’s not an indication of your success . . . . My blog is a special niche about fossils so I don’t know if I’ll ever reach that many viewers. Perhaps if I keep at it, who knows! Anyway, I hope your week is full of blessings! Kathi :O)

  45. Hi Donna, I hope you weren’t too sore after the biopsy and that you have received reassuring news from your specialist.

    I am in awe of your following – what a fabulous achievement! I have truly enjoyed reading this post and I look forward to setting aside time to read The Secret Life of a Boring Blog.

    I am not a moody person, or a moody writer, but I’m a mind-blowingly moody reader. Sometimes I want a giggle and a light confection of absolute nonsense and at other times I want to throw my toys out of the pram with rage over something I feel strongly about. In between times I might fancy a tour of someone’s garden, an introduction to a new plant and an unbecoming drool over a chocolate cake I will never taste. The one thing I always love is to learn. If I find out something new, I am one happy reader.

    I am going to stick my link here – I’m sorry if it’s in the wrong place, I am still a bit of a novice.

    http://www.thegardeningshoe.blogspot.com

    I’m not sure that worked. I like the duck travelling drink holder by the way!

    • Well actually, the one biopsy is yet to come. They are removing the mass, the taking the sample. My doctor says no worries, so that is what I will believe.I am like you too with having my mood change all the time. Even what I post about changes with the wind, but so does what interests me too. You linked in the right place. I hope your link gets clicked upon.

  46. Fay says:

    Firstly hello. What a lovely post to read. I think you’ve hit it hard on the head, engaging, catchy, friendly a dialogue what invites you in. You’ve certainly done that. I think for me it’s the idea of a virtual peek or travel around the globe in An instant and you’re in the throws of summer or winter or the city or the country. Escapism is a large part of visiting blogs for me. Where I live for many folks is an escape from the rigid constraint of fences and boundaries. Whilst I love reading about gardens created in such nooks and crannies and the plants I can’t grow here, why folks visit mine, possibly for the big skies they don’t get around them in some cases. Hopefully for the peek into a differnt life and the humour near constant gales gives a gardener. A sense of friendship or at least mutual interest is always good.

    Thanks for the post I really enjoyed it. As one struggling with weather and actually having anything to say regarding the garden, it’s nice to pop by other gardeners and say hi.

    Fay

    • I too have the weather to deal with here in Niagara Falls. I live so close to the Falls that we get the icy mist sometimes. I am never at a loss for things to post about though as I love winter and the birds are like my garden color. I like that you added.” A sense of friendship or at least mutual interest is always good.” I think that too!

  47. What a wonderful milestone….I seem to have missed this post in my email, but a great idea…you have hit on the most important reasons I like a blog…

  48. I’ve noticed others fishing for information about what to post, and came to the same conclusion, that they’re concerned about a decline in readership. I suppose to some that’s important, but it also depends on why the blogger blogs, as to whether to not that matters.

    For some their blogs feel like they’re simply trying to accrue more followers, a bit like some Facebook friends care more about the number of ‘friends’ they have, rather than the caliber of friends they have! Those are blogs I tend to not revisit.

    I love that others sometimes find what I write about to be interesting, but ultimately I think I’d blog whether someone was reading it or not. I’ve always been terrible at keeping journals, of the paper variety, but I do find my own blog to be useful to ME sometimes! When did I plant something? How did it turn out? Did I note if I should do something different next time? When did we last get baby chicks, or goats, or turkeys? When was the last hive inspection? Heck, if I had to remember all that, I think some days my brain would implode 😛

    Personally, I read blogs, and return to blogs, that I find engaging, that are friendly, approachable, personable, well written, and well illustrated. Taking the time to focus the camera tells me care about what you’re writing about. I don’t always have time to visit all the blogs I’d like to, but I do try to stay in touch when time allows.

    • I could not agree more on many of your points. Followers only mean something if they come and read a post though. Having many followers is nice, but really it is time consuming in reciprocating, so it is good when they all don’t come every time one posts. 😀

      I was just talking about your point on focusing the camera with another blogger. She had said the same thing about putting in the effort to make a good presentation for readers, and also will not read blogs that are careless in this area.

      I have learned to be wary of perceived friendliness though. There are some that feign friendliness just to get the traffic. I know that sounds harsh, but I know it is true. I no longer pay any heed to their blog courting.

      I too wish I had the time to visit all the blogs that I adore. I found I had to limit it to those that are regulars here. But as I mentioned above, I do select some that I have not heard from in a while just to see what they are up to. Some have not posted in a very long time. I visited one such blog yesterday that finally had a post in more than half a year.

  49. Another thoughtful post Donna. Was visiting with a new blogger on Wednesday and we touched on many of the points that you and ALL these folks who have been kind enough to comment have shared.
    Keeping your blog posts interesting and speaking from the heart is what draws me and what I try to do in my posts. If I am not interested in what I am writing about, why would anyone else be interested?
    (only have 88 more blog posts to read through to get caught up!)

    • I have to admire you for catching up on reading blogs. I have a hard time just attending to those that read here. I find that I can get really interested in things I don’t know. It makes me want to know more and that keeps things exciting.

  50. Sue Gaviller says:

    Hi Donna,

    Great post – good food for thought. Here’s my take:

    I write a garden design blog and I hate to admit I don’t follow any blogs. I’m sure this must sound like blasphemy to some, so let me explain. While I don’t follow any other blogs, I do read other blogs – lots of them. Whenever another blogger likes one of my posts on Facebook or decides to follow me, the first thing I do is hop over to their blog. If I like what I find I’ll come back. And I do have links to a few other blogs on my site (I know I should add more, and I will). I’ve never pressed the ‘follow’ button because, well………for one, I wear a lot of hats (landscape designer, instructor, speaker and wannabe writer), all of which keep me glued to my office chair and laptop screen for way longer than is healthy. So I’d rather just visit other sites as time permits than feel the pressure of a whole bunch of email notifications awaiting my attention. From reading the comments to your post it seems others manage this without any stress – hundreds of post notifications backed up in my inbox – yikes!

    I’d rather another blogger follow me because they like what I write, than just because I follow them. I know there’s blogging etiquette, much of which is just good manners, i.e. reply to all comments, visit the blogs that visit you, comment thoughtfully on other blogs etc., but we can’t all follow each other’s blogs – there’s just too many of us. So for fear of offending anyone, I follow no one. I guess maybe that’s a cop-out eh?

    Having said all that, I recognize that we’re kinda all in this together. We all want the same thing right – validation, recognition of our efforts, a sense of community even? So I think what you’re doing with this post is really awesome – giving so many an opportunity for just that. I plan to check out every single link left here – who knows maybe I’ll even press that button.

    To answer your question then (sorry for the extended preamble), the blogs I return to again and again are those that make me laugh – or cry, or drool. I like blogs that make me feel like I’m not the only one who’s ever experienced a particular thought or feeling or dilemma, which I guess means baring a tiny bit of one’s soul? I like good writing, beautiful photos and good solid information, especially on topics outside my area of expertise. And I must say I do find all of that when I visit your blog Donna – especially appreciate your tips on photography (I need all the help I can get).

    Here’s to you and your good health,
    Sue

    • Thank you Sue for such an long and honest comment. That is a wonderful quality in a blogger, honesty. And sincerity. I at one time, did not follow any blogger. I find those that I do catch my interest and also follow here. But more than that, they visit often and comment frequently – the fun part of blogging. Like you, I do not like the flood of emails. I am far too busy to deal with the emails and reading so many posts. Email alerts can be turned off in WP (even if you do follow a blog) and posts can be viewed in the Reader feature. As much as I whine about the Reader, I do use it to see postings on which the email feature is turned off. I can then access them if I choose.

      I want to express my fondness for your blog and encourage my readers to give it a long look. You have a blog that I wanted to have, but subsequently made a decision not to show my work and design ideas. A while back I did my “design process series” which showed images of my own tiny garden as an example. The posts are searched often. I figured that was my one ‘teaching moment’ that kept it away from using client’s properties as example. But honestly, many blogging gardeners could learn quite a bit from you and should press that follow button on your site.

      • Sue Gaviller says:

        Donna,

        Thanks for the ‘visit’ and nice long chat – we’re both kinda wordy aren’t we?

        I checked out your ‘Design Process’ series – well done. As I click and scroll my way through your past posts I see you’ve written about many of the same things I have, or plan to – great minds think alike? Anyway, wanted to let you know I’ve added GWGT to my list of links – it’s a short list still, so consider it an honour.

        Also wanted to add my good wishes for your biopsy results – I’ve been there and for me the waiting was the worst.

        Cheers,
        Sue

  51. Les says:

    Once again, I am late to the party.

    I would have to say what first attracts me to a blog is the photography, and there are several that I regularly visit just for the photos. I also like to see parts of the country and the world that are not familiar to me, and I like to follow people while they are on vacation. I appreciate a little attitude in the writing as well. Detailed, data laden posts send me quickly to the “mark as read” button. If I want to learn something, I will seek it out on my own. Some of my favorite blogs are light on gardening info, I just enjoy how they write and live their lives. Blogs that frequently change topics also hold my interest..

    That said, it is a great big world out there, and one of the beauties of blogging is being able pick and chose, or customize, what you read. There is something for everyone.

    As to favorite posts, I have several. I do, however, re-visit this one often:
    http://atidewatergardener.blogspot.com/2009/08/ute-trail.html
    It was one of my favorite adventures spent with good friends in an achingly beautiful place.

    Thanks for stirring the pot again.

    • Thanks for reading. I know you like photos! I like info posts and learning new things though. I also like reporting on things I learn. All the things you mentioned are things I like as well. I love to travel and like to see it on blogs too. My trip to St. Lucia was my highlight this year, but was not sure others would care to follow my travels. The posts on St. Lucia, except for the Underwater post, surprisingly were all visited less than all my other posts. Even the one on the garden. I would have thought them to be more popular. What I did find afterwards – the ones on the cameras I used were highly searched, so that made up for not getting as many regular readers initially.

  52. Excuse me, but I’ll be brief – in bogs I’m looking for high quality thoughts and quality photos.:-)

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