Captivate: to attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence;
There is a multitude of variety and quality of blogs in cyberspace to peruse and enjoy, something for everyone. Why a certain blog captivates an individual is rather subjective, why a blog captivates my interest and how it holds my attention could be different reasonings to yours. My online time is limited so I am selective in where I spend it, when deciding whether to consistently read a blog or not I consider the following, listed in order of consideration and importance.
- Writing Style
Certain writing styles instantly grab my attention and certain styles are just not appealing, in fact some are irritating. I enjoy blogs where the writer is articulate with sound thoughts.
Well structured, tight sentences instantly appeal, I dislike the long winded, waffley conversation style of writing. Though a certain casualness in writing is needed or the writing becomes too stilted and formal (I know I’m guilty of being too stilted when nervous of my subject matter)
A blogger with sound thoughts does not even have to hold the same opinions as mine they just have to be well reasoned and they have captured my attention, I enjoy being challenged to think.
I tend to be drawn to ‘slice of life’ blogs, I may be captivated because a writer’s interests and lifestyle is similar to mine on some level, or I am drawn because the writers thinking resonates with me, I enjoy when a writer shares opinions on various topics. These are the blogs I read season in and out.
At different seasons I read different ‘interest blogs’. My interest blogs tend to fall into the following categories; photography, books, food, natural health or sewing, all dependent on my current interests.
Content also needs to be mixed up, posting too many similar types of posts in a row (I’m guilty of doing this myself at present) can potentially lose my interest or rather not captivate it in the first place.
Visual presentation creates the first impression and is the key to capturing attention. When clicking around new blogs I first consider readability, the writing needs to be easy on the eyes. It surprises me that a writer would consider imposing their words on a dark background or have dark sidebars, or when their font is difficult to read, I’m instantly lost and immediately click away. Previously I found all white too stark and preferred light colour on the sidebars but I now consider white to look crisp and fresh, though this is just a preference not a deciding factor.
Visual clutter is also a consideration, too much clutter and I’m overwhelmed. Sidebars should not be too busy, though I realise it is hard to decide what is important to display and what is not. I prefer blog headers that are not too cluttered. Minimalism is more and more appealing to me as a personal choice.
Navigation should be easy, search bars, consistent categories and pages all help, as well as contact details and other social media details.
Photos should be cropped and then sized to medium at least if not large or extra large, giving a real visual pop.
One item that I really appreciate upon discovering a new blog is a visual of the writer, a picture of her/him with a little ‘appetizer’ description. This often determines if I read further, add in an ‘about me’ page and I’m often ‘hooked’.
Once I discover a blog I’m captivated by, I take time to get to know the writer, initially via their blogs and then with occasional correspondence and have been fortunate to become friends with some very special people.
These opinions are subjective, actually it’s been rather hard to articulate thoughts that previously were nebulous and I’ve possibly forgotten to include some. I’d love to know;
- What makes a blog captivating to you?