My blog fits the niche of Christian Inspirational. I follow many blogs with the same theme. My top three are:
www.aholyexperience.com by Ann Voskamp
www.claireburge.com/ by Claire Burge
http://gettingdownwithjesus.blogspot.com by Jennifer Lee
Ann Voskamp's site features posts that emphasize God in the everyday life, marriage,gratitude, Christian seasons of the year, and grief. It is writen in the first person and she does not have a place to comment. You can email her. Her design is elegant yet strikingly simple. The black background is highlighted with white lettering, sometime giving way to colored ink for emphasis. There is a fluid style of presenting the post with photos punctuating her story. She has topics twice a week which encourage readers to post blogs related to her topic at their own site~and then tie back into Ann's site with their URL & photo. She also has music playing that is gentle and contemplative, making you want to stay. You can subscribe to Ann's blog by one of several different networks, noted by symbols at the bottom of her page. Ann writes every day.
Claire's site was great to review. She had already analyzed what draws people to her site as well as others. In her post today, she said, "People relate to another's vulnerability, to a display of pain or weakness." She went on to note that these elements in a post have received the most feedback. She also commented that the reader is attracted to "open display of kindness". Claire's blog has a large banner of design at the top of her post. Her background is white with black ink on it. Her site has a crisp, clean feel, making the type easy to read. It's not all bunched up. As she is learning more about photography, she often has several photos posted on each site. Both at Ann's and Claire's, this makes for great appeal. Most of Claire's post revolves around Christian Inspiration, her travels, life's lessons, and photography. Readers to her post comment on how the post makes them feel or what touched them personally in her post. You can subscribe to her post by email or RSS feed.
She writes about every other day.
Jennifer's blog has a colorful design with a scrapbook feel..She writes in brown ink on a white background and changes ink color in the post for emphasis. Her blog has an airy feel like the others. It makes everything easier to read, and helps you stay with the story. Her posts focus on Christian Inspirational from personal experience, her interests that are global (like running), and family topics. She also writes extremely well in first person mostly. Her readers comment on her writing ability, photos that she uses lavishly in her posts, and share how they relate to her post. Readers can subscribe by email or a reader. And she has a button to grab on her site. She has an extensive list of blogs that she follows. Her posts draw anywhere from 15 to 40 comments, averaging in the teens. She writes every couple of days.
One of the common factors in each of these blogs is the airy feel that makes them inviting to read. In addition, they all use numerous quality photos with each post. Their designs are relaxing to look at--not structured and stiff. And none of these three writers have any advertising on their sites. They are all top-notch creative writers but their styles reflect their individual personalities.
As for my blog, I have started using photos to make the text more interesting. I want to redo the design of my blog to give it more of an airy feel rather than the look of a column in a newspaper. As my blog stands now, I have a pink background with darker mauve type. I'm not sure if I would stay with those colors when I redesign. My type face is too big. I need more ways for people to sign up and share. I want to be able to reach more people and become a more creative writer focusing on inspiring Christian women.
Labels: Blogging Workshop