7 Quick Takes, 6/22/12: Seven Great Blogging Qualities

I look at my Google Reader and think, “Now, really, why do I follow these particular blogs?”

And then I got to thinkin’…

My favorite bloggers have several things in common.  And, because I’m a brownnoser so nice  I’m going to point out all those good qualities, in 7 Quick Takes…

Brought to you by:

1. They have a non-electronic life.

In order to have an interesting blog, one must be interesting… somewhere else.  Sounds obvious, right?

Some people do interesting things.  Some people make interesting things.  Some people think interesting things.  And then they blog about the things they do, make, and think.

(You know what’s not interesting?  People who have excellent blogging/webbing/SEOing/marketing skills who build big websites around themselves that convey nothing unique or hardly any personality at all!  I’ve seen these blogs!  I don’t know how they do it, but they do!)

2. They provide both interesting information and insightful commentary and/or instruction.

It’s one thing to dish the info.  It’s another thing entirely to say what’s important about it.  Some people just have the right smarts for their topic and like to share their insight.

Examples from my Google Reader: K.M. Weiland, Jeff Goins, Jessica Page Morrell, Rebecca Teti (here and here), Theresa Martin of New Feminism Rising, Rachel Jonat of The Minimalist Mom, Lisa Hendey (here and here), Dr. Michael Pakaluk, Wheat and Weeds, Carl Olson, and all those blogs at places like First Things and Patheos and the good news outlets.

3. They spin a good yarn.

The subject matter might be as dull as buying an outdated sofa at the thrift store – and yet these writers can make that subject come alive.  This is a gift; not everyone has the storytelling talent.

Examples from my Google Reader:  House Unseen, Conversion Diary, Camp Patton, Clan Donaldson

4. They have an unusual perspective we might not otherwise see.

Annoying pubescent pseudo-Nietzcheans ranting about the Occupy movement – eh.  Whatevs.  Dime a dozen.

And then there are bloggers like Catholic, pro-life, Democrat (ahem), senior member of the Oklahoma Legislature, State Rep. Rebecca Hamilton.  Now there’s a perspective we don’t see every day!

5. They are real.  Really real.

I’m going to rant… just a bit.

Catholic mom bloggers who write as though St. Therese is showering roses on them all the time, bloggers who would never, ever stoop so low as to suggest anything remotely unladylike or improper or less-than-holy happening in your home (except as a slight aside, gee, wasn’t that amusing! And the moral of the story is…) frankly, dears, drive me crazy.  Cease, desist, delete from Google Reader.

Now, I’m a lady, but I’m not so much of a lady to forget that body humor can be funny.  Like, seriously funny.  And sometimes crude (not foul, just uncouth) language just has its place.

I’m not suggesting you go out of your way to be naughty.  But let’s get real:  life is life, not an extended spiritual metaphor.  It’s a spiritual reality, but embedded and infused and bound to the realities of the physical world.  And there’s some funny stuff, there.

I like spiritual lessons as much as the next person.  But, too many of them, and the blog (or the blogger) strikes me as a goody-goody.

So, go back up to my “storytellers” list and find stories about homeschooled kids with mohawks, kids (and moms) who say “turd” (my-oh-my), and people trying to imitate the Dukes of Hazard and falling out of car windows.  And then go read Colleen Duggan or Oh My Soul or Finding Great Joy or (everyone’s favorite) Simcha Fisher – four very different styles of real.  (Update:  And, my good friend Beth – should have included her before. – RO)

End rant.  Thank you for indulging me.

Speaking of getting real, this picture is here for solidarity’s sake.

6. They share the spotlight with others.

Link-Ups:  Yes, they drive traffic. But link-ups are a great way for a “famous” blogger to share some of his or her limelight.  For example, the present link-up!

I love (love) the p.h.f.r. link-up.

Then, there’s guest blogging.  What a fun way to bring other people’s thoughts and perspectives to a whole new audience!  Cynthia‘s great at this, by the way.

7. They hate being called humble.

I once saw a tweet, from a well-known blogger, to the effect of, “If you think some online personality is so holy, talk to their spouse.”

True dat.

And now, I have to go.  Dwija might be going into labor, and I need to post this so that I can give my attention entirely to following #babyunseen on Twitter.  Because she can’t have this baby without her loyal fan base!!!!

Check out other 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.


  1. says

    this is brilliant and SO true. thanks so much for including me — I’m excited to check out some of the blogs I haven’t read. and YAY on Dweej

  2. says

    Great post! I’ve been thinking about these very things a lot lately. I considered deleting my blog this week, but I then I thought.. Wait, I can turn this into a learning opportunity for myself!

    Anyway, thanks for linking to great examples. Some I already read, and others I’m going to check out now!

  3. rachel says

    I wish the picture was series of before, during, and after shots of the laundry and baby…. so hilarious, another to add to my favorites.

  4. says

    I know this is not a humble thing to write, but if someone thinks my work is ‘real’, than I can hang it up. My work here is done. :) And I agree with you on the import of showcasing (but not becoming defeated by) our humanity.

    I can’t stand the lifestyle porn I see everywhere (perhaps because I would so love for the picture to become reality?) which is why–as I’ve told you ad nauseum–I limit my social media stuff and the blog world in general. I’m weak. Very weak. :) And I compare and then wonder what’s wrong with me.

    I think your list is truly thoughtful, Rhonda. My favorite points are 1 and 3. And I love the quote about asking the spouse about holiness.

    • says

      As you know, I understand re: social media. Thinking back to point #1, having my life “out there” all the time can be (not necessarily, but can be) a sort of cheapening of that very life. It’s a tool. I keep wondering if our kids’ generation will have a united experience of wanting to unplug. “Did your mom have a blog?” “My mom had a blog.” “Yeah, me, too…” “You wouldn’t believe what she’d say about me on Twitter…” And then they all go Henry David Thoreau on us.

      In any case, I like your blog. :)

      • says

        Ah! I’m so sorry.I didn’t mean it as harshly as it came out! What I was trying to say is that I think the biggest challenge is choosing to share. Some things should – ought! – to be shared! It’s part of helping each other. I just think it can go too far, which is what I meant by “cheapening.”

        My comment wasn’t directed at you or anyone in particular.