Learning From Best Bloggers

The blogs we feature here on Best Blog on WordPress are a diverse lot, as diverse as our editors, as diverse as the enormous community that makes up WordPress. And yet again and again I’ve been struck by how much Best Bloggers have in common with each other. To wrap up the year, I’d like to share some of those qualities with you:

  • Best Bloggers respect their readers. They don’t take you for granted. They respond to your comments. They keep their promises or tell you why they haven’t been able to. (For example: We tried to do a Blog-A-Day every day this December. But we went to too many parties to do one EVERY single day. Still, even falling short of the goal, we gave you more great blogs this month than we have in many months this year.)
  • Best Bloggers hook you. They drawn you in from the first sentence. That can happen in as many ways as there are imaginations, but it never, ever means this sort of beginning: Sorry I haven’t blogged in so long, but I’ve been busy. Or Not much to say, but I don’t have anything else to do but blog. A Best Blogger has got something to say, and they make you want to hear it.
  • Best Bloggers know how to use the tools at their disposal. Mostly, that means they’re good at the language in which they blog. Their writing is clear and sharp, they can punctuate, they proofread, and they sound like the smart people they are.
  • Best Bloggers are generous. They know there’s room for everyone. They know that another great blog in no way diminishes them. They link to people they admire, regardless of whether that other blog is bigger or smaller than they are.
  • Best Bloggers never stop learning. They read other blogs and learn from what they discover there. They read books — books that are so well written they feel compelled to try to do the same. They’re curious. They’re not afraid to say, I don’t understand that. They try new things. Maybe they’ll learn to podcast. Or take some pictures. Or try out a new template. Find out what CSS is.
  • Best Bloggers know themselves. They don’t try to be other people. They know what they love, even if it’s a little odd, and their enthusiasm and affection for their subject animates their writing.
  • Best Bloggers know they’re part of a community. They contribute to forums, help new folks out, welcome people to blogging.

Every single one of you has displayed best blogging in one way or another this year. Keep at it. Even if there are more than half a million blogs on WordPress, we’ll find you, one way or another. And if you want us to take a look at your blog, or the blog of someone you generously want us to know about, then go right ahead. Send us a comment on the comments form. Nothing would give us more pleasure than finding your Best Blog and featuring it here on the site.

Happy New Year!


35 Responses to “Learning From Best Bloggers”

  1. 1 davidbdale 31 December, 2006 at 8:19 am

    Best Bloggers are also unique. Of those you’ve featured recently, some are single-minded in their approach, others just plain the best at one particular thing, or on one particular topic. It takes a while to recognize the best literary site, or the best blog on family life, but you know right away when you’ve stumbled onto the best blog about uncommon maps, or standing in queues. Thanks for pointing the way, BlogLily and BBOW Team!

  2. 2 thepearlady 2 January, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Great tips, both in the journal entry and the above commenter! Thank you BB for your continued advice and showing us all great blogs. 🙂

  3. 3 Intlxpatr 4 January, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    We can use all the help we can get! Your insights are priceless. Thank you. Especially encouraging us to encourage one another.

  4. 4 Michael 7 January, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Lol sounds a lot like 9rules. Kick ass!

  5. 5 Michael 7 January, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Oh BTW we didn’t really have a say over the site name so we’re not claiming that we’re by any means the best bloggers. Just that we’re best blog bloggers.

  6. 6 ideaswork 7 January, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    I”m always amazed at what other people find interesting. I’m even more amazed when a blogger can inspire that interest in me!

  7. 7 Wayne Ordinary American 7 January, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    I agree…tho I have been tempted with the “I got nothin’ to say” blog entry. It’s good to be reminded NOT to.

  8. 8 PICOMM/PIJ Editors 7 January, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    I have found wordpress to be more than just a blog service. It is great for setting up websites and even on-line journals.

    Thanks wordpress!

    Al Kline DPM

  9. 9 Dmitri Marine 7 January, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Nice post.

    And to respond to the last paragraph, if you haven’t already featured Doug’s Darkworld, I think that’d be a neat blog to check out. Doug has unique writing style and perspective which keeps people coming back. His blog is at unitedcats.wordpress.com


  10. 10 will 7 January, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    Having learned not to do the “nothing else to do” entry, I thank you for this list. It’s a reminder to me that I’m not just writing about my life and thoughts, but that I’m part of a grand community of people who like to think and write.

    Keep it coming. I think you have one of the “best blogs” out there, if for no other reason than pointing out some of the best blogs in the blogosphere. 🙂

  11. 11 gogirlgo 8 January, 2007 at 12:09 am

    i never would have been able to go about and pin point those exact things, but reading them over and i just sort of nod my head and go “ooh, yeeeeahhh, that’s soo truuuue…”

    thank you!

  12. 12 Peggy Archer 8 January, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Luckily I’ve never had to do the “I can’t find anything to write about” entry, although when I start working 14 hour days, I have some trouble responding to comments.

    I’ve just moved my blog (filmhacks.wordpress.com) to wordpress from that other blogging service, and couldn’t be happier with the community here!

  13. 13 healingmagichands 8 January, 2007 at 12:23 am

    Thanks for this little list. I’m not sure I have ever made an entry that says “I have nothing to say”. Goodness, my problem is I have too much to say, too many great stories to tell, and not enough time to do it. I am slowly changing from a luddite to a technophile, but learning all the bells and whistles has been tough for me. I credit my other blogging friends for helping with that, and aspire to someday make a “Best Blog” rating.

  14. 14 Chris 8 January, 2007 at 12:24 am

    nice qualities break-down, I’m looking forward to be one of ’em, cheers

  15. 15 bloglily 8 January, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Hello David Bale — There’s something very compelling about sites that’re dedicated to an interest you didn’t even know existed. What’s so attractive about these sites is the way their authors are so obviously dedicated to their subjects, a dedication that comes through in the care with which the blog’s set up and written.

    Why, you’re welcome TPL. And you’re quite right about David B — he’s a wise blogger, he is.

    Intlxpatr — The more people you help, the better off we all are. And welcome to the site!

    Oh absolutely Michael. This site is all about finding the blogs that light the way, the ones we’d like to be, and certainly not a claim to being one of those blogs ourselves. But it does make you sit up straighter and pull up your socks when you write a piece about bestblogging and then realize maybe you’d better do a few of those things yourself or you’re going to look like a complete idiot.

    I am too Ideaswork — I love how blogging brings you things you just don’t see in your own daily life.

    hello Wayne, Ordinary American. That, I can tell you with some accuracy, is a temptation we all feel!

    Welcome to BestBlog Dr. Kline — WordPress is a versatile tool indeed.

    Hi Dmitri — Thank you — and thank you very much for that tip. We rely on readers like you to bring good blogs to our attention. There are only so many things you can find by plugging away at the Next button!

    Good for you Will, and thanks for the nice words! This really is a grand community.

    GoGirlGo — You’re most welcome. We’re glad you came by too, and hope to see you around here again.

    hello Peggy, in flight from that other blogging service. I’m glad to hear you’ve found what you’re looking for on WordPress, and send you condolences on those 14 hour days. Hope you’re doing something you want to be doing!

    That’s the hallmark of fine blogging, Ms. HMH — people who’ve got lots to say.

    Hello Chris, Thank you — and good luck with that blog, by the way.

  16. 16 marcys 8 January, 2007 at 12:43 am

    I’m wondering exactly how WordPress chooses the hot posts or blogs each day. In the past two days I’ve had an enormous rush of hits due to having my URL posted on two very popular sites–yet I didn’t rise to the top on WordPress. How are these things calculated?

  17. 17 जगदीश भाटिया 8 January, 2007 at 12:48 am

    बहुत ही अच्छी सलाह । Very good tips, Thanks.

  18. 18 reavolution 8 January, 2007 at 9:20 am

    I think it sometimes helps to not focus on just one genre. It’s like a lot of the mommy bloggers out there (Heather Armstrong, Maggie Mason soon will be…); they can write about life in general, but somehow make life sound so spicy and sharp without actually doing anything interesting at all. It is very simply in the eyes of the beholder. Their views on life and what makes them happy blends well with the tongue-in-cheek comments they manage to intermix into the recipe. Perhaps it is why they do so well.

  19. 19 Prab 8 January, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I accidentally got to know wordpress as I was searching for a blogging service online, and I got to understand that things really happen for a reason. And links provided here to other “best blogs” as you put it has made people like me learn a lot, and think a lot too.

    I also want to add that the owners of the best blogs make you feel welcome and at home when you visit their site. They don’t really care what your background is, and they’re very generous in their answers to your queries and comments.

    Thanks for providing the tips, it will really help out newbie bloggers like me. And, like davidb said, thanks for pointing the way BlogLily and company. 🙂

  20. 20 searchstudent 8 January, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I think another quality that could be an attribute of a “best blogger” is transparency.

    Lots of us blog about things WE find interesting, and lots of us think we blog about things that are unique… but often the most interesting things about an individual are the specific attributes about that person which makes them unique. This means that when bloggers are transparent, they are blogging in a fashion that will likely engage us far more than when they put out image-focused messages.

  21. 21 Tabs 8 January, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for taking the time write this post and thanks for the info, it is great to learn something everyday.


  22. 22 bloglily 8 January, 2007 at 9:45 am

    hello Search Student — That’s a very good point. When you can see the person behind the post, you are far more likely to be engaged.

    I’d second that observation Prab. A really fine blog is welcoming, and it doesn’t matter if you’re new to the neighborhood. Now don’t forget that when you start getting thousands and thousands and thousands of comments, okay?

    ???– Thanks very much — and thanks for the link!

    Hi Marcy — I don’t know the answer to that. But I do recall seeing that very subject discussed in the WordPress forums, and I imagine you could do a search for the discussion (there’s a search function on the forums site) and come up with a bit of information.

    hey Tabs, You’re most welcome. And good luck with that blog.

    Best to all of you, BL

  23. 23 O. Dear 8 January, 2007 at 9:48 am

    You just articulated some of my Blogging Resolutions. I’ve enjoyed your recommendations, I’ll keep my eye for new ones!

  24. 24 prabhagovind 8 January, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Great tips!:)

  25. 25 body4god 8 January, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Great tips!

    I myself am just beginning the trek into blogging in a more focused manned and am excited about the possibilities. I happened across this blog while logging into my account, and I must say I’m impressed. Keep up with the good work.

    God Bless,

  26. 26 renaikan 8 January, 2007 at 10:56 am

    I can learn a thing or two… Always willing to learn because I aim to please! =)

  27. 27 solphoto 8 January, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the tips and advice.
    Really enjoy going through the “random” or “next” button on WordPress.com — I’ve seen some interesting and downright funny blogs out there.
    One thing I’d suggest, is that if a user is going to abandon their blog or change servers, anything that entails not keeping it up to date, simply remove/delete it. Have seen far too many blogs that haven’t been touched in six months or more which begs the question, is there a such thing as “Blog Responsibility”?

  28. 28 davidbdale 9 January, 2007 at 3:19 am

    I understand the appeal of a little surprise, but frankly, I never have time for the Random or Next buttons. By the time I finish running through new entries from my Friend Surfer, Bloglines and Technorati favorites and leaving comments everywhere I go. Half the time I get distracted by an incisive comment someone else has left, but, if I’m keeping with the plan, I next follow links from blorolls on my favorite sites. After all, they’ve gone to a bit of trouble to pre-screen blogs for me and assign them value. Each link takes me to another blogroll, so . . . I’m never out there without a guidepost. Plus, like finding a litcrit whose aesthetic I share, I begin to trust the blogrolls of bloggers who do me right. Just a suggestion.

  29. 29 BOSSY 28 January, 2007 at 12:07 am

    This is a great post, but Bossy is afraid you may have skipped one virtue:

    Best Bloggers never poke their eyes out just because they are perpetually left off of Best Bloggers lists.

  30. 30 Tylor 29 January, 2007 at 4:39 am

    That’s good, otherwise we might not have many readers left.

  31. 31 Ev Nucci 1 February, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Excellent post. Very impressive and right on. I’m going to post your site on my blog as one I recommend.

  32. 32 muhabbet 21 February, 2007 at 4:06 am

    Best blogger candidates read best blogers’ blogs 😛

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