Blogging Truths Be Told: You Can’t Always Judge a Book By Its . . .

Cover . . . Outward Appearance . . . First Impression. How would you finish the title? Well, several times recently, I’ve found myself thinking deeply about today’s topic. And every time I do so, I become more and more upset by the abundance of attention people place on the wrong things and the lack of attention they place on the right things.

I suppose societal norms have set us up to ooooo and ahhhh over superficial stuff that doesn’t really amount to much when you put it up against the stuff with some substance. So, why is it that we are drawn to people, things, and ideas based on their shiny surfaces instead of digging deep to see that the inner workings are decaying on the inside? And sooner rather than later, the rottenness will rear its ugly head and start marring that shiny outward exterior.

But surely, we’re deeper than that, aren’t we?

Are we?

If we are, then why do we place so much value on the look of blog sites rather than the meaningful content they hold? The value should be in the words, shouldn’t it, and how those words make us feel?

Well, that’s my personal perspective on what drives me to a person’s blog site — it’s his or her content and how I can relate that content to my own life experiences. Go figure!

What doesn’t draw me to a blogger’s site is . . .

  • how academic or proper or technical or boring or unoriginal or unrelatable a blogger’s written language comes across as. I’ll go to the whitepapers if I want to get knee-deep in some intellectual mumbo jumbo. And that’s “real talk”. I’m more attracted to sites whose writers let their unique personalities and naturally-conversational tone — their “real” voices break through and communicate with me on a level that I can feel and receive.
  • the synchronization of the blogger’s color palette in the visuals used on his or her site and similar brand awareness imagery. (Sure, it’s nice to have appealing themes and images that catch the eye, but it’s not necessary to be so anal about having all the images and text be color-coordinated and brand-correct all the time.) What’s the fun in that? Shaking things up with a smorgasbord of color options and random images is my current thing. 
  • whether or not the person has the site on or (self-hosted). (Seriously, this item is a pet peeve of mine and will, therefore, get its own small section of discussion below this bulleted list.)
  • how many bells and whistles, also known as “fluff”, they have. I mean — a person can put up all the widgets and ads and images he or she wants. It’s just not for me and what I do on the Degrees of Maternity blog. And as a consumer of blog content, such fluffy sites tend to turn me off and to distract me from the reason I came to the site in the first place — to read the blog post content.)

Now, getting back to the vs. discussion. Who gives who the right to determine the validity of someone’s blog site based on whether or not it’s self-hosted? Really, who makes the determination of professionalism based on that? Or, on whether or not your domain name has a or just a .com extension? That doesn’t seem right. But, I hear it all the time.

If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to be on a self-hosted website and you need to have your own domain name.” Now, I agree with the fact that you can do more things with your own site and you have control over the site when it’s self-hosted. Those facts are truly that . . . FACTS. But what I don’t jive with is the opinion of some that you’re somehow less “professional”, or serious, if you’re on a site that takes some flexibility of options away from you and takes care of all technical aspects of the site like the hosting and maintenance. Giving up a little control for ease of use and 24/7 customer support assistance is personally worth it for me, a non-techie, at this point in my content creation journey.

But what really irks me about this human tendency to pass judgment calls is that, while these blog critiques that form opinions based on the “surface stuff” seem more insignificant to me than the focus actually being on the content, I have to pay attention to ALL the things that matter to a reading audience and eventually make some changes based on them. 

Why do I have to pay attention to these things?” you might ask. 

Well, they are those first impressionable expectations that people gravitate toward. That’s the truth and nothing but.

I’m aware that, if you want to make a favorable first impression with someone, then you have to go with what positively captures his or her attention. Unfortunately, some of the things that I don’t personally think are the most important aspects of a blog are what initially get peoples’ attention. And, I have to pay attention to that. You know what I mean? 

It’s like that surface stuff is the draw that causes someone to delve a little deeper into what a blogger’s site is all about. And people are smart and know what they like. So, I guarantee that the cover (the outer appearance) may be the draw; but in all cases, it may not be enough to keep a person’s backing if the inside carries no value-added properties within it.

I guess what I’m saying is that I can’t be stubborn in my “me, myself, and I” viewpoint of what matters to people, because I’m not all people and I can’t speak for all people or pretend I know what’s best for all people. We, as human beings, are unique individuals who have our own preferences, tastes, opinions, wants, and needs. And so, I have to work within all those many factors that create a draw for people and can assist me in attracting the folks who can truly benefit from what my blog is actually about and what its intended purpose is for.

And my recognition of the “surface draw” in no way suggests that I have to compromise the meaningfulness of my blog’s content. It just means that I have to be sensitive to what the people initially want.

But sometimes, I just wish the blog from the “little guy or gal” wouldn’t get overridden so much. So what if you don’t have the fanciest or most technologically-savvy looking blog site with all the bells and whistles (mine being one of them). Does that mean that that blog is less significant because of its outer appearance?

I’m of the opinion to give the little guy and gal a chance sometimes. You just might stumble across a complete diamond in the rough. You know what I mean . . . that little “hole in the wall” diner that didn’t look so curb-appealing on the outside (compared to the most decked-out restaurant establishment you’re used to frequenting — well, you may not be frequenting it much nowadays) but that serves the best food you’ve ever tasted in your life. I’m talking about that type of place — I’m talking about that type of blog.

Okay, I’m going to abruptly stop here, because I feel a part 2 coming on. Yes, I’m on this part 2 kick these days, but I’m kind of enjoying it. Splitting up these “Blogging Truth Be Tolds” allows me to let my baby rants continue into a second week. Sometimes, bloggers just need to decompress and let out some wordy steam. This blogging series is definitely fitting that bill.

Anyway, I would love for you to come back next Friday, when I’ll continue this discussion. Who knows? I may even reveal some of the “surface stuff” that I’m intending to place some of my attention on in the last half of this year. Until then . . .

Wheres the Stuff and the Fluff


13 thoughts on “Blogging Truths Be Told: You Can’t Always Judge a Book By Its . . .

  1. Amazing and well-written post! ❤ I agree that you shouldn’t judge a book (or blog) by its appearance or the little factors, but focus on what it stands for. Every blog has its own significance. Looking forward to reading Part 2 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate that. It’s so nice to know that I’m not off on an island by myself when it comes to focusing on what’s most important. I’m definitely enjoying this series; it’s somewhat therapeutic. And I’m also looking forward to sharing part 2 with you as well. Again, thanks so much for your encouraging comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I share your opinion completely ♡ So happy to hear that you are finding this therapeutic to write, it is telling in your writing as it’s so well-constructed. I am waiting with bated breath for part 2! 💗 Keep up the great work!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Genevieve – you are too kind, sweet lady. Now, I feel a little pressure. Hope I don’t let you down with my part 2. I think you’re making it sound a bit better than it actually is. Thanks so much for always making my day with your encouraging comments. And keep up the great work on your end as well. I know you will.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no, I don’t mean to put any pressure on you, Jana 😟 I really did enjoy reading this piece and can’t wait for the next instalment 🙂 I admire your writing as it seems to flow smoothly. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement too, it means a lot ♥ Keep up the amazing work!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Genevieve – you are just fine. I didn’t mean my response in a negative way at all. Actually, great bloggers like you reading my posts is such a blessing. It makes me want to keep improving and make sure my content is beneficial to my wonderful reading audience. So, you’re doing me a favor by putting the pressure on (in the best possible way) to help me continue to grow as a blogger. So, thank you for your support. I appreciate it more than words can truly express.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Jana! My apologies for this delayed reply. I wanted to let you know that I didn’t take your message negatively in the slightest 😊 You are an amazing blogger and share such knowledgable content – it’s always a pleasure to read your writing! Brings a smile to my face every time 💗 Proud to be a supporter of yours 💐👏

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey there Genevieve – No apologies necessary at all. I just appreciate that you use some of that valuable time of yours to come visit my little corner of the blogosphere. And, I’m so glad we’re good. Sometimes, intended meanings behind the written word get lost in translation and I wanted to make sure you didn’t get the wrong impression. I didn’t think you had, but I’m glad you confirmed it for me anyway. I would have felt so bad if the way I worded something caused a misunderstanding between us. You are so very much appreciated. It means a great deal to have such a talented writer compliment my writing. What a blessing and a total encouragement for me to keep on the path I’m going. Thanks so much for your support, Genevieve.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is an absolute pleasure to visit your blog and read your writing ♥😊 I understand exactly what you mean that tone can get misunderstood in written communication. Yes, we are definitely good…didn’t get the slightest inkling of a negative impression 🤗 You are one of the kindest souls I’ve been blessed to meet here on WordPress, and I am so grateful that our paths crossed. Thank you for your continuous words of support. It is a huge encouragement and means a lot. Sending lots of love your way, Jana

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are awesome! And you make my day every time you comment. Your words are true pick-me-ups and make blogging that much more fun. Thanks for all you do to inspire others as well as provide encouragement. Believe me when I say, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Thanks, Genevieve.

    Liked by 1 person

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