5 Reasons Why I Read Your Blog – No 2

A five part series explaining why I read your blog - part two.

2) I’m a reader not a book cover judge

Never judge a book by it’s cover. So true. One of the best books I have ever read has a drab maroon coloured cover with nothing on the front or back. It looked really unappealing laying on the used book stall.

I picked it up because it was truly bland. The content did not disappoint me. It was a late 1800s translation of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. My life came to a halt while I devoured every word in two sittings. It is one of the best books about life I have ever read.

If I see a blog that would be considered by 'experts' to be badly designed and unattractive, I don’t see bad design. I see the work of a writer who is probably so passionate about writing, prettying it up to attract shallow followers is not their first priority. Beautiful pearls are found inside the drabbest looking oyster shells.


If I see a blog that would be considered by 'experts' to be badly designed and unattractive, I don’t see bad design. Click To Tweet


Why I Read Your Blog

I love diving into the WWW and harvesting pearls. We really are a fickle bunch us humans. We have become so obsessed by appearance in real life that people die because they ‘don’t look right’. People young and old are under ridiculous pressure to be ‘beautiful’ and have the ‘right look’. That kind of attitude destroys lives.

Beautiful pearls are found inside the drabbest looking oyster shells. Click To Tweet

We have now extended that kind of faulty thinking to blogging. If you don’t ‘look right’ on-line, no-one will read you damn it! Well I will. One of the best conversations I ever had was with an itinerant busker in my hometown. Everyone was ignoring him because he looked so frightful by the shallow standards we all live by in our wonderful modern world.

Dusty old ladies were walking by with their noses in the air. He looked interesting to me. And he was. I spent two hours sitting on the pavement talking to him. He made me scream with laughter and cry with sadness. Yes, he was basically an outlaw, but also a human being with a story.

I got some really strange looks from the dusty old ladies as they passed by. I pitied them for not having the gift I have to see past the book cover. I love and cherish that gift every day of my life. If the ‘cover’ of your blog does not meet the shallow standards set by the brigade of self-appointed critics out there, I am more likely to read it. Why? Because you may be someone who has a ton of interesting stuff to say but is not bothered about aesthetics.

Or you may be someone who is learning and gradually developing the look of your blog. You may be someone who feels alone in the blogging world and just like in real life, I cannot bear seeing people side-lined for being different. I don’t sit in judgement of people in every day life, so why would I do it online?

Do you feel alone in the blogging world because of the 'standards' set by others? Click To Tweet

If you write your thoughts on a piece of messy scrap paper and show me, I am pleased that you had the courage to write and flattered that you wanted to show me. Why would I sit and criticise you for using scrap paper? If you have a ‘messy’ blog, I see past that. Your blog may be 'pretty' and 'look right' according to those who judge or it may not - I will be there anyway.

Your blog may be 'pretty' and 'look right' according to those who judge or it may not - I will be there anyway. Click To Tweet

One person’s loss is another person’s gain.

If you missed part one - you can find it by clicking here.

Next up - reason No 3 of 5 Reasons Why I Read Your Blog.


Friday Blog Booster Party


  1. HA! How funny, I just left a comment on the book cover thing on your first in the series! Synchronicity is what that is! I am all about the content. I recently took a trip to our State Library. A beautiful building in the heart of Melbourne. There was an exhibition of some really old religious manuscripts – some over 500 years. Whilst some were beautifully written there were some that were so simple in their packaging and I found myself most drawn to those. I wanted to read those words. I do like pretty, I cannot deny, but I LOVE the words more. Loving this series very much. xx
    Sarah Cox recently posted…Be patient. Be kind. If you cannot, say nothing.My Profile

    1. Another believer in synchronicity! Brilliant! I SO believe in the not judging a book by its cover thing and I feel truly sorry for people who do. Instinct and gut feeling is very important too and I do still follow that when it tells me to turn away from something or someone. However, in general, I say give a plain wrapper the same chance as a ‘noisy’ one. Like you say,the words can be way more important. It made me smile that you commented on reason number one before moving on and finding your words repeated in reason number two. Thanks for spending time here!

  2. Oh you’re so right! We often miss great writing because it buried under the one’s that have great SEO. There’s one woman who writes such unoriginal stuff, but her numbers are so good, it can get depressing if you compare!

    I think it’s all part of us trying to conform to standards set by who-even-remembers-now! It’s the must-haves and must-dos that drive me insane, although I admit getting caught up in this for a while.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…How To Comfort Someone Who Is GrievingMy Profile

    1. Hi Corinne – lovely to read all your comments today – I really appreciate your time. I think we’ve all been caught up in ‘must dos’. I guess that’s easy to do with anything new (it was all totally new to me when I started – and completely different to the print journalism world!). But I think in the end, we start to find our own way as we learn more. There are so many brilliant writers out there who just write from the heart without worrying about numbers or telling the rest of us what we are doing ‘wrong’. So many blogs – so little time! 🙂

  3. When I decided to do a “real” blog at the beginning of this year, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Now 10 months later, I still don’t and, kind of really don’t care. I blog because I like to write, period of end story. I just don’t have the bandwidth to “play the game”. But I respect anyone and everyone that has found a way to make it a career. I think that ship sailed, though, somewhere around 1998 for me 🙂 Thanks for sharing via #MidLifeBloggers
    Beth recently posted…Mental Illness and the 3 Words I Never Wanted To Say AgainMy Profile

    1. Hi Beth and thanks for stopping by here. I think there are many of us just enjoying the standing on the the platform regardless of who is or is not paying attention. I guess that is the joy of mid/later life – waving goodbye to ships that sailed is a good feeling. Many thanks for your comment.

    1. Thanks for commenting. Yes I guess it is a visual society for many – I just thank my lucky stars I see further than the surface of anything. It has paid dividends.

  4. As a relatively new blogger in a blogging group with seasoned and experienced bloggers, I often feel inadequate and intimidated by their level of success compared to mine. I keep reminding myself that they started out small as well, and to be honest, it is only me making this comparison as they are all extremely supportive, encouraging, and helpful to me. I enjoyed you comments as well. I will remember that I don’t have to be perfect, I just need to be me.
    Merry Bevill recently posted…6 Easy Recipes for KidsMy Profile

    1. Hi Merry, thanks for your comment. That’s right – and from little acorns, mighty oaks do grow! All writing is valuable in some way and needs to be encouraged. Most bloggers, from newbies to long-time scribblers are encouraging – there are only a handful that seem to get above themselves and forget where they began. Good luck with your blog – am heading over there now! Thanks again for stopping by.

    1. Absolutely Laurie! That’s exactly what I’m talking about – everyone starts somewhere and we all learn as we go. Content can be wrapped in many different looks but it is still someone’s precious writing. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. What a super post. My husband calls me the ‘truffle hunter’ for digging around in the dirt and managing to turn up nice interesting things where others wouldn’t look, so this post really resonated with me. I’m also off to dig up your book recommendation while I’m at it! xx
    Lisa recently posted…My Pleat ConversionMy Profile

    1. Thanks Lisa. Yes it is a bit like that – your husband is right. Hope you enjoy Marcus – you need to pick and choose the translations though (and when they were published). Interpretations vary. It’s fun comparing the various interpretations though. It fascinates me that I can relate to the thoughts of a centuries old Roman Emporer and apply them to life today!

  6. I suppose as with anything, people often do not look beneath the surface to discover the beauty. We in the blogging world have been inundated with ways to make our blog look good — but in the end it’s the writing that matters. Great post, Gilly.

    1. Thank you Helene – I appreciate your visit here and your comment.Great writers are far more important to me than image and it seems that a few other people feel that way too. That’s so good to know.

    1. Thanks Mithra! Get two copies if you can – get the oldest translation you can find and a more modern one. I found the differences in interpretation by translators from vastly different times are interesting in themselves. Thanks for reading and commenting. Glad to meet you and your blog!

  7. I love what you are saying Gilly. The most beautifully designed websites may not have content that is worth its aesthetics. Mine is pretty rudimentary and since I’m trying to attract shallow followers, I may want to invest in someone to raise its standards. LOL. I think you should do a post about your conversation with the busker.
    Molly Stevens recently posted…Pizzapie-agra for Women: A Closer LookMy Profile

    1. Thanks Molly – after reading your pizza post – I think your followers will range from shallow to off the scale deep! 🙂 Re the busker – a blog post was my original intention but it just cannot happen. I thoroughly enjoyed the interlude but it needs to be left there on the street where I found it (the interview I mean not the busker!). Would have been a great post to write though.

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