Authoritative or Entertaining? What Makes the Best Blog?

I recently had a discussion with a friend that got me started thinking. This friend mentioned that she was starting to think that there was a difference between blogs that were written in a journalistic style with most posts being educational and well researched versus a blog that is written in a different fashion such as a journal of your pet’s activities or musings about your pet’s thoughts or entertaining stories about your pet. You get the idea.

I don’t have any definitive answers here. I don’t think one type of blog is better than another. They’re just different and each serves a different purpose. I do however think it’s an interesting conversation and a fascinating subject.

I would classify both of my blogs, this one and my pet care blog (Pet Health Care Gazette), as authoritative. I do occasionally on my pet care blog attempt a “fun” post, particularly in conjunction with advertising campaigns such as the recent campaign I participated in with Subaru, but the vast majority of posts are informational in nature and written in a journalistic style in which I try to present accurate and up-to-date information. The same is true for this blog with very few exceptions.

I certainly don’t feel that other types of pet blogs have smaller audiences or less dedicated readers. In fact, there are plenty of blogs that have larger audiences than my pet care blog. And there are audiences that are at least as dedicated to those blogs as my readers are, if not moreso. My audience is a pretty targeted audience whereas, at least in some cases, other audiences may be a bit broader.

I think the main difference between these two types of blogs rests with the intent or purpose of the blog itself. I do believe that readers come to different blogs with different expectations. My readers come for information and education. They trust me to provide accurate health care information they can trust in to help them make decisions regarding their pet’s care. They do not come to be entertained. Entertainment is not my strength. It is not where my talent lies. I envy those that do that have talent but I recognize that I do not and do not try to be something that I am not.

The other difference I think is in how the individual blogger is perceived. I do believe that a blogger that writes a primarily authoritative blog is likely to be perceived as an expert in their niche moreso than a more entertaining type of blogger.

There are also blogs that are a cross between the two. These blogs provide both entertainment through amusing stories and chronicles as well as authoritative fact-based information. Bloggers who can pull off this mix successfully are probably the most successful of all. I can think of several blogs/bloggers that do this very successfully and these blogs are the ones I most look forward to reading.

What do you think? Please feel free to speak up and share your thoughts.

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About Lorie Huston, DVM

Lorie Huston is an accomplished veterinarian, an award winning blogger, a talented author and a certified veterinary journalist. She is available for writing assignments, blogging and social media consultation, and SEO strategy.

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  • Caren Gittleman March 26, 2013, 12:51 pm

    I couldn’t agree more “I do believe that readers come to different blogs with different expectations.”

    I think that Cat Chat crosses the line between the two but I think it more strongly leads towards “entertaining” I think that many blogs reflect the personality of the blogger, and I am FAR from an authoritarian! I am more of a clown :)

    • Lorie Huston, DVM March 26, 2013, 11:11 pm

      I agree, Caren. I think it’s very important for a blog to reflect the personality of the blogger. Even if that’s serious by nature, the blog needs to reflect what is important to the blogger. I think that’s one of the points of blogging, being able to express and share your opinions and your passions.

  • Roxy the traveling dog March 26, 2013, 1:18 pm

    I agree completely. Some blogs are just for fun, and that’s OK. I know when I come to your blog, I will learn something valuable, and that’s awesome. I think am more entertaining, but I do provide valid information sometimes too. It’s good to have a great mix out there.

    • Lorie Huston, DVM March 26, 2013, 11:25 pm

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing a blog just for fun. One of my very favorite blogs is Jenny Lawson’s The Bloggess. Her blog is totally not serious but it makes me laugh. Every time I read it, it makes me laugh! She’s one of the most successful bloggers I know, not just because I say so but because she’s well-known right down to a best-selling book that resulted from her blog. I’ve never met her or even been in the same room with her but I know Victor is her husband, Hailey is her daughter, and Ferris Mewler is one of her cats. Still, if I wanted to know about a serious subject that impacted my life, I wouldn’t go to The Bloggess for information. :)

  • Layla Morgan Wilde (Cat Wisdom 101) March 26, 2013, 5:24 pm

    Good post Lorie! It’s important to identify strengths and provide consistent content. Our tagline at Cat Wisdom 101 is to enlighten and entertain cat lovers everywhere. I believe blogs can be fun and provide useful info.

    • Lorie Huston, DVM March 26, 2013, 11:27 pm

      Thanks, Layla. I agree that some blogs can be fun and still provide useful information. It just depends on the blogger. As you said, it’s important to identify strengths.

  • Vicki Cook March 27, 2013, 1:00 pm

    I agree Lorie – different people read different blogs for different reasons! I tend to like authoritative blogs. But there are other blogs I follow just for fun. On my blog, I try to keep people informed about what’s happening in the online pet community – with a focus on animal-related causes – but I occasionally throw a post out there just for fun!


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