Tom Johnson has scrounged the Internet for what makes the difference between a good and a bad blog. He's culled a number of sources to come up with his top twenty principles for creating a good blog.
Most of Tom's suggestions are great advice for every blog. A couple, like getting your own domain name and creating an index are probably beyond most of our needs. Here are a couple of that caught my eye and stimulated me to comment.
Number Two is one where a lot of "ministry blogs" struggle: Encourage Comments. This is really important as it's the core of communal interactivity. It's not the blog post that generates value per se. It's the interactions of tens or dozens of commenters adding their bit of wisdom from the hive mind. Blogs that don't have comments have much, much less value to the community because no one can interact with the content. My own practice is to allow anonymous commenters and to almost never delete a comment. I don't like anonymous posters...I think it's lame to leave a comment without leaving your identity. But I'd rather have even that stilted interaction than none at all. I've never deleted a comment either. I've had some pretty horrible things left on another blog I write about the ministry side of my life...but I've let the comment lie. I think it communicates a great deal about the commenter and sometimes that's to my advantage.
Number Three: Make it easy to subscribe. If you are still reading blogs one-at-a-time in your web browser you're wasting WAY too much time. Use a "feed reader" and allow other readers to subscribe to your blog easily.
Number Twelve: Allow readers to contact you offline. It's important to leave an email address somewhere on your blog. People may want to get in touch with you about something completely unrelated to your your last post. They may want to help you, or may be asking for help. Make it easy for them to connect with you.
All twenty of these principles are worth reading. Most of them are "doable" for a guy like me...a few are not. I'm not interested (yet) in having my own URL for my blog (#17)...but I may in the future. Since I use Blogger, I can't easily created indexes (#16) or include related posts beneath each post (#11). There is something here for everyone and it's a read worth your time.