Why You're Losing Blog Readers

by Paula Neal Mooney

Every day I read a bunch of blogs.

Some catch my eye.

Some catch my interest.

Some catch my heart and win me as a loyal reader.

Others don't.

Why not?

Mostly due to the following blogging sins, some of which I've been guilty of:

* No sign-up method
Though I prefer email sign-up boxes cause I tend to read the blog posts that are pushed out to me in emails, others prefer to RSS subscribe.

If you're a blogger and don't know how to get that little orange button on my sidebar on your blog or at least an email subscribe box, Google it and find out.

You're losing would-be loyal readers.

* Slow-loading blogs
You can't always help this, but studies show that us impatient readers only wait an average of four seconds for a web page to load before we move on.

If you're hosting your blog on your own or another slow-loading server, move it!

* It's boring
Be interesting.

* No pics
I'm not a guy, but I'm still a visual creature.

Give me something to look at.

(And no, I don't mean that Google girl with the big boobs.)

* Not enough white space
The enter key is our friend. Use it liberally.

* Too cluttered with products
I've been really guilty of this -- some might say I still am -- but I've seen worse blogs so busy with products I can hardly read the text.

* Text too small
Crank up that font size!

* Too impersonal
Of course there's room for anonymity and fake avatars, but I notice that I tend to read the blogs of folks I can see and relate to by viewing their real pic.

* Add a bold byline
That's one great tip I gleaned from six-figure blogger Darren Rowse: He said to put your byline up close to the top of your posts because people like to know who wrote the darn thing.

Hope these tips help us all gain more readers!


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paul said…
Does mine have a sign up method?
Laura said…
Wow, as I read through your list I can see that I'm not doing a lot of these things.

This list certainly contains some things to put on my to do list.

KWiz said…
How about when the server on which your site is located by the webhosting service you use goes down because of some corrupt data files or something like that and they have to restore stuff! My blog is going to be down for who knows how long! I can just imagine that if someone went to my blog right now, they'd get nothing, and might not ever go back! I just hope I don't lose any data. (by the way, when I leave a comment on a blogger site like yours, I choose "other" as an identity, but when the comment shows up and you place the mouse over the name, the URL gets all messed up; I don't know what that's a function of - is there something that you might know of that I'm doing wrong?)
Laura said…

The exact same thing happens to me when I leave a comment on a blogger site! I thought it was just me.
James said…
where do you find the google girl with big boobs?
You have some great ideas and a nice look for your blog. I do want to become more visual. Are you comming to Chicago in May for the success blogers meeting? Your work continues to inspire, how long have you bloged. Thanks for being a roll model
Yeah, Paul, I checked your blog and you don't have the sign up method.

But now that you've ditched Blogger and are moving on to WordPress, I'm sure you'll put one there. Let me know your URL!!!

Hi Laura! Glad you found something useful here.

I'm gonna head on over to your blog to look for changes.

You've got excellent content!

Kwiz, Kwiz I love saying name that in my head...

I wonder if this is a Blogger bug?

I'd better research it.

Maybe that's why some folks click anonymous but leave their name at the end of the comments.

Hi James!
I'm not telling you where to find that Google girl!

But I'm so glad you're still reading. I was just thinking about you and your insightful comments that I can't get out of my head.

Wish you'd enable your Blogger profile, hint, hint, HINT!!!!

Anyhoo, I will be in Chicago in March, and possibly May.

Where's the shindig located?

Good points! Okay okay....i'm going to go and find the RSS feed thingy email --*sigh*

Tyler Ingram said…
Oh another useful blog post! I love finding these things. I agree with the quickness of a page load. Currently in my temporary housing location I am on a broadband connection that seems slower than my dialup days!

So when pages take a while to load it makes me.. sad!

Some people need to learn to compress their images better but not loose quality. If you have photoshop their
Save For Web' option is great!

Btw love the site!
Hey Not Fearing Change, I just subscribed to your blog.

I love your writing and you're so funny and relatable, too.

Thanks, Tyler Ingram - Grateful for the photoshop tip. I'm still using HP Image zone.
Maria Palma said…
Hi Paula!

These are great tips.. I would add here that some bloggers have big heads and like to talk about themselves too much. It's a turn off ;) Well, of course, if their blog is about themselves, then in that case it's ok.
JA Huber said…
I know, I know. I need to step away from the template and break outta the box! :)
Martin Lindsey. said…
Paula, be sure to write a post on the Chicago meetup for those of us who can't go. Vacation calendar is already set, dang!

O.K., aaargh, analyze my blog. What SEO/CSS etc improvements might you suggest at this point?

If you believe in immitation being the sincerest form of flattery, I just copycatted you again. I signed up with Associated Content man! I saw that link on the left side of your site and how you've made a few hundred bones and I said "yeah, I'm doin' that". Naturally I'm going to ask that you do a tutorial post on Associated Content, how it works etc.

Have a great day as always.
AgentSully said…
tried to digg this post but couldn't. anyhow, great info here. thanks.

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