8 Reasons Why No One's Reading Your Blog (and How to Change Them)
Wondering why your blog isn’t reaching your target readership? Fretting about your site’s non-existent comments and low social shares? You could be committing the following mistakes:
Your posts are full of typos and grammatical errors - Clean up your articles and make sure the text is free from typos and grammar mistakes. This may sound obvious and basic, but so many bloggers remain careless with their writing and publish posts that are full of glaring typographical and grammatical errors. Don’t be one of those bloggers.
Always run spell check on your articles. Type them up in a word processor first before pasting them online.
Do note that spell checkers are far from perfect though, so always read and re-read your articles prior to submission. The best spell checkers are your eyes and brain. Use them. You can also let other people check for spelling and grammar mistakes. It never hurts to get another set of eyes to read through a post.
If you don’t have a human spell check buddy hanging around, then a good technique is to step away from the screen (if you can sleep on it, do so) and come back with a fresh mind. Switch up the text font and color when proof reading, as this allows you to catch mistakes more effectively.
The text isn’t formatted for web readers - You may not want to hear this but majority of people online won’t read your entire post word-for-word. Yes, some will read the whole thing, but most users will just scan through the post. Write for these people.
Make it easy for readers to scan your post. Use short paragraphs. Try to keep them up to 4 lines whenever possible to make the text easier to read and comprehend. Use headers to breakdown the post to enable readers to quickly find what they’re looking for. Take advantage of lists and bullet points so users can rapidly get the info they need. Also be sure to properly make use of bold and italics to emphasize the important parts of text.
One more thing: Avoid rambling. Steer clear from long meandering sentences and stick to brief statements. Again, this makes it easier for readers to scan the post.
There are no visuals - Make sure that your posts have accompanying visuals to supplement them. If you can supply videos or interesting graphs, the better it is for readers (and your blog.) If graphs or videos aren’t available then a relevant image would do.
Not sure where to find good images that you can legally use? Look for images that have a creative commons license. These are images that you can legally share, as long as you meet the specific license provisions.
Flickr.com has a whole section dedicated to creative commons images, so be sure to check it out when you’re trying to find great visuals for your posts. If that doesn’t work, then you can always create your own using memes and online caption-generation tools. Try QuickMeme.com or Someecards.com for ideas (and a few laughs).
You’re too passive - Write in an active voice whenever you can. For instance, instead of saying “The dog is loved by its owner” say, “The owner loves his dog.” In this example, the first sentence is written in a passive voice, while the second one is using the active voice. Go with the latter. This format is more direct, not to mention easier to read and understand.
While there may be a few exceptions where the passive voice is more appropriate, these situations are pretty rare and it’s best to stick with being active for the most part.
There’s no call to action - What do you want your readers to do after reading your post? Is it to comment? To share it with their friends? To answer a question? Whatever it is, spell it out for them. Sure, some people might share or comment even if you don’t tell them to, but a lot of readers need a little push or friendly reminder.
It wouldn’t hurt to have a CTA at the end of your post, so include one whenever possible. A good way of doing this is through a form of a question. For example, you can say something like “What do you think of this post? Share your thoughts in the comments below!” Or you can be more specific by asking readers to share their own experiences related to what you’ve written.
You’re pretty self-absorbed - In the early days of blogging, a lot of people treated the space as an online journal. Back then it was place where you can talk about yourself and share daily happenings in your life.
However, as more people turned to the web for information and entertainment, blogs (or at least effective blogs) have evolved from online journals that are all about the writer to information and entertainment portals that are more about the industry and its readers.
Nowadays, people visit blogs to get information about a particular niche or subject matter. They’re visiting blogs because they either want to learn something new or want to be entertained. And for that reason, unless you’re a celebrity or you’re someone whose life is particularly exciting, blogging all about you just won’t cut it anymore.
If you want readers to stick around then you need to start writing about stuff that they care about, instead of just the things that you like. Always make it about your target audience. What are the topics that they’re interested in? What are the things that they’re searching for? What do they need to learn? The answers to these questions should be the things that you put on your editorial calendar.
Your blog isn’t mobile-friendly - Unless you’ve been living under a rock with no reception these past couple of years, then you know that mobile is IN right now. More and more people are browsing the web while they’re on the go. Accommodate these users. Ensure that your blog is as easy to read in the small screen as it is using a computer monitor.
Your posts have zero personality - In other words, your articles are boring. Don’t be too stiff when writing your blog posts. Remember that blogging as a medium isn’t all that formal anyway. Yes, you’ll have to adhere to proper spelling, grammar, and formatting rules, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t show a little personality.
A good rule of thumb is to think about your target audience and write your posts as if you’re talking to them. Use the same tone as you would when you’re having a normal conversation and you should be good to go.
What other mistakes do you see in the blogosphere? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Image credit futureshape on Flickr