Bloggers are a breed apart from many other online outlets. That’s not meant in a grand or condescending way – just that it takes a very different mindset to be a blogger, and one that stays the course.
Of course, a large part of this success comes from the readers a blogger attracts. These readers turn into subscribers, turn into loyal members of your community, turn into “brand advocates” for your blog.
Essentially, your readers dictate much of how your blog is viewed by the interactions both on your domain and on their own networks. So why would you want to treat them like chumps?
You’re not treating your readers like chumps? You’re looking after them? Are you sure? Let’s take a quick check.
You’re Killing Their Eyes
Content is King. It’s the rallying cry of many bloggers – and, for the most part, it can be true. After all, without content, you have no readers, right? But what good is content when it’s surrounded by a craptastic design?
For those of you that were born before 1990, I have one thing to say to you – GeoCities! Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. For the benefit of our readers who’re not as ancient as me, GeoCities was Yahoo’s website building platform. It was meant to offer an easy option for non-technical people to be able to build their own sites.
The problem was, once you give a non-technical person the key to tech tools, chaos ensues. Cue some of the ugliest pieces of crud ever seen online!
Jump forward to today. With tools like WordPress and Genesis (affiliate link), it’s never been easier to get a professional-looking website or blog up-and-running quickly and without too much hard work.
If you want to encourage readers to enjoy your site and stick around for more, then make your place welcoming. After all, would you go back to a dayglo pink website with yellow font and dancing pixel people? Exactly.
- Takeaway. You want to encourage readers to come back? Make your offering an attractive one.
You’re Acting Like a Cheapskate
One of the big trends in blog reader behaviour is the rise of mobile browsing. With the popularity of iPhone, Android and tablets, web browsing behaviour has shifted dramatically in the last 12 months and will continue to move towards mobile.
So why aren’t you looking after your mobile visitors?
If you’re using WordPress, for example, there are a host of themes that are built with a responsive design.
This means no matter what browser display your visitor comes in on, the site will adapt (check For Bloggers By Bloggers out on a tablet or smartphone, and then compare it to the web version). Again, Genesis offers several themes in this area – check out their Theme Chooser tool and select Mobile Responsive.
If you’re happy with your existing theme, you might be using something like WPtouch to offer a mobile version of your site. But here’s the thing – why are you using the free version?
As useful as it is, it’s actually very limited – it doesn’t even support threaded conversations on the comments, for example. Which, if your blog has a lot of comments, can soon lead to an unholy mess where replies to comments aren’t in context, and the conversation can soon become messy and convoluted.
For as little as $49, you can add a whole host of features by upgrading to WPtouch Pro. Dedicated iPad styling, retina support, theme styling, threaded comments and much, much more. That’s got to be worth $49, no?
- Takeaway. Your readers add value to your blog. Are you treating them as valuable?
You’ve Joined the Mail Service
Remember when you first started blogging, and your passion was burning to be the best blogger out there? You were going to write the most amazing posts, start the most intense conversations around them, and attract the coolest audience.
And, you kinda achieved that. So you got lazy, and started posting any old stuff. You’d take a picture and write some nonsense about the hidden meaning behind it for small business owners.
Or you’d write a Top 10 list that offered absolutely nothing new to the topic of that list, or the people/services on it.
Or you’d write a post about how awful it is to be you, and that you should be able to write what you want because it’s your blog and your readers should be grateful you’re still churning out content.
Stop this. STOP THIS NOW.
No one cares about bloggers that feel they’ve conquered the market and can do what they want. Readers came to you for a reason – they don’t want a diluted version of that, because you want to get fat off your affiliate ads and crappy ebooks.
You want to be an awesome blogger that everyone wants to read? Then write epic shit – every time!
Sure, share your ebooks and premium courses and affiliate ads – but make sure they offer value to your readers just as much as they offer dollars to your pocket.
Don’t sacrifice what made you great by attaching it to the mundane. Be great the way you aspired to be great.
- Takeaway – the minute you start mailing your content in, stop blogging. It benefits no-one.
These are just three of the ways you’re short-changing your readers. You might not like being told this, especially if you’re guilty of any of the points above.
Then again, doing the right thing doesn’t always come easy. But the results are more than worth the effort.