You’re blogging about your cat Fluffy, and it’s so awesome. You’ve got adorable pictures, cute writing, and even a video where you you say something and she meows back at you. Still only 5 people are reading your blog, and one of them is your Mom. What are you doing wrong? Should you make Fluffy jump through a flaming hoop?
Unless you are running a mega-blog with lots of daily posts that have a wide, general appeal, you will never have a huge audience. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice big readership, you just shouldn’t get you hopes up that you’ll have millions of hits a day.
So what are you doing wrong? Why are your readers fleeing at the sight of your blog, rather than hanging to your every beautiful word?
Here are 5 reasons I cower when I start trying to read a blog that’s new to me:
- Your blog looks like shit – It’s not hard to make a blog look decent these days. If I roll into your URL, and you have a theme that looks like you murdered a neon yellow tiger that was covered with banner ads, I’m more worried about clicking on the wrong thing than absorbing the information you’re writing. People come to blogs to read, not to go blind. Choose a layout that’s clean and easy to read, and add your personality to it. Just make sure I can still read it without burning out my retinas.
- Your writing doesn’t make sense – We all make typos, spelling and grammar errors. We’re human, we don’t have editors, and we all spend so much time looking at the post we’re working on. That happens. Still, take the extra two minutes when you are done writing to read your post out loud. You’ll catch anything that sounds funny, and you’ll make sure it has the voice you want.
- You’re obviously trying to sell me crap – You have a decadent life of iPads and HDTV’s to support. You want your blog to help pay for that. I get it. Still, you can’t expect every single person on the internet who’s coming to your site to sign up for your half-assed newsletter, buy your ebook, and throw money at you to give them a bunch of half-baked blog topics. If you’re going to sell something from your blog, go for it, but make sure it is an awesome product you are willing to stand behind 100%. Don’t just sell crap because you can and you know some sucker will buy it.
- You have the personality of a piece of cardboard – People read blogs because they like perspective from other people. No one wants to read a text book or a scientific paper. That takes work and brainpower we just don’t have. Write like a human being. Again, read your post out loud. If it sounds like a lecture, you’re probably doing it wrong.
- You have no information or entertainment value – Your readers’ time is valuable. Are you making your blog worth their while? Entertain them, inform them, or stop blogging.
Think about what scares you away from reading a blog? What about your blog or your writing is keeping people from actually absorbing and enjoying the information you share?
Stop trying to make your cat play with fire, and start sharing your experience in fun, informative and human ways. You and your blog deserve readers.