Here’s the truth, I’m not a huge “blog” reader. I just don’t have time, but even so, there are some blog that I constantly turn up and turn in for. Why? Because those blogs offer value to me. That’s the key to running a successful blog. Create content that offers value to your audience. Yes, there were some people back in the day, who created relationships with their audience through stories and blogging their life, but the ones who really stayed strong and remain today are the ones who constantly offered value to their audience.
What does offering value look like? One example would be that if you’re a lifestyle blogger showing your new wardrobe, giving style tips, and telling people where to go shopping to get your look is much more valuable than just showing off your new wardrobe.
Now, while the core of building a readership and keeping people interested in your blog is adding value, even the most value packed blog can be a turn off. So here are some other reasons you might lose me with you blog…
WHY I WOULD NEVER READ YOUR BLOG
I’m all about girl bosses and people making a living online. My literal blog motto is “helping girls live their best lives!” and I definitely believe blogging can do just that. However, if I feel like you’re exploiting your readers through ads I’ll definitely be turned off to them.
Now, I’m not talking about a moderate number of ads dispersed appropriately throughout your site, but you know the sites I’m talking about. The ones where every square inch is filled with ads and you get an add popup on every new page you visit. I’m most likely going to click off of that site pretty fast!
Unfortunately, looks matter. The first impression I have of your blog might be the difference in whether I come back or trust your page. Now, there are some ghetto pages that offer tons of value I trust them and I will come back. But, that’s a pretty rare occurrence. Most of the time if a site isn’t aesthetically pleasing I’ll question the value that’s being offered. Is this person actually knowledgeable? Can I trust them? In addition, is the site pleasant to be on? Do you use some weird background color, or font that’s hard to read? Know your audience and make sure your aesthetic is pleasing to that audience! A general rule of thumb is that you want your content to shine!
On the same note, your site should be highly useable. Make the layout obvious, and easy to navigate. Think of your user and make sure your sites fits their needs. A good way to do this, especially if you’re not a designer, is to focus on using a minimalist theme. Like I said above, always keep your content the shining star of your site. This means making headlines and font readable, content easy to find.
To me one of the absolute worst things is when I find a site that advertises one thing, but doesn’t deliver. For instance “One simple trick to lose weight fast” and then you find out its diet and exercise…. Those clickbait headlines make me click, but then I click off rather quickly and also lose a lot of faith in the website and the author who was more concerned about views, than their audience. Blogs can become blacklisted if they offer these bait and switch titles and content really quickly!
While you shouldn’t be blogging about yourself and offering zero value, you also shouldn’t write like a Buzzfeed. Your personality should still be present in your writing. If your site offers the same value as another site, but I can connect to you as a reader, you’ll win me over! Generic blogs, I’ll take the value I’m looking for and probably never return! Personality builds loyalty.
Now, just keeping it real, if I like your content, please make it easy for me to consume! This means posting it on social media and doing roundups of helpful targeted content via newsletters at the end of the week. If I sign up for your newsletter it means I WANT your content to be hand delivered. Otherwise I realistically won’t frequently go back to your site.
Now obviously there are many, many things that can make me click away from a website (and to be fair there are probably many things that will make you click away from a blog), but now that you’re thinking along these lines hopefully you can go out and make the changes you need to make to get more readers on your site.