THERE are millions of blogs out there.
Millions of people sharing their stories, giving intimate glimpses of their lives and hoping to be noticed.
It’s hard to get your blog out there. It takes time, effort, resilience, creativity and bags of determination.
But if you’re not careful, a couple of bad moves (or one if you’re unlucky) and all that hard work of yours can go to pot.
Attracting people is easy. (Kinda).
But hanging onto readers, getting people to comment, share and love your stuff is far from it.
There’s so many reasons why I visit the blogs I love time and time again. But today, I want to talk about the other stuff. The other side of the coin.
The stuff that drives me nuts, puts me off and absolutely makes me stop visiting a blog.
Here are seven things that are a sure fire way to lose my interest. (And quite possibly other peoples too.)
I’m a stickler for manners in all aspects of life, but when it comes to blogging nothing turns me off a blog or blogger faster, than when someone is rude.
When someone asks you to RT a tweet with a link, even though they’ve never spoken to you before (or shared anything of yours). When someone spams a large group of people with the same message, asking for their time or attention, but gives little back. Bloggers who never ever respond to a tweet or comment that you’ve kindly sent them.
And the biggest one? Bloggers who are just plain rude in real life. (We’ve all met one of those.)
To care about your blog, I need to care about you. And that’s never going to happen if you’re rude or don’t give people the time of day.
LACK OF SPACE
When I’m reading copy, your copy, I need you to give me some space. Not a lot necessarily, but a little.
Enough for me to pause, take in your words and connect with you and your message.
As a trained journalist, the use of space was drilled into me from an early career age and with good reason too. Because too many words crammed together and too many long paragraphs just. puts. people. off.
You could have written the most magnificent blog post known to mankind, but trust me, if your copy looks crammed or doesn’t have space, then I will not get past the first sentence or two.
Space encourages engagement and lets your words shine. So use it wisely and use it often.
Behind each blog, is a person, which means… I need to see you. And I need to know your name.
Who are you? What do you look like? How do you sound?
Call me nosey but these are the things I need to know.
Logos are wonderful but when it comes to avatars, I want to see your beautiful rosy face. And when I pop on your blog, I want to know what you are called. Hell, I’d even love to hear your voice!
And if I can’t?
Well then you’re almost invisible to me. Why? Because I need a human being to connect to.
Yes, you can have an anonymous blog, yes, you’re entitled to share what you want to share, but for me, when I’m reading a blog or getting to know a blogger, I need to know who you are as a person.
Otherwise you just become another blog in a crammed blogging crowd.
TOO MUCH SELF PROMOTION
Bloggers have to self promote, I get that, otherwise how on earth would people find our work? And make no bones about it, I do self promote and pretty often too.
But there’s a level where if we’re not careful, it can become a bit too much.
Self promotion is wonderful. You should be putting yourself out there and singing your own praises.
Self promotion is needed. It entices people, is free PR and showcases your success.
Self promotion is necessary. It’s part and parcel of being a blogger, freelancer or creative.
But. (You knew it was coming right?!)
Too much self promotion, too much ‘me, me, me’ is one of the quickest ways to turn me off.
Finding the right balance with this is tricky and in all honesty, I’m not exactly sure what that is or what it looks like. I’m also pretty certain I’ve overstepped the mark on occasion too myself. (Sorry about that.)
But I would say, if your social media feeds are continually all about you or if you feel like you’re always talking to, rather than with, people a lot, it may just be time to take it down a notch.
It’s true what they say.
No one cares about you or what you’re up to, quite as much as you think or hope they do. (And the same goes for me.)
LACK OF CONSISTENCY
I’ve made this mistake myself so will hold my hands up on this one, but when it comes to blogging success, consistency is one of the keys to achieving it.
People need to know when you are posting and they want you to post regularly. They want to know that when they visit your blog, there will be a new blog for them to read or a new vlog to watch.
Life is busy. Folk need to know where they stand!
It’s not always possible to be consistent with content. And hey, we all deserve a break. But nothing will make you lose readers quicker than failing to deliver new content on some kind of regular basis.
And I can tell you that from personal experience.
HIDING BEHIND A FACADE
One of the reasons I firmly believe blogs have become so successful over the past few years, is because they deliver authenticity.
And trust. Invaluable trust.
Being ourselves, finding our own voice and if possible, our own niche, is the only way to carve out a place in the blogging world. And yet often, I find myself thinking with some bloggers: “who are you?” Or “what on earth are you all about.”
All blogs are different that is true. And I’m not saying there is no room for fantasy or escapism. (Because there most definitely is.)
But if I feel like a blogger isn’t being straight with me. If I feel like a blogger is pretending to be someone that they are perhaps not. Or if I feel like a blogger is trying to pull the wool over my eyes…well, then that trust can disappear very quickly.
You may not want to deliver reality. You may not want to bare your soul. And you absolutely don’t need to.
But you do need to be authentic. And you do, need to just be yourself.
You know what I mean.
Writing that makes no sense or lacks proper punctuation or grammar. Bloggers that waffle or use ‘big words’ to impress or just talk nonsense.
As a reader, I want to connect with you. I want your words to speak to me. I want to hear your voice.
I want you to entertain, to soothe, to inspire.
I want to share your posts and leave you a comment.
I want you to leave me in absolute awe!
But I can only do that if I feel the love in your words. I can only do that if you communicate well. I can only do that if you care.
So keep things simple, give me some space, show me who you are and chances are, you – and your blog – won’t ever be able to get rid of me.
Quite a list huh?! Like I say, I’ve made some of these mistakes myself and all of these things are only my opinion as an avid blog reader and blogger…so fellow bloggers, on to you!
Do you agree with some of these? Or have you got your own bugbears to share?