50 things to make me read your blog

50 things to make me read your blog

{Guest post by Daire of Doing it the Open Way}

Despite having a blog for almost three years now, I’ve only recently started thinking of myself as a blogger. I don’t always know the best way to do things. Technology tends to drive me mad. I hate not being able to do everything… I definitely have a long way to go.

However, as a blog reader, I consider myself an expert. I read a dozen a day, and I know exactly what I like. I also know exactly what I don’t like.

Today I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell you 50 things that will help your blog stay in my ‘to read’ list, but please note that these are purely my personal preferences. I have not borrowed them from a blogging bible (if such a thing exists), they are simply the thoughts that float around my head when I think ‘blog’.

1. Generate high quality content: If I want fluff I’ll sit and look at bunnies.

2. Write the way you speak: I want to feel as though I’m getting to know you.

3. Include original imagery: That’s what will make me remember you.

4. End posts with a question: You’ll make it easier for me to engage with you.

5. Display links to your social media channels: So that I can follow you easily.

6. No text speak: Unless you’re being ironic. Otherwise it’s obnoxious.

7. Include links in your posts: I like reading your old content and discovering other people’s.

8. Respond to your comments: I like to feel acknowledged.

9. Leave comments of value: I will be more likely to click over to your blog.

10. Offer a newsletter or subscription via email: It’s always a nice surprise when I receive one.

11. Vary the format of your posts: So that I don’t think you’re too ‘samey’.

12: Vary your content: I get bored if I’m just reading exactly the same thing.

13. But not too much: I read your blog for a reason, if you start writing about completely new  things, it may no longer appeal to me.

14. Consider offering a freebie: Everybody loves free stuff.

15. Be stingy with words: I know word vomit can be cathartic, but don’t use twenty words when five would do the job.

16. Spell check. Grammar check.: I’m an English student; I will judge you if you don’t.

17. Celebrate the holidays: I love to celebrate everything I can, so tailoring your posts to suit different holidays will gain you brownie points from me.

18. Host a regular link up: And I will come back every single time you post.

19. Make your archives easily accessible: Make it easy for me to read your old posts.

20. Post consistently: I have a routine of blog reading. Don’t mess with it.

21. Don’t write about something just because everybody else is: If you’re not interested, how can you expect me to be?

22. Do not treat your readers as if they are stupid: I’ll get p*ssed off.

23. Write about your struggles: It makes me feel rubbish if you seem too perfect.

24. Publish a blog series: I will always come back for the next instalment.

25. Address a problem and offer tips: I like anything that promises to make my life easier.

26. Limit yourself If you try to join in with every fad or meme you’ll stretch yourself too thin and the quality of your posts will disintegrate. I know this from experience.

27. Link with love: If your post is inspired by someone else, link back to them. It’s fair, it’s legal and it will stop the entire community from feeling outraged.

28. Be humble: If all I see is ego, I won’t be back for more.

29. If you blog about different topics, have different pages: It makes it easier for me to  find what I’m in the mood for.

30. Don’t just disappear: Let me know if you’re taking a blog break, or I’ll keep looking for you!

31. If you send out email updates, don’t send too many: Otherwise, I’ll unfollow you.

32. Make sure your blog loads quickly: I’m impatient. I’ll just click away.

33. Be authoritative: Or what is the point of writing about it?

34. Keep your blog design clean: I like it when all your amazing imagery stands out.

35. Cross- post across all your social media channels: Or I may never discover you.

36. Give your post a good title: Or I’ll scroll straight past it on Bloglovin’.

37. Do not be drawn into arguments with commenters: It’s petty, and you’ll fuel the fire.

38. DO NOT CRITICISE OTHER BLOGGERS: How would you like it?

39. Write about what inspires you: It’s my favourite subject matter, and is definitely evergreen!

40. Spend some time on your ’About’ page: It’s the first place I look, and I’ll only stick  around if I have a reason to.

41. Make a button, and swap with other bloggers: Flitting through sidebars is how I’ve  discovered some of my favourite blogs.

42. Create balance between words and pictures: Avoid huge blocks of text and image heavy posts. Both can be really boring.

43. Credibility is important: So make sure you can back up your points if somebody asks.

44. And so is integrity: Keep your voice and don’t contradict yourself. Changing your mind  is fine, but tell me,  or you’ll seem untrustworthy.

45. Tag your posts: So I can find you through search engines.

46. Be funny, but naturally funny: If you’re too ‘try hard’ I’ll just cringe at you.

47. Don’t give up: So what if you’re not a world acclaimed blogger? I’m a loyal reader!

48. Check your font: Make it a decent size, and a clear letter shape. Don’t make reading difficult.

49. Put your own stamp on your subject matter: I want to read your perspective.

50. Give me a list post every now and then: Can’t you tell I love them?

What do you think? What makes you love a blog?

jo gifford

This post is a guest post from the lovely Daire, who is a member of my VIP Access all Areas package and a downright lovely lady. Join us!

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Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
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  • http://www.ihanna.nu iHanna

    Great list! It might contradict #38 but I’d only add: do NOT auto play music in your posts or sidebar, it will make me RUN away and never come back!

  • http://doingittheopenway.wordpress.com Daire

    Oh God you’re right, that one drives me NUTS! x

  • dexdiva

    Thanks for the comment Hanna, and I know what you mean! Jo
    x

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  • http://www.freelanceparents.co.uk Lyndsey Miles

    Fantastic list, Daire/Jo – thanks. I’ll keep and refer to once a month to make sure I’m not committing any cardinal sins (think I’m definitely guilty of a few right now)!

  • http://www.angliacounselling.co.uk Bob Brotchie

    Daire – I feel I’ve been kicked in the ‘boys bits’!!!

    But I needed it!

    Darn, I’m trying to get it right, and your list will help. (So that’s a no to music then, lol)

    Whilst I continue in my grapple with grammar, I appear to be maintaining a ‘silent’ growing audience.
    Even with such an extensive list, do you believe this covers the basis for engagement? I want to be the first psychological therapist to be seen to have engagement value, even if it often is a sensitive subject and arena.

    How can I visibly engage better, might you suggest?

    • dexdiva

      Hey Bob, what an excellent question. Firstly, well done on growing your audience, that’s no mean feat. I do have some ideas on engaging your audience – how about turning a blog comment into a blog post ( s I will probably do with this one!). This makes your audience feel heard, and involved. Also, ask questions in your posts to invites discussion – offer a prize maybe for the best comments, invite readers to debate a subject by writing a 2-sided argument post – pull out key points from your articles to share visually on social media and invite discussion there.
      How about those to start? x

      • http://www.angliacounselling.co.uk Bob Brotchie

        All very salient offerings, Jo – thanks!
        I think my challenges with your terrific thoughts are a little upside down!
        I think I can implement most of these ONCE I get more readers popping their heads above the parapet.
        I think once a couple do, others will likely feel ‘safe’ to engage.
        I will certainly keep asking questions of the audience, hopefully someone will answer! Then I’ll really be in trouble!
        Thanks Jo

        • dexdiva

          I am sure they will, Bob – and I am heading over right now to start :) x

  • dexdiva

    Bob, I would also recommend being part of a blog commenting tribe – I run one as part of the Access ALl Areas group, but you can also start your own. If everyone in the group reads, comments and shares each others posts it really gets discussion going!

  • http://www.angliacounselling.co.uk Bob Brotchie

    Thanks Jo ~

    I’ll look further into that!

    Thanks for dropping by too!

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