Blogging and your readers

Blogging tips with readers in mind.

Blogs like books develop a relationship with readers.

Most of the readers of Liberated Way come from WordPress. If your blog is designed with readers in mind it would be worth considering their needs to attract readers.  The best way to do this is be a reader: follow blogs, read blogs, comment on blogs; this way you develop the wisdom of seeing from the readers point of view, which then will impact how you create your blogs.

The photo on the left I produced quickly by dumping a book close to flowers; what is original, interesting and useful attracts readers.

When readers read your blog they will perhaps “follow” and leave comments.  Here are insights on what irritates me when it comes to “follow” and commenting.

“Follow”

“Follows” are a good indicator you are doing something right; the reader likes your blog, which also means they will get a copy by e-mail of everything you post to your blog.  Two pitfalls:

1. Before you post, make sure your blog is error free by using Draft Mode.  “Followers” can get spammed with multiple copies of your blog, the one with errors, with a dead link; and the corrected blog posts.

2. Too many blog posts annoy readers. Readers like me get between 50-100 new post e-mails each day, which is a lot of reading time.  I had to unfollow a blogger who was reblogging 10+ blogs each day; I could not cope with that number of posts to read.  Some Dandelion Award winners blog up to four posts a day, but they keep those quality blogs short and sweet.  I blog mostly one post a day, I know my readers are probably reading dozens of WP posts a day, as well as mine.

“Commenting”

The blogs in order of annoyance that do the following better have a lot of “wow” to keep me interested in reading them:

  1. blogs that have turned commenting facility off.
  2. blogs that failed to approve their comments.
  3. blogs that insult those that leave comments.
  4. blogs that never reply to their comments.

Blogs in my opinion are developing a relationship with the reader, commenting is part of the relationship.  Readers who have taken time out to read and comment on blogs deserve the attention of being replied to.  I stopped following a blog because the blog failed to approve comments I made a month before.

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48 responses to “Blogging and your readers

  1. I created a test “follower” to Liberated Way so I get e-mails of all my posts to see what “followers” are seeing when I post.

  2. I actually just recently started my blog a week ago and this was very helpful! If you have anytime do you think you might be able to take a look at my blog and give me some advice? If not that’s not a problem at all! Thanks again for the advice on your post!

    • Hi cdunham0920, I have taken a look at your blog, which looks good. I am following. I often write blogging tips like this post you commented on, so keep watching for them. I will create pages linking to all my blogging tips. All blogging tips are only guidelines, so you need to find what suites you and your readers.

  3. Those writing 4+ blogs per day are usually more about quantity than quality

    • Mostly you are right, but I have seen exceptions to the rule.

      • I have enough of a problem writing on my several blogs more than once or twice a month. I even started some posts and saved them to draft hoping that would help me post more often (not more than daily-although I did that once by mistake). I still haven’t posted those drafts I began last month.

        Thanks for the tips, I hadn’t thought about saving my posts to draft until I make sure it’s just the way I want it, great tip. I wouldn’t want to turn someone off just because I had to edit something more than once.

        Do you happen to know whether it’s possible for readers to comment on Word Press if they don’t have a Word Press, twitter or facebook account?

      • Readers can enter a comment without registering, though they need a name or e-mail address to put in the comment fields. Thanks for your comment.

  4. [ Smiles ] I enjoyed your article, Alex.

    I can exceed four posts daily and still maintain that quality if I wanted to.

    You certainly hit the figurative nail on the head when you went into detail about commenting.

    Keep up the good work, Alex.

  5. Wrote a blog which features barter, as promised…

  6. Edward Bedinghaus

    I found this useful. Thank you. I always try to be audience-oriented in my posting.

  7. Good tips, especially the one on commenting.Thank you.

  8. Alex I believe I will take your tip and create a dummy follower and walk a mile in my readers’ shoes.I have really fallen out of the e-mail habit and read the blogs I’m following via the WordPress reader.
    I am with you when it comes to comment behaviour .I just defollowed a big name for gratuitous rudeness.A person might be a domain expert but rarely are they indispensable.I have also seen my irritation mount when I can’t find the comment space fast and when I am faced with a captcha or a sign-up.

    • Bloggers and readers can communicate with each other in a respectful manner, and so I am with you on annoyance over rudeness. Those that make the errors are usually the ones who do not read others blogs, so they lack the insight of writing with the reader in mind. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Very good post, Alex. I have come to enjoy your blog based engagement between writer and reader. Plus, I have liked your recent photos which have a theme of returning our thoughts to the world around us.

  10. Some very sage advice in my opinion. I would just add a few other thoughts.

    Yes, you are totally right about blogging being a relationship with your readers. But also I think that one has to do everything to make the experience good for the reader, new or otherwise. That means that the blog post should be visually compelling. Well laid out text, eye-catching titles, attractive opening sentences that draw the reader on, and photographs and visual images to break up the text. A screen-full of words is tough to read especially on the rapidly growing proportion of tablets, smart phones, etc.

    Just my two-pennies worth!

    • Hi Paul, I totally agree with all your suggestions. You also made an interesting insightful observation that many now read blogs via smart phone and tablets; I must admit I am unsure how my blogs look on these devices. Thanks for your comment.

  11. A good post Alex. Even as a seven-year-blogger it does good to be reminded of the pitfalls.In your list of ‘pet hates,’ I would add failure to have a ‘like’ button. Many times, I would like to click one to show that I enjoyed the read/material, but have naught to contribute; I am left somewhat flustered. The reason I have eight blogs, is to avoid daily over-posting on one. Each has its own niche… more or less.

    AV

  12. Thoughtful and on point Alex.

  13. I agree with your thoughts on comments. I always do my best to reply on my blog, I think it is rude for someone to not recognize a contribution.
    I don’t follow blogs unless I have been reading them for a while and find myself at their blog looking for new posts and they don’t post regularly, generally I just put them in my favourites and look when I get the time. The list is long!

    I love getting new followers but I know that often they are just hoping you will follow them in return, they have no intention of looking at your blog again. I much prefer a new reader who will comment or like regularly, even if they don’t follow.

    The thing that probably annoys me the most is when a blogger doesn’t connect their blog to their gravatar profile. If I have seen an interesting sounding gravatar has clicked LIKE on a blog I am reading and I want to have a look at their blog, sometimes I can’t find a way to get there. If they have their blog connected to their profile then they are likely to get another reader.

    • Hi metan. you make a good point on people failing to link their blog to their Gravatar profile, I have had the same problem when I wanted to read their blog.

      In my opinion people should only follow if they find the blog useful in some manner to them.

      Thanks for your comment.

  14. I liked your to the point style. I just found you and if you would like, I would invite you to visit my blog. Blessings, Barbara

  15. Thanks for this advice. I need to do a much better job of building relationships with my readers.

  16. Thank you for this advice!

    The blogs I was reading when I decided to create one are set up more as news sources than reciprocal conversations (the reciprocal model reminds me very much of what livejournal used to be).

    Until this post I was very worried that I was not posting *enough* articles per day, or finding a diverse enough array of sources to share. It is a very interesting shift in perspective to think of posting too many.

    I no longer read the one that does not allow comments, but until reading your suggestions it had not occurred to me *why*, I had just lost interest. I really enjoy the differing ideas and perspectives many commenters share on a blog on top of the ideas of the blog itself.

    I really appreciate the concept of online community as an extension and expansion of our land based communities. It is also a subversion of the usual form of interaction since here we interact with one another thru our ideas without the visual referents and in most day to day interactions we see the clothes, hairstyle, height and weight etc but most interactions are brief without many ideas involved.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog!
    Blessings,
    Ohnwentsya

    • Dear Ohnwentsya,

      Thanks for your comment and for following my blog.

      I am glad you found my blogging advice useful. I am following your blog and I am sure you can double your readership easily by turning your blog into a conversation with your readership.

      It is worth seeing the world from the point of view of your reader, people with limited time to read blog posts who might be scared by long posts, multiple posts each day or anything that is complicated to read. Making it short, simple and fast pays huge dividends in attracting a loyal readership.

      You have a message to get out so your blog could easily be treated as an opening of a conversation with an invitation to a supporting website which carries all your material for them to explore. One post a day is all you need as bait to lure in the reader to explore the wider extent of your message. I read one post then I went exploring other of your posts, as time goes on I will go through your blog archive even more over time.

      Best regards.

      Alex

  17. I sort of don’t like blogs that read like they are catering to readers. Let me decide what I connect to. It’s like a film that winks at the audience, if it’s not comedy (for me), on a subliminal level I disconnect because it is trying to hard. I personally tend to enjoy the blogs where the writer is actually enjoying their own content and the content seems more for them. I dunno why, can’t break down the whys to that one. Also, some of those same blogs post quite a bit of stuff. I also don’t mind that cuz it shows they’re having fun and care about their blog. It actually makes me more interested somehow (unless they refrain from interacting with readers – that I agree with you on 1000%).

    Those who ignore their comments and readers reactions I sort of unfollow. It comes across like mental masturbation to me, like don’t disturb me while I do my thing. Then uh…place your blog on private. It’s weird, like being in a conversation with someone who doesn’t respond. You can let it go if they’re autistic, but other than that, it irks you.

    Interesting blog here, in between. Alot of your content looks rather interesting!

    • Hello Godisx,

      You make some great insights. Blogging is a conversation and one could look at the blogging process as like how one engages in a friend over dinner. A person in a social conversation who speaks above, through or as if you are not there tends to annoy, or at least be boring. In such conversations people who only will speak to please you can be irksome too. There is a middle ground between catering to the reader and being egotistical, which may be the ideal ground for successful blogging.

  18. Great post, thanks for the tips. Ive been on blogger for years and just started this blog on WP so Im still finding my feet. thanks for this post. x

  19. I’m glad you stumbled upon my post about crows, for now I have stumbled upon your blog. We seem to share a lot of the same philosophies and an appreciation of nature. I’m fairly new to this blogging thing, and I aspire to one day have as many followers!

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