Tuesday, 15 October 2013

5 Ways to Improve Readership

Today I was asked "How did you get your readership up?" And while I could give you the short, by engaging in blog hops answer.. My long term followers who have gotten to know me over the years would think I'm sick as I never give just one sentence answers. If someone asks me a question, it is because they want to learn something they have never learned before. How could I not give them the knowledge of a subject I too once wondered about?

When checking out a new blog I look for 5 things..


  1. Blog design
  2. Blog layout
  3. Blog content
  4. The follow button
  5. Blog Hops

Seems simple enough right? Well then why do people still have it all so wrong? Ask yourself this.. What do you look for when looking at blogs to follow? For me it's these four elements on the page. Let me explain..

Blog Design.
I don't know how many times I have clicked on a page only to click the back arrow button on the top of my screen. Some blogs are just so boring and full of crap. The pages have way too many links and ads and buttons and decorations and words and just crap everywhere. How many times has this happened to you where your really excited that you have possibly found a blog with great content but navigating through the design of the blog is not worth the trouble. Confessions of a blogger right? What about those hideous pop up windows people make pop up at you while your reading or even when you first click on the page. Now they really bug me. If you want readership, you need to provide a space they would like to come back to. Simple.

Some examples of good and bad designs.. 
Saffron Threads - Simple yet effective..
Chitika Ad Network - Um.. Great example.

The Blog Writer.
The first thing I want to know when checking out a blog is a little bit about the person writing it. Are they real, what their interests include and where they're from. I love blogs like {this one} which gives me all the info I will ever need about the person and their blog. Whether it be on the sidebar or a page of its own it needs to be there. Readers want to know who you are. Including your name.

Blog Content.
I myself look for personality posts. Things I can relate to such as motherhood and family orientation. I love seeing home recipes, families engaging with one another, the highs and the lows. To gain readership sometimes it means opening your heart a little bit. "Safe" posts are not what people want to read. I want the real stuff. Get personal and add personality to your blog. Show me who you are. Readers also want the easy way to find things.. Label your posts. A simple list of labels at the bottom of your blog can have readers staying longer and wanting to get to know you more.

The Follow button.
I think every blog should have a easy way to follow for people who want to follow and follow quickly. I notice that the newer blogs don't have GFC making it difficult to follow without having to go the long way round. (see this post). It's not easy enough. If I were a newer blogger, and didn't have the GFC option, I would either create a facebook page or twitter account purely for my blog updates. But don't be fooled by those awesome looking buttons on blog side bars. Most buttons take you away from the blog and onto a new site which is never a good thing. I recently clicked a facebook button on a blog and was navigated away from the blog to the facebook website. I liked the FB page but then saw that I had new notifications my attention was then elsewhere. Did I go back to that blog after I checked my notifications? Nope. So simplify it for your readers, don't give them an option to leave your page unless it's through another window. Grab a Facebook and twitter badge so your readers can follow you with just one click without going anywhere if you can. But those of you who have GFC. Use it! It's the simplest way..


Blog Hops. 
Lastly, I just want to say that Blog hops are the best way to gain followers. Simplify how you want people to follow you and I can guarantee your numbers will improve! I got my first 200 followers simply from blog hops alone. Engage in the blog hops, link up, comment and meet new faces. I don't follow people who just want a follow back.. If I like the content and enjoy the space I will hit that follow button for updates. Anyone can have followers, but genuine readership is becoming rarer and rarer..

Good luck guys, and enjoy the journey!

2 replied:

Marisa McCroskey said...

This is a great post!! I am still trying to fix my site to where it's pretty, yet functional...ahhhh, new blogger syndrome! This helps me out a lot, thanks for the detailed and REAL info. I like REAL, not the "what everybody wants to hear" info! You rock:-)

Linda @ twin-mom.com said...

Great post! I love getting new ideas for blogging. I agree - I like to know about the writer to find something to relate to, like family, motherhood, etc. I'm stopping by from the Sat. Blog Hop - have a great weekend!

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