Bloggers Tips On Keeping Your Readers Happy

By: Danny Wirken

Many bloggers find themselves wondering why their blogs do not generate enough traffic or why readers don't seem to come back to visit. The answer is simple. The blog just isn't interesting enough for most people to bother with. To make a blog interesting, you need to exert some effort to improve not only the look of the blog but the quality of writing as well. Readers after all have millions of blogs out there to choose to read from. So if you want to have readers and keep them, you have to at least learn some of the basics of blogging. To help you get started here is a collection of tips from some successful bloggers on how to keep your readers happy.

&bull Have a theme - Unless you don't plan on expanding your target audience beyond your family and friends, recounting your daily activities and writing totally random posts will not cut it. Think of an overall theme for your blog and write posts that revolve around that theme. Readers will only keep on coming back if they find that your blog contains posts that have interesting and valuable topics.

&bull Write a variety of topics - Although it is important to have a theme make sure that you write about a variety of topics that have something to do about the theme. It wouldn't be utterly boring for readers to read posts that are always of a similar vein. It would also be refreshing to post something of interest to you that is completely unrelated to your blog's theme once in a while.

&bull Write only about what you know - Don't try to impress people by being all-knowing. Writing about something you don't know about is a mistake since people knowledgeable about the topic will see right through your empty post. The only exemption to this tip is if you admit that you know little about the topic and are writing about it to seek some advice from your readers.

&bull Start learning about more things - Since you should write about things you only know about it is best to read more and learn about more things. The less you know the less you can write about and the less varied and less interesting will your posts be. Learn more so you can share more.

&bull Post often and regularly - Readers want to read fresh posts and not those that are week or months old. Posting too erratically is a sure way to lose your readers. Readers want to be sure that they have something new to read whenever they go to your blog. Posting should be done at least once a week.

&bull Vary the length of your posts - Although it Is best to generally keep your posts short since readers often don't have much time to read lengthy posts, do add variation to your posts by writing longer pieces every now and then. Just make sure that those pieces are exceptionally well written and contain topics that are very interesting to make reading the post worthwhile.

&bull Spellcheck your posts - This is not just about being fussy. Spelling and grammatical errors make posts unreadable and irritating and makes an otherwise good post look weak. It also reflects how much effort you put in writing your posts. Readers don't want to read something that looks like an afterthought.

&bull Write naturally - Do not be overly stiff with your writing style. You are blogging and not writing an academic paper. Write like you're just talking to someone. Use contractions and write using the first or second-person perspective.

&bull Match your tone with the subject - Humor is great but make sure that you use it at the proper time. Making humorous remarks when your subject matter is serious can make it seem like you are trivializing the issue. It would not only make you look insensitive but could also possibly turn off many readers.

&bull Include polls, meters or other eye candy - Adding eye candy will give your readers something else to do other than just read. It will also encourage participation and make your readers feel like they are contributing to your blog. However, make sure that you do not overdo this and add too much features making your blog cluttered.

&bull Allow commenting - This encourages readers to express their opinion and at the same time gives you feedback. If you do allow commenting though you will open yourself to criticism. Do not take them too personally. Instead try to find truth in them and learn if there is any grain of truth to the comment.

&bull Answer comments - Answering posts is a good habit. It shows readers that you too are interested in what they have to say and that you are reading their comments, spending valuable time on reading their thoughts just like they read yours.

&bull Encourage your readers to subscribe via RSS - This is would save them the effort of having to look up your blog periodically just to check if you have any new posts. Less effort = happier reader.

&bull Don't run ads in your blog - Ads are a source of irritation to many readers. If you do choose to run ads make sure that they are non-intrusive and are contextual so that they will also be relevant and of value to your readers and not just a way of making some money for you.

&bull Organize your sidebar - Sidebars are very useful in making your blog easier to navigate. It is also a great way to highlight your more popular and interesting posts. Make sure that you categorize your posts and that your readers can access your previous posts in some way other than the calendar or archive.

&bull Make sure your blog is readable - I have encountered many blogs that are totally unreadable using garish color schemes that leave you half blinded and unable to distinguish the text from the background. Other blogs use font sizes that are too small that you have to squint or at least change the text size. Before you publish your blog ask your grandma if she can read your post. If she can chances are that most of your readers will be able too.

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