Hey bloggers! You’re probably reading this to gain a little insight into why your blog’s readership seems to be on a major mood swing at times. I feel you, I get those low days too.
Many factors are involved, but let’s talk about the main thing here – your blog itself.
I personally LOVE reading blogs. My daily routine (when I’m not super busy, of course) consists of finding new blogs and reading a few of their recent posts. If I like your blog and your style, I’ll probably read more and dig through your links and archives (and follow you on Bloglovin). But some blogs, as hard as they try, makes me so frustrated, I just close the page and forget about going through it.
Don’t take this lightly. These few areas of your blog could be the reason why many people are not interacting with your blog. I myself have made these mistakes too. Here’s what I learnt in my almost 7 years of blogging.
YOUR BLOG DESIGN HAS TOO MANY ELEMENTS & COLORS IN IT
You may love it, but honestly, it gives readers a major headache. I have seen blogs that incorporate polka dots and stripes with bright pink and other bright colors (even the text has multiple colors) and I think that is a big no-no. It’s very distracting to read, and can only work if you have a consistent theme & color scheme throughout. I personally prefer white backgrounds, solid colors and clean navigation. Take a leaf out of Gary Pepper’s blog, one of my favorite blogs, and see how her amazing photos pop-out against the plain white background.
YOU USE THE “READ MORE” FUNCTION
Sure, this gives you more hits for each blog post – but to be honest, unless I already really like your blog, I will not bother to click to read more. Studies show that a lot of people still prefer the traditional blog – where you can read each post in one glance and absorb the full story without having to click and open another window, just to click back again to continue looking at another post – and so the cycle continues. My personal rule for the ‘read more’ function: Use it sparingly, and only when really necessary for very long and picture-heavy posts that would eat up your loading time.
YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ABOUT ME PAGE / YOU HAVE A BORING ONE
What? How can you not have one? When I read a blog, I would also like to know the person behind the blog. Why hide your face and your story? Speaking of story – you do not have to write a life-long autobiography in your About Me. Just a few short paragraphs on what makes you, YOU. It’s always great if you can describe some of your likes and dislikes, and let your personality shine through. Chances are, people who like your personality, would most likely come back to your blog for another read.
YOU DON’T UPDATE OFTEN
A dead blog, that’s what it is. It’s no fun to read a blog only to find that it’s latest post is about something that happened months ago. This is a no-brainer, but unless your blog has useful topics that are always useful, anytime, then you probably might not get as many views as you’d like.
YOU WRITE BIG BLOCKS OF TEXT
Maybe you’re trigger happy with the keyboard, but please learn to add paragraphs! Most people don’t bother reading large amounts of text because it’s too long, and your eyes just glaze over them (sort of like reading Wikipedia sometimes). Break each paragraph by point, like how we were all taught to do in school. Or to make a point, break every few paragraphs with a topic-related photo.
YOU DO NOT HAVE A CLEAR NAVIGATION
How do I get back to the home page? Where can I find your archives or categories? If you opt to not have a sidebar, then be sure to have a good navigation system at the top or the bottom of the page. Sidebars are usually the best option, and the easiest to find. Or, if you have some crafty CSS & HTML skills, you can follow what i did, and install a top-navigation system that follows you as you scroll, no matter where you go. Have a search bar as well. If people can’t find things easily, chances are, they won’t bother trying very hard to.
INCONSISTENT PHOTO SIZES
Some big, some small, some narrow and long and some really wide. It’s quite a headache to view various inconsistent sizes. You should always keep to the same width-sizes for photos so that it flows nicely as your reader scrolls through it. Even if you have a lot of inconsistently sized photos, play with the layout. A perfect example is Park & Cube’s post here, where she plays with photo arrangement for those vertical images.
YOU DON’T HAVE EYE-CATCHING HEADLINES
This is a fairly small issue – but I noticed that my posts with bigger hits have relatable and eye-catching headlines. Back when I was blogging on Xanga, my headlines were poetry lines and quotes that sometimes have nothing to do with the post – a big mistake. My newer posts now have much better and clearer headlines, so that readers instantly know what it’s about and are more likely to click on it, especially if it’s something relatable to them.
These are some of the more crucial points in inviting readers to come and read your blog. I have made a lot of these mistakes in the past, and I know better now.
Tell me, what other reasons would cause you to click-X on a blog?