"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Monday, October 17, 2011

5 Ways to Keep Your Blog Audience From "Channel Surfing"...


Let’s face it. We have become a nation intent on instant gratification. From speed dating, to quick fix microwaveable meals, to excessive credit card debt that allows us to buy now and pay later.

And our attention spans mirror this mindset. We “Tweet” because it’s fast and in the moment. It feeds our fix to be in the know, now.
We‘re overextended, overcommitted, and many of us have become serial skimmers that gloss over web content and written materials for highlights, bullet points, and “what’s in it for me?” value. True?

Armed with this info, it only stands to reason that we implement strategies to have visitors to stay at our “virtual doorstep” long enough to accept what we have to offer, link to us, or become loyal fans. After all, nobody likes a high “bounce rate” other than Beyonce or Shakira!

To this end, here are a few tips to have them at “hello”. And keep them stuck like Velcro.

1). Write for your audience.
Identify your target group and your goals. That’s half the battle. I cringe whenever I read folks who say they write primarily for themselves. Especially “real writers”. Real writers write for real readers. They keep their needs in mind. They proofread their work before it goes public. They communicate with readers in an effort to create “connections”. They care about the readers’ experience. Sure, your writing should reflect your own personal beliefs and agendas, but it should always be about your readers. Personal writing should be relegated to personal diaries.

2). Remember that titles are vital!
Think about it. When you’re deciding what to watch on the boob tube, (other than your favorite programs), basically you decide what to view based upon the title or the actors starring in the movie. It’s a sad reality, but no matter how eloquent your writing, or how well versed you are in your subject matter, if your title isn’t enticing, some folks won’t bother to explore the content.

3). Inject a little humor when applicable.
Unless it’s a serious subject matter, most folks appreciate a laugh to get through the day, or a funny writing anecdote, or a humorous look on a universal issue. As long as it’s not mean spirited or in poor taste, have at it!

4). Don’t underestimate the importance of an “active” Blog.
When readers drop by to your spot, what will they see? Are there any comments? Followers? Feedback? Believe it or not, if your site appears like a “ghost town” it may give the impression that it’s not worth their time and effort.

5). Keep it brief but substantive.
In Blogging, sometimes less is more. 'Nuff said. :-)

Follow these timely tips for rave reviews and strong ratings!

Thoughts?
Which principle do you find yourself practicing the most?

Image Stock Illustration

12 comments:

  1. Jennifer:
    All these pointers are good. I try to sometimes inject a bit of humor. I have learned to us stories from my family's life as ways to highlight a point.

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  2. quietspirit,

    You're on the "write track". :-)
    Families offer great fodder for writers.
    Thanks for your feedback.

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  3. Jennifer,
    You know your stuff! I like the advice, Inject humor. I just received my Writer's Journal and my article on how to write a selling personal essay is on p.44. My point: humor always helps.

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  4. Linda,

    You know how to make me smile! The reason you're so widely published is that you're receptive to growing and learning from those who are "in-the-know". :-)

    Kudos to you on your recent publishing success! U go girl. :-)

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  5. These are great tips. When reading #4, I had to laugh, for somehow I could imagine hearing crickets chirping. Not for your blog of course - that's just the audio I got! :)

    Thanks Jen, your posts are always good, always timely. Have a great week!

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  6. Thanks, Karen. And so are your comments!

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  7. I totally support the points for adding humour and having great titles! Great post!

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  8. Wow...a blast from the past! :-) Hi Gargi, how have you been? Thanks for stopping by and saying hi.

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  9. Cynthia,

    How lovely to hear from you today. Thanks for adding to the mix.

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  10. Ha ha I love the Beyonce and Shakirah reference. You are right, a high bounce rate is a nightmare for bloggers. I do my best to be concise, fun and myself, while keeping the readers in mind. Guaranteed, sometimes I am more successful and sometimes not so much. But I only write posts that satisfy me, so most of my stuff thankfully reaches the intended audience:)

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  11. Pinar,

    How awesome to have you join us. Welcome! Blogging bounce rates can be tricky to control. Glad you've had success with reaching your audience. Don't be a stranger. :-)

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