"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blog is a Verb**5 Things That Will Frustrate Your Readers!

You’ve written a great article on the Web.
And either you were blessed by the Creative Gods that I happened to stumble upon it navigating the Net, or a friend of a friend Tweeted or linked to your work.

Excitedly, I rush to your referenced blog for more of your words of wisdom, your vibe, or perhaps your entertainment value.
Sipping on a cup of hot herbal tea in one hand, and my laptop in the other, I can’t wait to discover more about you. For me, it’s like getting lost between the pages of a good read.
So I’m thinking…wow me, won’t you?

Unfortunately, five minutes in, and I’m out.
As much as I love to read and share blogs of interest, (and I wish you the best), chances are, I won’t be back soon.

Here are five of the most common reasons some fail to click with this chick:

1. Your blog was difficult to navigate.
Finding out more about you was as taxing as trying to get secrets from the C.I.A.
And my time (and patience) is very limited.

Solution? Minimally have a nice photo so I know whom I’m connecting with, along with designated categories or pages that include an “About Me” page.
Tell me a little about what brings you to the blogosphere. What are your hobbies? Why should I read you? Make it clear. Quickly. Please don’t send me on a scavenger hunt where there’s no real prize.

2. You held me “hostage”.
The only thing missing was the gun. Blog post lengths are of course, a judgment call, usually based upon the blog owner’s blogging style, available time, and subject matter. And there are different schools of thought here. No doubt.
Still, a quality post doesn’t have to be of epic proportion. Blogging, by its very nature is intended to be a quicker, briefer read. Wouldn‘t you agree?

Solution? Give me the “Cliff Notes” version. Complete with bullet points and lists, and short paragraphs. Or break long posts into several parts for different days. It gives us both something to look forward to.

3. Your blog was a bit bland.
Okay, I like Vanilla ice cream. “Vanilla” blogs? Unfortunately, not so much.:-)
I’m sure you’re an absolutely lovely person in person. Really. And don't take this harshly... I prefer blogs with a little humor, the occasional rant, controversy handled with class, colorful images that enhance your message, and a host who has a conversational tone. Other readers will too.

Solution? Know your strengths. Capitalize on them. Be yourself. And remember that variety is the spice of life.

4. I fear you’re fickle.
Some months you post. Other months you don’t. It’s a classic case of “she loves me, she loves me not.” Readers don’t know what to expect. Or when.
The last thing I need is to “follow“ someone who has no clear direction or sense of commitment.
I‘m confused enough on my own.

5. You don’t value my readership.
How can I tell? Here are a few red flags. You didn’t proofread your post (evident in the amount of errors detected). You don’t respond to readers’ comments. Your titles aren’t captivating, or they fail to deliver on what‘s been promised.

Solution? Learn the art of wooing your readers. Cultivate chemistry. Care about their experience. Discern their needs. Then deliver.
And last but not least, don't be afraid to learn from experts, if the situation dictates.

Remember “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Here’s hoping yours will be favorable and fierce!
You too can "have the moves like Jagger". :-)

Confession time. What bugs you with blogs?

Image: Stock photo


  1. The was a wonderful post. Some great points for me to ponder on for sure. I try very hard to connect with my readers but, I usually respond via email, I find it easier for me with my smart phone when out and about! I will take some of these pointers to heart when I sit down to write! Thanks.

  2. Melody-mae,

    Girl, where you been hiding?! :-)
    Not to worry, your blog personality is as colorful as a peacock!
    And I always love your fashion shows. :-)
    Of course, we all could be a bit better. Growth is a good thing.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and weighing in.

  3. Boy, Jen, I'm sure glad you designed my blog! I'm clear on number one, at least. I'll strive to improve on the rest. Wordy blogs with little take away value bug me. And I like pictures now and then.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 23, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      Thanks, Susan, for the unexpected "plug". :-)

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 23, 2012 at 1:14 PM


    Even if I hadn't, you were born to be a blogger, even before you even knew!
    And I think many of us do more right things than we realize. :-)
    Good thing---it's not a perfect science.

  5. #4 is my pet peeve. I believe if I have followers, I owe them consistency. I have deleted blogs from my favorite's list for this very reason. Again, you are spot on.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM


      Much thanks. I always consider it such a compliment to even HAVE readers and followers, that I blog even when I'm a bit overwhelmed or under the weather. :-)

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Like you, I groan when I see posts that rival War and Peace.

    Susan :)

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 26, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      Hi Susan!

      How have you been? Lovely to hear from you today.
      Yep. "Don't it make your brown eyes blue?" :-)

      Thanks for adding to the mix.

  7. Numbers 2 and 4 stand out to me. I don't like long posts; there are only so many hours in a day, you know? It's also frustrating when you'd like to keep up with a blog but can't seem to figure out when posts will show up.

    Good points, all, Jen. I am always thinking about these types of things as I want to make sure my blog has something to offer to make readers come back.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 27, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      ...And by the looks of things, you've done a pretty good job of it. :-) Thanks for your time and thoughts.

  8. I so agree with 'loooooong posts' and 'not responding to readers' comments'.

    and I see you value your readers. Thanks for this post!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM


      ...And I certainly value what you bring to my blog community. Much thanks for your time and comments!

  9. I really enjoyed this post...great points and as a new food+travel blogger and freelance food writer, this really has driven home some important points. Thanks!

    1. Traveling Foodie,

      Welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by and adding to the discussion. Glad this post was useful for you. :-)