"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

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Are You Sabotaging Your Blog's Success?

How to Lose Your Readers in 8 Easy Steps!

Most of us blog fully aware that it takes time, commitment and creativity to truly go the distance.
But, what we don’t always recognize is that we can sabotage our efforts when we fail to meet the needs of our readers, or fail to understand certain success principles.

With this in mind, here are eight practices and activities that have caused me to stop following blogs and unsubscribe as a reader. Common tendencies that you’ll typically find will often alienate other readers as well.

In no particular order…
Are you guilty of any?

1. Irregular Posting

There’s no doubt about it: blogging is hard work. And life gets in the way. Your job. Your family. Your need to escape. Bills. Writer’s block. Been there, done that. But sporadic, inconsistent blogging will give the impression that you’re “faking it,” are an amateur, or lack commitment. All the more reason you should find a personal schedule that works and stick with it like Velcro. In a blog fog? Ask for guest blog posts, publish reprints, or make your posts short, but substantive.

2. Going on break for extended periods, without announcing it

To many followers, it’s the equivalent of allowing all your phone calls to go straight to voice mail. It’s rude. Which causes a “disconnect.”

3. Excessive personal photos of you

Where do I begin? Let me just go on record by saying, I dig when writers share images of themselves and their personal lives. It’s great to get to know the person behind the words, and pictures provide visual variety. To a point. Unless you’re a model, please don’t post dozens and dozens of images of yourself, in a variety of poses, that do nothing to add value to your article, and that in no way tie in with your topic. It comes across as, well… a little self-indulgent.

4. Angry, repetitious, personal rants

Rants are commonplace for writers and bloggers of all walks of life. Who doesn’t need to “sound off” from time to time about a bad boss? A demanding client? Relationship woes? Poor customer service? And as they say, “Misery loves company.” But be careful here. Too much of it can be a bad thing. Branding you as bitter, immature, or in dire need of a good friend or therapist. 
5. A lack of focus on a designated topic or theme

Most people read a variety of blogs to meet their informational needs and to broaden their horizons. I, for instance, enjoy cooking blogs, writing blogs, decorating blogs, and sites devoted to frugal living. And I find that it saves time and energy when I visit a site and know exactly what I will encounter. It also helps to establish the writer’s expertise in a designated area.

This is not to say that a blogger can’t address multiple topics, when in moderation, and when there is a “tie in” of sorts. But flip flopping, changing directions, and writing on an array of unrelated topics can be confusing, and dilute your “brand”.

6. Not responding to blog comments

Blogs, by their very nature are intended to be an interactive medium. Which is why I am often left “scratching my head” when bloggers don’t respond to comments left. That is, of course, unless you’re lucky enough to garner 50 or more comments per post. Then, by all means, I don’t mind being ignored, because you’re obviously doing something right. Proceed.

7. Sell like hell

Blogging is a great way for writers to build their platform and their bottom line. But, there needs to be a balance here. Every post, ad, or “pop-up” shouldn’t be about making money or promoting your products and services. Give to receive.

8. Never comment on blogs you read

Don’t get me wrong: I’d be lying if I said that every time I read a blog, I leave a comment. Cuz I don’t. I don’t always have the time. But I do leave comments on most blogs I read on a somewhat regular basis. I realize that readers don’t owe that to us as bloggers, but it certainly fosters good karma, builds supportive relationships, and shows appreciation for the blogger’s efforts and time. And there’s a bonus here: it doesn’t cost a thing.

By the way…If I haven’t commented on your blog, you’re probably next on my list. J

Remember, there's great validity to the expression, "It's not what you do, it's how you do it."
So make the most of your efforts by considering the needs of your readers.
Thanks for being one of mine.

Thoughts? Which of these points do you agree with, if any?


  1. Excellent points, Jennifer. Heeding this advice will reap wonderful results!

    1. Thank you, Karen. I truly appreciate your time and feedback. :-)

  2. Hi, Jennifer. Promoting my blog on social media has helped attract some readers. What are some of the ways you use to get the word out about your blog?

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your question. Typically through: guest posting @ other sites, email blasts, and winning contests seems to help.

  3. Jennifer: Thank you for these pointers. Last fall, I had an emergency that kept me away from my blog for just over three months. On my first post back, I told what happened. I also told them I was going to go to two posts a week until I got better. I had in-home therapy--people coming into our home four days a week. When I got dismissed from therapy, I returned to three times a week postings. My viewer count is what I call decent. I have monthly topics on which I write.

    1. Hi Quietspirit,
      So glad you could join in today. Glad you're better. I like the revisions you have made to your site. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hi Jennifer. I enjoyed this post. I used to blog on a daily basis but now post just about every other day. It's working much better for me. My blog has been going since 2009. I absolutely love blogging and meeting other bloggers. That's the thrill of it for me. I share slices of my own life and am amazed people are kind enough to come over and read! So joyous. Susan

    1. Susan,

      I agree. I love blogging too. Isn't it yummy?! By the way...I love the personal photography @ your site. And hope to check out your EBay items soon. Thanks so much for connecting here today! :-)

  5. Hi Jennifer .. yes you’re right about blogging being ‘hard work’ it is - but is fun. I post irregularly … but thankfully it seems to work – I guess as it’s an informative blog rather than a professional one.

    I did announce my break – then by August .. blogger had started putting comments into comment moderation – that was frustrating!

    Personal photos – not for me … rants – can’t do … and not good for the image … as mentioned earlier I write an informative blog – who knows what will come up – but thankfully it seems to work … people look forward to the subject (or two) ..

    I always reply to comments – that is a must do.

    Selling – is a turn off … and some blogs I don’t comment on – but I will if I’m involved with them … maybe not all the posts.

    Your quote is appropriate … do as you would others do unto you …
    Cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary,

      How lovely to hear from you. Thanks so much for your very detailed, thoughtful response. Seems like you have a good handle on this blogging thing. :-) Enjoy your day!