The Main Reason Your Blog Doesn’t Attract Readers

How long do visitors stay on your site?A few weeks ago I offered discounted strategy sessions on blogging books and blogging in general. Just about half of the aspiring or published authors and bloggers I spoke with wanted to know how to attract more readers to their blogs. When I took a look at their sites I inevitably discovered the same problem: Visitors—potential readers—couldn’t quickly or easily determine what these blogs or blogged books were about.

When a potential reader or subscriber shows up for the first time on your blog, they don’t want to struggle to figure out what you are writing about. They want to “get it” immediately. If they don’t, or if they feel confused, they will immediately go away. You don’t want that to happen.

How to Attract Readers

If you want to attract readers, you must be sure:

  • Your blog (or blogged book title) clearly indicates the focus of your blog or the subject matter you cover.
  • The tagline, which can serve as the subtitle to your blogged book, further clarifies your subject or blog focus—or defines it if your title does not do so.
  • Your blog posts don’t meander around to a variety of different subjects. Stay on topic.
  • Use blog post titles, as well as subheadings, in your posts that clearly state the information found within the posts’ content.

These three points go far towards attracting readers for three reasons:

  1. They focus your blog around a central theme or subject.
  2. They make you organically use many of the same keywords or phrases in your titles, subheadings and content, that optimizes your site for search engines.
  3. They clarify your content.

How to Know if Readers are Confused

One way to tell if your readers are confused is to check the amount of time they spend on your site. Find this statistic on Google Analytics (if you’ve installed it) or on your C-panel analytics (usually provided by your hosting company). If your readers have average visit durations of less than 30 seconds, something is wrong. They are showing up and leaving pretty fast, which means they either aren’t finding what they thought they would, don’t like what they are finding or aren’t understanding what they find.

We are an impatient society. If we don’t “get it” immediately when we visit a website, we go on to the next link on the Google search engine results page. It takes just about 15 seconds. For this reason you want to be sure your blog tells readers exactly what you are writing about in every way possibly and as quickly and as clearly as you can. That’s how you attract readers to your blog and blogged book—and keep them there.

If you aren’t sure why your blog or blogged book isn’t attracting the number of readers you desire, you might want to have someone else take a look at it for you. Sometimes another set of eyes can help determine if your message is getting across clearly.

Comments

  1. says

    Nina-you nailed it. Ease of use is over half the battle. Slick fancy slideshows, graphics and pop ups, pop unders, things sliding in and out, people do not like that! I bounce off a site so quick if I cannot find what I was looking for right away, and so do most readers. The trend is going BIG for what is called “flat graphics”, which is about as simple a look as you can get. Great solid advice from Nina.

  2. Nina Amir says

    Thanks so much, Linda! Your praise means a lot. As a webmaster, you surely know how important these concepts are.

  3. says

    If anything moves, I’m out of there. It is rare that I will put up with someone grabbing an unknown amount of my time with a video – I usually wait for those to be vetted by someone I trust as ‘worth seeing.’

    Give me content – and let me see quickly if I want to read that content.

    The cleanest possible look, and a way to absorb the content at my own pace, will make me take a chance. I skim text very well – you can’t do that with podcasts or videos. I may visit 10 new sites a day, following a comment somewhere, but I rarely go back.

    My mind craves something new to read, something I hadn’t thought about, something well-written and insightful.

    I am a frustrating person to try to sell to – picky. But I buy my share of books – two new paper ones arrived yesterday, and I have a couple of new ones on the iPad this week – if there is something I need in my continuing education as a writer.

    I check out 10 books or more for every one that I buy.

    Linda, I hadn’t heard the term “flat graphics,” but it is a good way to put it.

    Right now I don’t have a ‘message’ – I blog about the journey. I’m learning – eventually it will be about the books. I have a huge amount of work ahead of me before it turns into a way to get paid for writing, but I’m in no hurry.
    ABE recently posted..Disability and fear of disability as subtext in fiction

  4. Nina Amir says

    It would still be good for you to find your message and get focused, Abe. You’ll attract more readers now, so when you get to the books, you’ll have an avid audience.

  5. says

    I blog for an odd reason: because writing is hard for me, due to a disability I have to fight for the right to write.

    The number of people who will find that useful is quite small – and they are welcome to anything usable I can put out about the process of overcoming that particular kind of barrier: they would have to be plotters (not pantsers), not natural storytellers (I’m not), and slow OR control freaks.

    I am not a disability blogger – not my thing – though I occasionally mention it because it’s there and I have to deal with it.

    I don’t expect to get a lot of readers for my FICTION, which will be all over the map in genre and characters, from those who find my suggestions about process useful. The list of writers I follow for their advice on WRITING is select – and not one of them writes in mainstream (my current genre), but they are intelligent writers with posts that make me think and help me write.

    I don’t want to sell fiction based on being disabled – I want to sell fiction because I can write well (albeit slowly), IF I can write.

    So blog visitors are an eclectic groups of writers (a few), people interested in living with disability, and people who want to sell me THEIR services.

    I’m not sure ANY of them are really customers for my fiction.

    For comparison, Kathryn Stockett (The Help) doesn’t have a blog – she has a website for the book. I will have one of those when I’m ready to publish.

    I’m not even sure I want more readers now – I have about as many as I can handle commenting, and I have nothing to offer the others except the weekly excerpt (and a bit of my biting wit).

    In another age, nobody would know much about me at all. I just happen to find blogging personally useful – and wonder every day if I should 1) publish pseudonymously (even now – take the blog down, and how many people would even remember it?), 2) not let anyone know I have a disability in the famous ‘author bio’ when the book comes out, as I don’t want pity buyers. Probably too late for both.

    I come from the tradition that says the author is the least relevant part of the book, once it’s out. Meanwhile, I’m not really blogging a book – I am serializing a novel online as I write it: the blogging is incidental. And, as an unknown author with no credentials, I doubt very much that my weird posts on writing will be salable as a book on writing (always in the back of my mind, of course, but not very actively).

    But blogging is almost by design putting the author at the center of the marketing campaign. It still feels schizoid to me.
    Alicia
    ABE recently posted..Disability and fear of disability as subtext in fiction

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge