Is anyone out there reading your blog posts? Your comments section is dead, you have zero social media interaction, even your mum is too embarrassed to comment. Here’s why no-one Is reading your blog and how to fix it.
I’m nowhere near an expert, but who really is an expert these days? I’ve just been blogging for over 15 years, so I think I know a thing or two about blogging. Here’s my personal blogging pet peeves that are turning your readers from interested into zero.
1) Generic Themes
The design shouldn’t matter when you’ve got some great content right? WRONG! The design is the first thing people notice when they decide if they want to stick it out on your website and blogs are no different. I can’t take a blogger seriously when the basic design makes my eyes hurt.
Sorry if that’s harsh, but it’s true. I struggled for years with generic designs and I had a bit of coding experience, so I could find my way through a WordPress theme. But, when I saw how incredibly easy it was to make a GREAT website on Squarespace, one I’d been wanting for years, you bet I jumped that bandwagon!
Great design makes people take you seriously. If you have a basic design, PRs especially are not gonna take you seriously.
QUICK FIX: Either hire a web designer to design you a professional site as soon as you start thinking about blogging as a career or start on Squarespace.
If you want to see a great design on Squarespace in action, check out Elle & Company.
2) One Page Posts
This is a new fresh level of hell for me. Seriously, why are you making me read one page per post at a time? I saw this on a bloggers page once and it made me scratch my eyes out. If you think this will make people stay on your page, you’re wrong, it would turn me personally off as I can’t see what your overarching theme is, am I interested enough to stay on a quick glance? If not, then I’ll move on, but if yes, I will literally read ALL your posts and then secretly stalk you for weeks before I post a comment.
Quick Fix: Learn to use the Read More excerpt function on your chosen software.
Check out Karima of Shameless Fripperies to see how she’s utilising the Read More tag and showing the reader exactly what she’s about at a quick glance.
3) E-mail Pop-Ups
I really, really hate these with a vengeance. I had these at one point on the site, and they were SO ANNOYING, I vowed to never do that again.
I’ve been on your site 1 minute, and then you suddenly ask for my e-mail address before I decide I even like you or not? No, thank you! I get why they’re useful for companies, but for bloggers, what are you really going to do with my e-mail address on a pop-up?
If I really like you, and want to hear from you, I’ll happy to give you my e-mail address when you have something interesting to offer me, but I don’t want to be pressured into doing so.
Quick Fix: Add in an e-mail sign up box at the top of your site with Hellobar, within your posts or at the end of your post.
Sarah Akwisombe, my personal blogging mentor who’s really changed things for me does this so well!
4) Not Replying To Comments
I don’t care how big a blogger you are, not replying to comments just seriously turns me off. You are never too big to not reply to someone who’s taken the time to write to you. Blogging is a two-way conversation, not a one-sided monologue.
If you want that, keep a diary.
I personally reply to everyone who comments on my site or social media profiles, it’s polite and engages a real conversation that makes the reader feel like they’re able to access you. You’re not a celebrity yet!
What’s even better is if the reader gets a notification that you’ve replied. In WordPress, there’s a plugin which is fantastic for letting readers know you’ve replied to their comment.
Quick Fix: Reply to every comment, even if it’s just a thank you.
Peg Fitzpatrick who is an actual genius when it comes to social media & replies to every comment on her blog, showing that you’re never too big to engage with your audience.
5) No Share Buttons
I can’t even. Seriously. You WANT people to read your great article and then share it with their friends. That’s how people come back and new people find you. These are especially useful on a mobile site, if I’m looking at a site on my tablet or mobile, and I want to share it, and there are no share buttons, I am disappointed and click off.
There are SO MANY free share button options. I’m using Shareaholic for Squarespace, I also have all my social media profiles at the bottom of the post so if someone wants to connect with me, they can do as well.
Quick Fix: Download/add a sharing code or plugin immediately. Check your site on mobile and see if you can share your posts, if you can’t then neither can your readers.
Funny story, I was browsing through Sagan Morrow‘s blog and wanted to share a post she’d written, specifically this one, and I couldn’t see any share buttons which was so odd because this lady is a professional social media manager! Anyway, I e-mailed her because we’re blogging friends by now, and she told me her site was going through some updates and she forgot to add in the share buttons, and then promptly fixed it and we were both happy.
6) Not Showing Your Work Or Your Rates
This is mainly if you’re selling a product or service and mention it on your blog. Recently I was looking for a designer before I discovered Squarespace, and I happened upon a blog and the author said they were a designer, but there was no rates list or showcase of work. This really is selling yourself short. If you mention it, link to either a separate site or a work with me page, as it might be just what your reader needs, but if you’re not leveraging that info, you’re losing potential customers.
Quick Fix: Add a Work With Me/PR/Press page to help potential customers and brands connect with you.
Fee of Makeup Savvy does this really well by showing readers and companies where they’ve been featured in the press and making it easy for PR companies and brands to contact her.
I hope you learned something useful from this, let me know if you have anything to add or any insights as a reader to some of my points or as a fellow blogger!