I was working on a post on how to get thousands of people to like and follow your blog. While doing the research and carefully outlining all the steps you need to take, I realized that I have no idea how others are going to react to your blog. I can only tell you how I respond to your blog and what you might do to attract me as a reader. I offer the following as my rules for reading, following and liking a blog.
There is the theory that there are other people like me, and if you get me as a follower, you might get others like me. So, this post could either be a guide to getting more readers, or serve as a warning of what not to do. The choice is yours.
First thing you need when writing, is to know your audience. Here’s the kinds of blogs I like to read:
1. Personal essays, humorous stories of life, memoir, glimpse of the past and its impact on today, overcoming adversity, and the occasional cute cat story (they have to be really good, because my cat stories are cuter than yours).
2. Woodworking, especially projects you are working on, with pictures.
3. Prostate cancer personal experience blogs of those dealing with it, or supporting someone who has it.
4. Poetry, good poetry with images and metaphors that make me feel an emotion, picture a scene, or tell a story.
5. Writing blogs that focus on creativity, inspiration, challenges of being a writer, or general experiences of the writing life.
6. Faith based stories that are from my “radical middle of the road” perspective.
7. WWII history and remembrance.
Next thing you need to know about your audience is how to get your words in front of their eyes. Now, there is a chance that I might be doing a Google search or checking out blog recommendations on WordPress and discover your blog. Odds of that happening are remote as I rarely do that. Here’s how I most often discover new blogs to read:
1. Someone starts following my blog.
2. Someone leaves a comment on my blog.
3. Someone likes a post I’ve made.
4. I read a post on someone’s blog that mentions another blog that sounds interesting.
5. When reading another blog, I read an interesting comment and decide to check the commenter’s blog out.
6. A friend emails me about a blog they read.
When I do discover a new blog that falls into my interests, I’ll go check it out. What I’ll do when I get there is:
1. Read the “about page” if there is one. I like about pages, they can be fun.
2. Will read one or two posts and see if they’re interesting to me.
3. Will check see how often the blogger posts. I like fewer, high quality posts.
4. If I like what I see and I can find a “follow” button, I’ll follow the blog.
Once I am following a blog, I rely on email to inform me when there is a new post. Yup, old-fashioned email. I get a lot of email in a day – work, blog stuff, ads, spam…
Here’s the hard truth, I don’t have time to read each email in detail – I have to pick and choose. I timed myself one day and I spend on average about four seconds per email (less if I can bulk delete things). I wish I could tell you that I am looking for gems to follow-up on, but in reality I am looking for junk to throw away. There is a long list of things that annoy me about people’s blogs and any one of these will cause me to click away from a post.
I was going to list all the annoying things, but I don’t want this post to devolve into my personal rant on what I dislike in the blogsphere.
If I am still reading a blog after four seconds, I’ll likely finish reading the and then I’ll decide whether or not to click the like button on the post. Provided there is a like button. Lately I’ve been surprised at the number of bloggers who’ve removed or haven’t enabled the like button for their posts. Liking a post is very much a choice I make, I don’t blindly click like.
Some final points:
1. I prefer quality over quantity. I’d much rather get one outstanding post in a week than five posts a day.
2. I like playful humor, especially where a writer takes a small incident and turns it into a humorous essay. Something like: you ran out of clean socks and all the problems that is causing you.
3. I appreciate skillful and clever use of language.
4. I love it when poets take time to record themselves reading their poems and post the audio file along with the text.
5. I like to learn obscure facts. The more obscure the better.
and one thing I really dislike is numbered lists – you know posts that list the “Top five ways to …”
Humm, guess I won’t be liking my own post.
Till next week,