Friday, January 14, 2011

What Grips a Blog Reader?

We stumble around trying to figure out how to blog. How do people get great feedback, large numbers of readers, notoriety to the point of earning an income? What kind of writing does it take to snare readers . . . and keep them?

What makes you read a blog?

There. That's it. Make a list of the reasons you take precious minutes out of your busy day, slow down, and read someone's blog. I suspect you envision a good post to be:

1. Funny.
Humor is a universal magnet. If you've got it, use it.

2. Relevant.
The topic addressed a need in your life - right then, when you needed answers.

3. Sincere.
Most people have good barometers. They can tell honesty, sincerity and heart.

4. Inspirational.
Motvational works, too. The post uplifted you, improved the quality of your day.

5. Educational.
Lots of take-away value. Facts in your hand give you a ready to go feeling. A reader could understand easily and quickly use the knowledge.

But you think you do all of this and still don't have readers.

First, it takes time. Blogs take months to grow.
Second, self-praise is a poor recommendation. Readers determine if you hit the target, not you.

Instead of skimming ten blogs today, slow down and analyze why they are successful and what makes you want to read them. Just like hungry writers read good books to improve, ambitious bloggers study those who have gone before them. Learn what works . . . and do it better.

8 comments:

Anne R. Allen said...

I'd say your blog hits all those points. Especially educational. I've learned so much about blogging and writing in general from you. I'm amazed at how you keep it up.

You may not get as many comments as some of us because people see you more as an authority than a peer who needs encouragement. But we all need it, so: yay Hope! and thanks for all you do with this blog and your newsletter.

Kristine said...

What Anne said! :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

And I think that some blogs are enjoyed by many readers who never leave a comment and never become an official "follower." But they are read nonetheless...

Thanks for reminding us that it does take time for our blog to catch on.

Anthony J Langford said...

The best advice is simple advice, and sometimes we overlook the obvious. You state it all, particularly humor, relevance and sincerity. At the very least, I try to be sincere. You're right, people can sniff bullshit a mile away, and unfortunaly, the internet can get a bit smelly..

haha

Sorry, not the best metaphor but there it is.

Thanks again Hope!

Hope Clark said...

Anthony, I found your metaphor quite profound! LOL Thanks!

rachel's life. said...

I agree with your first point. Humour is a definite must for a decent blog post.

Maribeth Hickman said...

Hope, you continue to amaze me with everything that you do! Congratulations on your book contract! Nobody deserves it more than you. I love your post on blogging. Can you recommend a source for starting the blog process for someone who knows very little about computer technology? I trust your opinion on writing more than anyone else.

Thank you,
Maribeth Hickman

Hope Clark said...

Maribeth -
If you know nothing, the easiest starting point is Blogger.com . It's boiler plate and simple to follow.

Hope