February 8, 2012

3 Tips to Get People to Read Your Blog

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Written by: Ross Quintana
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3 Tips to Get People to Read Your Blog is the cure for madblog disease

OK maybe not that major, but I will say that as a consumer of fine information I know what I look for in the first 3 seconds I am on a blog that will determine if I will read it or not. First impressions count and when there are so many good blogs out there to read you have to make a good first impression. Here are three simple tips that can change the amount of viewers, the time they spend on your site, and the amount of comments you get. Here we go:

Tip#1 – Design. This seems simple, but I have gone on so many blogs where the text is so small I can’t see it. The font is hard to read, the design is too cluttered or the background image or color makes it hard to read. Click on a variety of sites and think about how your eyes feel in the first 3 seconds. Then look at your site. I love me some eye candy stylistic themes, but not at the sake of readability. Blogs are a lot like restaurants. The lighting and environment either make you want to stay or leave. The old fast food restaurants used bright lights, fluorescent colors, and plastic seats because they didn’t want people staying too long. Now they all look like Starbucks because they changed their strategy to be more appealing. Design matters and how people feel in the first 3 seconds. Take the test.

Tip#2 – Structure. You will notice I bold the first parts of each section. I put my text in chunks that aren’t too long as to discourage reading. If I put all the text of this blog in one block you would leave and not read it. The same text broken up and that is a different story. Think of it like holding your breath while you read. There is a limited time people will commit to each section. You structure it so that with breaks you can add more information and still keep them reading. Bold the first sentence and have it represent the section. This allows someone to scan the whole blog and see if it is compelling enough for them to read. It also creates a mental filing system so they can remember it better.

Tip#3 – Length. Look I don’t care how good the information everyone is in a hurry and writing a three page book on one topic is not what blogging is for. If you have that much to say do everyone a favor and break it into two or three parts. You are not the only post they are reading and sometimes I just don’t have 15 minutes to read a post. The other issue is new readers will not commit to a long post from a source they don’t know. If you have to write a long post you better bold your paragraphs so they can scan and see if it is worth their time. I read a ton of blogs and books and I can tell you that many of them would have been more powerful if they were shorter. Force yourself to be more concise and remember people can only digest so much in one post so writing on and on is not useful.This will also help them comment because you didn’t give them too much to think about.

OK so there are your 3 tips to get people to read your blog. Right there you make a better first impression, get people to keep reading, and remember what you wrote so they are more likely to read you blog, comment on it, and share it with others. Wham, bam, and thank you mam.

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About the Author

Ross Quintana
Founder of SocialMagnets, I am passionate about social media, influence, innovation, strategy, and marketing. I love to help people learn and understand the digital world. I stretch people's thinking and share my analysis of information, tools, and strategies in social media. Let's connect


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