Of course we don’t want to discourage blog visitors but many bloggers do, without realizing. As bloggers we all want new visitors to return and become regular readers. We need as many people as possible to follow us and share our posts on Social Media platforms. Online Marketers need clients, sales or affiliates.
Here are some of the ways you may be preventing your blog from attracting return visitors, making it hard for them to follow you on social networks, and to buy from you or join you in business.
Don’t Encourage Visitors to Read More
Consider these scenarios:
- The first post that a new visitor reads on our blog may not be one that totally captivates them but we hope it’s interesting enough for them to explore further and read more.
- The post itself might be brilliant but it’s not quite the topic your visitor wants to read about. They may already be familiar with the subject or it goes into more technical detail than they need.
- A new visitor arrives on your blog and is totally mesmerized by the post they read.
- An occasional reader comes back to find more on a topic they read a while ago.
- Someone wants to follow you on a Social Network but can’t find links to your profile.
In each situations you need to make it easy for your blog visitors to find posts they’re interested in.. If they don’t have a good experience they may fly off into the far reaches of the blogosphere, never to be seen again. The only navigation you want to take place is within your own blog.
Good Ways To Discourage Blog Visitors
A Main Blog Page
Don’t have a main blog page. Make it hard for readers to find all your posts.
- Just have links to categories instead. Using a few main categories in your menu is fine but what if posts in a particular category are old and your reader wants to see your current content? Don’t expect them to click on each category to find something new. What if a new blog visitor wants to just browse and get a general idea of what you write about?
You do have a blog page but:
- You leave out pagination or older/newer posts links. When a reader scrolls to the end of your blog page they can’t go any further.
- Your blog page only contains one full post and your current post is very specific. For example you blog about natural health solutions. Your last post is about warts which caters to a very select audience. If all visitors see is the post on warts they won’t get a full or accurate impression of your overall content.
Make sure you create a blog layout and navigation system that makes for smooth and easy cruising rather than steering in gale force winds.
Don’t advertise your services, products or affiliations
You know that too much promotion on your blog is bad for business. You want to share your knowledge and experience with readers, to develop trust and credibility. Quite rightly you restrict the amount of promotional posts.
However you don’t have any advertising banners or dedicated pages talking about your online business activities. Very soon your promotional posts are lost in the dim dark recesses of your archive pages.
If your readers can’t find what you are selling, you can’t expect to make any sales from your blog. I keep an eye out for what my blogging friends are involved with as I’ll always buy or join them rather than an unknown entity. Only last week I wanted to buy something but couldn’t remember who’d posted about it. I visited a few of the likely candidates but couldn’t find what I was looking for.
Make it hard for readers to share posts and follow you
Nearly all blogs have sharing buttons attached to posts, either underneath or floating alongside but many bloggers miss out Follow Buttons. (Sidebar, Header or Footer)
Don’t forget that even if you don’t use a particular social media platform others do. Make sure you include the major share button: Facebook, Twitter, gPlus, Linked In, Pinterest.
Add one or two others networks for those friends who want to share your posts but prefer to keep shares, on their main profiles, to their own topics. Pinterest is one where they’re likely to share a mixture of subjects, as are StumbleUpon and Reddit.
Make your blog images too small to share
Small images are less likely to be pinned, only appear as thumbnails when shared on Facebook, and make less of an impression when shared elsewhere.
Use images large enough to be worth pinning on Pinterest and similar sites.
Don’t have a professional looking theme or layout
What you write about is the most important consideration but first impressions count. Small fonts, indistinct text and cluttered, poorly laid out pages and posts are just a few of the ways to discourage return readers.
If you don’t need extra features, a good free theme is fine but a premium theme that offers different layout options and landing pages is definitely worth considering.
Write posts just for the sake of it
You want to blog regularly but lack inspiration or don’t have the time. Resist the temptation to write if you have nothing of value to say. With that I’m going to shut up and sign over to you. Can you add to the list of how bloggers can discourage blog visitors without realizing it? I only talk of visual aspects here but what about other ways?
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