You worked hard to make your blog beautiful and put together a blog post PACKED with value… so why aren't more people reading it? The blog world is so saturated that sometimes even getting your blog in front of the right people (or any people) can be a challenge – but once, you do, there are still a number of reasons that prevent people from actually reading your blog posts or scrolling all the way down to see that content upgrade you spent so much time putting together. So here are 5 reasons I didn't read your blog post and (+ how you can fix them), because if you're taking the time to create valuable content, you want people to actually read it, right?!
5 Reasons I Didn't Read Your Blog Post
Your Blog Post Title Didn't Sound Interesting
If your headline doesn't immediately catch my attention, I have no reason to click through to read your blog post. According to Copyblogger, on average 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will go on to read your blog post. When you craft your blog post titles, are you keeping your target audience in mind? Your blog post titles should tell them what they are going to get out of reading your post. Are they going to learn something? Be inspired?
Solution: You have the opportunity to be better than average by taking the time to craft blog post titles that are 1) Urgent 2) Unique 3) Useful and 4) Ultra-Specific. For example, the title for this blog post, “5 Reasons I Didn't Read Your Blog Post (And How To Fix Them Right Now)!” can be broken down into: 5 reasons [number is ultra-specific] that I didn't read your blog post [post is uniquely targeted to bloggers] And How To Fix Them [how this post is useful] Right Now [creates sense of urgency]. #practicewhatyoupreach
Your Pop-Up Got In The Way
If I click through to your blog post and something pops up right away, it better be an offer for something really irresistible. Many people are anti-pop-up all together, but I don't mind them when used appropriately. Give people some time to actually READ your content before you assault them with a pop-up asking them to subscribe. And please don't just ask them to subscribe to your newsletter – no one needs another newsletter in their inbox – make sure you're clear on what they're really getting out of that newsletter (tips? promotions? pictures of cute puppies?) or even better, use your pop-up to offer a freebie (checklist, ebook, email course, etc.) that's actually super helpful.
It's also important to take a look at what your popup looks like on mobile devices – often pop ups can seem unobtrusive on large screens but completely take over on mobile!
Solution: Plugins like SumoMe and Ninja Popups allow custom settings so you can activate popups only when a user has scrolled 3/4 down the page or when they are navigating to leave your site (exit intent popups). SumoMe also allows you to create forms that slide up from the corner that are much “friendlier” popups since they don't get in the way of people reading your content!
Your Posts Contain Long Paragraphs of Plain Text
Save the novels for Kindle. The best blog posts are easily digestible, and that means breaking up large chunks of text into smaller bites. If your posts are just large paragraphs of text, it's hard to quickly determine what's important. And there's SO much content out there, that if it's not easy for me to consume yours, I'm going to move on. #sorrynotsorry Research has shown that the average reader is only reading about 20% of your post anyway – so make sure that you're calling attention to the 20% that you really want them to see.
Solution: Break up longer paragraphs into shorter blocks of text. Utilize formatting options like headings, bold text, italics, quotes, etc. They're there for a reason!
[click_to_tweet tweet=”If you're not consistently sharing your content, it's kind of hard for people to find it when there's SO MUCH STUFF on the Internet.” quote=”If you're not consistently sharing your content, it's kind of hard for people to find it when there's SO MUCH STUFF on the Internet.”]
You Aren't Using Eye-Catching Graphics
Speaking of breaking things up – using eye-catching graphics is a great way to do this. It's 2016 y'all, there's no excuse for bad visuals – but I still see them all the time. According to LifeLearn, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of it 3 days later. But when a relevant image is paired with the same information, people retained 65% of the information 3 days later. Do you want people to remember you? Then always include visuals.
Solution: At a minimum you should include a branded post graphic that includes the title of the post + bonus points if it's a longer/taller “pinable” image. If your post calls for more visuals – make sure you're using them. For example, if you're sharing a tutorial, include step by step images (or a video). If you're sharing a lot of information, think about how you can translate it into an infographic. You don't have to be a Photoshop / Illustrator expert to create great visuals (though they can definitely come in handy) – free programs like Canva make it really easy for anyone to create eye-catching graphics!
If you struggle with taking photos for your blog, there are always stock photos – you can easily find them on Etsy or Creative Market, or join the Styled Stock Society for stock photos that are just $25/month (or less)!
I Didn't Know Your Blog Post Exists
Finally, it's obviously hard to read your blog post if I don't know it exists. If you're not consistently sharing your content, it's kind of hard for people to find it when there's SO MUCH STUFF on the Internet. Sure it's nice to have Bloglovin or Feedly subscribers, but do you know how many times I've clicked “mark all as read” this year? (I have no idea to be honest, but its more definitely more than 5) I've worked with some clients who've said they want more traffic from Instagram – yet they never tell their Instagram followers about their new blog posts. I've blown people's minds when I tell them that I pin and repin and repin and repin and repin and repin and repin and repin and repin and repin the same blog posts and continue to get new traffic to them over and over again. Remember, build it and they will come is not a thing. If you want people to find your blog posts, you need to share them. And keep sharing them.
Solution: Every time I publish a new blog post, it automatically gets shared to any blog subscribers on Bloglovin, feedly, or by email. It's automatically shared via Twitter + then added to my SmarterQueue library to be shared over and over again on Twitter and Facebook. It's pinned to my blog post Pinterest board, to any relevant topic boards, and to 10+ group boards. It's shared in relevant Facebook groups + on Instagram a couple of times. It's mentioned in my email newsletter + mentioned again anytime I'm talking about something relevant. And if you click any of those pink buttons on the left of your screen (or the bottom if you're on mobile), you can share this post with your audience too! The point = share, and keep sharing.
Super helpful post! Thanks for sharing and I’m so glad I found you.
These are great tips! Thank you so much for sharing!
Helpful tips, thanks.
These are great tips! I feel like I’m doing all these things, and still struggle with traffic. I use http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer# to analyze and critique my titles. I use pixabay for images and picasa for free editing, I share via FB, Twitter, StumbleUpon, BlogLovin’, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. I would love to see a next step for those of us who need more in-depth suggestions.
Great tips! Will try to make my titles more interesting!
You absolutely nailed it with this post! I love all your suggestions and completely agree with your take on pop ups! Not to mention by the end you completely convinced me to sign up for your newsletter.
Thanks Lauren, glad to hear it was helpful! I think a LOT of people feel the same way about popups!
Soooo much great info! I saved it to refer to over and over again! Thank you!
I loved all of your suggestions. I don’t like pop-ups either. Especially pop-up ads. They make the site lag, and I can’t back onto the blog post I was reading.
Pop up ads are the worst – especially on mobile!
Engaging read! Titles are a struggle for me, ugh. But I’m working on it!
I’m a huge advocate for breaking up large chunks of text. I use only 1 or 2 sentences per paragraph! Your other tips were spot on, too.
Useful tips, thanks a bunch.
Oh my, it’s funny how although I know to do some of the things you mentioned (catchy blog title and sharing–especially on IG), I don’t do them as consistently as I should. I get overwhelmed trying to remember which posts to plug in Hootsuite, and I think Edgar would be really great so that it can automatically recycle my old stuff. Thanks for the much needed reminder.
Well written! I’ll be back for more tips and tricks.
Thanks for the new info, and for the reminders! I totally KNOW about pinning and posting and that valuable piece… but have I implemented it? Nope. Thanks, girl!
Karen | GlamKaren.com
I love your advice. I was just wondering on if people liked paragraph form or headlines and bullet points. Personally, I don’t fully read a post if it is one long story.
Hi there, this is great information. Love to hear your comments on what I could improve on my blog if you ever swing by.
Breaking up your paragraphs with images, spaces and headings is such a great tip that I think many people overlook! I know for me, it felt so unnatural to write like that. I was used to writing academic papers where longer paragraphs were preferred. To go from that, to writing online felt so weird but I know for online consumption the smaller paragraphs are definitely easier to read! Thanks for the great write up!
I stumbled on this post on pinterest and wish I had found it earlier. This is such great info! Thank you. I’m brand new to blogging and am just trying to figure out the best ways to get my blog out there and noticed. I feel like I have some retitling to do!
I heartily agree with the pop-ups – this is the absolute WORST! Ugh, if a blogger shoves a pop-up in my face asking me to subscribe before I’ve actually had a look at their blog I will close the window right then and there. I will decide if I want to subscribe, IF I like what I see. Make it easy for me by putting a subscribe box in your side bar or at the top of the page, but DON’T ask me to subscribe before I’ve had a look.
I concur! I generally exit out of a blog if a popup displays in the first 5secs.
Please give me the option to explore your site first before asking for my email.
I can’t believe people are still doing this.
Amazing suggestions Elle! These tips are really helpful.
Very helpful! Thanks for sharing.
Very helpful, thank you for sharing. I always find it difficult deciding how to title my posts! But I know how important it is to help readers click on my posts.
Great post! I’m so bad about clicking on a blog post, seeing a pop-up, and immediately leaving! I’m glad you mentioned that, it really takes away from the reader’s experience! Thanks for the helpful tips! :)
Excellent advice. I got a lot from this post. I absolutely hate popups. Sumo is a good option. Thanks!