5 Reasons I Didn’t Read Your Blog Post (And How To Fix Them Right Now)!

You're dedicating time to blogging but you need to get people to actually read your blog. These are 5 reasons people aren't reading your blog posts, and what you can do about them. Click through if you're blog posts aren't converting into subscribers or you want higher quality blog traffic!

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!

Tailwind - best Pinterest scheduler for bloggers

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!

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.Click To Tweet

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. 

WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO READ A BLOG POST?

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Instagram business myths that you need to stop believing!

Instagram myths that you need to stop believing. Instagram isn't just for product-base businesses or fashion bloggers. If you think you can't use Instagram for your business, read this post!

I've heard a lot of different “excuses” for why people think Instagram isn't a good platform to market their business and some of them drive me insane because I KNOW they're just not true. Over the past few years I've used Instagram for a number of different businesses and blogs, so there's definitely not ONE right way to use it. I really do think that MOST online business owners should be using it to connect with potential customers because it's a platform that allows you to build relationships in a way that's unlike any other platform.

SO HERE ARE A FEW INSTAGRAM MYTHS I'VE HEARD MORE THAN ONCE…

and why I think you should stop believing them now!

My customers aren't on Instagram

There are over 800 million people on Instagram so chances are, your customers are already there. Years ago most Instagram users were on the younger side, but now only about half of those are under 35 – so really everyone (and their mom) is on Instagram now! BUT – your customers aren't necessarily looking for YOU on Instagram, so you may need to do a little homework to find them.

TAKE ACTION: Do your research. If you don't know who your target audience is, you're going to have a hard time with social media marketing across the board. Think about what other accounts they might follow (Who inspires them? What blogs do they read? Who are your competitors?) and the hashtags that are relevant to them (not just the ones that describe your business).

I need a lot of followers to make money on Instagram

While growing your following is important if you want to expand your reach, followers aren't everything! Rather than focus on just getting a lot of followers, I always advise my clients to focus on getting targeted followers who are actually engaged with your content. At the end of the day would you rather have 20,000 followers who never want to buy from you or 2,000 followers who are loyal customers? Followers are often a vanity number (and unfortunately it's easy to buy followers these days – ugh!), but you definitely don't need a ton of followers to make money on Instagram. One of my clients booked 3 clients from a single Instagram post – and she only had 200 followers at the time!

TAKE ACTION: Focus on engagement + building community. You don't need to follow a ton of accounts and hope that they follow you back. “Introduce” yourself to 10 new accounts every single day by liking and leaving genuine comments on their photos. Don't forget to respond to comments, and make sure your profile clearly states who you are / what you do / how people can buy from you or hire you.

Instagram is only for product-based businesses

No ma'am. I've sold $10 statement necklaces, $100 digital products, and $1,000 consulting packages all via Instagram (not to mention my dog charges $1,000+ PER POST as a social media influencer), so I've personally sold a range of things via Instagram. But don't just take my word for it – my clients have sold $30 home accessories, $200 organic skincare products, $2,500 photography packages, and $5,000 coaching packages. So Instagram is definitely NOT just for product-based businesses! If you have a digital product / service based business you can share photos of mockups, examples of your work, behind the scenes photos of your business or office, or other lifestyle photos that are still on brand.

TAKE ACTION: Make sure you're telling people what you offer and how they can get it. Even if you have your business information in your bio, you need to remind people in the captions of your photos what you do or what you sell from time to time. And if you're actively seeking clients or customers, make sure you are also telling them how they can hire you or where they can find your products! For example, if you're a graphic designer you might post photos of your design work on Instagram and then tell people that they can click the link in your profile to find out more about your design services. Don't just assume your followers know who you are and what you do! Here are more ideas on what to post on Instagram for both product and service-based businesses!

Instagram Resource Guide for shooting, editing, scheduling photos

You need professional photography to stand out on Instagram

This is definitely not true!  Most Instagram users are not professional photographers (and can't afford to pay someone to take photos for them) – but that doesn't mean you can't stand out on Instagram! You can take amazing photos with just an iPhone (see some amazing examples right here), and some people use (on brand) stock photos or just repost other people's photos (with proper credit of course). Instagram is a visual platform so the quality of your images / videos does matter, but that doesn't mean you need to be a pro!

TAKE ACTION: Save time by batching your photos once a week or once a month. If you're taking your own photos and want them to look consistent, it's much easier to do that if you take them all at one time! Plan out a few weeks in advance if possible so you can prepare your content and always know exactly what to post. If you have the budget to outsource content creation, make your life easier, then make your life easier!

While growing your following is important if you want to expand your reach, followers aren't everything!Click To Tweet

Instagram won't drive traffic to my website

One of Instagram's “flaws” is that you're only allowed the one clickable link in your profile (unless you're running ads or using the shop feature), but this “flaw” is also one of the things that keeps Instagram from being super spammy! Here's the thing, if you want people to click on the link in your profile you need to give them a reason to do it – don't just assume that because you link to your website or blog people will decide to click through on their own. Most people who are scrolling through Instagram aren't looking for a reason to LEAVE Instagram, so driving traffic to your website requires a little strategy – but it's really not that hard!

TAKE ACTION: Make sure you have a clear call to action in your bio telling people WHY they should click on the link in your profile. Bonus points if your CTA leads them to sign up to get something valuable for free!

I don't have a lot of time to spend on using Instagram for my business 

I'm not going to lie, Instagram is not going to work for you if you don't put in some work – BUT, unlike Twitter or Pinterest where you need to be constantly posting throughout the day, you can post just once per day on Instagram and get great results! Unfortunately (or fortunately really), you can't just post a photo every day and expect to bring in the $$$. You need a strategy and you need to be consistent (as with most things in business)!

TAKE ACTION: Plan your content in advance and schedule it out. If you take my advice above and batch your photos in advance or use high quality stock photos, you can also pre-write your captions (here are 365 different Instagram caption ideas!) and schedule your posts using a scheduling tool like Planoly. Do a little work up front and you can save a ton of time when it come to creating your content – then you can just focus on engaging + building community for a few minutes each day!

Did you believe any of these myths? Are there any other reasons why you think Instagram can't work for you?!

Not sure what you should be posting on Instagram?

Download my guide to 365 Instagram caption prompts that you can use for your online business!

How to Get More Engagement on Instagram

5 ways to get more engagement on Instagram - for bloggers, entrepreneurs, small business owners who want to grow an engaged Instagram following, get more likes, more comments, and more customers!

Since Instagram announced that they would be rolling out changes to the platform's algorithm a couple of months ago, there's been a lot of panic followed by a lot of requests to “turn on post notifications” followed by a lot of talk about “focusing on engagement” to make sure that people continue to see your content. I'm firmly on team panic-is-dumb-let's-take-action, but regardless of the algorithm changes, engagement has always been important. So let's talk about how you can actually get more engagement on Instagram!

How to get more engagement on Instagram

I hosted a webinar on this topic in April, but realized I've never really shared much about it on the blog – so I'm breaking down 5 actionable ways to increase your engagement!

Create Relevant Content

First things first – if you're not creating relevant content, you're going to have a hard time getting people to engage with it! Remember the purpose of your Instagram account – assuming you're using it for your business (or blog), what are you trying to share with your audience? Are you educating them / inspiring them / sharing behind the scenes with them?

Is sharing a photo of your avocado toast really relevant to your purpose? No? Then don't do that.

“Relevant” is obviously relative, so you need to know your audience. More on that in this post, but if you're trying to appeal to everyone, you're probably appealing to no one. And that's no fun. We've got ya covered with this handy list of 365 Instagram prompts! Need help figuring out what to post on Instagram for your business?

Remember your purpose, know your audience, and create content that's relevant to your purpose and relevant to your audience. 

For example, THIS <– I relate to this so hard. #bikiniseason #notready #hatesworkingout

Engage With Your Audience

Here's an easy one – if you want your audience to engage with you, engage with them. Common sense, right? But how often do you actually do it? 

Engaging with your audience means including calls to action in your captions to encourage your audience to actually do something. Ask them a question. Ask them to tag a friend. Tell them to click the link in your profile to get something VALUABLE.

Engaging with your audience also means responding to their comments (please tell me you are already doing this) AND engaging with their content. You don't need to follow all of your followers back, but taking some time to give some of their posts a little love can go a long way!

If you have trouble making time for engagement, I've found that it's easier if I carve out specific blocks of time for it. Rather than try to keep up throughout the day, I usually take a few minutes around lunchtime to respond to comments, etc. and then again at night when I'm watching tv before bed.

Remember your purpose, know your audience, and create content that's relevant to your purpose and relevant to your audience. Click To Tweet

Focus On Community Building

Of all the things I've learned in my  6+ years of blogging, one of the most important things is how much community building matters. You can only do so much on your own, but when you have a community of like-minded people to support you, the possibilities are endless. As an introvert, reaching out to new people is something I'm constantly working on, but on Instagram it's really not that hard to 1) find new people whose content you like / connect with 2) follow them 3) leave genuine comments on their photos. Seriously, that's it!

As you start to find more of “your” people, don't forget to provide value to them and find ways to give back to your community. You could literally give something away (by hosting a giveaway), but there are plenty of other ways to give back. Collaborate with people. Share their content. Learn from each other.

Planoly - best visual Instagram scheduling tool

Use Hashtags Strategically

If you want more engagement on Instagram (which I assume you do if you've read this far!), then getting more eyes on your posts certainly can't hurt. But not just any eyes – targeted eyes.

I could write an essay on hashtags (sidenote: Maybe that's a thing that people do in college these days? I'm so old… but recently a FIT student interviewed me about my dog's Instagram account for a final paper, so apparently that's a thing), but if you aren't using them strategically to help people find your content, you're missing out!

Your hashtags should be relevant to your target audience, specific to your brand / your niche, and popular enough that they are being used and searched by other people. 

So for example, if you want millenial-creative-entrepreneur-work-at-home-moms-who-love-watercolor-art to see your content, using a hashtag like #harleydavidson is not relevant.

And using a generic hashtag like #love is not helping your content get found because it's not nearly specific enough and probably has nothing to do with your business, but #lipsticklove could be relevant if you are a makeup artist or beauty blogger.

And #pleasedontusehashtagslikethis because #nooneissearchingforthem <– seriously.

Pay Attention To Your Analytics

Last but not least, if you want more engagement on Instagram, pay attention to the types of content that people are engaging with, and post more of that. I think that many creative business owners have a tendency to have lots of ideas and want to try new things, but sometimes the best thing you can do is focus on doing more of what already works. 

I use Iconosquare Pro to track Instagram growth and engagement and specifically look at the photos/video that get the most likes and comments to see if there are certain patterns or things that they have in common – then try to incorporate those things into future posts. This is such an easy concept (and yet something that a lot of people don't do!) – plus, you can use Iconosquare to determine the best times to post for your audience, so you can post during the times when they're actually on Instagram to optimize your engagement! 

But what else?

So those are 5 actionable ways to get more engagement on Instagram, but I know you might be thinking ok, great but…

Download 365 Instagram prompts for creative business owners!