Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Do You Respect Your Readers?

A reader is what makes a blog successful. Without readers a blog has no value of it's own. But more often than not, we tend to ignore and neglect out readers. And over time this ignorance results in a depletion of the readership base.

Low number of page-loads per day, less number of returning visitors, less number of comments and only praises for comments are some of the signs of a blog which is losing it's readership base. If you think this story sounds familiar, then it's time you do something about it. Otherwise, sooner or later you would lose all your readers. So what should you do to keep your readers glued to your blog? Read ahead.

Respect your readers. Respecting your readers does not mean that you would have to start writing about how to make money online. If you like writing about technology, do so but target your niche readers. The key to satisfying your readers is by connecting with them. There are various ways to do this.

Make yourself easily reachable, either through your blog, through IM or maybe through email. Put up your email id on your blog. If you don't want to reveal your email id, then put up a "contact me" form on your blog.

Reply to your readers' comments. Yes, your readers want you to acknowledge their comments, even people like Chris Brogan answers replies to his readers. I am not asking you to reply to each and every comment, but let's say one of your readers ask you something, make sure you answer it to the best of your abilities. If you don't know the answer buy time. If even after doing a research you still cannot find an answer, create a post asking your readers for that answer. The point is, be honest to your readers.

Update your posts regularly. I am not talking about updating your blog but your posts. Confused? Let me explain. If you look at my posts on CCleaner, PostRank and Natasha Richardson, you would see that I have amended the post with an update on a later date to provide more information to my readers. It only indicates that you yourself are updated about the latest happening in your niche topic.

Update your blog regularly. I have often come across interesting writeup only to find that those blogs have not been updated for months. It's quite a put off and honestly, I don't go back to those blogs anymore. But at the same time don't cook up articles. More often than not in order to give our readers the a sneak peek of a breaking news before anyone else, we often publish a half-cooked story. That's
harakiri, only instead of a samurai sword you would be using a Swiss Army Knife. I mean c'mon, your readers don't need a half cooked breaking news where they cannot figure out the head and tail, rather publish the story later with more insight about how it affects them.

There are more ways to keep your readers coming back to your blog for more. The only thing you need to do is to place yourself in their shoes and try to understand what do you, as a Constant Reader, want from your blog. And everything would come easy. Accept the fact that your readers comes first. I have seen many bloggers boast about the fact that they don't write for their readers, my question to them is, if that really was the case then why do you have your comments enabled and why have you not made your blog private?

Respect your readers, be honest to them and they would return the favors.

4 Comment:

tulsa real estate said...

This is a tough one. I think that you should value readers and look at the comments and respond to some. Readers look at comments just as well as the post.

Anden@ Baby Names said...

Really? There are bloggers who'd say they don't write for their readers? A blog will be pointless if it has no readers.

Julia Scissor said...

Almost all the amateur bloggers start with 'Hey, I have something to say'. They need to express themselves. Over time blogging gives us a rush and the focus shifts to getting more readers, hits and comments. However there is always a line between being populist and respecting the readers.

I always reply to my comments because it gets a good discussion going and sometimes I feel that the comment conversation is better than the post itself!

Rajtilak Bhattacharjee said...

@Julia Scissor : There is a very fine balance between writing what you like and creating a popular blog. If one can maintain that line without getting drifted into Make Money Online topics, only then we can call him/her a successful blogger. There are lots of people who have done that, take Darren for example. He hardly writes about how to make money from your blog, but his focus is mainly on how to become a successful blogger. And today, he is one of the topmost Pro Bloggers in the whole world.

I reply to most of the comments, I feel it is a way to show my readers that I care. That I appreciate the fact that out of millions of blogs, he/she has taken out the time to comment on my blog.

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