Response to “Blogging Pet Peeve Number One”

I enjoy it when I read a blog post that expresses a strong opinion that I can agree with.  It lets me know that I’m not alone in my feelings.  I ran into such a post about blogging yesterday morning.  "Blogging Pet Peeve Number One" by Barbara Swafford talked about one of the blogger’s frustrations – that nobody reads your blog.  The timing was so perfect as I had just sat in on the "comments4kids" presentation at the Reform Symposium.  As I’ve noted before, this is a "Hashtag You Shouldn’t Ignore".

Towards the end of the post, she talked about some suggestions for bloggers.

  1. Write shorter posts
  2. Use bullet points
  3. Use photos or white space to break up the verbiage
  4. Ask questions at the end which don’t “test” to see if the visitor read our post, but instead are relevant to the content.

These are good solid points of advice for anyone who blogs and should lead to a more successful blog and subsequent following of it.  I know that it describes my reading habits – I want to get in, get the point, and be on my way.  I like to think that the content in this blog is created the same way.  I’d like to think that I take up to two minutes of your time for me to say whatever it is that I’m saying and then you’re off to the next stop of your reading journey.

Think of your own reading habits?  Do you spend time reading long epistles or are you the quick in and out type of reader?

Barbara ends her posting with a question "Do you have any other tips on how a blogger can improve their chances of having their posts read in their entirety?

My answer to that is reader loyalty.  I think that once you establish that, they will read it – particularly if you follow the suggestions above.  But, how do you get reader loyalty?

I believe that it stems from posting regularly.

If you establish a regular posting routine, it honours the reader and lets her/him know that dropping by your blog is worth their time and effort.  How often do you find one good post and then wait for months for the next?

I’d like to think that I follow this myself.  I try to make sure that there are things posted here regularly.  Not every entry hits it out of the park but you never know what will entice your followers.  Now, many people blog to push a business entity and you’ll read about people blogging their brand.  I’d like to think that I’m blogging my brand as well.  For me, it’s about constantly learning and I’ve always shared what I’ve learned with anyone who cares to read/listen.

When I worked for a local school board in the role of Computers in the Classroom Teacher Consultant, I felt that it was imperative to share what I’m learning.  After all, I didn’t have tests to mark or report cards to finish – I thought that my job was to learn, research, and share so that others didn’t have to – flatten the learning curve, if you will.  While I was a blogger, we also had a private conferencing system where I shared so much with our teachers.  Once a month, I also put together an online newsletter.  It was part of my bigger Computers in the Classroom website.  While I’ve declared my content deprecated now, the content is still online and you can read things from the last May newsletter all the way back to the first online newsletter in February 1998!  Even back then, I had no sense of design but hey… The nice thing was that I always had an opportunity to create my own resources for the workshops and presentations that I did.  You could set your watch by the announcement of a newsletter.  It was always available at the beginning of the first Monday of classes in any given month.

I do agree with the content in Barbara’s blog post and would encourage you to read it in its entirety.  I know that I’m going to follow it – maybe she’ll talk about "Blogging Pet Peeve Number Two"?  I think she’s nailed it with her suggestions and I think that having regularly posted content will establish better reader loyalty.

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  1. It’s all good advice, though I don’t know that I’d write posts purely to try and get more readers, it’s not why I do it.

    One of the pieces of advice I got early was write often and don’t be afraid to write on varying subjects, your blog isn’t your latest entry, your goal is to build a searchable database of your ideas.

    Looking at the stats supports this. New entries tend to get a bump from twitter and G+, but then they fall back into the deck. If you’ve built a good series of entries, you’ll have more people coming in off the web after searching content you’re providing.

    The Web2.0 ethos decentralizes the web, makes it a non-corporate democratic environment. I blog to make that tapestry richer and clarify my own thinking by formalizing it in writing. If that doesn’t involve short posts and bullet points, I’m ok with that.


  2. I agree with @tk1ing – I don’t write to get more readers, I blog because it’s my way of thinking / reflecting / processing what I do as a teacher-librarian. I was worried when my friend surveyed her readers to find out how she should change her blog to attract more followers – I was glad she was contemplating how to improve her blog but concerned that the numbers would sway her away from what’s become her own unique style of book reviews and posts. However, it does appeal to your self-worth when you see that people do read what you write.

    I also agree with @dougpete – when I first decided to blog, I asked my husband, who is, in my opinion, a semi-professional blogger, for advice. His big point: be regular. If you are inconsistent with when you post, people won’t come. He’s got an insanely large amount of followers and hits per day, despite his blog’s focus on a very specific topic.

    Barbara’s blogging pet peeve was from the POV of bloggers (blog writers) – I wonder what blog readers would say their pet peeves are?


  3. I can comment on my own pet peeve and it was illustrated by a TL who was a once a month blogger. Her posts were like mini-novels that just rambled. That’s why I really liked Barbara’s thoughts for successful blogging. Make your point and then move on. I enjoy that type of format. I like Tim’s concept of building a library of your thoughts. I used to have them scattered all over the place and worse, kept in my mind where they were forgotten. By bringing my thoughts and daily bookmarks here, I have them in one spot. Thanks for the thoughtful comments, folks.


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