12 Ways You're Scaring Away Your Readership

written by aext on June 20, 2010 in Social Media and Web Development with 35 comments

There is a bunch of reasons why you are losing your readers. So, I’ll say up front that this articles is entirely based on my own experiences and what I’ve learned so far from blogging for almost a year. This is a list of some reasons why your readers never come back.

1 – Too Many Displaced Advertisements

This is the first thing strongly make your readers dislike your blog or website. Your content is what drives users to your site, and what differentiates your site from the next guy. If you didn’t have content, you wouldn’t make money off of ads. Focus on your content first to build a great subscriber-ship, then think about how to make money from your content. After 6 months of using Google Adsense to make some tiny money from my blog, I decided to remove all the ugly banners of Google Adsense to refresh the air(I will place them again, but in the future). The rule is don’t just place your ads anywhere, make them look like content.

Nice read: ? When Should You Put Ads On Your Blog? – This is how $40,000/month blogger makes money from his blog.

2 – Slow website

This happened to me before I move to another hosting provider. I used a very cheap web hosting which I paid a year just compared to this one of 3 months. Remember, your readers don’t like 1 minutes loading to read just a quicktip post. Make sure you stay away from super-cheap hosting and optimize your website’s speed.

Here is some good tips: ? WordPress Optimization: How I Reduced Page Load Time by 75%.

3 – Posting duplicate content

Another good way to ruin your blog is publishing posts which already published before or elsewhere. Google and other search engines definitely also get involved when your content found is largely the same as some content in your blogs or other websites. If you want to gain traffic and readership, try to be unique. In case you don’t have the resources to write and publish on your own blog, or your budget isn’t allow you to hire someone to write, the easiest way is ? Stop Launching Blogs, Start Contributing. It would be great if you can write quality content day-to-day, otherwise great quality articles sometime are better than having a lot of filler articles.

Read this before start blogging: ? Four Common Steps Every New Blogger Would Face When Starting A Blog.
Tips to be unique: ? 7 Tips for Creating Unique Content That Doesn’t Suck.
Helpful article for blog content development: ? 10 Ways To Find Inspiration To Develop Content For Your Blog.

4 – Not giving proper credit or high-jacking articles

Beware of content submitted from contributors when your blog has multi-authors. You should make sure to edit all the posts submitted carefully. I personally made a same mistake twice by publishing contributed posts without reviewing it carefully and I got warning from the original author immediately. If you are the only one who maintains your blog, don’t ever think about copying the whole content from other blogs. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot do ethically stealing. The rule is never copy and paste entire paragraphs from original article because it’s rude and wrong. I cannot find or don’t know if there is any penalty for content infringement; Thus, it is free when it’s on the Internet??? If you have any idea about this, the comment section is open for discussion.

Worth reading: ? How To Steal Blog Content: Ethically.

5 – Accepting every giveaway sponsorship that comes your way

Giveaways is one of the most effective ways to gain more traffic and readers. It hooks visitors so that they return to your blog again and again. However, the giveaways makes your blog attractive only and only if those giveaways are from popular companies who offer good products or services. Don’t accept or just simply deny some of them which are not good great for your audiences. Don’t publish giveaways too frequently because you run blog to share your knowledge, not team up with some companies to give away things. Thus, people comes to your blog because they want to learn new things.

You should do give aways things because: ? Hosting a Giveaway As a Blog Marketing Tool.
You should know: ? How to Host Effective Blog Giveaways.

6 – Annoying other bloggers

This is how you ruin your relationship with other bloggers. Marketing a blog takes time and patience. If they like what you are doing, they will promote you without your demand. Asking for favors all the time doesn’t harm anyone, but it’s a bothersome type of communication which people do hate.

Off-topic link but useful: ? Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion.

7 – Writing or marketing off-niche

You call yourself web design blogger, so that means you are talking about design stuff, and pretty much only design stuff… Don’t try to do something “new” by going off your niche into other things like proxy software, or other stuff. Most people in a niche market have a loyal following, because there aren’t often many other people covering that sort of stuff. (It happened to Woorkup recently. He went off with a lot of articles, news about some phone companies. Hope he will have more success with new Woorkup).

8 – Not engaging in the community you’re building (ex: comments, Twitter, Facebook, GBuzz, etc.)

You cannot just write and publish. Beside the time you do blogging, spend some time to be active in community and social networks. Keeping trying to stay in touched with everyone to catch what people are talking about and join their conversations.

You should read: ? How To: Be Active On Twitter Without Getting Burned Out!.

9 – Providing no way to directly contact you.

You blog/website needs at least a contact page for people to reach you. You can put your social ids over sidebar, footer, but don’t forget to implement one page for a contact form. This is typically the gateway to allow people to submit their questions, even suggestions to you. You need to keep your contact form really simple as you can, because they will close the page right after seeing a lot of required field. You better put your email beside the form in case one day, the form is broken. (Don’t write in email format, just like this: “magazine at aext dot net” – to avoid spam bots catching your email address.)

For a proper contact form: ? 5 Important Steps to Design a Proper Contact Form
Contact form tips: ? 10 Useful Tips for a Captivating Contact Form

10 – Offering limited or no subscription methods

Sometime, I don’t want to subscribe to a feed of a blog, but I really love to follow that blog in Twitter(or just be a fan on Facebook). However, where the hell is the Twitter link to its Twitter profile? I’m an Facebook addicted but I cannot find the fan page of this blog. That’s fine, I will subscribe to the feed and receive its updates via email, but … where can I put my email? (It happened to Smashing Magazine before they redesigned)

11 – Non-working JavaScript overlays

Make sure all of your Javascript is working properly because JS is so annoying to the readers when it doesn’t work properly. Slow loading, web browsers get crashed… are typically caused by javascript. I once went mad when I couldn’t click on the tabs list then my mouse got broken. Oh, that’s my own blog!

Links for Javascript developers: ? List of Really Useful Free Tools For JavaScript Developers.
Good link: ? Good Ways to Implement Javascript on your site.

12 – Improper terminology for your demographic and/or field

If you speak in design terms to a non-designer, they will think you’re mad. Then, if you write about design stuff in “doctor” language, they’ll definitely think you are crazy. I’m not a writing expert, but my advice is you will need to have a good understanding of standard terminology in design. Let’s write easy to understand instead of making the readers get confused.

Check it out: ? Art and Design Terminology.

I’ve learned a lot of things

These are how I’ve done blogging for almost a year. There’s a bunch of tricks and tips for a better blog I have learned, but these above are the most important things I would like to share. If you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comment section.