Chances are I’m not reading your blog. That’s not because I don’t like you, most likely I don’t even know you exist, and that’s your fault.
Yes, you heard me. Your fault. It’s something you can remedy though.
There are a gazillion blogs out there, and most of them suck, to be honest. Yours might not, though, so I’m willing to have a look. But how am I to find it? And why should I stay along at all?
Are you commenting on my posts? That works, you know, don’t be shy – tooting your horn is something you need to learn. Sometimes reading other people’s blog is the best way to get lots of traffic in the long run, since it can award itself with links, trackbacks and the like.
Do you submit your posts to social tools, like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, and Splashpress’ own Blogosphere News? That’s a very natural way to reach your niche, and if I’m interested in it I might end up reading something on your blog.
Do you write great headlines? If I see a link with a true eye-catcher I’m more likely to click it, than something boring like “New plugin out now” – now what’s up with that? Writing snappy headlines is an art by itself. I admire people who can do that.
Does your blog look like shit? And have I seen it a thousand times before? I’m really sorry, content may be King and all that (something I agree upon, by the way), but if you present it in a bad way I just won’t read it. Small fonts, lousy contrast, crappy design – they’re all turnoffs and they won’t make me subscribe to your RSS feed, read your posts, or get active in your comments. Looks is important, because first impressions last.
Actually, does your blog even function like it should? There are too many blogs with dead links, plugins that bugs out, and other problems. It doesn’t even have to be a bug in the code, it could be your lousy implantation of functionality I don’t want or need. Don’t clutter it with widgets and thousands of “cool things”, or I’m gone.
Don’t clutter it at all! Seriously. Less is actually more.
Do I get your blog? If I don’t it might be my fault, but if you don’t do what you can to make me understand what your blog is all about, why you’re blogging, and what I can expect from it, then I’ll be bored and leave. I’m not saying you shouldn’t surprise your readers, but if the turns are too sharp you’re sure to lose a bunch in the process.
Are you being consistent with your updates? You know, you should post more or less the same amount of content all the time. If not, I might wonder where you are (if I’m an avid reader), or forget about you (if you haven’t impressed me yet).
Are you getting these things right? Then you’re bound for blogging glory!
At least if you’re a good writer. You know, content is still King, after all…
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.