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Ask Yourself: How Do Readers See Your Blog?

It’s time for day 17 in our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge.

Here’s a frightening reality – within just a few seconds of arriving on the blog that you pour hours and hours of time and energy into, a new reader will make snap judgements about what your blog is about and if it is worth their time to spend time on it.

First impressions are so important in real-life interactions but online it’s even more so.

You might look at your blog hundreds of times a week and therefore might miss little things, or be so familiar with it you don’t know what it’s like from a new reader perspective.

It can be nerve-racking to hear feedback about your pride and joy, but it’s necessary to ensure you’re providing readers with a place they want to stay. And the only way you’ll know how they feel about it is to ask them.

Today’s challenge is to conduct a “first-time reader audit” on your blog and try to see it from their perspective, so you know what you can tweak to make their experience better.

In this episode tell you how best to do this, and a list of things you’ll need to complete the audit. I’ve also got a series of questions to ask yourself as you watch the reader go through your blog to gauge their reaction. There will be questions you can ask them to prompt their description of their experience and give you valuable insight into how your blog looks to the outside world.

The show notes also include some tools and services to make this easier for you – especially if you don’t have a newbie on hand!

Good luck – would love to hear how you go.

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Click here to listen to day 17 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog series on the ProBlogger Podcast. 

Further Reading:

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Just Another great post from ProBlogger

  2. Darren:

    I’ve been following your blogging series with interest and find most of your suggestions really ring true. In saying that, this one I find very important as I find if I write for myself, I often miss the point. While I find blogging liberating from a “get it off my chest” point of view, grabbing one of my employees and asking them to read it has helped me tighten up my writing numerous times.

    Thanks for the series and I’m in for the duration.

  3. I was thinking about this idea THIS morning in the shower!
    “Audit my blog” from a user’s perspective

    Thanks for the content =)
    Regards

    Peterson Teixeira
    Freelance Writer

  4. Whao, thanks a lot, this is really helpful, at least am getting some readers now on my blog.
    Big up

  5. Thanks darren for share some useful information with us. i think i have to read more articles before to write one.

  6. Hi Darren,

    I completely agree with what you said “first impression matters a lot”, I’ve never heard of the “first-time reader audit” before, never really thought of it, I think it’s worth giving a shot, Thanks for sharing

  7. I did this today I’ll have to say, it was interesting watching someone interact with my site. But the feedback was very helpful.

    My first time reader let me know that he was waiting for a header at the top to load (which my page doesn’t have). That told me he prefers the horizontal header, or is at least used to it.

    He gave positive feedback on my writing. He also gave the suggestion for a resource tab on my navigation menu. I have a resources amazon widget on the sidebar, but a resources page that I link to in the menu would be more effective.

    All that to say, this was a helpful exercise. I’ll be implementing some of the things I learned from watching him.