Perhaps my post on remembering that blog readers are people was a touch too ‘warm and fuzzy’ – so I thought I’d balance it with another characteristic of blog readers that it’s well worth keeping in mind as you blog…. that being that….
Blog Readers are selfish!
Ok – that might be a little harshly put…. blog readers have many characteristics and motivations for reading blogs, but from my experience of both reading and writing blogs – there is at least an element of truth to the idea that most blog readers have some selfish element to their motivation (and I put myself into that also).
Most of us live pretty full lives with plenty of opportunities when it comes to deciding how to spend our time. I often lament that I wish there were more hours in a day because I never seem to have time to do everything I want to do.
As a result of this when I find a new book, website, TV show, newspaper article…. blog …. etc – I tend to ask myself a question of some sort to work out whether it’s something I want to spend time doing. When it comes down to it – the question boils down to:
‘What’s in it for Me?’
Of course I might not say it in those words – I might ask:
- ‘does this interest me?’ or….
- ‘will this help me become a better person?’ or….
- ‘is this fun/entertaining/relaxing?’ etc
but ultimately I’m asking ‘what’s in it for me?‘
I have a theory that this little question is one that most of us ask throughout our days as we decide what to invest time into.
That’s not to say we don’t do things that are not ‘selfish’ – but it’s definitely a filtering question that many of your blog’s readers will be asking in one form or another.
Take Home Advice
So knowing this information, and knowing that people make up their minds very quickly whether to stay on a website or not (most seem to stay on blogs for just seconds), it’s important to give your potential reader a reason to stay and explore your blog.
Tell them ‘what’s in it for them’ – and tell them loudly, quickly and clearly.
Don’t hide the answer to that question away on an about page, or at the bottom of an in depth article on the benefits of your blog.
One of the best ways to do this is to work hard and nailing down the key benefit of reading your blog into a single sentence or phrase so that you can incorporate it into your page title and header – you might even like to reinforce this with a picture or some other visual element (like a logo) that communicates simply and clearly what the blog is about.
Make it clear how readers will benefit from interacting with your blog but whatever you do – deliver upon your claim. It’s all very well to tell them what they’ll get by sticking around – but if they don’t see the benefits you claim they’ll be gone before you know it.
Also take this same principle and put it into the micro nature of blogging – the writing of individual posts. Your title and first sentences are essential in the writing and reading of a post so keep your potential’s ‘selfishness’ in mind as you form them also.