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How to Create Great First Impressions on New Readers and Convert Them Into Loyal Readers

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of January 2009 Video Posts 0 Comments

This video has been around for over a year now (I made it just after ProBlogger was last redesigned) but I think it’s particularly relevant for this time of year when many bloggers are looking at refreshing the look and feel of their blog.

First impressions matter both in real life face to face interactions with new people that you meet AND the first interactions you have with new readers. In this video I examine 5 ways you can improve the impression that you leave on first time readers and give three questions to ask when thinking about how to leave good impressions on readers.

Of course overarching all of what I mention is that your content needs to be of the highest quality to create a good first impression. Your design, titles, tag lines etc can all be amazing but unless you’ve got something useful and unique to say – the first impression will not be as good as it could be.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. Cool video! I agree, first impressions are key. One of my first thoughts was Phil Collins … who I happen to like, so that would be my association. Great information, thanks!

  2. Hmmm… never really thought about having someone else critique my blog regarding their first impressions on what they thought of me.
    Thanks for putting the time into doing this video.
    Christine G.

  3. I would like to say “duh”, but my manners kick in, so let’s just say: a lot of people need to be reminded about basic behaviour, therefore your post is justified :(
    Can’t not to think though that it’s just plain foam beating.

  4. I’m very new to blogging, and this kind of gives me an advantage because I have a sort of beginner’s eye when I’m browsing around blogs.

    What I noticed right away is that disorganized blogs really turn me off, especially when the blog doesn’t seem to have a specific subject, or the font is hard to read.

    So I’ve tried to keep my blog as simplistic as possible. I’m not trying to impress anyone–I just want people to at least have an easy time learning what my blog is about and etc. :]

  5. Awesome Idea! I love getting all these new ideas from this blog… I try about 75% of them out myself lol.

  6. Because I knew I wouldn’t have time to do it myself, I had someone who knew me design my website for me. I’d just written a new book, a novel, and because it was unlike my previous books and was inspired by the true story of my daughter, who died, I wanted to advertise it online because the proceeds of all sales go to charities benefiting children.

    However, the designer intially designed my site to be quite downbeat – to tie in, she said, with the ethos of the book. I didn’t like it at all. It’s a book of triumph, I said to her. Besides, there will be other books. And it doesn’t give the right impression of me because I’m an upbeat sort of person.

    I love what she then did with the design: bright jewel colours, warm and inviting. Because I want to concentrate on book sales for my charities, I don’t make money out of my site with ads. But I love to help others with my blogs.

    When I received the following message on Twitter I was thrilled because it means I’m achieving what I set out to do. “I think you’re smashing and kind hearted something you don’t get alot of these days”. I hope you don’t think that’s blowing my own trumpet. But that’s not only the first impression I want to convey – it’s the lasting impression I want to have on my readers.

  7. Hello Darren,

    You do look great with the suit, I was surprised when I saw the video at first. The suit is the best outfit on the post.

    I’ve got a question: can we look forward to another video post soon?


  8. Thanks for the video Darren. Looking sharp with the suit :-)

  9. Thanks for this useful tip. It’s better to keep old visitors cause it’s hard to find and attract new ones.

  10. Thanks Darren! You really never run out of useful tips!

  11. It’s not just first impressions, it is the character in your soul that reflects your personality, people will gaze around less than 3 seconds to know your insight.

  12. A great reminder that for blogs, like for people, first impressions matter.

  13. Nice to ‘meet’ you via the video. I’ve been following your posts for just a few days. Thanks for the tips.

  14. in my blog I made a welcome page for people to see when they visit my blog … and I added a lettel of my style to it… and I thinks it gives an impression that I would want to give… and I think it’s working really good…

    thanks problogger… and I like video post better!!
    good job

  15. Thanks Darren. We had to share your video on our blog, and linked back here.

  16. I saw this video when it was first launched and watched it again and realized that there was a lot i actually missed out on.

  17. I am definitely not sticking to my design right now. Maybe if my blog had “mature” enough, then I will make some necessary changes


  18. Keep the suit, adds to the credibility. Some of us have outgrown the whiskers and scraggly hair. Professional presentation, contained a lot of info. The advice on tag lines and about making the post titles interesting are solid advice. Job well done, because I’ll be back to check on your next offerings.

  19. The first impression always count the most and the best motive for readers is to get associated. If you got a blog that looks user friendly, you are bound to have a few curious clicks on what your blog is about and such.

  20. Eddie says: 05/04/2009 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Darren! Thanks for the very helpful video. Getting the right impression on your reader is all that counts for future attention. I am honestly thankful to blogs like yours and a few websites like BusinessHQR.com who are really helping me get a better understanding of succeeding in working from home. :) Thank you again Darren.


  21. Hey darren. THis video is brilliant. It gives some really awesome tips on improving the first impressions of your site. First impressions certainly do count and help you keep long term visitors. This post and countless others of yours are helping me on the right track.


  22. Thanks Darren! Great video! I really liked the begining!

  23. Agree Darren. Just as relevant today as when originally published. First impressions are so important and not enough though goes into it at designer level.

  24. Great video. First impressions can make a huge difference in your readership. Thanks for the pointers.

  25. Thank you for this very good video, and greets from Stuttgart Germany. You have a new Fan

  26. It’s not just first impressions, it is the character in your soul that reflects your personality, people will gaze around less than 3 seconds to know your insight.

  27. vinnyg says: 05/10/2009 at 11:23 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks Darren! I came across some digitial photography tips of yours having to deal with new borns, they were insightful and pretty much spot on with everything I had been revealing myself through my now seemingly endless photoshoot that is my life :)

    I see you have your fingers in just about everything on the net, and the sage advice seems to follow…

  28. baboush says: 05/11/2009 at 1:42 pm

    hello Darren, Thank you so much, this video is very helpful.

    Three months ago I did a search on the internet trying to find something to make money online. I fell upon 7FiguresWithBrian.com . It was a great success for me. That is my wonderful experience with 7FiguresWithBrian.com

  29. Thanks for this useful video, I always watch and get as much benefits as I can from technical based information through these videos.

  30. Awesome video. The thought of starting a successful blog can be intimidating or even overwhelming. I know, as I am currently trying to start my own blog/website for my mortgage company.

    I find the best way to get some loyal readers fast is to have a bevy of good content available as soon as you start advertising the blog (so have 5-10 posts ready) and to be involved in communities.

    For example, I have a hockey blog. I am a respected member of a hockey message board, and I slip my blog’s link in and keep it in my forum. I find this to be the best way to get some dedicated readers

    ~Ernie Fidanza

  31. Another helpful post, in fact very helpful. Thanks for the tips. I think I should try all of these things… ahehehehe

  32. I have been saying this same thing to my partners for YEARS. I will make them read this to see that a professional agrees with me. Thank you for posting this article, it will be useful.

  33. I have the blog created 2 weeks before, i want your tips to how to improve that blogs content and page rank, here is the blog.


  34. Darren,

    After reading your book several times I decided to finally visit your blog. I saw your picture (video) and was thrown off. I could never had envision you with a stiff look and suit. I see you more relaxed in jeans.

    Everytime I return to your site/main page, the picture is still bothering me. Never had this feeling again. It makes me feel disconnected to you, the writer.

    Okay, not complaining, just letting you know how it disjoins me.

  35. Greetings Darren:

    Most of the things you say make sence! & you have put some most needed information for bloggers to think about. I would have to differ from you on certain order of how to repesent your blog to a first times reader.

    #1 you have to offer something that would be helpfull or help seomeone in a more monetary financial way. Just don’t start a blog and write about something that the other peson cannot gain any money from it.

    #2 the second most inportant thing is ” The Template ” of your blog! if you have the most beautifull words & english & grammer perfect. Then you might be lucky to get 5 visitors per day. The template say a lot about you. If! you have a (garbage) template then people will see your blog & run for the hills. Having a very nice blog template say a lot about you. Suppose that you have a template that looks like a ( yugo), then they will all go away just at the sight of an (garbage) blog. Now on the other hand if! you have a template that looks like a ( Bentley), then they will think & say ” what a really nice blog ; may be i will stay a while see what it’s really about”. That’s that three second you were talikng about.

    #3 this one should be listed as #1, ” traffic”. Lets just say that you have just opened a brand new sub sandwhich shop. It’s very clean nice tables & seats, great hot or cold sandwhich, super great contertop & the outside if fabulous. Maybe you will get a few customers & then there will be days when the place is completely empty. However if you hire some young kids to put flyers in house & pass them around & also tell people how wonderfull the sub shop is . Then you will flourish with customers. Getting lots of traffic on a blog is a very crucial component. You cannot make get anybody to click on your links unless the know that your blog exist!. Traffic In a must to have if! your a blogger.

    4: publish ads on your blog. I should rate this one last because you will never ever guarantee that people will click on your ads. It’s way better through, than lets say putiing a paypal button on your blog. which is like russian roulette, like praying ‘ please let someone donate $1.00 to me” on my paypal button. i think of it as begging. the only way someone will donate paypal to you is if! they like you a lot or, they just want to be nice & only make a one time donation. putting ads on your blog is ok if you genrate quite a few click on your blog otherwize it’s just a novelty & very so often you will get a few clicks. better if you manage your ads to the greatest revenue perhaps like $0.75 per ads space. mine are set to standard so i get maybe $0.08 – $0.36 cents per click. always better than paypal button. plus having a blog with no ads in it ” does not make nay sence”. when i first started a blog; from day one i put ads on it right away. if! you have too many ads it will make your blog look really scary & intimidating. i know a few people who do quite well from ads on their blog.

    5: joining many social media networking sites. this is very beneficial, simply because you gat get back-end traffic when your friends or someone sees your pics on a social network & the become curious about you & want to see what your about & what are you into & offering them. half 1/2 of my traffic come from visitors from social netwoks like mybloglog, technorati, zimbio, blogcatalog, stumbleupon, live journal, ;excetra “““`. I think that i am with 8 or 9 sites like this. joining social newtworks plays a very important part on getting hits & meeting new people from all parts of the world.

    The fact of the matter is the all these subjects above play a very importatnt role on how much traffic you can get? to how many new fully vested readers will join in on your blog. i am learning as a go. if i would have started this when i was 13, i would have had a real nice internet company like yahoo or paypal.
    Darren: please vsist my blog as i have just spent 35 minutes writing this out.

    Earn Money From Surveys

  36. Whats with the suit! I can understand if your a stock broker, but usually the first impression a suit is to me is “ahhh, run! boring man ahead!”. hehe :-)

  37. I agree the view of you in a Suit doesn’t connect with the picture on the bottom of the page. More video posts, I am getting too lazy to read.

  38. Mr. Rowse: Great video tips for first impression, personal interaction or blogging. Thank you.

  39. Great Post! Thanks for sharing such a useful information. It will help me a lot.

  40. I have been saying this same thing to my partners for YEARS. I will make them read this to see that a professional agrees with me. Thank you for posting this article, it will be useful.

  41. I’n new to blogging this month. Wish I had found your site earlier but happy to have found it now. I will be following closely. Can personal blogs about oneself, like mine, make money?

  42. You seem like such a gentle and totally relaxed type of person.
    but your article is really nice. thanks..

  43. You know, this has really become my focus over the last 48 hours. My blog is fairly new so I don’t have a lot of stats yet. However, in the week that I have been using Google Analytics, I’ve noticed that my bounce rate is a little too high for my comfort. Most of my readers are coming in on the homepage and also exiting on the homepage. That part that bothers me the most is that my excerpts are not that long on the home page… so they can’t be view much.

    Should I…

    a) Make my excerpts longer giving my site more of a chance by holding viewers a little longer?


    b) Concentrate on ways to get them on to other pages. In the 31DBBB book I have already read a little bit about making things like sneeze pages that are linked from the homepage and stuff like that to help people surf around. I was just wondering which of the aforementioned methods would be best.


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