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Why Nobody Cares About Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 22nd of November 2009 Writing Content 0 Comments

A Guest Post by David Risley

Except yours, of course. ;) However, there are a lot of bloggers who feel this way.

You write. You write some more. You don’t feel as if you’re getting the traction that you want. What’s going on?

There is plenty to be said about issues like proper market selection, search engine optimization and other tactical things, but let’s go deeper. In fact, let’s go deeper than most bloggers really think about when it comes to their blogging.

Are You Talking At Or Talking To Your Readers?

If I walked into a crowded mall, went into the food court, stood there in the middle of it and just started talking, what do you think would happen?

Most people wouldn’t see me. Then, a few would and they would probably think I was crazy. At the end of the day, I’ll just be that crazy guy they saw at the mall.

Now, imagine if 90% of the people in the food court did that. They just got up and started talking into space. It would be one big din of noise. Now, all of those people want to feel as if they are famous, so they start competing and trying to out-talk the other people. The volume increases, but few are being listened to. The ones who are listened to are the ones at least saying something useful.

And that is the blogosphere.

Most new bloggers go out there and start talking, then hope somebody notices and listens. Chances are, it won’t happen that way.

What is True Communication?

I’m married and that leads to some minor adventure from time to time. ;) One of them is being accused of not listening to her. She will tell me something I need to do and I have literally no memory of her saying it. Well, that was because I was doing something when she said it. When she told me what I needed to do, she spoke AT me and not TO me.

In other words, she just threw out the words with no intention of them really GETTING to me. It put the responsibility on me to be paying close attention first. She was right, I wasn’t listening. She was just talking at me.

Now, I love my wife to death, but she was doing what a lot of bloggers do.

What is TRUE communication?

Well, it isn’t communication unless the idea being said fully ARRIVES on the other end and is understood. To complete this process, an acknowledgement of some kind would need to take place to show that the information was indeed received and understood.

Underlying all of this is, of course, the importance of saying something that people want and doing it in a likable way. When you combine being likable, speaking within a reality that your audience will click with, along with actual communication where your thought actually gets to your reader, that’s when people will most definitely care about your blog.

Then you have readers, fans and more traffic that you’ll know what to do with. If you want to make money with your blog, that becomes really easy.

Applying This To Blogging

Blogging is a communications platform. Personal human relations still apply. If you just talk to yourself on your blog and hope people listen, it won’t work very well. That’s not communication.

In other words, talk TO your audience. Your job is to have something worth saying, then communicate that in a fashion which works for THEM. Do it in a reality which works for them. Make sure the idea arrives in their head by getting them to talk back to you. Without some acknowledgement from the audience, you don’t have true communication taking place. The cycle will be incomplete.

Your job with your blog is to create a relationship with your audience. You want them to know, like and trust you. That is done by forming true understanding between yourself and each of your readers. You want them to see you as an authority in your market, but also a trusted friend. The key to do that will be what I said above.

Blogging isn’t all about yourself. It isn’t about just blurting words into WordPress and hoping people listen. It is about talking TO them and having them talk back.

If you are new to blogging and hardly have any audience yet, the same principles apply. You want to have these interactions with other people. So, you go out onto social media and you do exactly the same thing. In other words, go where the people are and strike up a conversation. Then, with some form of understanding formed, you direct them to your blog.

Build a tribe of people who know, like and trust you… who you routinely talk to (in both directions), then you’ve made it. The rest of your goals as a blogger become a piece of cake.

So, in a spirit of communication, let me know what you think. Post a comment. Let’s talk!

By David Risley, a 6-figure professional blogger who got his start as a tech blogger. His blog David Risley dot com is a pull-no-punches account of the business of pro blogging and what it takes to earn a living as a blogger.

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. great post…I recently just started my blog, so this is truly some great advice…thanks!

    p.s. esp the mall example

  2. I completely agree with all your points here for someone who has started to get a following and is looking to increase. The newbie needs to play around with different styles to find out who they need to be talking to and not at.

    The world of blogging is very competitive ad we all want to be read and liked as this is a reward for taking the time to write. Learning who you are talking to and what they expect from you is a process but staying focused on talking to and not at people will allow you to write great useful content and great useful content gets read.

    Your analogy truly allows us to visualize this and really get a feel for what you are saying and how it relates. Love that.

  3. Even better… instead of talking to your readers… talk with them.

  4. Wonderful advice as i tend to write blogs that are either short with newsy and topical information I know my audience will be interested in or well bodied articles with photos.

    Your advice has inspired me to move articles into web site content rather than just blog, and just include a short intro to them from my blog, if its topical.


  5. Thank you for sharing this post. It was like a light bulb went off for me. I feel like I am speaking to no one on my blog, newsletter, twitter, facebook, etc. Your post reminded my that if you want to have a friend – be a friend. If I want for people to read what I write and acknowledge it, then I to must read and acknowledge what others are writing.

  6. Totally agree with everything you said David. You easily get other to talk back by asking a question at the end or whatever and have them leaving a comment below.

    To encourage that conversation further, I not only say leave a comment below, but I also say “or shoot me an @reply on Twitter” as the mass majority (easily over 95% of my audience) is on Twitter.

  7. Thanks for your input, it was very helpful. just started my blog and that’s what I’m trying to do. If you get the chance to visit, let me know if I’m getting “it.” I’d appreciate it!

  8. As a newish blogger I find articles like this very interesting. I have two sports related blogs, one I’ve been running for 5 months now and I have found it hard to make the breakthrough to attracting regular readers/contributors.

    I think when I first started I was just trying to build a profile and a history by banging out as much content as I could as quickly as possible and as a result the quality was badly compromised.

    I think most of it was just me rambling on about the sports in question and practically writing previews and reviews of the sports events in question.

    There is obviously a lot of well established Worldwide news and sports websites already providing this service but I got sidetracked into doing this without even realising it and as a result I think I became guilty of just talking to myself rather than other people (probably like what I’m doing now).

    I have since taken a step back to read such articles as this so as I can get a better understanding of communicating with people and to try to rethink which direction I need my blog articles to go in rather than just spouting out any old rubbish for the sake of adding content.

    I think articles like this can be very helpful in making you take a step back and take a good look at your work and to revaluate where you want and where you are supposed to be going, compared to where you actually are going with your blog.

  9. Love the food court analogy..!

    It made me think how I’d deal with a situation like that.

    I think I’d look around for someone who wasn’t engrossed in conversation, find some common ground (length of the queues, no available seats, etc), strike up a conversation and see if I could find out what was bugging them (Dale Carnegie: talk in terms of the other person’s interests).

    When I found someone I could help I’d have a longer conversation with them – and offer the most thoughtful comments I could.

    With a bit of luck they’d have friends or family with them who’d be able to relate to the conversation. They may even invite me to sit with them while we ate (no available seats).

    And so my net would widen.

    The only problem is: how the heck to transfer that to blogging..!?


  10. Excellent article in theory – except in my marriage, I am the wife and I experience that side :)! Well, ok sometimes I am not listening either. Too much grabs our attention. You lay out the fundamentals perfectly well, and the application is where the nuance comes in. Surely we all are talking TO our readers in our mind, but command of the language, and the voice of the blog carry a lot of weight in that conversation. A never-ending journey. Thanks for the post!

  11. Scott Carson says: 11/22/2009 at 12:44 pm

    Excellent Prof,

    Listening is an art to be developed. In the listening, it’s the caring that will engage your intended receiver. If all you’re thinking about is “what can I say that will get the other party to purchase from me”, you’ve missed it. If you want folks to know you, be real. If you want trust, trust others – that once they know you they’ll like you. Care about the problem your blog solves and communicate that care to others.


  12. I admire this guy.

  13. Hey guys,
    Thanks for the kind words on this article. I was out with family all day and didn’t even realize Darren posted this until tonight. :-)

    Just remember, a blog is a tool for relationship marketing. Even if you’re not blogging for money, it is still about creating the relationship with the reader. That’s what keeps them coming back. So, be a real person, show some of your personality, talk to them and not at them, interact, built trust… and you’ll be off to the races.

  14. Yeah, listen first and then talk, especially if your blog is new. That’s what i get from this article.

  15. Hi David/Darren,

    I have a particular case. Actually I admin a blog about payrolls, because I am an expert in this area, and what occurs most of the times in the blog is that people go, see, and leave a question, then come back two o or three times, get answered, and finally dissapear. I have 1.000 unique visitors per day but the loyalty is very poor (less than 10%). These people are not participative at all, I have displayed a poll, I often call them to comment, to share experiences, but I don´t get feedback at all.

    It´s quite frustrating because I am conscious of it will be impossible to sell anything to these people. For this cause my only income is adsense in spite of the blog has an high-quality content.

    My question is: David in this post assumes that blogger fails communicating, but don´t you think reader fails as well, or even more yet?. Any advice would be very appreciated.


  16. Awesome Post, Always like David’s point of view.

    Was just tlaking to a a friend about how people don’t listen,, he made a great comment

    “the most remembered person in the room is the one who listens best”

  17. Great tips David, thank you! I agree that fostering a relationship with my readers indeed markets me as a better blogger.

  18. A very nice and inspiring post David, blogging is a building relationship tool and not just money making tool.

  19. Ok ………. let’s dance! Aside from being killed at least from time to time and certainly all the time in the beginning from the tech issues, no one will have all the elements of communication come together on any type of website or blog until sufficient time has passed for establishment. One has to DEVELOP (with time) not only his target market, but how they will need to communicate effectively to grow that following. It is interesting to note that the “PROBLOGGERS BLOG TIPS POLL” started on 7-20-09 on this page shows that as time goes on, those who follow through are thinned from those who only have a passing interest in blogging for the first year. Then the process starts all over again. Those that are left standing will have garnered a following and will or at least should, be able to communicate with their target market or audience just from perseverance if nothing else.

  20. Great post. I feel like I’ve been writing for a long time but I am constantly a “new blogger.” I often try to create conversations with my potential audience but can’t seem to get them to play along. Guess I’ll keep on chugging along.


  21. Thanks for this informative article :)

  22. I get great feedback on my blog and think I have formed a relationship with my audience, but the group of people I’m talking to is still so small. It’s the SEO, marketing, link love, etc that feels so beyond me.

  23. You are right, we should be open and friendly to readers

  24. now i know why nobody cares about my blog, i think i talking at not talking to
    ok then should try talking to visitors

  25. Thank you for this post! It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking recently. When I started my blog, I was doing the talking at, because I didn’t have an audience I knew. Now that I’m building these cyber-friendships with other bloggers and readers, I tailor my posts, my comments, my responses to comments, and things like my Twitter and Facebook presence to deepening those relationships.

  26. Nice article. I especially enjoyed the food court part… does make a lot of sense


  27. Super object lesson. Great visual of a mall ‘preacher’ that everyone is ignoring.

    My husband and I have an inside joke about “mall people” – that has absolutely nothing to do with this post. They are the new parents (with very young babies), walking aimlessly with a stroller, looking as if they haven’t had three solid hours of sleep a night for months… going in circles around the mall without talking to each other… just to get out of the house. LOL

    But seriously, this is a great article. Every blogger should read it. The sad thing is, a lot of bloggers don’t read any other blogs. Therein lies a sizable chunk of the problem. ;)

  28. That’s a great guest post! I actually started following this Blog just yesterday after reading his article about gets posting!

    Aside from that my real question is I have only have been blogging for about a week and though I’m jumping right in Nobody’s Pressed the all important subscribe button yet so how can I envoke a meaningful conversation whe I have No idea what my core audience is, or will become.

    To extend your analysis do I have to be that crazy screaming guy long enough to get one or two people to listen and then make the switch to the substantative analyticall writer that I would like to be?

    One last question please. Although It has nothing to do with this post except that I was reading the guest blogger blog, what did you do to get the job, and how would a blogger with very limited experience grow to the point where he could handle a formidible blog like Darren’s.

    I know these are very open ended questions so if it’s just to much to respond to by all means ignore the “crazy man” but if you can steer me in the right direction I would be quite grateful.

    Being the Ultimate Nub that I am this is my first Blog comment Ever! Thanks for the Great Post!!

  29. Well have you ever seen how military people send message and confirmed back. Like clear and out.

    If your communication is clear your half work done. You should make sure that what you are trying to say they are understanding that only.

  30. I’d have to say that is very good advice!

  31. Good point Darren. I’m always asking myself how relevant any post I’m writing will be to my target audience (tail-end baby boomers looking to go entrepreneurial at the mid-career point of their lives).

    I use to speak mostly to the mom-sector until I realized I missed speaking to colleagues in my non-virtual life who aren’t all moms and are working out of the home…for now. So I launched a new site where I hope to connect with these like minded mid-career-entrepreneurial people. I read your blog to help me get my message across and trying to be a really good pupil!

  32. Nick Sharratt says: 11/22/2009 at 10:52 pm

    I don’t blog or tweet particularly for other people, I do it for me. I think of it like a diary I might read myself at some later time, but that I don’t mind others reading either.

    I have no interest in making money by getting a large audience, or affirmation from nice comments. I don’t need either.

    I wouldn’t mind building a network of interested collegues beyond those I meet face to face, and blogging/tweeting works ok for that for me with a mixture of writing styles. I like alternating trivial personalising things with rants about things I care about and carefully reflective moments or sharing useful info I may come across from other sources. The blogs/tweeters I like following do likewise. They’re online identities feel human, not contrived and certainly not “desperately seeking comments’.

  33. Quite an eye opening article. I was also wondering the same question, whats wrong with my blog that no one cares to visit, read and leave comment.

    Thank you very much.

  34. The food court analogy was spot on David; exactly the image we need in our heads to see where we really stand in the blogosphere.

    People often assume if you talk louder and long enough, someone will listen, but here we can see it’s what you’re saying, how you’re saying it and what you’re doing too that matters.

    What if instead of just talking loudly like everyone else, we pull a coin out of someone’s ear? Doesn’t hurt too, to hand out free apples to the crowd or make funny faces at the frazzled mum’s toddler bawling his eyes out.

    It might get us the attention we need and a crowd now willing to listen to what we have to say :)

  35. Really very nice information, if we do not put valuable information on our blog then nobody care to our blog, we should understand our niche and write most valuable information on our blog so that reader will come back to our blog.

  36. David, my compliments to you for writing this insightful article and to Problog for having the foresight to publish it! This rings true in our daily communication, both written and spoken, and by putting it into practice people will have better responses to their efforts to communicate ideas and thoughts. Well written and well stated, thank you.

  37. A person with a microphone and a PA system has to YELL in order to get the attention of a crowded room of idle chatter prior to a public address. Hundreds of conversations overpowers the speaker. The point is: On the Internet millions of people are talking at the same time and not too many are listening.

    The best way to get heard is take your conversation outside of the crowded room. Don’t just blah, blah, blah in hopes of getting someone’s attention. Offer your niche audience something of value, know what you are talking about, and build trust.

  38. This is a semantics thing, but I like to think that the difference between blogging and other forms of written communication is that your are not talking TO your readers (as you would in a magazine piece). You are talking WITH them. There’s a back and forth. You learn from them. They learn from you. You write a post. They improve it with comments. You write something that’s off–they tell you, you listen, and you correct it.

  39. Blogs have sure changed, even over the short time I have been doing this. Blogs are so very different to everyone. In my field [financial] the most popular blogs have become forums with one poster, the blogger. And 100’s of comments. We just can’t pigeon hole blogging into providing the written word someones reading pleasure….now can we.

  40. Great article, thanks for posting. And it’s so true. I like to ask questions at the end of my blog posts so that my readers know that I care about what they think and that I want to hear back from them.

  41. I really don’t care.

    LOL!! Well, actually, I *really* do not care! I’m doing a blog as an online journal or diary. I really don’t care who interacts or reads it as it is for me, and anyone who cares to read about my boring life.

  42. Good points, the husband example is so very true.
    However, I started various blogs, have a twitter and myspace account etc. and even though others tweet about “good night all” or “I’m sick” or “happy Friday” etc. they have hundreds and thousands of followers and I don’t. Maybe my tweets need to be more shallow … Same for my blogs, perhaps they also need to be more shallow to be successful as past-time reading material. I have stopped blogging and I am taking down blog by blog. Makes no sense to keep something going if no one reads it. Whatever subject; dolls, cats, fish, environment, green living, health, photography or interior design, nothing has so far grabbed anyone’s attention. So I can relate to all those who have tried to talk at and talk to people and have failed because I have tried the informative and the engaging, the talking to and at, the personal and the business side of blogging.

  43. this post was written for ME! :)

    started blogging recently and I sometimes despair that no one is reading my blog, even when I ask questions, pose challenges, keep my fingers and toes crossed, etc. I nearly fell over the first time I got a comment – it echoed in what had been the absolute radio silence of my blog. I get private emails and comments sometimes from friends who say they’ve been reading – but so few comments. Will apply the suggestions – both David’s and the other commenters – and hope for the best

  44. Love the food court example, really made an impression. The whole point of our blog is to build relationships with people.

    Would you like to learn more about healthy living incorporating practical “green” alternatives in your life? I hope you’ll drop by and visit a while.

    Thanks again for the great post and reminder.


  45. David, your sub-head “Are You Talking At Or Talking To Your Readers?” says it all! Excellent article – and I noticed you closing your post with a “call to action” ;)

    I created a personal Christmas blog so I could share Christmas anticipation with friends and family, since they all live far away and I’m so busy working that I usually end up with Christmas on top of me before I even realize it. Having guest posts has been a wonderful way of for me to interact with them – and an unexpected side effect is that ChristmasNorth.com is reminding me to do things like start craft projects and bake. (In other words, FINALLY have some time for myself!)

    When all is said and done, I do think the one enjoying it the most is me. <:)

  46. I begin blogging in a few days. I appreciate the reminder that blogging is communicating with the intent to connect with people.

  47. My wife and I talk “at” each other a lot, too – but we’re usually interrupted by the children, making communication even more difficult. (Children = spammers?)

    And come to think of it, my children talk “at” people – like their parents – quite a bit, too.

    I won’t let the kids online. Problem solved?

  48. Before web 2.0 was invented, my professional association (The International City & County Management Association) developed a list-serve where any member of the association could post a question about an issue/problem they were encountering in their community/job, and collegues would provide answers and comments. It was hugely successful, and still exists in a different format. I think its success was due to three things:
    1. People, in general, like to help others.
    2. The questioners needed information, fast, and the format provided needed information in a timely manner.
    3. The audience had a community of interest, and the audience already existed. The people who needed information knew that their colleagues would provide it.

    When blogging, clearly content is key, style of writing is important, the “look” of the blog matters, and as an article I read this morning mentions, the speed at which the blog loads, is a deal-killer for some. But none of these guarantee that the blog will be read. I think the hardest part of blogging is attracting, finding, developing and keeping that audience.

    I am a new blogger. I write about my interests–travel, sailing, golf, cooking. My goal is to find readers with similar interests, and develop dialogues with them. I am working on my writing style–it is hard to transition from writing professional reports, contracts, legal briefs, correspondence, etc to writing to inform, entertain, and connect with others, but I am working on this. I thought a good voice to use would be that of an interesting magazine writer or a popular newspaper columnist who would encourage reader feedback by asking questions and and requesting comments.

    Granted, I am not a very good blogger yet, and maybe my interests are not unique enough, but I have yet to find, develop, attract, much less retain an audience.

    Does anyone have ideas on this? Thanks for the post. It was provacative–it elicited comments from many, and a quite diverse variety of topical comments. My favorite part was the marital example of the wife that talks when the husband is distracted. Wouldn’t it be a better world if we all listened like we did on our second date with “the one”?

  49. I like this post, but I don’t want to “sell myself out” in order to gain a big following. You’re saying that basically we have to talk with the readers and appeal to people in order to make our blog popular. That would essentially mean that I should talk about social media, online marketing, blogging, and personal branding. Then I would be guaranteed to get a ton of readers. Great, right?

    But not really. I don’t want to write about these things which is what people want to read. I write about human rights issues, but there is such a small niche for these ideas. How can I get these issues to appeal to a broader audience? I am having so much difficulty with that.

  50. I don’t disagree. I am curious about which comes first: the ist or engaging the list?

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