Are you Unknowingly Cheating Your Blog Readers? Lets find out

Hey there Mr. Bigshot Blogger,

it’s time for a few home truths. You might think you’re successful, authoritative and devilishly handsome. But you’re not. No, what you are, is a cheat.

Why? Because, whether you know it or not, you’re cheating your blog’s readers. They’re giving you adulation, adoration and probably a lovely wad of cash too. And in return you’re boring them, ignoring them and leaving them dazed and confused on the sidewalk.

Cheating blog readers
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So here’s the deal. I’m going to tell you how you’re cheating your readers and how you’re going to change. And in return, you’re going to make your blog even better.

How you are cheating your readers?

You’re Not What They Signed Up For

Don’t get me wrong, your last post was informative, entertaining and educational. But it lacked a certain something. Remember when you first started out? You were a firebrand, crackling with energy and writing in a way that made people sit up and listen. Nowadays, you’re mellower. Safer. Less challenging. That’s OK, but it’s not why people flocked to your blog. Take a look at your earlier work, and see if you can recapture that fire. Otherwise you’re dooming your readers to a long slide into mediocrity.

Readers are Here for Dinner, Not for Leftovers

I loved your post on “How to Produce an Attention Grabbing Post Title”. The first time I read it. Then, six weeks later, I liked “The Secret to Post Titles that Grab Attention!” – but it was wearing thin. If I’m honest, “Attention Grabbing Post Titles 101” and “Are Your Post Titles Grabbing Enough Attention?” weren’t my favourites – and “Grab Attention With Your Post Title (Here’s How!)” had me reaching for the unsubscribe button.

When you write a brilliant and popular post, it’s only natural to want to revisit it once or twice. But your readers are here for delicious fresh content. Re-packaging the same advice four times a year is handing them a plate of reheated leftovers. Is that going to keep them back?

You’re Holding Something Back from Them

I appreciate that you’ve got that mailing list to look after, and that you’ve got to give the paying customers something really special. But come on, throw the freeloaders a bone. Just because they’re not paying you yet doesn’t mean you can throw them half-baked posts that your subscribers turn their noses up at.

And let’s face it. This time you’re cheating yourself too. Do you really think anyone’s going to fork out for subscription content when you’ve just served up something that took you ten minutes to scrawl out?

You Keep Them Coming Back… For Nothing

Sure, you’re busy. Maybe you write as an idea hits you, proof the post straight away and throw it online at any time of day. I mean, it’s your blog, right? Who cares that your posting schedule is unpredictable and irregular? You call the shots round here! Well, your readers care. And if you’re making them check back for a post that might not appear for another few days, you’re cheating them out of time they could spend doing something constructive.

You’re Cheating Readers out of a Chat

People are social animals. They like a bit of a chinwag – eespecially with people they respect. It brightens up their day, and lets them back in the warm glow of human interaction.

Except on your blog. Because you’re too busy to reply to comments. Or emails. Or Tweets. You’re busy beavering away on the next pronouncement you’re going to make from atop your ivory tower. And you’ve robbed your readers of a chance to have a chat. You think that’s going to give them a reason to come back?

You Take, Take, Take – And Give Nothing Back

You might have read this far and thought “so what?” I mean, what do your readers really do for you? Well. They ReTweet your posts. They Digg them. They email them to their friends. They print them out and mail them. It doesn’t matter how they do it, but your readers promote your website. And what do you give them in return? A few posts.

Cut them some slack. Stop cheating them out of their precious time, and start showing them some love. Dofollow comment links, tweets about their posts, free samples of your subscriber content. No matter how you choose to do it, start rewarding that loyalty.

Because when you stop cheating readers and start giving them more of what they want, they start to do more of what you want. Whether it’s the adoration, the free publicity or the cold, hard cash, your readers will come through for you. So stop trying to take them for a ride and start to enjoy where they take you.

If you have to share your thoughts, I would love to hear your comments.

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23 thoughts on “Are you Unknowingly Cheating Your Blog Readers? Lets find out”

  1. Mukundan Srinivasan

    I have been doing these mistakes and I regret for it now. Yes as u said most of the times bloggers take back from readers but they don’t provide any real benefit.

  2. well said, People will get irritated when they come back to our blog and if there is nothing new. Have to follow up regular schedule of blogging.

  3. Great points there,

    I hope i don’t cheat to my readers, but sadly i can’t judge myself on this.

    I don’t want to cheat them, because i would not be happy if i am cheated by someone too.

    Thanks for pointing out Andrew.

  4. Andy @ FirstFound

    Thanks for the comments guys!

    Don’t beat yourselves up too much about cheating your readers though – just make sure you start giving something back! The Guest Post programme here is a superb example of how to help your readers.

  5. I agree with the last point. As because there are certain top blogs who have removed links to appear in their comments. Means they dont want to leave their visitors for any cause.

    Its good to do so, but some how its bad.

  6. Sathish @ TechieMania

    I will agree with all the points mentioned here. Eespecially the last one, If you don’t give anything for all the things you are getting from your readers then you are surely cheating your readers. Thanks for this informative post.

  7. Rakesh @ Wizard Journal

    This is a very interesting, informational and captivating post, these tips are not just tips but golden rules behind making a community while blogging so do take them seriously my friends. 🙂

  8. vijay | bayofblog

    Excellent write up mate, Due to lack of “Power of writing” some times we providing some low quality contents or that not satisfies readers taste, In the result we get no bookmarking and no comments. I see many awesome blog posts getting more readership base and comments from awesome contents…

  9. ow man that’s so true all of them. Quite nice guidelines for the bloggers to start with. It is sort of a Blogging Etiquette for all of us.

  10. very well said…!
    Got to add a point Treat your bloggers as guest and in India its always said “Athithi Devo Bhava”.
    Many guys treat their blogger not for Dinner, but for Leftovers!
    I really liked that line too catchy too xpressive!
    thanks for this good article:)

  11. This is why I made my blog dofollow friendly to reward my commenters. Nice post, all point are worth considering. Thanks.

  12. Rahul @ MazaKaro

    i never cheat, that’s all what i know haha
    that was very clear to me , thank you , i agree with taking a lot and not giving back , so it is very important to give and take as we say , cause that will be a good reason for everybody later on , to give you more !!!

  13. Davina K. Brewer

    I’ll be linking to this someday I’m sure. Agree with these, except maybe the rigid scheduling.. if people know it’s a fluid schedule. Plus that’s what RSS and subscriptions and Twitter are for no? Let people see there’s something new. JMO. To the “take, take.. me, me” I’ll add that you don’t go outside your own blog to share good content, don’t link to others, or when your readers honor your blog with a trackback, you don’t comment on their posts. FWIW.

  14. Nice list Andrew. The last point is the point that I unsubscribe to blogs the most. I mean, common, sometimes marketers bombard me 2 emails a day advertise for stuff and haven’t given anything back, no tips, no advices, no free tools? In those cases, I really hate them 🙂

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