“Why aren't more people reading my blog?”
Honestly, how many times have you asked yourself this very question (in the past month, week, 24 hours)? We're all working hard to make our blogs as fresh, original and amazing as possible, and therein lies the problem. All. Of. Us.
The blogosphere is a thriving, growing and constantly-expanding online space, with new blogs and new blog readers being created every day. That's a lot of people. But, it's a lot of people without a lot of time who have inumerable options when it comes to sites to browse online. So why aren't these millions of readers visiting your fabulous blog?
Last week I read this interesting article on ProBlogger.net about “The Real, #1, Most Obvious Reason No One’s Reading Your Blog.” According to the author, Jared Latigo, this real, #1, most obvious reason is entitlement.
He explains that there's an attitude permeating the blogosphere that we've forgotten that we are not entitled to anyone's attention on the Internet, no matter how amazing, cutting-edge and important our content is. Latigo says, “We forget that everyone else thinks they are just as awesome as we think we are.”
Is he right?
He may be onto something. We should all be confident in our blogs and confident in what we have to offer – but not cocky. Proud but not boastful. (And always, always, grateful.) Now, if everyone else thinks they're great, too (and if they are), how do we become a chosen one? Latigo suggests that instead of banging a digital frying pan over the heads of our potential followers and readers (so to speak) with too many tweets or updates about a recent blog post, for example – we should balance the asking with giving, attention to others, and helpfulness.
What does that mean?
It's an interesting thought to keep in mind both in your marketing and content strategy that readers don't owe us anything: not their time, not their money, not their click-throughs or their tweets and likes. The author points out that we need to ask for what we want, but we also have to make the other person want to read, to share and to follow. We can do that by giving, giving and giving – without expecting anything in return. No “Follow me and I'll follow you back.” No exchange, just giving.
So, do we have to earn our readers attention, too?
The two acts of asking and earning seem to go hand-in-hand. If you're going to ask for the attention of your readers, you should also aim to earn it too – by rewarding their actions with compelling, high-quality content. And not just once – over and over. We have to remember that our readers have no obligation to continually return to our sites – no, not even our moms! We must aim to impress and entertain our readers daily.
Whether or not entitlement really is the #1 reason no one is reading your blog – well – it's hard to say. However, it's definitely a mindset to keep in mind (along with the multitude of other efforts you're juggling).
So what's the point?
To paraphrase Steve Jobs, “Stay hungry.” There are many, many potential readers out there, but you can't expect them to choose your blog above the others simply because you believe your content is exceptional. As many sucessful professionals will tell you, talent isn't always enough. Keep a mentality of eagerness, excitement and generosity in your marketing and social media.
Do you agree with the author about this kind of blogger entitlement? What do you do to keep your readers coming back?