5 Reasons No One Reads Your Blog

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It's harsh, but true: just because you built it, doesn't mean people will want to read it. And it may be about more than just the content. It takes a lot to hook a new reader, and even more to keep them coming back daily. Sometimes, it's just REALLY great writing, or photos, but most of the time it's about more than that.

Some reasons why you may not be getting as many readers as you want:

We don't know who “you” are

I know this is a point of contention (showing your face), but I like to see who I'm reading, and want the ability to find out more about you. Readers want to find something to identify with, something about you they can relate to, or at least want to get to know more about, or they won't stick around. If you don't take outfit photos, at least have a good head or full-shot of you on your about page (which is usually the second click a new reader makes to your blog).

Too many sponsored posts, not enough compelling content

If your home page is full of sponsored posts or giveaways, EVERY SINGLE LINK is an affiliate link, and every piece of your outfit is a “c/o,” you'll turn off a lot of readers who are looking for you – looking for authenticity. How can they relate to a person who receives every item for free? Or is “selling” at every turn? If readers can't trust you to be honest and write about more than the things you get paid for, they won't be there for long.

Too many outfit photos

One, or maybe three, max, outfit photo is enough to get the idea of what you're wearing, and details if necessary, more than that is just indulgent in my opinion. And how long do you want your readers to scroll before they get to the text, or outfit details?

No reader engagement

Maybe you get a lot of comments, but never respond to any, you don't get any comments at all, or you allow spammy comments. New (and repeat) readers want to feel like they're joining a community, with you at the helm. They want to feel welcome and like they can chime in on a post and be heard (either on your blog, or on your social networks). If your blog is full of “nice outfit, plz follow my blog ___________” comments and nothing else, why would a reader want to leave a meaningful comment on your blog? Likewise if you never engage your readers in conversation or answer their questions.

It's not clear what your blog is about

It should be pretty obvious what your main focus is as soon as a reader enters your home page. Post titles are important, as are featured images (if you require readers to click through), and even navigation text can help clarify what you talk about, and how readers should make their way around your site. What brands do you talk about? Do you focus only on vintage fashion? Are you more of a local blogger? Make sure it's very evident at first glance WHY a reader should read YOUR blog.

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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53 Responses

  1. Roxanne

    What turns me off when I go to anyone’s blog is the clutter. I hate the ads that come up in between posts and in the side bars, especially when it’s not controlled. Some templates/blogs have nice designs and these ads still look ok, but on some others, it’s a major eyesore.
    Another thing is tags. That whole cloud or list of tags is just too much and should be hidden completely.

    Roxanne
    Win a Daniel Wellington watch | http://www.head2heels.co | international giveaway

    Reply
  2. Ms YoLee

    helpful indeed! these points are something I ask myself even while I create my content, I think it helps me stay focused and identify who I want my content to reach/target. It is probably the most important, as much as quality content, are you listening to your readers, and the the comments they leave.

    thanks for sharing Grechen! I always enjoy your posts.

    my top5 picks on ways to help bloggers ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://msyolee.com/top5/tech-savvy-ways/

    Reply
  3. TlvBirdie

    Article is so on point,
    felt myself lost in 20 all the same outfit pictures in one post so many times!
    I absolutely agree about clear presentation and how the first meeting with a blog can affect the further relationship ( IF there’s gonna be a relationship at all). A little “about” with a picture and short BIO plays crucial role sometimes and can’t be underestimated.

    Oly
    http://www.tlvbirdie.com

    Reply
  4. Christine

    Very insightful tips. #1 strikes home for me personally. Content is king but relating to someone through images or text is what makes a blog successful. Sometimes I find some fashion blogs are too un relatable, photographing fashions that are not realistic on a budget and calling out designer names instead of focusing on the actual style. I feel readers want images and content of fashion that they can run out to the mall and replicate and make their own. That’s what style is all about.

    Reply
  5. Aniqa

    Great tips! I have been avoiding showing the photos of myself, because I am still a bit shy, but I am slowly getting over it. Yay! Thank you for this, Grechen ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    aniqadreams.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Sakoiya

      This really hit home for me too, Aniqa. I thought, “Ohhh I want readers to appreciate my content and not get caught up on personal images”. But… I have 0 comments on my blog so I guess I’ll be adding more personal images of myself VERY soon. lol

      Reply
    • ahhhsoneo

      I used to never put pics of myself on the blog, until someone told me that not knowing who I was didn’t help. And I did notice an uptick in my readership and followership when I started posting pics of my face. Just go for it.

      Reply
  6. Margo

    Great tips! It definitely caused me to look twice at the front page of my blog. I need to work on frequency of posts and I like the feedback regarding not having too many sponsored posts.

    Reply
  7. M. Akua

    Wow! What a great post! We all put so much love in our blogs an the content. And I agree that it’s not only about outfits, it’s also about personality.

    If someone comes by my blog, I would really appreciate a honest feedback ๐Ÿ™‚

    xoxo M. Akua

    http://www.boomtownavenue.com

    Reply
  8. Brittany Ann

    Most of these are good points, but I definitely don’t agree with the number of outfit photos. One photo? Three max? Sure, 15 full body shots cropped exactly the same is excessive and boring. But I think 6-8 outfit shots at different angles, modeling in different positions, and having close-ups of accessories/details is prime. Fashion isn’t only about clothes on on a mannequin, it’s about how the fabric moves with your body. If the composition is done artistically, I’d be disappointed by only three photos.

    http://www.fineryandmadness.com

    Reply
    • Ina Nuvo

      i definitely agree, noone will be able to see the full details of your outfit, if there arenยดt enough angles where you take the pictures from.

      and of course a photo looks similar to the other one, itยดs the same person and the same outfit… otherwise you could just photograph the clothes on the floor after shopping ๐Ÿ™‚

      xoxo
      Ina
      http://www.ina-nuvo.com

      Reply
      • Brittany Ann

        Of course , it depends on your target audience. I tend to read larger collaborative sites if I want fashion news, and seek out style blogs for opinions, art, and to see cohesive personalities of style. Being detail oriented is kind of my thing.

        You have lovely photography on your blog by the way!

    • Oliver Long

      This is valid point, if only you’re going to do a bit of writing up about the material as well. Say if you post a series of photos of you in a cute skirt twirling around supposedly to give your readers a ‘feel’ of the flowiness but don’t actually tell them about your intention, you’ll just look stupid, and as the poster mentions, self-indulgent. It’s all about knowing the balance and when to stop with the outfit pics. Only include the ones that are absolutely necessary.

      Oliver
      suedeandsymphony.com

      Reply
  9. Cat Cameron

    Oooo… Thank you. I was wondering how much of my own face to show in my posts and whether or not that was a good thing or a bad thing. Thanks.
    – Cat Xx

    Reply
  10. Ally

    Thanks for sharing the insight. I’m just getting started out and sometimes wonder if I’m headed in the right direction. This was a good article for me to step back and think about it.

    Ally
    http://www.ayesirally.com

    Reply
  11. Cindy Nguyen

    I just recently started my blog a month ago…
    I definitely will have to keep these points in mind when it comes to future content since I really want to begin building my audience and some comments on my posts.

    Great post
    Cindy

    http://www.thebeautytrick.com

    Reply
  12. Shian

    Interesting point, I think this is relatable for nearly every level of blogger. Though to be a bit of a contrarian, I actually prefer to see more than 3 photos when scrolling through outfit posts. The nature of outfit posts is to showcase the different facets of the clothing/accessories so I like to see many different angles and poses. Though I will agree some people go FAR overboard.

    Best,

    Shian | http://www.thefashioninvestigator.com/

    Reply
  13. Anna

    though I think that I’m not doing any of these 5 things, I still find it difficult to have loyal readers, so sometimes I suppose that what I write/feature isn’t interesting!

    Reply
  14. Onianwah

    It took me a while to open up about myself more on Social Media and the truth is there are still some parts of me that are unknown but no one seems to remember that because they see me, they chat with me, I am not hidden and I am always available.
    I had a struggle with people knowing what my blog was about at first but somehow, every topic I have dabbled into has been by request of my audience. I think they love it because they relate with me and the blog more than before.

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com
    Lagos, Nigeria

    Reply
  15. Sheela Goh

    It also helps to check statistics frequently, to see which post captured the most views and attracted the highest number of comments. I’ve noticed that while my outfit posts have the highest views, they also pull in the lowest number of comments. On the flipside, opinion pieces may generate as many views but they certainly draw in (a lot more) quality comments, which makes me very happy because that’s the direction I’m headed ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://sheelagoh.com/

    Reply
  16. Raivyn dK

    Great points- you’re spot on. I think my biggest problem is a lack of comments some days, and it’s discouraging in a way, but also drives me to do more…

    http://inf3kted.com

    Reply
  17. Leana Jay

    I recently opened my blog and seeing where I can get more readers. I look at my stats and see what readers are actually taking the time to read. its often difficult to attract new readers, even when you are a veteran blogger like myself.

    Im still going strong and wont give up yet.

    http://hellojuggy.com

    Reply
  18. Belinda

    This is a great article, thank you (I love a rummage around this site – so many interesting articles, and the comments are so helpful too. Anyway…)

    I have struggled with this – I didn’t use to show my face, and now that I do, it’s another conundrum: is my hair tidy, do I have bitchy resting face or, worse, do I look smug? However, I like to see who I am reading, so it makes sense that my readers like to see me, too. Perhaps they aren’t looking at closely at my facial flaws as I am, anyway.

    On the other hand, I write about workwear / office clothes, so prefer to still keep a professional approach, and not sharing personal details.

    I think we all walk our own path, with every writer and blog being different, but these sorts of articles are so helpful so I can stop and think about whether I am on the “right” path and whether I should be making changes, or not.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  19. Rachel

    Amazing tips! Its crazy when people post like 20 outfit photos- they must spend so long on editing… I think it’s also important to be true to yourself and create a niche that people can relate to- whether that’s a humorous writing style, a quirky sense of style or amazing DIY tips.

    Rachel
    http://www.thedailyluxe.blogspot.com

    Reply
  20. Sephie Rojas

    I think almost everything is on point here. I just find it bitter-sweet that some well-known blogs practically reek of sponsored posts, affiliate links, gifted items, etc. on every post they share but they still get thousands of readers to come back to their blog. At some point, when will readers notice their growing lack of authenticity? And it’s also bitter-sweet that when a not-so-popular blog gets sponsors, people think that she’s selling herself out already.

    Reply
  21. Sakoiya

    Thanks for the advice! I struggle the most with posting personal images even “outfit” posts because I really do not care…however, I noticed that readers do…Although I do not want to attract readers simply because they “heart” my outfit or because I’m wearing a certain brand, I still want to attract readers and further grow my audience. Should I forego my original plan and mantra, “This is not a style blog” and upload “fashion” images and maybe get creative with the direction of the content, tying it into a launch concept? Bingo. You know what, I answered my own question. ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you can please check out blog.itslaunch.com and let me know if my lack of personal images is causing my blog to appear less personable. Yep, I posted a baby pic as a cop out! lol. The launch blog was created as a back story to ideas, concepts and events that I will be launching soon, all the while it also serves as inspiration, business of fashion news, and anything else that Inspires me to launch. Thanks folks!

    Reply
  22. gina

    Solid advice. thank you!

    I am in the process of changing my blog from thatsportsgirl.com to theginamiller.com (a realtor in NC has my name) I am doing this, in part, because my blog evolved from a strictly sports-based outlet to more of a lifestyle site.

    Reply
  23. Oliver Long

    Couldn’t agree more with the amount of outfit photos some bloggers have in one post. It’s frankly quite off-putting.

    Oliver
    suedeandsymphony.com

    Reply
  24. Brenda Kelly

    I am a new blogger and found IFB through a fellow blogger friend. Between my full time career as a business analyst and having a family, I don’t get to spend as much time as I wish to on my passion: fashion blogging. I have found not just this post, but your entire website so helpful and full of insight. What an amazing service you are doing for the blogging community! I have spent a lot of time doing research in several different areas. Having one place too come to for the latest tips, articles and blogging trends makes my life a little easier!

    Thank you, thank you!

    Brenda

    alaplagestyle.com

    Reply