Why People Don’t Read Your Blog

Is blogging dead?

A favorite photographer of mine recently posted a picture on Instagram and explained in his caption the full gallery was being featured on his blog. Fairly standard for a photographer.

Then he used a hashtag that caught my attention:

#NoOneReadsBlogsAnymore

That’s unfortunate, I thought. #AmIWastingMyTime? 

So I did what I always do when I have a burning question: I asked Siri. And as usual Siri had no idea and deferred to the world wide web.

The Google search was depressing. There are a lot of people out there blogging–ironically–about the death of blogging. Each post darker than the last. Is this the end?

It’s not. But in my quest for answers I learned something:

8 Seconds is the new average attention span of an adult.

Yes, that’s right. People officially have a shorter attention span than goldfish (Source). A big round of applause for humanity!

The reality is that most people don’t actually read blog posts anymore. They skim, and that’s if they decide to click-through to your post.

So unless you plan on writing posts that only take 8 seconds to read, here are 3 tips to keep people’s attention:

Write Better Titles & a Stellar First Paragraph

Many people will see the title and make a split-second decision whether to click or not.

And when they click, a handful of people will spend no time engaging with the article. Rather, they will “bounce” or click-back without engaging.

Slate Magazine published an article stating that for every 161 people who click into a Slate blog post, 61 (or 38%) leave. Yes, 38% of people did not engage with your post. At all. (Source)

And that’s a good bounce rate.

Suggestions:
1. Keep It Short: Longer titles will likely be cut-off by search engines.
2. Lists Posts are King: “3 Ways to…” or “5 Tips on…” List posts are also “skim-friendly.”
3. Use “Why” and “How”: People are looking for explanations and how-to’s.
4. Challenge Your Reader: The title of the Slate Magazine article referenced above is a great example – “Why You Won’t Finish This Article“.

No One Reads Your Blog | via the Rising Tide Society

Write Fast Copy

I probably read more blogs than the average person, but I skim most of them. Why? Because a few billion–yes billion–pieces of content are shared daily on social media. 

Many of the most read blogs are under 1000 words, and are structured with short paragraphs. Take a minute and visit a few bloggers who receive a great deal of daily traffic: Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins, Jon Acuff. Take note of how they structure their posts.

It’s easy to move from one line to the next, and the posts are concise.

Suggestions:
1. Write short paragraphs (3-4 sentences/lines max). 
2. Use simple sentences when possible.
3. Use Lists.
4. Don’t be wordy: Avoid overused or unnecessary adverbs and adjectives.
5. Write at least 300 words (for SEO purposes), but keep posts concise.

 

How to Get People to Read your Blog | By the Rising Tide Society

Use Images & Infographics.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and may buy you more than 8 seconds of attention. 

An effective way to provide information is through an infographic. Infographics are easily shareable content, which will likely drive more traffic back to your site. A reader is more likely to pin or share a cute, informative image than link to your article.

And a bonus note: Social Media posts with images tend to get more clicks than posts with only words. When you share that ridiculously good-looking blog post, do yourself a favor and share it with an image.

Suggestions:
1. Find professional and relevant images to go in your post.
2. Use easily shared images like infographics to grab readers’ attention.
3. Use an image to share your post on social media. 

59 comments

  1. Fantastic suggestions Davey and I love the DPS quote. One of my favorites. I agree blogging is totes not dead, just different! We gotta keep up with those times that are a’ changin’!

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  2. love all of these suggestions! such a great reminder, especially knowing the types of images that work best on each social media platform!

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    1. Davey Jones

      Thanks, Carrie! It’s taking me some time to figure out Pinterest, but I’m working on it 🙂

      Reply
  3. Compelling ideas! I am working on creating blog posts with some of these ideas in mind.

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  4. Excellent post Davey! Super relevant to so many of us; thank you for the tips! Definitely going to put some to good use!

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  5. Love this blog!!! I’ll definitely be putting your advice to practice. Thank you so much!

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  6. Amazing post! Thanks so much for sharing these tips. #werebringingbloggingback

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  7. Awesome tips Davey! You also did a great job implementing them in this post. #meta

    One note: A bounce does not necessarily mean that a person left *immediately*. Blogs tend to have a higher than average bounce rate because even if a person spends 5 minutes reading every word of the post but doesn’t click through to another page on your site, then leaves the page (from the same page they entered), this counts as a bounce.

    Reply
    1. Davey Jones

      Trying to practice what I preach 🙂 And spot on about the bounce rate. I made a slight change so it’s a more accurate statement. Thanks for the note, Corey!

      Reply
  8. This was an awesome post! My company just did a post about the 8-second attention span, it made me so sad to read it! But this pos helped me hone in on what I am doing wrong/right.

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    1. Davey Jones

      Macey, that’s awesome! Where’s the post? I’d like to check it out.

      Reply
  9. Thank you! These are great tips and suggestions. I need to start implementing some, if not all, of these.

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    1. Davey Jones

      Thanks, Sandra–I’m glad the tips are helpful. Trust me when I said I learned these things through a lot of trial and error and research!!

      Reply
  10. Davy, wonderful blog. So intriguing. You got my attention in the title (you had me at hello).

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    1. Davey Jones

      Love it! Thanks for the kind words!

      Reply
  11. Such a great post! Sharing this with my networking groups + Pinterest followers right now! Thank you 🙂

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  12. Well! Thank goodness I took more than 8 seconds on this one…read it twice and bookmarked! Wonderful advice for my own blog I started but a year ago. Thanks for such detail and hope to read more from you…
    Carrie Lynn
    My Love Light Lace
    ~ Master Wedding Photography ~

    Reply
  13. This is without a doubt the BEST post about blogging ever! As someone who has been working on consistency with my blog, but struggling because of almost no engagement, these tips are clear and so very helpful! THANK YOU!!

    Reply
  14. Such good advice and practical suggestions. It’s easy to get bogged down in your own words and forget that the reader might not stick around if you are stuck in the Blog Bog.

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  15. Megan Martin

    Such a great article on blogging! Will read this on repeat! 🙂

    Reply
  16. Thanks for your insight! Great tips here 🙂

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  17. love this, its so helpful!

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  18. Absolutely love this! I can already see one thing I can chance with my blogs -the title!! I love the way that you have described this because I can completly relate from the “blog reader” standpoint. Thanks!

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  19. I read this whole blog post! I’m sharing the Fast Copy suggestions on my Maine Wedding Network biz page. Nice!

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  20. Fantastic tips! Thanks for all of the blogging insight.

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  21. Pretty cool. I certainly like the fancy minimalist graphic 🙂

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  22. I’m not a blogger first, I’m a calligrapher with a blog. I use it for SEO (hopefully!) and as a place to post photos of the orders I get. So I’m absolutely not sure what I’m doing. Thank you for the suggestions, this is so helpful!!

    Reply
  23. Thanks for the great article! Currently working on updating our blog and feeling a little overwhelmed! Will keep these tips handy and share with our team!

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  24. crazy true! so true, that i had to catch myself while even reading this entire article. i had to force myself to not jump to the easy reading lists and to actually read all the copy. thanks for the tips.

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  25. Stumbled across this article today (and I read the whole thing!). It’s just what I needed. We’re just getting started and don’t have much content on our blog yet. We’re brainstorming what to do, and this article is going to help up steer in the right direction. Yay! Thank you, Davey!

    Reply
  26. FANTASTIC IDEAS! I’M JUST STARTING A BLOG AND LOVED READING THIS.

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  27. Do you have resources to suggest for copy writing? Writing is not my forte; writing good, engaging copy is a struggle for me!

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  28. Oh my gosh, Davey, thank you! I am an absolute beginner at this, so I often feel lost in the blogging world. Love these tips! I’ll be using them on my next post. 🙂

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  29. This is great info for a newbie like myself! Thanks for saving…I mean sharing!!

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  30. I’m going to use your tips. I think they are great!Thanks.

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  31. This was so entirely helpful. I too have been wondering if people still read blogs, but with these tips, I can hope to engage my audience and keep their attention. Thanks for this!

    Reply
  32. Great article, but it poses how a challenge- how do we, as bloggers, keep our writing interesting, elegant, and eloquent while avoiding and create a narrative while ensuring that the text remains as short as possible? I, for one, far prefer to read blogs that are excellently written and I’m not sure that always lends itself to the skimming consumer.

    Reply
  33. Great article, but it poses how a challenge- how do we, as bloggers, keep our writing interesting, elegant, and eloquent and create a compelling narrative while ensuring that the text remains as short as possible? I, for one, far prefer to read blogs that are excellently written and I’m not sure that always lends itself to the skimming consumer.

    Reply
  34. Thanks for sharing! I had no idea the average attention span was only 8 seconds nowadays… wow!

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  35. Wonderful suggestions! I loved step five, it is so key to respond and engage with your readers.

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  36. Thank you for some awesome tip. This tip will definitely help to write article.

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  37. Man, this is FULL of gems. I love your infographic, the DPS quote, your solid examples with every tip and the social media sharing tips. This is the most concise, on-point blogging “how-to” I’ve seen in a while. Glad I found it!

    Reply
  38. Thank you very good article, but I must also admit that font on the blog too small for me, as I’m a bit blind :))
    I would love to read more, but can’t as on your blog you too small fotn – one more reason why people don’t read your blog.

    Reply
  39. Pingback: Friday Favorites
  40. Sadly, this is true. I try to read quite a few blogs daily, but it does get overwhelming with all the content that’s being pushed out there everyday! I try to always share my content with some sort of an image for sure! Great tips here!

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  41. Wow, when I think of my own reading habits/interests for blogs, these totally are true! What a great reminder that most of my readers are probably just like me! 🙂

    Reply
  42. Really wonderful insight! I just heard on a webinar that lots of people think instagram will replace blogging, as hardly any one clicks the link for the blog, or leaves comments on the blog anymore.I think instagram might be the first point of contact, but personally I still read blogs and leave comments.
    Since I started free lancing I have been working on being less wordy and more intentional with my adjectives. I definitely need to work on writing more gripping titles. I had no idea the average time span of an adult was 8 seconds!

    Reply

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