Are You Going to Read This?

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imagesM9T4SFV6Your blog is one in a million-literally, one out of a million blogs. More like one in several billion really. On average, your blog may get anywhere from several dozen to several hundred views a day. You have hundreds if not thousands of followers on WordPress and more on Facebook or Twitter. You’ve spent days perfecting your post, inserting the best images and links. You’ve re-read it until your eyes bled. You drank enough coffee to fill a one-ton truck. You click publish and wait for the top right corner of your screen to light up like the Fourth of July. Two days later, all of your efforts have awarded you 5 likes and ten views.

This is every bloggers’ nightmare come true: The overlooked, unappreciated, and possibly unread post. Why does this happen? Who is to blame?

Sometimes it happens as a result of the following:

  • poor, lazy, or redundant content
  • non relevant topic for your audience (your kids, cat (usually plural), current events, recipes, celebrity gossip, etc)
  • boring titles and images
  • vague titles and images: The title, blurb, and image should show readers what your post is about in a glimpse.
  • weak introduction: Remember readers can only see the first 50 or so words of your post in the reader. Make these count. Don’t forget the hook!
  • you didn’t use any or enough tags
  • you didn’t share it
  • you post infrequently

Let’s say you’ve done the following:

  • you had good content
  • you put the work and time into it
  • you update your blog regularly
  • you shared on social media sites
  • you are active on other blogs

Well, either the stars were not aligned correctly in the universe or the following occurred: people just didn’t read it.

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Let’s switch places. Now you are the reader. Do you read other blogger’s post?

Chances are if you blog, you have followers and those you follow.

Why did you follow them?

  • to gain followers
  • because they followed you
  • to find readers
  • to get advice
  • because you genuinely want to read what they have to say

Kudos to those of you who selected the last one..

How much time should you dedicate to others?

In a world where it’s all about me, me, me, and not we, our focus is on promoting our own stuff while ignoring what others have to say. The result is like cafeteria noise where all of our voices are just part of a loud drone. No one is listening, and no one is heard.

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

We’ve all heard of various versions of the 80/20 rule. This can be the ratio of content dedicated to promoting our own product vs content beneficial to our readers. I think it could also apply to how much time we spend reading, responding, and promoting others.

But that’s a lot of time to dedicate to other people, you doth protest. How will that benefit me? Remember my post about the Rule of Reciprocation? If not, check it out here. To summarize, people feel obligated to help those who help them. If you want people to retweet, promote, review, or reblog your content, start by doing these things for them.

Engaging with others builds relationships. Not only that, but you gain exposure on their platforms when you leave comments or share (which is why it’s so important to watch what you say because others see it too).

So when it comes to the blogs you follow, do you hit like without reading? Skim the post? Do you read the entire thing? Do you comment? Do you share?

How to support others

  • comment to their blog, Facebook, or Twitter post
  • follow their links and check out their author websites
  • download a sample or–better yet–purchase their books
  • write a review
  • share their cover reveals, interviews, specials, promotions, etc

I’m sorry this might seem preachy or ranty, but I wouldn’t ask this of you if I didn’t do these things myself. I work 40 hours a week, write, edit, do chores, raise a child, and help my mom, but I still make the time to support other indie authors when I get the chance. In return, they help me out in various ways like sharing my tweets or answering my questions.

The truth is, I read most of the post from blogs I follow, and do you know what I’m learning? I’m noticing a lot of frustration from indie authors who feel alone or who are not getting help from friends, family, and fellow writers. Does this sound like you or someone you follow?

Let’s see how many of you skim or read to the bottom. . .

If you read this entire post, please respond to this survey in the comments below.

  1. What is one way you can support others?
  2. What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post?
  3. What is the title of this post?
  4. What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom)
  5. Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both

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This may have been where a few of you stopped reading. Let’s see who really reads to the last line. For those of you who do, I think you should be rewarded. A random commenter will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. Use it to purchase some fabulous ebooks from indie authors or whatever you want. I’ll select the winner this weekend. That gives you all plenty of time to read, share, and comment. Also, stop by and visit my blog this Tuesday when my next tip will be about–you guessed it–how to get readers to read your post. Good luck to those who participate in the contest. Now go out there and read some more post!

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74 thoughts on “Are You Going to Read This?

  1. I loved this blog post and it made me smile. Thank you! 🙂 Oh right, I’m supposed to answer your fun quiz:

    1- Reblog posts
    2-Boring titles and images
    3- Are you going to read this?
    4- How to get readers to read your post
    5- SpongeBob Squarepants and (a total guess here) Mulan

    You have given me something to think about today. Thank you and have a lovely day!

  2. Even if you do all of the positive things, there is no guarantee that more than a handful of you’re followers will read your latest post immediately. Most lead busy lives. I find that the curious go through my backlist of blog posts. If they like what they read, they will become followers. Building a blogging reputation takes time. It cannot be hurried.

    • That’s right, slow and steady wins the race. Not only that, but taking the time to do it right gains you loyal followers in the long run. That’s why our focus should always be on offering our readers content that is enjoyable to them, instead of publishing as many post as we can. People are busy, and we don’t want to waste their time.

  3. Loved this post and the quiz…
    What is one way you can support others?–comment
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post?–boring/confused content
    What is the title of this post?–ARe you going to read this
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom) how to get readers to read your post
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both–SpongeBob & Mulan

    But there is another thing you’re missing. Sometimes, you can post things that get lots of hits, but it’s not what you truly want to say. (Put up kitten vines and the hits would be all over the place…) Sometimes you have to consciously choose to please yourself over pleasing readers. Because that’s why you do a blog in the first place. If “likes” and “follows” were all that mattered, we could just post the latest Kim Kardashian, baby animal, trending-on-twitter crap and call it a day.

    • Thanks for your feedback. You are now entered in the drawing. I agree, likes and comments are not all that matters, unless they are the result of a reader who valued your content, which they won’t do unless they read the post. This is why it’s so important to create content readers want to read. Good luck on the drawing!

  4. Hi Literary Liason. I enjoyed this post. Although I like to think I do a fair share of these blogging activities, there’s always more to learn and do. Your exercise raised my awareness. The contest is a fun idea, here are my entry answers: 1. Comment to their blog; 2. Vague titles & images; 3. “Are You Going to Read This?”; 4. How to get readers to read your post; 5. Sponge Bob Squarepants. 😀

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. I love interactive blog activities. This is actually the first contest I’ve done, but I’ll have a few more once my sister’s novel comes out. You are now entered in a chance to win the Amazon gift card. Good luck!

  5. Here it goes:
    1. Read older posts. People are not always online so there’s a chance they will miss other bloggers’ new post.
    2. It is too long. I noticed this a long time ago.
    3. Are you going to read this?
    4. How to get readers to read your post
    5. SpongeBob / sorry, no idea 🙂

    • Thanks for entering. Also, I like your answers. They didn’t all come from the post, which is absolutely fine. As far as number five, no one answered it correctly yet. Good luck in the drawing!

      • As to my no. 2 answer, it depends if the post is interesting. I have read a two-thousand-worded post before. 🙂
        A lot of fine points to ponder. Thank you for sharing.

  6. What is one way you can support others? Comment to their blog, Facebook, or Twitter post.
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post? Boring titles and images.
    What is the title of this post? Are You Going to Read This?
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom) How to get readers to read your post.
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both. Sponge Bob Square Pants and I’m guessing King Arthur

  7. I find blogs as a good way to meet interesting people and I’ve found friends in social media. I write blogs… at first it was to let readers know about my books without yelling at them to buy. It has amazed me that some people find my life interesting enough to follow along. Now it’s just fun to practice and keep in touch.

  8. right on with your comments and observations.
    1) read and comment on others’ posts
    2) infrequent posting by the writers
    3) ‘are you going to read this?’
    4) how to get readers to read your post
    5) sponge bob, guess on the second (the emperor’s new groove?)

    thanks for this post ) beth

  9. Hey There!
    Enjoyed this post very much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    What is one way you can support others? Read and follow other blogs.
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post? BORED
    What is the title of this post? Will You Read This?
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom) How to get people to read your blog
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both I know one is Sponge Bob. The others look like the guys from El Dorado. I only know this movie because I love the horse in it.
    By the way, I tweeted your post.

    • Thanks for sharing this post! I finally have enough names to fill a hat, but the more the merrier. I love your answer for #2, and yes, you are correct on #5. You are the first person to get this correct, actually. Good luck with the drawing!

  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Excellent post, The Story Reading Ape shared on his post which proves one of the points in the post. I probably spend more time reading than I do writing – but because I reblog a lot as well I get great content from talented bloggers (another one here) and over the course of the year I have formed many terrific relationships that get better and better..Building that support system means cross promotions and a friendly place to guest post. Thanks and will look forward to next Tuesday’s post as well.

  11. I promise I read all the way to the bottom and it was interesting and correct. I generally follow where I’m interested in content but sometimes I do just follow people who follow me if they don’t write about religion or sex or both? It’s impossible to comment on all blogs but I do try to Like and Tweet them as well as re-tweeting where possible. Trouble is the day is finite and the work doesn’t seem to be.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • I’m so glad you read it, and thank you for visiting my blog. I agree, we certainly can’t read or respond to everything. There is so much to do in a day. I usually dedicate a certain amount of time a day and read and reply to what I have time for in that given time. Likewise, I follow people who offer good content so I know my time will be well spent. Your name is going in my hat–once I find a hat. Not much of a hat person, really. Best of luck!

  12. Great post….it’s true, there never seems to be enough time. Then, too, there are more “amateur-like” writers, such as Yours Truly, who do not make or are not trying to make a real career in this field, but who just love words and the attempt to write something others might like. I do try to do my part, though. Contest answers: (1) Share via various social media, comment, follow. (2) Boring and/or irrelevant content, not enough tags for readers to find post/blog.
    (3) Title is “Are You Going To Read This?” (4) How to get readers to read your post. 🙂 (5) Sponge Bob…silly little man! 🙂

  13. Or, a person does post too often, several times a day and frequently, no original work, always a re-blog of someone else’s work. Many times we follow someone out of courtesy. And I am sorry you think posting a recipe is a boring post. There are quite a few people out there who enjoy recipes and the history behind the recipe. I read the whole post but choose not to participate in the contest.

    • Thanks for your feedback and for stopping by. On the contrary, I love a good recipe, just not if cooking isn’t the focus of a blog. If the blog claims to be about writing, I like the content to be relevant. It’s just jarring to go through my feed and find political or religious post and current events, unless it’s a personal blog or those topics are their focus. I mainly follow readers, nerds, and writers. But yes, I love your first point. I like for most of the post to be original, if possible.

      • Or, like my blog, it is a mix of things. I post by the seat of my pants. I blog because I enjoy it. My poetry blog is only poetry. My main purpose is to just make people smile and try to spread a little light.

  14. Jemima Pett

    What is one way you can support others? Tweet ’em
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post? too long
    What is the title of this post? Are you going to read this
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom) How to get readers to read post
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or I’ve no idea. Maybe SpongeBob square thingies. Of course I could steal answers from other people’s comments 😉

    Nice post!

  15. What is one way you can support others? – comment
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post? – not relevant content
    What is the title of this post? – Are you going to read this?
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom) – how to get readers to read your post
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both – The emperor’s new groove? Spongbob.

  16. Thanks for sharing your insightful thoughts and encouraging others. Actively engaging my readers is more than 75% of why I blog. Without readers to engage with, there’s no point. I will unfollow people who post and don’t respond to comments.
    What is one way you can support others? Comment. Reblog and participate in blog tours and cover reveals.
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post? I cannot, and will absolutely not try to, read blog content that has no white spaces. Huge, chunky paragraphs that go on forever totally lose me.
    What is the title of this post? “Are you going to read this?”
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom) “How to get readers to read your post.”
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both. Sponge Bob and I have no clue except for the comments that others posted, Mulan???
    Peace.

  17. Great post! I feel fully engaged right now. Read all the way to the bottom, am commenting and will share because I think this is very clever.

    1. reblogging
    2. No Hook. I know sometimes I stop if the reader only lets me read a little bit and then redirects me to the original post. I know this is a great way to drive traffic to your site, but if the beginning isn’t catchy (content or image), I’m not going anywhere.
    3. Are you going to read this?
    4. How to get readers to read your own posts.
    5. El Dorado

  18. Hey, sis. Sharing on Twitter. I did read this all the way through . . . but I don’t remember the questions. The pictures from The Road to Eldorado were fun! Can’t believe people don’t remember that movie.

  19. 1.What is one way you can support others?
    •comment to their blog, Facebook, or Twitter post

    2.What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post?
    •poor, lazy, or redundant content

    3.What is the title of this post?
    Are You Going to Read This?

    4.What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom)
    how to get readers to read your post

    5.Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both
    hmmmm, between my multiple casual jobs, garden, household, self development studies, looking after my blog, reading others, commenting and writing, I don’t waste my time watching tv at all and haven’t got a clue without peeking into others comments, spunge bob and no idea?

    Thank you for this article, I think I do most of it right, but am indeed still working on getting the audience I dreamed of when I started 6 months ago. Maybe it is my lack of knowledge on internet marketing, or it is genuinely boring to read? Anyway, as long as it helps a few people it is still worth doing to me and I still enjoy doing it, knowing that it has helped some of my close friends.

  20. oops….forgot to tell you that I reblogged too! Only problem is, I’m so new I don’t have many followers so there’s not a lot of exposure for *anyone on my site…yet! 🙂

  21. This is a fantastic post. It puts things in perspective and I don’t feel alone in being overwhelmed with blogging. It’s a two way street though. I can’t expect others to visit and comment on my posts if I don’t reciprocate. It’s as simple as that. 🙂

  22. I’ve started doing the reblogging thing and I’ll be reblogging this as well. Also, sometimes I’ll reTweet a Twitter post that I’ve read (I do read peoples’ links and posts to make sure they’re worthwhile to myself and other writers) and think it will help other authors that’s two ways of supporting other authors!
    Either boring or irrelevant content is the main reason I think readers don’t read blog posts.
    Title: Are You Going To Read This?
    Tuesday’s post will be about How to get readers to read your posts.
    Sorry, I have no idea what movie those since I rarely watch movies and especially animation.
    Patti
    P.I. Barrington

  23. Well, it is called Are You going to Read This?
    I do read followers blogs and at least comment 50% of the time. I reblog my favorite posts each day. I accept awards and pass them on. I design my own awards to give to others. I thought this was an interesting post. Really. Hugs, Barbara

  24. Ooh, fun! Ok, here goes:
    What is one way you can support others? My favorite is read their book (I like leaving Amazon reviews, too).
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post? In my opinion, if a post is badly edited or not tidy. If you have picked a topic stick with it, or at least clearly show where you are done with that thought and changing topic (i.e. weekly word count updates, personal goal progress).
    What is the title of this post? Are You Going to Read This?
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? How to get readers to read your post.
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both: The Road to El Dorado (a personal favorite 🙂 ) and Sponge Bob Squarepants (meh).

    This was a good post. I hope to catch your Tuesday Tip, that should be interesting, too. 🙂

  25. A very worthy post. Hopefully if enough of us share it and it gets reshared, many more will get the drift. I wrote a post myself not so long ago titled Shoutouts and Sharing, same idea. 🙂

  26. I’m obviously just copying the others’ answers here, but…

    1- Comment and share on social media
    2-Indifferent content
    3- Are you going to read this?
    4- How to get readers to read your post
    5- SpongeBob Squarepants and The Road to Eldorado (thanks, Kylie!) 😀

    As for reblogging, I’ve noticed something curious. I’m terribly grateful to people who reblog my content, but my reblogs generate very little traction compared to new posts. I’m not sure why that is, but reblogs seem to flop on my blog.

    Anyway, that’s why I seldom reblog. Instead, I prefer to copy the content, edit it a bit (say by adding a preface and my own comments) and post it. Of course, I always credit the original blogger and make sure to pepper the post with links to the original post.

    This, I have found to generate much more support, both for the blogger and me.

  27. I have a question before I complete the quiz. Do you always follow the blog as a whole or do you sometimes follow a single category or page?

    I know this may make me sound terribly ignorant, but I’ll have to look up indie writing quick to get an idea what kind of literature you write. On the other hand, as a novice blogger and possibly someday a “real” writer, I enjoy reading tips from all who will share them. Thus, I sometime find myself following a blog for the tips I may glean from their experience even though I lack a real connection with most of their content.

    Anyway, my answers to the quiz.
    1. Share, comment, like.
    2. Poor hook, bad images (probably two of my problems.)
    3. “Are You Going To Read This?”
    4. How to get readers to read your post (s).
    5. I am actually not sure. I don’t think I have seen either of them.

      • I could be wrong, but I believe there is a setting where I can allow people to choose to follow a single category. I haven’t looked into it much, and I wondered if some of the better bloggers might use it more.

  28. Lol, clever! I also read your post to the end, but since I’ve passed the deadline I didn’t answer the questions…here they are though in case you want proof that I read 🙂

    What is one way you can support others?
    What is one reason readers don’t read or don’t finish reading post?
    What is the title of this post?
    What is the topic for next Tuesday’s tip? (hint, read to the bottom)
    Name the movie or television show from the images in this post–or both

    Good luck in continuing to build your blog! I just posted a “blogging hack” post yesterday and I’m thinking about making a series out of it. Since you blog about blogging, let me know if you’d be interested in writing a guest past about a quick tip or trick that’s helped you when it comes to blogging. I welcome the company.

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