How to Get Blog Readers: Secrets to Keeping Your Readers Revealed

Understanding how to get blog readers may seem simple enough, but the trick actually lies in keeping people on your website and ensuring you avoid the dreaded UNfollow. Rachel from And Then, She {Snapped} is here today as part of our How To series to help us understand the secret to get blog readers to come back to your website again and again!

how to get blog readers

Alternatively Titled: How to Not Annoy Your Readers In Just FIVE Easy Steps!

I read a lot of blogs. It’s true.  I know I’m not alone in the fact that I subscribe to over 100 blogs, and I do my best to keep up with them. But there are a few things that are big “no-nos” in my book, which, if they happen too often I may stop commenting, stop reading, or even (God forbid!) stop following!

How To Get More Blog Readers From The U.S.

But really, do NOT despair! These four things are easy enough to remedy! I’m here to help.

#1: CAPTCHA

Please, for the love of all things awesome, turn off your CAPTCHA. Don’t know what CAPTCHA is? Then chances are you probably have it on your blog. CAPTCHA is basically a jumbled mess of letters that a super awesome commenter (like me, for example) has to input before Blogger lets the comment go through. The default for blogger is to have it on. If you like getting comments (and I know you do),  please… Turn it OFF.

get blog readers

How to Get Blog Readers: Annoyed Reader Example

#2: Music

I can’t believe I even have to add this one. This is absolutely, positively the most obvious of all the no-nos.  I am actually offended when I go to read a blog and music starts playing. Offended?, you ask? YES!  I think it’s rude that bloggers will push their music selection onto an unsuspecting reader (again, like me, for example). How do you know I’m not already listening to my own playlist as I browse through my favorite blogs, and you’re implying that YOUR song selection is better than mine? Or what if it’s late at night, I’ve got my laptop in my bed, and my husband is asleep next to me? He does NOT want to wake up to your (horrible) song selection which starts blasting before I get a chance to turn it off. I know what you’re thinking, that YOU have great taste in music and just can’t help yourself but to share your wealth of super cool taste with the rest of the blogosphere. Well, I say, Great!, then by all means, write a post, or even a weekly series, about music that I (as a reader) absolutely MUST listen to! I might even go listen to it! But it will be on my terms, and it won’t wake my poor tired husband.

#3: Reply/Respond/Something

Say that I (for example) comment on your blog. Then the next day I comment on your blog again. A week later I comment again. And I get nothing from you in response. That’s rude. You don’t have to reply to every single comment, but if you notice that you’re getting comments from a regular reader it’s the least you can do (as a blogger) to respond in some way. You could reply via email, you could respond in your comments, or you could visit MY blog and leave a comment. Just something that shows that you give a rip. And an auto response that says “dear blank, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on blank post” does not count. That actually gets you minus points in my book.

#4: Make It Easy To Like You

When I find a new blog I like, I like to go all the way with them, if you know what I mean. Wait, what? No! That’s NOT what I mean. First, I check out their about me. I want to know a little more about the writer. If I like what I see, I’ll want to follow them on Twitter, and add them to my reader. So if you’re making it hard for people (like me) to do these things, you are losing readers (like me). If I can’t find your about me, or your twitter handle, or your google friend thingie I might look around for a moment, but if it’s not hitting me in the face, I’m probably not going to hang around long.

how to get more blog readers from the u.s.

How to Get Blog Readers: Happy Reader Example

#5: Laundry

Please, please, please! put your dirty laundry in the laundry basket. Seriously, how hard is that? You either throw it aimlessly under your bed, or you put it two feet over IN THE BASKET. And while we’re at it, I am happy to wash your dirty clothes, but I do not feel the same way about your CLEAN clothes that you were too lazy to put away. Or you tried on and decided not to wear. How is it that your CLEAN clothes end up the dirty laundry but your dirty laundry…OH, Wait, Sorry! Wrong rant. Please forgive me.

So it’s really only FOUR SUPER EASY STEPS in order to get blog readers and not annoy them. Are you guilty of any of these? Do you have any other things that annoy YOU as a reader? Leave a comment and let us know!

About the Author

a woman with a camera Rachel from And Then, She {Snapped} is a mother, a wife, and a bargain shopper extraordinaire. She also loves taking pictures and believes it is impossible to have too many shoes or handbags. If there was an Olympic event for bargain shopping, she would take home the gold. What you need to remember is that Rachel is not sarcastic. AT ALL.

More Ideas on How to Get Blog Readers:

Monetize! What's OK For Blogging?
How to Find a Niche You Can Love and Serve

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About Francesca

One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I'd love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Great ideas! I am always looking for new blog followers. I love meeting new women through my blog and supporting other great blogs. These tips maight help me get over that 86 followers hump!

    XO,
    Candace
    http://www.loft32.blogspot.com

  2. Great advice! I completely agree with all of these, especially the music one. It drives me CRAZY!

  3. I’ve seen a lot of those tool bar thingies at the bottom of blogs. It seems to slow some of them down. Plus, I always close it right away bc to me, it hides some of the post. There are some blogs that I read weekly and love their site so I wouldn’t leave bc of that toolbar. But if I come across a new blog by chance, more than likely I’m not going to sit and wait for the toolbar to load.

    I’m also one to click on links within the post. If it doesn’t open in a new window, I tend to not go back. Either I am too deep into the site or I don’t want to hit the back arrow X amount of times to get back. This can be really frustrating if I’m entering a blog giveaway and they want me to go to the sponsors site and then come back and comment.

  4. You just have to go read my comment section (Aug 24th) to know how this post helped me.

  5. Captcha doesn’t bother me (though it’s not on my blog) but I’m with you on all the other ones, particularly the one about responding to people commenting on your blog. I have a policy to respond to pretty much every comment. I actually think I’ve replied to every comment on my blog except for the one comment I deleted because the comment was, “No comment,” and that didn’t make any sense!

    I actually am bothered by people who say they don’t have time to respond to comments because there is one blogger I know that every time he posts he gets easily over 100 comments and he responds to every single one. And believe me, he’s a busy guy.

    By the way, on the laundry thing – give up. I’ve been married almost thirty years (four kids, three still live at home) and it’s pretty much hopeless. I’ll get on them occasionally but trust me, it never lasts!

  6. Rachel,

    Easy tips to follow. Actually, I wouldn’t even call them tips, these are musts.

    I have been very fortunate to have not come across a musical blog but that darn captcha gets me all the time. I switched to a plugin that simply lets the commentator check a box to prove he or she is not a spammer, it’s called Growmap Anti Spambot plugin and it’s free. I love it and it’s so easy.

    And I know we can all be busy but I am starting to visit the blogs of my active commentators. If they come to me 4, 5, 6 times I start to really notice (sometimes less, if they leave a great comment) I will visit their blog. This shows we both care about each other, at least online. :-)

    Your right, it’s all about not annoy them and making them feel comfortable on your site.

    ~Allie

  7. This was super helpful! Thanks Rachel. You totally rocked this my dear!

    I was guilty of having my caption on, & didn’t even realize it! Thanks!
    I so hear ya on the music!

  8. Great and learned a lot!

  9. My pet peeve is definitely the auto-play music. That, alone, makes me click away from a blog and not visit again. I also don’t like it when a blog has a black background…although if I do like the blog, then in my Google Reader it can be black on white and so that’s fine.

  10. I agree. Captcha is annoying! I always try to respond to all the comments on my blog, although admittedly I sometimes slip up and forget, especially if the comment is on an older post!

  11. Yes, those letters drive me nuts! And I think I just get sad when I constantly visit someone else and they don’t ever visit me. I’m also not one for a lot of profanity in blog posts…I don’t know, it just seems a bit much. This is great :)

  12. Thanks for #2. I can’t concentrate with music on. There are a couple of writers I really love, but hae to mute them while I am there.

    Yay! Thanks for this list. It made me happy to know I am not going to have to make a lot of changes. Except in the way I do laundry.

  13. You’re crackin me up. I was really trying to connect with #5 – what could she mean about laundry? ha ha

  14. I love this list! Captcha and also waiting for comment approval bothers me, and I’ve actually seen my comment get approved like a week later…. seriously.

    Arrogance will also make me stop reading. You can offer advice on a topic and make it sound helpful – kind of like how you did here – that I LOVE! …

    However, some bloggers start writing very arrogant, as if they’re the leading authority on a subject. Their blog starts to have a “Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong today” theme…. and that’s no fun.

  15. Yay I do (or do not do) all of these things! Except the laundry. I don’t do that nearly as often as I should…

  16. Great tips! I’m embarrassed to think back a couple years to what my blog looked like & how hard I made it for people to like me. haha

  17. Great tips!

  18. Yes, yes, yes, yes and I have to agree with the laundry comment too. There are a couple of blogs that have music on autoplay and when they open up on my Google reader I either quickly skip to the next post or scroll down to the very, very, very bottom of the page to turn the music off if the topic even seems important to read the post. I’m getting better about responding to my comments, it’s easier with Disqus and not Blogger’s commenting system. And I’m looking for some very cool follow buttons for my sidebar that I can install myself. Thanks for this post!

  19. Great info Rachel! I was shaking my head as I read all your valid points! Thanks for reminding us all of things we shouldn’t be doing! :)

  20. Captcha is the devil! I agree. Turn it OFF. Also, make sure you give an email when you comment as often I want to respond to your comments and can’t because of stupid bloody no-reply blogger.,..

  21. I agree with each item on your list.

    I’m so glad somebody came out and said that it’s rude to never ever visit or comment on a blog of someone who visits YOUR blog regularly.

    Thank you!

    I don’t need regular comments, but, a visit every once in a great while with a brief comment would be a lovely thing!

  22. My own personal pet peeve: the disabling of the right click. I use it all the time to open windows in new tabs and it ticks me off when I can’t. I like to read a blog post and then open links in the post in a new tab for later, after I have finished. BAAH

  23. Glad to know I’ve got all 5 covered :) Good call on the suggestions!

  24. this was sooo helpful! I am only guilty of the captcha…which is now turned off! lol :) I have definitly “walked” away from a blog because I couldn’t figure out where to follow at.

  25. Anyway, I agree with them all. I’ll go through my reader and open like 20 pages and 5 minutes later songs are playing and it drives me crazy trying to find the offending blogger. However, I have gone to the trouble to turn my speakers off. 95% of the time my speakers are off. Thank Goodness!

    And Captchas! They drive me crazy. I had one for awhile but turned it off. I still haven’t gotten any spam and it’s amazing that I now get more comments! Like three or four sometimes! Woohoo.

    I don’t do twitter though and….well, I guess I need to do an about me……..

  26. Love this post!
    I am glad to say that I pretty much have all these (four) points under control.
    I have to work a bit more on the responding one – time being an issue, but I TRY to respond especially if I get more than one or two comments from a reader.
    It sure would help if blogger could upgrade their commenting system to something like WordPress (I hate the Intense Debate/Disqus add-ons, so ugly)
    THANKYOU for letting me know I’m doing OK :)
    xx

  27. Yep, definitely hate captcha! And you had me going there on number 5!
    Bernice

  28. Hmmmmmm- I am glad to see you aren’t sarcastic at all. I so profoundly agree with the Captcha thing, and have lost many comments because I clicked away before I ‘capthca’d’ and then was too annoyed to go back and re-comment.

  29. i too hate autoplay and captcha and don’t have both on my blog

  30. Great, great recommendations. I’ve been on a research kick this summer…you know all of the how-to’s and all-things-blog and I’m adding this post to my growing list of blog knowledge posts. (oh, and I’m linking it on my Sunny Bug facebook page to share with other bloggers!)

  31. I do not mind captcha too much unless it is one of the systems that is really hard to read. I do not use it on my blog though. I would ad that holding all comments as pending for approval really slows down the conversation and will deter me from returning to a blog to comment more in the future.

    Music on the other hand will drive me away as fast as I can click the tab closed and I will not come back.

    Laundry … at first I thought your were telling bloggers to make sure their laundry is put away before they start taking photos…lol.

  32. Super, super helpful. My word verification is now off — thanks!!!

  33. Great tips and even had a few laughs. Great post!

  34. Thanks so much for this post! Great insight. I often wonder what I’m doing wrong because I haven’t had a new follower in quite some time. Of course it’s summer and blogs seem to be dying a bit in blog world. I’m not guilty of 1-3 so it must be #4 people don’t like me! :(…..

  35. OMG I’m with you on all of the above!! Especially making it easy for others to follow you – it’s so frustrating to want to follow someone and not be able to find a link to do just that!! Thanks so much for the list!

  36. I love this list! So far, so good (turning off Captcha now!) :)

    I am wondering about something for my blog…I have noticed mine can take long to load…does that have an impact on readers (finally I have turned on mobile web!) I don’t really know howto make it load faster! I’m afraid that it is my background or something!

    Luckily I am good about responding to readers!! I love comments! :)

    • yes, if your blog is slow to load that CAN have an effect on your reader. I know I have read somewhere that blogs load top to bottom, left to right, so you want your main blog post, stuff to be as close to the top and left as possible, and maybe move your background widget to the bottom right. (if you even can do that? maybe somebody else can jump in and help with this)

  37. I hate the automatic music…HATE IT.

  38. Great stuff Rachel! I agree with all of it. I just hope I’m not too guilty of not responding back. I try my best though for sure! In fact, I post only 3 times a week so I can make time for that sort of stuff.

    • I feel like the responding thing really is just another way to develop relationships with your readers, which is why we blog, right? : )

  39. Totally agree. I hate when you comment and comment and its like “hello any one there?”

    I also hate blogs that are JUST reviews and contests. Especially when the latter consists of a hundred complicated ways you must enter to win. Then again if that’s your thing I guess I wouldn’t be reading anymore.

  40. This is all really good advice. SO…I guess now I just need to turn off that darn CAPTCHA. :)

  41. I agree with all of this! Especially the music and captcha! With giveaways, that can be frustrating.

  42. Excellent list. Couldn’t have said it any better my self!

  43. oh darn, I’m going to be the lone lame commenter that disagrees with #2. I literally get comments every week from readers who tell me they love our music and some say they “turn on” my blog every morning and leave it open all day to hear the music.
    But I totally hear you on captcha. and I’m trying to get better to replying to comments lol. I started a weekly reader shout-out to address comments that stood out to me for that very reason :)
    Great post!

    • I used to have my playlist auto-play, and like you, was very flattered by the compliments I got from visitors who enjoyed it. But, after hearing the same critique of auto-play music from sources I trusted and admired, I came to realize that the number of visitors I was losing was probably a lot greater than the number of people who enjoyed the music. I have to admit, it was hard for me to turn off the auto-play. I was afraid that I’d lose those people who said that they visited my blog specifically for the great music. I’m glad to say that the music fans haven’t gone away. They know that they can still visit and simply hit the “play” button. That’s my two-cents as someone who’s been in the same position.

      Coming from the position of a blog “reader”, I can completely relate to why people take issue with auto-play. Often, I open up 5 or more windows to line-up the posts or blogs I want to read. Similarly, if I visit a linky party, I’ll sometimes open up several of the links at one time. It’s frustrating when one or more of the blogs has auto-play. Sometimes, I’m on the computer when my girls are trying to do their homework quietly. Other times, I’m alone, but two different play-lists go off at the same time. It can be a challenge to find which blog has the music, and then to track down where the control panel is.

      My advice (unsolicited, of course), is that if you decide to keep the auto-play on your blog, just make sure the control panel is in an easy to find location, so it can be disabled, if the reader chooses to enjoy your content without a music accompaniment. Cheers! Jenn

      • Here’s another thought though- Kelle Hampton has 14,000 followers and averages 500-700 comments per post. While I’m friends with her through blogging (our baby girls were born a week apart with Down syndrome) I don’t always care for her music selection …so I just mute it before I go to her blog. It doesn’t appear to be stopping anyone else from following her!
        I have thought of doing the auto-play thing. Maybe I’ll take a poll on my blog, lol:)

        • Great point Patti! I always try to think… what if the reader JUST got the baby down for a nap then BOOM, loud music! Or if they were at a coffee house and music starts playing. People can definitely push play to hear your songs if they like them!

  44. Can we add not having backgrounds that make it difficult to read the posts and actually hurt the eyes? I don’t go back to those blogs, either.

  45. Great advice! I agree with them all.

  46. Really terrific advice…thank you!

    I’m wondering (and hope you don’t mind me asking) – we get a large (terrific) # of first time readers and a pathetic (terribly small) number of repeat readers. Unless I’ve missed something (which is definitely possible), we’re pretty good about following the four tips you mentioned, so I’m trying to figure out where we go wrong. Do you think our numbers may be off because people delete their cookies (ok, maybe I’m reaching here…) or are there any other areas you think I might have missed. I’d be incredibly grateful if you have any additional suggestions on things I might check.

    Thanks so much!!! …your post definitely made me stop in my tracks and go re-evaluate my site :)

    • I’m not sure, but I think first time readers is first time within a set period (like an hour or 6 hours or 24 hours), not repeat readers EVER. Do you know what I mean?

      • I think so… I was trying to figure out how the site recognized visitors and was thinking maybe it was by cookies, and if that was the case, maybe people deleting their cookies would show up as a new reader. Ok, I know that was a long shot, but I’ve been trying to figure out, how can we consistently have such a large number of new readers and such a small number of repeats. If you can think of anything else we should try, please let me know… and thanks for responding :)

  47. Love the cute pictures :)

    These are great tips, and they are so relateable to tech-challenged people like me (because I am positive that “Google friend thingy” is the official term for that box).

  48. Oh I completely agree!! I hate Captcha and music on blogs really weirds me out!!! Great post x

  49. love it! if there’s one thing that drives me mad is when i’m a loyal reader and i don’t EVER get a response back when i comment! drives me nuts and makes me think they are rude and typically i stop following. sometimes i think this makes me a mean person, but then i think about the countless hours i spend responding to people and then i think otherwise :) lol thanks for the good read today!!!

  50. Love… all of this. I hate that Captcha thing – please please people turn it off.

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