I know that many blog readers go to each blog in their blog roll every day/week to read the new posts. I judt don’t have time for all of that. Every day I skim though my Google Reader.

Recently, as I skimmed I was thinking:
– “What makes me stop to actually read a post?”

– “What is it that makes something interesting enough to me for me to actually pause and read?”

– “What is it that makes me actually take the time to unsubscribe?”

Well, it took a little while but I came up with a few things that I’m going to share with you to help all of us grow in what we do.

  1. Pictures.

    I will not stop and read something that is all text. If there is something that has all text or if the text is difficult to read, I won’t read it. The caveat? Well, the picture must pertain to the post. If it’s a book review. post the picture where I’ll see it right away. If it’s a meme, I want to see that right away as well.

  2. Feed.

    I also, very rarely click to finish reading or comment on posts that do not have the full feed included. I do not have time to take another step.

  3. Title.

    Don’t call it something it’s not… but please, PULL ME IN! If it’s a review of a book, I want the book title in there. Give me something that makes me want to read what you’ve written instead of leaping over you to get to the thousands of other things I need to accomplish.

  4. First Sentence.

    This is where it’s made or broken. If you have a couple of headings, I may check out a couple but generally, if there isn’t something about your first sentence that I don’t find interesting, I’ll move on.

  5. Length.

    I prefer posts that are short and to the point. I don’t care for the typically used excerpt from the author or external site. I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll post really LONG posts but, quite frankly, I wouldn’t read them. Let, me qualify that though. If I like the title and first sentence I’ll generally scroll over a longer post and if there are bullet points or sections in the article that interest me, if there are, I’ll read, otherwise, C-ya.

  6. Headings.

    Maybe it’s ADD but I like when you have heading that are consistent. I want to know that when I read your review I’m going to get something out of it. So that if you consistently include the synopsis of books from GR at the beginning of your post I know that if I scroll down just a bit I’ll find something interesting. Keep it consistent. Your layouts, Your headings.

  7. Popularity.

    If I see a review for a book I’ve already seen twice this week, I won’t read it. Won’t even glance at it.

Now, I’m not pointing to anyone in particular, as a matter of fact after thinking through this I’ve found a number of ways to ‘clean-up’, and I know that everyone has different tastes but if you are seeing people leave in droves, as I’ve seen more than one author admit to this week, maybe I’ve written a few things to consider.

Or, better yet, take a few minutes to look at your blog and your blog posts as a reader instead of as the author.

Would you follow you?

10 Replies to “Why Do You Stop Reading?”

  1. Wow! I almost totally agree with all your points!
    I def. like to see pictures! I never read a blog post that is all blah blah blah.

    I also like it simple to read and to the point. If it is a giveaway, but you can't find what it is they are giving away… what is the point?

  2. I will read long discussion posts if the topic is something I'm interested in (like this one) and the spacing is good.

    I generally don't read long reviews unless I know the author is funny and spices things up.

    I never click over to see full feeds either. So sad b/c some really great blog posts just aren't getting seen.

    Great post Gina!

  3. I read almost all the posts but I don’t comment on all of them. I probably would if I could from my reader but alas not a way to do that yet.

    I don’t read really long reviews because I am scared they will give to much away about the book.

  4. Interesting post. I’m to the point now where the first thing I want to know is…”Who’s the blogger.” I scan every post in my google reader and whether I stop or not really depends on how much time I have.

    I agree that I don’t like to read multiple reviews about the same book though.

    I have breaks in my post but mostly because I like my inner columns and my outside columns to line up. I also want my page to load faster. I also don’t mind reading blogs that have “read more” links because I prefer to read posts on people’s blogs instead of my reader.

    Also, I’m big on commenting so I click on posts that I can comment on.

    That’s not very concrete I’m afraid.

    1. I think it’s awesome, Alexis!

      It’s funny because in some ways I agree with you completely.

      But… Your posts really don’t have breaks in them and they line up wonderfully!

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