There is so much information on the web today about how to build a blog. I can just see the headlines now:
"Use These Pop-up Opt-in Forms To Increase Your E-mail List!"
"How To Use Google Adsense To Make Money On Your Blog"
"Affiliate Marketing: The Best Best Way To Monetize Your Blog"
The list could go on, but I think you get the point.
These headlines and the information that they will likely offer are not all bad in themselves, but so many people get caught up in the idea of e-mail lists and blog monetization, that they forget what really matters: Thier viewers.
This is a mistake that many (including myself) have made; one that we must fix if we want to succeed online.
To be entirely honest though, many of the mistakes people make when building a website are so subtle that they don't even realize that they even slipped up.
Below I've listed 3 seemingly small mistakes that many blog owners make and may not even know.
Blog Mistake Number 1: Your Typeface and Font Are Too Small And/Or Too Thin
Believe it or not, this is can be a huge irritation for your viewers. Using a bad typeface and a small font size can make reading the information on your blog near impossible.
You may be surprised to know that there have been studies done in the past that show how typeface and font size can help your viewers read your information faster.
You can read one such study in the link below:
Though other studies show slightly different results as far as a "favorite" font type, the research does show that your font matters in terms of conversion.
A good rule of thumb is to stay away from any sort of cursive, and thin fonts. Though they're not always considered the coolest fonts, there are certain font types (like Arial, Verdana, and Times New Romans) that many readers have been exposed to since a young age.
Readers tend to be comfortable reading blogs with those types of fonts. With regards to size, the best seems to be somewhere between 10 and 14-points(depending on your font you choose).
Consider changing the font type on your blog to one that makes it easier for people to read. It's a small change, but one that may be that missing element in your blog.
Blog Mistake 2: Your Paragraphs Are Too Big And Your Information Is Cluttered
This is another common mistake that I run into on many blogs.
Many try to approach blogging the same way that they might approach a novel. When this happens, paragraphs tend to be longer, and there is no real change of pace to the overall look of what your viewer is taking it.
This makes things visually hard to digest. And those long paragraphs will appear even longer on mobile devices and smaller smartphones.
It's important to remember that the mental attention of someone reading something online versus someone reading a book is very different.
The attention span of an online reader is shorter than that of a Goldfish; a terrible but true fact. You have to keep their attention and make it easy for them to take in the information on your site.
Neil Patel does a great job of this on his site, Quick Sprout. All of his paragraphs are generally no more than 3-4 sentences long, and the points that he wants to stand out (like a single question) are on their own line; he also changes things up by using bullet points.
This sort of change in what your viewer will see visually may seem like something that would drive them away, but it's quite the opposite.
The change of pace will help keep interest and make your information easier to remember.
Blog Mistake 3: You Either Update Your Blog Too Often, Or Not Enough
Is it possible to add blog posts too often? Actually, it can be, and it can be a point of irritation for your viewers and newsletter subscribers.
This is not always the case depending on who you are and how valuable your content is to people.
For example, a site like WPTavern posts multiple times per day but it is a news site so readers expect this.
On the flip side, not blogging enough can be just as frustrating for your readers.
So what should you do? Blog every day? once a week? every other week? What's the answer?
To be honest, there is no "One Size Fits All Approach" here. How often you should post is directly related to your site's industry or niche. However, there does seem to be a sweet spot in terms of post scheduling that both people and Google seem to like.
Generally speaking, one to two posts per week appear to be to a reasonable posting schedule. But again, this can depend.
If you're a new blog that needs to build out content, then build out the content. However, once you're established and you're getting decent traffic to your site and have a pretty good e-mail list, you may need to dial back how often you're posting.
The best way to figure out how often to post is to ask. Ask who?
Line up a post and/or newsletter and ask the people who are loyal to your blog. What do they want, and how often do they want it?
The feedback you get will help you get a feel of who your readers are and how you can keep them coming back to your blog.
Wrapping It Up
There are plenty of other things that can send your viewers running for the hills:
- Outdated design
- Cluttered layout
- Way too many pop-ups Ect.
If you'd like a more comprehensive list of how to lower bounce rate on your site and keep people on your blog, then check this awesome article by Joe Fylan (another writer here at WPLift):
When designing, writing or selling anything on your website, be sure to think of your audience first. A/B test any design tweaks on your site and engage your site's online community.
Sometimes it's the little things that count the most.
So what about you guys? Have you made any changes to your site that helped your readership or lowered your bounce rate? Any tips that you've used you'd like to pass along?
Leave a comment; I'd love to hear your opinion and experiences.