what do blog readers want

What blog readers want

Nikki Parkinson Life 31 Comments

Two of the most frequent questions I am asked are:

1. How to you get blog readers?

2. How do you build your blog readership?

Of course there are a whole host of strategic ways to do this – using your email database, hosting giveaways, engaging with people in your social media networks …

These things are all important and part of playing and growing within the blogging community but the biggest lesson I’ve learned in four-plus years of blogging is that all of the above mean sweet F A if you are not keeping your eye firmly fixed on your content.

Content that keeps regular readers coming back.

Content that gets those readers talking – and sharing.

Content that brings in new readers who like what they see and decide to stick around.

what do blog readers want

What’s got me thinking about this?

I’m a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers in the US and it was this post by Taylor Davies that succinctly defined blog-reader equation. In a nutshell, she said give your readers what they want.

Simple, isn’t it?

Here’s what blog readers want:

  • Honesty
  • Consistency
  • Fresh content
  • Credible information
  • Great visuals
  • To be entertained
  • Something they can’t get anywhere else

Are you giving these things to your readers? Are there areas in which you can improve?

AND If you’re a reader of blogs … what is it that keeps you coming back?

I’ll leave you with this short and sharp post this week.

The reason? Yesterday I played a small part in a charity event here in on the Sunshine Coast that managed to raise more than $100,000 for local health services. I cannot confirm nor deny that a hangover may have taken up residence in my body.

If you’re looking for more blogging tips and inspiration, click on the links from other bloggers in the link-up below. There is always something to learn.


Share your blogging know-how

Thanks so much to everyone who plays along with my Saturday blogging linky. Sharing your blogging knowledge with other bloggers and potential bloggers really is how this blogging world best goes round. It’s a bit like having a mini online conference here every week.

Remember if you want to join in, just add your link below. The link needs to be to a post ABOUT BLOGGING (all others will be deleted). Please fill in the box where it says “name” like this: BLOG NAME: Blog post title. That way your blog gets a plug and if you include the title of your post, you’ll attract readers interested in the topic.

[inlinkz id = 26]
  • Shelley

    Thanks so much for the great ideas…I have just spent the last hour flicking through all the great links to other blogs and have found some really interesting tips for newbies. Its so great that the blogging community isn’t a ridiculously competitive one, it feels so encouraging and supportive. I like alot! One awesome idea I will be trying to follow is to comment on 5 new blogs per day or week. I love that idea.

    • Shelley, it’s the support and the giving that helps make this the best job I’ve ever had. Yes, there is some behind-the-scenes nastiness that crops up from time to time but generally most people are super supportive of one another.

  • GetModish

    Thanks for the great tips! The hardest part for me is to get followers especially when you are new in blogging. Any tips on how to make yourself known or even get people to follow you on social medias like FB and Twitter?

    • Just keep working it. We all started at 0 … it’s consistent effort. It’s talking to others in the social media space and on their blogs and most importantly, it’s providing good content that is share-able.

  • Love short lists and quick to read (if not as easy to implement) ideas! Great takeaways from this post, thanks Nikki.

  • What keeps me coming back to blogs? Besides the obvious – topics that interest me – it has to be the bloggers themselves. I love getting to know them and hearing their voice on those topics. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a couple of my favourite bloggers in real life (Hi Nikki!), and I’m hoping to meet more in the future. xx

  • Great little list. I think the something they can’t get anywhere else is you – your personality, opinions and energy:)

    • I think that’s the big key to the “something they can’t get anywhere else” … it’s why blogging is growing so rapidly!

  • Thanks for this. I’m about to focus on trying to ‘grow’ my blogs. Both (though mostly Diet Schmiet) have loyal readers and commenters but my readership isn’t really growing. I need to focus on what I’m doing wrong (or not as well as I could be) and do that! Am going to ponder a bit on your list!


    • Hey Deb, I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, I think it just takes time. Your focus is brilliant. What I find helpful is to set realistic daily page view goals. When I find I’m consistently reaching those, I up it again. Just focussing on a particular number as a goal helps. Sounds airy fairy but it does work for me. Look at the posts that have received the most page views (via Google Analytics) – what is it about those posts that made them so well read? Is that something you could do more of? Just a few things … please don’t start thinking you’re doing anything wrong!!

  • Debyl1

    Great work with the charity event Nikki.
    The things that keep me coming back to the various blogs I follow are..
    .I get a feeling I can trust them and that they are genuine
    .I find their advice helpful
    .I feel their recommendation of products to be tried and true
    .I feel a connection with them
    .I feel part of a community
    .Their posts are not too long
    .They make me laugh
    .In particular they show respect for their followers by frequently replying to comments
    when they can (I understand sometimes this cant be done due to the sheer amount of
    Hope you are feeling better soon.xx

    • Hi Deby, I love your list. I really do. It’s those things that set blogs aside from other media. And I’ll be better tomorrow – was worth it – we raised amost $120,000!

  • I think I do most of those points- except one – consistency, and I am working on that, only real life gets in the way for me. One of my friends who reads who works with, me keeps telling me my posts are too long and that I should make them shorter. I might try that and then I could split them up and be more consistent with a posting schedule.

    • I don’t think there is a set blog post length – give it what it’s worth has long been my motto but if splitting your posts helped you with consistency then, yes give it a go!

  • Great post 🙂

  • That is great Nikki. (The list and the charity fundraising, not the hangover). It really depends on the blog I think. Sometimes there is something that just resonates with me as a reader in the tone of the writing more than anything.

    • I think you’ve nailed it – it’s through resonating with the tone of a blog you’re connecting with it. That’s what brings you back.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I hope that you feel ok Nikki,with or without your your maybe hangover ,and I am pleased you managed to riase so much money that is Awesome,congratulations.I follow your blog because of the above reasons and you do give us what we want to read and it is enjoyable to read and you are a totally nice person ,it seems as if we know you even though we don’t and I think that is why your blog is doing so well,you share so much of yourself to your blog and that gives it a friendly feel ,keep up the good work,love your blog!

    • Thanks Lisa – it was a great day and a great result. Thanks so much for your kind words. x

  • Janelle@AWhiteFarm

    Ooohh, I’m liking (and probably blatantly copying) Melissa’s idea! Thanks again Nikki, even short and sweet you give good advice. Now hows that head feeling?? xx

    • Thanks so much Janelle … and as for the head, let’s just say I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow 😉

  • I am going to get an arty graphic designer friend to turn that short list into a poster for my office wall. So perfect. In my experience so far it really is THAT. Just that. The rest is bells and whistles.

  • Excellent post!!! We really do need to come back to what’s important. If you’re just ringing it it, you have to ask why. Rachel x

  • Lia Halsall

    Here’s a question for you that I’ve been wondering about Nikki. Does a blog have to also have various social media platforms to succeed? It’s one I’m very curious about.

    • I think social media platforms are important to build readership. It’s finding the ones that work for your and your blog that is the trick. Over time, you can see where most of your readers come from to read your blog and this helps you to work out where you most devote your social media time to. For me, Facebook is the biggest referrer, followed by Twitter (quite a way behind). Instagram doesn’t show a lot of direct referrals but it’s a good visual platform for me – and I love it!

      • Lia Halsall

        Thanks for your feedback, it was very helpful.