1. Eye candy
They say first impression is everything and this holds true when it comes to blogs. They must be visibly appealing to the eye. It doesn’t have to be extra flashy or pretty, but it should grab the reader’s attention upon initial click. Presentation is essential in gaining and maintaining readership. A visual representation that conveys the message of the post is a great way to get readers to spend a little time on your site and revisit.
2. Well written
Each article should be an easy read, meaning, it must have a good flow when you are reading. If you read it aloud and it makes sense without having to reread sentences over and over multiple times, it is reader friendly. Proper grammar is important because it shows that the author takes his or her material seriously and proofreads his or her work. Grammatical errors are a distraction and take away from the content. Compelling article titles are key to engaging the reader and holding their interest, as well as descriptive word choice.
3. Quality content
Piggy backing off of #2, what if the articles are well written but the content is mediocre at best? If there seems to be alot of words on the page but by the end of the article, you realize there was no main topic, then the article lacked substance. The phrase “a whole lot of nothing” comes to mind. Most people are seeking information and suggestions on a particular topic. Accuracy and completeness are what makes your blog the resource of choice.
It is important to gain the trust of your audience. If you are not a subject matter on a particular topic, do not claim to be. Eventually readers will see through this dishonesty and ultimately seek out other media sources.
5. Stay On Topic
Sharing personal experiences is great. It builds a connection between the author and reader and can hopefully provide inspiration. However, the personal story should relate to the topic as much as possible, otherwise it comes off as rambling. For example, if you are discussing how raggedy your tangled ends looked this past weekend, tie that to an article about hair trimming.
6. User Friendly
Nothing frustrates me more than looking for items on a site to no avail. For example, if I am searching for a specific topic, the search tool should be easily located and not lost in a sea of useless information. Tools should be easy to find and the site should be easy to navigate. Otherwise, impatience will take over and the reader will flee to the next site.
7. Consistent Posts
If you are a fan of a particular blog or site, you are familiar with how often the author posts articles and you look forward to seeing new content. When there is no new information being published, the reader may become disappointed and stop visiting the site. There are some blogs you can set your alarm clock to because it is a guarantee that a daily post will be up first thing in the morning to accompany your cup of Joe. Others update weekly, every Monday morning and you can’t wait after a full week of not seeing any new articles. Whether you prefer to see one post every day of the week or five posts once per week, you as the reader begin to depend on the consistency of that blog.