Jon Gibbs (jongibbs) wrote,
Jon Gibbs

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The Fine Art of Self-Promotion: Part Six – How to lose blog readers.

BLOGGING TURNOFFS – How to lose blog readers
I've had an interesting time, studying the poll results and insightful comments people left on last Wednesday’s poll about what might lower your opinion of a fellow blogger. Here are my own thoughts on the results (more in next week’s post), along with suggestions for how folks - particularly writers - who want to use their journal as a self-promotional tool might put the information gained from the poll to good use.

Rudeness and Mockery
According to the poll results, by far the most off-putting thing a blogger could do, was to insult or mock bloggers who disagreed with them. At the time of writing, more than four out of five (82.8%) of those who voted felt this would lower their opinion of the blogger.

Suggestion from a self-promotional point of view:
When someone posts something which annoys you, or which you feel is stupid, let it go. If you feel you have to say something, send them a private message, but be polite. Remember, it’s not the offending blogger you need to think about in this situation, it’s the 80+% of your other readers who you risk losing.

Political and Religious Rants
73.1% of those who voted said they were put off by a blog post which expressed opposing political or religious opinions in an obnoxious manner. Interestingly, only one person (0.7%) said they’d feel the same way if the opinion was expressed in a reasonable manner.

It’s also worth noting that more than a few people who commented said they found this just as off-putting if the blogger was on their side of the political/religious fence.

Suggestion from a self-promotional point of view:
It’s okay to be passionate about politics and religion, but not to rant about them. If something’s really got your goat, by all means write it out of your system, but whatever you do, don’t post it. Set it aside for a day then go over it to remove any vitriol. Otherwise you risk losing readers, even those who share your political views.

When it’s all About Them
Of those polled, 64.1% said they thought less of a blogger when all they seemed to do was post about their work and where to find it. If you do this and you’re using your blog as a self-promotional tool, that means almost two out of three people on your friends list either skim past your blog entries or have stopped reading altogether.

Suggestion from a self-promotional point of view:
Of course you need to get the word out about your writing, but frankly, if no-one’s reading your blog then continually posting about your work there is counter-productive. Trying to find your Writer’s Balance is tough. I believe that no more than about one in ten posts should be about self-advertising. Those entries are like signposts, pointing the way for anyone who wants to see more of you and your work, but most of a blog should be geared towards engaging with people. Give them a reason to care about where those signposts direct them to.

In the next post, I want to cover the other poll results, but in the meantime I’m curious.

What, if anything, in the voting results from last week’s poll about blogging surprised you?
Tags: blogging, fiction, writing

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