I haven’t written a blogging-related post in awhile.
I’ve posted a lot about technical issues associated with blogging, but those posts were geared more towards bloggers. Today’s post is a reflection of things I’ve noticed when reading blogs. Granted, the advice is still geared towards those people writing the blogs, but let me know in the comments if you’ve had similar experiences when reading through a post.
People are busy. Many blog readers, myself included, won’t dive in depth into every post. Many times they will skim the content, share it if it’s convenient or relevant, and move on. Based on my experience with reading blogs, there are a couple things that stick out to me when I do.
I return to blogs that I trust and that I can learn from in one way or another. Speaking from the other side, here are some quick fixes to keep readers and share your content.
I think this is probably my biggest pet-peeve when reading a sponsored post. Most of the time I’m able to tell that the post is sponsored, but I don’t see any disclosure of that fact until the very bottom. I wrote an entire post about the FTC regulations for disclosure, so I won’t go into it all again, but the bottom line is that a reader should not have to significantly scroll to discover that the post is paid for.
I may just have some issues with this that I need to figure out more, but I get super annoyed when people try to hide disclosing their work with brands or companies. It makes me feel deceived and I feel like I lose some trust every time that happens. I know not everyone has that reaction, but I get really bothered by it.
Related: Stop Misleading Disclosure Practices
2. Check your alt tags
“Alt tags” refer to a component of your image. Basically, it is the text conversion of whatever the image is. With more and more people moving towards automated social media scheduling tools such as Tailwind for Pinterest, the captions for pins are drawn directly from the alt tag.
In WordPress, you can edit your alt tag (or alt text) as you upload the image:
Or you can edit it by clicking on the picture and then “edit” once you’ve uploaded it:
If your image doesn’t have an alt tag, Tailwind will either provide no caption or more often draw the caption from the image name, which is also problematic if you haven’t named your images. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not likely to share a photo with a caption of “DSC-2156.”
3. Make a graphic for Pinterest
Depending on your niche, Pinterest is one of the top traffic sources for many bloggers. If you are posting a recipe or an instructional post such as this one (hint, hint), make a graphic that is appropriate for Pinterest. These are long images that allow you to easily tell what the post is about. Canva is AMAZING for creating graphics and even allows you to select “Pinterest graphic” as an option that will automatically start you with the right dimensions.
I’ve read a number of great posts, but the images were either nonexistent or too small to fit with the theme of Pinterest so I didn’t share them. If you’re looking for more help, Ashley has a great tutorial on how to make food-related Pinterest images.
4. Click to Tweet
Speaking of automating social media, “click to tweet” is the box that you see at the bottom of this post that allows you to simply click and post a pre-written message to Twitter. If a post has this included, I will share it on Twitter 99.9% of the time. This is a great way to help out readers and get your content shared, but make sure to check your message before you post. I’ve gone to post a message and found out it’s too long for Twitter and then I have to find a way to shorten it which takes more time. Also, don’t use ampersands (&) in Click to Tweet since they don’t carry over and end up turning in to several symbols that usually make your tweet too long.
Granted, I may be more of a stickler for grammar than I need to be, but PLEASE proofread your posts. Of course everyone isn’t perfect and I’ve made mistakes as well, but read through your post a couple times before posting it. There’s nothing worse than reading a sloppy post. Ok, there is, but it’s still not awesome.
- As readers, what are some things that prevent you from sharing posts?
- What other things would you like to see done differently when reading a post?