losing blog readers representationWe work so hard to get traffic to our blog and to provide useful content so they’ll stick around, but what if you’re losing blog readers and don’t even know it?

You can bet that if you annoy your readers, de-value them or show them you’re only in it for YOU, they’re not gonna send you a message to tell you their leaving — THEY JUST LEAVE!

And you’ll never know why.

I’m not going to bang the drum here about creating quality content, providing solutions or being transparent and real — these are all things I have preached about in other posts.

I’m not even going to talk about improving your blog navigation, making your posts easier to read, those ultra-annoying popups or other ways you may be alienating your blog readers.

Been there, done that!

No, what I’m talking about are those little termites that will eat at your blog from the inside, causing you to lose blog readers unnecessarily.

The sad part?  You are probably not even aware of it.

You’re losing blog readers and you have no idea why!

How Do You Feel When This Happens?

Have you ever….

  • Tried to check out another page on a blog and found a broken link?
  • Have you clicked on a link to a blog and it took forever to load?
  • Tried to contact the blog owner and never received a response?

If you have, chances are you aren’t visiting that blog any more!

Why?

Because broken links, long loading times and unanswered inquiries make you look UNPROFESSIONAL at best and UNCARING at worst.

3 Simple Ways to Avoid Losing Blog Readers Unnecessarily

Here’s the good news….  It’s not necessary to be losing blog readers in this way.

Here are 3 quick fixes that you can do TODAY:

1.  Check your broken links

Broken links are frustrating, both for the reader and the blog owner.  They can make your blog look unprofessional and unattended to.  The problem for blog owners is that your links may break over time and you’ll never know it.

You can spend hours checking your blog links over and over to ensure they’re working, but that’s not a productive way to use your time, now is it?

There’s a better way — a very cool WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker.

I’ve had this plugin installed on my blog for over a year and I couldn’t do without it.  I’ve set it up so that it checks all my blog’s links every 48 hours, emailing me directly when one is broken.

How easy is that?

The Broken Link Checker plugin receives my highest recommendation.

2.  Make your blog faster to load

Lots has been written about blog loading speed, both here and on other blogs.  In fact, I use plugins such as  WP Optimize, WP Minify and WP Smush It to help consolidate files and make my blog load faster?

Here, faster is definitely better to keep even your most impatient reader happy as a clam! :-)

If you want to find out how fast your blog is loading, go to Pingdom, grab a free account, enter your blog URL and test it out.

Another cool site is WhichLoadsFaster.com, where you can compare your blog loading speed with those of your competitors (thanks to expert blogger Mavis Nong for these 2 blog load speed checkers).

3.  Become your reader

This is one that too many people miss, but it’s free to do and so simple.

Experience what your readers experience when they’re on your blog.

  • Go through the process of navigating your blog, subscribing, and opting into your free giveaway offer.
  • Perform a search and see if it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
  • Use the contact form to be sure it’s working.

In other words, BECOME YOUR READER.

I do this on my own blog periodically and there have been times when things went wrong — inexplicably!

One day I suddenly realized that my contact form was not working.  Can you imagine if one of my readers left me 1 or 2 or even 3 messages and I never answered?

Yikes!

Do this exercise periodically on your blog, because if you’re having trouble on your own blog, you know your readers are getting frustrated.

Remember this…

A Frustrated Blog Reader is an Ex-Blog Reader!

 

Takeaways

Seemingly small issues can cause you to lose blog readers unnecessarily.  Things like broken links, slow loading speed and contact pages that don’t work can make the reader doubt your dedication and professionalism.

For a blogger, lost confidence, trust or respect is like taking a poison pill.

To avoid this, test your blog often by acting like your own reader as you move around your blog, and download plugins that will help avoid unnecessary loss of readership.

Your Turn

What’s your experience?  Have you ever found issues on your blog and thought, “Oh No!’?

Leave a Comment and Join in the Discussion!

Bob Clarke

Dr. Bob Clarke teaches Part Time Marketers how to better leverage their time, effort, money, skills, and other people’s knowledge in maximizing their business success. Don’t forget to grab your Free Training Grow a Thriving Business in 30 Minutes/Day or Less — an essential resource for anyone struggling to build their business Part Time.

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Showing 38 comments
  • Audrey Ross
    Reply

    Slow websites have never gotten a good following. Nobody wants to be browsing these websites. It’s a common sense thing to invest time and money into making sure your pages load fast. I like what you said about becoming your reader. I think this is what a lot of bloggers are overlooking.

  • Sally Thompson
    Reply

    You really are a big help for us to reach our goals in our blogs.. You are great guru when it comes to blogging.. I will be back for more great tips here.. I really want to be experts like you..

    • Bob
      Reply

      Thanks for the support and kind words, Sally…. although I don’t consider myself (or anyone else) a “guru”… I just share what I learn. It’s about paying it forward. Good things always come back to those who share.

  • Justin
    Reply

    I check on my log on a regular basis for any problems. My number one gripe with other blogs is when their commentluv is not working. I click on it and nothing happens. This seems to happen to me at least once a day when visiting other blogs.

    Another gripe is no contact me page. There is a really good blog that I like to read but the background is black (which I would recommend that no one ever do) and I can only read it for about 5 minutes before my head feels like it is going to explode.

  • David
    Reply

    OK, that’s a relief. I thought you were talking about real termites. Well, my blog has just started, so I’ll be watching for these.

  • Sally Brown
    Reply

    Thanks Bob,

    I think I will do that. Thanks a lot. Sallyy

  • Jym
    Reply

    Awesome post Bob.

    It’s crazy how different things can be when you’re not logged in.

    Another area that this point is really important is in your broadcasts and autoresponder massages, if you have them.

    There’s almost no other list killer as powerful as people who are interested in what you’ve got to say, have decided to trust you enough to sign up and open your emails, and then get dud links.

    I do a fair bit of poking around and tweaking about on my blog from all the angles I can think of, but it would make sense to run a plugin like broken link checker once in a while…

    Nice tips mate, loads of value in there, just the way we like it 🙂

  • Sally Brown
    Reply

    Thanks for the article. I am going to have to do something to help me with my load time. I was using wp minify but it was interfering with commentluv. Smush it didn’t work for me. I really do love broken line check though. thanks again. Sally

    • Bob
      Reply

      Glad you like Broken Link Checker. it’s a great plugin.

      You may need to consult an expert if you can’t reduce the load time on your own. That’s what I did. I’m certainly no techie!

      In the end, the small cost of hiring an expert will be returned many times over in increased readers, subscribers and sales.

  • Ian Belanger
    Reply

    Hi Dr Bob,

    Great post! Losing blog readers is never a good thing. I agree, things like broken links and slow loading pages can drive people away from your blog, without you ever knowing.

    Broken link checker seems like it is a must for any blogger, I am going to download and install it today.

    Another great tool for checking page load speeds is YSlow, it’s a firefox add-on. Funny I am reading this today, as I just published a post about my favorite tools for making your online life easier.

    Thanks for sharing Dr Bob and have a great day!

  • Steve Nicholas
    Reply

    Great post, Dr. Bob! I’m just curious about blog etiquette. I’ve noticed that most of the time, when blog posts show up as broken links on my blog, it is something that someone else has as their most recent post in the comment section. I don’t think I could really get rid of those, so I was just wondering if this was just for broken links based on the links that we post ourselves.

  • Desi
    Reply

    I was trying to figure out how the site recognized visitors and was thinking maybe it was by cookies, and if that was the case, maybe people deleting their cookies would show up as a new reader. Ok, I know that was a long shot, but I’ve been trying to figure out, how can we consistently have such a large number of new readers and such a small number of repeats. If you can think of anything else we should try, please let me know… and thanks for responding 🙂

    • Bob
      Reply

      Not sure, Desi… my repeat visitor rate is pretty high. Not sure if cookies are altering those stats…. let me know what you find!

  • Jayne Kopp
    Reply

    HI Bob, what great suggestions. I am definitely going to install the broken link checker.

    You are so right when you say we can’t catch anything, but if we can at least monitor a few things, its better than losing visitors because we don’t ‘care’ enough.

    Thanks Bob!

    Jayne

    • Bob
      Reply

      True, Jayne…. I figure the more we can cover, the better experience our readers will have.

      Thanks for your comment and contributions here, Jayne!

  • Janet
    Reply

    Bob, aloha. Clever and very apt title. You are so right that it is easy for blogs to be eaten away from the inside.

    Thx so much for the broken link checker. It makes perfect sense and I definitely will install it. Broken links are a pet peeve.

    One of my other ones, Bob, relates to loading. While I know about the sites listed above to check load speed, here is a variation. The site itself may load quickly, however, after hitting the Submit button after commenting, it takes forever and a day to process. Once I have finished commenting and hit submit, I am moving on. It truly irritates me when the site is slow processing the comment. Do you know of anything that helps to speed up that process? Interestingly enough, it happens on some low ranking sites of some very experienced bloggers.

    Thx so much for the advice and the smile. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    • Bob
      Reply

      Aloha, Janet! Your point about time in processing comments is well taken. I have also had that experience, even on some of the faster loading blogs.

      I have no idea what causes this or how it can be helped. Perhaps one of my readers can help us out on this!

      Thanks for your question!

  • Rachael Slorach
    Reply

    These are fantastic new tips Bob! I will definitely be installing those recommended plug ins.

    Yes, I myself am very impatient when it comes to loading web pages – if it takes too long I usually just stop the process!

    Thanks for the educational post.

    • Bob
      Reply

      You’re very welcome, Rachael. Blog loading speed is something I need to continually watch because it seems I am something of a plugin junkie!

      I periodically need to review my plugins and get rid of the ones that are slowing things down and not adding much to my blog.

      Thanks for your comment, Rachael!

  • Hans Schoff
    Reply

    Hey Bob, great common sense advice! I especially appreciate your 3rd suggestion to view your blog with the eyes of your visitor! So important! Sometimes we work so hard on our blogs, putting up content, updating wordpress and plugins and all the other millions of things internet marketers and bloggers do, assuming everything works the way we EXPECT (read: HOPE) it should. But more often than not, something could be a little off or maybe seriously malfunctioning that could really annoy your readers or visitors and you might not ever even realize it if you’re not putting on their shoes and looking at your blog, and testing it out as a visitor would. I too try to do this every now and again just to make sure I haven’t overlooked something small that might have a huge impact! Great suggestions Bob, thanks!

    • Bob
      Reply

      It’s true, Hans. I’ve even starting checking how my blog looks in different browsers, since there appears to be quite a difference at times!

      Thanks for your comment, Hans!

  • Rowena Bolo
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    This is a fantastic post! I love all your recommendations. I immediately tried the whichloadsfaster, and I used your site vs mine. The results are bad, as I have been having problems loading my site in Firefox. I have not found out what’s wrong until now. I’ve since used Chrome, and yes, when I tested our sites in Chrome, my results are way better. Have you encountered this before? I should probably not stop searching for a solution so I can do a post about this 🙂

    Thanks for reminding me about the termites in blogosphere. I so love this helpful post.

    – Rowena

    • Bob
      Reply

      I have not compared different browsers and loading speed, Rowana, but after hearing your experience I will!

      Thanks for telling us your experiences, Rowena!

  • Tara Walker
    Reply

    Great advice. I know that when I’m searching for information online and the site is slow to load, sometimes I click the back button and move on. I have noticed that sometimes my blog is slower than at other times. I’ll check out the plugins you recommend. Thanks.

  • Kristina L.
    Reply

    Hi, Dr Bob,
    you are obviously a perfectionist that cares for the rule of doing things to others that you would do to yourself. It means you have appreciation for the visitors, and you keep proving this with the quality of your posts and comments.
    There is so much truth in what you say-a frustrated visitor is an ex visitor…it happened so many times that I encountered blogs with broken links, or even worse, taking an eternity for the page to be opened…it is just time consuming,and so, if it happens a few times, chances are I will stay away from checking out the blog again. I mean, why sticking to a blog for which its owner doesn’t care at least as much as I do as a visitor? There are so many good other blogs out there waiting to be read…and they are on time, with fresh content and no broken links.:)

    • Bob
      Reply

      Thanks for the kind words, Kristina — glad you are not a frustrated reader! 🙂

      I am a perfectionist, but I’m trying to break some of these habits. It can be a curse sometimes!

  • Lou Barba
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    Those are all good tips for traffic generation and not driving your readers away. I never heard of the plugin for checking broken links before, so I added it, and immediately found a broken link. Thanks for sharing.

    Lou

    • Bob
      Reply

      Glad you found this information useful, Lou.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Easther
    Reply

    Hi Bob

    Great post you’ve got here! thanks for the reminder, after I read your post, went to check on my blog, I actually did had a few broken links. I think i might have to take on your recommendation and install the Broken Links plugins.

    thanks for sharing

    cheers

    • Bob
      Reply

      I am loving this plugin, Easther… those broken links always seem to pop up at the worst time.

  • A. Leigh Edwards
    Reply

    Hi Dr. Bob,

    Just found a broken link on my blog today (manually). I am headed over to upload the plugin you suggested. Many thanks for these helpful tips.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Aha, great Leigh. I love that plugin. It’s great to get an email about a failed link before anyone else sees it.

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Natalie
    Reply

    Hi Bob,

    as a newbie blogger, I’m constantly trying to improve my blog and go through it to see what I can update… and I keep finding things! I just installed the broken link plugin you suggested – thanks for the tip 🙂

    • Bob
      Reply

      You”re welcome Natalie…. glad you found this useful!

  • Catarina
    Reply

    Good suggestions Bob. However, I really don’t believe it’s possible for anyone to avoid that happening once in a while. For readers to follow your blog long term they have to have an interest in what you write about and respect you. If they don’t, you will lose them.

    • Bob
      Reply

      Hi Catarina,

      No, you can never catch everything but it’s good if you can find problems with your blog’s functionality before your readers do. Improves your look of professionalism, I think. And you’re right — ultimately it will be your content that will keep your readers loyal or cause them to flee!

  • Dahlia Valentine
    Reply

    Hi Bob… Also, to make a blog load faster you might look into a content delivery network (CDN). I had a site last year where each page was taking 10-15 seconds to load. I added it to a content delivery network and the pages loaded instantly. The difference was amazing, to say the least. It cost a few dollars for the CDN, but it was well worth it.

    • Bob
      Reply

      That is amazing, Dahlia… I will look into that! Thanks for the tip!

      Appreciate your insights, Dahlia!

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