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Why Nobody Cares About Your Blog

A Guest Post by David Risley

Except yours, of course. ;) However, there are a lot of bloggers who feel this way.

You write. You write some more. You don’t feel as if you’re getting the traction that you want. What’s going on?

There is plenty to be said about issues like proper market selection, search engine optimization and other tactical things, but let’s go deeper. In fact, let’s go deeper than most bloggers really think about when it comes to their blogging.

Are You Talking At Or Talking To Your Readers?

If I walked into a crowded mall, went into the food court, stood there in the middle of it and just started talking, what do you think would happen?

Most people wouldn’t see me. Then, a few would and they would probably think I was crazy. At the end of the day, I’ll just be that crazy guy they saw at the mall.

Now, imagine if 90% of the people in the food court did that. They just got up and started talking into space. It would be one big din of noise. Now, all of those people want to feel as if they are famous, so they start competing and trying to out-talk the other people. The volume increases, but few are being listened to. The ones who are listened to are the ones at least saying something useful.

And that is the blogosphere.

Most new bloggers go out there and start talking, then hope somebody notices and listens. Chances are, it won’t happen that way.

What is True Communication?

I’m married and that leads to some minor adventure from time to time. ;) One of them is being accused of not listening to her. She will tell me something I need to do and I have literally no memory of her saying it. Well, that was because I was doing something when she said it. When she told me what I needed to do, she spoke AT me and not TO me.

In other words, she just threw out the words with no intention of them really GETTING to me. It put the responsibility on me to be paying close attention first. She was right, I wasn’t listening. She was just talking at me.

Now, I love my wife to death, but she was doing what a lot of bloggers do.

What is TRUE communication?

Well, it isn’t communication unless the idea being said fully ARRIVES on the other end and is understood. To complete this process, an acknowledgement of some kind would need to take place to show that the information was indeed received and understood.

Underlying all of this is, of course, the importance of saying something that people want and doing it in a likable way. When you combine being likable, speaking within a reality that your audience will click with, along with actual communication where your thought actually gets to your reader, that’s when people will most definitely care about your blog.

Then you have readers, fans and more traffic that you’ll know what to do with. If you want to make money with your blog, that becomes really easy.

Applying This To Blogging

Blogging is a communications platform. Personal human relations still apply. If you just talk to yourself on your blog and hope people listen, it won’t work very well. That’s not communication.

In other words, talk TO your audience. Your job is to have something worth saying, then communicate that in a fashion which works for THEM. Do it in a reality which works for them. Make sure the idea arrives in their head by getting them to talk back to you. Without some acknowledgement from the audience, you don’t have true communication taking place. The cycle will be incomplete.

Your job with your blog is to create a relationship with your audience. You want them to know, like and trust you. That is done by forming true understanding between yourself and each of your readers. You want them to see you as an authority in your market, but also a trusted friend. The key to do that will be what I said above.

Blogging isn’t all about yourself. It isn’t about just blurting words into WordPress and hoping people listen. It is about talking TO them and having them talk back.

If you are new to blogging and hardly have any audience yet, the same principles apply. You want to have these interactions with other people. So, you go out onto social media and you do exactly the same thing. In other words, go where the people are and strike up a conversation. Then, with some form of understanding formed, you direct them to your blog.

Build a tribe of people who know, like and trust you… who you routinely talk to (in both directions), then you’ve made it. The rest of your goals as a blogger become a piece of cake.

So, in a spirit of communication, let me know what you think. Post a comment. Let’s talk!

By David Risley, a 6-figure professional blogger who got his start as a tech blogger. His blog David Risley dot com is a pull-no-punches account of the business of pro blogging and what it takes to earn a living as a blogger.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Ben says:

    Nice reminder article. Especially like the food court example, really brings it into light how tough it is to be blogging.

  2. Kool Aid says:

    Maybe I’m in the minority but I’m not entirely sure I’d want huge amounts of traffic. My blog is just what I would call a “family blog” and the thought of having to come up with something to write everyday for a popular blog would just stress me out too much. Sure, sometime I think I’d like more traffic and the occasional freebie to review and the idea of making money at blogging is wonderful, but that isn’t my reality.

    However, I totally get what you’re saying. I tend to gravitate to bloggers that write in a way that I can “hear” them talking in a conversational tone – in a way that I would talk with a group of friends or my family. Those are the ones I come back to again and again.

  3. Really well written article, i truly think that no one cares about my blog, even though its only 3 months old, i still feel i have wasted a lot of time. According to my plans i should have owned a blog like Problogger know.

  4. I agree with Ben I loved the food court anology. And yes, I’m also accused by my wife of not listening. In fact (between us) sometimes I find myself zoning out. I know. I know. Its bad. Let’s hope she doesn’t read this ;)

    One thing I am learning is seeking to understand before I’m understood (vintage Stephen Covey).Its working. Your post was a great confirmation.

  5. Julie says:

    Nice post! Thank you David (and thank you Darren for having him post!) This is why I love this blog. It is a constant reminder of the essence behind blogging. Content and Communication.

    It is a nice reminder, especially starting out, that while a lot of so called “experts” in blogging push monetization, design, SEO, they forget the art of communication.
    And communication is an art.
    My guy often stutters when he listens.. which means, perhaps, I stutter when I am trying to communicate.
    Afterall, communication is a two way street.

  6. Julie says:

    Great Post!

    This is just another reason why I enjoy ProBlogger. It is a constant reminder of what blogging is for me.

    Communication and Content.

    My guy often admits to stuttering while he is listening. But since communication is a two way street, then I have to look at how I am talking to him or more importantly WHEN I am talking to him. If I am talking at him, it is usually not paying attention to where his focus is at. Talking to him, I must first have his attention.
    Same as blog posts…Talking to the reader and engaging!

    Thanks Brian (and Darren too) for keeping the conversations going

  7. There are so many reasons why people doesn’t care about your blog.
    First of all informative content.
    If you blog about your personal life,who care for your life ? Why people read about your life ?
    Second thing is awareness of the brand.If you are a brand or your thoughts are as a brand,people must care about your blog.
    People likes your thoughts,your personal story if you are a popular authority .

  8. Dean Saliba says:

    I seem to be one of the few lucky ones.

    I get plenty of comments on one of my blogs (157 posts: almost 400 comments) and they are all nice ones. :)

  9. Julie says:

    Hopefully, three’s a charm. The first two comments didn’t post. But that just goes to show you, content is KEY. Your content was so compelling, I had to make sure I commented back!

    It is an awesome reminder that communication is the bottom line of blogging! And it takes more than the writer just typing random thoughts.

    And great common reference…

    My guy admits to stuttering while listening. But that means, part of it anyway, is that I am not talking to him. I need to pay attention to where he is before I start — especially if he is armed with the remote control…

  10. Mike says:

    Yes. I like the article. I’ve always tried to cultivate a culture of communication on my blog, though my call to action isn’t that refined yet. I’ll keep this in mind for the future.

  11. Yup .. I agree

    One of the reasons why your readers will not be connected to you is that you dont respond to them when they expect it . I make a point to reply to each and every doubt they have . Also I personally Ping them and talk to them and also make myself available on twitter , Chat etc .

    Manish

  12. Paul says:

    The food court mental image made me instantly think of Twitter…micro blogging at it’s finest
    A bunch of people not paying attention to eachother.

    That is exactly what is wrong with the social media world. If someone invents a site where people actually converse they would get rich!! ( oh wait…Facebook already exists.)

    Great article.

  13. If you want people to care about your blog, you have to work at building a community. In order to build community, you have to engage on a personal level. It can be done through how you write (speaking to and not at although that is seldom enough) but it really helps to respond to readers, particularly if someone has gone to the trouble to leave a thoughtful comment. I often respond in comments as well as in email.

  14. I have a personal blog, as well as a food blog (canning/preserving) and a dog training blog.
    To Surender Sharma, who asked ‘If you blog about your personal life, who care (sic) for your life?’ – that hasn’t been my experience.
    Granted, my survivorship blog is the oldest of my blogs, so it would be reasonable to expect that blog to have a larger following than the niche blogs I launched this summer. But if your life is interesting, or you write about it in a way that makes others want to read the story, then plenty of people will ‘care for your life.’
    It’s about content. And then about getting the news about that content out to the people and groups who will be most interested in discovering it. And then about engaging with those people every chance you get.

  15. The post of the year! I’ve been at the blogging tips niche for so lang, and geez, and know how hard people waited for this answer, Keep it up Risley, i’m a fan of yours ;)

  16. sarah says:

    hey
    people will care if blog interested and related to the topic, it’s right blog should be deeper but it’s depend on keyword research.

    sarah

  17. David Wagner says:

    Great post on communications, I pondered the similarities of blogging with Twitter… just a lot of noise without any real communication (two-way communication) going on.

  18. Maria says:

    Thanks for this very helpful article. I’ve read a few of your other posts, and have helped tremendously. I started blogging as hobbie, something to do. As time went on I see a lot of possibilities. Mind you, it’s only been a month, but I now have my own domain, and host. Thanks-Maria

  19. writting unique and good content makes other bloggers to take care of any blog

  20. Claire says:

    Some good points here, I enjoyed reading this article. It is very true that communication is a two-way street, as David so rightly points out. I want my blog to be interactive, like a conversation – I’m talking TO my readers and, hopefully, they are replying by telling me what they think about what I’ve said. You are quite right that a blogger should never talk AT their audience – because no-one will listen!

  21. Kristjan says:

    It’s a nice post and the analogy is very accurate but I’m afraid the tips are not enough to do the trick. I’ve been blogging for over 9 months now (actually far longer, my previous blogs 2 blogs are very popular in my own country of origin which in Estonia), but my blog just doesn’t seem to pick up the number of guests/followers that I would like. Social media sites haven’t worked either. Linking hasn’t worked. What am I doing wrong? I’ve applied most of the tips offered by this blog and by copyblogger.com but it just doesn’t seem to do the trick…
    So my question is, do you have any real suggestions? Something that works not only on paper, but in the real world?

  22. Nice article.Got great inspiration.

  23. I think blogging for yourself or for other people is definitely a struggle out there for many (if not most) bloggers. And as a representative from the “mommy blogging” world, I think this post holds especially true.

    For parents, the stories about the everyday life (no matter how mundane) can be written in a way that provides humor or a nod of the head in agreement. Some bloggers are good at making the mundane drivel funny, relevant, and/or interesting. However, many cannot and their blog simply turns into an online diary.

    I also agree with the “likability” factor. I don’t like to read blogs where the people seem arrogant and inaccessible. I like commenting back to people who spent a few minutes of their life reading my blog and making a comment. I always appreciate when someone else does the same.

  24. Well, nice advises. But there is one thing to be considered: Blogs are not good for getting hits. Some are followed and read by many people. But many can not get hit because there are tons of blogs around. And there are lots of people who share their personal thoughts in their blogs. The point here is that: Be Original. Be different.

  25. Angelique says:

    David — I would love to read a follow-up to this article about ways to encourage comments. Comments lead to conversations, which lead to repeat visits to your blog.

    I have had personal blogs for years, and had mixed success at starting conversation threads, even when the actual blog post had many readers. Now that I have a blog about my industry, I am especially interested in ways to start conversations, because unlike a personal blog, I won’t be posting controversial articles that spark debate.

  26. The most tough part about blogging I am finding is connecting with the audience. With big shots like you totally overtaking the blogging niche- it becomes very very tough for start-up blogs like mine to create authority in the blogosphere.

  27. “You want to have these interactions with other people. In other words, go where the people are and strike up a conversation. Then, with some form of understanding formed, you direct them to your blog.”

    Thank you David. This is the best advice on blogging I’ve read in a long time. Appreciate your candor and your generosity in sharing this insight.

  28. I just happened to see the Poll results on this blog sidebar about how many years you have been blogging.

    It is surprising that as number of years increase, the number of blogs decrease.[An exception was higher number of people who had been more than 5 years than those who had a blog for less than 4 years.]

    That can mean

    Either more people have come to blogging in recent times
    or
    People do not sustain enough time

    I think both might apply.

    So here is the trick.

    Say enough and stay enough. You and your blog would evolve enough to be noticed.

  29. Pallav says:

    You’ve started this topic with a punch and continued it till the end. Quite an interesting and informative article. I totally agree with your Mall incident. There are millions of bloggers continuously blabbering across the world but only a selected few becomes a celebrity blogger like Problogger. There is a tough competition outside and within the blogosphere. I think quality plays a key role in attracting traffic. A content rich blog always get appreciations and accolades. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of write up with us.

  30. Ed Penano says:

    Great article Sir Darren Rowse :D. I feel, that after some concerted time and effort on our blogs, we’ll get in our own lil’ groove and find our own blog voices. And when that happens, even if nobody cares, guess what? We’ll have grown to love our blogs, what we write and what we do. And rest assured that you know there is at least one person that cares about your blog – You.

  31. It’s definitely hard to get you blog to stand out among the crowd. It seems like everyone is blogging now. I think you need to provide a unique experience at your blog that can’t be found anywhere else.

  32. Basant Singh says:

    Yes, there’s a subtle difference between ‘at’ and ‘to’ and may be we tend to ignore that. Thanks for reminding.

  33. A couple of earlier comments mentioned how personal you should get in your blog and Surender Sharma indicated that no one is interested in your personal life shared through a blog. However, I think it is worth noting that a blog is personal in varying degrees. Sure there are company blogs, but each post is affected by the authors context, and that context can really affect their ability to connect with the audience. They need to be writing about something that their context gives them knowledge and experience in, so that they can produce quality content on that topic. The personal touch on top of that then often helps people identify with the author and encourages them to be more involved.

    This has been my experience anyway!

  34. aprces says:

    I think you need do something different, do something remarkable, do something others haven’t done before, talk and write too much has no benefit to most of us, you see, now problogger including yours can be counted into a finalized and definited blog, but what you’ve said above is just like stroking something slightly, to be honest, there has no substance whatsoever in your report, marketing is only the real aim, yeah?

  35. This post really illustrates the difference between talking just for the sake of moving your mouth (or in this case, hitting the keyboard), and communicating with the intention of actually improving the state of your audience.

    Excellent advice! And like everyone else I really loved the food court analogy.

  36. I don’t go back to blogs who’s publisher doesn’t respond and interact in comments. Why bother?

    There are so many blogs out there to visit where publishers DO CARE!

    I’m one of them. See you guys at Financial Samurai!

  37. Jeff Yablon says:

    David, that was incredibly well written, and I truly believe came from the heart.

    But I also feel spoken AT, not TO, and as a subscriber, I’m part of your tribe!

    Wait, I get it! I’m talking back, and I am iviting you and your tribe members to join mine, too!:

    Jeff Yablon
    Answer Guy and Virtual VIP Business Change Coaching

  38. Excellent article. Specially for a person like me who just started blogging 3 months back. These tips would help a lot to communicate withe the community.
    True communication mentioned above touched my heart.
    It has happened with me sometimes that my wife is saying something to me while I am writing or preparing something for my blog. And calls me again saying that she is talking to me and I ask her again what she said :)

  39. Quinn says:

    So i only started my blog about a month ago, the first cuple weeks I just let it sit there gathering dust and content. For the next two weeks i started commenting on other blogs and twittering about my posts. The difference is incredible, nothing huge so far but going from 0 hits a day to 10 in 2 weeks is a great feeling.

    Thanks for the great post.

  40. paco says:

    Hi
    Great article , like ever on problogger. Thanks David.
    Think the mall and food example is specially well done and right direction about all is happenning to most of our blogs.

    I’m blogging in spanish ( think more difficult audience not so friends of blogs…)

    Yesterday I have possed to me this question : ” Why nobody cares about my blog?”
    Today you answered me.
    Thanks

  41. Hey David:

    What made me really understand your story was the mall example. It made me realize that I was doing that sometimes myself. I also noticed how your language used a lot of “you”, which made me feel like you were talking directly to me.

    Communication with readers is crucial. It is important to understand that you are talking to a real person out there, not just some random person who writes just for the sake of writing.

    I really appreciate blogs where the writer takes the time to respond with a genuine comment. That makes me feel somewhat special and cared for. Afterall, he/ she took the time to respond to what I had to say.

    I guess your article goes back to things like building a community and creating relationships with people around you.

    So thank you for a great comparison, which will insure that I will remember what you talked about.

    Best,
    Tomas

  42. David, great article. I found it through one of Darren’s tweets.

    Like many have said, I think the food court analogy was really powerful.

    Thanks for your insight!

  43. Great post. Thank you so much. This posit really spoke to me (not at me ;) ). I think this is something that I have suffered from with my blog. The food court example was great and really put things into perspective. Thanks again for the great article.

  44. Don’t you mean “talking WITH people?” Write posts like you are having a conversation with someone sitting right next to you. What questions would they ask if they could?

  45. a.b. says:

    I’ve definitely had that experience, and then I had to ask myself why I was blogging as well, was it to share my life with others, to journal in private, to make money, or some/all of the above.

    The best part of blogging online has been the connections I’ve made with other bloggers. I have to make sure my bad habits of not catching up with people don’t seep into the blogosphere as well.

  46. I am learning a lot from you. As I am learning, so are the organizations that participate in my blog. My blog is a stepping stone for small and mid-sized nonprofits in my area. They use it as if it were their own because most do not have the time or the resources to manage their own blog. We are learning together how to speak differently on this platform than other traditional forms of marketing. Getting the word out about the great work that is being done by these organizations is very important. Thank you for the help.

  47. Jeffery Wood says:

    I’d say that the hardest part for me has been knowing what they want.

    I’ve gotten a couple of people who comment on my blog every couple of posts and that’s very encouraging, but still, it’s the interaction, the knowing someone is listening, that makes the blogging worthwhile.

    After all, I’m not blogging just to take up space on the internet.

    – Jeffery

  48. For me its all about the content of what I’m posting. If I am posting about my web store and my products, I get less comments (and probably just more readers). Its not the type of posts that people feel the need to post a comment. If a post is about something political, about green living, or blogging, I definitely get more people who feel the need or desire to comment.

  49. James Pruitt says:

    I agree with what you say to a point. It is a lot like sitting in the food court, and hoping someone will listen. However, Going to the Web2.0o sites and other sites is the same thing.

    you still have to just go out there and start talking. You have to hope someone will like what you have to say and listen, or pick up the conversation.

  50. Maven says:

    I too loved the food court analogy – that’s exactly it. The beauty of conversation on your blog is that it makes the process so much more worthwhile. I consider my regular readers and commenters to be friends and look forward to reading their responses and hearing their opinions. I also have my blog set up so that I can comment back which makes it that much more fun. Thanks for this post – it was nice to be validated that starting these conversations is a good idea.

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