6 Tips to Transform Your Reader’s Experience

  • 0
  • September 8, 2010

As I just finished reading through Chris Brogan’s latest post entitled It Won’t Matter, it reminded me of the vast disconnect that exists between the people running large corporations like Comcast Cable services and the consumers who are forced to deal with their painfully poor customer service.

Comcast touts on their commercial advertisements about the wonders and features of their cable service in a concerted effort to gain your respect. Then when a consumer like Chris steps in and uses their service he is slapped in the face with a horrible customer experience.

As I travel across the globe via the internet, I arrive at a lot of websites that leave me feeling with that same sense of despair and it becomes clear to me that there exists that same level of disconnect between bloggers and their potential readers.

As bloggers, we tend to approach our blogs with certain level of naivety. When it’s our blog, we tend to overlook it’s shortcomings…the same shortcomings that send some visitors running back to their search engine of choice.

Here’s six simple tips to start fixing that issue today:

  1. Start or Keep Blogging: Just as Seth Godin made clear recently, the best way to learn something is to get out and do it and learn from your successes and from your failures. You’ll learn more on the job then you’ll ever learn on the sidelines.
  2. Get a Fresh Theme: Sometimes it’s a great idea to grab a new theme for your site. Your theme might have been the best thing since sliced bread when it was released but over time it becomes outdated and newer, better themes become available. Here’s a few resources that might help you find something: Elegant Themes, WooThemes, and Mashable’s recent list of free themes.
  3. Learn Something New About Blogging: Every day you should be working to learn a new way to improve your blog or to improve it’s design.
  4. Tell a Story to Make Your Point: On my personal site, NicholasCardot.com, I use a lot of stories to illustrate the truths that I’m trying to convey to my readers.  For a great example of this, just check out my most recent post, An Unforgettable Tale of Heroism and Friendship. I’ve found that these types of posts are incredibly effective.
  5. Inject some humor into your article: If you can make your readers smile while providing them with the information that they really want, you’ll win them over every time. There are few people online who are funnier than Jordan Cooper so if you’re ready to take your comedy infusion to the next level then don’t hesitate to checkout his blog.
  6. Focus on Quality…not just quantity: Although Chris Brogan is completely accurate in his observation that people who post more frequently get more traffic, Larry Brooks at ProBlogger.net is also correct when he asserts that if the quality of your articles is poor then nothing is going to help. So is the secret quantity or quality? Both.

Now I simply have two questions and then I’m going to turn the microphone over to you. First, what do you think about these six tips? Second, what would you add?

Okay. Now it’s your turn.

28 SHARES

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.

15 Comments

  • Richard Lord says:

    I agree with all of these tips, we all need to be reminded occasionally of things like this to improve our blogs. I would add that posts should be considered from your audience’s point of view – if your blog focusses on a particular topic (as most blogs do), posts should be useful and meaningful to your current audience. Consider what you expect your audience to already know and understand, and pitch your posts at an appropriate level. I usually try to learn something new about blogging (your point number 3) by reading this blog!

  • Onibalusi Bamidele says:

    Really great post Nick,

    Telling stories is one great way to convey your ideas in a new way – I love stories a lot, I wish I am a goos story teller.

    Thanks a lot for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      I’ve actually been interested in trying to find some resources that will help to coach me into being a more effective story teller as I’m really becoming more and more convinced that a vivid story is a powerful way to convey a message. I’m also planning on challenging all of the readers here to create a blog post that is in the form of a story as part of a series of writing challenges that I’m putting together.

  • Gabriele Maidecchi says:

    Very nice tips, especially the “theme” part is vastly underrated, but it’s undeniable that a pleasant design is more likely to make you stick to a blog, even if subscripting to its will make you skip the theme altogether for the most part. As they say, it’s the first impression that matters.

    Regarding point number 6, I try to focus on (and encourage) consistency rather than sheer numbers, very few people can hope to maintain a steady 1-post-a-day stream, so I believe it’s preferable to lay down an editorial plan of 2-3 posts a week to keep your topics fresh and people aware that new content is going to be there at somewhat predictable times.

    A tip I would like to add: have a way to lay down quick notes always handy. I use Evernote to write draft of my blog posts, and one suggestion I can make is not to focus too deeply in a SINGLE post at a time. You gotta learn to multitask even more than you’re used to be, I find myself writing 2-3 lines of preliminary drafts on various posts at the same time, it keeps my mind from forgetting nice ideas during a busy day.

    Another tip as well, talking is quicker than writing, if you often find yourself thinking “oh wow this idea is great!” but you’re afraid, as I am, to forget chunks of it before you even manage to lay down its basics (and if this happened to you before, you know how frustrating and weird it is), consider using a voice recorder. I have my iPhone always with me so I just fire up my favorite recorder app (Smart Recorder at the moment) and talk.

  • Murlu says:

    #6 is spot on – I see far too many blogs that update regularly but I simply pass over them because they don’t have substance.

    I believe it’s best just to wait a little long to create better content than to rush it out the door just to say you created something.

    I would add:

    #7: Targeted Market

    If you’re blogging you generally get swept away with the idea of massive traffic spikes and so-on.

    Sure you can get some traffic but what it really comes down to is targeted traffic.

    You could have just 50 people a day visiting your site but if each comment, share or convert you’re much better than a blog that gets 5,000 that maybe gets 10 comments, ya know?

    Go after the people you actually want to participate. Pull them in and make it a great experience. Don’t worry about the big numbers because at the end of the day it’s about the conversions.

  • Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing says:

    I checked out the themes by mashable. oddly, I love the launch pad…many cool uses.

    I left a comment asking if it could also be integrated with Aweber; a little surprised it isn’t.

  • David says:

    How about keep it simple – or as simple as the topic will allow. You nailed that here Nic. Concise and thoughtful post. Blogging has really changed my life and part of that has been learning new things and pushing myself to help my readers…. And you’ve played a big role in that. Thanks for all your help over my first 8 months of blogging!

  • 6 ways to nurture your blogging ideas | Esimple Studios Blog says:

    [...] I ran into an awesome post by Nicholas Cardot from Site Sketch 101 about tips to transform a reader’s experience. It [...]

  • tushar says:

    you know what i have learned in my small journey of blogging that your own personal experiences count a lot…people do give value to your stories as it tells them that what they should not do to have a smooth blogging career

  • Vinish Parikh says:

    Well said, specially the humor point is worth mentioning because many people think that readers are only interested in information. It is always a nice thing if you can make somebody laugh.

  • Kathy says:

    Nicholas,

    You offer us some good advice about reinventing ourselves somewhat in order to keep people coming back to or sites. Wouldn’t it be nice if people who were knowledgeable about such things would take a minute when they visited our blog and drop us a little personal note via our contact page. What if people gave us real feedback about the things that they really liked and the things that turned them off? That would be the ultimate. Don’t you think?

  • marshall | genverters.com says:

    Nicholas,

    The old quality vs quantity debate. I have been pleasantly surprised that missing a couple weeks in August didn’t tank my traffic. Hope this is a good indicator of quality?

  • Jeevanjacobjohn says:

    Hello Nick,

    I agree with what you said in your post. Everyone of them are important in maintaining a successful blogging career. The one I was never used is Story telling. After all, I havn’t had much of life experience !

    By the way, I was keeping track of your blog in email. Since I was busy, I couldn’t comment on any articles, sorry about that.

  • Reza Winandar says:

    Okay, to create a good content, it needs about 3 months for me. However, the result still more amazing rather than keeping up with regular junk posts.

  • Jasmine Henry from J Station X says:

    A few ways I can think of to change a reader’s experience are to

    a) Create a post series (something I have done) or write a post that is related to your niche but is a bit of fun and out of the norm for your usually blogging style.

    b) I would make a post more interactive by featuring a poll or attempting to start a discussion.

    If I were a reader of a blog with these things, I know that it would probably get me involved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.