One of the biggest gripes bloggers have is how their visitors do not read their posts. skimming blog posts - clock image

It’s maddening.

After all, we meticulously craft our posts, carefully choose each word, spend time adding SEO (search engine optimization), tags and the perfect picture(s), ensure we’re providing value, double check to see if the words are spelled correctly and are grammatically correct, only to find out our visitors are skimming.

Some visitors will even rat themselves out by leaving a comment which doesn’t make sense.

We know they didn’t read our words, but yet we enjoy those comments.

What’s a blogger to do?

Today’s Lesson

With many bloggers blogging part-time, writing posts for their blogs AND making time to visit other blogs can be challenging.

Time must be cut somewhere, so it’s often done while they’re reading/skimming the blog posts of others.

So, what can we do?

Accept it.

If we know our posts are being skimmed, why not make it easier for a visitor to do so?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Write shorter posts
  2. Use bullet points
  3. Use photos or white space to break up the verbiage
  4. Ask questions at the end which don’t “test” to see if the visitor read our post, but instead are relevant to the content.

Take your reader’s time constraints into consideration and they may reward you with a comment.

Today’s Assignment

If you had a choice to have a visitor read your post or leave a comment, which would you choose?

Do you have any other tips on how a blogger can improve their chances of having their posts read in their entirety?

Care to share?

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  1. KathyNo Gravatar says:

    Hmm, good question. I think I wanted comments more when I first started blogging. Now I prefer they read me. I say this because over the years, I’ve enjoyed the surprise of hearing from people who say they love my blog, but I realize they never comment. It makes me happy to know people have me bookmarked and come to read just because they like it. Comments are great, of course. But at this stage in my blog, I’m just happy to know people still like what they see.

    Incidentally, I missed my blog anniversary. It was 4 years yesterday.
    Check out Kathy’s awesome post.Harry Potter, As Told By the Only Person Alive Who Hasn’t Read the Series or Seen the MoviesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Happy 4 Year Anniversary Kathy, that’s awesome.

      You’ve raised a good point. For new bloggers, comments are often what keeps them going, but as time passes, our priorities can change.

  2. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I tend to agree with Kathy, although I do enjoy it when someone comments. Stupidly I know through tracking that people are reading my blog, but when someone posts a comment I can see they have read it. I get very few comments on my blog, wrong type of subjects I guess, but I know people keep coming back.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Lobster Heaven, Beans, Wine, Kindle CoverMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      That’s part of it. If we know our visitors keep returning, even though they don’t comment, we know/assume they’re enjoying what we’re sharing.

  3. RickNo Gravatar says:

    I like your #4 “Ask questions at the end which don’t “test” to see if the visitor read our post, but instead are relevant to the content.” I hadn’t thought of that.

    Here is something I learned recently: If you have a chart with your blog, show it first and then give an explanation. That way, a referrer that wants to show your chart, can have it show up immediately rather than having his or her readers having to scroll down the post to find it. It probably means that even less people will read the full post but the chart says it all anyway. The explanation is just for those who want more detail.

    In this example http://www.rickety.us/2011/01/2009-defense-spending-by-country/ notice how the chart is shown first, then the explanation, and finally a detailed table.
    Check out Rick’s awesome post.Closed For The SeasonMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Rick,

      I just looked at our post and see what you mean. The graph is a great lead in to the post and like you said, if a visitor wants to learn more about the topic, you’ve provided the information, as well. Great idea.

  4. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. talk about co-incidences .. I’ve just posted my longest post – but just thought the content was worth it!!

    As you know I add photos, which give a visual guide to what I’m talking about ..

    I hate long, long paragraphs … simply cannot read them (easily)!

    People don’t always read .. but I appreciate them being there and they’ve probably left some cogent comment ..

    There are some ‘spammers’ out there .. who comment as anonymous .. and I have changed my blog to disallow those – because I’m sure there’s something nasty lurking in the blogwoodshed!!

    If I don’t understand a comment and don’t recognise the person I don’t publish it …

    Both .. comment and read!

    Blog less frequently – once known .. people look forward to the post, because it contains something stimulating to read.

    Great post – I look forward to seeing what everyone else says ..

    Cheers – Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Dear World … looking at you from the Shuttle Atlantis …My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      I think you have it down pat. Even though you publish longer posts, you fill them with interesting photos and facts. That not only breaks up the text, but gives your reader a visual of what you’re sharing.

  5. maddieNo Gravatar says:

    I like Hilary’s comment about writing shorter paragraphs. I have the attention span of a toddler and if the paragraphs are long, I find myself skimming vs. reading.

    At first, I wanted comments just so I could see if people liked me or not. Now, I just want people to read and then come back the next time I post something.

    I have also read somewhere, (toddler brain so I can’t remember where), that if you put everything into a topic so that there is nothing more to add, people don’t comment other than to say “nice post” or something like that.

    Mostly, I read blogs and rarely comment unless I feel like I have something useful to say. So, if I take my preferences and apply them to the readers, then getting comments doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.
    Check out maddie’s awesome post.to bounce or not to bounce, that is not the question.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Maddie,

      I agree. Shorter paragraphs are much easier to read. Not only do they help to keep our reader’s attention, but the extra white space gives their eyes something to rest on.

      That’s true. If we consider how we read blogs, as well as our commenting habits. when we apply that to our own blogs, the comment counts aren’t as important.

  6. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    Read it. When you read it, you might read another one. If you care enough, maybe you’ll leave an actual comment. For comments that are obviously left just for the back link, I usually mark it as spam. Or sometimes I keep the comment (if it makes sense), but remove the link to their site.
    Check out Kelvin Kao’s awesome post.Les Miserables – Opening NightMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      That’s a great idea. To keep a comment that adds value to a post, but delink it if it appears the person commenting is only looking for a link back.

  7. This is definitely the topic of the hour, Barbara. You are a great role model! Your example has been helpful to me in many ways.

    My thoughts:
    * Bullets when appropriate
    * Shorter posts
    * Smaller paragraphs
    * Fewer posts.

    I love quality blogs that post sporadically. I want to read their work when it is well written and interesting. I have stopped commenting on every daily posted blog to which I subscribed when I find them either too commercial or simply quoting others.

    I comment when I truly have something to say.
    Check out Amy @ Souldipper’s awesome post.Paint Your Wagon – After The Wheels are Off.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Amy,

      I know what you’re saying. If a blogger is posting too often, it’s not only hard to keep up with all of their posts, but can start taking up too much time to comment on them, as well.

  8. sanjayNo Gravatar says:

    I believe people don’t read more often nowadays, they only scan. So include pictures that will grab their attention and bold phrases, short post will do to.
    Check out sanjay’s awesome post.How to create your own Opt-in Form in PhotoshopMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sanjay,

      I like your idea of using bold phrases. That’s another great way to capture a reader’s attention.

      • johnNo Gravatar says:

        Yes, Bold and Underlined Text Always Catches My Attention. Great site by the way!

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Thank you John,

          That is a great way to capture the attention of others, and it really doesn’t even take that much extra time.

  9. [...] not alone in my feelings.  I ran into such a post about blogging yesterday morning.  "Blogging Pet Peeve Number One" by Barbara Swafford talked about one of the blogger’s frustrations – that nobody [...]

  10. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    If people are skimming our posts and not reading them, that’s our issue, not theirs. If what we wrote isn’t capturing people’s attention, it’s time we gave our writing skills a tune-up.

    I skim all the time. If a post is worth reading (like this one), I’ll stay longer and read it more thoroughly.

    As for comments, I think commenting on blogs is no longer the “in thing”. I have the same traffic on my blog, but nobody says anything. But everyone likes to leave their two cent’s worth on Facebook instead. (Which itself will fall out of fashion, when the next best thing comes out, probably like Google Plus).

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      You’ve raised an interesting issue. If we find our readers continually skim our posts, than yes, we need to turn inward and assess what we might be doing wrong.

      As for commenting. personally I still prefer commenting on blogs, but as you mentioned, I also see how sites such as Facebook and Google+ are becoming meeting places where bloggers are sharing ideas and commenting on blog posts. In fact, I recently read how some people are using Google+ as their blogging platform.

  11. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Well I definitely would like to be read – comments are helpful if they add something to the topic or if people have questions I can address in a future blog. At the present time I am having a problem commenting on the comments. Don’t know if its just the laptop here at the lake or what, but blogger won’t let me on my own blog! Been a bit frustrating!!! Don’t want commentors to think I don’t care what they are saying! I sure hope to figure this out soon! You know what a techy I am! NOT! haha!

    Anyway…I get comments in emails and also on facebook that don’t show up on the actual blog. Having said all this, I do still enjoy getting comments! :)
    hugs
    suZen
    Check out suzen’s awesome post.Anti-aging TipsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi SuZen,

      That has to be maddening not to be able to access your blog. Hopefully you have it figured out now.

      That’s true. Some visitors will email us instead of commenting on our blogs. I’m guessing they either feel uncomfortable commenting or prefer a one on one conversation.

  12. JennyNo Gravatar says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said mentioned lists and general structure – when you look at a post, before you even read it, if it looks easy to read, you have positioned yourself well. This is about all you can do.

    Lists,
    Headers,
    Bolding etc all help

    I think a lot of the general comments are automated and generated by spamming tools, I had one blog almost crippled by these things!

    I tried using a list in my comment, lets see if looks easier to read than a block of text, I bet it will!
    Check out Jenny’s awesome post.Spy on SMS messagesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jenny,

      Your comment looks great. :)

      Yes. Lists are another good way to make it easier for a visitor to read our posts.

      As for spam comments, a good spam filter works great for that. On this blog I actually use two. “Bad Behavior” catches spam before they reach Akismet (spam filter). The combination of the two makes managing spam doable.

  13. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Third choice = “click on an ad.” If someone drops in on one of my pages, I’d like them to read it, comment it, and click it.

    That being said, my site that has the fewest comments also has the highest traffic… and is bringing in $10 to $20 a day… and I haven’t done any work on it this year.

    It really annoys me that few people are commenting any more. As Friar said, most of that is being done on Twitter and Facebook, and I’m really can only take FB in small chunks (tho I just came here from there.) I’d rather leave a comment on a blog than comment about a post on FB.
    Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.57 Chevy convertible.My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s a great idea – click on an ad. Every little bit helps, doesn’t it?

      I agree with you about commenting on blogs vs a social networking site. Like you, I can only take social networking sites in small doses. Whereas when commenting on a blog, it feels more intimate – like you’re communicating with the blog author and not the whole world.

  14. >>>If you had a choice to have a visitor read your post or leave a comment, which would you choose?

    Well gee, I would hope if they’re commenting on my post, then that means they’ve READ my post, because otherwise what the heck are they actually commenting on?? I don’t want them to babble on about their own agenda!

    Also I vote for commentor Mike Goad’s “third choice” (click on an ad!) LOL.
    Check out freddy k finallyfast.com’s awesome post.FinallyFast: To all of you college students and recent grads, do you know everything you need to know about consolidation? http://ow.ly/5QqjMMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Freddy,

      I know. Ideally each visitor would read our posts in their entirety and then comment. however it often becomes an either/or choice. :(

  15. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Optimally people would read and comment. You know I had an issue in the beginning with getting people to comment. I guess now it is more important that people actually read what I write. It’s just that it’s easier to tell who’s reading when they leave a sign. With some posts, too, I’d like to know what people are thinking or if they’ve had a similar experience.

    I still have a small audience, but I hope it continues to grow, one reader at a time. Summer has been slow in the blogging world with many people taking breaks.
    Check out Linda’s awesome post.Daddy and MeMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I agree. When we get comments at least we know who’s reading. And if they share their experiences, that makes it all the better.

      P.S. Hang in there. Your audience will grow. It just takes time. :)

  16. I 100% agree – just accept it,and – if you wish – adjust your posts accordingly.
    Check out Vered | Social Media Consultant’s awesome post.Vat19: Brilliant Use of Social Media MarketingMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Yes. Accepting our readers are skimming our posts is a step in the right direction. Plus, if we analyze our own reading habits, we realize we’re probably doing the same thing, too.

      That said, I think we should continue to publish our best work since we never know who’s reading our work.

  17. Ammanda AromboNo Gravatar says:

    For me it always feel good if someone follow your post and giving there opinion to it in that way i can get idea from the reader too not just my own idea.
    Check out Ammanda Arombo’s awesome post.Dealing With My Own FrustrationsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ammanda,

      That’s true. If our readers do take time to read and comment, their words can be very beneficial to us, as well.

  18. SteveNo Gravatar says:

    yeah, you’re right with that – it’s a bit frustrating but maybe your hints will help me to improve the comment-situation! thanks.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Steve,

      I hope the hints shared in the post and comments help you. Knowing others face the same issue makes it easier to accept, too.

  19. ceejayNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara, I actually read your entire post! You know why? Because it’s an interesting topic and it’s not too long. And this notebook background is very appealing to the eye! Personally, I would rather have my post read than commented on, but if I can have both why not? As for a tip on how to increase readership, don’t get too technical with the language. Of course, a little humor can go a long way too.
    Check out ceejay’s awesome post.how to kiss a girlMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Ceejay,

      I like that idea, too – don’t get too technical with the language. That reminds me of when I started blogging. Being self taught, I didn’t know the blogging “language” and spent countless hours looking up the definition of words. It seemed like an endless “bang my head against the wall” exercise, and looking back, part of the problem was the posts I was finding were way above my head.

      And yes. Humor can deter a reader from skimming.

      Great tips!

  20. Yeah before I like comments on my blogs because I thought there are people who read my posts. But then it was only like routine and one liner comments so now I really try to moderate them. :) Thanks for the post. I like it!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Tina,

      On those one liner comments, check the URL of the person commenting. Oftentimes you’ll find it’s canned or automated spam and the “person” commenting is only looking for a link back to their site.

  21. Wise EarsNo Gravatar says:

    I would want folks to read and have cut the length of my posts in half….
    Now I am building a business site, so I need lots of folks dropping by – making an assessment and remembering the site when they need the services rendered. Lots of referrals
    I am studying how to be a business – something that is more hard work for this technology challenged person.

    My blog site is a conversation, so when folks just skim that is okay too – at least they dropped by :)

    Patricia of Patricias Wisdom
    Check out Wise Ears’s awesome post.A Basic Communications ModelMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      It’s great to see you promoting your new site, Wise Ears. Again, congratulations on your business endeavor. :)

      Yes. Blogs are about interacting, so even if a reader skims our words, if they leave a meaningful comment, it’s something to be grateful for.

  22. I totally agree with this post. We normally skim the posts, and personally I don’t have the patience to read till the end of a LONG post, unless it is really that interesting. The main thing that readers want is – to be captivated!
    Check out Ron’s Online Copywriting Blog’s awesome post.5 Main Ways for Effective Email Marketing StrategyMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ron,

      That’s so true. If we can captivate our readers with our words, they will read. Unfortunately most of our visitors are in a hurry – all the more reason to make skimming easy.

  23. hector perezNo Gravatar says:

    Awesome post! THANK YOU for pointing out that people need to write SHORTER posts! More images and less letters keeps people entertained. I can even count how many blogs I’ve seen with paragraph after paragraph that just bore you to death by looking at the number of paragraphs before even starting to read it. Well thanks for the tips, I’m sure I’ll be using bullet points now on, good idea!

    Cheers!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hector,

      That’s true. When we look at a post and only see endless paragraphs of words, it can be so overwhelming we just click off.

  24. Barbara, this is my first visit to your blog, OMG is it a visual treat! I am a recovering day planner junkie, so the theme is right up my alley. I replaced my Franklin Covey with an IPad, and lo and behold your site is actually readable in the Ipad, even without a mobile theme.

    I took the liberty to add your RSS feed to my reader, which strips out the beautiful visuals and leaves, guess what? Just photos and bullet points and text. Your blog post is bang on…mobile and RSS people skim like crazy, so give them eye candy and a call to action!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Welcome David,

      Thank you for your kind words and thank you for letting me know my site works well on an IPad. I’ve often wondered. Now I know. :)

      Yes. Eye candy can go a long way.

  25. Connie HazenNo Gravatar says:

    Can I add another tip? Make it EASY for your readers to leave a comment. I confess, I am looking for reasons why my own blog isn’t getting many comments and I noticed today that the “comment” area is much lighter than the rest of the text. Reading through this post I looked and looked for a way to comment and finally found it but not where I expected it to be.

    Regardless… it’s a great post with great information, thank you.
    Check out Connie Hazen’s awesome post.Free Samples From Post-it®My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Connie,

      That’s a good point. We do need to make it easy for a visitor to comment. After I read you comment I studied my comment area. I see it’s not ideal. Thank you for pointing that out.

  26. I used to get upset about this, but after blogging for over a year now it’s just part of the routine. On my blogs where I allow comments I automatically delete anything that doesn’t relate to the post or that simply says “great post, I agree!” I also realize that every piece I write on my blogs isn’t going to be life changing and earth shattering and that people are generally looking for a quick fix rather than a full conversation about a topic.
    Check out Ryan @ Roth IRA Compass’s awesome post.What You’ll Need to Open Your Roth IRAMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ryan,

      You’ve raised a good point. Some blog posts will be read/skimmed for the information we’ve provided and the visitor may leave without commenting. In some cases, that could be preferable, but if we’re trying to build a community, then we want interaction.

  27. jajaNo Gravatar says:

    hi it’s my first to be on your site and i really like you’re lay out.. it’s cute! anyways, i also like to read blogs that leaves a question at the end.. i don’t know.. maybe because i feel like i can somehow relate to it and by answering it i am able to share my opinion
    Check out jaja’s awesome post.angry birds onlineMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Welcome Jaja,

      Thank you for the compliment. :)

      That’s true. If we ask a question at the end of a blog post, we’re inviting readers to share their opinion. And, by asking a question, the reader *may* go back and read the article prior to sharing their thoughts.

  28. SapnaNo Gravatar says:

    Exactly!! Most of the time I get the comments which are no where connected to the post. It makes me laugh as well as irritates. I am agree with the points you have covered above and will keep in mind while blogging next time.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sapna,

      Yes, it can be irritating knowing our words aren’t being read, but like you said, the comments can be good for a laugh. :)

  29. Hi Barbara,

    As a reader, I would love to see some bold words within the article. They not only put emphasis to the point you’re making but they also make your post less boring. Sub-headings can work fine, too. ;)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Cass,

      I agree. Bolding words or sentences helps to showcase important parts of a post. I like your idea of using sub-headings, too.

  30. Ahhhh… God! just like me, i have a good content writer hired, i spend much time on SEO, follow all the instructions in order to make sure they meet the requirements. i see traffic coming but No Comments :( My posts are not more than 500 words, i recently have started to include photos and videos… Yes i will for sure start using Bullets :)

    Thanks for sharing such useful information.
    Check out zindadilpakistan’s awesome post.Lying – A National HabitMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Zindadilpakistan,

      You’ll have to let me know how it works when you start adding more visuals to your posts. Also, try asking a question or two at the end of each post. That could entice your readers to share.

  31. RichardNo Gravatar says:

    This is a really tough question to answer. I don’t think there’s a magic formula to getting readers to read your posts. I think that it’s best to develop your own voice and writing style, but at the same time format your posts in a way that’s easily readable. Bullet points and clear headers help.

    However, I think that as you write consistently, even if you don’t follow conventional style or thought, you will build a following of readers. Your loyal followers will be used to your writing style and leave comments in their own time. Of course, this method takes time and consistency, but I think probably will get the best results in the long run.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Richard,

      I’m with you. I don’t think we should sacrifice our writing style to please our readers/skimmers, however like you mentioned, if we make our posts easier to read, we’ll please our readers, too.

  32. Thanks Richard, of-course it’s a time taking process.

  33. Chris M. (aka grammar police)No Gravatar says:

    My own pet peeve: wrong word usage. “Insure” should be “ensure” in this post.

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/assure-ensure-insure.aspx

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve fixed it.

      I like your aka; “grammar police”. I’ll bet you stay busy in the blogosphere. :)

  34. erbsNo Gravatar says:

    it really caught my attention the first time i “skimmed” this blog… but now it makes all the sense. i also believe that the important part of blogs are the comments, since it is the fruit from your planted seed.
    Check out erbs’s awesome post.angry birdsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Erbs,

      You’re right. Comments can end up being the most important part of a blog (as they are here), therefore if we can make skimming easier, chances are we’ll get more comments, too.

  35. AlexandriaNo Gravatar says:

    We cant surely avoid it right. Most visitors usually come to your site and leave comments with out reading the content. As for me I find this as some kind of disrespect to the blog owner. I prefer being read rather than to see a lot of comments that is not relevant to the issue I want to share.

    Keeping your content short and straight to the point can really make wonder’s. A short and relevant video can be useful too.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alexandria,

      Definitely. Videos can be a great addition to a blog. With regard to posting videos, I think we should let our visitors know how long the video is so they can play their time accordingly.

  36. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    I have to agree this is something that really drives me crazy too. You spend all that time writing articles, making sure it is unique and informative, and people just glance through it and moves on. I really like the suggestions you posted. I will have to start using some of them. It makes sense that if you just make the article easy to glance through they will appreciate it more. I feel this is all caused by the Twitter age, everyone has a short attention span, so if we just get to the point and make it easy to read faster then people will come back for more.
    Check out David’s awesome post.My Personal Review of the Western Digital 2tb External Hard DriveMy Profile

    • FelixNo Gravatar says:

      I don’t think it has anything to do with the “twitter age”… I think web pages have always been skimmed rather than read, but it took a while for writers to realize that and adapt their style.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi David,

      It is maddening, but it’s also part of blogging. People want the information and they want it NOW. As you said, if we can make those concessions, our visitors are more apt to return.

  37. Hello, everyone. My name is Sally and I am really a newbie to all of this. I do however really appreciate all of the information that I get from reading blogs on various subjects. I have found that bloggers are some of the most helpful people on the web.
    Again, Thanks a lot for the information,
    Sally R.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Sally,

      That’s a good observation and one I agree with. Bloggers are awesome. :)

  38. Daniel WhiteNo Gravatar says:

    From my own experience, I find that the only people that don’t really read the articles are the spammers trying to drop links, as they don’t really give a damn about your blog in the first place.

    Other than that, I find that most visitors do read the articles. :)
    Check out Daniel White’s awesome post.World of Warcraft Capital City Music: What’s your favorite?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Daniel,

      I hear you. Spammers only stay on our sites long enough to try and get some backlinks. How frustrating that must be for them when their comment gets marked as spam/deleted.

  39. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    > Take your reader’s time constraints into consideration
    Well put. I think it’s easier to start from where people are, rather than where you’d like them to be.

    Time constraints and absorption rates are definitely key factors.
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.You and a One-Way Ticket to the World by Nina YauMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.

      Yes. We do need to consider the amount of time our readers have. Usually it’s limited so why not make it easy for them, hey?

  40. KarenNo Gravatar says:

    Fab post that is so pertinent to me today! I have decided to work on content length and adding photos to up my readership! I try to read as many blogs (that interest me) as possible and it definitely is a time issue. I read your blog all the time, but comment infrequently only because of time! :-)

  41. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Karen,

    I appreciate your loyalty and taking the time to comment.

    I know what you mean about time issues. It not only affects us as “the blogger”, but us as the “blogger who visits other sites.”

  42. ReikaNo Gravatar says:

    It’s sad to know how hard you tried to make the best post for a chosen topic but ends up getting spam and automated comments all the time. It’s hard to find quality contents but I guess getting to know quality readers can be equally difficult. Love the post Barbara, thanks!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Reika,

      We’re probably going to get spam and/or automated comments no matter what. All the more reason to use a good spam filter (or two). As for finding quality readers, I think if we provide quality content, and promote our blogs accordingly, they’ll show up.

  43. MinervaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, people who comment on your post also love when you reply to them just like what you are doing. :) By the way, bullet-ed posts are indeed very easy to read and understand.
    Check out Minerva’s awesome post.Park City Real Estate Inventory Down, Demand Up, A Must Read Article Published TodayMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Minerva,

      I’m with you. A bulleted post is much easier to read than one which only contains paragraphs of words. Plus, it makes it easy on the eye.

  44. PeterNo Gravatar says:

    This post sounded really bittersweet :) But yes, we (readers) often just look at the length of a post and click away.. No one wants to read 3000 words about how the blogger missed the bus or anything! Even if long posts are informative they have to somehow sell themselves in order to make us read them! And if blogger get the comments – it’s a reward about all the hard work he has put in :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Peter,

      That’s true, isn’t it. If we look at the length of an article prior to reading it, we may just click off knowing we don’t have time to read it.

      What I do is “save” some of those long posts for when I have extra time. That way I can read them in their entirely although I may not have time to comment.

  45. TrudisNo Gravatar says:

    Photos give more meaning to your post. This happens to me every time. So, it’s been a habit for me to bring my DSLR whenever I have the chance to go out and take photos for my next post :) Thanks for the tips Barbara :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Trudis,

      That’s a great idea. Not only can we share our own photos, but we give our reader something interesting to look at.

  46. LBTLNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the visit but I do not add any advertisements, WP does and am not sure how to remove that at all.

    I enjoyed your suggestions but like others though I enjoy comments, I prefer them to read it and when they comment to stick to the topic in and of itself which tells me that indeed they read it and had something to discuss around it.
    Check out LBTL’s awesome post.With a Month Left to Go (via Confessions of a Love Addict)My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi LBTL,

      Yes. Not only can a person write a more valuable comment by reading the post, but it shows the blog author respect.

  47. When I first started blogging it was like yelling in a canyon. I liked the sound of my own voice echoing. And it was a place that I could work out some of my ideas (stories, illustrations). Since then things have sort of taken off. The biggest problem is too much blogging. There are only so many hours in your life.
    Check out David Halliday’s awesome post.December 2010 GalleryMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi David,

      That’s the worst, isn’t it? When we first start blogging and we know no one is hearing us, but like you said, it does give us time to get adjusted to blogging.

      I’m glad to hear your blog is taking off. Just remember to take time to enjoy the journey.

  48. WOW -it looks like you have lots of people reading your blog. My blog is fairly new so I really haven’t decided which is more important to me – just having readers, having followers, or getting comments. I love ALL.

    I have some friends who will comment on Facebook, but not on the blog post. That confuses me – I just don’t get it.

    I try to read at least one blog a day (sometimes more) but it is difficult to maintain my website, write a blog, tweet throughout the day, and hold down a real job. Most of the blogs I read are thru a twitter link. Twitter is my addiction.

    I have added this blog to my links under my Blogroll so others can find you. Great concept – “A Blog Without a Blog!”

    Smiles!
    Check out Red Wine Diva’s awesome post.To Wine Club or Not to Wine Club?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Red Wine Diva,

      I’ve heard other people mention that, too – how friends will comment on Facebook but not the blog. It’s almost like they’re afraid to, or maybe it just takes some getting used to.

  49. As someone who is trying to build relationships with my readers, I would rather they read than comment. I want to build their trust and for them to feel comfortable with me and kind of get to know me through my writing.
    Check out Needham Realty’s awesome post.Is it Time to Sell for Empty Nesters?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Needham Realty,

      That’s a great way of looking at it. Even though your readers may not comment (some may not know they can, or may not know how to comment), just by reading your words, you’re building trust.

  50. I’m new to blogging and have only been doing it for about a month and a half but I’ve attempted to compose blogs which are short, easy to read so they’re not time-consuming for the reader, with a relevant question at the end … just as you stated above, Barbara. This makes me so happy because it means I’m on the right path.

    And at this point, comments thrill me but being a long time blog reader, I’m also aware that a good portion of readers do not leave a comment. I try to remember to breathe when this happens. :)

    Great post, Barbara. Thanks for the info!
    Check out Sheila Seabrook’s awesome post.Are You A Hugger Or A Lugger?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Sheila,

      Welcome to the blogosphere. :)

      You’re right. Most of our visitors are reading and NOT commenting. I think we often forget that and can become discouraged. Your comment is a great reminder for us to take that into consideration.

  51. I find that most people have a short attention span, especially when browsing on the internet, I know because I’m one of them.

    There is so much information to process and people want to sift through sites quickly until they find exactly what they want. This is why they skim.

    Your points are very valid. Posts should be written in short paragraphs, include bullet points and especially pictures to keep your visitors attention.

    It’s also a good idea to build a list of your visitors using some thing like Premium List Magnet. If your visitors are really interested in what you have to say then they’ll join your list.
    Check out Dave | Premium List Magnet’s awesome post.Premium List Magnet ReviewMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dave,

      Yes. It’s inevitable readers will skim our posts. Just like us, they’re busy so there’s no reason why we should believe they’ll stop just to read our every word.

  52. I think I like a little of both it’s great to know people enjoy reading your blog and it’s nice to get comments for a couple of reasons. One is that it validates for you that people are interested in your subject matter. The second reason is that it adds more good content to your blog. I also agree and it’s irritating when you get these comments that are obvious spammers who make comments totally unrelated to your post or they are so generic it would fit any post on any blog.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Isn’t that the truth? I’ve seen dozens of those generic comments which, like you said, would fit any blog post. I just mark them as spam. :)

  53. KelNo Gravatar says:

    what an interesting blog you have here Barbara, looks like a resource rich site

    I started blogging 7 years ago and back then most blog conversation happened in the comments section of the blog

    now with people connecting on facebook, twitter and other IM services, much of the response to blog posts has been spread more thinly between several portals

    i prefer the conversation to happen in the comments section, but I also supplement it with many emails directly to and from readers

    for me blogland is about relationship building
    and that happens best when the communication is two-way
    it’s hard to build a relationship if the reader doesn’t comment
    for instance, i could have come here, read, slurped info and left
    but instead i choose to connect in the comments section :)
    i hope my readers do the same thing

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Kel,

      You’ve got over two years on me. I’ll hit five years next Spring.

      I agree. Commenting on blogs has become more diluted with the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter. Like you, I prefer to converse in the comment section of blogs, but do enjoy being able to connect and talk about other topics on social networking sites.

      Yes. Conversations are a two way street. And on that note, I apologize for not answering your comment sooner. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Thank you!
      Check out Barbara Swafford’s awesome post.Who Is Social Networking REALLY Benefiting?My Profile

  54. Max AttractNo Gravatar says:

    One thing I can call those people and that is “SPAMMERS”, it is really frustrating that all they will do is just say “Great post” or “Thank you for the nice article”, but they never truly read the whole article after you put so much effort to it. I’m just new with this blog commenting, but I do make sure that I read every single word on that site because it seems unfair that I will just put my link and not read that person’s blog article.
    Check out Max Attract’s awesome post.Nexus Pheromones ReviewMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Max,

      Truth be told, many of those “great posts” types of comments are spam – someone just wanting to get some link love from our blogs without reading what we’ve shared. That’s where a good spam filter comes in handy.
      Check out Barbara Swafford’s awesome post.Who Is Social Networking REALLY Benefiting?My Profile

  55. Hello. I read your post completely. Interesting topic. Read all comments I do not have the strength. But do not judge strictly, my statement on this subject. Maybe I will repeat it for someone of his statement. I live in Ukraine and I have not very good speak English but will try to give you my thoughts. Excuse me please, for the expressions, the essence of which you may not understand. In my opinion, there are three categories of readers. 1 – are those readers who still read that. They absorb information from cover to cover. 2 – readers who are beginning to read the post, but the rest of his no read through, because it is not interesting. 3 – it’s the readers who engaged SEO. they read only certain blogs related to SEO topics.
    To please everyone is impossible. Everyone has their own reasons to read and not read the blog. This is my second comment on this blog. I came back here not because I liked the design of the site, but only because after my first comment on this blog to my e-mail came a letter from the author’s blog, which she was happy to comment and asked to continue talking. I was very pleased with this letter. Quite often communication on blogs is not the topic. It’s not interesting. That’s it. Thank you. Yours, Konstantin.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Konstantin,

      I know what you’re saying. To read a post is one thing, but to read all of the comments too, is another. No need to apologize as I realize reading through dozens of comments can be time consuming.

      I like how you divided up the different types of readers. I agree. We all read differently and we all have our own reasons for returning to blogs.

      I’m happy you enjoyed the email you received. Comments are important to me and it’s my way of showing my appreciation. :)
      Check out Barbara Swafford’s awesome post.Strip and Liberate YourselfMy Profile

  56. In many cases I would probably rather they leave a comment to tell you the truth but I guess it depends on the content of the post. Oh, and just so you know I did in fact read this entire post :)
    Check out Party Bus Sue’s awesome post.Party Bus 101My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Party Bus Sue, :)

      One thing about receiving a comment is we assume at least part of our post resonated with the reader, plus they took the time to share.
      Check out Barbara Swafford’s awesome post.Strip and Liberate YourselfMy Profile

  57. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Albert,

    Knowing someone read our post in their entirety shows they not only respect the time we put into writing them, but also are willing to listen to our opinions/view point. It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?
    Check out Barbara Swafford’s awesome post.Strip and Liberate YourselfMy Profile