Odds are likely that in the next fifteen seconds, you will decide whether you will be happy with your reading experience or not.
Your experience is how successful bloggers separate themselves from the millions of other bloggers out there.
Reading is an experience.
Regardless of the topic, you are smart enough to decide for yourself whether you want to read a book or the news or even a blog. You might not be aware of it but you have a reason for deciding what you want to read.
You probably know by now that reading a blog post is not like reading a book or a news article.
After several years of reading blog posts, I noticed something was wrong with my experience. It took a while to figure out the problem. Before I dive into the issue here, I do want to discuss what reading is.
Reading is a product of blogging.
As a reader, sometimes I struggle to make sense of what the blogger is trying to write about. If it did not make sense to me, I often end up reading the same damn post a second time.
If I haven’t figured it out by the second time I finish reading, I move on.
Has this experience ever happen to you?
If this has happened to you, you are not alone.
I have to credit the fantastic people who participate during #axschat, a popular Twitter chat on accessibility and inclusion who taught me a lot about their experiences.
For example, people who have dyslexia often struggle with reading for a variety of reasons. While learning how to design your blog post for dyslexia, I realized the problem is not the readers but the bloggers.
Here is a very simple diagram to illustrate the concept of the problem.
It is a simple matter of cause and effect.
- If what you are reading does not make sense to you, stop reading.
- If what you are reading does make sense to you, keep reading.
In other words, it’s all about your reading experience.
Blogging is the creation of the reading experience.
As a blogger, you are writing something for other people to read.
Actually, let me rephrase that.As a #blogger, you are creating a reading experience for your audience. Click To Tweet
Whether it is a “how to” or an opinion or telling a story, the tricky part about blogging is making sense to your readers.
That’s what makes blogging a challenge.
If the blog post does not make sense, then the experience will not make sense.
Readers will stop to think about their experience.
How many times have you started reading only to stop for some reason?
When you stop reading, you end up making a decision whether to continue or not. That moment is the result of your reading experience.
It was this moment when I realized I was trying to solve the wrong problem.
The problem is not writing.
The problem is creating a experience that makes you want to continue reading.
For example, a friend reviewed a vlog I attempted and asked me “what was the point of the video?”. To be honest with you, I thought that was the perfect response. Even my vlog did not make any sense to me.
That’s why I knew I had to stick to writing, one of my best skills.
Plan Your Reading Experience
In a lot of ways, blogging is like putting pieces of the puzzle together to make up the whole puzzle.
If you made it this far, then I have achieved the goal for this post. To craft a reading experience to answer the question, how to make your readers happy with their reading experience?
In order to craft your reading experience, I have to break down my posts over time in a way that makes sense to you. After all, regardless of whether you are reading a blog, a book, a magazine, a newspaper, or a PDF, you will keep reading if you are happy with your experience.
The problem with blogging is that it takes time.
Create goals for your reading experience.
While I no longer follow Darren Rowse, I do visit his Problogger site from time to time for specific answers. Several points from one of his old posts still rings true today, How to Manage Expectations with Your Readers.
- Identify your goals and clearly communicate them to your readers.
- “Under” promise and “over” deliver
After reviewing my blogging experience last year, I knew I had to stop and figure out the problem.
Once I reviewed my blog business plan and figured out the problem, I was able to set a goal for this year, to publish 120 posts.
However, there was something missing that I couldn’t put my finger on yet.
It was not until I read CoSchedule’s How to Actually Plan Your Blog And Save Time that the final puzzle piece fell into place. It was a simple matter of figuring out the strategy.
|Accessibility & Inclusion||3|
|Total Blog Topic Posts||9|
|General: Transparency Report||1|
Now that I have a strategy to which I can create a reading experience with, you can make sense of what I am blogging about.
However, this strategy still did not solve the problem.
Rather, it paved the way to a solution.
Bloggers Who Make Your Reading Experience Happy
Before I forget, let me introduce two bloggers who taught me the value of my reading experience. They no longer post on a regular basis but they still send out a newsletter every now and then.
Matt of the Expert Vagabond
Matt is a travel blogger. Simply put, Matt is a great story teller.
What makes him stand out from other travel bloggers is that he crafts each post as a story you experience as a reader. A great example is Matt’s experience about scuba diving Thailand’s colorful Similan Islands.
Regina of By Regina
Regina is a hmm… blogging (?) blogger. This blog would have never found any sense of direction if it was not for her posts.
What makes her stand out is that she crafts a learning experience for you as a reader. A great example of this experience is how she explains you are the experience you offer.
If it was not for these two, I would have not been able to craft this reading experience for you to enjoy. What makes these two masters of crafting a reading experience is that they keep me up to date with a newsletter.
Announcing My Newsletter
You might not have the time to visit my blog every time I publish a post. Some months, you might be busy. Some months, you might not.
By subscribing to my newsletter, you can look forward to seeing me pop up in your inbox with details about the latest posts.
This way, I am able to focus on your reading experience, starting with a simple email once month that will not take up more than 5 minutes of your time.
No pressure. No commitment. Just a newsletter to open and read.
Simple as that. Within the first 15 seconds of these emails, you will know whether you want stop by here and continue enjoying your reading experience here. That’s how I will know if I succeeded with crafting a reading experience.
You can find the subscription form at the bottom of this site.
Share Your Thoughts
I welcome you to share your thoughts on your reading experience. What makes you stop reading and what makes you keep reading? Your thoughts will be awesome feedback for other bloggers and myself as well.
Thank you for reading,