Our attention spans are getting shorter. An unfortunate phenomenon of modern technology and internet society that apparently means we have a maximum of about 10 seconds to grab the attention of people browsing online before they click away – humph!
Blogging: Audience Attention
Discover my helpful hints for captivating and keeping that elusive blog audience:
I’ve found that having set days for certain types of posts really allows me to focus my blog & my work and also makes it easier for new readers to get a feel for what my blog is all about from just scrolling through the first page. It took me awhile to get my posting schedule sorted but now that I have I really do see a dramatic increase in the amount of time readers stay put and search through my Confessions of a Refashionista.
Here’s my basic posting schedule which, of course, can easily be changed whenever necessary:
Monday: A mini tutorial, quick refashion or show & tell post
Tuesday: Lickety split tips, a thrifty score or a description & link to one of my guest posts elsewhere
Wednesday: A full step-by-step tutorial
Thursday: Thrifty Thursday (sustainable style & decor inspiration)
Friday: A behind the scenes or ethical/eco-fashion article
(I also post daily to my Refashion Nation – an inspirational resource of links to fabulous upcycled DIY clothing & accessory tutorials + thrifty tips and outfit ideas.)
For posts longer than a couple of photos & sentences I only provide a taste on the main page so readers can choose if they want to “continue reading” or keep scrolling. It also allows space for more posts to appear on my front page. This is a personal preference of mine as I myself quickly lose interest in blogs that have visitors scroll through every sentence & photo of every article posted. As I also read blogs I often survey myself about what I like and dislike about each blog’s style and try to incorporate the results into my Confessions of a Refashionista.
My 4 C’s for Blogging Success:
Clean design. What looks good to your eyes on your computer will absolutely not appear the same on every single device it is viewed on throughout the online world. A blog that is chock full of patterns & colours can be an assault on the eyes and difficult to navigate & search through, especially when there is no visible menu. Blogs that are hard to read, use uncommon fonts & are generally untidy will not have returning visitors or gain a following.
Clear topic. Your message can be broad but should be easily seen throughout your blog. For example my main theme is “re-use” it’s a far reaching topic that can encompass several sub-categories and one that I am passionate about – an important fact that comes through in my posts.
Crisp photos. For the life of me I will never understand how people can publish photos of themselves or their projects with mess, dirty laundry or general clutter in the background. Blurry, untidy pictures completely destroy a blog and guarantee it won’t be taken seriously or receive repeat visits.
Visitors to your blog are there to be inspired – fabulous photos & content are the key to providing that inspiration and engaging your audience!
Think you don’t have the time or equipment to take great photos? Try these simple tips:
– A simple white board makes a fabulous background for tutorial photos. (I use a 60cm x 70cm piece of Ikea counter top found in the As-Is section for €3)
– Lighting conditions are always tricky but natural daylight (overcast without direct sun) is fabulous & free. (that €3 white background perched in front of a window = my instant DIY tutorial photo studio)
– Wear your creations/outfits to work & have a fellow staff member take your pic outside during a break = new location & pics done in advance.
– Wear your creations/outfits to do your weekend errands with your partner/family/friends & have them take some photos on the go = new location & pics done in advance.
– A location shoot can happen anywhere in a flash & is easy to achieve: why not take 2 minutes to stop at that cool wall outside of the supermarket or thrift store before going in?
– Graffiti & concrete are always funky backgrounds. Have a flip through your fave fashion mag or do a simple google search to find easy location shooting inspiration.
– When in doubt a plain white or neutral coloured wall makes an awesome backdrop.
– If you don’t have access to a “photographer” then be your own! Invest in a cheap tripod, grab your camera & take a quick wander around your neighbourhood, house or apartment building on the weekend. Cool photos can easily be achieved with minimal effort & time, you just have to think outside of the box a bit.
– The internet is chock full of free photography tips, tricks & online photo editing sites – use them!
– Before posting a photo ask yourself if it fabulously features your creation/outfit & if you would honestly be inspired by it – if not then choose another.
Content that engages your audience.This one is fairly self explanatory – no one wants to read a blog full of lackluster posts & photos or even worse, articles full of negativity and indignation. In my experience most people are loyal to the blogs that make them feel good and invigorate their lives in some way. Of course not every post you write will be stellar but if you’re passionate about your topic and proud of your presentation your posts will have the potential to inspire which is fabulous motivation for your readers to not only return but also share your hard work & creativity with their own online circles.
Stay tuned for more of my backstage of blogging series and feel free to request a behind-the-scenes topic that you’d like to learn more about in the comments below.