Every day I get dozens of tweets telling me to visit a new “blog” or read this “blog” post or read what so-and-so is “blogging” about today.
But the two words that really get my attention are “article” and “information.”
Most blog readers don’t care if they’re reading a blog, but if you constantly remind them of that fact, you might be shooting your “blog” in the foot.
Why Most Readers Don’t Care If They’re Reading A Blog
Most readers don’t know the difference between a blog and a website and even if they did the only thing they care about is the quality of the information.
These days, blogs can be designed to look like websites and websites can look like blogs. The only thing that sets them apart in the reader’s mind is the content. If the reader finds the information he’s looking for, he likes the way it’s written and he can navigate the site, he doesn’t care if it’s a blog.
Why Most Readers Don’t Even Know They’re Reading A Blog
If most of your traffic is coming from the search engines then those visitors are clicking on your link in the index. They’re not looking to see if they’re going to a blog or a website and in most cases you can’t even tell. All they’re doing is looking for information.
Why You Might Be Shooting Your Blog In The Foot
However, give most readers the option of visiting a blog or a website and they’ll pick the website every time. To most readers, the word “blog” means personal opinion, poor research, unreliable content, unverified “facts” and amateur writing.
If you’re pointing out in each of your posts that this is your “blog” then you’re setting yourself apart from reliable sources of information – like websites – in your readers’ minds.
What You Can Do To Remove The Stigma
A journalist once told me that you should never tell your readers they’re reading an article because it’s distracting. For example, you should never say, “In this article I’m going to tell you…” So it stands to reason that you also shouldn’t tell your readers they should read your blog post.
Online journalists generally have a better reputation than bloggers – although it’s not always deserved. Start thinking of yourself as a journalist and use words like “article” and “website” instead of “blog post” and “blog.” After all, a blog is just another type of website and blog posts can be just as informative and well-written as articles.
Learn to write like a professional. Bloggers tend to write on a more personal level and that’s one of the things that makes blogs attractive. But you can go too far and that can scare off those first time visitors who are looking for a more professional article. Read the top new sites and read newspapers to see how a journalist’s writing style differs from yours and try to add some polish to your blog. Cite sources so your readers know you’re not just making this up as you go along.
Most blog readers don’t care they’re reading a blog – until you tell them that’s what they’re reading. So stop promoting and thinking about yourself as a blogger who writes blog posts. You’re an expert who writes articles for your website.