I have this one blog that intermittently drives me nuts. We’ll call this blog, Blog X. Blog X is a semi how-to blog, sort of tip heavy, and it’s a topic I know well. Because it’s a topic I know well, I always want to write advanced ideas about said topic, but I can’t; the readers hate when I do this.
I can tell that my readers hate my advanced slants because when I write a more advanced post, I get no comments – at all. When I keep it simple and super basic, comments come in droves, and readers say things like, “WOW, I never knew this!” or “Awesome ideas; can’t wait to try this!!!”
In my mind, these basic posts are WAY too basic, but it would seem that readers disagree. Since I’m writing the blog for reader use and enjoyment not my own mental health, I dumb down my topics. I keep the info easy to digest, and I don’t write weird slants anymore. It’s all easy all the time. At first it was hard for me to do this. I kept sneaking in harder topics, and readers kept rejecting them. I finally realized, why waste my time? Sticking to easy topics bores me a little, but I found some positives about it too:
- Shorter posts – which is more web reader friendly than long posts.
- It’s now an extremely fast blog – i.e posts take almost no time to write, and that gives me more time elsewhere.
- Readers are happy – can’t beat happy readers.
- It’s been a good exercise in restraint – I’m not the best at ignoring my own wishes when it comes to blogging. I like to blog what I want to blog. Blogging what I’m less interested in, while keeping it interesting, has been a good lesson in blogging.
Now you: Have you ever had to dumb down your blog’s topic, beyond your own comfort level? Or if not; have you ever had to make a blog change that bugs you, but benefits readers and keeps them happy?
UPDATE: Due to reader comment.
Here’s a comment I got on this post:
“As someone who is, or was, a fan I’m insulted. I’m so sorry you have to “dumb” down your posts before presenting them to us idiots. I apologize if that sounds harsh but isn’t that what you’re saying? Your readers obviously aren’t so advanced and now you have to talk down to us because we’re not interested in bringing ourselves up to your level?
I liked this blog in the beginning. It offered helpful tips and stuff I could really use. I appreciate the tips on traffic and social networking. Now the posts are complaints lately. I don’t want to subscribe to a whiny blog. I hope you continue to offer tips on how to be a good blogger and stop with the whining about clients and dumb readers otherwise I don’t have much incentive to return.”
This reader was right; this post was harsh. Dumbing down is not exactly what I mean, just more a feeling, and it sounds really rude – sorry about that if you were offended. Actually, Deb left a comment on this post that noted that tips of all levels are best, to cover all reader knowledge, which is a much nicer way to put it, and also a more correct way to put it.
Adjusting your blog to suit all levels; or one particular level is a blogging issue though. Especially if your reader base knows more or less about the topic than you do. I think it is an issue that comes up. I’ve talked to plenty of bloggers who do have to adjust their content in ways they didn’t think they’d have to.
That said, I don’t want to delete this post, because one, it’s not about this blog but a client blog, which is what we cover here along with networks; but I’m sorry if it offended anyone sometimes I write while I think, instead of after.