Last week, I walked into a local restaurant close to my house. It’s a small business and I am all about supporting small businesses that are run by regular folks like you and I.
Unfortunately, the experience left a bad taste in my mouth and sadly I will not be returning to the restaurant and it isn’t because I’m picky.
Trust me when I say I am generally not a picky person. Let me tell you how non-picky (yes, here I go with word creation again) I am : when I was about to get married I did not even know what kind of engagement ring I wanted.
I just never thought of it.
I know girls who have their rings dreamed up down to how it will sparkle when the sun hits it even before they had a man.
Me ? I walked into the ring store with my husband-to-be, picked out a ring that looked good to me and was out of the store in 15 minutes. Even my husband was shocked.
So what had “non-picky” me decide within 20 minutes that this was not a restaurant I would ever be contributing to again ?
1) For starters, the restaurant was very dimly lit and the artwork was drab. It made what would be an otherwise lively place feel cold even though it was in the mid 60’s – low 70’s that day.
2) The bathroom was a disaster. I had to change my son’s diaper and boy, was that an adventure.
3) I saw the people throw the food I had ordered into a microwave to heat it up. They served it to me that way. Translation : the food was not even fresh or semi-fresh.
4)Presentation of the food. Ugh.
5) My “waiter” sat at a table opposite to me and kept switching the TV channel to music videos that ANYONE would consider inappropriate for what seemed like a family restaurant.
6) The owner did not seem bothered by anything I just mentioned above.
Now, I am no restaurant aficionado but I could easily see why it would be possible for this restaurant to fail eventually if it doesn’t change course promptly.
That failure would come not because of bad luck or because the economy is bad or even because the food was terrible (the food was alright. Although more effort into making fresh food would do wonders for them).
It would fail because of the customer EXPERIENCE.
Experience is everything.
More than a million blogs are started each month. The odds are against us before we even begin by that much !
People that come to your blog to have their questions answered will stick around (or not) depending on the experience they get when they arrive.
I am constantly working on the “experience” on my blog and doing my best to improve it at least each month because I am not immune to this fact either.
So what can you do to improve the reader experience on your blog ?
1) Write high quality, share-worthy posts.
2) Your blog posts should be the kind that give people quick & easily achievable wins.
3)Blog posts that give people long-term wins are also great & can serve as evergreen content for your blog.
Of course, these types of posts take time and research to put together but you WILL reap the benefits of all that work.
4)Take blog commenting on and off your blog seriously. Like I mentioned in this post, if people took the time to comment on your post or social media post, be nice and talk back to them especially during the beginning stages of your blog.
5) Optimize your blog design. Whole blogs have been created to cover this topic alone. WordPress themes and now Squarespace make it easy to have blog design that is easy on the eyes and user friendly.
6) Proof that you really WANT to help should be apparent as soon as a reader lands on your blog.
7) Selling is fine (hey, we have to pay bills right ?) but it is only effective when you are genuinely interested in helping the prospective buyer or else you are no different than a salesperson who is only concerned about making their commission at the end of the month
8) Provide opt-in offers people would be truly interested in. Bryan Harris has a great opt-in offer I keep referring to as I grow my blog. He could have seriously charged hundreds of dollars for the content of his opt-in offer and would be within his right. His is truly an example to follow.
None of this happens overnight.
It did not happen that way for me at least and the truth is I am constantly learning and improving. The best bloggers and online ‘treps learn and improve all the time. So should you.
As your blog grows and you observe/read some of the best practices bigger bloggers in your niche are using to become successful and most importantly as you LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE (no matter how small that audience might be), it’s wise to adapt and improve.
That’s what I wanted to share with you today.
I’ll leave you with this question today. Answering it genuinely will bring you a step closer to setting yourself apart from the millions
What experience are my readers getting when they hit my blog ? Can I improve it ? How?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.