choosing to read …

estimated 2 min read

How do you choose to read the blather I’ve written here or not? Is it a particular topic (theoretically posted on a schedule) that catches your eye? Is it the “headline” or “lead paragraph”? I doubt highly it is my “skilled and engaging” writing. [snort] I find it highly amusing that the post which gathered the most comments recently (note I am not looking for comments as I have an odd relationship with them) was one which, in passing, mentioned a pain I was experiencing. Er, AM experiencing, but anyway….

A short while ago two posts from a site I had never read before caught my eye (I forget how I found them). From an article written in 1998 Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines and more recently Passive Voice Is Redeemed For Web Headings.

Hmm.. I honestly hadn’t read the full articles until today, but have thought a good deal about the titles.

Regarding the first one, how often do you receive an email with the subject line blank, “hi”, or with a really old subject line? Do you read those quickly? I tend not to. Actually I haven’t read or replied to much of my email in months now. I’m sure everyone hates me, but I’m just as much at fault. Glancing quickly through my sent mail I see that many of my emails are titled with subject lines of “hi”, “morning”, “…”, “er…”, “uhm..”, and “sorry”. I guess that the last one is possibly descriptive and the second one is sent work-week daily to my husband.. but the rest? I’m curious (and have not yet explore the site further) if there is more current research on this topic. In ’98 I received far less email than I do today. I think a high was 100 messages (including mailing lists) in a week. I think I now average that in a morning.

The second article made me twinge at first. I’ve been attempting (unsuccessfully, as is obvious) to ban passive voice from my writing. I don’t really care about the profitability of this site (because there is none), but I do work with clients who care a good deal about SEO and being number one at google. (With a name like “apple and apple” it is quite difficult for them to do, but we are working on it). Hmm. I’m going to need to think a good deal more about these two articles and further explore this new-to-me site.

What do you think?

Reader interactions

3 Replies to “choosing to read …”

  1. I tend to at least skim most of your blatherings but it often comes down to how unfuzzy my brain is when I sit down to read. Right now I am fairly awake and killing time while my nails dry …

  2. 87 seconds. That’s the average that people spend on my blog. What can I do with that amount of time? Make it as LEAST wordy as possible, and make those famed “picture’s worth a thousand words” translate as much of the message as possible. Most people have TONS of blogs to get through, and rarely make comments, so it has to be concise as possible to convey what I want to say. (Unlike this comment!) With all that a person has to do in a day with work, running a household, etc, what are YOUR expectations of your readers? (Which is something that most of those lame “reports” tend to address.)
    And, also, how many identities does your blog have? You mention that you also have clients. Do you really want them to be viewing you fiber activities, or should you have a secondary, client-based blog that would be better geared towards those endeavors?
    So, even though you may not get a lot of comments, keep in mind what you general traffic is. If you have, say, 1500 unique visitors a day, and a comment/response rate of approximately 30 a day, is that a good ratio? Again, you are not using this blog to generate financial gains, so what is it you are looking for in a blog?
    Was that too much information???

  3. Penny, I tend to read your blog when I’m checking on “friend’s blogs” through Ravelry, regardless of the subject.

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