It might not be Halloween, but you can scare away your blog readers at any time you wish. Unfortunately, many blog writers do scare away their readers without intending to. Here are a few stealth tactics you can use to scare away your readers, however unintentionally. See how many of these apply to your blog.
Write big, long paragraphs
People get scared to have to read too much. A huge block of text looks scary. I don’t know what Freud would make of this, but people like their information broken into smaller pieces. If you want to scare people away, use huge blocks of text and avoid these tricks:
- Using bullet points
- Adding a video
- Using subheadings
- Images go a long way
- Throwing in a very short paragraph of just one line every now and then
Get highly technical
Most people don’t want to have to work hard to read your post. Hard work is scary. People prefer to read something easy.
“See Jane run. See spot run. See spot chase Jane.”
So get as technical as possible if you want to scare away readers. There are two exceptions where this does not work. Some highly technical topics for professional audiences requires a technical approach, and many readers might not be scared off. Readers of how-to posts, such as how to use a specific software, might not respond to this tactic; they often welcome a long, technical step-by-step explanation. In these situation, you must a different scary tactic.
Write long posts
People are lazy. People are rushed. They want you to get to the point. To scare them off, write a long, rambling post.
Load up with pop-ups
This is a great tactic and so easy to implement. The more pop-ups the better. Many people get scared away easily by pop-ups. I suspect Freud would link this to a bad experience with a jack-in-the-box as a child. Whatever the cause, pop-ups scare away unsuspecting readers.
Solicit too much (including pop-ups)
One of the reasons people hat pop-ups is because they are soliciting their money or their email address (so that they can later send money). People don’t like to be sold to. They don’t like the constant barrage of sales pitches. Make sure that your solicitations are hardball pitches, that they interfere with enjoying your content. The most effective sales pitches are not pitches at all; they are good content that gets people nodding their heads and craving more (and you can offer people more, with a price tag attached if you wish). The only problem is that a good sale pitch won’t be very effective at scaring away readers.
Turn sound on automatically
So there you are in your cubicle. You navigate to a blog post. Suddenly there are voices. Or music. Or sound effects. Quickly you hit “back”. Or you close your browser window. Yes, automatic-on sounds can scare away readers very, very fast – and very permanently. Works every time.
Feature NSFW pictures
Almost as bad as automatic-on sounds are NSFW (not safe for work) pictures. If you think you can scare away your blog readership by using pics of topless ladies or upskirt cheerleader shots, you are right. Anybody arriving on your blog at work will quickly hit the “back” button” or close their browser.
Of course, if you are trying to NOT scare away blog readers, you might want to avoid these tactics. After all, if you scare away your readers, you might not be much of a blogger for long.
Guest poster David Leonhardt has a team of quality blog writers guaranteed NOT to scare away your readers.