In an effort to become a better blogger, I’ve recently been studying the different types of readers that visit Bit Rebels. One thing that I’ve learned, which I find fascinating, is that there are basically three different kinds of readers who visit our blog and your blog.
As a blogger, it is important to understand this and write for each of these three different types of readers. Some of our visitors may lose interest if we don’t accommodate them in our writing and formatting. I hope this article will help you recognize the different readers and help you blog more effectively.
1. The Sponge
The sponge reader will read every single word of your post. They will stay on your blog the longest of the three, and they will really try to understand where you are coming from and what you are saying.
Sponge readers tend to be detail-oriented. Many times they will leave a comment sharing their opinion, or informing you of a word you misspelled or punctuation you missed. I really like it when sponge readers visit Bit Rebels because they are the only ones that actually read our entire articles. Hahaha As a blogger, that makes me happy. I welcome their opinions and suggestions!
2. The Skimmer
The skimmer reader will do just that, skim your article. They will rarely read every word because they are in a hurry. They will only stay on your blog for a short time, usually a minute or two at the very most.
The skimmer has developed the skill of being able to “get the gist” of an article by just skimming it quickly. For them, that’s all they need to do to feel good about it. In my opinion, the majority of readers to our blogs are skimmers. We live in a fast-paced world, we have new information coming at us constantly, and many of us fall into this category. I know I do, I’m definitely a skimmer.
3. The First Sentence Fireball
The reader that is a first sentence fireball does what the name implies. They will read the first sentence of each paragraph, check out the images, and that’s all. Many times these people are visually stimulated, so if your blog looks blah… they won’t even read the first sentence.
These fireballs may have dozens of blogs in their Google Reader and many times they read a lot of content every day. They aren’t interested in the whole article; they just want to know the bare bones basics, like a quick outline. People that are very active on Digg are known for reading a ton of content daily, but they don’t actually read everything they click on. In my opinion, that type of reader would fall into this category.
How does this affect our writing?
In order to be effective bloggers, we need to write for all three of these readers. In a nutshell, that means…
For the sponge reader:
Write quality content from beginning to end, simple as that. Before hitting the publish button, be sure to double-check your spelling, grammar and punctuation!
For the skimmers:
Separate your writing into paragraphs. If you write in one long stream of words, you will lose your skimmers. In other words, make your content scannable.
For the first sentence fireballs:
Remember to use eye-catching images that are sized appropriately. Be sure to separate your paragraphs so that the first sentence of each one starts a new thought or gives a new piece of information. The key here is to make it look good. Formatting and styling are especially important for this reader.