Last Christmas, I did a spur of the moment post about Christmas gifts blog readers could give their favorite bloggers. This holiday, I thought I’d turn the tables and share a list of Christmas gifts bloggers can give blog readers. Stay tuned at the end though, for a special request you can help me with this holiday season!

8 Christmas Gifts for Blog Readers

1. Keep your posts tightly edited and brief – unless there are really compelling reasons for a longer blog post.

Everybody’s “crazy busy,” massive amounts of information are inundating us, and blog readers have to prioritize where they’re investing time and reading content. Give them a break and keep your content short: a few hundred words and less than 90 seconds in reading time.

2. Add variety to your blog posts.

How much do you enjoy reading the same thing over and over? Not so much? Neither do your readers. You want predictability in the types of blog posts you write, but if you’re writing identically structured posts daily, make adding variety to your blogging a priority in the coming year.

3. Write about your readers and let them know.

One way to strengthen your social media connections is writing about readers (and potential readers) to share what they’re doing. When you do it though, make sure you include links to the person’s social media presence and give them a heads up you’re featuring them in your blog post.

4. Share blog posts multiple times on multiple social media channels.

Many readers likely use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks as substitutes for RSS feeds. If your new blog post doesn’t show up on social media channels, how will these readers know you’ve published fresh content? As interested blog readers, we want to make sure we’re updated when you have created new content.

5. Publish regularly and consistently.

Don’t make your blog readers guess when you’ll have something new to say. Make it clear what your publishing schedule is and stick to it. Consistent publishing creates consistent fans.

6. Don’t make someone do a rewrite when they share your social media content.

Use social media sharing plugins that allow you to customize and create a productive tweet or status update for blog readers. It’s a pain when the pre-populated tweet doesn’t include your Twitter name or a shortened-link to make it convenient to add hashtags, a comment, and share your social media content with others.

7. Make it easy to leave blog comments.

I hate when it takes longer to supply information to get a blog comment accepted than it does to write the original comment. And if the comment disappears because it can’t get authenticated . . . watch out! Install a reader-friendly commenting system and make life easier for everyone.

8. Approve comments quickly and carry on the conversation.

Nothing is more frustrating than leaving a blog comment then waiting DAYS before it is approved and appears on the website. One reason why that should also be frustrating for bloggers? Once my comment is published, I’ll share the whole post on Twitter. The longer you delay, the more likely you’ll miss out on potential new fans checking out your social media content.

Have a great holiday! - Mike Brown