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Overheard on #Blogchat: The Squeaky Wheel (@BillBoorman)


Yep, I’m a day late with Overheard on #Blogchat this week. I was at an 80s-themed bachelorette party, so I had a good reason!

Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night, I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This week’s theme: Open mic!

Mama Boyer has a saying: ” The squeaky wheel gets the grease!” She usually says this in regards to complaining about something. If you don’t speak up, no one will fix your problem. My mom is someone you can count on tell you if service is bad.

Reading over the #blogchat transcript, since I wasn’t able to attend last night, this stood out to me, making my think of my mom’s saying:

@BillBoorman: 95% of your audience will never interact. Dont be swayed by only the noisy ones

Not every reader on your blog is going to be a squeaky wheel. Usually, people are outspoken when they’re feeling an emotional extreme – like anger from disagreeing with what you have to say. Of course, emotions can be positive as well, but every time you write a blog post, only a small percentage of people will actually comment.

That doesn’t mean you should listen to them, necessarily. You want to help your readers as much as possible, but at the same time, it is important to keep in mind that the readers giving you feedback only make up a small percentage of all the readers visiting your blog. If you want to create the best blog with the most active community possible, you have to consider the needs of all of your readers.

That’s the tricky part. If someone isn’t a squeaky wheel, how can you give them the grease?

  1. Consider polling your readers. Often, people aren’t enticed enough to leave a comment, but they will click on a poll choice to help make their voice heard.
  2. Check out what pages are most visited. Don’t just look at entry pages, since the top pages on this list are likely optimized for search engines well or were linked by people to drive traffic. Instead, look at which other posts people are visiting an how long they’re spending on these specific posts.
  3. Run some tests. See if your traffic numbers spike or dip with a new theme, for example. Even though readers aren’t talking, they’re voting with their visits.

The squeaky wheel may get the grease, but a blogger knows that all of the wheels on the cart deserve some attention. Don’t ignore the huge number of readers you have who are lurking in the shadows.

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