When I click an article I usually read the first paragraph, perhaps two. If it looks interesting I mark it to
ReadItLater Pocket. If I like the post I will check out others as well. If they are as good I will subscribe to the blog using Google Reader.
Why don’t I just read the entire article in the first place? I just skim the top of hacker news or /r/programming for something of interest if I have few minutes of free time.
I read the articles I’ve marked whenever I have a free moment. Usually, that’s during bus rides from and to the office. That gives me about 235 minutes to read stuff I’ve either marked or come to me from blogs I’ve subscribed to every day. The important thing is, I’m only aware of the title and the content of the article.
Few days ago I stumbled upon a blog post about different kinds of software trials. It was a great read. Half way through the article I recognized the context; it sounded a lot like what a guy I know is doing. I opened the page in safari and it was their blog. I didn’t know that having read the entire article! I think that’s a great opportunity lost. I am a potential customer and you’ve written a piece of content I’m interested in, that’s a huge step towards my wallet. However it stops there unless you provide even the most basic call to action. For example “check out our services”.
Google Reader, Pocket, Instapaper and others have turned articles into a single feed, which is great for me as a reader. However it sucks for corporate bloggers as I won’t see your sites layout. I won’t see your header or logo. All I’m interested in is the article at hand, it’s up to you to deliver information about yourself or the product to me without ruining the post. Simple naming your startup and linking to it once or twice in the blog post will go great way to converting a random passer-by to customer.