“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
Growing up, we had a sign in our kitchen that read, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” It’s the same as the goose-gander message: a woman who is unhappy can make the life of her partner a living hell, so if you’re a man who wants to be happy, step one is pleasing your wife/girlfriend.
Too many bloggers consider themselves the goose in the blogger-reader relationship. In actuality, us bloggers are the gander.
In other words, just because something is good for you doesn’t mean it is good for your readers, and you should always be considering their needs first.
A great example of this is the idea of removing dates from your blog posts, which I recently wrote about on the NMX blog. Time after time, I see bloggers talking about how removing dates has increased their stats. But you know what? It’s annoying. As a reader, I am cranky when I can’t see when a post is written because I don’t know how to tell if the opinions or facts in the post are outdated or not.
Another example? Pop up advertisements. There isn’t a single person out there you likes them. Yet many bloggers use them because the conversion rates are so good.
You are not the goose. You are the gander. Your job is to keep your readers happy, even if the stats tempt you to put into place practices that your readers hate. Long-term, it’s not worth it. Remember, numbers don’t always tell you the full story. For every new click you get because your posts are dateless, what if three-long term readers stop linking to you? What if your pop up ad leads to conversions on an individual level, but those people decide not to share your post because they don’t want to annoy their followers with the ad?
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Make them happy and you’ll be happy too in the long run.