Raise your hand if this sounds familiar… You heard about the impact a blog can make on your inbound marketing, so you committed to starting one. But, months after dreaming up lists of blog topics and churning out content, your blog hasn’t moved the needle on anything. Your stats show that very few people open your emails about your posts, and your website traffic and clicks on the individual posts themselves are abysmal. What gives?
If you’ve found yourself in such a situation and are frustrated by the lack of attention your blog is receiving, we have some insight into what might be going wrong. Here’s a look at common mistakes that result in poor readership, and how to write blogs that attract, captivate and even impel action.
You’re writing to the wrong audience.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times, but that’s because it’s that important. You need buyer personas that are based in market research, customer research and internal discussion. Without them, the people you think are your best buyers may actually be your company’s worst nightmare. But with personas, you have a clear idea of who you’re speaking to and what they care about.
Well-crafted personas are literally game-changing in all facets of marketing, including your blog. If you write a post about how acupuncture can help a busy young mom cope with her plantar fasciitis, but your ideal customers are actually older male athletes, of course no one will read what you’ve written. It might sound crazy, but it’s actually not uncommon at all for organizations to think they know who their best customer is and be this far off base. So, if you don’t know – and aren’t marketing to – your personas, start here first.
Your posts aren’t well-written.
This may sound harsh, but hear us out. Many people are good writers, even if they’re not writers by trade. So, oftentimes in an attempt to save money or not need to loop in new resources, brands will ask someone on their team to write their blog posts. The problem is that even component writers who don’t write content for a living won’t always turn out engaging posts.
Common issues with blog writing include poor spelling/grammar, a lack of a strong thesis, no (or ill-fitting) calls-to-action, off-brand messaging and more. If someone is intrigued by your headline, and qualifies as an ideal buyer, they could stop reading your post within a matter of seconds if they notice poor structure or errors. So, spring for a seasoned writer to help you out with your content (at least in the editing phase, if not in the writing phase as well). It’s worth it.
Your content is heavily self serving.
No one is under the illusion that company blogs are written simply for the enjoyment of the reader. Of course, businesses should want to deliver value to their readers, but the ultimate goal is to improve SEO, build trust, develop relationships and convert readers into buyers. Still, there’s a difference between using your blog as a vehicle through which you act as a trusted resource and move toward these goals – and using it shamelessly to push sales.
So, check the content you’ve been putting out. Does every single post declare the benefits of your products or services? Do you include aggressive and/or multiple calls-to-action? Is it clear that the problem you’re setting up in the post is intended to lead readers to the conclusion that they must buy from your company? If so, pump the brakes. It’s perfectly fine to mention the value you bring to buyers occasionally in your content, or even feature it prominently from time to time. But your blog should be a place where they can go to primarily find guidance and information, not smarmy sales fodder.
Your posts aren’t actionable.
Again, let’s talk value. If your company sells meditation courses, your buyers are likely interested in mindfulness, wellness and related blog topics. If you know your personas, craft well-written posts around what they care about and avoid being overly promotional, but still aren’t getting the views and shares you hope for… this could be a problem of lacking practicality.
Here’s what we mean. You write a post about how choosing mindfulness every morning can make you a better parent, but the content is very high level. Someone reads it and gets the value of mindfulness in parenting as a general concept, but is given no actionable tips to implement it in their lives. This can be frustrating, and make reading your blog feel like a waste of time. So, get specific. Give tips about how they can incorporate mindfulness in their lives that very day. It might seem simple, but it makes a world of difference in the perceived value someone will have in reading your blog.
Your content isn’t fresh.
Finally, there’s one more problem we see with blogs that don’t get read: a lack of originality. Let’s be clear here, though. The odds that you will write something 100% new are slim to none. There are loads of blog posts on the internet on every topic imaginable. Consider our field, as an example. If we had to come up with completely new marketing blog topics for every post, we’d never write a blog.
But, just because others have written on related topics before doesn’t mean yours can’t be fresh. Infuse your brand’s tone into the copy, and use examples that pertain to your intended audience. Cite the origin of stats if you use them, and get creative in how you talk about what is likely an already heavily discussed topic. By doing so, you’ll put your own spin on it and keep your readers interested.
Looking for more help with how to write blogs or come up with content topics? We’re happy to help!