You’ve done all the reading you can possibly do, you know what changes Google has made to its algorithm, you know what ticks all the SEO boxes, how the power of storytelling works and you even have this awesome blogging infographic as the background on your phone, laptop and computer. So, yeah, it’s safe to say you know what you’re talking about when it comes to pulling together a successful blog. You have nailed this whole blogging thing so well that no one can tell you something you don’t already know.
However, despite all this, no one is really taking any notice of your blog and, by that we mean only your family and best friend read your last twelve posts.
Okay, maybe it isn’t as bad as that because, as far as your report shows, people are viewing what you write. The fact no one is commenting, clicking your links, sharing your posts or being converted into buyers would suggest they aren’t actually reading the content.
To put an overarching ‘why’ into place, a lot of the time, this lack of interest is because you have totally ignored the nine-second rule. Yup, you have just nine seconds to grab a person’s interest in the digitally-obsessed age. That is what makes the finishing touches so important. These are the things that will grab people by their eyeballs, read your content and click your links.
So, without further ado, here is why your blog needs improvement:
Your Headlines Are Drab
If you don’t know what drab means, the definition is, “lacking brightness or interest, drearily dull”. Why does this matter so much? Well, even though it is only a small collection of words that leads to a huge body of information, more than fives times as many people read the headline as they do the actual body of your content. That is what makes your headline so important. It is why you should focus more on this than the rest of your post. It is the very thing that will elicit curiosity and shine with intrigue; it is what will pull people in so that they read the rest of your post. Basically, you need to stop writing your headline as an afterthought and start making this the primary concern.
People Skim, Not Read
How many tabs have you got open on your internet browser right now? And how long have they been sat up there, ready to be read, yet put off again? To hit you with a couple of hard truths you a) won’t ever read them and b) won’t ever read them because they are looking than the last three Harry Potter books combined. This is one of the biggest areas of concern with content these days. Yes, you need to deliver in-depth information that offers the reader tons of value, but you need to make it easy to do that too. It needs to be an attractive proposition. That is why you should use subheadings to make the chunks easier to digest and use bullet points and numbers where possible. Another great way to get around this is to add a table of contents to the top and an indication of just how long it will take to read your blog.
Show Some Personality
When the term blog was first thrown out there, they were celebrated and championed as such personal things. Each blogger had their own personal style and branding (look at Perez Hilton) but, at some point during its evolution, this faded away. Blogs became boring, generic, dull, rushed and, dare we say, all the same. Bloggers decided not to write in the first person, ignored personal anecdotes and that little bit of them was turned into mush. Don’t do this. Make your blog personal, give it a brand and let people know they are reading your blog. How? Well, for starters, find your own voice. Write in a more personal way and stop using the same handful of stock images by going on a photography crash course. Just because you are writing a business blog doesn’t mean it has to be samey. After all, it is people who read them not some sort of corporate robot. People are reading and those people are interested in personality; they are interested in you. So let you shine through more and do it everywhere you can think of.
The Reader Has Read This Already
That is part of the problem; a big part. You aren’t saying anything new. How many articles are on Google that share the headline, “5 ways to make your blog better?” You don’t really think someone is going to read all of them, do you? Once they have read one, that’s it, they have read it; they aren’t going to read it again, not once, never mind 500,000 times. If you want people to read what you are writing about then you need to give it to them from a fresh perspective. It is the same concept as journalism. If they want to write about a topic, event or conspiracy that has already been covered then they have to find a whole new angle to approach it from. So, if your blog is currently falling prey to this idea that, once you have read one article, you have read them all then you need to rethink your approach. Period.
Words Aren’t Enough
We live in a seriously media-rich society and that is something your blog needs to latch onto and celebrate. People are now used to interacting with video, GIFs, infographics, podcasts, and graphics. These are things that stand out from just line after line of text and they give your reader something to engage with. What’s more, unlike just a block of content – which will turn your readers off very quickly – by having bits and pieces of multi-media dropped into your posts, you will find that people will very quickly reward you with their most valuable asset; time.
It’s not that people don’t want to read your content, it’s just that you need to grab their attention quickly and give them a reason to choose your blog above all the others.