5 Reasons Nobody Is Reading Your Blog Content
Blogs can add significant value to both your business and your clients by providing relevant content that directs back to your products or services and that positions you and your brand as providers of reputable, valuable information.
That said, a blog can become a negative weight if it doesn’t provide the right content or if the information it provides is biased to the point that it’s effectively a sales pitch. That’s why it’s important to get your blog right the first time around. You can bet there are competitors out there who are looking to capitalize on your blog’s failures.
Why Go to the Trouble of Having a Blog?
It is true that blogs require consistent updates and new and fresh information delivered in a timely manner. As a result, some business owners might feel that the value created by having one isn’t enough to justify the work required.
However, remember that 93% percent of companies engage in some form of content marketing. They must be getting some kind of ongoing value to justify their engagement; otherwise, this statistic would be significantly lower.
Ultimately, blogging offers a number of different benefits:
- A corporate blog can allow your business to manage its relationship with clients in an easy-to-develop and maintain format, while also engaging said clients to drive traffic to your online presence.
- Further, it can enhance your social media strategy, while giving you an outlet for testing and gathering feedback.
- In addition, it can position you and your brand to become a respected authority in your field, which, in turn, generates positive customer/client perceptions.
- Corporate blogging also helps you to quickly respond to issues that arise, should you need to generate goodwill among customers and non-clients.
Of course, you won’t be able to take advantage of any of these benefits if nobody’s reading your blog. With billions of content pieces being published daily, it’s understandable that some of your content might fall to the wayside. Increase your odds of capturing attention by paying attention to the following five mistakes that limit your blog’s readership.
The Five Fails
#1 You Haven’t Optimized for SEO
A blog can easily fail because no one can find it. In order for your company to get the most from your blog, there has to be traffic – and this means having your blog optimized for SEO.
When potential customers are running a search, your blog should be positioned near the top of the organic results; and to do this, you’ll need copy that’s positioned for and optimized to take advantage of SEO. That might involve:
- Incorporating target keywords into your blog post titles
- Using these same keywords and related phrases into the body text of your articles
- Building content around the questions your customers are asking (to appeal to the Google Hummingbird update)
- Creating meta tags that are optimized for both keywords and click-throughs
Of course, it isn’t only your content that has to be optimized for search. Your site design, back links and more need to be considered as part of your overall blog optimization strategy. No matter how great your content is, readers won’t find it if you haven’t taken SEO into account.
#2 You Haven’t Considered Social Sharing
Are your new blog posts appearing on your social profiles? Do you have an email subscription service to notify subscribers of new blog posts? Can your blog posts be easily shared on social media networks like Facebook or Twitter?
All of these aspects are important, and are perceived as providing value for your clients or customers. Blog content should be shareable in a variety of formats, on a wide range of social media services. Your goal is to drive social media users to your blog, where your content can engage them and potentially convert them into clients/consumers.
In this way, you can actually think of your blog as being part of your company’s social media strategy.
#3 Your Content is Boring
Even with proper optimization and social sharing, if your content doesn’t immediately grab and hold your readers, it’ll be doomed to lie dormant and unread on your site.
This can be especially challenging for businesses in “boring” industries, whose content tends to be “dry” from the outset. In some situations, your clients may be interested in the information provided; however, it still has to be presented in an engaging way.
Good blog content grabs the reader and holds them – not in suspense, but in a way that fills them with useful information. Just having a list of why X product is better than Y won’t engage a reader. However, illustrating how product X is the appropriate solution to a problem your readers are having will attract attention.
#4 All You Blog About is Yourself
Along with boring content, one of the fastest ways to turn away a potential client is to be an obvious self-promoter. Your blog has to contain more than just information about your products or services.
Think about blogging as a social party; there’s always that one person who spends the whole night talking about him or herself. Nobody wants to hang out with that person – and the same thing happens with corporate blogs.
There’s nothing wrong with announcing a new product or service on your site, but if that’s all your blog contains, it’ll be dismissed quickly. Blogging relevant industry information can help, as it generates a perception that your business is on top of its specific industry. Even better, keep your focus on your customers. Talk about solutions to their particular pain points – whether or not your company is the solution.
#5. Your Blog Doesn’t Create Value
If there’s one aspect that’ll drive a stake through the heart of an underperforming corporate blog, it’s that the site doesn’t create or generate value for the reader.
What is value? Value is answering questions, addressing issues and solving problems. Does your blog answer customer questions? Does it speak to the client’s interests? A blog is as much a communication tool as it is an informative device. At the same time, though, it has to speak to the customer – not preach to them. It must be relevant to both the client and industry.
How to Tell If Your Blog is Providing Value?
The five factors described above, taken together, make creating an engaging blog a tall order. It’s no wonder, therefore, that so many blogs find themselves writing article after article, only to have them go unread by customers.
So how can you tell if your content is on the right track? The first way to tell if your blog is underperforming is to check your metrics and analytics.
Is your view count continually low? Is your overall site traffic down? Have you seen a decline in email subscriptions? All of these signs can point to a blog that’s not providing enough value to customers.
You can also take a look at social sharing signals to give you a clue on your blog’s performance. Is your content being shared frequently? If comments are enabled on your site are they being utilized and responded to appropriately?
A corporate blog isn’t a “fix it and forget it” proposition. It requires ongoing care and consideration to provide real benefits to your company.
How to Fix a Failing Blog
The obvious answer to an underperforming blog is to make sure your content is engaging, provides answers and solutions, and creates overall value. However, there’s often more to it than that alone.
A corporate blog has to fit into your overall marketing strategy. It has to be considered and included in your social media and advertising plans. Blog posts should be planned out and never done “off the cuff,” so to speak. The should be well-written, properly formatted and optimized for SEO.
If your metrics demonstrate that there’s room for improvement in your blog’s performance, ask yourself the following questions to get back on track:
- Am I creating content on topics my customers care about, or am I writing about things that interest me?
- Am I publishing at the right time?
- Is my content readable, or could I make better use of headings, lists, and other formatting tools?
- Should my future posts be longer or shorter?
- What topics are my competitors covering, and which of these have proven successful for them?
- Am I writing at the appropriate readability level for my audience?
- Are there any spelling or grammar errors in my blog posts that could be deterring readers from returning?
Ultimately, it isn’t one factor or the answer to one of these questions that’ll transform a struggling blog into a success story. It’s an ongoing process of listening to your customers, crafting engaging content, watching your metrics and iterating your approach until you’ve found a winning content combination.
Do you have another tip for increasing blog readability? We’d love to hear it. Leave us a note in the comments below with your suggestions: