So, you have finally gotten around to writing a blog. Perhaps you spent hours researching, interviewing industry leaders, and narrowing down your keywords. You have read and re-read, perfecting every word, just knowing this masterpiece is going to go viral. You post on your site, and voila! Instant clicks, right?
Creating a blog is a lot of work, so it can be disheartening when it doesn't perform well. That is why we have uncovered some of the major reasons why your blog might not be gaining readership and what you can do to fix it.
You Don't Have a Content Strategy
Creating a blog content strategy is often confused with a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan to reach prospects and transform them into customers. This can include anything from content to design to media. Content strategy, consequently, speaks to the information your target consumer wants to learn about. When it comes to blogs, the subject matter you choose must be zoned in on those interests.
So, how can you develop a meaningful content strategy to guide your future blog posts? First, narrow down what your target audience is looking for. Go beyond what your business offers and take a deeper dive into your customer's pain points, research trends in the market, or expand on relevant industry news.
Your Blog is Too Salesy
Your readers expect that when they visit your website, they will get a virtual sales pitch. However, a blog is the one place on your site in which users want to be informed, not bombarded with product placement. Writing that is too promotional comes across as inauthentic and desperate. It conveys that you aren't interested in what the customer wants but more concerned with elevating your own agenda.
A quality blog should be able to live on its own off the company website, meaning, if it were published on another platform, it would be seen as a purely informative article. You can still certainly have a call to action. A sentence at the end sharing a web address if they would like to learn more, a link to sign up for a newsletter or download a white paper, or a write-up about the author that includes a brief company description are effective. Still, to maintain a loyal readership, your content should be about the audience, not your products or services.
The Copy is Hard to Read
Sometimes content is just tough to get through. There may be spelling and grammatical issues, inaccurate or dated research, no clear point or too many objectives. Excessive use of graphics and wrongly sized imagery can make a blog challenging to read, especially on a mobile device.
This is where businesses must truly evaluate if they have someone on staff who can not only commit to writing a regular blog but is also a good writer – often an impossible ask of employees who are already stretched thin with other responsibilities. That is when it is an excellent time to consider outsourcing your blog to a marketing firm whose job is to develop an effective content strategy and deliver quality, scheduled, and thought-provoking blogs.
You Don't Have a Posting Schedule
As important as quality writing is consistency. It is frustrating for readers to come to your company's blog page only to see that your last post is from 2016. Furthermore, launching a successful piece and then going radio silent loses any momentum your previous blogs have garnered. Inconsistent posting also impacts Google ratings, as the search engine prefers content that is engaging, fresh, and relevant.
When it comes to blogging, it is best to pick a consistent schedule and stick to it. It doesn't have to be every day or every week, but staying on a timetable compels writers to meet deadlines, have ample research time, and even produce pieces ahead of schedule.
It's Not Being Promoted
Just because you have a thought-provoking, relevant, and easy-to-read blog on your website doesn't mean readers will find it. Unless someone is explicitly Googling your exact topic, your blog is most likely not going to show up in organic search results on its own. With blogs taking so much time and effort to create, it is a waste to let them sit on a website with no promotion.
Even the most recognized and followed bloggers spend time (and maybe some money) to get the word out. Social media channels are the easiest way to post teasers and links to your latest editorial. If you have a marketing budget, you can buy paid ads for extra reach. Blogs can also be promoted through email marketing and newsletters and sent to industry publications interested in reposting relevant articles.
You're Not Using Data
Analytics are available for most websites and social media platforms but often are unused. This treasure-trove of information is invaluable, as it not only tells you how many people clicked on your blog, but how they found it, their bounce rate, and if they are a new or returning user.
Numbers don't lie. Knowing which blogs get more attention than others can effectively guide your content strategy. If you notice a significant increase in traffic for specific topics, you know that is what your audience wants to read about, and you can build upon that formula.
Your Website Needs an Update
Maybe it isn't your blog that turns people away, but your website. Readers want to feel like the information they are reading is current and relevant. An outdated or unorganized website creates the impression that your business may not be the most knowledgeable about current trends.
For a blog to succeed, the website it lives on needs to deliver a positive user experience. It is the first impression of your business and builds confidence and trust with your target market. The blog page should be easy for the user to find and look cohesive with the rest of the site.
A company blog should never be an afterthought but instead a significant piece of your marketing strategy. Investing the time and skill into your writing will result in creating a relevant audience that not only thinks of your business as an entity that provides goods and services, but as a contributor to your industry, a leader in your market, and an organization that values their customers.