Not every blogger is good enough to write for a living. Hell, blogging doesn’t require a ton of writing skill, as it’s often used as a platform for promotion, education and connecting, rather than as an writing outlet. To those non-writer bloggers who fancy page views more than a clever turn of phrase, exposure and popularity are key.
Small businesses know this well. Who wants to spend hours working on a blog post if there’s no one to read it? And even if someone does read it, why would they ever tell their friends? Here are a few tips on why people may be turned off and what you can do to fix it:
Stop talking about yourself
Brian Solis had Hubspot’s Dan Zarella on his blog today to talk about the best way to get retweets. Turns out that self-referential tweets are far less likely to be shared than informational (or entertaining) links.
This same idea applies to your blog. Unless the story you’re about to tell about yourself is wildly entertaining, you’d be well served to approach it from an angle that can inform or help others. Make a mistake? Tell how to avoid it or what you learned from it. Funny stories are great, but unless you’re really, really good, they’ll get old.
You think you need an audience BEFORE saying anything worth reading
You don’t need a platform, audience, blog, microphone or TV show to say something important. If you wait for one of those things, you’re likely not going to make it. So stop worrying about WHO is reading your blog and more about what YOU’RE writing about.
Jeff Goins urges writers to start with their message, then build a platform and audience. He’s right.
Lack of subject/topic focus
Yours truly DEFINITELY has this problem. While a blog full of scattered thoughts and disconnected essays may be fun to produce, but they can be tough to keep track of. While we’d all love to believe that everyone reads blogs via RSS and doesn’t pay much attention to how story lines fit together, it’s time to stop kidding ourselves.
People LIKE predictability. I’m not suggesting you write about the SAME things every day, but having a loose theme can help readers identify with your content easier, know that they can share your blog with friends without too much fear of offending them and, especially for businesses, can get a better understanding of what your staff is all about.
Say no to all random, all the time. You’ll find your posts get easier to write, reader attention will increase and you’ll become more of an expert in whatever you’re writing about.
Now excuse me while I go research managed WordPress hosting. I hear it’s pretty hot around these parts.