5 Reasons No One is Reading Your Content
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If your small business is like most, you likely have a blog where you post content that is relative to your product or service in hopes that you can attract potential customers:
This is called content marketing, which has become a large part of many marketing strategies.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that utilizes planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing content to reach a target audience. The goal of content marketing is to increase brand awareness, boost sales, extend reach, improve interactions, and develop customer loyalty.
The reason content marketing has become important is that people enjoy receiving free, valuable information, and when they do choose to make a purchase, they like buying from people they know, like, and trust.
When done correctly, content marketing gives you the ability to connect with your ideal customer directly and organically.
Unfortunately, since content marketing is widely popular, there is a lot of content competing for your ideal customers' attention.
If you're having trouble keeping readers on your blog, here are five reasons people aren't reading your material and how to fix them.
1. Your content is unhelpful.
It's tough to hear that your content is unhelpful, especially when you've invested a lot of time or money into it.
Here's the deal: to entice your ideal customers (also known as your buyer persona) to read your content, you need to solve a problem. To make this more difficult, you can't just solve any problem. You need to solve a problem that your ideal customer is struggling with.
At this moment, you are probably wondering how you can get inside the head of your ideal customer. It's quite simple; you need to do some research.
Visit multiple forum websites, such as Reddit, Quora, etc., and see what kinds of questions your ideal customers are asking. It's just as simple as it sounds. Make sure you take some notes; write down their questions verbatim because you might find some valuable keywords, as well.
Once you have determined what questions your ideal customers are asking, you can start researching and writing. Choose one problem to solve per post.
Often, blog posts like to tell readers what to do, but they don't explain how to do it. Instead, they'll charge readers for the how-to information. That is enough to make many people click the back button because they feel teased.
They thought their problem was going to be solved, but instead, they face an entirely new set of questions. Avoid alienating readers by solving their problem. If you have a relevant product or service that would make their lives easier, mention it, but try to avoid sounding salesy.
One of your goals with content marketing is to grow a following. The people that make up this following may not be ready to purchase today (although it's great when they are), but you will hopefully be able to convert them to paying customers in the future. You can't accomplish this by alienating your readers. You need them to find your content helpful so that they think of you next time they have a similar problem.
2. Your content is impersonal.
People click through to your website when they need help, but part of what keeps them coming back is your personality. Your personality is one of your small business's strongest assets. People like supporting people they like with their money and time.
You can and should tell stories when appropriate, but make sure you weave them throughout your helpful content. That doesn't mean you need to regale your readers with strange stories that only you find interesting.
Don't write an entire post about why you love cats. No one will read that because no one cares.
To potential readers, you're just another stranger on the internet who likes cats.
However, if you find a way to naturally work in a funny story about cats into your helpful content, you'll see that many of your readers can relate with you and connect with you over your love for cats.
Another benefit of telling relatable stories throughout your helpful content is that it keeps your readers interested. In your life, you've probably read dry textbooks.
It requires a lot of discipline to read one of those without letting your mind wander. You don't want to lose your readers' attention because, as soon as they do, they'll click the back button.
Now, if you are in a position where you don't want to tell stories because you don't care to write in the first person, that's okay; you don't need to tell stories to be personable. Instead, you can write as you would usually talk.
If this doesn't come naturally to you because of formal writing training, then pretending you're having a conversation with your ideal customer should help you loosen up. Now, just because you're conversing doesn't mean you can ignore grammar rules. Grammar plays an essential role in ensuring that your content is easy to read and understand.
3. Your content is visually unappealing.
People are visual creatures. You may offer useful, personable content on your site, but if it looks like a nightmare to read, your ideal customer is going to click the back button. Fortunately for you, making your content more reader-friendly isn't tricky.
First, you need to add some branded images or graphics. These will help break up the text on the page and make it look mentally manageable. Also, beautiful pictures and graphics are powerful tools that help solidify your brand and make your point clearer to readers.
Next, you need to use bold and italic text to your advantage.
Use bold or italic text where you want to draw a reader's attention.
Imagine you were scanning the page; what information would be most helpful to you? Once you identify it, make it stand out.
You can also use your brand colors to emphasize bold text if you'd like. Just make sure that it's a different color than your links. The last thing you want to do is confuse your readers.
Finally, use more paragraphs. You honestly only need one to four sentences in a paragraph for online content.
Having white space on the page makes it look less intimidating. Make sure that you put the most critical information at the beginning of the paragraphs so that readers who scan can easily find what they're seeking.
4. It doesn't offer anything unique.
If your content looks exactly like that of your competition, you have a problem. Your content should stand out in one way or another.
If you and your competition are both offering helpful content, why would potential readers choose your content over theirs?
If you can't think of a reason, you need to add something new and exciting to your content.
Think about how else you can serve your reader. If your competitors don't offer brief recaps for the busy readers, maybe you should.
Or, perhaps your competitors fail to provide infographics. (Infographics are highly shareable well-received by readers, which is good for you.) Look for ways you can go above and beyond for your ideal customers.
Give them a reason to return to your blog instead of your competitors'.
5. You're not promoting your content in the right places.
As a small business owner, you may be handling the marketing, but it may not be something for which you trained. While this doesn't mean you can't be a successful marketer, it does make it a lot more difficult.
You've likely done plenty of research, and you might be promoting your content in all the recommended places. The fact of the matter is, however, that no one else knows who your ideal customers are or where they spend their time; that is something you must determine.
Your ideal customers may not be on Facebook, but they might be on Pinterest.
You need to do your research. Also, check your analytics.
Have you been pouring money into social media ads? Make sure they're giving you a reasonable return. If they're not, then your ideal audience probably isn't on that platform.
Don't be afraid to implement new marketing strategies.
Social media sites aren't the only places you should be promoting your content. Don't forget about networking within your niche.
Find someone who sells a product or service that complements (but doesn't compete with) your own and see about advertising on their site. You can even work with bloggers who write in your niche so long as your product or service doesn't compete with anything they're selling.
You need to learn and adapt continuously. If something isn't working for you, change it.
If no one is reading your content, ask yourself whether you are guilty of at least one of the five items on this list.
If so, it's time to make some changes; but don't feel too bad!
Think of this as a turning point. From this moment on, you'll be able to make impressive improvements to your content that will help you gain readers and turn them into customers.
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Until next time!