Why Your Blog Is Failing
If you think your business couldn’t benefit from content marketing, you may need to have a massive re-think. Although it can include many things, the beating heart of content marketing for most businesses is their blog. Some of the blogs I see are badly in need of a defibrillator. Three, two, one… clear! One thing we do know is that looking after your content, can help your Google rankings. Here are a few facts:
- Websites with blogs have 434% more pages indexed by Google
- Companies with blogs generate 97% more leads
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company with a blog
It’s hardly surprising then that 86% of B2C marketers are actively using content marketing right now.
But that leaves you. You have a blog but it’s just not producing active interest from potential clients, or indeed anyone. Let’s face it, your blog is barely limping along right now. Before you decide to put it out of its misery though, check these reasons why your blog may be failing. Rather than stop, you could give a shot of adrenaline and have it singing and dancing in no time.
You Don’t Know Your Why
This is the biggest reason for a failing blog. It is absolutely fundamental to get this right, but only the best bloggers bother with it. If you don’t know why you’re blogging, why should anyone know they want to read what you write? Ask yourself why you have a blog. If your answer is “because I want to attract people to my website”, go away and try harder. That just isn’t good enough. There’s a lot of mediocre content on the web and if all you’re doing is adding to it, forget it now. Your readers are smarter than that and they deserve better.
Your Heart Isn’t In It
This is very much related to knowing your “Why”. When bloggers don’t know why they’re blogging they don’t feel it in their core. Your blog’s purpose comes from a clear understanding of of your own purpose. That’s why the best blogs (and why do it if you’re not going to try to be among the best?) articulate with passion and drive their readers to agree passionately. Passion is one of the most over-used words in the business world today. I’m fed up with companies telling me they’re passionate about this or that thing. If you really are passionate about it, show me, don’t tell me. That’s what your blog is for: to show us again and again and again. If your heart isn’t in your blog, it’ll be boring and nobody reads a blog to be bored. Would you?
You Don’t Allow Comments
If the purpose of your blog is to connect with like-minded people (and if it isn’t what on Earth is it for?) why wouldn’t you want people to share their opinions and comments? Don’t worry about the trolls or spam; you can always block them. Blogs without a comment section feel faceless, corporate and exclusive (and not in the good way ether). So give your Webmaster a kick and get him to add commenting on your blog. Don’t tell me that Seth Godin doesn’t allow comments and he’s the most famous blogger in the world. You’re not Seth. Oh, and don’t forget: if you want to encourage conversation on your blog, comment on other peoples’ too. Hint: there’s a comment box at the bottom of this post 😉
You Gave Up Too Soon
This is a common problem for a lot of small business bloggers. I see it all the time with local businesses. They start enthusiastically, post frequently for a while but give up when it doesn’t appear to be producing results. Part of the problem is down to not having clear objectives (what do you consider a good result to be?) or not having enough to say (if that doesn’t make sense read my first two points again). The fact may be that you gave up just before you were about to get some results. In my experience, if you have a clear message, articulate it energetically, and persist through your moments of self-doubt, your blog will start to attract exactly the right kind of people to you. It’s always too early to give in.
You Are Writing For Yourself
This one’s quick and easy: stop writing to massage your ego. It’s not about you, it’s about us. Of course, this is easier to say than do, but that doesn’t let you off the hook. Starting now, whenever you post keep at the front of your attention that your posts have to be interesting to read, more than they are to write. Stop telling us about your latest offers or boasting about the work you’ve just done for Fidget, Widget & Co – unless it’s relevant to us, it’s boring.
You Aren’t Using Images
Why not? We live in the days of the Visual Web and have done for years. Don’t go over the top, unless you’re a photographer or your products are particularly visually appealing, but a good quality image will always encourage more readers. When we’re faced with a screenful of tiny writing, most of us move on the next site without even bothering to read the first paragraph.
You Don’t Want to Improve
Nothing gets easier if you don’t get better at it. Similarly, unless you already write as well as Ernest Hemingway, you could probably stand a little improvement. Here’s some more news: you can’t get better at writing unless you work at it. Now consider this: maybe your blog is failing because you are a boring writer. Hey, don’t get too annoyed with me; the fact is that most business people are boring writers. If most of your writing practise comes from writing employee reviews, pitching briefs or insurance assessments, the chances are your writing style is terse, monotonous and lacking in texture. Some of the most talented people I know write like robots, so if that’s you, don’t feel bad. But you owe it to yourself and your readership to improve. You’ll enjoy it more, and your readers will keep coming back.
The Next Step
These are just the most common reason for a failing blog. There are many more that you need to know about, such as breaking up your text to make it appealing, understanding your readers, and a big one: including a call to action. Unless your readers know how to apply your pearls of wisdom, the blog is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. On that note, if you want to improve your blogging, you could do yourself a favour and attend one of my blogging workshops. You can find out more by emailing me on firstname.lastname@example.org. See how easy that was? Thanks for reading, and I’m looking forward to reading your comments.