If you’re a blogger, then you’ve been through this.
You spend hours, weeks, and days pumping out content like a machine.
You just go and go and go… In your mind, you’re killing it.
Then you check your site stats and discover that…
“NOBODY IS READING YOUR CONTENT!”
You’ve just spent thousands of man-hours bringing this out and nobody even seems to care.
We’ve all been there.
One of the reasons why this happens is quite simply this – Your content sucks.
Yes, I said it.
Now, we could whine about this all day.
I could give you many reasons why your content sucks, and you could counter and we could have a back and forth… BUT..
Who that one go epp?
So I’m going to just skip all that brouhaha and get to the point.
How To Create Content that Doesn’t Suck
It’s everywhere on the Internet. No matter where you look online, you see content.
If web programming and design are the internet’s nervous system, content is the heart, arteries and veins that keep it alive.
If your content isn’t getting read, your online business or blog won’t get the nutrition it needs to grow.
Here’s how to fix that:
Start with the reader in mind
It’s amazing how most bloggers just start out, by just writing about any and everything.
I know this one all too well, cos I did that with my first blog (Ginjah- The Blog for Goal Getters).
I’ve also done some site reviews where I ask the blogger “Who is your target audience?” and he/she looks at me like I’m speaking Swahili.
Some bloggers start a blog trying to be the next Linda Ikeji, forgetting that there’s already a ton of bloggers trying to be the next Linda Ikeji. Also there’s already one Linda Ikeji.
These bloggers, in my experience, also don’t know who their target audience is.
If you would like your content to get read, then remember this:
” Your would-be readers came to your site/ blog for a reason. And 99% of the time, you are not that reason.”
Your readers came to your blog to either get informed, educated or entertained.
They don’t care about you; they care about what you can do for them.
If your content isn’t helping them in any way, then your content sucks and won’t get read.
Harsh? Maybe, but true.
Before you hit “Publish” on that blog post, ask yourself- “How will this help my target audience?”
If you can’t figure that out, chances are your audience won’t either so don’t publish it.
You need to absolutely know and understand your audience- their age groups, their pain points, fears and desires.
Then you can speak their language, create content about topics they care about. And actually get your content read.
2. Keep it Real, Simple and Stupid
You read that right. Real. Simple and Stupid.
Let’s talk about the Stupid Part.
Kill the “senrenre” and “big english”. You are not Honourable Patrick Obahiaghbon.
Unless you’re writing for a target audience that speaks that kinda language, you’re better off using language so simple a total newbie can understand.
Like I say in my site reviews: “Thou shalt not confuse thy visitor” .
Confused visitors are visitors about to click the “Back” button and leave.
Don’t get fancy. Resist the urge to use some fancy N5,000 word when you can say the same thing with a N5 word.
Now, the simple part.
Imagine your readers as 5 yr old kids.
If you’ve ever been around a 5 yr old, you’d know they have low attention spans.
They’d be doing one thing, then another and next thing you know they’re outside and have hurt themselves when you weren’t looking.
Online readers are exactly like that.
They get distracted easily especially when there’s a video of a cat doing some crazy shit somewhere on the internet.
So you’ve written content they care about, but you might be scaring them with how you show it to them.
Too many newbie bloggers seem to favour packing so much into huge paragraphs.
Don’t worry, I understand. I used to write like that too, till I discovered my content wasn’t getting read. At all.
I’ve done my research and I’ve found out that keeping your paragraph sizes down to 1-3 short sentences, makes it easier to read.
Biko have mercy on your readers. Break up those big paragraphs into readable one, two or three sentence paragraphs, and watch your readership grow.
About keeping it real:
Stop trying to be like Linda Ikeji or any other blogger. You’ll just end up as a copy. And the Internet aint got love for imitations.
The original masterpiece is always worth more than a copy.
Find your own unique voice.
The reasons why your visitors would keep coming to your site is not your content. It’s not about what you say. It’s how you say it, and how unique that is to them.
3. Don’t hoard your content.
A piece of content is only as good as its distribution.
It’s a fantasy idea that all you need to do is create great content and automatically expect people to find it.
That approach might have worked out in 2000 or the 90s, but with the amount of content on the internet today, you’re competing with the freaking world no matter what you blog about.
So yes, you need to know your audience, create content that they care about and make your content attractive to them but if they don’t even know your content exists, it won’t get read.
And that would do you no good.
There are many channels to utilise in promotion (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.. yes, Instagram! etc).
If you really want to get real geeky about it, you could start studying what content gets more likes on each of those platforms, when is the best time to post? etcetera shmetcetera.
There is just one thing you need to do.
You need to be everywhere. You need to:
- Put out content regularly and consistently.
- Share content actively.
- Promote, promote and promote till your promotions start reaping results, and even then, keep promoting shamelessly and relentlessly.
Do all these and keep going. You’ll figure out the best time to post and the rest of that “senrenre” later.
So to recap, in order to get your content read, you need to:
- Know your target audience, and create content that they care about.
- Keep it real, simple and stupid.
- Promote shamelessly.
Got any more ideas on how to get your content read more, let’s talk in the comments section.
Keeping it 500,
Author: Tomi Joshua
Tomi is a case.
A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).
Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.
He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.