You’ve heard about content marketing, how it’s been a huge trend for the past few years, and how every business needs to do it. You decide to do the right thing and make a blog, publish some articles, and get the word out via social media. Then, the ultimate disappointment: nobody reads it. Your dreams of thousands of followers, chains of comments, and a massive boom of business is crushed by a wasteland analytics page. There was only a tiny trickle of visitors to your sad and lonely blog.
Why did this happen?
There’s several possible reasons. We’re only going to talk about the most important reason: your content isn’t good. Alas, you don’t have to give up. There is hope.
Remember, the single most important aspect of an article is the article itself. Unless your using an absolute terrible font and color scheme, excellent content can trump mediocre design. If it’s something somebody wants to read, they’ll read it.
A few tips on how to create engaging content:
1. Pick topics that are interesting to a target audience. For example, this article’s target audience is people who want to read about how to make better content. If you can’t think of a target audience, don’t write it.
2. Content needs to be focused on your audience needs. An occasional press release or update on your business is great, but if it’s most of your content, it’s only going to appeal to people who already care about your business and the point of content marketing is to get other people to care.
3. Avoid advertising your company in the article. People don’t want to feel like they’re reading an elaborate advertisement. They want to feel like they’re reading an interesting article. If they like it, they’ll come back and possibly check out your business.
4. It needs to be unique. How do you make something unique when hundreds of other bloggers are writing about the same thing? Specific examples, your own personal writing style, your unique perspective on the topic- these are all things that can make your article stand out among others.
5. It needs to be written in an engaging fashion. Here’s a shocker: people will chose something of equal content value that is fun to read over something that is boring. If you don’t have a good writer on your team, do the best with what you have.
6. Articles need to be long enough to have substance. Maybe with the ever decreasing attention span Westerners have, it doesn’t matter, but this guy has some statistics to support 4000+ word articles.
An article that just barely skims the surface of its point and is about 150 words long might be worth skimming over, but it’s not going to win over a reader fan base. In 5th grade, my writing assignments were 150 words. Trust me, you can write more than a 5th grader. 500-800 words is a good length for a short blog.
7. It should go without saying, but your articles need to have good mechanics. Shun text speak, follow a consistent style guide, and proofread for spelling and grammar errors. You wouldn’t show up to an important business meeting in an old hoodie and tattered jeans, because it’d make your business look unprofessional. People will get an equally bad impression of your business if your content is in bad need of editing. Think of writing mechanics as the professional attire of blogging.
All that being said, there’s no guarantee visitors will flock to your blog if you have decent content, but it’s a start. Once you have the content, there’s other factors to consider such as as mobile friendliness, social media, and content market planning. Here’s two articles on those:
Check us out on Facebook!