Your Blog Posts Are Boring:8 Killer Tactics to Get More People to Read Your Content
If you’re a boring writer, you’ve got a tough road ahead. I hate to break it to you, but in today’s content-saturated world, people don’t have time to spend on content they don’t enjoy reading.
Thankfully, there are some powerful antidotes to boring content. In this article, I’m dishing up some of my favorite.
After you read this article, go write one of your own. If you follow these tips, your article will be at least 747% more interesting.
That percentage was totally made up. But still, this stuff works.
1.Share More Than Once
This first tip comes from Garrett Moon, who suggests in a post on KISSmetrics that companies aren’t sharing their blog content nearly as much as they ought to. Many of us have the mentality of “share once and forget”. We publish something on our blog and distribute it across all our social media channels once. But what about all those people who missed that initial communication?
A much better solution is to share each blog post multiple times, depending on the platform, in a timely fashion. For example, you might tweet, Facebook share and Google+ you article as soon as you hit publish. Then a day later you might want to tweet it again. Perhaps the following week it’s time for another Google+ share, and so on.
2.Get Influencers to Write for You
This is an excellent tactic from Matthew Barby. If you really want to grow your audience, the key is to get influencers to write for you. This means reaching out to the bloggers in your niche with the largest social followings and the ability to write consistently excellent stuff, asking them to become contributors.
By getting these guys and girls involved, you’ll not only be getting exceptional content for your blog (content that will hopefully earn you links and shares); you’ll also be getting access to a powerful distribution channel in the form of the influencer’s social network.
Of course, unless your blog is super prestigious you will probably need to pay these bloggers to write for you, and you should definitely specify as part of the arrangement that they share the posts on social media. That being said, I think this option makes so much more sense than hiring a “general purpose” content creator.
As well as payment, you could also offer bloggers the following perks:
- Offer to share content on their own site (but only if you have a large social following)
- A link back to their website from every post they write for you
- Give them free use of your products or services
Working with influencers is a fantastic way to improve blog readership. A nice bonus is that often these guys write for other big media sites as well, so they may be able to link to something they have written for your blog from a third party site in the future.
3.Repurpose Your Content
In the Hummingbird era, I’m a firm believer in writing fewer longer posts rather than frequent shorter ones. I definitely think this is a better use of one’s time (in terms of getting links, traffic and shares) than blogging daily and simply regurgitating in 600 words what’s already out there.
In the SEO industry, for example, stand out content tends to involve case studies, new experiments, research and opinion pieces (take a look at what I’ve been linking to in this article). But how do you generate traffic while you’re researching your next big piece?
The answer is to repurpose your existing content by transforming blog posts into other content formats. Each of these new pieces could then be uploaded to its own separate channel, where it would be seen by a new audience and help to generate more traffic. For example, you could turn a blog post into:
- a podcast: record yourself reading your post aloud and upload to iTunes
- a screencast: record yourself doing something on-screen, add a voiceover and upload to YouTube
- a slide presentation: create a slide show out of your post and upload to SlideShare
- a ebook: turn a series of posts into an ebook, which is available to download as a PDF for a tweet
This is just scratching the surface. There are many other ways to re-skin your content and you will also find a host of niche-specific content formats. For example, in the travel space Jauntful helps users to create their own personalised maps containing their favourite things to do in an area and can be uploaded to its own dedicated platform.
It makes perfect sense to want to repurpose your content after all the effort you’ve put into creating it in the first place. Just remember to always add value by making each piece more digestible and easier to understand than its predecessor.
4.Install Analytics and Pay Attention to the Results
At the very least, I’d recommend most bloggers install Google Analytics (which is free), and watch to see where visits originate, which sources drive quality traffic and what others might be saying about you and your content when they link over.
5.Add Graphics, Photos and Illustrations (with link-back licensing)
If you’re someone who can produce graphics, take photos, illustrate or even just create funny doodles in MS Paint, you should leverage that talent on your blog. By uploading and hosting images (or using a third-party service like Flickr or Niice to embed your images with licensing requirements on that site), you create another traffic source for yourself via Image Search, and often massively improve the engagement and enjoyment of your visitors.
6.Conduct Keyword Research While Writing Your Posts
Not surprisingly, a big part of showing up in search engines is targeting the terms and phrases your audience are actually typing into a search engine. It’s hard to know what these words will be unless you do some research, and luckily, there’s a free tool from Google to help called the AdWords Keyword Planner.
Type some words at the top, hit search and AdWords will show you phrases that match the intent and/or terms you’ve employed.
7.Participate in Social Sharing Communities Like Reddit + StumbleUpon
The major social networking sites aren’t alone in their power to send traffic to a blog. Social community sites like Reddit (which now receives more than 2 billion! with a “B”! views each month), StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr, Care2 (for nonprofits and causes), GoodReads (books), Ravelry (knitting), Newsvine (news/politics) and many, many more (Wikipedia maintains a decent, though not comprehensive list here).
Each of these sites have different rules, formats and ways of participating and sharing content. As with participation in blog or forum communities described above in tactic #2, you need to add value to these communities to see value back. Simply drive-by spamming or leaving your link won’t get you very far, and could even cause a backlash. Instead, learn the ropes, engage authentically and you’ll find that fans, links and traffic can develop.
These communities are also excellent sources of inspiration for posts on your blog. By observing what performs well and earns recognition, you can tailor your content to meet those guidelines and reap the rewards in visits and awareness. My top recommendation for most bloggers is to at least check whether there’s an appropriate subreddit in which you should be participating. Subreddits and their search function can help with that.
I’m consistently surprised and shocked how many Business owners don’t have a marketing plan, let alone a digital marketing plan. Social media and the other strategies discussed here are all very real ways to get results and increase sales. Unfortunately, if you are failing to plan, you’re really just planning to fail.
If all of this seems a little overwhelming, let us know, we’re here to help. We’ll work through a strategy for you in a complimentary 15-minute strategy session. You’ll come out of it knowing exactly what you need to do, to grow your sales in your business.
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