You’ve just spent a few hours slaving away on a blog, you’ve hit publish and sent out a tweet – now you open Google Analytics, sit back, and wait for the traffic to roll in.
After a couple of hours, there’s nothing. Nada. Something’s definitely wrong.
Maybe you tweeted the wrong link? Nope, it’s right. So where is everyone?
If you’re a business that’s decided to invest in content marketing, it’s crucial that you understand that there’s a lot more to it than simply putting words to a page. Investing time in blogging for your business is great marketing practice, but only if you get it right. Overlook just a few simple details, and you’ll be investing lots of time and money into something that’s going to return very little. So if you find yourself asking “why is no-one reading my post?”, here’s why.
You’ve not got a strategy
The first thing you should do when undertaking any marketing activity is to develop a strategy. Blogging for your business is no different. Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!), create a plan which addresses the following things.
- Purpose – what do you want your blog to achieve? What should each blog post do?
- Targets – who are you aiming to have as your audience?
- Topics – what things are this audience interested in? What specialist knowledge do you have that they need?
- Distribution – where will the blog be posted?
- Frequency – How often will you realistically post?
It’s not searchable
Blogging for your business can be a really powerful in-bound marketing tool in particular because of its link to search. Think about how often you search for a solution for a problem you’re having and find the answer in a blog. The great thing about this is that good blogs continue to generate traffic over long periods of time because they will continue to be found well after they’ve been posted – not just when you share the post online.
Writing creative, witty, or helpful content is only useful to your business if people actually get to see it. when you’re planning your next blog, think of a problem that your audience might be having (say, for example, no-one is reading their blog 😉 ), and think about what they might search to find a solution to that problem. Write your content around this. For more tips on how to create content that is key to SEO, check out this blog.
You’re not social enough
You probably know this already, but social media is key to getting your content out there. However, you’ve got to make sure that you’re taking the right approach to sharing on social.
Are you sharing at the right times? Are you sharing in the right places? Are you sharing enough? Are you re-sharing when your content is relevant?
Think about the times of day you post a new blog. Do you post it on 4pm on a Friday after you’ve just finished writing it, or is Wednesday lunch time, when people want a mid-week distraction, more appropriate? If you’re only sharing your post once or twice, how do you know the right people will be online then? Don’t be afraid to re-share your blog multiple times to increase the chances of it being seen. When something happens in the news that’s relevant to your industry, why not dig out an old blog and re post it, adding a little new commentary to tie it into the latest developments?
It’s just not shareable
Speaking of social, you might have heard people talking about ‘shareable content’. Around 85% of content that is shared is done so through dark social such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. In other words, it’s difficult for businesses to measure the data from these shares. However, what it does tell us is that consumers want content that they can show their friends and connections.
Think about what ‘shareable’ means for your industry and how you can capitalise on that. Does it mean your content has to be:
- Funny and entertaining?
- Helpful and practical?
- Informative or eye-opening?
- Opinionated or emotive?
- Aesthetic or pleasing?
- Or something totally different?
It’s about your services, instead of being of service
We’ve already touched on this both above and when we discussed search optimisation, but content that helps someone achieve something is far more valuable than telling them what you could achieve for them. When you’re blogging for your business, offering advice and tips is a great way to build up trust and a relationship, which eventually should lead to them checking out your services or products. If a reader knows very little about you and your motivations, they couldn’t care less about what you want to sell them. Knowing what your audience wants is crucial to creating great content, and your audience doesn’t want to be sold to all the time. So do everyone a favour and don’t blog about yourself, please.
Have you blogged about this topic before? Has everyone blogged about this topic before? If so, chances are your audience is sick of hearing about it, or they’ll go to someone with more authority to hear about it.
When you’re blogging for your business, think about how you can put your own unique stamp on a topic. Is there an interesting or unusual point of view you can take? Can you change up the medium, for example using video or visuals, to make it different to everyone else?
When you start blogging for your business, you’re undertaking a task that’s seemingly straightforward, even when you take into account the above points. However, it takes a lot of focus to ensure that the content you’re creating is the best it can be, both for your business and your audience.