It’s the same old story. The management dumps the blogging on one of the staff to get the social media channels moving. This is meant to increase website traffic, generate leads through newsletter subscriptions and ultimately drive sales.
Content marketing sounds promising and somehow everyone wants their piece of the cake. Yet, despite all that interesting content, nobody wants to actually read your blog. And that’s after all the hard work and valuable time you invested in content production. Before you throw in the towel due to the lack of success, it’s worthwhile taking a closer look at the blog:
1. Does your blog cover a unique subject?
Unless you were lucky enough to storm in with your blog in the nascent stages of an industry, it can be pretty tough to find your niche. If there are already countless blogs on your product or service, it is even more important to examine the competition and the focus of their content.
Instead of floating around like a nobody in the huge pool of blogs, dive into the subject and find a sub-category in which you are unique and stand out. If you offer angling holidays, for instance, you’d do well to focus your blog on the sub-category “adventure fishing”. There are far fewer articles on “10 things you must take on your Amazonian fishing trip” than on “the 5 best baits to lure trouts”.
2. Does your content have an opinion?
In times when everyone thinks they have something to say on every subject, the reader will only give your article a few seconds to prove it adds value. Nobody wants to read the same old generic content a dozen times over. The reader wants fresh ideas and unusual perspectives.
This is why taking a closer look at your competitors or other bloggers is time well spent. What has already been written on this subject? What can your post contribute to this conversation? It is your own individual insights and experiences that will make your article stand out.
3. Does the content really reflect your own personal opinion?
Don’t be afraid to cause a bit of a stir. Just ask yourself: Do you just want to go with the flow or do you want to stand up for what you believe? Create a distinctive image. Bringing up the odd controversial subject or voicing a slightly different opinion can make all the difference.
As the saying goes: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Don’t you think it’s better to be admired by a small circle of followers and to interact with them than to merely exist? Your potential target group needs a voice to have a (positive) opinion on your brand, blog and content.
4. Do you know what the visitors to your blog are looking for?
No content strategy can survive without analytics these days. Page views or the average time spent on the individual pages are important indicators. But you can go further and explore the motives of your blog visitors. People are driven by a diverse range of needs, and yet they all arrive at a blog with a certain attitude of expectation; some simply want a bit of entertainment, while others really need some useful information. Which articles are shared by whom and where? What comments have they added to these shares? Maybe some questions on the article are raised outside of the blog and they appear in social networks or forums – pick up on these and use them to develop new, interesting posts. It pays to listen!
5. Does it make sense to continue with your content plan?
The best thing about content marketing is the flexibility you can apply to your work. Continuous monitoring allows you to learn a lot about your potential customers and your blog visitors. If you have produced content for half a year without witnessing a rise in traffic or sales, you will need to re-think your content strategy.
Don’t let that frustrate you. Changing your strategy simply means that you can gain experiences with your target group and recognise their needs. In these circumstances, adjusting your content production or the blog concept is a necessary step, but it should not be seen as a failure. Sometimes all you need to do is change the bait and cast your line the other way.
Did you find some useful tips? Are you facing other challenges and need a different perspective? We are happy to help.
Author: Ben Harmanus