Ahhhh, the content monster. Some call it the Google beast. It requires you to pump out good content over and over again if you want to “get found” online.
But what’s “good” content? Well, for starters it’s:
- Unique and/or original
- Read worthy
- Well written
Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. Statistics from Blogging.org show that while 60% of businesses have a blog, only 35% blog activily, and 65% haven’t updated their blog in over a year.
My guess is that their content was yawn-worthy. That their readers weren’t commenting, sharing, and engaging, so they shut down their efforts due to lack of return on investment.
So, let’s talk about that! Today we’ll tackle:
- Common mistakes that make content yawn-worthy
- Steps you can take to ensure your content is awesome sauce
- Tools that help users engage with your content
4 Reasons Your Content Is Yawn-Worthy
- You don’t offer enough ‘oomph’. This can manifest in many ways. Maybe your posts aren’t long enough. Perhaps they don’t offer up any new advice. One thing I see constantly are posts not offering anything of value. While storytelling can be great, it doesn’t mean much to me if I can’t walk away with something actionable. You’ll need more than a few 500-word posts to feed the beast and provide enough “goodies” for your readers to keep coming back.
- You don’t understand boundaries. Another name for this one is the me, Me, ME sharer. They don’t have a real grasp on what’s TMI (too much information) because they only care about talking about themselves/their business. What ends up happening is that the majority of their content is irrelevant to their target audiences – because let’s face it, if we take the time to read something we’re always asking, “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME.” If you aren’t teaching, educating, and doing it with OOMPH (see #1), then you probably don’t have good boundaries set.
- You don’t follow a set schedule. You make a plan to blog weekly, but then there’s that trade show, and vacation, and little FiFi the dog needs to get to the groomer … so you skip a week. Or two. Or you’ll just blog when you feel like it. Consistency is key if you want to keep the content monster happy, and your loyal readers will also come to appreciate it. If your site isn’t regularly updated, you’re probably seen as uninteresting or yawn-worthy.
- You don’t know what your audience deems valuable. If you’re giving away tips, tricks, and downloads to help your audience – GREAT! But what if they aren’t clicking and downloading? Chances are they don’t see the value in those items that you do. If you want to feed the beast and your readers, you’ll need to know exactly what kind of “content bait” they’re looking for.
4 Fixes For Yawn-Worthy Content
- To add more oomph, answer this question: “What do we do that NO ONE else can do/do better?” That’s your OOMPH! Once you have the answer to that question, brainstorm how you can share this oomph with the world. And don’t be afraid to “give too much away” or overshare. When it comes to giving away all of these jaw-dropping tips, it won’t matter if some would-be customers take it and do it themselves, or if the competition takes it and uses it. What matters is that you’re differentiating yourself for the people who want to hire an expert who can set themselves apart …. YOU.
- Set boundaries. Someone I know got the terrible news that their family member had cancer. They wrote a business blog post about it and then ran a Facebook ad linking to the blog post. In my opinion, that’s a prime example of not knowing your boundaries. While the story was heartfelt, it didn’t do much to add relevancy to the company’s mission. This was probably a distraction to some readers, and may have even driven others away. So while you want to humanize your brand, you want to remain professional. Your best bet is to come up with your content pillars — or list of business topics — and stick to them.
- Trust me, I get it, life gets in the way! But consistency is key. Create content and publishing schedules to keep you on track. Pick a publish date and a due date – and MAKE IT HAPPEN. And if you can’t? Then hire a reputable company to help you create content that’s original, valuable, well-written, and delivered on time (hint, hint, wink, wink)!
- Find out what your audience wants (and then give it to them). You can find out what your audience wants in numerous ways: Ask, conduct a survey, create segmented lists, run a nurture campaign … but whatever you do, be sure you’re investing time in finding out exactly what they before before you spend time and money giving them something they couldn’t care less about. That, as we all know, is totally yawn worthy.
Tools For Engagement
There are tools that can help you with getting better engagement on your posts. Here are a few recommendations:
- Get a social share bar – your users can’t share your content without it!
- Make sure you have a commenting system for feedback and two-way conversation.
- Visuals are just as important as text, and there are tons of tools to help you be more visual (my personal favorite being Canva).
- There are other sharing tools, too, like clicktotweet and Pay With A Tweet – two sites that encourage the sharing of your text and/or content.
Is feeding the content monster easy? Even with the tools above? No.
But if business blogs really start putting their audience first, I bet we could lower that 65% pretty quickly.
What guidelines or tools do you use to ensure your content isn’t yawn-worthy? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
See you in the social sphere!