Like many people, I’ve lost a lot of work during the last couple of months due to coronavirus (my downturn started earlier than most because I have clients all over the world). Yet rather than bringing it all to a grinding halt, some businesses are using the opportunity to push out more content knowing their customers are at home, and rethinking how they reach out.
Pandemic or not, the one question common to most industries is “why aren’t my customers reading my blog?” There is no simple answer, but when I look at businesses doing their own blogging, their errors tend to be one of the following three mistakes.
You’re Singing That Song By McFly
If I asked you to name McFly’s most famous song, what comes to mind? If It’s All About You, take a moment for the penny to drop. The blog is all about you, how great you are, how brilliant your sales figures are, your personal achievements. I’ve seen some website content list the academic achievements and financial sales targets hit of the business’ founder’s past employment.
Customers do not care about this. They care whether your product or service is useful for them and why it is better than your top competitors.
It’s Unprofessionally Planned, Written, and Formatted
Typos are forgivable, but consistent poor spelling and grammar will make you look unprofessional with a sloppy attention to detail. If you can’t get basic language communication right, that will reflect badly on what you are trying to get customers to pay for you to do for them. If you don’t want to hire a freelance writer like me to do it for you, you could benefit from hiring a proofreader or editor, or using the many tools available to help improve your language communication.
You’re Not Promoting Enough
There was a time when a blog post won and lost under the power of its own usefulness, and SEO of course. But that is no longer the case. You can’t rely on a post going viral. This happens so rarely now that no matter how well it’s written, how useful it is, there remains every chance it will sink into the black hole of thousands of other blog posts along with it. You need a multichannel approach and that means drawing attention to it on social media. Consistency is key too; don’t just post on social media on the day you create and upload the article. Your audience’s attention is being pulled in many directions at once. Constant (though not too constant) social media reminders will help them remember. This is a long game you need to play.
You’re Not Promoting in the Right Way
No matter how great a post is, if you’re not hitting the right note in how you promote it, it’s going to sink into that black hole. Your blog post should sell the benefits and make an irresistible offer to your readers, and so should the social media summary. Social media can be tricky because you’re often told that 100 different ways is the “correct” way to reach out on social media. There is no correct way to do things, but there is a right approach – and that’s putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would they like to see? If you were a customer and not the business, what caption would entice you to click? Generally, these work best:
- An “elevator pitch”: sum it up in 1-2 sentences. The idea is that you are in an elevator with another person and have mere seconds to sell them something
- A snippet: Lift a quote directly from the post and use that as the social media caption. You may need to alter it slightly for context
- The TL;DR version: Longer than an elevator pitch, a 20-30 word summary of the key points will help the customer understand what they can expect
Don’t forget to start the social media post putting the customer first such as “Did you see…”