You followed the advice – or the content marketing hype – and started producing content? And now you are frustrated because your content does not seem to attract as many readers as you expected?
Apart from expectations of traffic for a new content source often being far too high, there are multiple reasons why not as many people read your content as you would like.
The legend that great content would automatically attract a readership and rise to the top shows more persistence than it should be allowed. With thousands or millions of websites on one topic competing for the attention of their potential audience sitting back and waiting for people to show up should no longer be an option.
In content marketing often the content with the best distribution strategy wins. Even if your content is by far better, even if your content contains so much more value and information: It is doomed to fail if you do not take action and have a well thought out distribution strategy.
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Image Source: Kissmetrics blog
And if you DID distribute it and do have some followers and still did not find any readers, your targeting may simply be off.
2. The headline did not catch my attention
In social media marketing, the headline is crucial. I have seen posts where the headline was so meaningless and boring that I would not even bother to share the article with this headline because I know it is useless.
Image Source: Quicksprout
Crafting a perfect headline is an art – but there are some basics that are easy to understand and consider. And you can easily come up with better headlines that get you more readers by following some simple rules or using types of headlines that have already proven that they work well to attract readers.
3. Without an image, I missed it in Social Media
When I started out on Twitter, it was common practice to simply share content in a tweet as a short text (headline) and a link. Then more and more options to include an image in your tweet came up, and today, I would say: if you do not have an image to share with your content, don’t share it. Without an image, it is not going to get you any readers anyway.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, you name it: The social networks that have the potential to drive readers to your content, they all require you to share images to leverage their full potential.
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4. The Topic was boring – I already read it somewhere else
There is nothing wrong with covering a topic that others already covered. But your take should not be a simple copy of what I already read a million times on other blogs. Of course, there is content to be found on almost any topic we can imagine. But your personal and special view on it could and should be something new.
When you are new to your niche and do not (yet) have a loyal audience, it is even more crucial to provide something people cannot get somewhere else and make your content stand out. Once you have a loyal audience, at least some of them will read what you provide any way – to a certain extent.
5. The Layout was – – uugh
There are still some websites around that look like from last century. And I do not necessarily refer to modern design and color schemes. But websites have matured, and web design has put a lot of focus on user experience.
If I am totally turned off by layout and design, your website needs ages to open, and banners flash into my face that I have to close before I can even see what the content is about – I am gone before I read one word of your content.
6. After clicking on the link you shared, I expected something totally different
Some people try their luck with lying. And that is not going to pay off. Do not try to lure an audience to your content with a promise you are not going to keep. If you raise expectations with your headline or the text in your social media post, you have to deliver in your content.
If you notice a lot of website visitors, but they do not stay to actually consume your content, that is a reliable sign that you are not providing what your audience expects. Make sure you target an audience that is interested in the content you provide. Or both sides will get frustrated in the end.
7. I found your writing hard to follow and stopped reading
When you take the step to the public and try to attract an audience, there will always be the occasional niggler that won’t be satisfied no matter what you do.
However, if you notice a high number of visitors to your content do not stay to read it (watch your analytics), one reason could be that your writing is hard to understand.
When I started to write blog content, my sentences were generally too long. I tried to create beautiful sentences, where I should have focused on easy to understand language and rather shorter sentences.
If you are not sure, if your writing if good, you can use some online tools like Hemmingway app or Grammarly which will give you a warning if your grammar is wrong or your sentence structure too complicated.
Image: Hemingway App
If your targeting in social media is wrong, you may well have a huge following, but these people are not actually interested in the content you provide. It will be very hard for you to turn these untargeted people into readers – and eventually into customers.
You have to closely watch your analytics – especially the analytics your social networks provide. You can find plenty of hints in social analytics on your audience and whether their interests match your target group.
There can be multiple reasons why I did not read your content – and only very few of them have to do with the quality of your content. Success with marketing with content only to a small part depends on the quality of your content. A lot also has to do with other aspects of marketing like audience building, targeting, distribution, persistence, and building trust.
Do not stop thinking once you created your content – and do not forget to analyze your results and optimize wherever you can.