You can’t expect every piece of content you create online to be a hit. It takes a while before you recognise the patterns in your writing that have become successful with your readers, that you can use to replicate that success. Ultimately, there’s always going to be peaks and troughs in your traffic over time, as you experiment with what your readers want, but as with any skill, the more you write, the more you recognise what demands people have, and what knowledge they find useful.
That said, there are things you can do to make sure that people don’t ignore it when they see it first time around. So without further ado, here are the most common reasons people don’t like your content.
1) They haven’t seen it.
That’s right, if you don’t get it under the noses of the people that matter, you don’t really stand a chance of them liking it in the first place. Promotion is as important, if not more important than the piece itself, and increasingly is becoming the new link building. What strategies can you employ for promotion of your content?
2) It’s boring
If your subject matter isn’t entertaining, or applicable to your audience – you are dead in the water before you even get started. Ask yourself whether people will find your content exciting, entertaining, or informative to put you on a good footing from the get-go.
3) It’s not universal enough
When people share, typically they are in agreement with your concepts, or aligning themselves closely to your content. It’s important therefore that your content remains universal and has mass market appeal in order to maximise that others will share and link to it. (This is especially true when you are building an audience – remember unless you niche, it’s going to be harder to get people to share).
4) You haven’t made it easily consumable
Little nuggets of information at a time makes for a happy web browser. Breaking up your message with headlines and / or pictures keeps a visitor more engaged with your content- and brings them along for the journey.
5) There’s no passion
Above all, write your content about something you love. You can’t expect people to swallow something you aren’t 110% passionate about.
6) It’s samey
There’s far too much competition for readership out there on the web for your content to be the same as everyone else’s, especially when you are trying to establish yourself. Stand out from the crowd by really thinking about the core concepts around your content, and present alternate viewpoints and ideas. Try your best not to repeat yourself, as your already established readership won’t reward you for it.
7) There’s no meat on the bones
The web demands a certain level of quality, and sometimes that means really putting the effort in. Loads of my posts here that have seen significant traction have taken more than a couple of days to create. The hard work is often in researching your subject area, and referencing other resources around the web. Your readers demand it.
Take your time, and really flesh out your thoughts and ideas.
8) It’s filler. Not killer
For blogs which are starting out – content which is news, unless it is breaking typically won’t generate that much of a response.
To add to that problem, breaking news is hard.
In many cases you are competing against other more established sites who are likely going to republish it to their bigger audience and thus receive more traction. Not much you can do about that, but do make sure that your content isn’t just the same news that your visitors can potentially get elsewhere – and quicker than you deliver it.
9) You are missing a ‘hook’
Not sure what angle to run on a particular story or piece of content. Take a read at this from Todd Malicoat. He describes some of the component parts of a successful piece of content. I created something along the same lines of what I’ve learned about viral content here. Applying these sort of techniques during your content creation will increase the likelihood that people will share with others, and ultimately bring you a decent supply of traffic over time.
10) You forgot the spice. (and all things nice)
Every blog post you create should have a decent image -don’t launch a piece of linkbait without it. Visitors respond to visuals, and are engaged first by what they can see at a glance, and unfortunately plain text (unless it has a excellent headline) simply doesn’t cut the mustard. Using multimedia to enhance your content not only engages the reader, but helps to make it more enticing to share with others.
Creating content that works in driving traffic can be challenging, and is more an art than science. That said, with perseverance, and some of the above tips, you should be well on your way to more successful posts.