It’s a common complaint: You have a business blog, but no one’s reading.
And there could be some really obvious reasons for it.
Maybe your blog’s boring, hard to find, or poorly written.
If that’s the case, you have your work cut out for you.
But maybe the reasons no one reads your blog are a little harder to suss out.
Maybe they’re less obvious.
If that’s the case, I have a few ideas … some possibilities you may want to investigate.
Business Blogging: You’re Too Clever for Your Own Good
Look, I love clever wordplay as much as the next nerd. But what seems clever to you may be nothing more than baffling to your average reader.
While you may be tempted to give every other blog post a super creative headline or artsy (but not terribly compelling) lead with an obscure literary reference that will make you feel like a smarty-pants, remember: You’re business blogging.
Your blog’s purpose isn’t to impress people with your cleverness. It’s to get people to click and read. Later on down the line, you want them to take further action. To read more. To learn more about your company. Eventually, to buy.
If you’re making references in your blog post so enigmatic they leave most of your readers in the dark, no one will click, no one will read, no one will care how clever you are.
You Haven’t Built Relationships
If you ask me, there aren’t many secrets to the success of Spin Sucks. That’s because Gini Dietrich does a pretty bang-up job of telling people, loudly and often, our secrets. How we come up with ideas. How we failed in the beginning. How we plan our content marketing.
And one of the absolute keys to that success has been building relationships and building community.
How do you do that? There are a few ways.
You read other blogs. You comment on them—thoughtfully (at least, on the blogs that still have them—it’s trendy at the moment to ditch comments, but we’re not sold on that strategy). Not just a “great post” comment with a link back to your blog. That is not how relationships are built. Conversation is.
You interact with anyone who comments on your blog.
You network online and off. That means offering people value when you don’t need anything in return. Once you show people you’re all about helping and connecting others, they’ll be more interested in what you have to say.
In order to get more readers, you may need to spend time doing more than just talking about yourself. You may need to spend time building relationships.
You’re Not Distributing Your Content Effectively
I am not going to even attempt to cover the topic of content distribution any better than Gini recently did herself. She lays out exactly how to maximize your business blogging efforts by getting your content out there, from the basics of social sharing, to SEO and discoverability.
This stuff is not to be overlooked.
Just writing something good and “putting it out there” on the web is a waste of your time and resources.
And yes, distributing your content effectively will take work—it will take experimentation to figure out what works for your audience.
You Haven’t Developed a Point-of-View
Here’s the short of the long: You don’t want to be Chris Brogan because Chris Brogan is busy being Chris Brogan. You have to be you.
On the one hand, it’s simple advice. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
But it also means you have to put some work into developing your own niche, your own point-of-view, and your own voice. Don’t think corporate blogs are immune from this advice. You still need to have a perspective.
Business Blogs are Dying
Not just business blogs—all blogs are dying! It’s over!
The skyyyy! It’s falling!
Wait … is that true?
Eh, I don’t really think so.
Well, the Andrew Sullivan thing’s true. But blogging dying altogether? I don’t buy it.
I will say this though: It’s not as easy to have a hit blog as it was back when blogging was fresh and exciting, and the economy was terrible so people had a lot more time on their hands.
But just because it’s not as easy doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. Business blogging has value. Your business content still serves a valuable purpose.
But yes, you will want to get readers in order for it to be effective.
Image via xkcd