5 Reasons Your Blog Posts Aren’t Getting The Attention They Deserve
Raise your hand if this sounds familiar:
You’ve just finished writing a blog post that took you hours to put together. You researched, fact-checked, and edited it till your eyes crossed. It’s finally complete and you can’t wait to publish it!
This post is going to be epic. It’s going to get you traffic, comments, social shares and even the attention of bigger bloggers in your niche. It’s finally going to get the ball rolling towards blogging success.
You can feel it in your bones.
So you publish it and wait for all your hard work to pay off.
Two hours later, you’re still waiting.
12 hours later, you’re wondering if your blog is down.
24 hours later, you finally accept defeat.
All your hard work has gone down the drain. You were so sure this post would get the attention it deserves. After all, isn’t writing epic content the secret to blogging success?
Unfortunately, it’s not.
With so much content out there, it’s hard for bloggers to get noticed. They slog under the misconception that if they produce exceptional content, they’ll get the attention they deserve.
The truth is, it isn’t about the quality of your content. Sure, good writing plays a role in the success of a blog post – but it’s only one factor out of many contributing ones. And it’s not the most important one at that either.
Below are five reasons your blog posts aren’t performing as well as you think they should.
1. A Lackluster Opening
You’d think writing an attention grabbing headline would be enough. It’s not. It’s just the first step in seducing people to read your content.
No matter how good your headline is, if your opening isn’t strong, you’ll lose readers.
So instead of starting with a bland sentence that even an amateur can tell is an introduction, start with a bang.
The best way to do so is by telling a story or involving the reader in a scenario they relate to.
Consider the opening of Jon Morrow’s Copyblogger post “On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting For Your Ideas”.
Jon starts the post with a bang and pulls the reader in by starting the story from the middle. With only the first sentence, he’s set up a scene and created an emotional connection. By the time you reach the last sentence in the screenshot, you’re dying to find out what the bad news is.
The post received 357 comments and thousands of social shares.
While most of us can’t match up to Jon’s skills as a writer and story teller, we can learn from him. So the next time you’re writing a post, find a hook that’ll interest your reader. It can a be question, a dialogue or a story – anything that’s interesting and off the beaten path.
2. An Uninspiring Closing
An uninspiring closing is one where the reader remains unmoved after they’ve read the post. They don’t feel any emotion and aren’t compelled to take any action.
It’s like leaving your partner in the middle of a dance floor.
If your blog posts usually end with a cookie-cutter question or observation, you’re not going to get any attention. Everyone else is doing them too so what makes you any different?
A successful blog posts closing is strong and inspiring. It doesn’t ask you a generic question or invites you to share your thoughts. Instead, it compels you to take action. It revs you up and makes you go “yeah!”
I’m using another Jon Morrow post (20 Ways to Be Just another Mediocre Blogger Nobody Gives a Crap About) as an example below but it can’t be helped. The man’s a genius and it always pays to learn from the best.
Now tell me if that ending doesn’t give you hope or renew your passion for blogging.
3. Generic Images
Gone are the days when using a good stock image was enough to grab attention. Yes, using good images is still a good idea but it is no longer enough.
You need to tailor them to compliment your content. Thanks to the heavy focus on images on Pinterest and Google Plus, images with text on them perform better than images without.
Take the example of a health and beauty blog called You Put It On. Heather always has an image tailored specifically for her blog posts and the response she receives has been phenomenal.
The image from her post “5 Tutorials to Make The Most of Your Naked Palette” has been shared on Pinterest more than 98,000 times. That’s crazy!
PicMonkey is a great online tool for editing photos. You can even do it in PowerPoint. It takes less than five minutes.
4. Distracting Below-Post Content
Most blogs display related posts or a generic newsletter signup form below their posts which perform poorly at best and distract readers from commenting and sharing at worst.
This section of a post should be used to promote eye-catching offers even if it’s just an invitation to leave a comment.
Take a look at your below post content and remove the clutter. If you have social sharing buttons below your post, remove them. The best place for them is on the side of the post where they are always visible even when you’re scrolling down.
Stick to making one big offer after your post and make it visually appealing. You don’t even need to hire a designer for it. You can make professional call to actions in PowerPoint easily.
5. Uninviting Web Copy
Web copy isn’t just about a blog’s pages. It’s also about the seemingly unimportant lines where you ask readers to take action like leaving a comment, subscribing to your newsletter etc.
Most bloggers use a bland invitation and don’t make it interesting or inviting for their readers. Blogs are inundated with run of the mill copy that states “leave a comment”, or “subscribe to receive free updates”. And those just make me yawn.
Inject a little personality into them. Make them fun and interesting. Transform a plain “leave a comment” into:
“Whatcha waiting for? Chime in!”
“Penny for you thoughts?”
If you’re asking for newsletter subscriptions, try:
“Want to be the first to know when we next publish a post? Sign up!”
“Sign up to get the inside scoop on all things [blog niche]. It’s free!”
The same goes for social media updates, meta descriptions and other places you need to write snippets of web copy.
Melissa Culbertson of Blog Clarity has a great post on how to increase subscribers and followers with call-to-action makeovers.
Making a Success of Your Blog Post
I’m not going to lie to you. Creating a truly remarkable blog post is hard work. And contrary to popular belief, every little aspect counts.
Don’t let a weak opening, closing or lack of an eye catching visual cost you your dream.
What’s another hour spent perfecting your post when you’ve already invested so many? It could be the difference between drowning in obscurity and standing in the limelight.
Now the question is: Are you ready to give it your all?