Are you giving your readers what they want or want you want them to have?

by Robb Sutton

This is one the most common mistakes among aspiring bloggers. As you continually pump out content and free ebooks, you have to look at this content and ask yourself one simple question that most bloggers never even bother to ask themselves as their blogs continue to lose traction and not gain the readership they had planned in their head.

Are you giving your readers what they want or want you want them to have?

There you are…spending your hard earned time and effort pouring your heart and soul into your blog. You are confident that what you are putting forth is amazing content that will be absorbed like water in a Sham-Wow (beware of imitators!), but comments are low…subscriptions are low…no one is signing up to receive your new and amazing eBook…what is going on? Your stats are showing that people are visiting your blog, but nothing is happening! Instead of taking a look at several factors on your blog that might be leading to this low converting result, you continue to push, shove and force this content on a potential reader with the same result. During your frustration, you become even more adiment and push harder. Eventually, you are left with a lot of work and readers telling you to “talk to the hand” because they are not picking up what you are putting down.

You don’t understand why. If they would only trust you and convert…they would see the genius behind your work! I just have to make them understand!

You Are Not Going To “Make” Readers Understand

When it comes to blogging and blog content, you are not going to make readers love your content. They are going to visit your site and within the first minute of browsing your content, they are going to make the decision to read or move on. The more you try to force feed your content down the throats of potential blog subscribers or stick with methods that are not working, the more disappointment you are going to find as you keep doing the same actions expecting different results.

There are several factors that you need to look at when you are creating content to test whether your content is working for you or you are working hard at producing results that equal nothing.

How To Tell If Your Content Is Not Working

So how can we tell if the content we are slaving over is not working for our readers and our blog?

  1. Comments – Are there any comments left on your posts? If you are getting a decent amount of traffic and there is zero interaction, you need to either look at your content or how you structure your articles. Blogging is an interaction with your readers and if they are not interacting with your content, you will see little results over time.
  2. Bounce Rate and Average Page Views – Hopefully you are using Google Analytics to track the how, when, where, why’s of your blog visitors. Historically, blogs tend to have higher bounce rates than most other internet sites because of the viral nature of the content, but if your average page views are very low and your bounce rate is very high…you need to look at why your readers are jumping off your site so quickly. What pages are they landing on and why are they leaving those pages or posts? Do you need to edit, reformat those posts to insure they are more “sticky”? How long are visitors hanging out on your little slice of the web? If this is a small amount of time, what can you do to keep them on a convert them into regular readers? By analyzing your site stats (try to watch trends and not just that day), you can see if your content is working.
  3. Emails – If you are not getting a single email through the contact form of your blog, you need to look at your setup. Bloggers that are interacting with their readership through engaging content get flooded with emails. You are either not asking the right questions or not solving the correct problems if you are not getting some form of email contact from readers.
  4. No One Is Signing Up – You have a great landing page…great cover design…but no one is signing up for your newsletter! Why aren’t they signing up? They are not signing up because that is not what they want! Seems like a pretty simple correlation but there are a lot of bloggers out there who continually beat their head against a wall hoping…that if they just spend more time on it…people will see the light. If no one is signing up to receive something for free, it is either overdone or not what they want…period.

How To Get Out Of The Force Fed Content Trap

So…you analyzed everything that is going on with your blog and you are finally at the point where you have to make a decision. As with any business…including blogging…you have to know when to abandon an idea and move onto the next. Many times, you can even tweak current ideas by taking a new look at the situation and make them successful, but one thing is for certain…what you are doing now is not working and you can not continue to waste your valuable time on it. It can be disheartening when you pour everything you have into an idea just to watch it fail, but hugely successful entrepreneurs know when to fold and learn from that project to be successful at the next. What you learn from your failures (harsh word…but true) is the driving force behind your successes.

We all wish that the first idea that hit our heads will be the golden ticket to success. Unfortunately, that is almost never true and we are going to have a lot of ideas that do not pan out. The trick to success is knowing when to fold your hand and start with something fresh and new. As much as you want everyone to have that great idea, content or ebook, if that is not what the market wants…you are just going to continue to loath in failure.

As you look at your metrics, are you giving your blog readers what they want or are you driving forward with an idea that isn’t working just because it your idea?

Talk to the Hand Image by mattfoster

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