If You Think Your Blog Is Boring, You Might Be Mistaken
You are in no position to judge whether your blog is boring or not. Now, you could use data to make your case, and then I’d be in complete agreement, but that’s not what happens most of the time. Most of the time, businesses think that because they’re writing about the same topics over and over again, their readers find their blog boring. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m actually just as bad as some of the businesses we talk to about this – I think this inbound marketing blog is boring. After all, I write about the same stuff day in and day out. The fact is the blog isn’t boring – sometimes I get bored writing about similar topics, but that's a very different issue.
I know the readers aren’t bored because yesterday we had over 300 views of the blog article we republished from back in May of 2012. Typically, we get over 100 views a day, and month over month, the views are up about 15%. I also keep an eye on the subscriber numbers; as long as those continue to go up every day, that is another indication that people are NOT bored.
There’s also anecdotal data. People often tell me the blog has never been better, which certainly makes me feel good – but this is more about science than about how I feel. So, putting the comments aside and focusing on the numbers, let’s see if your readers are bored or if you're just bored writing about the same topics.
Is your blog boring or are you bored?
The Blog’s Not Really For You
I tell clients all the time: We’re not really marketing to you, nor are we creating content for you. You don’t fit the customer persona we created for your company, so keep that in mind as we review designs and content that were developed to appeal to a completely different type of person.
The blog isn’t for you; it’s for your prospects. Your prospects have much less experience than you do, they’re more distracted by other marketing, they don’t read your blog every day and they’re probably coming back over time to look for interesting information.
What seems basic to you might be perfect for your prospects, because they have less knowledge and expertise than you or anyone on your team. What seems not technical enough might be perfect for your readers, because, again, they don’t know what you know about your products or services.
Using blogging best practices means keeping the reader's or subscriber’s persona in mind as you create your content. Don’t worry about oversimplification or repetition, because most people need to see something seven times before it sinks in.
Check Out The Data
Personal opinions mean less today than ever. Even the CEO’s opinion can be challenged with data. Are people reading or viewing the blog? Are people sharing the articles? Are people continuing to subscribe to the blog? Are people commenting? Comments are less indicative of engagement than they used to be, but they still provide solid data on topical interest. Are people linking to your blog? This is one of the most important indicators. If people link to it, they find it valuable – and those links help you increase your Google rankings.
Look For Trends
Your blog is one element of a bigger content marketing strategy. Blog data shows you trends. Make sure you’re looking at this data as frequently as you blog – if you blog weekly, review the data weekly, and if you blog daily, do it daily.
Blog data is a great basis for deciding what long-form content you want to create. Don’t do an e-book just because you think it’s going to do well. Do an e-book because the blog articles related to your proposed e-book topic are your most highly viewed, shared and linked-to articles.
As you’re creating your 30-day blog editorial calendar, look for the most visited and viewed articles and work on similar topics. Your readers have voted, and they want more. Make sure you give them what they want.
Consider Search Engine Optimization, Too
The data from your readers is important, but so is the data from Google. Blog articles should be written with search strategy in mind. What keywords do you want to rank for on search engines? What keyword phrases? What questions do you want prospects to find your answers for when they type them in the search box? You have to know this before you start blogging.
Write for humans, yes! But, write for Google, too. Then start looking at the Google data. Are you increasing your rank for your targeted keywords? If you are, then your blogging strategy is on target. If you’re not, then you might have selected keywords that are too difficult to rank for, or you might have to rethink how you use those keywords in your blog.
Set realistic expectations. It’s unlikely that you’ll rank on page one for a keyword that has a difficulty rating of 90 or higher in under 30 days by blogging once or twice a month. In fact, if you blogged every day for six months, you probably still wouldn’t crack the first page for a keyword like that. This is where people who have experience using a blog as an SEO tool can help you. Wasting six months of effort trying to rank for an impossible keyword is shameful. There is a real science to this, and working with people who know that science makes a big difference in the results you can expect.
Start Today Tip – Since we all agree that your opinion about your blog is less valuable, your tip for today is to get into the data. Find out what your top-performing blog article of all time is. Which has the most views, the most back links and the most shares? Use that data to craft your upcoming blog editorial calendar – whether or not you think those topics are boring, your readers clearly love them. Stay focused on your audience, and stay focused on attainable keyword rankings, and you’ll quickly see organic visitors to your site moving up and to the right – with leads following right behind.
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