10 Reasons Your Blog Is Boring!

Despite all the help I give people online, I’ve largely ignored my own online profile. It something that bugs me a bit and I’ve vowed to change (more than once). On a recent attempt to beef up my blog I took a look at my existing posts that I had done in a batch and uploaded and asked myself… “Would I want to read this?” The answer… “No.” Why? I put in time and energy writing the articles. I really invested in the creation of my content and searched my background for stories and anecdotes and yet when I posted them and stood back there wasn’t a headline that jumped out to me saying “You must read me and you can’t leave until you do!” Unfortunately folks that is the standard for running an effective blog. A strong blog makes it almost impossible for their audience to leave without reading the article they landed on — hopefully more. So as I’m prone to do… I started a list of things each blog post should have to help make sure I don’t forget. Since it’s something I’ll likely share with my clients frequently I thought it best to post here.

1. Your Headlines Stink!

Yep. I said it. Your headline is one of the most important parts of your blog post. It doesn’t matter how great your content is, there are others competing for my attention. Just like in advertising the headline of your blog post does the heavy listing. When I looked at my headlines they were largely vague. They didn’t promise anything of real value. Here are some great headline starters… How to (achieve a really great result) Using numbers in the headlines Intregue me with a story

2. Your blog energy goes towards design… not content.

I’m not saying you should have an ugly blog. However, I just find that folks with no traffic spend their time on the site layout, logo, color schemes, fonts, widget outlines, etc… and never write anything good! The ugly blog with 1 great article is worth 10x the pretty blog that says nothing. People connect over content! It needs to be the priority. There are clean, well-formatted blog themes that you can download for free! My suggestion is to select a clean layout that spotlights your content and doesn’t distract your readers. It’s the newbies, with no traffic that often obsess over colors and headers and graphics, while ignore that the blog is nothing more than container for your earth-shattering awesome, helpful content.

3. Failure to Use Images

A few years back Google updated their search algorithm to take into account article elements like content formatting and the use of images. You will see that the results in the search engines are often dominated by posts with at least one or more images. It’s rare to see text only posts. Images help reinforce your points and make your posts more interested. They also help to spice up your indexes with a featured image. So as you work to make your blog better… save images. Have a folder on your computer and keep images that will work for different posts. When you author a post, be thinking of what image might work best. Don’t be afraid to spend a few bucks on the right image especially if your blog is to help generate professional interest! Avoid tacky stock images that look generic. The image doesn’t always have to match the subject matter. You could take a beautiful photo that just compliments the feel of your post.

4. You Give Away the Answer in Your Headline

Have you ever read a headline that asked and answered the question, thus completely eliminating your need to read the article? Here are some examples:

5. Stale / Safe Approaches to Headlines

I hear it all the time… “My audience doesn’t respond to marketing.” It’s common for us all to believe the people from our particular industry or field are too sophisticated to be intrigued or interested in well structured appeals or weaving personality into your content. Be edgy. People are looking for information, but there’s nothing that says you can’t make learning fun and entertaining. Think about when you were in school. Didn’t you always like the classes better where the professor or teacher was entertaining? Didn’t you learn more by virtue of being engaged? Build interest. Talk naturally. Make it fun!

6. Offer Value

People are typically searching the internet to learn something that will help them in their lives. To the degree you can distill down your information effectively and arm them to achieve a specific benefit your content value will go up! So ask yourself. If someone reads your content… what value will this provide? What questions did I answer that will help them to save time or make money or be happier in their lives or feel better?

7. Add Interviews with Interesting People / Experts in Your Area of Interest

Some people are better talkers than writers (I include myself in this group of people) so when I’m acting smart I actually seek folks that I can interview to get a natural discussion going in my audiences area of interest! People love interviews. It provides real, quality content and the stories, examples to duel perspectives achieved through a solid interview creates very compelling content. A great idea is to record your interview using Skype and then let people download it or stream it on your site. You can also turn it into a video and upload it to Skype or Vimeo. You can also send your video out to be transcribed and get a great body of content for google.

8. Include a Bio and Picture “Above the Fold”

People respect content that has been created by actual people. By showing your face and a even a little blurb about you, your content becomes more interesting. Further, if they read your content and something clicks they will attach this / credit this to you! You want to connect with your content. It shows you have pride in what you created and stand behind your work.

9. Texturize Your Content

People hate reading huge blobs of uninterrupted content. Large blocks of content scares people so here are some keys to “texturizing” your copy and make it more compelling to your readers.
  • use bullets and numbers
  • break up articles with the use of subheads
  • bold words for impact
  • keep paragraphs short (don’t go over three lines)
All those elements help improve readability and make your content easier to consume and digest. People will look at it and say “that looks easy to read.” They may even skim it first and since you’ve provided sub headers they will grasp the content and then circle back to consume the article in more detail. 10. Give Your Post a Purpose Tell how. Explain how! Teach!

Bonus Tip #11 Get Personal

Let me tell you something about me that’s a little personal. Did you notice, how you just reconnected a bit? Its as if your radar said… wait a minute this guys going to tell me something. What’s he going to say? Well, I did this to illustrate a point, but to deliver on my promise I’ll share that I’m a lefty, (heck I’ll over deliver) my nickname in High School was “Lex.” Too often content is being scrubbed of personality and thus becoming so generic that readers don’t bond to the content or the writer. If you are trying to build an audience try to be a bit unique. Share personal anecdotes. Insert humor occiasionally. Share a story. This will help them to get to know you through your content and hopefully like you. There are likely others sharing content similar to yours, but people like finding someone to follow they like! So your brand of teaching and sharing plays a huge role. Don’t sterilize your writing so much that it appears text-bookish and dull.]]>

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