This is a guest post by Kevin Nelson.
Coming up with good content is not always a walk in the park. Moreover, coming up with content that many people like is an uphill task.
You may have been told by everyone who has supposedly visited your blog that your posts are awesome. However, that might be just what you want to hear.
You can be sure your blog is a good read if it tops in search engines.
If your blog has an overwhelming readership, then it has good content.
If it elicits reactions from all quarters, then it’s a good read!
However, if it doesn’t, then plainly speaking, your blog is not that appealing.
No cause for worry, though, as you can always take measures to reinvent your blog and make it the most popular one.
There are some practices that many writers engage in that spell doom for their blogs in as much as content is concerned.
Here are the reasons as to why your content is bad and not getting as much readership as you may want:
You Are A Liar
Yes, you’re a liar and no offence intended. Your content is full of non-truths and dishonest material.
You might be writing about a certain issue of public interest which may attract many visitors to your site, but they quickly rubbish off your sentiments and leave your site in the blink of an eye.
All these may be due to the non-factual, incorrect, malicious and deceptive material that you have posted on your site.
I don’t know what you expect from writing such material, but ultimately you’ll get what you deserve, that is, lack of readership, negative reviews, and less traffic.
Basically speaking, if your idea of writing is copying content from other sites and posting it as your own without any acknowledgments of the source, then what you’re doing is plagiarism.
There are many readers out there who access many sites. Thus, unoriginal work is easily spotted.
You may think that you’re smart now, but you’ll lose in the end as you will create a reputation of a non-authentic writer for yourself. Even search engines like Google are able to identify duplicated content and, in the end, they will give you no points on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Titles are always the first thing that a reader sees when reading your content. If the title is bad, it automatically gives the reader a reflection of the rest of the article.
The thing with titles is that they set a tone for the rest of the article. If your content is being considered bad while you thought what you wrote was interesting, try changing the title to a more captivating one and see for yourself the positive response afterward.
You Are Not In Touch With Your Readers Preferences
Nothing is more impressive in this life than having someone who cares about you and knows what you like or dislike or what makes you happy.
Be it, family or friends, such people have a special place in your heart and you’ll naturally be drawn to them.
In fact, you trust them since they know you in and out. You expect much from them since they know you wholly.
In the same light, as a writer, you have an audience of readers who view you with such expectations. They want you to keep writing what they really like.
In fact, you will be surprised that some readers stay up all night reading and anticipating your articles with so much zeal. Hence, it's upon you to reach out to them and find out the kind of content they love and continue to post such content.
With that, they will be hooked to your blog, and you’ll enjoy loyal readership.
Your writing may be conveying valid points, but your text has been poorly formatted. You write as if you are posting a memo to staff at a ranch.
Instead of writing plain text, incorporate designs such as lists and bullets. Change the text color. Most of the word processors have a variety of designs for you to incorporate. Make use of them. Add a little spice to your text.
Pro Tip: Use the Thrive Content Builder to spice up your content. It has way more features than the default WordPress editor.
The eyes have always been considered to be the door to the mind. And we all know first impressions last.
How you present your work will always have a bearing on how people will perceive it. When you post your work in a poor and dull design, the readers will, by default, label it as a bad.
You should have a user-friendly interface that’s easy to use and navigate.
You could consider also using a white background space. It tends to be more presentable and attractive than others.
Take into special consideration the navigation on the site. Make it easy for one to navigate through it.
In this contemporary time, people are abbreviating everything.
Text messages are now being replaced with short message service (SMS). Newspapers and printed articles are being made smaller in size with short and brief stories.
This is all due to the reducing span of attention of most people with time. Thus, you are not able to capture the attention of a single person for long periods of time.
If you have an article, keep it short and convey your points as quickly as you can. Brevity should be the norm, especially when there’s not much to say.
Using a lot of words to convey small meanings can weigh down a reader.
It may also show inferior writing skills and hence readers will abhor you like a plague.
You Write Irregularly
If you call yourself a writer but you write once in a blue moon, it may be the reason as to why your content sucks.
When you don’t write for a while, you kind of lose touch with the world of writing.
Writing requires consistency and regularity in order to come up with classic pieces.
So, don’t blame anyone but yourself if readers label your content as boring, slacking, and out of touch.
Keep yourself busy with writing if you want to make it in the writing world. For many writers, a rule of thumb is to write at least 1000 words per day.
Poor Reading Culture
Reading also exposes your mind to new styles of writing, new phrases, and also sharpens your vocabulary.
It’s through extensive reading that you’re able to piece stories together. Therefore, make a point of establishing a reading culture that is consistent and most importantly fun so that you enjoy the process while adding value to your writing skills.
You can start by slotting about 15 hours in a week for in-depth reading.
You can form a schedule that states which books you’re going to read and at which times.
At times, your writing might be top notch, with good formatting and factual information. But still, there’s no active readership.
This sometimes just means that you’re boring or you’re writing on a boring topic that doesn’t arouse the interest of many people.
To desist from being boring, you can write on trending events.
Take a look at what’s trending on social networks, local dailies, and even on blogs. You can even ask your audience what they consider to be interesting.
You Are Too Mechanical And Rigid
There exists a form of writing that’s not appealing to anyone - mechanistic writing! It’s very rigid, detached, and passive. This form of writing is only suitable if you’re doing an academic paper.
On the arena of blogging, you have to be passionate, enthusiastic, and compassionate. Don’t write like you’re targeting a military audience.
The readers want to connect with the subject at hand. Thus, you have to let go of the rigidity in writing. Rigidity is common for people who are used to technical subjects, such as engineering, science, and mechanics.
If you have this problem, it will greatly affect your content as you’ll always see things in single perspective; almost like a one-way street. Therefore, make the effort and loosen up a little for the sake of the readers.
Incorporate a bit of humor and a little bit of thrill in your content.
You Are Hoarding Ideas
When sellers anticipate a rise in the price of commodities in the near future, they are tempted to hoard some goods so that they reap big profits once the high prices kick in.
The same can be said for bloggers who are supposedly hoarding or holding back from publishing their best articles. They do this with the aim of selling big in the near future.
Well, this is just speculation.
You may hold back but end up not reaping big from your articles. The good thing to do now is to publish all your best articles. It’s in essence, putting your best foot forward.
Hoarding articles is not really a good practice. It may be the reason why you’re publishing mediocre articles on your blog at present so that you can publish the ‘supposedly’ best ones later.
Things don’t work out that way in the writing world.
The norm is to publish best articles consistently and challenging yourself to produce impressive articles all the time.
Your Writing Is Not Dynamic
The current world is fast paced. Ideals, philosophies, and theories are ever changing. Even writing is changing. If you compare texts from a few years back with some current ones, you will note a big difference.
This is true with regard to phrases and word structures.
You should embrace this dynamicity so as to create good content every time.
You may not be able to identify or pick out whether you’re writing is actually dynamic.
Barbers don’t shave themselves!
Get someone else to read through your writing, someone to proofread your article and give you some feedback.
There are even websites that offer such services, even individual professional proofreaders whom you can hire to check your article or blog.
Always be ready to learn and willing to improve in your craft, this is how masters are made!
You Are Not Outgoing
One thing about blogs and articles is that people share them with the aim of connecting and forging relationships with others. Readers and writers alike are looking for people with whom they can connect.
In essence, this is being outgoing.
If you’re not outgoing as a person, this will obviously reflect in what or how you write. After one has visited your site, they will not have that inherent feeling of wanting to connect with you.
It's not basic content that gets you the best blog, it's content that forges relationships.
You Are More Of A Salesman Than A Writer
Salesmen are often disliked, no offense. This is because the perception with most people is that salesmen are just after people's money. They are all about making the deal and making a sale, as fast as they can.
If your writing pitch reflects on this perception, then you’re doomed. Your content will just be viewed as that, a sales pitch.
Therefore, you have to employ tactics that will enable you to push your agenda without driving people away. Even if you’re involved in the sale of a specific item on your site, don't let this dictate everything you post.
Have your readers get professional and expert information concerning the product at hand. Show them that you’re interested in their wellbeing.
Try content marketing.
This will entail associating yourself with the kind of expertise that the clients are attracted to.
The underlying idea is toning down the sales pitch and toning up on content that’s relevant to the readers.
Lack Of Focus And Objectivity
Well, writing is often an expression of inner thoughts and feelings on diverse matters. In fact, this is what moves all writers out there. The freedom to post your opinion for all to see.
However, anything in excess is quite detrimental. It’s even more devastating if you write incoherent material that lacks form.
You cannot start writing sentimental material only for it to be interjected with non-relating casual material.
For example, you cannot just start writing about “Places to find inspiration” and in the same tone write on “Best hip-hop diss tracks of all time."
That will be sad and will make your readers have a bitter afterthought of your blog.
Focus on one thing at a time. Be objective.
No Distinction From Other Blogs
Let’s say you write about a common issue that’s in the public limelight such as the Brexit or the US elections and Trump’s win. These topics indeed are possible hotcakes for writing.
But, every writer out there is thinking like you. All of them are writing on Brexit or the Impact of the US elections.
So, if a reader is looking at all the content on the above topics, they obviously cannot tell the difference.
But what separates one article from the rest? It’s the unique distinction that an article has from the rest.
When someone is brushing through the available articles concerning a certain issue, they are more likely to choose one that’s quite distinct, interesting, and different from the rest.
In a nutshell, give readers something that stands out from what everybody else is writing.
Your Keywords Are Wanting
Keywords are an essential and integral part in content writing. The key to success with keywords is finding the right one that will direct online searches to your blog.
You have to understand that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about people being able to find your content because you’ve closely aligned it with their searches.
Lack of proper keywords will greatly affect how people find your content, and will also insinuate that you’re not well versed in writing; hence, possibility of poor content.
Frequency Of Keywords
When a reader has finished reading your piece, they have to have a vivid memory of what you wrote. This is greatly enhanced by frequently mentioning keywords.
However, a fair warning is that overusing them may lead to bad content.
Just mention the keywords as naturally as possible. Let them flow with the text and avoid forcing them.
You Hired A Mediocre Writer
You may want to generate content from cheap sources. This will make you look for a cheap option which is to hire a writer who’s just writing for the sake of it.
This may be the reason as to why your content is just as bad as the choice of the writer.
These guys don’t actually care, so long as you pay them after they fix up, copy-paste, and blubber things that they are not even sure of.
Avoid all mediocre writers by all means.
Instead, invest in your blog by finding a good writer, who’s driven by objectivity, quality, and finesse.
Yes, they might ask for top dollar, but you should have a positive outlook. It will be a short-term investment for long-term gain.
You’d better pay highly for quality work that’s sure to bring you high returns than settle for mediocrity.
Trying Too Hard
‘Yow, what’s good people? What’s cracking? How’s it going? Are you eazay?’ I’m sure you‘ve seen such kind of phrases. These are just some phrases that come off as trying too hard to relate to something or someone, say, young adults.
You are, in essence, trying to be someone you’re not so as to please the audience.
You should remember that the audience is not dumb.
Of course, they’ll notice your wannabe tendencies! You’ll just end up embarrassing yourself.
Instead, be yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in a couple of words that your audience will relate to, just keep it in check.
Lack Of A Writing Personality
You might have the most factual content in the World Wide Web, but the manner in which you write may come off similar to a robot.
Your writing lacks life. Of course, we know that you have to maintain a professional tone, but that doesn’t mean you should write in a robotic tone.
Bring some humanity into your writing.
If need be, assume a personality that people relate to. A fair warning, though; not all people will welcome this but remember these are just those who are as rigid as you!
Too Much Promotion
People get into blogging for various reasons. Top of the list is making some money while at it.
Who wouldn’t want to make some cash from sharing their ideas, thoughts, and opinions?
One of the most popular ways of making money from your writing is through promoting products either by reviewing them or creating a buzz around them so the reader might purchase it. This works with e-commerce such as Amazon.
Admittedly, you’re a promoter and we get it. All content that you create should be promotional. This is what earns you a living. You’re just not writing to pass time. You write to earn money; to sustain yourself.
The pitfall, though, is doing it too much you lose sight that you're in an interactional framework. Where people are interacting, there has to be some avenue for feedback.
It’s like initiating a conversation with two or three parties and ending up talking about yourself.
If this is the kind of content that you have, then you will have no one to blame when you end up talking to yourself, literally.
Lack Of Engagement
Let’s say that I’m a financial writer who has made it big in business but I’m not popular. I have two options of titles for my latest blogs:
“How I made it big in business!” and “How YOU can make it big in business!”
If I chose the first title, that article won’t be appealing to as many people except for those who know me personally. No one cares about me or how I made it big.
However, the second title will be most appealing as everyone out there wants to make it big in business. I will be offering to advise them on how to make it big in business.
The audience will feel that I am reaching out to them and engaging them in the subject matter. They will be aroused with interest and will read on to see what I have in store for them.
The importance of engagement cannot be overemphasized. Good content is one that engages the reader!
You Do Not Accept Dissenting Voices And Critics
In conclusion, If you’re the kind of a person who’s headstrong and cannot take any criticism, you’ll often come off as a nuisance to many readers.
There’ll always be a contrary opinion to even the best of ideas. In fact, criticism should be taken positively and you should approach it with an attitude that the contrary opinion might be also true.
You should be able to take the best out of the criticism and remember it’s the opinion of the one giving it.
If you disregard it, then you don’t possess the mind of an educated person who tolerates divergent opinions and perspectives.
And again, if you get divergent opinions on your content, it means that people are reading it. Therefore, all is not lost. You still have your readers.
What should worry you is the lack of these criticisms because that ultimately means that no one is interested in your content.
Guest Author: Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer at the ThrivingWriter. Apart from writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter.