Why do your blog posts always tank (while others captivate their audiences)?

content marketing success

Nobody reads your blog posts.

Is that too harsh? I can prove it to you.

Your social media presence is stagnant. Nobody likes, shares or comments on your blog posts.

Your bank account is in decline. Affiliate marketing? Zippo. Your email list? Nonexistent. Nothing you do works.

Nobody can question your dedication. Your writing is prolific. Your posts address a definite need. But they don’t generate reader actions.

Why? Why do your blog posts have little or no shares and minimal organic reach? You can’t remember the last time that someone left a comment on your blog post. Something needs to change.

How can you turn things around and generate blog posts that influence your readers?

It’s time to stop spinning your wheels. Are you ready for a change? If so, I have a powerful formula to help cure your blog posting anemia. Use it to produce blog posts that generate traffic and income.

Here are ten tips that will move you in the right direction. Are you ready to get started? Let’s begin.

1. Aim small and miss small for optimal impact

Are you using a “pray and spray” strategy? Do your blog posts cover too much ground? Are you guilty of spouting vague generalities in hope of something sticking . . . hoping that something resonates?

That kind of tactic will not make you money. It won’t drive engagement. What should you be doing?

Your first step for increased blog post traffic is to zero in on your ideal reader. Content writers generally label their ideal readers as members of a specific niche. The niche should be neither too narrow or too broad.

For example, a niche that includes all ‘business writers’ is too large a target. Perhaps you could limit your reach to copywriters or content marketers. That segment is more realistic and manageable. So, what is your target?

Close your eyes. Picture your ideal reader. Are they a particular age or demographic? What stage of career development defines them? How will your writing cause them to follow your advice and recommendations?

Keep that picture before you when you work on your editorial calendar or create a new blog post. Everything you write must connect with a specific reader and meet a perceived need.

A narrow focus will guarantee a captive audience — fans that share your posts with friends.

You don’t need to be a mind reader, but your readers should believe that you are. How do you get that reputation?

Be on target with your niche

2. Get inside the heads of your readers

You are a great writer. Your blog posts are gold mines of information for your tribe. But how will readers find your post? Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a deep dive into their heads and see what they see? Observe what they are looking for?

Keywords are your golden ticket to blog post recognition. They are the nugget that defines the specific topic of your blog post — the first thing that a reader types into her search engine.

How do you find and test the viability of individual keywords? For simplicity and price (this tool is free) you can’t beat Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.

Enter a handful of possible keywords and see where the program leads you. What alternatives show up in the search? From that list, you can work on an outline for your blog post.

This takes us to the next step — charting the roadmap for your blog post.

3. If you build it, they will come

You need a simple outline to direct your writing. Your topics must flow from one to the next like pearls on a string.

Begin with one main theme and draft a basic outline. The outline will be one main topic and enough subtopics to achieve your goal of helping your readers fully understand.

What does the basic structure of your outline look like? Here you have a simple example building on the theme of copywriting:

  • Theme: Copywriting
  • Main topic: How to be a profitable copywriter
  • Subtopics: Defining niche, platforms, marketing, writing skills, research, income streams

For now, keep the blog heading and subheadings simple. Use them as placeholders to guide your writing. Don’t devote much time to fine-tuning them now. There will be time for that before you publish the blog post.

Each topic must build upon another — perfect balance

4. What’s in a name?

How do you come up with a blog post title? Some writers may settle on a final title before they begin writing. Others begin with a draft title containing the main keyword. There is no right or wrong way for you to do this.

Your primary concern is coming up with a title that draws your readers in and encourages them to stay. It also keeps you on track in the writing process. Come back to your proposed title often for consistency in the blog post.

A strong title tells your readers what to expect. Is it instructional? If so, you might begin with “How to xxx . . .” Is a list format appropriate? In that case, you could try something like “7 techniques to xxx . . .”

Have you come up with a good draft title? Good! Let that marinate for a while and we will revisit it later.

5. Grab their attention with a real “head-turner”

If your readers are not captivated in the first one or two sentences, they will bail on you. This is serious stuff! Your blog post competes with scores of others. Give the readers a reason to stay on your page if you want greater engagement.

How do you hook your readers? Make your story all about them. Infuse your writing with the first person pronoun. Engage their senses. Tickle their interest with thought-provoking questions. Use personal stories.

Many readers are scanners. They read your header and subheadings. If you haven’t hooked them, this is when they leave. You must arouse curiosity in your subheadings — not giving away too much.

6. Settle in and tell your story

Have you waited until now to begin writing your blog post? Congratulations!

Now you can sink in and develop the concepts and ideas revealed in the previous five steps.

You zoomed in on your target audience — your niche. You have a solid topic and structure, and a great hook dangling before them.

Now you can complete the structure. Here are some questions you should consider.

  • Am I providing the specific information my readers need?
  • Are there any questions or objections that I haven’t considered?
  • Have I provided enough information to persuade readers to act?
  • What specific actions should I expect?

If you address these concerns your writing process will be easier. You will produce a blog post that drives readers to act — to generate likes, shares, and clicks!

Tell your story!

7. Break up the landscape with attractive billboards

“Variety is the spice of life.” You will rediscover that truth within the visual landscape of your blog post.

Take a moment — after reading this post — to examine other blog posts. Which ones attract and keep your attention? What is the common denominator?

The first thing you notice about a blog post is the title. Supporting pictures or illustrations provide attractive breaks and keep you on the page.

“In a study of over one million articles, BuzzSumo looked at how many blog posts with images were shared. Then they looked at how many images, per how many words, got the best results.

What they found was articles with an image once every 75–100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images, and a minimum of 30 more shares than articles with more:”

“Good advice,” you say. “But where can I find good photos without breaking the bank?” Start with Unsplash. They have thousands of free, high-quality photos.

Add images for visual impact

8. Help your readers find you

By now you know the importance of keywords. They are the markers readers look for — the topics that inspire their interest. Sprinkle them throughout your blog post for Search Engine Optimization.

Strategic placement in your text is important. But don’t forget to include keywords in header tags (H2, H3, etc). Search engines crawl the web and index your header tags. Make good use of them for visibility and organic traffic.

Your posts will rank higher if your coverage of a topic is comprehensive. Use these tips to go deep and produce content-rich blog posts. Longer posts (1900 words or more) often rank well, too.

Don’t ignore the power of links. Include internal links to your own (older) higher-authority blogs. Also, include links on those older posts pointing readers to your new blog post.

Scatter clues for easy navigation

9. “I read your blog post . . . so what?”

Your blog post is almost complete. If you stop now, though, you sacrifice your entire effort. How can you wrap up this piece in a way that satisfies both you and your reader?

What is the take-away for your readers? At the very least, you would like shares, likes and positive comments. But you can have that and more.

Ramp up your ongoing engagement. Invite readers to join your list, visit a product or landing page, or sign up for a course. Whatever your choice, you need a clear Call to Action (CTA).

Your CTA must be clear, actionable, and highlight benefits available to the reader. For example, “click here for this exclusive guide to xxx.” Create a sense of urgency and desire. “Sign up today and …!”

You worked hard to get them this far. Land them with a compelling CTA.

Take action now!

10. Test-drive a new title

One final step and you are ready to publish! You proofed and polished your blog post. Now, go back and reconsider the blog post heading. How can you amp it up and supercharge it?

Visit popular blog sites in your niche and look for posts that cover your topic. Rewrite those blog titles and find creative ways to imitate them without copying.

You are now familiar with Ubersuggest as a keyword tool. It also helps you discover headlines that generate the greatest social media interaction.

Your headline is your first and only opportunity to make a good impression. Don’t squander that opportunity.

Are you ready to produce dynamic blog posts?

Now is your time to change direction — to write blog posts that people read and share. No longer will you deal with posts that register little or no reader engagement. Watch your shares, organic growth and comments soar!

Are you ready to amp up your writing? Do you have a blog post in production? Look at it from a fresh perspective and test it through the lens of this template. You will love the results — and so will your readers.

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10 Savvy Steps
for Viral Blog Posts