Mar 20, 2014

Your Blog Is Boring

Do your readers have a reason to come back every day, or even every week, to read your stuff?

I caught myself clearing out my reading list in Feedly this week. I had over 500 unread articles that had built up over a few weeks, and I just cleared them out to get ahead of the curve.

I’m sure there were great ideas and stories I’ll miss out on, but I wasn’t interested to dig through them all.

Routines can become white noise

It’s common practice for bloggers and businesses to follow an editorial calendar.

For example, Mitch Joel publishes 7 days per week, and that includes 5 articles, a podcast and a post directing you to good quality content. Mitch publishes at a frenetic pace, while others may only post once or twice a week. For Sticky Branding, I post every Tuesday and Thursday at 5am EST.

A publishing routine is an effective strategy, because it brings readers back again-and-again for fresh ideas. It’s like your favorite TV show that you look forward to every week.

But a routine can work against you. People get used to the pace of content. You might see my posts hit your inbox a couple times a week, but that doesn’t mean you open each article. It’s my job to push through the routine, and capture your attention.

Shake things up

Innovate. Challenge the status quo. Break free of the routine.

Every 6 months revisit your editorial calendar. What can you add, subtract or change? How can you bring more value to your readers? How can you recapture your readers’ attention?

On Sticky Branding I’ve added two major features in the past year:

  1. Quote images. Every blog post comes with a customized photo with a quote or piece of text that supports the content. The idea is to create a visual shorthand for the reader, as well as make the content more shareable on social networks like Pinterest and Facebook that feature images.
  2. Sticky Branding Stories. Every Tuesday I publish an article on a specific mid-market brand. These articles are time consuming to create, but add a nice layer of practical insights and experiences from a variety of successful companies.

I also make small adjustments along the way. I will play with the article length, tone, themes and writing styles to make incremental improvements and shake things up.

It’s not about you, it’s about your reader

Pumping out a few articles a week to support an inbound marketing strategy is futile. It may give you some Google fodder to support your search rank, but that doesn’t mean you’re creating any value for your readers.

All that matters are your readers.

Are you creating content they want and appreciate? Are they inclined to come back again-and-again, and even look forward to your ideas?

Break free of boring content and predictable routines, and rejuvenate your approach to engage your readers.

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