Nobody Cares What You Say On Your Website. Here’s What to Do About It!

Eric Binnion

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You’ve likely read all of the blog posts that tell you, “to be successful in blogging, you have to create amazing content.” So, you went ahead and poured your heart out into tons of great posts and videos but haven’t received any results. And now you’re probably wondering where it all went wrong.

I’ll tell you. It’s likely because you’re forgetting a golden rule – “What’s in it for me?”

Readers Only Care About Themselves

Sure, readers are not intentionally self-centered, it’s just how they are.

Most readers likely make it to your blog through a search engine where they were likely looking for something specific. This could be something like “What is the Best WordPress Hosting?” or “What is the Best WordPress Theme?”

The point is that a large majority of people come to your website to fulfill their own needs. On Art of Blog, this number is around the 70-80% range.

How about this scenario: Have you ever spent hours writing an incredibly information packed article only for readers to leave comments asking how to do something that you clearly covered? Readers want their questions answered… NOW! And they will waste your time asking you to repeat what you said.

Yea, it sucks, and you really shouldn’t have to put up with it. But, you do, so let’s talk about you can get past this. Because once you realize that readers are serving their own needs, you can begin to really build an amazing blog.

Here are two ways that you can begin serving your readers’ needs.

Quit Being Boring…

On the Internet, being boring is a cardinal sin. Nothing will tank your bounce rate more than being boring. The problem here is that being boring just comes naturally to people. So, how can boring people become interesting?

The easiest way to become more interesting is to change the type of content you write. Sure, readers want good information, but they want to be entertained at the same time!

Allow me to use Art of Blog as an example. Last week I posted an article asking if WordPress developers charge too much. The post resulted in 21 comments in just a few days and since then our traffic has increased about 20%! Here’s a graph from our analytics.

Art of Blog Analytics Increase

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Why did this post do such a good job at increasing traffic? Because it was not boring. The post made people pick sides on whether or not WordPress developers charge too much. There was even a fairly heated debate on Twitter. All of this helped result in the increase in traffic over the past week.

Here are some ideas on how you can create content that’s not boring:

  1. Create polarizing content. When you write about a controversial topic, people naturally pick sides of the issue and they will argue to the death. Next time you see a pro-life or pro-choice article online, read the comments. Not only are these people commenting and arguing on the article, but they are likely sharing it with their friends and family!
  2. Share something funny. If you have a hard time being funny, then find something funny to write about. There is no shortage of silly people in this world doing silly things.
  3. Exploit your readers’ emotions. Entrepreneur wrote an article where they detailed 10 of the most common emotional triggers. It’s not surprising that fear, guilt, and trust are the top three on this list. When you work on these emotions, you can hook readers into your content.

While being exciting is one way to get readers, readers that you have built a relationship with will also go through your content like there’s no tomorrow!

Focus On Building Relationships

Any decent Internet marketing advice will include building an email list, because readers are worth much more than just their initial visit. When you put your email list first, you can focus on building long term relationships with your readers.

Readers that feel a connection with you are willing to forgive you for writing the occasional boring piece. When you work on providing valuable and entertaining content, you can afford to experiment more with different types of content and business models.

Building relationships should always be at the forefront of your blogging strategy.

Chris Brogan, a contributor to Traffic and Trust and President of Human Business Works, says:

Trust makes me money every day. Trust is why I’m successful. Building and earning trust is one of the CORE elements you should think about as an affiliate marketer, not just “how do I make a million bucks?”

On a side note, I follow nearly everything that Chris Brogan or Nick Reese (author of Traffic and Trust) say.

What Do You Think?

If you run a successful blog, what do you focus on to engage readers in your content and get them to share it?

If you are still building your blog, what do you plan on focusing on in order to increase reader engagement?

Leave a comment below with your answer!

Written by Eric Binnion

Eric Binnion is a computer science student at Midwestern State University. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

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Comments

  • Sage advice, Eric. I have found that I am producing rather flat prose, even when I have had people laughing out loud when I regale them with the same stories verbally.

    I think some sort of mental filter comes into play when I am writing and I suspect that filter equals boring!

    So, good to remind me to get out there and be more assertive. Tell me what you think of my blog and how I could pep it up!

  • Eric, nice post. I write about this a lot, too, and articulate it by describing the customer journey. You’re absolutely right about people going online based on their own needs, which are indicated by the questions asked in search, on forums, in blog comments, other social media, etc. These questions reflect the degree to which the need is understood, and evolve as a person shifts from basic awareness of a need, to learning about possible solutions, and finally making a product or service selection. Understanding this journey and the questions asked along the way is an optimal foundation for creating highly useful content that attracts qualified prospective customers to a blog.

  • Chris says:

    Eric, while it may be true that a lot of people in this world are only takers, I wouldn’t say nobody cares about what you have to say on your website.

    I do understand where you’re coming from, however, as I have been blogging for many years. Indeed, I have experienced the cold side of it; but I’ve also experienced its warmth.

    When it’s all been said and done, people care. Not only do they care about what you have to say, they care about you. People appreciate you. Not just for how hard you work to help others to fulfill their dreams, but because of who you are.

    Sure, your bounce rate may be high (mine is too), but that doesn’t mean you aren’t making a difference in the lives of those who are listening. I’m sure you have helped a lot of people over the years. And while people may fail to express gratitude for this, it doesn’t mean they aren’t thankful. Sometimes, people just don’t know what to say, or have trouble expressing their thoughts on the Internet.

    In short, people do care . . . I care.

    • Eric Binnion says:

      Hey Chris,

      I do agree that there will always be some that care. And I love to interact with that group of people, including you!

      But there is also always going to be the group of people that simply come to get a piece of information, or a quick laugh, and then leave. To capitalize on these readers, it is essential to be stand out and be unique.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!