6 Reasons Your Blog Content Won’t Go Viral

RtMixMktg
Tom Treanor Founder, President, Right Mix Marketing

Posted on May 23rd 2013

6 Reasons Your Blog Content Won’t Go Viral
 

6 Reasons Your Blog Content Won't Go ViralIt’s like Deja Vu.

I’ve had this same conversation with representatives from a Fortune 500 financial services company, with a B2B industrial lighting distributor and several consumer-facing companies like wineries, restaurants, real estate agents and retailers.

It goes like this.

Them: We have a blog. We don’t seem to get any traction. Should we continue writing?

Me: Do you know what your customers care about? Are you creating content that teaches them something, solves a problem, entertains them or provides information about tools or resources that they would care about? Are you creating better than average content? Or leaving it to the intern to create (with little guidance and training)?

I think you see where this is going. In order to create content that people care about and will share with their friends, colleagues or social media connections, you need to proactively produce a superior product.

While “viral” content is a great goal, let’s talk about what’s holding most business blogs back from even getting a few shares in social media for each blog post.

Here are 6 reasons your content won’t get shared (and it absolutely won’t go viral):

1) No Sharing Buttons (or they’re hidden)

In order to help your content spread, you have to reduce the friction of sharing. In other words, make it very easy to share via Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter, Pinterest and via email. And no, don’t hide it at the bottom as a tiny button that needs to be expanded to show the real sharing buttons. Put the sharing buttons front and center, so people know where they are and what to do with them.

2) You Have a Boring Headline

Headlines are the first things people see when the visit your website or blog. They’re also what people will see if your content is shared in social media. If you don’t intrigue them with your headline, then why should they bother reading on?

3) You’re Not Connected In Social Media and/or You Don’t Share it Yourself

If a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Translated into blogging, this is, “If a post is written but there’s no one around to read or share it, was it really written at all?”.

If you don’t “pre-connect” with your audience (and some heavy sharers in your industry), then you haven’t done your homework in terms of blog promotion. And if you’re connected, you need to share your own content. If you don’t find it worth sharing, why would someone else?

4) Your Posts Are All About You

I have nothing against you, your company, your products, the benefits of your products, the different colors you offer, your financing plans, your client case studies, your demos or your company events. It’s just that it’s not that interesting for me as a reader. Think about what your prospective customers care about and provide some of that instead! See my blogging course to learn several ways that I create customer-focused content that hooks readers and improves “share-ability”.

5) You Don’t Have an Artisanal Attitude to Crafting Content

Blog posts that are produced as “check the box” activities will never be exceptional. If you treat more of your blog posts like an individual works of art versus creating just “content widgets” that roll out of a blog post production factory, you’ll get a hugely different reception to your posts.

In fact, I would argue that “artisanal posts” (exceptional, time-intensive and very valuable) get infinitely more sharing than factory posts (dull, rehashed truisms, not very valuable). In other words, an inspired piece of content can get hundreds or thousands of shares while an uninspired one can get zero.

6) You Don’t Post Often Enough To Become Good At It

Every content creator starts off producing average (or below average) content. Get over that fact.

You have to produce enough content, get enough feedback, see what people respond to and find your own voice…and that requires that you put in some time.

RtMixMktg

Tom Treanor

Founder, President, Right Mix Marketing

Tom Treanor is the creator of the Blog Writing Workshop and Founder of Right Mix Marketing, which helps companies of all sizes succeed through the effective use of Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Business Blogging and Social Media. Get news and updates from Tom on Twitter here!

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Comments

Alan Smith
Posted on May 24th 2013 at 1:14AM

It’s vital to have a catchy title of a blog post. Because of striking title people attract towards it and read the post. And if they enjoy reading it they will definitely share it on their social media profiles and other group networks. Providing them option for social sharing makes them more comfortable on your site.

RtMixMktg
Posted on May 24th 2013 at 2:32AM

Alan - I agree. Sometimes a great title is enough to get people to share (without them finishing the post). Thanks for your comment!

Cashone
Posted on May 24th 2013 at 2:16AM

Yea, I agree with you! “Going viral” basically means that the blog content resonates so much that people talk about it all across the Internet and not just posting the new blog. It should have catchy title and being shared on social networking and bookmarking sites. The focus should be on creating good content targeted to the right people.

Emily Schlotzer
Posted on May 24th 2013 at 12:21PM

Great points! I agree with all of them, especially number 3! It's so important to share the blog content yourself. If you want something to be "viral," why wouldn't you get it started yourself? I also liked number 6; you can't expect people to keep coming back to read your content if your posting times are very few. The feedback you receive on your posts will help you shape the "good" and "viral" content you're looking to provide. Great job on this! 

RtMixMktg
Posted on May 24th 2013 at 2:28PM

Agreed Emily. I can't tell you how many times I check in with a client (both large and small companies) and they haven't shared their own posts. I appreciate your feedback too!

Matt McAuley
Posted on May 26th 2013 at 9:10AM

Number 6 is so true.  I look back at some of my original blog work and just shake my head.  It really does take effort to find your voice.

Ruchita
Posted on May 28th 2013 at 4:22PM

Great article! We have recently started writing a blog on our company website at www.travelopod.com. So this is the perfect time to learns such tips! 

Do you think getting guest blogs from industry influencers helps? we are incouraging a lot of articles from guest bloggers.