Two Dangerous Myths that Make You Question Your Content – Busted!

Are you scared that your content sucks?

Do you worry all the time if you are any good? Perhaps you should take some writing courses, or maybe you should quit?

If you find yourself asking these questions, day in, day out, you are not alone.

All of us ask them. Constantly.

And the reason why you ask this?

#1 People are not sharing your content

You get an amazing idea and draft an awesome post. You publish it and wait with anticipated breath. You are sure people are going to coming flocking over.

They will read your remarkable post, leave heartfelt comments and spread the word.

You keep on waiting, sitting around twiddling your thumbs and nothing happens.

Your content sucks. You decide. What were you thinking in the first place thinking it’s any good.

Hold it. This is not a quality issue. This is a traffic issue. This is a credibility issue.

If you don’t find your content going viral, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not top notch. It just means that many people have not discovered it yet.

How to know for sure if your content is first class

Even when you haven’t been blogging for a long time, you need to do two things to make sure your content is the best it can be.

1. Learn from the best

Follow A-list bloggers closely and observe how they write.  Perfect the mechanics of writing for the web such as scannability, effective headlines and call to actions.

Some of the blogs I follow religiously are Copyblogger, Nick Usborne’s blog, Passive Panda, Make a Living Writing, Inbound Pro. It doesn’t have to be a long list. Pick people with whom you most resonate with.

2. Land guest posts on high profile blogs

Can’t get people to visit your blog? No problem. Go where they are. < Tweet this

When I started blogging two years ago, I hardly got any attention from other readers – and bloggers alike.

Luckily (yes, luck played a part), a post of mine made it to WordPress Freshly Pressed and I was hit by an avalanche of traffic for the next three days. I picked up over 200 subscribers from that single post, but most of all it proved to me that it wasn’t my content that was the issue. It was promotion.

After that I started connecting with other bloggers. I began leaving thoughtful comments on their blogs and slowly gathered courage to pitch them. Viola! Soon my guest posts started appearing on sites like Problogger, Write to Done, Lifehack.org, For bloggers by bloggers and Daily Blog Tips. With huge number of social shares to boot.

I got the confidence that people do want to read my content. I just need to find a way to get to it somehow.

Now let’s tackle the second issue – you are not getting tons of comments.

#2 People are not commenting on your content

Look, social media has changed the blogosphere.

Only last year, bloggers used to get comments by truckloads but since then they have been on a decline.

I used to average 40+ comments on my posts, and now they have dwindled down to about half. But now I get more social shares, especially on Twitter. That’s where I hang out too.

Forget about me, sites like Problogger that have millions of readers are not getting as many comments as they used to.

There are millions of blogs and only so many readers who comment) to go around. Commenting takes time and people who do comment are usually more active in their communities.

They are loyal to their bloggers. They might not be easily persuaded to do the same for you, due to lack of time or motivation.

How to Try and Get More Comments on Your Blog

1. Make your posts personal

Initially, my posts were definitely more personal, as they are when bloggers start out. People connected to me and responded.

As I picked a niche, monetized my blog and publish more educational content, comments have decreased. Is there a connection? Could be. I have noticed blogs that produce educational content tend to receive less. Case in point: Stanford Smith’s excellent blog Pushing Social. But his social shares are through the roof.

If you are the storyteller type, this option could be for you. Incorporate stories in your blog and hope for the best.

2. Ask open ended questions

Most bloggers ask lame questions at the end of the post that nobody is particularly interested in answering. Think about asking them open ended questions that touch on a deeper level.

3. Leave things out

Sometimes the blogger covers everything in such great detail that there is literally nothing left to add.

You read it, say great post, share it and move on.

To entice people to comment, don’t try to cover every single aspect of your topic. Leave something for them to point out or disagree on. Deliberately.

4. Make a provocative statement

Not to get a reaction, but because you genuinely feel that way. People will either agree or not and may choose to let you know exactly why.

For instance I am not a fan of epic posts. I think they are written to create a point of differentiation. Also, they are excellent ‘linkbait’. It’s ok to write one occasionally, if the topic demands it, but I don’t favour them. To me they are blog chapters mimicking blog posts.

Now what do you think might happen if I write this in a post?

Another can of worms? I think many people are creating excellent content and not getting attention only because others GOT HERE FIRST. I think the content of some of the highly successful blogs is not any better than that of some other bloggers’ with no way near that attention.

What do you think?

Work to improve your craft. Try not to copy someone else’s style or use that to moan about your own. Acquire some credibility by writing guest posts on A-list blogs and make your content exciting.

Do you get a lot of comments on your blog? How do you engage your audience? Do share as I would love to know.

(Photo Credit: cellar_door)

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15 Responses to Two Dangerous Myths that Make You Question Your Content – Busted!
  1. For someone in the process of building their platform to begin blogging this advice has been very helpful. Thank you.

    • marya

      Thank you Priska. Let me know if there is something in particular that I can help you with. Cheers,
      Marya

  2. Hi Marya,

    Yes – I do agree, It’s not always a quality issue – it might be an issue with the amount of exposure the content gets. If you are sure that your content is of high quality – try focusing more time on sharing and engaging on networks to increase the amount of targeted traffic and exposure.

    • marya

      Yup – that’s why I am not fretting that this post has only received a few comments so far. Not a bit. Not worried at all … :( :) Marya

  3. This is a great article which I have tweeted about. As a newbie and a bit of a ‘techno-phobe’ it keeps me motivated to read from those who have trode the path before me.
    I’ll keep at it (writing, learning, sharing, enjoying).
    thanks
    Mandy

    • marya

      Welcome Mandy to the amazing world of blogging. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Cheers, Marya

  4. Hola, sorry for the late arrival. I think we are in the Minute Marketing Tribe together, but for some reason, nobody in that tribe shows up in my stream.

    I do know Ruth, Jens & Jack from there however.

    I really didn’t give it much thought as to why, but comments at my place are down about 30-40% from a year ago as well.

    In my day job, I network quite a bit; blogging and social is just an extension of that to me.

    I do ok on comments, but it’s because I take the time to engage with my community. I’ve guest posted at a few ‘name’ places, but I don’t seek out guest posts. I don’t do SEO or linkbait either; I just write and hopefully it’s readable. It’s still a personal blog so those tend to bring more comments than educational ones.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking with it; good luck on your journey.
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Stale as a day old post

    • marya

      Hey Bill. Yes, I have recently joined (via Ruth Zive) but haven’t heard anything after. Not even sure how that works, to be honest.

      Anyway, thanks for coming over to ‘comment’. :) No arguments from my side. See you around … Marya

  5. Making my posts personal and leaving out every detail (so the reader can fill in the blanks in the comment section) – these are the two great pieces of advice I’m taking away from this.

    I blog for a niche industry (importers, specifically from China) so the entire world is not itching to read it…but I can apply a lot of the principles in a more general and personable fashion.

    You’ve made me think…and I’m glad I stopped by. Have a great day.
    Jacob Yount recently posted..Expectations: Importing from China

    • marya

      Hi Jacob. Thanks for your awesome comment. ;) No really, making people stop for a second and think .. that’s the best compliment anyone could ever give me. Thank you! Looking forward to connecting with you, Marya

  6. This is great advice, thank you! We have a nascent blog and I too am building up the courage to connect with other bloggers. You’re my first so hopefully this is the first step to worldwide renown!
    Liz Allen recently posted..Dictionary of terms

    • marya

      Hey Liz. Glad to be of service. Stay in touch, ok? :) Cheers.

  7. Marya, Thank goodness I found this post. I was starting to feel a bit dejected. I wrote for my first blog for 5 years with limited success (I think due to the fact that it was a blogger blog and I tried to please everyone). Now I have a wordpress blog on my domain targeted to a limited audience and the results have been MUCH better. I do however sometimes feel that the posts I write are really good (no, really pretty darn good) and they don’t get shared much. I realize from reading this post that it’s the social/promotion thing I need to do more often. Eventually I will learn. Thank you! Suzanne
    Suzanne recently posted..3 Ways to Make your Practice Work for YOU So That YOU Can Create the Life You Want

    • marya

      Hi Suzanne,
      Sorry for the late response, I didn’t get the notification for this one.
      Glad to know you found this to be helpful. I would suggest really thinking through your promotion strategy and make guest posting a big part of it. That way you can rule out any content quailty issues. That’s how I do it. Let me know if I can help. Cheers. Marya

  8. Hey Marya,
    Thanks for the tips! I just discovered you, so I’m catching up on your posts. Hey, how does one get a guest blogging gig?
    Grace recently posted..A Slug’s Life: Day 2, or When Two Slugs Love Each Other Very Much…

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