You may read this post.
You may not.
Here’s why you’ll read it: You believe it will bring you value, speak to a struggle you have, or help you solve a problem.
Here’s why you won’t: You don’t believe it will serve you at all and you have better things to do.
If you have your own blog, guest blog, or contribute to online content in any way but feel like no one is reading it, I know why. And I know how you can fix it, too.
1) Your Expectations are Too High
As the content creator for Stage32, the world’s largest social network and educational hub for film, television, and theatre creatives, my job is to find guest contributors who can offer educational and inspirational blog posts to our membership.
If a contributor offers a guest post and it only gets a few likes or comments, sometimes he or she becomes frustrated. Here are the messages I get from them:
- Why didn’t anyone visit my personal website after my post was published?
- Why were there so few comments?
- Can you make it so I get more comments, likes, and shares?
- No one cared about what I wrote, so I don’t plan on writing another.
And so on.
The thing is, to get anyone interested in your post you have to do 4 things:
- Offer them a solution to their problem.
- Write the post for them, not for you.
- Practice repetition and write more than one post.
- Share the post over and over again. And then
shareit some more.
If you expect a slew of people to run off to your website and hire you as a writer, consultant, actor, producer, etc. after one blog post, your expectations may be too high. No one knows who you are. Let them know by offering content regularly that pits you as the expert.
Do this, and one day, the clouds will clear and people will start clicking and sharing your posts more and more.
2) You Made the Post About You
One of the mistakes I see most often with blog posts is that the author makes the post about them, their accolades, and how amazing they are.
This won’t impress your readers as much as you think it will.
You could be one of the greatest talent agents in the business, but if you talk about all you’ve done and how great your work is, readers won’t care. They don’t care about your level of experience as much as they care
Don’t get me wrong. Credits do make a difference. But shoving them in someone’s face first when they ask for help isn’t going to serve them. Offering a solution and closing your post with humility will.
3) You Only Posted Once
When I first started my blog, I counted the likes and comments and decided that no one loved me because only three people read my post.
So I quit.
And then I went to this massive blogging conference in Sandusky, Ohio, and learned real fast that I had to keep showing up if I wanted to make a dent in my work. What made me think that one blog post would change the trajectory of my writing business if no one ever heard of me? Knew me? Trusted me?
If I wanted people to continue to read my posts and visit my site, I had to keep writing and keep offering solutions to their problems. I had to be the conduit of information.
What’s more, I had to take the time and make the effort to GET THE POST OUT THERE. I had to be willing to share it myself on social media. In guest posts. In networking groups. With my dog.
And not just once. Regularly. Again and again. Even two years after a post publishes, I still take the time to share it on my social channels. Do the same. And get others to share it for you, too. You are responsible for your own success. No one else. Just YOU.
At first, I blogged twice a week. (For nine months. A lot, I know.)
Then once a week. (For 12 months.)
Slowly, but surely, things started to change. The number of visitors to my site increased. I got more comments. I got more shares.
And I started to get clients.
Today I can post randomly and still get traction because I put in the work.
It’s about the long game every time. You can’t expect to do something once and be showered with praise and business. Stay with it, keep showing up, and watch things change.
4) You Didn’t Solve a Problem
Why do you read a blog post? Any blog post? More than likely, it’s because you have a problem and you’re looking for a solution.
Regular bloggers know this, and create titles and subheadings within a post that are commonly searched:
How Do I Write a Screenplay?
How Do I Find More Clients?
Top 5 Ways to Find Your Passion.
I wrote a post once that, surprisingly, ranks at the top of a Google search and has peeps reaching out to me for more info because of it.
This is the post:
Why You Should Date Your Blog Posts
As a writer, I have to do lots of research. And nothing makes me cry more than finding what I think could be valuable posts that aren’t dated. For me personally, this slows me down when I’m seeking the most relevant content for an article, book, or script, and I can’t tell when it was written or how relevant the information is.
So I wrote a blog post about it.
I have gotten more emails from that post than any other post I have written. When I ask those who message me how they found my post, they tell me the Googled a phrase about dating blog posts, it and was the first to come up.
Apparently, I wrote about a pain point that was more common than I realized. Yay!
5) Your Title Fell Flat
I created guidelines for our Stage 32 contributors so they can get the most out of their posts.
I want their posts
I want their posts shared.
I want their posts liked and commented on.
Because I want them to be successful and show up as experts in their field.
Personally, I love helping contributors come up with titles that readers are hungry for. It’s fun. I use a headline analyzer sometimes to maximize the fruits of their labor.
If you write a title that says, “Live and Learn,” you’re not telling the reader what the post is about. Yes, I know click bait exists and it sucks, but that crap works. I don’t subscribe to it myself, but I’m not afraid to create a title that pulls the reader
The author who offered this title had a really great idea. But the title wouldn’t serve the readers. So I asked him a few questions and learned that he wanted readers to embrace their mistakes working behind the camera. Cool. So we reworked it, and this is what we came up with:
NO: Live and Learn
YES: How F*ucking Up on Set Made Me A Better Producer
I personally want to know what this person f*ucked up. Why?
- Because I f*ck up all the time. This writer’s vulnerability will help ground me and remind me that I’m not alone.
- Because I want to be a better producer and writer myself. Must be something in here I can glean…
- Because he likes to swear and it fits who he is. Which brings me to my last point…
6) You Aren’t Being You
When I left my career as a television reporter and anchor, I couldn’t wait to dress in more vintage-like apparel and put that crazy black streak back in my hair. I was public speaking quite a bit when I first started my entrepreneurial venture as a writer, and all of the other speakers wore nice business-like clothes.
But I wore black and lace. I kicked my shoes off on stage. And I was told that was wrong.
So I bought more stuffy clothes and wore heels. (Which I hate.) But I didn’t feel like me. And it reflected on stage.
It took one woman sitting me down and telling me that I HAD to be me, or I would never succeed in anything I ever did. She was right.
To this day, I dress like ME.
I write like ME
And whether Dick or Bob or Mary dislikes it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that your most natural and authentic voice is what will change lives.
Mark my words.
Now then…go off and create content that is meaningful, solves a problem, and shows your most authentic self. Outside of algorithms and click-bait, it’s the single greatest thing you can do for your next post.
Joleene Moody is a ghostwriter, screenwriter, and actor based in Syracuse, N.Y. Learn more at www.joleenemoody.com