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5 reasons no one is reading your content

Chris Field
Chris Field

Thinking primarily about blogs, LinkedIn updates and articles, there are lots of reasons why you don’t get read; here’s 5 of them from a professional copywriter and ex journalist. Feel free to give me feedback on my style!

Irrelevance

What you are saying may simply interrupt rather than add value to a conversation the target recipient is already having. This is not an easy one to get right because naturally, you are broadcasting widely and can’t catch everyone with thoughts that exactly match theirs at that exact moment in time. However, consider that most content is an interruption and then consider how you might tailor based on who you are sending it to, when and how you can know what’s bugging them. This is 101 account based marketing and should be the direction of travel, otherwise every communication is simply mass marketing. Like this one.

Lack of insight

Telling people that you know what they already know is annoying, because it makes people think that you are not paying attention to what is going on in the world. You need to tell them something they don’t know or tell them a new way to do something that might be more effective than what they’re doing right now. This is how we talk to one another in a conversation; we try to help each other out, so why should this be any different in your content? Which also suggests if you don’t have anything insightful to say, keep quiet.

Star gazing

Stop telling your targets what life will be like in five years’ time if they just need to work out how to fix what is happening in front of them right now. Unless your crystal ball gazing can be used to affect the present, then what are you doing but simply making people more nervous about the route they are taking. It’s also very annoying to be told how awesome the future will be, because it is another reminder of the mess they are in right now. Lastly, future gazing is a bit of a cop out, because you don’t have to be right and no one will call you on it.

Patronising

There is a way to tell people you think they are wrong but using apocalyptic language isn’t the way to do it, unless you are famous and even then, it can be pretty annoying. Marc Andreessen calling the end of retail by 2020 is not helpful and the tone is patronising. Worse, he’s dead wrong. The other danger, to which I am also subject is, do people really want to hear about the future of retail from a middle-aged white guy? You can’t be who you aren’t, but you can tap into what the likes of Lily Pebbles is saying about retail. Your own echo chamber will always cause you to talk in a slightly condescending way so time to listen to what others are saying and share that with your audience.

Tone deaf

Use language that is true to you. You may not be a writer and you may have all your content written for you; that’s fine, as long as the writer works hard to understand how you speak. They should write as you speak, so that your personality and view of the world comes through. You know you are good in the room with your prospects, articulate, persuasive even funny – these should all come through in your writing. That’s how your content will stand out from everyone else’s.

If you want to talk to me about how to breathe new life into your content, I have created a free audit that I think you will find helpful.

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