If you are like me, then you may have started a blog as way to channel your creativity or to combat your day-to-day boredom. It’s like an online journal for you to put down your thoughts and have your friends read it, right? But months have gone by and you haven’t had more than a total of 100 views for your 10 or more blog posts. You feel that you have great ideas and your friends tell you they love reading your blog. So, why aren’t you getting more traffic?
A hundred bucks says it’s because your copy sucks.
‘Copy’, or in other words, copywriting, is writing used to sell something and is what you find in advertisements and press releases. Copywriters, the pros behind creating this great copy, give you one phrase that BAM! sums up the product in an instant.
But copywriting isn’t just for the pros anymore. It has now evolved and integrated itself into the writing of bloggers everywhere.
What do copywriters and bloggers have in common?
Copy is used in both professions as a way to promote their product. Whether it’s a slogan or a Facebook status update, copy grabs it’s readers by the collar, says “Look at me”, and makes you want to find out more ASAP! It’s that powerful.
In blogging, it’s all about using copywriting as a way to promote your blog. It’s within your content, in your titles, and even with your social networking pages that allow you to take advantage of using good copywriting.
Just like selling a product, getting new readers to your blog means working hard to get that attention. Copywriting will become your best friend when it comes to promoting your blog. What many newbie bloggers initially don’t realize is the great amount of potential they have to gain a larger readership. Assuming that there is a person attached to a blog, creating it’s content, rather than machine generated it will be extremely beneficial for you to learn a little bit from the copywriting trade. For now, you are another faceless, unknown person with a webpage. If you haven’t decided to give up on gaining more readers right here, right now, it may be time for you to give copywriting a chance. It’s time to step up your game. It’s time for you to get more readers!
Then again, you may already be using copywriting to promote your blog.
Here are 5 Common Copywriting Mistakes Made By New Bloggers and how you can fix them:
1. Creating sub-par titles for your posts
Let’s say your title is: “Do you like to drink lemonade?” As a matter of fact, I do. Thanks for asking. End of post. I already answered your question, so for what reason do I have to keep reading? You don’t want your readers to fall asleep after reading the first sentence. Your title lacks interest. You’ve got to put the copywriter-thinking -cap on and persuade your readers!
In reality, your post is about how you skipped hanging out with your mom to drink lemonade at your favorite coffee, where you then met a person who needed to use your cellphone to call their family member, which turned out to be Jay Leno, and you got to meet him because of your willingness to let strangers borrow your cellphone! Awesome! I suddenly want to stop what I’m doing and read about your story.
Except, I couldn’t tell from your post’s title. As a blogger, you need to persuade your readers into believing that your post will be worth their while. For all they know, your post could be about how you like to drink lemonade every single day. Sounds boring. They won’t care enough to read it. Stop, think like you’re a copywriter writing this blog post. What would your title be? How about: “The Time I Drank Lemonade and Met Jay Leno”? Your post has just become ten times more exciting.
2. Slacking on creating quality content
You wrote a thousand word post titled, “How to bake chocolate chip cookies like a pro.” The problem is no one has bothered to read it. It may not be because of the length, but rather the content is that good. Misspelled words, bad grammar, irrelevant to the title, boring, too long, or the writing reads like a 3rd grader wrote it. All of these are aspects of bad content. A copywriter would never be hired if he/she made this kind of mistakes. No one will want to read a blog with bad content.
For example, this chocolate chip cookie post isn’t about cookies at all. It’s written entirely about what pandas eat, where they live, and how to spot a panda in the wild. But I came here for the cookies. What do pandas have to do with the baking cookies? Nothing. Unless you, the blog writer, is a panda who is indeed baking cookies and thought it was important to mention what you typically eat, etc. In that case, that’s fine. Combine a personal story with baking cookies. Also, I need proof of your baking skills as a panda.
Which brings me to another aspect of great content. Pictures. Use them. They can make your post seem even more inviting, especially if it’s a rather long post. No one wants to feel like they’re reading a book with no pictures.
3. Not taking the time to research the meaning of SEO
Another very important key to having quality content is SEO. What is SEO? Three words: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Or in other words, a way for you to say “Hey internet I’m over here!” with the use of keywords throughout your blog posts. Copywriters have a slogan. Bloggers have their best friend SEO.
Think you have the best blog content to offer? Without taking advantage of SEO in your posts it will be a million times harder for the internet to find you.
This is how SEO works: Imagine little, digital creatures crawling around the internet looking for content that contains frequently search keywords. These ‘crawlers’ may not find your blog post about yachts unless you take advantage of SEO. If you want fellow boat lovers to gush over the latest yacht with you, you have to woo them. Words and phrases like boats, yachts, or buying a yacht will get the crawlers’ attention.
Keywords, tags, content, and titles. All very important keys to having successful SEO.
Still confused about SEO? Read more about it here.
4. Neglecting to take the time to know your audience
Good copywriting as a blogger wouldn’t be complete without knowing who you’re ‘pitching’ your content to. While we all may love hearing ourselves talk, putting our thoughts on the internet without any purpose besides amusing ourselves is just as obnoxious as posting a Facebook status saying “I ate pizza”.
Sure, your happy with having just your friends to read your blog. But you are reading this article to help get more readers.
First, find out what your readers were searching for that led them to your blog. By using your site’s stats page or Google Analytics, you can discover the specific keywords (SEO) your readers searched in order to get to your site.
Second, think back to your most successful post. Did you receive a lot of feedback or gain a ton of new readers? Then keep it up! The same readers will keep coming back for more. People like to read about topics they can relate, find amusing, or are interested in reading more about. You can even make a new post that extends the previous one, answering more questions or discussing the topic further.
Don’t hesitate to write about something you love. Just don’t forget your audience.
5. Forgetting to take advantage of Social Media
It’s a lot harder to shell out hundreds of dollars to get noticed, like advertisements, when you are a blogger.
That’s what’s so great about social media. You can tell everyone about your blog.
Your copywriting will shine even more here. Come up with some great one-liners to get people interested in your posts. Think about promoting your posts as if you are trying to sell a newly released candy bar. A giant, delicious candy bar that is a million times better than the most popular Hershey candy. It has all-natural ingredients, a wrapper lined with gold, and dentists have said it helps prevent cavities.The problem is, no one has ever heard of you before, so why would they buy it?
It’s the same when promoting your blog. How fast do you think you can get 100 people to read your post? Now, think how fast it will take for you to get 100 people when you share your post on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Digg? Share each post with your readers on pages dedicated to your blog on social networks. Your readers will share with their friends, and their friends will share it with even more people, and so on. If you’re trying to get people to read your amazing blog, you’ve got to make it sound ‘appetizing’. Just like that candy bar.
With great content and the smarts of a copywriter, you can become a better blogger in no time.
These five mistakes and fixes will make getting more readers become easy.
It may be challenging when you first start because it’s new to you. Make a million mistakes and learn from them. Copywriting is the key to becoming you an even better blogger and ultimately grow your blog.
Someone out there is looking for your blog. They just don’t know it yet.
Sep 25, 2012