When's the last time you evaluated your social media content? I mean – do you regularly schedule time to step back and make sure your content is the kind your readers are going to want to read, rather than just any old thing just to “post frequently?”
If you haven't stepped back to look take a look at your content marketing overall, you could easily be slipping toward creating content that not only makes peoples' eyes glaze over in boredom, but possibly even pushes them away. And of all the possible reactions your readers could have, that one is the kiss of death for sure; just saying!
So we want to avoid creating anything even remotely close to truly awful content, no matter if it's on your blog, your Facebook, Google+ or any other platform you're using to build your brand. But how do you know if your content is awful, bland, or fantastic?
5 Steps to Create Truly Awful Content Your Audience Will Grow to Hate
1. Buy Me, Buy Me!
This is so important not to do that I've included it first. If every piece of content is a message that somehow says, “Buy Me, Buy Me,” your audience will unsubscribe, unlike, and go to great lengths to make sure they never see your content again. It's just plain rude! And my momma taught me never to be that rude. <grin> But seriously – a good rule of thumb is to create valuable content for your readers at least 80% of the time; promote yourself (tastefully!) no more than 20% of the time.
2. Vague, Nonspecific Content
Let your personality show no matter where you're posting your content, be it Google+, your Facebook Fan Page, your blog, etc. If your content is so vague that it's either pointless or soulless, you've found a sure recipe to lose readers quickly.
Just a note – if you've bought “private label right” or PLR content to use on your website, I have to tell you – don't use it as is. Not only will it look so vague and nonspecific that your readers will be put off, but since other people can buy the very same material, you'll get penalized by the search engines too. In both cases, it's a sure recipe to create material your readers will start to despise.
3. Forget a Call to Action
When you post to your website or blog (or you send your content out via a newsletter), you've got to be sure to include a call to action. Tell your readers what to do. It might be to share. It might be to comment. It might be to buy, in some cases, if you have a product that solves a need for your readers. But if you don't tell them what you want them to do with the information you've provided, chances are they won't know. And after a while, they'll find themselves wondering why they're reading your content in the first place. Don't be that person! <grin>
4. Forget to Provide Value
Every post you make should provide value. Period. Even when you are promoting your products or services, it's got to be in a way that provides value to your audience. If not, it's spam. And if it's spam, your readers will come to hate it.
5. Make Your Readers Work Too Hard
Especially when people first get started with content marketing, they think they can't possibly be a good enough writer to write a blog. So they try to sound more knowledgeable than they are. This comes in the form of writing about things they clearly don't quite understand, or they use words they'd never use in real life. I mean, really, we can all tell! Both of these things make your readers work way too hard to read your content.
Instead – write like you'd talk. If you really struggle with grammar, spelling or any other part of written English, it might pay to have someone edit your posts or even to outsource writing them altogether. But chances are, if you passed a standard high school English course, your writing is just fine for your own blog.
Read your content out loud to yourself or a friend before you publish it. If it sounds like something you'd say in conversation, you're good. If it sounds too stuffy, try to rework it so your finished product sounds just like you.
What are your favorite kinds of content to hate? Leave me a comment below – I'd love to hear from you!