Why Nobody Reads Your Blog Posts (and What To Do About It)

why nobody reads your blog posts feature image

“I’m feeling discouraged today after publishing another post to little response.”

This is a comment someone made to me recently. They were tired of writing blog posts nobody reads?

Writing a blog post you feel is really going to help people, only to discover they don’t seem interested, is discouraging, isn’t it?

I know. I’ve been there…

I started my first blog with the goal to teach copywriting skills and techniques to people who wanted to write blog posts that sold their products and services.

That was my goal.

This was back in 2011/12. Copyblogger.com was already a big, popular blog writing on the same topic, with a huge audience. So I knew there was a market for my topic; a ready-made group of readers who wanted to know how to write popular, entertaining content (or copy).

I had my own ideas and skills and knowledge and experience of what it took to write content or copy like this. I was passionate and I had excitement and enthusiasm about this topic. I still do, by the way :-)

I knew what bloggers needed to do, how to do it and why. I wrote blog posts about how to write headlines that grab attention. How to write opening sentences and paragraphs that pulled readers in to the rest of the post.

I wrote posts about the techniques, tips and tricks for creating a sense of “buying urgency” in readers and carrying them to the end of each post where they would be compelled to hit the “buy now” button.

I wrote about how to write blog posts that spoke to the reader. Why it was important to know who your reader was and what they wanted to buy. And how to use words to invoke “buying modes” etc…etc…etc. All that good, copywriting stuff.

I was excited about the success I could bring those bloggers I was writing for. Thrilled to have such knowledge to pass on to them. I knew there was a market for it. Not only because of blogs like Copyblogger but because Internet Marketers were always talking online about these techniques, holding webinars, selling courses and products teaching it, often for huge price tags. My goal was to eventually offer a copywriting course of my own.

The future of my blog looked bright.


But hardly anyone read anything I wrote.

My blog posts got one or two comments, a share on Twitter here and there, that was it. I wrote post after post for a month. The response I got was not only disappointing, it was downright frustrating.

After a month or two, I gave up, embarrassed, frustrated and disappointed. Here I was with copywriting skills that I knew from using them to write adverts for business opportunities and books that got praise from advertisers but nobody read my blog posts.

Blogging, I decided, obviously wasn’t the right way to sell copywriting skills, knowledge or courses – or probably anything else.

I thought at the time that blogging and making money online were little more than get-rich-quick schemes, such as those “make money while you sleep business opportunities” advertised commonly in the classifieds of daily newspapers, pre-Internet days.

But, it’s not true.

Blogging is just as good or as bad as any other method of building a business. What stops it working is that you (and I) forget the most important fact of all:

If readers aren’t interested in what you’re writing about, you’ll never get them to read what you’re writing.

Even if you and I think they should because what we’re writing is full of good stuff – everything they need to know to be, do and have what they want to be, do and have.

That’s the stone cold, hard fact.

People have to want to read your blog posts. If you want them to read your blog posts you have to make them want to read them.

Not by force. Not by manipulation. Not by endlessly tweeting links on Twitter and Facebook, or whichever social medium you use. Not by irritating popular bloggers in your niche with emails telling them “Hey, here’s my nice new blog post. Please link to it.”

Advice that tells you these kind of techniques work are wrong. They don’t work. Not in the way described in many “How–To” posts you see. This is the kind of advice that Corbett Barr calls “boilerplate tactics”.

These are tactics that, when put into action, are clearly just following cut-and-paste templates. There’s no soul. No creativity. No thought. Just “give me a link God dammit ‘coz I wants Traffic!” thinking that gets ignored.

This kind of advice also often misses out a vital step.

This vital step being that if you want to get a response after publishing your blog posts, you need to write content that people want to read.

So, how do you do that…?

Step 1: Find People Who Want To Read Your Blog Posts

How? Go to the places where people who are most likely to want to read your blog posts (your potential readers) are venting their frustrations and disappointments already.

Those places where they’re asking questions, joining in conversations in forums, chat rooms, Facebook groups, in the comments sections blog posts. Places where they’re engaging each other in conversations about topics you want to write about. If you’re not sure where these places are,this post will help you find them.

Go there, mingle, get chatting with them. Spend time finding out as much as you can about their woes, their likes, dislikes, their wish this was different, or their “Why doesn’t somebody do something about this?”. Or “Can anybody help me sort out this (really frustrating problem)?, “Dear God! You had that problem too? Wow! How did you solve it?”

Here’s a screenshot to show you what I mean by “mingling” from one of the Facebook Groups I’m in currently…

Mingling in FB group

It’s a private Facebook Group so as you can see I’ve blotted out the images and names of other members, except for mine. (I’ve also truncated this discussion post because it’s too long to add complete in an image.)

In the top red box you can see a question asked by a member of this Group. Included in the answers this member gets is mine. You can see the short conversation that takes places between us in this red box too.

I then went into more detail in answering this member’s question in a couple of Private Messages in Facebook. Our conversation also continued in the Facebook Group as you can see in this next screenshot…

Mingling in FB group pays off

Note that I helped this member out further and only invited him to check out a blog post of mine that I thought would help him further. I haven’t charged him any money. I haven’t cluttered up our conversation with links to my blog. I’ve just offered help that’s been welcomed.

And this is how you establish yourself as someone helpful to your potential readers. Someone who has answers they’re looking for. A genuine person with a goal to give real solutions. Someone who’s blog posts they should read.

Once you’ve established yourself in your readers eyes as someone who helps them, has got really good advice that works, then they’ll be more ready and willing to buy.

Wherever people are discussing topics you want to write about, and getting together, you need to be there too with helpful advice, solutions and answers. As Justin Jackson says:

Justin Jackson quote

Understand from your target market (or potential audience, readers, whatever you prefer to call them) what it is they want to know so that you can give them that information.

And keep going there. Let them tell you what they want to read. If you then write about those things, they will read it.

Check out this short video I made to go along with this post. You’ll discover further steps inside the video too…



Don’t ever assume you know what it is your readers want.

That was my mistake. When trying to sell my copywriting skills and know-how, I assumed I knew what people wanted to know. I thought I knew better than they did.

Because if you do, you’ll miss out on writing blog posts they want to read…

If I’d paid attention, I would have noticed that the people I was trying to talk to about copywriting were interested in grammar (yes, believe it or not! The last thing I’d have guessed they wanted to read about) and writing well and becoming better writers.

If I’d paid attention and had known how to relate deep heart pains to copywriting, I’d have noticed that posts about grammar, writing well and becoming a better writer on other popular blogs in my field got a lot more readers, likes, shares and comments than other posts on those same blogs.

If I’d paid attention to these signposts, I wouldn’t have kept writing posts about “Why you need to know about your reader”. No. Instead, I would have noticed they didn’t want to know about their readers. At least, not before they’d got what they did want to know.

If…If…

I thought I knew best. I don’t. And you don’t either.

Yes, we can both think we know. But until we have it from them, we’ll just be preaching rather than teaching. And that’s not good. Because when you’re trying to get people to read your blog posts preaching fails.

Where do they go to vent?

That’s what you have to find out. Your first port of call are blogs that write about the same subjects and topics you do.

Why? Because their readers include people who are most likely to be struggling with problems you can help them solve.

You may know these blogs already. You may read them yourself. You may already read the comments other readers are leaving about they’re having.

If you don’t start now because comments can be really useful ways of finding out what readers want to know.

Or the questions they still need answering.

Questions asking for more information, more detail, or questions like:

“This is great but I still want to know is how to do (thing they want to do).” – Insights like this is gold, because this is what they really want to know. It’s what will drive them to your blog to read your posts.

They’ll not only read them, they’ll probably tell their friends about them. You know, “I’ve just found out this really great post that tells you how to do (thing they most wanted to do)”. Or you’ll get comments from them like this:

“very timely”

“The timing couldn’t be more ideal.”

“Very timely for me”

What was this post I wrote that was so timely for these readers? It was this one here.

And they’ll probably share your helpful posts too.

Because they’ve finally found what they were looking for and they’ll be in such a good mood about it, they’ll want to let other people know about it.

That’s the power of finding out what people want to know about so you can fulfil their wants in your writing blog posts.

Take time to get to know people in those places where you’re mingling with them.

For example, it took me a couple of weeks in one new forum I joined, before I started joining in threads, because I wanted to get fully familiar with the kinds of things people were talking about there. And how they were talking about them.

Also, I wanted to know if this was the right forum for me. And this is what you should do too – although, you may find it tempting to get stuck in straightaway in answering questions or joining in conversations.

Which brings us onto how you turn what you learn in these places your future readers are venting, into blog posts they want to read…

Step 2: Find Out What Their Frustrations And Disappointments Are

You’re looking for those you recognise.

Those frustrations and disappointments you can solve because you know how.

Either because you’ve experienced them yourself, or you have had training in how to solve them. Or you know someone who helped you that you can introduce to them via a feature in a blog post.

What you’re looking for are cries for help. Or what I call “deep heart problems”. These are questions, comments, statements, like these…

“I’m just trying to figure out my target audience, and it has been frustrating.”

“Can anybody tell me how to upload a word doc to kindle that looks anyway like it’s supposed to? I’m not a tech-minded person so please be gentle with me.”

“I have just about had it with [frustrating blog theme]. Anybody out there know why I keep getting Comments in my sidebar? I don’t want them there.”

“Anyone know how to stop a three year old throwing her food on the floor all the time. I’m running out of ideas.”

These are just examples of some of the comments or questions, frustrations and so on, that you should be looking out for.

And, if you see them and they strike a chord with you, you have found your “Common Bond Audience”.

What’s your Common Bond Audience? This is what I call those people you focus on finding and attracting back to your blog with posts they want to read. Because…

Not only do you have solutions to end their deep heart problems…

You also share a common bond with them in that you have experience of , or very similar experience to, those same struggles they’re going through now.

This experience means you can relate closely to them.

For example, maybe you write for Parents. And maybe your three-year-old threw his or her food on the floor all the time, exhausting you of ideas to stop them doing so and, instead make mealtimes less stressful…

But, joy of joy, you eventually found a solution and the food throwing stopped. Now your three-year-old is now a happy sitting-at-the-table-like-an-angel-for-every-meal four-year-old.

How did you do it? What’s your secret?

All stressed out, idea-exhausted parents of food-throwing toddlers want to know. Oh! – and while you’re about it – how did you manage to get all the stains out of the carpet? :)

How do you take this kind of need for answers and turn it into a blog post they (your common bond audience) wants to read? How will this relate to your particular topic?

Step 3: How To Turn Their “Deep Heart Problems” Into Blog Posts They Want To Read

You start with the headline.

Move on to the opening sentences and paragraph. Through the rest of your post, explaining each point you need to explain to make your post useful.

And you end with a closing paragraph that doesn’t just encourage them to take whatever action you want them to take, like opting into your email list, or to click the download button for your free e-book, for example, but compels them to take that action.

So, let’s start with the headline using our example of the three-year-old food thrower…

Our headline could be:

Attention Grabbing Headline

It’s a good bet that anyone going through this problem with their child, whether they’re three years old, or not, will notice this headline.

If you’ve seen someone asking this – or similar – in a forum for example, in these words, it’s a good bet also that they’ll be more parents desperate to know how to make it stop.

If there are several people asking this question – even better. If you had an answer, you’d get writing a post to give them that answer.

Remember, it has to be helpful and useful. Maybe break it down into more than one post if you need to.

A headline that reflects back a deep heart problem is more likely to get noticed, clicked on and shared. And read.

Then, moving on to our opening sentence and paragraphs…

Headline and opening sentences paragraphs pic

You can’t sell all your products or services at once. So stop trying.
Tweet-This

You see, you’re task in drawing in readers beyond an attention-grabbing headline is to make them want to read that first sentence…

Then the next…

Then the next…

Then the next paragraph…

Then the next…

Right up until the last sentence when all they want to do is sign-up for your free ebook, or to your email list for more gems of useful, sought-after advice they’ve been after for years.

Quotes help too if you can include any. If not, its okay.

If you can include a quote or two or three, great! Because people love quotes. Quotes from influencers or famous people. Quotes from people who have gone through similar experiences. Quotes – sh*t people say – when they’re in situations their common bond audience recognises.

Amy Hoy talks about why quotes help in this post on writing blog posts that people want to read.

Here’s a real life example of a deep heart problem solved by a blog post (allbeit, a video blog post, a.k.a. vlog)…

I’d been searching for a couple of years for information on how to format a document into a Kindle book before I hit upon this video by Tom Corson-Knowles: How to Format an Ebook for Kindle – Ebook Publishing School 2.0 Video Training.

Until I found it, not being able to find out what I needed to do, or how to do it (in simple, easy-to-follow steps) frustrated the hell out of me. It also kept me from my goal of writing and publishing a Kindle book.

Yes, I’d tried searching the internet for how to do the formatting but was stalled by articles that merely put me off, because they went on about needing ePub software, to convert my text to Mobi, etc…etc… how so many Kindle books had crappy formatting no one was reading them. And so on… And so on…

Then, joy of joy, I found Tom Corson-Knowles’ video step-by-step instructions and lo! – it’s so much easier than I imagined (Now all I have to do is write my book :) )

Do you think I shared this video on Twitter? You bet. Several times. Not only that, so thankful am I for finally finding a simple, how-to explanation of how to format a Word document for Kindle, I bought his Kindle Publishing Course [NOT an affiliate link].

This is why it pays to know what your potential readers are struggling with. Why spending time finding out what their deep heart pains are is so important.


This is why you need to find out what is keeping your potential readers from reaching their goal.

Because if you help them get their goal, they’ll trust you, they’ll stick by you (unless you do something rotten to them, of course, like ‘em junk).

And, when you have something to buy (especially, if it shows them how to more of what they want), they’ll buy from you too.

Ideally, you want to find deep heart problems that make you say:

“Oh yes! I know how that feels. I’ve had that problem too and it frustrated the Hell out of me – until I found out how to solve it.”

If no one is reading your blog posts after you hit publish, it’s because you’re not solving real problems for people.

Not just any people – your Common Bond Audience people– your readers.

Even if you have no readers yet

Because your blog is new or you have yet to get readers, you need to be writing blog posts that directly solve their deep heart problems.

By “solve”, I also mean answer their burning questions too.

You’ll know when you’re on the right track because they’ll tell you how much you’ve helped them.

You’ll start getting emails from them, or tweets, or comments from them saying how much a blog post you’ve written (or video you’ve made) has help them.

It’s priceless when this happens. It makes you feel like you’re finally making a difference, finally helping them, like you wanted to.

The more you write content directly in response to their problems, the more they will want to read your blog posts.

Give them “timely” solutions and answers and they’ll come back for more.

Your job now is to find them and their deep heart problems so you can make that happen for you – and for them – at last.



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31 Comments

  • Katharine Di Cerbo

    Reply Reply January 12, 2016

    Hi Tom,

    I really enjoyed this article, thanks for posting.

    I think this is really outstanding advice, not just to get people to ready blog posts but to develop the foundation for a successful venture.

    And you’re right, there are no shortcuts to developing real relationships with readers and truly understanding them. I have tried a lot of what you suggested but not everything, so thanks again for the very helpful suggestions.

    ~Katharine

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 12, 2016

      Hi Katharine,

      Welcome and thank-you for coming here and taking time to leave your comment. Good to hear from you. Yes, it’s so important to create relationships through your content because this is how you build a engaged and repeat customer business.

      Thanks again for adding your thoughts.

      -Tom

  • Kim Willis

    Reply Reply January 12, 2016

    Hi Tom,

    Another great post from your good self.

    Finding people who want to read our posts is dead easy. These people are everywhere. You cite Facebook groups as one example. Irrespective of the niche chances are there is a vibrant FB group for people to plug into.

    I’m in quite a few myself, and some of them are so active that you have to check in daily to keep up with them

    Another platform I like us Quora. Bloggers can gain exposure there and importantly discover what people want to learn about as well as get their questions answered.

    Finding the pain points and creating content that addresses those pain points is the sensible approach for bloggers to take. Everyone has problems they want to solve. So once we know what the niche specific problems are, the rest of it is relatively easy. But it requires work, of course.

    I could ramble on but since you’ve done such a good job, it’s somewhat pointless.

    Thanks again, Tom

    Kim

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 12, 2016

      Hi Kim,

      Good to see you here again. It’s great to see you back and to hear you like this post.

      Yes, Facebook groups are on the increase and provide a rich source of insights into what people are struggling with, asking about, or simply talking about. I’ve come across some great ideas in one or two groups.

      I’m only recently venturing into Quora, so I’m still getting to know it. If you’re in there, can I add you to my Follow list?

      You’re right, once you know what to look for and that these sources of insights exist, it’s often a struggle to keep up with the blog post writing. Ha! – maybe a topic for a blog post – how to keep up with an endless stream of ideas.

      Ramble away, Kim, always value your thoughts.

      Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

      -Tom

  • Don Purdum

    Reply Reply January 12, 2016

    Hi Tom,

    I really appreciate the depthness of your article. There are a few ideas I would like to add and contribute to your points.

    In over ten years of entrepreneurship and having worked with hundreds of companies I can say with confidence and without prejudice that the #1 reason people are not reading is because they don’t have a message.

    I recently came across two studies which backed this up. The first was by IBM that was released in October 2015. In it 80% of respondents said that they leave a business website almost immediately due to a lack of message. (on the “Begin Here” page of my site there is a link to the study as well as the videos they produced with real consumers talking about this issue).

    I like to tie this in by helping people understand they don’t have a message and that is the number 1 reason they aren’t getting readers. In my system I teach business to gain extreme clarity and then a message by answering the following questions:

    1. Discover the “specific” problems they are passionate about solving.
    2. Discover the tangible values customers experience and how they feel about the experience.
    3. Discover the “specific” problems they solve for each tangible value
    4. Discover who they “specifically” solve each problem for (in detail)
    5. Discover how their product or service is “a” part of “a” solution

    This leads to being able to create a one sentence foundation that identifies the “business one is ‘really’ in” from the consumers point of view and then message that over and over again via ONE article, for ONE person, that solves a “specific” need, fulfills a “specific” desire or meets a “specific” need.

    When I was in graduate school I had a speaking coach and I learned a really valuable lesson about speaking.

    The lesson was: if you speak broadly they will all leave telling you how great of a job you did. But if you’re specific 80% will leave saying that and 20% will be at the front of the room asking “how did you know?”

    It’s the same in blogging.

    Now here is the REALLY cool part. If you do this a by product is also discovering those who serve the same audience you do but in a different way.

    When our content is relevant, inspiring and compelling for the audience we attract not just the primary audience but also the secondary (those we ought to network with).

    They can introduce us to highly targeted readers in ways no other media can and it’s powerful; and I’m proof of it!

    I hope this comment adds some value to your post Tom. I enjoyed it immensely.

    I hope you have a prosperous and Happy New Year!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 12, 2016

      Hi Don,

      Oh my gosh, what a full and comprehensive response, Don, thanks.

      Yes, I’ve read that IBM research and it’s certainly a figure to focus on when creating a blog that attracts the right kind of traffic for you.

      I’ve also read some figures that if you don’t get first time visitors to stay longer than 3 seconds, you’ll never get them back again. So, making sure you know who your blog posts are for is vital if you want people to stay – and keep coming back for more.

      Your Begin Here page sounds like it’s got this covered. I recently designed a similar page that is targetted to 3 main struggles my audience is getting frustrated with when they visit my blog:

      >lack of traffic
      >getting people to read their blog
      >feeling their blog’s going nowhere (and getting frustrated and disappointed about it)

      They have an option to click on options that’ll give them solutions straight away. It’s leading to steady growth of my list (which is good).

      I really like your story you add too about the speaking coach and his/her lesson to aim for people saying “how did you know that?”. That’s what your goal for getting that reaction from every post you write.

      Yes, you’ve definitely added value here, Don, thanks so much. Love your thoughtful comments because you always put so much care and enthusiasm.

      Always welcome, Don, glad to have you stop by. And here’s wishing a Happy & Prosperous 2016 to you too.

      -Tom

  • Kevin J. Duncan

    Reply Reply January 12, 2016

    Hey Tom,

    Loved your line: “If readers aren’t interested in what you’re writing about, you’ll never get them to read what you’re writing.”

    That’s blogging success in a nutshell, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter how crisp your words or how much personality oozes from them, if readers aren’t interested in your topic you’re toast.

    Warren Buffet enthralls investors with his anecdotes. If he told those same stories to a room full of high school freshmen, they’d be bored out of their minds. However, get one of those ridiculous Kardashians to speak to the students about — I dunno… shopping malls? — and they’ll be glued to every word.

    I’ve already tweeted your great post, but it’s so good I’ll have to do it again later, Tom. :-)

    Well done, my friend.

    – @kevinjduncan

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 12, 2016

      Hi Kevin,

      Ah yes, that’s the power of popular content, isn’t it? The right message to the right audience. Which is as much about how you make your feel about you as it is about what you say, or do.

      Great to have you here, Kevin. Welcome! And thanks for the tweets. Two in one day. Can’t be bad :).

      Cheers!

      -Tom

  • Adrienne

    Reply Reply January 13, 2016

    Hey Tom,

    I agree with everyone here, what a great post and I think a lot of people can feel your pain.

    That’s the issue so many people have, they write exceptional content yet no one reads it. I believe that pretty much anything that’s put out there someone wants to know about it. How do you get in front of those people though, that’s what their main issue is.

    Your suggestions for doing the research is spot on. Especially if you don’t already have an audience but need to get in front of more people. Finding what their issues are, well who wouldn’t want to read a post if it’s addressing exactly that.

    I’ve taken a little bit of a different angle myself. I know which areas I want to help people with so I write about those areas that they need answers to. Although on the surface it may look like I still have the same audience I’ve always had and I do but I’m getting emails from people I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting yet. They are seeing my content online and people are referring them so those have been a lot of my newer clients. It’s really been great watching how this works.

    Awesome post and I’ll be sure to spread it around as well. I’m sure there are plenty who are eager to read this one.

    Hope you’re having a good week.

    ~Adrienne

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 14, 2016

      Hi Adrienne,

      So good to see you here again. It’s always a pleasure to have you comment and share your warm and insightful thoughts.

      I think the way you write for your audience, shows how well you know them and how much work you’ve put into knowing them. Also, your commitment to engagement has helped you grow a large social media following because people (me included) want to share your message and your spot-on content.

      Yes, I think sharing my own experiences of failure and how I’m turning this around with this current blog, helps others going through similar experiences, know that there is hope. There are ways to grow a blog and enjoy success and I love how influencers like yourself are generous enough to help me spread this to those very people. I really do value your support in this.

      I’m recovering from flu at the moment and hoping I’ll be back to rights soon. How about you, Adrienne, how’s your week going? Thanks again for taking time to comment. Btw, I linked to a post of yours about grabbing the attention of your audience that’s really apt here.

      -Tom

      • Adrienne

        Reply Reply January 14, 2016

        Hey Tom,

        That’s come with a lot of time and education on my part, it’s no easy task for those of us who never even dreamed we would be blogging. So many people who don’t see themselves as writers I’m sure feel that way. You do though need to address just them and their needs or it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get, they won’t be sticking around!

        I honestly think that when you share your own experiences that people can relate to that SO much more. I mean how many other people have probably been through the same thing? It’s NOT fun and when you feel you’re the only one, knowing someone else has been through the same thing. Well that’s just huge. Also knowing they overcame that and are doing so well now gives them hope. Who wouldn’t want to learn from someone like that right Tom!

        You poor thing, I’m so sorry but I sure hope you’re feeling better soon. Being sick is never fun, I hate it.

        My week has been going pretty good Tom, thanks for asking. I just hosted my 2nd webinar yesterday and it was a lot of fun. I was much more comfortable this time around so I’m eager to start moving in the direction to do my own.

        I saw that, I guess I forgot to thank you didn’t I! Ooops… Sorry about that but thank you, it’s always appreciated Tom.

        You get to feeling better soon okay! We want you back in tip top shape.

        ~Adrienne

        • Tom

          Reply Reply January 15, 2016

          Hey Adrienne,

          Thanks for getting back to me here. Good to see you again.

          You make a great point here about people not thinking of themselves as writers when they start their blog. It can be daunting to realise that writing is a major part of creating content. Although, video can be a great alternative. Even though it can take some know-how and nerves (but as I’m learning, you do improve with practice.).

          Glad you like the way I share my own experiences, good and bad, about blogging. You’re right, it’s for the people who’ve going through struggling to make their blog work, that I do this. I wish someone had done this for me when I was first starting out and let me know that failure could be overcome. And that conventional advice like SEO, keyword research, didn’t work for every blogger (or niche).

          Thanks for the sympathy, Adrienne, :) . Sorry I missed your webinar. Is there a replay, or a recording? I’ve watched a couple of your videos and your interview with Brent Jones @brentjonline and learnt a lot from them too.

          No worries about thanking me. Having you stop by and add your thoughts is Thanks enough.

          Cheers!

          -Tom

  • Sherman Smith

    Reply Reply January 15, 2016

    Hey Tom,

    You were spot on and exactly use some of the ideas you conveyed.

    I can remember when I first started blogging, I didn’t know who was going to read my blog and where I was going to find people to do so.

    Then lo and behold I discovered facebook blogging tribes. I went crazy and joined over 100 of them LOL. But I was only active in two of them. What I got out of it was meeting genuine people who showed me the value of reciprocation. From that point on it just been getting better.

    I also tend to ask my list what their problems are. Whenever I do this they email me back to let me know. They give me some great ideas for topics which have been getting great traffic.

    Thanks for sharing Tom! Have a great upcoming weekend!

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 15, 2016

      Hey Sherman,

      Good to see you here again – Welcome!

      Meeting other people in blogging with whom you can grow genuine relationships, is a solid way of growing your blog. Because they can help promote your content and you can promote theirs. This is how most blog posts are promoted and get traffic back to your blog.

      A lot of beginner bloggers get persuaded by so-called experts that SEO is the way to go. But it isn’t. Not for everyone.

      Yeh, Facebook tribes/groups can be addictive, can’t they? :) I’m in a good few myself and am planning to start one for my traffic course students.

      Asking your list is such a brilliant strategy. List members are a solid source of blog post ideas, aren’t they?

      Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your thoughts. Always welcome here. Cheers Sherman!

      -Tom

  • Monna Ellithorpe

    Reply Reply January 17, 2016

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you for this great post. I agree 100%. You can write the best of anything you’ve ever written but if it doesn’t solve a problem for anyone, it won’t be found or read.

    I find myself in between sometimes with my writing and marketing. I tend to focus more on the marketing and do not leave enough time for writing.

    You have given some great suggestions here that I have been told in the past but sometimes good advice just slips your mind.

    Have a great New Year.

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 19, 2016

      Hi Monna,

      Welcome! Thanks for coming by and adding your thoughts. You’re right, we sometimes get sidetracked by everything we have to do today and good things slip passed.

      Your finding yourself in between sometimes with your writing and marketing rigs a bell for me. Sometimes, it can difficult to know which to concentrate on most, when and where, can’t it? Mind you, you can’t go wrong doing more marketing than writing because marketing is what gets you noticed. It’s that old 80/20 thingymy, again – or more like it – 20/80 – when it comes to getting our message out there.

      Cheers Monna! Drop by again soon, won’t you?

      -Tom

  • Jasper Oldersom

    Reply Reply January 19, 2016

    Hi Tom,

    In 2011, I definitely wasn’t aware of Copyblogger yet. I think that was about the time my boss from my internship pointed me to MOZ (then seoMOZ) to learn about online marketing.

    I have to say your tips are excellent. I love commenting, but I definitely need to engage in forums and Facebook more. The snapshot is a good example of helping yourself by helping others!

    I know what you’re saying by thinking what you want your audience to know. Ramsay from BlogTyrant once said that what you want to teach, is not always what your audience is looking for. If you are teaching advanced copywriting tactics to a beginners audience, that’s obviously not going to work as well as giving them the basics.

    We have to start somewhere, but listening to the signs is obviously very important. I love the examples you gave of the common frustrations you might find out there. Those are all gold nuggets for bloggers.

    That headline example is so strong that I got a bit excited. It has a strong benefit to the reader and an objection destroyer, killing the 3 most common objections right there in the headline.

    Thank you for the link to Tom Corson’s video, I didn’t know formatting for Kindle is not something you’ll have to outsource!

    Excellent post, Tom. You not only gave very valuable information, you also added that motivational fuel to the fire we all need to succeed!

    – Jasper

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 20, 2016

      Hi Jasper,

      Great to see you here. Welcome! Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts.

      Ramsay Taplin’s so right about your audience not necessarily being interested in what you want to teach. I didn’t know back then that most readers are also beginners looking for advice or lessons in how to start. I was talking way over their heads. Not good. But 4 years is a long time in Blogging and I learnt so much in that time that I’m putting into action to grow this blog.

      Headlines are so important. I’m so glad to hear you saw the strategy going on there.

      Yes, that video of Tom Corson-Knowles is a real help, isn’t it?

      Glad to hear how you found this post value, Jasper. Let me know how you go. Also, you might like to join my email list to get more helpful info like this. Be good to have you on board.

      Cheers Jasper. Looking forward to having you stop by here again.

      -Tom

  • Andrew M.Warner

    Reply Reply January 25, 2016

    Hey Tom,

    Happy New Year and great post you shared here.

    I understand that a lot of people have this trouble. People don’t read their blog posts that they spent X amount of hours on. And it’s frustrating. You want recognition for the hard work you put in.

    But I think the main reason they face that issue is they don’t write about topics their readers want to read about.

    I know I was like that before.

    I have a lot of ideas for topics but if it’s not something my readers want particular information on, there’s no point in publishing it. Because it’ll “fall on deaf ears.”

    All of your steps you laid out are spot on.

    With step 3, I love it. Because those deep hearted issues are real pain points they want solved. And if you can solve it for them, they’ll remember that.

    Great stuff.

    – Andrew

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 25, 2016

      Hi Andrew,

      Good to see you back. Hope you had a good Christmas and here’s wishing you a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2016.

      You’re right it is frustrating and you got the recognition part right. That’s exactly what people want when they’ve put in hard work creating their content. Recognition is a big part of why failing to get readers is so disappointing too.

      Yep, it’s those deep heart pains that can really turn things around for you if you pay attention to them.

      Thanks Andrew.

      -Tom

  • Peter Beckenham

    Reply Reply January 25, 2016

    Hello again Tom and apologies for my late visit to your place.
    Our little Thai villae has been having huge power problems over the last few days.

    Finally I got the chance to catch up with your latest post and what a truly superb article you have provided here Tom,

    I envy your copywriting skills by the way!

    So many gems here but my main takeaways were firstly for brand new bloggers who had no readers yet. They should be writing posts to address their potential “common bond” readers – posts that directly sovle a specific problem or in your terminology their “deep heart problems”

    Secondly, those great tips that identify potential community members who are posting comments forums, social media groups and blog posts. I must admit I have missed some golden opportunities to build by target audience because I was not looking for those specific clues in the comments that you kindly provided.

    Finally that powerful little phrase – “teach don’t preach”

    I was guilty of doing this when I first started my blog with my assuption of what I thought people coming to my blog would be interested in reading. I had no idea of my target audience and was not looking in the right places to find them either.

    Once I realized what the most common questions being asked my the 3 private social media groups and 1 particular forum I visited, it all became a matter of getting a headline that worked so that the content I knew the readers would love, gets a chance to be seen.

    Headlines are and probably will always be an exciting challenge for me and I’ve found the best things to model my headlines after are in niches that have nothing to do with my particular target audience. eg. Buzzfeed and Mens’ Health. Fabulous healines that we can just tweak and use.

    Fantastic Tom – always learn so much on my visits with you.

    Best wishes from a remote Thai village blogger

    Peter

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 26, 2016

      Hi Peter,

      Good to see you here again. I have to admit I was wondering if you were okay. Hope all’s well and things are getting back on track.

      Thanks for your thoughts on my copywriting. This is my first love I have to admit.

      Yes, you can do a lot with common bonds and looking for problems where you can help out and get known for your expertise.

      Looking out for those clues can take a while. But it can be really useful. It’s interesting to see how often certain beefs can show up. Can you share one thing you’ve discovered your audience wants to know?

      Men’s Health’s headlines always make me smile. They seem to revolve round “Big Arms” and “Get Abs Fast”. It’s probably because those ads sell a lot of copies. Magazines are a great source of headline ideas.

      Brilliant thoughts you’ve shared here, Peter, cheers!

      -Tom

  • Donna Merrill

    Reply Reply January 26, 2016

    Hi Tom,

    This is such an important topic.

    And it’s not just for newbies suffering from the “ghost town blues” as I like to call them.

    Every blogger, even the biggest and the best, spends day and night trying to figure out how to get more people reading their articles.

    You’ve given lots of great advice in this post.

    If I were to put it all together I’d say “be relevant” and not only that, but “be interesting.” It’s great to share info folks want, but if you can make it interesting with images, stories, video or whatever… so much better.

    But bottom bottom line… as you say, Solve the problems and Answer the questions that weigh most heavily on your readers’ minds and hearts.

    Nice, nice… so much info here. Thanks my friend.

    -Donna

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 26, 2016

      Hey Donna,

      Great to hear from you again.

      Yes, I think I’ve sung those ghost town blues myself in the past. Not a happy place to be, that’s for sure. Lack of readers is such a soul-destroying experience.

      Yup, relevance to your audience is key. People struggle with the concept of writing what they think people need to know and writing what they want to know. It’s like that old sales adage: sell them what they want then you can sell them what they need.

      I’m just starting to get to grips with video and I use stories to show how I’ve been through struggles and frustrations like writing posts and not getting readers before discovering what works, so readers can relate.

      How did you go about getting readers when you were starting out?

      Glad to have your thoughts here, Donna. Cheers!

      -Tom

  • Kim George

    Reply Reply January 26, 2016

    Hello there Tom! This post…mannnnnn is it RIGHT on the money! I had blogging all wrong (and still have some work to do) but am getting better at it.

    Two things that stuck out to me – Figuring out where your audience hangs out + finding out their frustrations and disappointments.

    For the longest time, I would write based on what I ASSUMED my audience wanted..intead of asking them what they needed from me. Huge mistake!

    You live and you learn right?

    Super awesome article my friend. Off to share…:-)

    • Tom

      Reply Reply January 27, 2016

      Hi Kim,

      Great to see you here! Welcome!

      So glad you liked this post. I’m hearing your story and thinking how true it is also for so many people – me too – when they start.

      So many struggle through trying to find out what it is that works.

      We’ve all been there writing what we think people want. It’s so good when you finally crack the code, isn’t it?

      Thanks so much for sharing this post, Kim, your support in getting this message out there to those bloggers still struggling to get readers is gold.

      Can you share how you share how you made the switch to writing what your readers wanted? What has it done towards building your audience? I’d love to hear about that.

      Great to have you stop by and add your thoughts to this topic.

      -Tom

  • Bobby

    Reply Reply February 17, 2016

    Man, this is good to know. We gained a following on social media but now we have a blog so it’s good to know this stuff while we are operating the blog. Great tips! I’ll be back to visit again :)

  • Robin Khokhar

    Reply Reply April 28, 2016

    Hi Tom,
    Very nice, Especially video. Enjoyed reading it. When I was a newbie, I facing the same problem but now much better.
    Thanks for the amazing share.

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