• Kristi DePaul

3 reasons why your content is missing the mark


What opportunities are you missing, right this very moment? Even the most riveting startups and learning and development orgs fail to capture the attention of those they seek to reach. We’ve seen it time and time again.


But it doesn’t have to be this way. Your blog could be attracting readers and (even better), getting them to discuss and share your content with all their friends and admirers.


Yep, that's where you want to be.


What's standing in your way? Here are the mistakes you might be making, and how to avoid them.


1) You’re pontificating instead of responding to *actual* customer concerns.

Find this one topic super interesting? Great! Now go do research* before you’re 2k words in and discover that, gulp, nobody else does. (Unless you’re very well known, in which case, go for it, because you already have a dedicated following who will indulge you and follow you down every rabbit hole. Also, you are awesome!)


*You can determine what burning questions others have by looking at forums like Reddit or Quora or searching hashtags on Twitter and LinkedIn. Some folks recommend ‘listening’ in to others’ conversations on Clubhouse, but we haven’t tried this one yet.

2) You haven’t made content skimmable and easy-to-digest.


See what we did there? The tl;dr version: Nobody has time for anything anymore. Humans' attention spans now rival that of a goldfish. Even if we're being generous, our friends at Buffer found that readers typically scan posts for roughly 15 seconds. They're taking in around 50 words at best, if reading at an average speed...and that's all you have before you lose them.


In short, you’re not The Economist. People aren’t settling in for a long, committed read with you (just yet). But one day—especially if you follow this advice—they might be!


3) You neglected to carefully proofread and edit.


Let’s be real: a typo or two isn’t going to turn away most folks, unless you’re us (pro writers and editors with a bias toward perfectionism). But a meandering narrative and confusing structure? That'll lead to waylaid readership. Mark our words.


So before hitting ‘publish,’ give it another read.


We recommend going backwards, working from the conclusion back up to the intro. When reading sentences out of context versus flowing through a paragraph, those errors are more likely to stand out to you.


How can you avoid the above?

It's not a quick fix, but it's the smartest one: Write according to a carefully laid out strategy.


Know what you’re going to say, and more importantly, why you’re going to say it.

  • Who do you expect will care about this?

  • What terms, phrases, or calls to action will resonate most with them?

  • How do you expect this article, blog post or Twitter thread to age? (Is it an evergreen piece, or more timely?)

Don’t have the time? We get it.


☎️ Call us! Or, leave us a note. We’re a fully distributed, asynchronous team. So minding a telephone in an office isn’t a thing. But you could picture us doing that, in a retro sort of way, if you’d like. :)



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