Remember the day you published your first blog post—the day you decided to change your life?
Remember the excitement, the mix of adrenaline and anxiety?
It was intoxicating, wasn’t it?
You had big dreams for you blog.
And you jumped in.
Writing post after post, you hoped they’d gain traction.
And some of them made you proud; they proved you could do this.
Some were successful on social media.
Some just hit all the right buttons, proving you could work hard and enjoy the process.
But some of them disappointed you, didn’t they?
If you’re being honest, some of them, well, kind of sucked.
Some never received any comment love, any traffic, any social media shares.
They fell flat on their little digital faces, and you’re not sure why.
Over time, you’ve thought about the problem, but you couldn’t find a solution.
You couldn’t find the fix—that perfect common or exotic ingredient.
So, you began to doubt yourself, to doubt the blogging process altogether, wondering if you’d ever find a solution.
Ready for the truth?
There’s no single reason for blogging success.
A great blog post is like a recipe, requiring multiple ingredients—key ingredients and layers working together like a machine, like an integrated, intelligent system.
Ready to sample the recipe?
I thought so!
Read on to discover how to fix a floundering blog post.
Optimize Your Blog Post Title
First things first.
The next time you find yourself discussing blog post titles or article titles, I’d like you to think in terms of headlines. This simple shift will transform your relationship with titles (and blog posts altogether).
No one cares about a title.
A headline, however, has immense potential.
Think about it.
Titles are ubiquitous. In fact, the same titles repeat themselves ad infinitum–in books, films, music. It’s hard to match up titles with the appropriate works.
Did you know it’s impossible to copyright a title?
Headlines offer a different pathway.
- Headlines deliver more than mere information because they rely on scientific principles.
- Headlines operate on psychological levels, tapping into our basic wiring, tapping into our best and worst sensibilities.
- Headlines work because they speak to the unconscious, to that level of consciousness that makes the decisions.
If given the chance, would you rather speak to the receptionist or the boss holding the checkbook?
Headlines bypass reasoning and good intentions, appealing to the decision-makers.
So, let’s dispense with titles.
Instead, create irresistible headlines.
Break through the noise, and captivate your readers.
Go for the click, for the intrigue, for the sale.
- Speak to your readers’ desires, to their fears, to their pain.
- Solve a problem; clear a path.
- Make them feel something.
Connect with your readers on a visceral level. Let them know you understand them, that you’ve struggled with the same issues.
Go to a popular entertainment or news site. Spend an hour deconstructing the titles. Look for common denominators, for attributes that earn clicks. There’s no better lesson in the world of marketing. This one-hour activity can (and will) change your life.
If you’re an author, blogger, or creative person, this skill is indispensable.
So, redirect your energy.
Focus on headlines, on copywriting skills.
Allow headlines to work their magic, bringing you visitors, raving fans, paying clients.
Write a New, Captivating Introduction for Your Blog Post
Never underestimate the power of a first impression.
Just like your headline, your introduction must grab attention.
With so much media to consume, we forget about the level of competition, about the hundreds (or thousands) of daily messages vying for our attention.
The Primacy Effect, a cognitive bias, holds that people tend to remember things presented to them first.
So, if your introduction doesn’t grab them, they’ll be less like to value and share your post with others.
Your introduction is the perfect place to establish rapport with your readers.
Before delving into the nuts and bolts of your article or message, take the time introduction to make a connection with your readers. Forge an emotional bond.
You can achieve this by discussing a common pain point and pressing on it.
Let your reader know that you empathize with his or her plight, that you feel their pain and have a workable solution.
Use emotional language.
Tweak the feeling part of your message. Demonstrate that you care, that you’ve been there, that you understand and appreciate their need for resolution.
Imagine meeting a potential new friend, coworker, or colleague.
What would you do or say to help them trust you, to help them open themselves to the message you’re offering?
Your introduction has to make a connection —fast!
Within a few seconds, your blog post or article becomes one of two things:
- worthy of attention, or
- a reason to click away.
You do the same thing.
You click, too, and you become annoyed when your gamble turns into wasted time.
So, what makes the difference?
Like the headline, it comes down to making a connection. You need to stir someone’s lust, pride, fear, or envy.
I’ll bet you were expecting to see words such as love, empathy, altruism.
Studies show that we’re preprogrammed for survival, that our brains ignore or filter inconsequential data.
We prioritize things that will help us survive and/or thrive in a competitive, resource-scarce world.
So, find ways to tap into that mindset, that worldview operating just below the surface.
Imagine your reader’s asking, “What’s in it for me?”
Add Authority and Credibility to Your Blog Post
If you want to make a strong impression on your readers, amp up the authority in your article or blog post.
To boost credibility, bring in a trusted, reliable source: expert testimony, an academic journal article, or scientific data.
When you’re able and willing to cite appropriate outside sources, you increase your own authority. Your message, your reasoning, and opinions are now backed by science and/or a reputable authority.
People trust experts.
You go to auto mechanics to fix your vehicles, to doctors when you’re feeling unwell, to financial planners for investment advice.
You don’t have to be the last word on everything. To become a reputable source in your genre, be willing to look beyond your own knowledge. Demonstrate to your readers that you’ve done your homework, that your opinions are backed up by hard evidence.
Encourage them to verify the facts, to look beyond your article for a deeper understanding.
Point the way.
To increase the authority of your blog posts, consider adding the following elements:
- charts and graphs showing data and statistics,
- testimony from an industry expert
- quotes from famous people in your genre,
- links to scientific research, and
- brief summaries of recent studies.
Making meaningful connections between your knowledge and the latest science gives you an edge. It shows that you care enough to back your arguments with the best and latest evidence available.
And don’t worry–you don’t have to add research to every paragraph. Supply appropriate evidence for a few key ideas, and your work will stand out.
You don’t have to spend hours in the library, either. Try a standard Google search, or query Google scholar. Try adding .edu to your keyword searches.
Aggressively Market Your Blog Post
One of the most common ways bloggers fail is to sidestep marketing. Most bloggers secretly hope the publish button will do the work for them.
They think Google (and every other search engine) is waiting for them, anxious to flood their site with traffic every time they publish. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Ready for a reality check?
According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1,798,000,000 websites available on the internet and just under 5 million new blog posts published each day.According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1,798,000,000 websites available on the internet and just under 5 million new blog posts published each day. Click To Tweet
How is your post going to stand out? How is Google going to decide which posts to feature?
The news just gets worse for blogs and bloggers:
The New York Times reported that 95% of blogs end up abandoned without adding new content or updates.
After struggling to find an audience, a reason to continue writing, these bloggers gave up.
To offset these odds, you’re going to need to market your posts.
You’ll need to find ways to get traffic from social media, from guest posts on authority sites, from comments on popular blogs, from republishing opportunities on syndication sites.
Your post might be great (or close to great😉), but without a solid marketing plan, no one’s going to read it.
How do you plan to market your posts?
How much time do you spend marketing?
How much time will you need to spend to make a difference?
You’ll find thousands of free articles to help you market your blog posts. Search Amazon for books on the subject. A simple marketing plan can make all the difference.
Add Some Visuals and/or Video Media
Ever wonder why Youtube receives so much traffic?
People love visual media.
Rather than navigating massive walls of text, well-placed visuals grab attention.
You’ve probably heard the popular marketing advice suggesting that “people process visual media 60,00 times faster than text.”
I’ve read this advice a hundred times.
There’s no science to back this up—none, whatsoever.
What I can say, without reservation, is that it’s ten times easier to get my students to watch a video than to get them to read a chapter of text.
Perhaps, reading feels like work?
In any case, images and videos capture attention. For some, it’s a more passive form of learning or entertainment. It doesn’t require as much effort for engagement.
Images and videos break up the text, offering a contrasting experience.
So, try adding images, image quotes, video, charts, and infographics to your blog posts.
At the very least, they’ll engage more of your readership.
Just seeing the images and videos will make your content appear more valuable, more in-depth, more interesting.
Amplify the Fear Factor
You’re probably not going to like this any more than I did researching it.
It’s sad, yet it’s true.
Human beings respond more to fear than to positive reinforcement.
The Negativity Effect, another common cognitive bias, predicts that negative or potentially traumatic events have a greater impact on the psyche than positive or neutral events.
Dread Aversion, yet another cognitive bias, holds that the threat of loss has a greater impact on the psyche than the prospect of gains.
Rather than allowing this information to depress you, use it to your advantage.
Expose a common fear, and you’ll gain your readers full attention.
Better yet, offer a tangible solution to the source of this fear. Give your readers the opportunity to face and conquer this common worry once and for all.
Use the fear factor in your title, in your introduction, in appropriate parts of the body text.
It’s always best to work with the realities of human psychology than against them. Once you’ve pointed out the common pain points and fears, your solutions will hold more weight.It’s always best to work with the realities of human psychology than against them. Once you've pointed out the common pain points and fears, your solutions will hold more weight. Click To Tweet
So, it’s not all bad news.
Use pain and fear to get your readers attention. Once you have that attention, they’ll be more open and responsive to your positive messages (and solutions).
Update Your Blog Post!
Want to know how to revitalize a dead post with the least amount of time and effort?
Make it the current-year model:
- The 2021 guide to writing a successful blog post!
- How to write binge-worthy blog posts in 2022!
- What every successful bloggers will be doing in 2023!
Google seems to love these updates.
Because they reflect how people search.
They want to know the latest and greatest strategies, so they add the current year (or the upcoming year) to their keyword search.
Think about it.
Would you rather be reading last year’s advice or the newest take on a common problem?
Often, you won’t have to edit much of the article.
If you’re writing evergreen articles, all the better.
Update a few elements, and you’ll have the new and improved version of your article.
Also, there’s something about seeing the year in print; it gives your article more authority.
And as we’ve discussed before, authority is everything.
Become the current year guru, and watch your blog traffic increase.
Expand Your Blog Content (More is More)
Who wants more?
Everyone wants more– nearly all of the time.
So, consider ways you can add value to your blog posts by going longer and deeper with your content.
If you already have an excellent 10 item listicle, bump it up to 12 or 13.
The best part?
You can keep the old links pointing to the original article. Redirect the old URL to the new improved URL.
And, if you haven’t guessed it…
You can add “new and improved” to your article title. You can even add “the 2025 edition!”
Think about ways that you can add depth to your article.
Add examples, stories, interviews, and brand-new resources to your original blog post.
Any old article can be improved with an additional hour of work:
Add statistics, charts, and graphics.
Cite the latest research.
Add links to other articles within your website.
Take full advantage of this new and improved blog post by resubmitting it to your social media channels, to popular search engines.
A few simple tweaks can set off a whole new life for an old, forgotten post.
Make Your Content Exclusive
What’s the best way to increase demand for a blog post?
Make your blog post scarce.
Consider gating some of it.
Offer it to a select group for taking a specific action.
Ask them to sign up for your mailing list, for your newsletter, for a platinum level membership to gain this exclusive report.
As soon as you make it scarce, it will become more valuable.
The recipients will feel special, like they’re part of an exclusive club.
This feeds into the business world’s well-known exclusivity effect. People want to feel special, important, part of something elite. They’ll go to greater lengths to be part of the privileged class.
Conduct Keyword Research for Your Blog Post
What if all your blog post needed was better keyword research and placement?
That that would be a crime, wouldn’t it?
Want to know the worst part?
I’m sure this happens all the time.
Someone has a brilliant blog post, but they haven’t conducted any keyword research.
As a result, their post is dying, without readers, without gaining the traction and attention it deserves.
For example, your post might be a perfect candidate for a handful of longtail keywords.
Instead, without thinking about it, you went after the most common and competitive keywords.
Your post lies buried on page 15 of Google’s search results.
And it may be a much better article than the top five listed on page 1.
But those offerings on page 1 come from large corporations with marketing teams, SEO teams, and colossal advertising budgets.
You never really had a chance.
When was the last time you conducted keyword research?
- When you started your blog?
- When you wrote your first few posts?
Your post might be the best thing since sliced bread, but you didn’t have the forethought or knowledge to think about keywords and keyword placement.
Do yourself a favor, before publishing another post, take a look at the keywords– the ways real people are searching for information in your genre.
Check out free keyword tools.
After you’ve exhausted their capabilities, consider purchasing a paid service– if only for a month or so.
You owe it to yourself.
Find out how you can make your next post search-engine friendly.
Make sure you give yourself every opportunity to be seen and appreciated.
What’s your go-to strategy for revitalizing a run-of-the-mill blog post?
Join the conversation below.