Are you a recruiter who also blogs? There’s not many of us because it IS hard work and the ROI is unclear. Few of our peers make the effort, even fewer rock the blogsphere while most just fizzle out. But why? Here are some mistakes that may be getting in your way:
1. Why Should They Care?
What people want is for you to give them a solution to their problem, something they can use to get fortune (or fame), or just feel better about themselves or their world. If you want to share personal experiences or opinions and be entertaining that’s fine, so long as we get to learn something from your experience. Your readers want to obtain information easily. We are tired of going all over and looking for it ourselves. Sure, you can call it “content curation” or “thought leadership” if you want to but it just means I want to waste less time by going to fewer sources yet still feel informed.
2. Broadcast Does Not Equal Conversation
If you use your blog as an employment brand pulpit full of canned rhetoric, or as a distribution platform for your job postings , don’t be surprised at low traffic numbers. Neither of those is a conversation! People seek connection not more advertisement. We get plenty of that without having to go look for it.
3. Podium Piggy
Making others look good is received way more than self-promotion. Even if you don’t agree with that comment, folks can grow tired of paying attention to a single voice. Share the spotlight generously! Invite guest bloggers or co-authors, reposts other blogs and add your commentary, conduct interviews, ask for opinions, write about cool people you know or you would like to get to know. Leadership is shinning a light, not hogging it.
4. Blah BlahZZzz…
Be succinct. Dare I say even pithy? Expertise is not demonstrated by the length of a blog post. Short or long, content is judged by its depth, persuasiveness, effectiveness, relevance or a combination thereof. Writing at length about a topic folks care little about gets you relegated to “mark for reading later” status and Round Tuits are in short supply these days. Focus instead on the WHY (or WHO CARES) with enough HOW (or NOW WHAT) sprinkled in so there’s room to experiment where your readers can still make a discovery of their own.
While bad grammar and spelling mistakes may be frequently forgiven, that is not so much the case if your prose rambles. While you may think it is about brevity, this applies to inane posts no matter how short. If nobody cares about your brief yet pointless rants they are more likely to remove your feed from their RSS reader. That goes twice for the subject line. Newspaper headlines turn pages, blog subject lines get clicks. If your subject line does not pique curiosity while removing skepticism your blog stagnates.
6. Share Bear
You may be the most engaging and insightful blogger, but folks find it hard to “pass along” your posts to others who may be interested. It is very simple to set up sharing buttons from the big networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr, or the social bookmarking sites like Stumbleupon and Delicious.
Or you could just get it “all in one” with a free account from AddThis.com then copy and paste a short script into each blog post to display one button with just about every sharing option available. The best place to put it is at the beginning of your post so that it will show up within the first few lines in RSS readers.
7. No Response
For every person who takes the time and trouble to leave you a comment there are likely twenty who thought of doing so but didn’t. That means it is very important to reward people who care enough to make the effort. This doesn’t mean you must agree, but at least acknowledge. The courteous and socially correct thing to do is reply. Even when you have nothing to say a short “thank you for your comment” encourages people to return and comment more often, next time likely with more depth. You will also see others begin commenting who had previously not followed thought.
8. Plain Text
Not everyone learns by reading. Some of us prefer videos, images, charts and graphics all of which are established to make them more “re-bloggable” and appealing , and boost traffic to your posts. Pay particular attention to the recent massive influx of infographics!
9. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Who is your audience and what do they want? The “everything to everyone” approach doesn’t work well with blogs unless you’re already a big time celebrity. The more narrow your focus the more loyal your readership. Uniqueness counts most when it is relevant. If you want to blog about another topic start another blog!
Perhaps the toughest part of narrowing your audience is post frequency. Writing is hard work, and when you focus your range of topics it gets even more difficult to keep coming up with new ideas within your central theme. Avoid the trap of self induced writers block by preparing several original posts in advance, staggering them out interspersed with reposts, quoting others’ posts, sharing cool videos and images.
What are you waiting for? Words don’t write themselves, go blog!