Lately I've been trying to come up with ways to write great blog posts consistently for all my websites. Everyone wants to write the best articles that their audience will really engage with. I sort of had the sad realization that writing engaging posts consistently is something that lots of bloggers and content marketers struggle with. Honestly, you can't always predict what people will like or hate until you've written it and it's gone up. It sucks.
I've experienced this sad truth firsthand many times. One of the most frustrating blog posts I've written was “Most Expensive and Cheapest Gas Prices around the World.” I spent a lot of time researching and playing with numbers to make sure this was an accurate piece. (That's saying a lot for someone who compared math teachers to nazis.) Not only that but I choose the keywords and title for this article carefully. It was well researched, SEO optimized, and had all the right ingredients to come out to be a masterpiece the internet would love. Except… it failed miserably.
How does a blogger know when great blog posts have failed? Usually it's when you've put a ton of effort into an article and nobody comments on it, nobody shares it on social media networks, and basically nobody likes it since Google Analytics is not showing anyone landing on it. This is exactly what happened with my gas prices article. Even though I did a lot of research and put a lot of time into writing it, people for some were not attracted to it.
To this day I still don't really understand why. Usually in author's mind the post they wrote was “Epic” or “Awesome” or choose another word to insert here. This is basically what I thought but I was wrong. Hard to admit but it's true.
Let me tell you something, it doesn't matter how much money you have to analyze data. It's damn near impossible to predict what articles Google will rank you for, people will share, connect with and comment on. Talk to professional bloggers and they will tell you the same thing. “I spent hours writing what I thought was a great post, but nobody commented on it. Then I just posted a picture with a few words and everyone commented on it.” was something I heard at Affiliate Summit recently. Several other successful bloggers complained about the same thing.
This is really not an uncommon discussion to have with bloggers across the spectrum and different niches. Sometimes it's just hard to know even if you've put in the time, research, and effort. Those great blog posts that everyone loves seem harder to come by then a white truffle sometimes.
This is why I encourage blog coaching clients I work with to focus on Quantity over Quality in the beginning. Sure, it's hard to know what other people will think is a great blog post but if you don't have enough posts up to see what people are landing on, it is even harder to know what you should be writing about. The more content you have the easier it will be to know and figure it out. Still, you will be pulling your hair out like other bloggers because it can drive you mad.
Maybe you can read my gas prices article and tell me why it sucks and nobody liked it? Have you experienced the struggle to find those elusive epic and great blog posts? I'd love to hear your frustrations and blog bombs too.