Developing Great Content: Our Least Popular Posts

developing great contentLast week, we did an analysis of our most popular posts, and determined what made these posts so popular, and what it takes to make any blog post a popular post. To follow up, we are doing to look at our least popular posts, find out why they were the least popular, and determine what it takes (or what lacks) in a least popular post versus a very popular post. To start here is our list of our 10 least popular posts, starting with the least popular. This does not consider any posts published after July 12.

Why We Need to Keep the Old Rules of Language in Content Marketing

How to Generate Quality Leads on LinkedIn

Content Marketing Tech Tool of the Week: Google Insights

Content Marketing Tech Tool of the Week: HubSpot Marketing Grader

How to Blog: 6 Tips to Writing Great Blog Article Headlines

Content Marketing Tech Tool of the Week: Amazon Kindle

WiFi Hotspots a Security Threat: How to Protect Yourself

How to Blog: Amplifying Content

New Content Marketing Services Starting Tomorrow

Content Marketing Tech Tool of the Week: Trend Micro Safesync

What Made these 10 Posts So Unpopular?

Even from just looking at the titles of these posts, it's easy to see a few similarities among these posts, and take an educated guess or two at why they were so unpopular. Here's what we can see right away:

  1. The titles are long. Long titles don't tend to do well on search engines because they get truncated. 
  2. Long titles also don't deliver what's the article is about clearly and concisely, which is obvious in these titles. It's not clear from them what the reader will get, or how the reader will benefit, from the article.
  3. Apparently, no one cares about content marketing tech tools.
  4. Most of these posts, if not all, fall well below the 600-word mark.
Those common denominators are important to consider when looking at what makes these posts so unpopular. Although they aren't the sole factors toward popularity, they are contributing factors since there are many business blogs that have posts that are too short or long to be engaging to readers, or have long titles, or target elusive keywords. Let's take a closer look at factors that applied to some of the posts, but not all the posts, and how they brought these particular posts to the top of the list.

4 Things to Avoid in Blog Posts so They Become Popular

  1. Targeting Generic, Popular Keywords - A majority of the articles on this list were trying to target the keyword, "content marketing." That may seem like an awesome keyword to target, but it's much too general and competitive of a keyword. It's nearly impossible for one post to rank for that keyword, let alone several. The problem here wasn't just the generic keyword, but that multiple posts were designed to rank for it. Instead of just competing against the other websites, we were competing against ourself as well.
  2. Republishing Content - The WiFi hotspots article is actually a reprint, which really didn't help us. Granted, republishing could work if it came with a link exchange, but in this instance it did not. Duplicate content hurts your website because you don't get as much credit as the website that originally publishes the post.
  3. Talking about Yourself - One of the posts on the list focuses entirely on our own services. That's a no-no. Content about your company, products, features, and/or services should be reserved for all other aspects of your website. The blog should be about customer pain points and information a potential customers needs to move them through the buying process, not about yourself.
  4. Providing Information that Your Target Audience Doesn't Care About - None of these articles actually address pain points that our target audience cares about, or offer anything of real relevance ot them. How many of them actually care about tech tools, our new services, or even about the rules of language? Not many. Most of them care about their own business blogging and content marketing needs, and how to meet those needs better or how to do those things better. These unpopular articles don't address that. It could be tempting from time to time to talk about something different, but make sure that whatever you do discuss is something that your readers would want to know about.
Not every post is going to go viral and engage readers, and not every post goes viral and engages readers right away. Some actually need a few days "live" before getting attention. The point is to figure out why they didn't go viral and engage readers, and to learn from that. By doing so, you can improve your business blogging.