Can I tell you what I think, frankly? Be careful, I will not discreetly tell you that your fly is open. No, I’m talking about the naked truth, direct and brutal, the one that hurts to hear. I’m pretty sure you won’t like it. I’ve been scanning the internet for months to see if someone has the guts to say it for me, but nobody does. So don’t hold it against me because, like a kid who swallows a big spoon of cod liver oil, it’s for your good …
So this is it. You know why your traffic is weak, few shares, few comments, few subscribers, and as many customers as a bald person has lice? It is neither your strategy nor the Mars-Venus alignment that is unfavorable. No, it’s much simpler.
Your articles are void.
And if you want to be read, you’re going to have to stir.
Yes, I persist and I sign. Sorry for the fragile hearts, I’m a terrible guy, I know. Okay, if you’re one of the 3% of people who write exciting articles, I’m sorry. You can leave this page. I’m glad I got your attention so far, thanks anyway.
I’m talking to the thousands of bloggers and writers who lay 800 words in 30 minutes and don’t understand why their audience isn’t celebrating their genius. Your articles annoy me and they annoy your readers. You are certainly very friendly and competent, that’s not the problem. But the least of your paragraphs knock me out like an episode from Inspector Derrick. It’s slow, it’s greyish, and nothing is happening.
However, that’s not what you want, is it? You write to help your audience in one way or another, right? And the idea behind it, was it good that the readers arrive on your blog like a torrent, overwhelmed by the relevance of your advice, and that they then become customers?
Tell me, did it happen? I bet not.
So I’m not the only one saying that there’s a problem, so are your readers. Reach out: they proclaim it by refusing to comment, share, subscribe and buy. They abstain, like a voter showing his contempt for politicians.
Why you have to write better if you want to survive
Do not think that I am the whim of the purist who spends 20 hours on an article for the pleasure of placing a comma in the right place. This is not the case (even if yes, I spend between 10 and 20 hours on an article, and you should do the same). Your online survival is REALLY at stake. Listen, here’s why your site is going to die and why it makes sense.
The question I ask every time I do phone coaching: “Why do you think a reader will read your site rather than that of Pierre, Paul or Jacques who deals with the same subject?” “. In general, my client blows, lets a void pass, then he says: “Ah yes, the quality of the content, obviously”.
You are not an idiot. You know your content must be good, but you may not know how to do it.
Without good content, you will not get there. You are going to write 10, 20, 50 articles, as the gurus of the net told you. You will choose keywords hoping that the traffic will snowball. Huge error. The traffic doesn’t work at all like that.
Without good content, your readers don’t comment and don’t come back. Without good content, the big fish of your theme do not share. It’s dead calm. And the worst ? Since your article does not react to crowds, Google finds no reason to favor it in its ranking. The circle is complete. You are doomed. Continue to publish as much as you want, you just sew butter.
You can always say as some that there was a “crash” in blogging in 2015 (based on the Alexa rankings, what a joke). If there has been a crash, it’s on blogs that do nothing except aggressive sales pitches.
What will happen to you when you write better
I guarantee it: your traffic will increase. The number of registrants too, as well as your sales.
Good content, beneficial effect # 1: readers want more
Let me tell you a short story. Last summer, I went to see the new Mad Max. I did not love it. A week later, I happened to read a blog post about this film. I read the entire article. Why the hell did I read an article telling the story of a movie that I thought was bad for a week after to have seen it? Because it was an amazing article, a monument of 7,800 words (15 pages of text) to laugh. This article can be viewed here on the Odieux Connard blog. 389 comments and over 1000 Facebook shares.
I would never have read a quick review of Mad Max written on any cinoche blog especially after to have seen this film. But there, I laughed, I was transported. And after typing his 15-page review, I read two or three more for the fun of it.
Conclusion # 1: Good content makes the reader addicted. It’s like taking a slice of homemade, creamy and tender gratin from the Dauphinois.
But that’s not all.
Good content, beneficial effect # 2: the big share your articles to their thousands of fans
Gone are the days when the 800-word articles put in the chain that made it possible to break through are over. However, here is what the gurus of the net say to you: “choose your keywords, publish, publish again, be patient, it will come”. Two truths? It will not come, and you have been very badly advised. Today, no blog can become popular without the support of the big sites already in place.
Here is an example. Watch what the actors do half the time: they skim talk shows to talk about their latest film. Not a month without seeing Kad Merad or Frank Dubosc tout their latest masterpiece at Michel Drucker’s or the Grand Journal. You understand ?
Actors will promote their content based on the audience of TV shows. You, you must promote your content by relying on popular blogs on your topic.
What do you think happens when Rudy Viard of CWT Advertising Conseil tweets one of my articles to his 27,000 followers? Yum yum. This is how I had 1,497 page views the week I published … my all 1st article, making one of the biggest starts on the French-speaking web.
This is your sacred mission, even more important than writing: creating connections with popular bloggers so that they agree to relay your content.
Conclusion # 2: The big bloggers agree to share your post, which they would never do with your 800 word boat articles.
Good content, beneficial effect # 3: you become a friend with Google
I am not going to leave doubt in the air. Here’s what happens when your content is good, read, commented on, and shared: Google values it. This is conclusion # 3: you go up in the search engines.
The circle is complete, you are saved without having searched for these famous long tail keywords.
Bonus beneficial effect: we flirt with you
What else is good when you write better? You get the Holy Grail from the blogger: credibility. And we run after you. I published my first marketing article 5 months ago with one idea in mind: explain how to make a blog so good that you can make a living from it. Unknown, I had only one way to break into such a competitive theme: guest articles of value.
When my blog was empty, I was published here, by CWT Advertising & c’om, the biggest French-speaking blog on the subject, with an article shared more than 1600 times. I was published by the cutting-edge blog Miss SEO Girl, writing an SEO article (when I am not a great expert in this field) shared more than 200 times. Ditto, with my guest articles on CWT Advertising Council, and others.
And you know what ? These big bloggers asked me to rewrite for them. And other big sites have contacted me, like Press My Web for example.
Bonus conclusion: writing well brings credibility. And instead of begging for your guest articles, the big guys ask you directly to write for them.
Are you convinced and ready to change the way you write? I hope so, because otherwise too bad for you. One day, a blogger will tumble into your theme and bring you to your knees. But if you want to get started, here’s how.
How to write better
The good news ? It does not require talent, nor gift. I’m not going to show you how to be the new Marcel Proust, I wouldn’t be able to. The bad news? It takes a lot of work.
But wait. What if you write a great article every now and then instead of peeing herbal tea every day? Don’t you think that in the end, it would be almost the same in terms of workload? What if, after you write your article, you spend a day promoting it instead of rushing the next one?
You will have more traffic, comments, shares. Guaranteed.
So here are 43 writing tips, in quick succession:
- Start with a punch
Don’t say, “Choosing the right blog theme is indeed important for your future success, and you should think about it before you get started.” I’m already asleep.
Instead, say, “Your blog can kill you or change your life. It all depends on what you are talking about. ”
- Choose simple words
Complicated words make you look like a donkey. Don’t say “it’s easy to”, say “it’s easy to”.
- Write as we speak
Do not say “flatulate”, but “fart”. You would pass for a snob.
- Eliminate mitigating words
Have you heard the cooking shows? “I’m going to put my little lemon juice with my little carrots, and it will give a little tangy side to my little recipe”. Small, not too much, a little … It softens your point, it’s unbearable, get that out of here.
- Write long articles
Difficult to make good content, complete, precise in less than 2000 words. The debate is open and I have taken my position. What’s yours ?
- Talk to the reader
As I just did with you, in the previous point.
- Make short sentences
Otherwise, it’s annoying.
- Make short paragraphs
Otherwise, we get lost.
- No jargon
Don’t say “hematoma” but “blue” unless you have an audience of connoisseurs.
- Open by setting the scene
Your first paragraph is not the explanation, but the description of the reader’s problems. You can also do as here at the top of this article: tickle the interest.
- Be specific
Do not say “you will increase your traffic enormously, quickly”. Instead, say “you will increase your traffic by 88% in 10 days”.
- Don’t talk about yourself, talk about the reader
This article contains three times more of the word “you” than the words “I” and / or “I”.
- Write in active voice
If you write “Bob chased John and then cut him with an ax”, it is better than “John was chased by Bob, who then cut him with an ax”. Simpler, lighter, more efficient.
- When your text is finished, shorten it by 10%
Remove excess words, adverbs, air out. For example, “On the other hand, if I convinced you and you want to cross the course, you are probably wondering how to do it. Will become “On the other hand, if you are convinced, here is how to do it”.
- Don’t be redundant
Proofread and check that each idea is expressed only once. Here I’ve made the mistake of criticizing gurus too often, but what do you want, it’s stronger than me.
Write. The next day, shorten the text by 10%. The next day, reread and tweak.
- Put some emotion
Tell about an experience AND how you felt. “The day I realized that my son was autistic, I filled a bucket of tears. My wife too ”.
- Put humor
Don’t say that Pauline takes her time in the bathroom. Say that Pauline is trying to end “War and Peace” in the cabinets.
- Put vulgarity
Yeah, damn. This problem pisses him off.
- Put fear
Instead of saying “It’s hard to stay motivated when no one is reading your blog,” say “Do you know what’s worse?” You will be so exhausted and devastated from writing articles that no one reads that you will end up in depression. ”
- Cut the sentences
It is. A. Technical. Effective.
- Address the five senses of the reader
- Listen. It is important.
- Look. I’ll show you how.
- You there feeling ? That little lump in your belly?
- One thing’s for sure: this guy stinks the money at 1 kilometer.
- We reread a good article as we eat another part of gratin dauphinois.
- Take it easy with the subparts
- Yes Yes.
- This is really too much.
- Yes Yes.
- Give your opinion
Take advantage, this is your blog. You’re home. Those who agree will become fans, and others will go to hell. Centrists never ignite crowds.
- No exclamation mark
Elmore Leonard says you can put one in every 50,000 words. These are the words that mark emotion, not punctuation.
- Don’t try to make art
Deliver information, history and emotion. Leave the art to the writers.
- Show, don’t say
Your readers are smart. Don’t say, “Bob is a hero,” say “Bob is a firefighter with multiple decorations.” People will understand that he is a hero.
- Don’t blog by starting your articles with “Hello friends” or “Hello girls”
I don’t really know why, but I find it really bad. The debate is open.
- Use comparisons
“Writing a blog post without an audience is like teaching a class to an empty class.”
“Electricity in a cable is like water in a pipe.”
- Do not make boxes
“This exceptional offer, which will allow you to solve all your problems with disconcerting ease, will no longer be available in 30 minutes!” “. Who will believe that.
- Explain to your readers what to do
People want methods. Step 1, do this. Step 2, do this. This is how to achieve the result.
- If you can’t, make list items
List the “50 Ways to Do This” requires much less effort than developing an idea over 4000 words. And in terms of traffic, it is a hit.
- If you don’t have 10 hours to write an article, then don’t write it
Because it will be bad.
- Try to write aimlessly
You do not know where your article will lead you? No big deal. Keep writing, you’ll see. I never know what my article will look like when I start it. I just have a couple of ideas, and no plan.
- Name the emotions
I was afraid. You will be satisfied. We were amazed. You will hesitate for a long time.
- Be monotask
When you write, do nothing else.
- To be credible, cite examples
“This is how I did 1,497 page views with a single article on my blog.”
“This is how Zen Habits reached 100,000 followers.”
- Redo your first 10 lines until they are magnetic
If you want your article to be read, harpoon the reader from the start. Don’t wait to fill the window. These first 10 lines are the hardest, with the title.
- Imagine your reader sprawled on a sofa, an eye on the tablet, an eye on the TV
You have to write hard to move it. Otherwise, he’ll go to YouTube to watch wallowing skateboarders.
- Write the kind of article you like to read
If you like this article, take it as a base, no problem.
- Write 2000 words a day
Writing is practical: anyone can do it by bothering to practice every day.
- Try to summarize your article in one sentence
My article will show why it is important to write well and how to do it. This will help you know if you are going for something worthwhile or messy.
- Read a lot and be sincere.
Now is the time to get serious
Your design is not the problem.
Your theme is not the problem.
Long tail keywords are not the problem.
In reality, you just have two problems:
- You dare not write with your soul, your guts, and your readers feel it;
- You don’t dare (or don’t know) how promote an article.
Blogging is not just about providing information and methods. It doesn’t revolve around you. It revolves around your readers.
So try it. Next time, try to write a different article from the herbal teas you see everywhere. It won’t be perfect, but your readers will find it better. Put some nitroglycerin and soul in your sentences. You have time, you just have to start.
Try to touch their emotions. Let them know you want to help them. Let them know they can do it. Make them cry, laugh, or think. They will react.
For example, after writing this article on my blog, I received emails from people telling me that they had been punched, that they too were experiencing drama. They just wanted to thank me for the courage I had given them. It’s more important than traffic, page views, and money.
You can do it. Really.
You will become the electroshock that makes your readers react. They will appreciate. They will comment. They will share. They will come back. They will buy.
So go ahead. There are a million people in front of their screen who are just waiting for that.
Image source: Shutterstock