The Internet is packed with inaccurate, generic advice on how to write the perfect blog post.
Here are a few common examples you may already know:
- Your blog posts should be a certain length.
- So should your blog titles.
- You should use adjectives in your blog titles.
- You should write clickbait titles, like: “21 Ways to excite your readers — number 6 made me scream!”
- You should publish your posts at a magical ‘peak time’, on certain days of the week.
There are dozens more of these predictable rules, churned out by content marketing experts. So, if you adopt this generic approach to blogging, will it help you build a large, valuable readership?
Err… no. In fact, it will do the exact opposite.
How to be ignored
Following the same blogging format as everyone else is not only ineffective, it’s the perfect recipe for how to be ignored.
Think about it: You simply camouflage your blog posts, when you write them based on the same, predictable format as everyone else.
Oh, and if you publish your posts at that peak time they tell you to, consider this: There is no such thing as a optimum publishing time.
It varies from industry to industry and country to country.
- If your target market are people who run hospitality businesses, bars, hotels, etc., they work late and start later than most businesses. If your target market are graphic designers or web developers, they also tend to work very late and start later too.
- Different cultures have different working hours. I work with companies all around the world. My American clients are generally in their office earlier than my European clients. My European clients tend to work later.
- Middle Eastern business owners often have a working week, which runs from Sunday to Thursday.
- And… if you do publish your posts at the so-called peak time recommended by all the content marketing gurus — think about it: Your posts will be fighting for attention, along with every other blog post, published by people who fell for the same toxic advice!
In short: One size does not fit all. If you’re following generic blogging advice and your blog isn’t growing the way you want it to, it’s time for a more sensible approach.
How to make it work
The key is to put your time, energy and creativity into doing things YOUR WAY. Be useful. Provide value. Show us what you know. Turn up regularly. Lead, rather than follow.
That’s what attracts people’s attention. It’s also what inspires them to read your work, share your work, hire you and buy from you. I used this approach and built one of the world’s most popular marketing blogs. I have also never needed to speak at blogging conferences in order to make a living or write guest blog posts, in order to reach more people.
PS: Here’s some advice on building a great readership.