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How You're Teaching People to Tune You Out

· Blogging,Content Marketing,audience

So you’ve bought the templates. Spent the money on the course. Published your little heart out … and still nobody cares what you have to say.

I hear it over and over again from people who come to me for help with their copy and content:

“I know that I have a great product/service, but I just can’t get anybody interested. Nobody reads my blog post. My sales page is a ghost town. Nobody cares!”

And over and over again, I have to give them a little tough love. Because the truth is, if people aren’t listening to you, it’s probably your own damn fault.

If people aren’t listening to you, it’s often because you’ve taught them to tune you out.

Not on purpose. (Unless you’re one hell of a masochistic business owner.) But you did. Probably with the best of intentions … and probably acting on some less than stellar advice. And while this shows up in alllllll kinds of different ways, ultimately, it usually comes down to one (or all) of these three things:

1. You’re not really sure what you’re saying.

This is sooooooo much more common than you’d think. But the truth is, ideas floundering around in unclear copy, or copy that’s put up just for the hell of it with no clear purpose tells people that you don’t care about them (hey, you’re the one expecting them to decode your ramblings), and that you’re at best charmingly scatty at your business … and at worst a total incompetent. 

What this looks like: 

— You’re posting because you “should,” but you’re kind of phoning it in.

— You write these long, rambly posts or pages that look more like letters or are filled with fluff. (“Hey guys! Well, here it is Wednesday again, and it’s been just a super week at ABC business!”)

— There’s no coherence in your copy and content, no bigger picture. You just write about what you’re thinking about at the time.

— You can’t summarize what you’re trying to accomplish with the piece in one short sentence.

The first step towards fixing it: Figuring out what’s at the heart of your business. What does it all come back to, for you? What's the ultimate message of your business and brand? That should be the touchstone for every word you put out there. (Need help with this? I've got your back.)

2. You’ve got an audience issue.

Maybe you’re writing to the wrong people, maybe you’re not really sure who you’re writing to, and either way, you’re not really sure why them as opposed to somebody else.

What this looks like:

— If I asked you who your audience was, you couldn’t tell me with any real degree of confidence. If I asked you why them and not somebody else, you’d be at a loss.

—Your stuff is really general. You could essentially copy and paste it all over the Internet and it wouldn’t look totally out of place anywhere. (Hint: you need to be turning people off so you can turn people on.)

— You have like three hardcore fans and everyone else ignores you. This means you’re putting your stuff in front of the wrong audience, and you just happened to pick up some outliers.

The first step towards fixing it: Figuring out exactly who you’re writing to and much more importantly, why them and not someone else. If you're really struggling with this, then chances are you haven't figured out the heart of your business message yet.

3. Your writing sucks.

Never a fun realization … but crappy, boring writing will turn people off really quickly. (Not to mention bring down the tone of your business like whoa.)

What this looks like: 

— You feel like you've got your English teacher over your shoulder when you’re writing.

— Your posts are all about you. (Seriously, check the ratio of “you” words to “I” words in your posts. There should be much more about them than you.)

— You follow templates religiously.

— You don’t know why anyone would actually care about what you’re saying, but the content strategy people tell you to post, so gosh darnit, you’re posting!

The first step towards fixing it: It depends on the exact issue. If your posts are all about you, change up your focus (and your pronouns). If you follow templates religiously, stop doing that. If you’re not sure exactly why somebody would care about reading your stuff, then work on that. Or, you know, hire somebody to help you out.

Blogged 'til you're blue in the face and still can't get a response?

Let's fix that.

Actionable tips, effective strategies, and absolutely irreverent advice for getting your words to actually work for your business, right here.

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