Blogs that Fail Can Succeed

 Monty Wyne

Okay, so you spent hours researching and preparing the article of articles for your website’s blog. This one can’t miss. It’s incredibly relevant and topical. The headline will blow readership out of the water. The shares and views will multiply like rabbits. You post it and... it bombs. It’s an utter failure. 

Hey, it’s okay! Matter of fact, it might be for the better. One theory suggests, the best way to get better at anything is to fail. That’s one of the first steps to growth. And growth, believe it or not, leads to success. The following steps will help you reach that goal much faster.

Step 1:  Begin With a Goal

Chances are, your goal is numerical. You’re looking for the number of tweets, shares, page views, links, etc. Applying Content Marketing Metrics, which include things like consumption, sharing, leads and sales, will provide a valuable picture of just how well your post is performing and through metrics you can make adjustments. 

Each piece of content you create may have a different set of conditions you’re testing. With each iteration or change, you gather more data. Over time, you will discover what works and what doesn’t. As you assess your data, you use that information to better the performance of your content.

Step 2:  Test and Iterate

To increase your knowledge and level of success, test and iterate on a number of variables.

Testing headlines in the same article can do wonders in building its popularity, driving 100 times more traffic and engagement. In addition to headlines, test content introduction vs. no introduction, content length, and images vs. text.

You can conduct specific tests for individual pieces of content to determine which is the most actionable. This will form guidelines that will help you in writing more effective, efficient, and impactful blogs that produce readership, recognition and impact.

Step 3:  Track Your Results

There are content marketers that utilize an editorial calendar to keep a chronological list of content that’s been or will be created. While you’re creating that list, you should also record the success and measure the results to see what worked and what didn’t. This is a critical step.

Many marketers will build such tracking into their existing editorial calendar, i.e. a spreadsheet. However, there are tools available that assist in gathering and visualizing such metrics, but be warned they can be expensive.

Step 4:  Identify What Works

Once you’ve identified the content that produces results, you should determine why it stands out and how you can utilize that finding to direct all future content strategy. That doesn’t mean repeating and reusing all of your successful content over and over again.

What you need to do is identify trends that prove valuable and that you can utilize as you move forward with all future content. Such as what headlines had more impact? Or does the day of the week seem to correlate with better performance?

Make It Scientific, Not Personal

We are hardwired to fear failure and embrace success. When something goes badly, we tend to blame ourselves, becoming defensive and self-defeating. Instead, maintain a scientific mindset. You’re simply a scientist conducting studies to see what works best.

Look at failure as gaining knowledge, leading you to more successful outcomes. In other words, the failure of a piece of content reflects on that content, not your abilities as a content creator.

There’s nothing wrong with failure, as long as you learn from it.

(This article is an excerpt from, June 29, 2017)