Why your prospects hate your blog – and what you can do to fix it

Posted by Pat Henseler in Uncategorized

You’ve probably heard it everywhere: from your nephew who is getting his Bachelor’s in Marketing to your aunt who sells jewelry on Etsy…your business needs a blog.

But why?

Courtesy of Flickr
Courtesy of Flickr

For starters, blog frequency impacts customer acquisition. 92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)

Does that high percentage sell you on why you should keep up with your blog?

OK, good. Now what the heck should you write about?

There are a number of ways I could answer that with brainstorming exercises you’ve probably read about on a million different sites, but I want to focus on one area to get your creativity flowing – helping your customers.

Too many companies just throw a post on their blog once in a blue moon that equates to nothing more than an overt advertisement for their product or service. I’m here to keep you from falling into that trap, by getting you thinking about writing content to HELP not sell your audience.

Step one: Define and research your ideal customers.

Hopefully, you have already thought through this step. At a minimum you need to know:

  • Who your potential buyer is
  • What their pain points are
  • What publications they are already reading
  • How you can help them

You can’t create content for your audience that they will actually enjoy and find resourceful, unless you know who they are.

Step two: Write content from a helpful point of view.

I like to think about salesmen at the hardware store when explaining this step.

If you are anything like me (that means someone barely handy enough to hang a picture), going to the hardware store is not only a chance to purchase novice-appropriate home improvement tools, but an opportunity to ask questions of the store’s experts and figure out how to complete some DIY tasks.

Oftentimes, I’ve found myself driving to the store solely to ask how to install my washer/dryer even though I purchased it online from a different vendor.

Courtesy of Flickr
Courtesy of Flickr

To the customers, these in-store experts are there to educate and help complete their tasks.

These values are what should be driving your blog posts.

In today’s DIY world where you can learn how to do anything from playing the guitar solo in “Stairway to Heaven” to sizing someone for a tuxedo through YouTube videos, you must offer your prospects something they can put into action – without necessarily “selling” them something.

For example, you’ll notice that in this post I haven’t made one single mention of what our company does…and I won’t. I know that our ideal prospects are on the hunt to find ways to drive more business and attract more leads, so we write content that will help them do that in a number of ways.

Step three: Convert skimmers to readers with great headlines.

To keep your prospects on your page and get them engaged with your helpful content, you must write strong headlines.

Headlines and subheads are your only chance to convert a browser into an actual reader. Your headlines should inspire action. Don’t just inform the reader on what your content is about. Tell them why they need to act and click on your link. And don’t be afraid to include your unique voice and style into the headline.

For instance, which headline are you more likely to read: “Tips for Writing a Corporate Blog Post” or “Why your prospects hate your blog…(and what you can do to fix it) ?”

Step four: Think about how to get your readers into your funnel.

Now on to the actual measurables you are probably looking for.

Courtesy of Flickr
Courtesy of Flickr

I’ve been telling you this whole article not to focus on “selling” your readers, but you can get readers into your funnel or gauge their interest in your service without muddying the article with a series of dismissed sales pitches.

There are a few different ways you could approach this, but it depends on your prospects and how they like to be approached.

You can offer readers a chance to join your mailing list and receive new blog posts directly in their inbox, or you can offer a free download of an eBook or whitepaper with more helpful content (and another touch-point with your branding), or you could add a small offer or link to an upcoming webinar.

For any of these deals or offers, I would highly recommend keeping it separate from the body of your post as much as possible. Add a leadbox to your sidebar or below your content.


The most important thing to remember is to write content that HELPS your prospects. Don't include too much promotion in your copy or you risk turning your prospects off completely.

Now I want to here from you: What are the most helpful company blogs you've come across?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  • These are great steps to keep your content marketer’s focus in the right areas. As the founder and president of an executive career management and recruiting firm, we have put extensive research into the best way to use our blog to reach our current and potential client base. Over the last year we have invested heavily in our blog- both by hiring a content and digital marketing manager as well as closely tracking what types of posts yield the most results. While they do not necessarily directly translate to new clients, our blog works as one of our most effective and powerful marketing tools. Existing and potential new clients follow our blog regularly. We have committed to publishing one high quality, relevant post per week. Our readers have shared that they appreciate the regularity of our Monday posts and the numbers support that! Using a variety of posts ranging from trending topics to “Should I…?” titled posts keep them coming back to us as the providers or industry-related relevant content.
    Thanks for these great tools!
    Ken Schmitt

  • This is a great reminder of corporate blogging fundamentals. Specifically, the points you make in step two about knowing what your readers are looking for and writing content that gives them tangible takeaways. Thanks for sharing!