Why Nobody Reads Your Articles Plus How To Fix Them
“Why do I work so hard and get very few readers while it seems they can put any old poop out there and go viral?”.
Ever felt this way?
It’s one of the first things coaching clients would ask me to help them with.
On Hive it can feel even worse when you see someone get $500 rewards for a photograph of their barely covered butt and your well-researched and crafted long-form article gets $0.01 and a copypasta comment.
Unfortunately, the solution is often staring us in the face, and it is not that the game is rigged or unfair, which would be so much easier for our ego to take.
You have to give people what they want
Please note carefully that I did NOT say that you should give people what they need.
Humans seem to have become conditioned to ignore their real needs in favor of their short-term desires. We go for the easy button every time, rather than put work into what we should be going after.
This is the reason I am a middle-aged man without much of any pension to look forward to!
And yet I am writing this having just bought coffee and donuts that will go straight to my already bloated frame.
Yes, we need to give people what they need, but we attract them with what they WANT.
Do You Know What Your Readers Want?
I can tell you now, most of the members of the Hivesphere are not waiting for you to post about the dream you had last night.
That’s all about you.
What interests them? Do you care to find out?
When was the last time you posted something popular with lots of votes? What was that about? Can you do more of that?
If you go into any of the communities on Hive you can see which get the most comments. Ignore the rewards value for now, that could just mean they got auto-voted by a bunch of whales.
You want something that you can write about that will resonate with people.
Plus, let’s not just aim for a one-off successful post but to attract followers who want to open up your NEXT article and the one after that.
This means delivering on what people want, not just saying you can.
First make the promise, then deliver
Which is why I mention your headline all the way down here.
Yes, headlines are important, but do you know the difference between clickbait and a well-crafted title?
Delivering on your promise!
Curiosity works, the formulas work (if a little overdone on occasion), but if the person reading gets to the end of your post and doesn’t feel satisfied then they won’t feel positively towards you and might actively ignore your content in the future.
The Red Dress Effect
Did you know there was a part of your brain that is actively searching on your behalf?
It’s called the reticular activating system, or RAS.
Back in less civilized times, this would have kept us alive by looking out for danger and also scanning for nourishment.
Today we program our RAS to look for Taylor Swift or investment opportunities.
This is why keywords in your title can work for humans as well as search engine optimization, because if someone is really focused on Splinterlands content then they are going to scan the headlines looking for that word.
Aspirin vs Treasure Map
My final point about giving people what they want is we tend to over-index on gain and goals.
Not everyone is driven by attainment, and if they are, it’s not always expressed in one way.
Take this very article for example.
Yes, I am writing about how to get more readers, but I describe it as fixing a problem.
I could have easily have written it as “how to get more readers”. Perhaps that would have worked better? The reason I went with the version I did was that I know 100% for sure I can deliver on the promise of fixing what is wrong, on Hive I am not sure if I can guarantee you will get read even if your headlines are excellent just because of the way Hive is weighted against regular users.
So are your readers looking for relief or for a win?
First, you need to get to know who you are writing FOR.
If you are writing for your own enjoyment then it shouldn’t matter if anyone reads it or not, but if you are writing to get noticed then who do you want to be noticed by and what do they want?
Next, you need to be attracting those people with compelling headlines.