5 reasons your content isn’t increasing subscribers

Is your website not turning readers into subscribers?

Have you been creating content but nothing seems to be moving forward?

Well today is your lucky day! I will talk you through 5 common reasons why content doesn’t work for some companies, and tell you how you can fix it!

Are you ready to get started? Let’s jump in!

In today’s digital world, content is one of the main tools to drive traffic, leads and conversions.

There are many benefits of creating content, from search engine rankings, lead generation, promoting your company as a professional and helping both potential and existing clients.

If you’re just getting going then check out this article to help you get off on the right foot, then do it!

For those of you that have been creating content but aren’t seeing any results, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

It’s likely your content isn’t working for one of the following reasons:

  • You are creating content that promotes your services
  • You haven’t identified your target audience
  • The topics you discuss are all over the place
  • You haven’t identified key terms
  • You aren’t telling readers what to do next

Let’s look at these in more detail:

#1 – You are creating content that promotes your services

This is the most common mistake that you will find from content creators.

The problem here is that you’re missing the entire point of creating content.

You should be creating content that solves your reader’s problems. As soon as you add the services you provide to the content, you have turned that nice helpful article into a sales pitch.

Guess what, you have just lost a reader as a consequence.

Promoting your services is a side effect of creating content. If you create useful articles on how to build a house, then in my eyes, you look like someone who knows their stuff when it comes to building a house!

Those topics might be ‘How to’ topics which trains your readers how to do something specific. On the face of it, this sounds like a bad idea because you are giving away services for free; if they can do it themselves then you have lost the business right? Wrong.

OK you will get a few readers who go ahead and do it themselves, but your readers will normally be researching a company who can do a specific task.

If you have provided a ‘How to’ article on the subject they are researching, then who looks like the right person to complete the work? That’s right, you do!

The more of this content you can create, the more you will be appearing in the search results for the terms your target audience are searching for, and the more likely they will be to either subscribe to your website, or hire you!

#2 – You haven’t identified your target audience

Your target audience are your ideal customers.

If you haven’t identified exactly who should be reading your content, then how are you meant to create content that they are going to find useful – and want to read more of?

It’s often best if you can identify your ideal person instead of the entire audience, that way your content can be tailored specifically to one person – which in turn will help your overall audience.

Here are some questions to help identify your target person:

  • What is their age?
  • Are they male or female?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • What is their job?
  • What salary are they on?
  • What problems are they facing right now?
  • Where do they like to hangout online?

These questions will allow you to build a picture of who you are writing for. Their age group, sex and career will all help you create the voice for your articles.

The hobbies can be used to influence your articles. For example if they liked skiing, could you relate a topic to learning to ski, or the feeling of going over the lip of a mountain? This will help your audience connect with your content.

The problems they are facing can help generate ideas for your content. These problems don’t have to be focussed around what your business does, but you can find a way to tie them into each other.

If you are creating content for the right people, then they will come back to your website to read more, and they will subscribe.

#3 – Topics you discuss are all over the place

This problem ties in heavily with the point above about your target audience.

The most common reason for topics being all over the place are:

  • You haven’t identified your target audience
  • You are writing about topics that YOU have an interest in
  • You aren’t listening to your audience

If you have identified your target audience, then you should be able to identify specific topics that they are having problems with.

Unless your company is like Mashable, where you are talking about a very broad topic, then you have to get specific.

The broader your topics, the harder it will be for you to make a mark with your content.

Similarly, without knowing exactly who you are writing for, you will end up writing for yourself. This might lead to some pretty good content, but in most cases, it leads to content that your audience don’t actually want to know about.

What you need to do instead, is listen to your audience.

That means you have to be on the social networks they use, look at the content that resonates with them on other website, find out what questions they are asking and find out what their pain points are.

If you need quick results, why not set up a survey and ask your current readers? If you don’t have any current readers, then ask the questions on a social network where your current readers are!

#4 – You haven’t identified key terms

When it comes to content, Google is still the biggest thing that will drive traffic to your website.

This doesn’t mean you have to start creating content that is purely for Google rankings, but you do need to identify the keywords that you would like the content to be ranking for.

When you are creating content that answers your customer’s questions, you may find you are able to drop a few of those keywords in.

You might want each individual article to have a different targeted keyword (which is fine) but make sure it’s there!

The biggest mistake is entering a keyword or term into a sentence just so you have it there.

This is not good! If the keyword breaks the flow of a sentence, then take it out!

Always write for your audience first, and for Google second.

Google might help with driving traffic to your website, but if the content doesn’t make sense because you have filled it with keywords, then visitors are going to leave the website without subscribing.

#5 – You aren’t telling readers what to do next

If you don’t make things easy for your readers, then they will not complete it.

It’s not because they are dumb, or don’t open their eyes, it’s because they aren’t mind readers!

If you don’t tell them what to do next, how are they supposed to know?

They will read your article and reach the bottom where they may find a comment form. If they feel inclined they will leave you a message then move on to the next website.

This is because you haven’t told them what to do next! You haven’t asked them to subscribe to your mailing lists or check out your product pages, so they aren’t going to!

There are two things you need to do here:

1) Finish your article saying exactly what you want them to do next

Keep this short and simple. The more complex it is, or the more effort they have to put in the less likely they will do it.

This would normally consist of asking people to leave a comment or share the article through their social networks.

2) Add a call to action at the end of the post

The call to action (CTA) is where you’re quite literally giving them the ability to complete a task.

This might consist of a link to a landing page where they can purchase a product. Most commonly, it will be an email signup form (much like the one you can see below this post).

If you haven’t got these two things in place, they will reach the bottom of your page and leave.

Your action plan

Now you understand what needs to be in place to start turning readers into subscribers (and sometimes leads).

Below I have highlighted the steps you need to take to get your content up to scratch:

  1. Add a call to action box under your content
  2. Identify your target audience – get REALLY specific
  3. Identify the target audiences problems
  4. Identify key terms based on those problems
  5. Start creating a big list of topics targeted to your audience
  6. Start creating content that will help your readers

Remember – self-promotion is not cool! It makes great content sound like a sales pitch, so don’t do it!

Are you guilty of any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Yes Sam, I’m guilty of almost all of them…. reading Platform by Michael Hyatt has definately helped a lot though! Thanks for the great post!

    • Thanks Heath! I’ve been guilty of some of them too, but we all have to start somewhere!
      – Sam