You’ve poured your soul into your writing and given it all of the passion and information you could muster. You made sure it was formatted nicely and everything was where it needed to be. Then you hit “Publish” and sat back to watch the traffic roll in…but nothing happened. Sure you got a few hits, but no one is commenting, talking about your post, or linking back to it. Why is that?
No One is Linking to Your Content Because…
There are dozens of reasons why your content could be passed over. If you’re not sure what the problem might be, see if any of these rings a bell.
1. The Title Stinks – Have you ever stumbled on someone’s content that was a decent piece of work but had a terrible title? It’s never easy to see because you know that piece of content is not getting the attention it deserves simply because of a bad choice on the part of the author. Sometimes we can’t see the problems with our titles unless someone points them out to us, so ask a friend to read your title and your content before you publish it and consider any changes that they might suggest.
2. Your Website’s Design is Unprofessional – If your website has a less-than-professional look about it a lot of people will steer clear. You could be the most honest person on the planet, but if your website’s design looks shoddy people are going to wonder if you’re legit.
3. It’s Hard to Share Your Content – Do you have sharing buttons within easy reach for your readers? Do you have a quick and easy-to-grab code to help people link back to your content? If not you may not be getting links because you have not made it easy for your readers to share the love.
4. There is No Hook – People have so many demands on their time it is unreal; even leisure time on the internet now has to be scheduled and watched closely. Because of this you need to have a hook for your content to draw people in, otherwise your audience will pass you by on their way to the next big thing.
5. Your Website / Blog is Practically Invisible – It’s a sad fact, but brand-new websites and blogs are not going to be link magnets. Some people might mistrust a domain simply because it is new, while others aren’t going to want to link to you until you have a few more posts to your name. All you can do at this point is keep on producing and publishing your content and trying to reach out to grow your readership.
6. Your Content Lacks a Point of Difference – Or rather, it doesn’t stand out from the crowd. In order to gain the attention of your readers you have to make it to where your content offers something that no one else’s does. Even if you are covering a topic that others already have you can still do well if there is a unique element in your content to attract attention.
7. Your Publishing Schedule is Too Erratic – If your schedule is less than constant, you need to get on a better one and do it fast. You lose more readers than you think just by posting inconsistently. Your readers want to know that if they visit your site or blog on a certain day there will be a new piece of content waiting for them.
8. The Length is All Wrong – Too long or too short, your content isn’t getting linked to because it’s not meeting the expectations of your audience. Ideal lengths differ by subject and on a broader level by niche. Some markets are predisposed to accept and enjoy long content, and others prefer it short, sweet, and to the point.
9. There is No Structure – If there is no clear introduction, body, and conclusion to your content you are in trouble. People like structure, especially in the content they consume. Does your have an obvious beginning, middle, and end?
10. You Have No Social Traffic – Social media is deeply embedded in our day-to-day routines right now and that doesn’t show signs of stopping any time soon. So do yourself a favor; if you want to start seeing people lining to your content you need to be the one to start the wave. Share a link to your content through your social networks and encourage your connections to do the same if they like what you’ve created.
11. You’re Not Well Connected – And we don’t mean knowing the right people either. If you’re not connecting with other people period you’re not going to get anyone to link to your content. To encourage people, you have to go to them first. Link to their content in your own creations, comment on their blogs, share their work on your social networks, etc. Show that you know it’s not all about you.
12. Your Voice is Not Unique Enough – When you speak or write something, does it have an element to it that is uniquely you? If it doesn’t, it needs to! When you present a consistent and unique voice in your content people are more likely to return again and again and to share what they find.
13. You’re Sucking Up Too Much – If you approach someone and flat out ask for them to link to you, you might not get the response you hoped for. Some people will be happy to link to you if you ask, and others will be livid that you dared to ask them. Instead of asking outright, engage them first by just having a conversation. People are often happy to link to people they know.
14. The Topic is Terrible – This can mean a number of things. Your content could just be way out in left field and not really be relevant to anything, or you could be writing about the same old thing over and over again. There are only so many ways to tell someone how to tie their shoes… if you’ve already covered a topic, move on to something else please!
15. Your Content Lacks Interactivity -Interactivity could be something as simple as a question posed at the end of your post, or as complex as a Flash-based infographic. It all depends on where you are going with your content and the subject matter you’ve chosen.
Video: Tips for using video on your blog [Creator's Tip #41]
Are you looking for a (relatively) quick and inexpensive way to up the interactivity of your content? Why not try adding a video?
16. No One is Being Engaged – If your content is not engaging, it’s not going to get any links. Only content that is truly interesting and compelling is going to inspire people so much that they have to share it with their friends and link back to it from their own websites.
17. Your Content Lacks Focus – Any piece of content needs to be limited to two topics at most. An example would be a mash-up post such as “What Batman Has Taught Me About Internet Marketing” where the topic of Batman is combined with internet marketing to make something focused and unique. If your content resembles the medley of random trending topics, try to rework it to cut out all of the noise and focus on the good stuff.
There are plenty of posts out there telling you how to write awesome content, so stop by your favorite search engine and start hunting for some content marketing tips that you can apply to your work to really make it shine!
You can also take a leaf out of a general content marketing book so to speak, and explore using typical techniques to encourage more links back to your content.
If only one of these things was true of your website / blog, which one would it be and how would you fix it?