Frustrated man with head on laptop keyboard

“But I thought content wasn’t for selling”

That’s right. The main role of blog content is not to sell — but it can help your customers buy.

It does this by giving them information, inspiration and advice.

So it’s perfectly possible for your blog content to convert visitors into subscribers and sales. And if yours isn’t, that’s probably because you’re doing something wrong.

In this post, I’ll show you 10 reasons why your blog might not be converting and show you what you should be doing instead.

But before we dive in, you need to understand the customer journey and how it works.

The customer journey

Here’s an ideal overview of the customer journey from the time the prospect becomes aware they have a problem to the time they make a purchase and then eventually become an advocate for your brand.

Ideally you should have a strategy in place that covers content for your prospect/customer at each of these stages of their journey.

Image created by Jenny Lucas using LucidChart

Now you can see the basic customer journey your prospects are taking, let’s move on to the reasons your blog might not be working for you. And, more importantly, how to fix those issues.

10 Reasons why your blog content isn’t converting

1. You’re using your blog for company news

Company news has a specific audience, which is typically investors, partners, affiliates, employees, recruiters, job applicants and others with an interest in how the company operates.

These are not the people who will buy from you.

If you’re a small company, you might question if you have an audience for company news. Because if nobody’s reading it, you’re wasting time writing it.

If you’re a larger company and you have a large enough audience for your company news, put it on a separate company news page and keep your blog free for articles that will help your prospects.

2. You’re using your blog as a sales tool

As I said at the beginning, the main role of a blog is not to sell. That’s what your sales and service pages are for.

It’s okay to post sales content occasionally, but these kinds of posts should be rare.

The reason?

Visitors have a sixth sense for when they’re being sold to and they can find it really off-putting. Especially if what they really need is impartial information that will help them make the right decision.

This is what they need from your blog.

Giving visitors the right information helps them find the best solution to their problem. Something that works well for them and fulfils their needs at the price they want to pay.

That might not be your solution — but that’s okay. Because if your solution isn’t right for them, they’re probably not your ideal customer — at least, not for the time being.

Being impartial and giving the best advice is an excellent way to build trust. So even if you don’t convert this person this time, you will have given them positive experience they’ll remember. And, as a result of that, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to others, or come back to you in time.

3. You’re not “listening” to your audience

Your content should be about helping your audience to buy. But how do you know what your audience needs or what they’ll find helpful?

If your content is based on your assumptions about what your audience needs, it might not be hitting the spot.

You can change that by “listening” and learning.

You could create a survey and ask the people what they want. But if they’re put on the spot, they might not be in a place where they actually need the information — and their answers might not be as helpful as they could be.

What’s more effective is to look at what your audience is searching for online: the questions they’re asking, the problems they’re having, the information they’re looking up, the how-tos they’re searching for etc.

By actively “listening” to what your audience wants, you can create exactly the right content for them.

4. Your content isn’t targeted

If your content isn’t targeted, with a specific audience and message, it won’t reach the right people, it won’t speak to the right people — and it definitely won’t convert the right people.

For every piece of content you create you should ask and answer the following questions:

  1. Who do you want to reach?
  2. Where are they in your customer journey?
  3. How are you going to reach them?
  4. How are you going to help them?
  5. What conversion do you want to achieve?

Here are some example answers to those questions:

  1. People who need IT support
  2. Problem aware — they know they have a problem
  3. SEO keywords that describe the problem they’re having
  4. A how-to that will help them fix their problem
  5. Get them to sign up to your mailing list.

To get the maximum number of conversions from your content, you should be targeting people at all stages of your customer journey. This includes everyone — from those who’ve just realised they have a problem, to the brand advocates who already love you and buy from you consistently.

With a proper plan in place, you should start getting the conversions you want.

5. Your content waffles too much

If your reader is looking for answers, it’s likely they’ll want those answers quickly.

So if you’re leading with long and waffly introductions or your content takes ages to get to the point, they might leave before you’ve given them what they needed. And they definitely won’t be converting.

What should you do instead?

Keep your intro brief and get straight to the good stuff you promised in your headline.

Expect that your readers will skim your content and use a format that makes it easy for them. Use short paragraphs that are easy to digest and relevant headings to introduce each section.

6. Your content is poor quality

Your audience isn’t going to read any old rubbish. And if your content isn’t up to standard, they’re never going to convert either.

What do I mean by poor quality?

Here are some examples:

  • Lots of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
  • Paragraphs that finish mid-sentence and don’t go anywhere
  • Not giving enough depth or detail
  • Making bold claims without giving any evidence
  • Citing ‘John Smith’s Blog’ as your source of information
  • Using Ai and not bothering to edit or fact-check it
  • Not delivering what your headline promises.

If you want those conversions, your content should be:

  • Well-written and interesting to read
  • Packed with value and usefulness
  • Well-researched with original sources credited
  • Formatted well and easy to skim-read
  • Optimised for Google, but not written for Google.

7. You’re writing your content for Google

If you’re writing your content for Google rather than the people you want to sell to, no wonder it’s not converting.

Heads-up: Google is not your ideal customer and is never going to buy from you.

You can have the best-optimised and highest-ranking piece of content, but if it doesn’t give your human audience what they need, it’s never going to work for you.

This is why you should always write for your human audience first and optimise for Google.

Google is a lot smarter than it used to be. And it knows when content is good or bad quality. If you’re focusing on writing good quality content and optimising it for Google, you should be getting it right.

8. Your prospects aren’t seeing your content

By this point, you should understand the importance of creating high-quality, audience-first content. But that content isn’t going to do anything for your business if nobody is looking at it.

So when you’ve created your content, you need to get your ideal customers’ eyes on it.

Here are four ways to do that:

  1. Optimise the content so they can find it on Google
    • Use a compelling meta description to tell them why they should read it.
  2. Promote the content on your social media platforms
    • Introduce the link with a post to explain the value.
  3. Repurpose the content for different platforms
    • People like to consume content in different ways, so turning it into videos, Slideshares or podcasts will make it more accessible.
  4. Include links to the content in your marketing emails
    • Be clear about the value/benefit they’ll get from reading.

9. You’re not including a Call to Action in every post

You know that saying: if you don’t ask, you don’t get?

That applies to your blog content.

Because if you’re not prompting your reader to take some form of action after reading your article, chances are, they won’t do anything.

A Call to Action, or CTA, is a prompt for your reader to do something. There should be at least one CTA on every blog article you publish and it should give your reader somewhere else to go.

That might be pointing them in the direction of:

  • The sign-up page for your email list
  • Other articles they might find helpful
  • A sales page on your website.

The action you want your readers to take, in each case, will depend on the content of your article. But the idea is to keep moving your reader through your customer journey, so they’re always one step closer to converting from a prospect to a customer.

10. Your CTAs aren’t compelling enough

The CTAs you use in your article need to be irresistible enough to inspire your reader to act. If they’re not, that could be impacting your conversions.

Sow how do you make your CTA more compelling?

Make it a Call to Value (CTV) — which is a CTA with benefits!

A CTV prompts your readers to take action and shows them why they should take that action.

For example:

CTA: Sign up to our mailing list
CTV: Never be stuck for ideas again! Sign up to our mailing list and get daily content prompts.

CTA: Read our article on knitting
CTV: Get inspired, with dozens of cosy creations you can make at home.

CTA: Visit our sales page
CTV: See our stand mixer in action and learn how to get amazing results every time.

Need some help creating content that converts?

Understanding the theory behind creating great content is one thing, but actually doing it is entirely another. This is why many businesses with successful high-converting blogs use professional content writers.

I’m Jenny Lucas an SEO content writer based in Leicester, UK.

Photo by Matt Glover Photography

I’ve been writing content that attracts and converts for more than 14 years — and I could write for your business, too.

  • With a proven SEO strategy that works to attract the right kind of visitors
  • With a sound content strategy that targets people at every stage of your customer journey
  • With well-researched, well-written content that informs, inspires and entertains.

If that sounds like the kind of help you need, get in touch or visit my content writing page for more information and pricing.