You have heard of the old saying KISS, right? KISS, just in case you do not know, is Keep It Simple Stupid. In the world of blogging this is absolutely valid advise. This is a spot on. The reality is, that there are too many bloggers out there that blog to fail. There is no other way to say it. There is no polite way to say it. People blog, to fail. That is right.
They rumble on and on, they bounce from one topic to the other, they can do this with very long posts, they can do it with very short posts, it does not really matter. At the end of the day, reading through their material, you feel like you jut gargled with cotton candy. It not only feels yucky, but it really does not do you any good.
Sadly, there are too many bloggers that do this. It is no surprise then that according to the New York Times, 90 percent of blogs that have ever been started, eventually fail. While, of course, the reasons for these failure can range anywhere from the blogger losing interest, to the blogger not making any money, to scheduling issues, but one of the most substantial reasons people fail, is because they ramble, they try to post overly complicated blog posts. If you want to succeed, you have to keep your blog posts simple. It really is that straight forward. Here are the reasons why.
If you Want to Build a Loyal Audience, You Need to Keep it Simple
As much as you would like to think that your audience members are all geniuses and have long attention spans, the fact of the matter is, the more people use the internet, the shorter their attention span. This does not necessarily men that people are getting dumber. This does not necessarily mean that people are developing attention deficiency disorder. What this means is that they are developing a coping mechanism that allows them to cope with the huge barrage of information that is just floating through the internet.
Did you know that over 2 million pieces of original content are published every single day? Seriously. That is not even counting the amount of times these pieces of content have been re-broadcast, re-twitted and shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. There is just so much content out there. As a result, people develop this artificial form of attention deficiency disorder. They basically give themselves, by habit, a fraction of a second to scan through a piece of content.
If certain elements are not there, they bounce out. This saves them a lot of time and it probably keeps them from going crazy. The problem is, if you blog in a very convoluted, unclear or rumbling way even if you produce short blog posts, you are not keeping your audience. You are not giving them an incentive to become loyal to your blog. So, if you want to build a loyal audience, you need to keep it simple. Focus on one idea and beat it up. That is right. Your blog post titles should zero-in on one thesis and then the rest of your blog post should just beat up this simple thesis. Just go all in. Make it easy to understand, but offer a lot of value. Go deep. Just because you go deep, does not necessarily mean you have to talk in a very convoluted way. You are not impressing people when you do that.
You are driving them away. Make it easy to understand, write in very simple terms, and let the value of your idea shine out. That is how you do it.
Over Reliance on List-Type Posts Leaves your Site Looking Generic
If you think that there are lots of list-type articles floating around in the internet, you are absolutely correct. Ever since cracked.com and other websites started specializing in list-type articles, it seem like every blogger and his dog started cranking out list-type articles.
List-type articles offering you 10 ways to know if your girl friend is cheating, to 21 ways to make money with Facebook, all these are basically just beating up the formula. They are beating it to the ground. It got into the point that people do not even click headings that promise list-type articles. People are so used to that. This works against the artificial attention deficiency disorder people have when they are surfing the internet. When people see that you have a list-type article, they get out of there. You do not solve the problem by going deep. Even if you go deep, you will still look shallow if you do not follow up on your list.
So, there are a lot of things going on with a list-type post. You either create a high quality list-type post or you just do not touch it at all. Merely listing stuff will make you look similar to others in your niche. Let us put it this way, if people can see the same stuff in your blog from other blogs, what is the compelling reason for them to go to your blog instead of another blog. Chances are, they can find the exact same stuff at a more famous and more authoritative blog. They would just stay there and not search for your content. So, the key to list-type posts is, keep them simple but produce quality. If you are not going to produce quality, do not bother with list-type blog posts. It really is that simple.
What are you Trying to Achieve?
You have to keep your blog posts simple, and one key way to focus on this simplicity is to always re-visit why you are blogging. What is it that you are trying to achieve? Are you trying to establish credibility, so that later on you can get people to sign up to a mailing list? Once they sign up to a mailing list, you can send them updates and then, eventually somewhere down the road, you can make money out of your list members? Alternatively, do you want to be perceived as an authority in your niche? When you become an authority, you become some sort of a celebrity within your niche.
Celebrity status does have its perks. There are people in your niche that get invited to conventions. They get their airplane tickets paid for. They get their hotels paid for. They get free products. Do you want to be such an authority? Regardless of what you want to do, you have to focus on it and you have to realize that you have to build trust. Let us face it. Whatever it is that you are doing, you need to establish trust for you to achieve your goals. Are you looking to sell? You need trust. Are you looking for people to sign up to your mailing list? You need trust. Are you looking for people to treat you like a celebrity? You guessed it, you need trust. Trust is the key. People buy or sign up for mailing list only when they trust you. By focusing on the trust factor, and focusing on what you are trying to achieve, you can then clean out your mind of clutter that keep your blog post from being as simple as they can be.
Keep Posts Simple
Keep posts simple by focusing on one idea per post. If you need a formula for a winning blog post, it can be reduced into his sentence, one post equals one idea. That is all. That is all there is to it. You have to train yourself to think in this terms. Simplify your thinking process. Do not over complicate it. Do not over think it. Once you have this one idea that you are focusing on with your post, then you can do a thorough coverage, go deep, tie it to the needs of the reader, tie it to the other deep posts in your blog.
Regardless of what you do, turn it into a real asset. Do not just crank it out and it is very shallow, and it looks exactly like the other stuff that everybody is doing. If you do things that way, then your blog is generic. Your posts are worthless. You might be better off just not blogging at all. Seriously. You either go all the way or you do not do it. That is the rule for simplified blogging.
Structure your Post for Deeper Impact
If you want to truly reach the heart of the person reading your blog post, a key part of simplifying your blogging technique is to structure your post the right way. People look at the world and navigate the world in terms of stories. That is how we understand things. That is how we get manipulated. That is how we form opinions. That is how we get convinced of things. We look at the world as a series of stories.
However, we also have our own internal story, this is the story we keep telling ourselves on a subconscious level each and every day. Your job, as an effective blogger, is to structure your post in such a way that it takes advantage of this stories system. Start with a story that illustrates the principles that you are addressing in your blog post. It does not really matter what you are blogging about, you could be blogging about tiny miniature Pomeranian dogs, or you could be blogging about SEO or SEO black hat techniques, it does not really matter.
What matters is that, you come up with a compelling story that draws the person in, and allows that person to absorb your story. Once you draw people in, and it matches how they internally process information, the idea embedded in your blog post is absorbed by that person. Famous marketer, Seth Godin, described this process as the idea virus. Your blog post really is not just a blog post. It is not just a random collection of words. It is an idea, and for that idea to truly spread, you have to turn it into a virus. What is the perfect vehicle for that? Stories. Start out your blog post with stories. It demonstrates the principles in action. It draws the person in, and it increases the likelihood that the germ or the payload of your story gets implanted in the mind of your reader.
Why do you want to do this? Well, it is part of the classic buying cycle of know-like-trust-buy. When people absorb your ideas, they begin to like you. Once they like you, they begin to trust you. It only takes a few more posts and a few more contacts until they trust you enough to buy from you. That is your goal, but you are not going to get there if you keep posting overly complicated and convoluted blog posts. It is just not going to happen.