As the content manager, I also function as content curator – meaning I spend time each day looking through content that’s been created and shared by others and deciding whether or not to share it on one of our social media accounts. I often try to avoid sharing content from big businesses and publications, because most people are going to see that whether I share it or not. What I really enjoy is finding content gems on lesser known blogs – the ones that offer unique perspectives and new topics.
Unfortunately, because there’s so much content out there (and I do have other work to attend to), I can’t read everything, and neither can my followers. When I first glance at a piece of content, I have to decide whether it’s going to be worth my time to read it and whether it’s going to be worth my followers’ time to read it. Being a good content curator means having high standards.
And what that means is there are several common content mistakes that will immediately make me decide that your content isn’t worth sharing. Any one of these mistakes is enough to make me automatically navigate away and look elsewhere. If you want shares, avoid them at all costs.
#1: The Wall of Text
It also just gives a bad impression about the quality of your content. If you’re putting out walls of text, I’m going to assume that you didn’t care enough to put effort into the piece. When I write, I dress it up nice because I’m proud of it. Good content deserves more attention. Without it, my first thought is “content spammer.”
#2: Too Short
The only thing more off putting than a piece that looks too long is a piece that looks too short. This doesn’t apply to announcements or brief news pieces, but if you’re writing an editorial type piece and I can fit it all on my screen without scrolling, I’m not going to think there’s anything valuable in there. Again, I think of content spammers. Content spammers churn out low quality content as fast as they can, and that doesn’t lend to lengthy articles.
Even if your piece is short (because short articles can certainly have value), there are so many easy ways to make it look longer. Up the font size a little. Break up your paragraphs. Add more images. Just makes it look like you put some effort in, at least.
#3: Bad Website Design
Professionals have professionally designed websites. If your website looks terrible, why should I think that you have enough expertise to be trustworthy? Remember, my reputation as a content curator is on the line. I’m not going to share anything that’s on a website that looks questionable.
#4: Cheesy Stock Photos
#5: Popups That Can’t Be Closed Quickly
There are a lot of websites that use nicely designed popups asking you to sign up for something if you’re enjoying the free content or what have you. While slightly irritating, as long as I can instantly look in the top right corner and find the button to close it, I’m forgiving. If I look and it’s not there, your chances of me sharing anything from your website go straight into the ground. If I have to spend time looking for the close button, then I’m going to think that you’re using cheap tactics to try and trap people and get more attention. It’s sleazy and I will not expose my followers to something that annoying.
#6: Tiny or Hard to Read Font
I spend all day looking at a computer screen. Are you trying to damage my eyesight?
#7: Dull Headlines
I don’t expect every piece of content that I come across to be totally unique. Content creation is very popular right now, and there’s only a finite amount of topics available. You also might want to put out some content about basic concepts to cater specifically to the people who already follow your blog who aren’t experts yet. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you can’t expect me to want to share a post titled “Top 10 Reasons to Use Facebook.” Yawn.
Try to put a new twist on the title. It’s better if you can focus an article like that to a specific demographic, like “Top 10 Reasons Why Millennial Customers Love Facebook.” If you can’t do that, at least go for a short title so that if I do like what you’ve written I can add a comment in front of the title when sharing on Twitter (which is where I do the most written content sharing).
#8: Reader Comments That Are Obviously Spam
Why are you publishing these? Did you really think that the comment from “loans for debt consolidation” was legitimate? Or were you hoping that I wouldn’t notice and be impressed by the fact that you have commenters who say things like “I am genuinely keen of reading this web site’s post to be updated regularly”?
That’s just insulting.
If you haven’t caught on to the moral of the story yet, it’s that you need to make it clear that you’ve put effort into your content and avoid cheap tricks and shortcuts. Also, please don’t blind me. Thank you.