Are you unintentionally chasing off readers?

Everybody has experienced this in some form. You see a really enticing headline about something very relevant to your life. And there is urgency built into the headline. So you click through because this is information you have to have.

Here’s an example. Say you’re interested in improving your content marketing skills. And you stumble across this headline.

“The critical fact you must know to keep your content from bankrupting you.”

Holy cow. You have to read that, right? I mean, what if you ignore it and, because you don’t know that fact, your life spirals into financial ruin.

The danger of overselling

There are a lot of guidelines and best practices about how to produce compelling content. The headline above even follows some of the advice out there. Like the power of tapping into fear and the importance of creating urgency.

But beware of setting up false expectations. If the content doesn’t match the hype of the headline, you’ll damage your relationship with your reader.

It doesn’t take too many incidents like this before your readers lose confidence in your ability to provide real value to their lives. If they lose confidence in you, it is incredibly difficult to get them back.

Here’s the tough part. Your readers won’t tell you they have lost confidence. They’ll just stop clicking. Even when you have something valuable to share with them.

How to ensure a quality relationship with your readers

Here are a few ideas to help maintain and grow your relationship with your readers.

  • Identify the value you are delivering to your reader. Distill it down to one sentence. It will force you to focus on your reader’s needs.
  • Admit that every piece you create won’t be earth shattering. Sometimes providing solid and useful information is the best thing you can do, even though it may not be sensational in nature. So, don’t oversell these pieces.
  • Understand that you are building a body of work. Don’t let the need for a short term boost in attention damage the reputation that you are working hard to build.