It’s no secret. Consumers are clamoring for content. But not just any content will do. It does need to be well thought out. The quality of the content has a lot to do with impact. Readers will base their decision to keep reading on their initial impression after about five seconds on your site.

Once they’ve committed, there are several stopping points that could pose problems. Here are nine signs you may be unknowingly be boring your readers into leaving:

  • You’ve failed to consider your audience. You may know a lot about your industry. If you’re not relaying that information in a way that your audience can use, it’s crickets for you. Before you publish ask yourself this: Will they find it valuable?
  • You’re not using visual elements. Every blog post should have a picture. People engage more, when there’s some type of visual element to your message. Think about all those infographics that are wildly popular on Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest.
  • You’re not entertaining. You can be a walking encyclopedia when it comes to industry knowledge, but if you write like one, don’t expect your audience to respond.
  • You’re not sharing worthwhile content. You have to curate in order to succeed in a content marketing world. That means sharing the content that matters to you. Dig deep, find something fresh that your audience may otherwise not have found.
  • You’re living in the echo chamber. So you’ve read the industry heavyweight blogs. There’s no reward out there for what you should be doing. Don’t just rewrite some garbled version of what they’ve put into the conversation. Put your stamp on it. Make it your own.
  • You’re lacking personality. Your readers want to know who you are before they commit to reading further or doing business with you. There’s thousands of choices out there, so can you blame them? Don’t be afraid to show a little leg.
  • You’re not doing research. The goal is to dig in a little deeper than those around you. In order to do that, you may need to do some preliminary research before completing your post. Put the extra time in. The results will be worth it.
  • You haven’t mastered the skills. You don’t need to be Shakespeare, but you do need to be able to string a few words together. If it’s been a little while, invest the time into brushing up on your English skills, or hire a marketing writer.
  • You dismiss headlines. They may be the shortest part of the post, but remember it’s what your readers base their decision to continue on. If you bore them in five words, they’re surely not sticking around for 500. It’s that simple. Same goes for the Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and G+ feeds. It has to spark interest to stand out.