OK, to explain the concept of content fatigue, let’s create some context.

As marketers, we are really busy. There are simply not enough seconds in the day for us to consume all the content out there that “claims” to be helpful.

If you are old enough to remember the humble banner ad when it was first released. The first banner ad (according to Mashable) was from AT&T. It had a CTR of 44%, and it did not feature a logo. Here is it.

What do we think of banner ads now?

The answer is in the stats. Banners now have an average CTR of around 0.1% (468×60 sized banner ads have a CTR of 0.4%). As well as this, only 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks on display ads (and some of them aren’t even humans!). We are also more likely to survive a plane crash than we are to click on a banner ad.

Rich Media Statisitics

People are seeing so many banner ads these days (research says we see around 1707 banner ads per month, with 25-34 year olds seeing an average of 2094).  I don’t know about you, but I cannot tell you anything about the last banner ad I saw.

Now, we have to ask ourselves: why did this happen?

I think any marketer (or even humble internet user) will tell you that it has happened because of the sheer volume of really poor banner ads we are being served on a daily basis. When they were introduced, not many people used them, quality was high, they were new, and they caught people’s eye. Now they are fatigued.

There is a growing concern in the content industry that the same thing is happening with content.

How Content Fatigue Happens

(Source: Rand’s Blog)

A couple of years ago, we were hooked on content. We couldn’t get enough of it. We craved more and more every day. Then, there were so many words, we wanted images. We got images and LOTS of infographics. As we got more of all this stuff, the quality started to fall. Google introduced Panda to try to ensure the internet benefited from quality content rather than poor duplicate content.

All of a sudden we felt smothered. Too much content, too much choice, and it was hard to find the good stuff. And like what happened with the humble banner ad, the more we are seeing content (good and bad), the blinder we are becoming to it.

Response rates are declining across content-driven channels such as social media and influencers are harder to reach out to.

Reality check: Being a content creator in 2015 is going to be HARD.

There are some stars out there who have managed to keep their content afloat. They have managed to avoid that awful thing banner ads have suffered: content fatigue.

So how can you win like one of these “stars”? We’ll tell you!

11 ways to avoid content fatigue

1) Keep track of your ideas, regardless of how minuscule.

Whether it’s keeping a little notebook in your pocket, keeping notes on your phone, or using something like Evernote or Trello to keep track of your ideas, you’ll never be short.

Often, the best ideas are thought up over coffees or beers, in the shower, in your car, on the train, or while reading other articles. It is REALLY difficult to come up with ideas at your desk.

2) Be interesting and relevant.

Don’t write about what every other blog in your niche is writing about.

3) Have an opinion on things.

Don’t regurgitate what someone has already said. Have your own views and add to the conversation.

4) Read as much as you can yourself.

Reading helps you form opinions and views. Don’t be afraid to read outside your area either – it expands the mind and makes you think.

5) Provide utility.

Don’t write for the sake of writing or for the sake of just updating your blog. Write because you have something valuable to say or offer – whether it’s advice, a template, or a resource.

6) Get to know your audience…and don’t stop.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they stop writing with their audience as their central facet. When you start writing first, your audience might be the centre of everything you do, but as your blog does well, there is a good chance that you will just keep going with whatever worked at first…even if it stops working.

The needs of your audience change all the time, so it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse. When working with clients in the past, I frequently sought insights from my clients’ customers and clients. It brings depth and relevance to your content.

6) Be strategic.

Write regularly and with reason. Have your audience expecting a post.

7) Write well.

There is nothing more infuriating than trying to read a post that is poorly written. Sure, write how you talk. However, don’t lose sight of good spelling and grammar.

8) Be patient and dedicated.

Being a successful blogger takes time and effort. You need to be patient. Patience is not enough, though. You also need to be dedicated. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You need to write great content for a LONG time before you get traction. But it’s worth it. When you are not getting the results you are expecting, the easy option will be to default to rehashing what another blog is doing.

DON’T DO IT!

Keep creating awesome original content.

9) Don’t just rely on words.

Have a look at some expert predictions for 2015. What many of them have in common is that they are all saying that variety is key when it comes to content this year. They are WRONG. Content variety is a here and now kind of thing. It’s happening RIGHT NOW. Words by themselves no longer suffice. If you’re not doing so already, it’s time to start adding visuals, video and podcasts to your content mix

10) Write GREAT content, not MORE content.

Everyone’s dream is to be able to publish every day. This is often done at the expense of quality. It would be better to publish two AWESOME articles per week, rather than seven poor or mediocre ones.

11) Develop an allergy to waffling.

I don’t mean the breakfast pancake-type waffling. I mean the wordy type stuff. It’s easy to get carried away with words.

Keep things short, to the point, and interesting.

If a blog post requires 2,000 words, give it 2,000 words. If you can make your point using just 500 words, then don’t write even one word more. But make sure every single word counts.

Paul Cawley

When not helping out with Learn Inbound, I'll most likely be found fighting with a spreadsheet or a sandwich. Or often both at the same time. Actively turning being a numbers nerd into a career in SEO and analytics.

All articles by Paul Cawley

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