“Successful blogging is not about one time hits. It’s about building a loyal following over time.” David Aston
So you’ve decided to start a blog. Or you have been writing a blog for a while. Whether it’s to spread a personal message, get readers to click on affiliate links, or make money from advertisers, blogging can be a rewarding digital endeavor
But if you’re like many bloggers, you’ve come to the frustrating realization that no one is reading your posts, and here’s why:
1. You’re not writing about something people find helpful. There are already a million blog posts out there on “different things to do in xyx place,” so — for example — if you’re writing a travel blog, you have to get more “niche” with it and provide some value. For example, “best places to find spicy food in Denver” is a much more specific post that carries some value for the readers who are putting that inquiry into Google.
2. You’re not opening doors. A big part of funneling readers to your blog is about building a network of back-links, which are essentially hyperlinks to your site on other people’s blogs or websites. A good way to do this is just to network and do guest posts for people on their blogs, with the stipulation that you can put some links to your site on there.
“Blogging is about connecting with people, your readers. Its about developing relationships with the people who become loyal readers and to do that you have to first build interest. Then you build trust. Loyalty follows trust.” Heidi Richards Mooney
3. You’re not building relationships. You need to have a contact button of form on your website, and harvest some emails. Alternatively, by blogging consistently and alerting social media connections of your new posts, you can draw some steady streams of traffic to your site. The overall idea is to get recurring readers. Not only will they increase your readership with their own eyes, but over time, if they like your content they’ll share it with others.
4. Your site doesn’t look good. If people hop on to your blog and find that it looks like the screen from Pac Man, they probably will bounce off the page in less than a minute — unless of course, your blog post is dedicated to Pac Man aficionados…then that would be cool. Your website needs to look professional, and the architecture needs to be clean and well designed (for mobile users as well).
5. You think you are Shakespeare. Don’t try to get to literary with your posting, unless of course you’re catering to a high-brow audience. Use shorter sentences, small paragraphs, and lots of pictures to punctuate your words, otherwise people will find your blog too exhausting to read. While SEO experts tout the benefits of long-form posts (over 2,000 words) you still have to balance that out with reader experience — and most readers can’t tolerate more than half that word count.
“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.” Gary Vaynerchuk