I was inspired to write this post as I saw a dear friend of mine struggle with getting any readership on his blog. I put a couple of ideas to him, but then I sat back and realised, it’s probably not only him who is struggling with his blog.
Becoming a blogger has been challenging. There are so many little naunces that you have to check off to make your post a success, and admittedly, even I sometimes forget them before I post. Sometimes a post is really popular, and other times your blog just dwindles and struggles to get any attention. Sometimes blogging success really is just a matter of time, But if you’re stuck and you’re looking for some tips to help, here are ten ideas from my own experience.
1. You write about the wrong stuff
As a rule, when people read, they’re looking for something that may be valuable for them. Whether it’s an experience at an attraction, a review of a product, some tips with something or an opinion that they might agree or disagree on, people want something that serves them. You may have had a lovely time with your family and be extremely proud of them, but really, that sort of thing is better kept for social media. Unless there is something that people can take away from your stories, you may struggle to make up the numbers. How about visiting attractions to review together, or trying foods from all over the world?
2. You aren’t on social media
My first question is why not? My second question is which ones would you use? There are so many and it’s important to pick the ones that you feel you would use. Owing to it’s largest user database, then Facebook seems like the best place to begin, but loads of bloggers have Youtube channels and Instagram accounts and that’s cool, too. Ideally, you want to use two or three, so choose the ones that suit you best.
3. You aren’t using any pictures
In the time that I’ve been using Unsplash, my blog has seen quite a large traffic increase, and that tells me something – that adding some pictures is really worth it! Pictures add colour, they add contrast and they make your posts a little bit more appealing. No need to go crazy with it, just try one or two per post and don’t forget to give credit for any free images.
4. You aren’t entertaining (ouch)
Confession time. I’ve read quite a few posts and clicked ‘back’ without reading to the end. Why? Because the author wasn’t very engaging. Maybe you read like a boring college professor or you swamp your audience with information. Imagine that you’re trying to explain something to a reasonably intelligent good friend – how would you word it differently?
5. You aren’t using tags properly
I’m not taliking about hashtags, but blog tags. As a rule of thumb, I aim for around 5-10. Too many can seem like an overkill, too few and your posts might not be noticed. Play around and find a number that works for you. Also, try different words for the same thing (blogs, blogging, writing etc).
6. You aren’t commenting
Comment, people! Visit the blogs of readers that visit you (especially the ones who visit you often) and comment on their posts! It builds friendships and it keeps people coming back to your blog. You don’t need to do it everyday. I schedule half an hour once or twice per week to send out some love, and it works!
7. Your paragraphs are too long
I’ve been there myself. The great wall of text and you just switch off (particularly if it’s poorly punctuated). To help your readers not fatigue from reading the fruits of your labour, try to break your posts down into small, snappy paragraphs to make things more manageable to read. There’s no guarantee it’ll work, but a punchier new approach may see you a small increase in traffic.
8. You favour quantity over quality
I fully understand, you think that blogging more often will increase your readers, but sadly that isn’t the case. Remember my first point, people want to read something that serves them, and so quality, informative posts are what people want to read. If you post regular posts that offer your readers nothing besides some temporary boredom relief, there is a chance you may be pushing your readers away. If you’re just starting out, try initially for just one post per day, and make it worth reading.
9. You don’t write often enough
While writing too often may be your problem, the opposite is also true. If you don’t write often enough (at least initially) your blog will struggle against those who write more often. I generally aim for five days a week, with a break on weekends. If your blog is still quite new, you may want to write at least 2-3 times per week.
10. You haven’t been writing long enough
It’s always too easy to try something and give in, but if you’ve only been blogging for a few weeks or months, try changing your approach, and keep going. In the first six months, my blog saw nearly no traffic at all. Even with only five posts per week, it’s now seeing traffic every day. I had to create my logo and get out there and try new things to give me something to share. Why not try some of my other nine tips before you give up on your blog completely?
Of course, none of these tips are a guarantee for success, and that’s probably why they’re free. Play around with your blog and try different types of content and themes. It does take some work to get it right and to feel like your blog has the potential to succeed. But when the likes and comments start to flow in, the blogging community is a truly wonderful place to be.
How have you seen your blog succeed? Why not share some of your tips in the comments?
Keep smiling, everyone!