We are in 2015 and no matter how good or bad 2014 was for you, it’s time to collect yourself and work on your blog with a fresh new strategy!
If you still don’t have a blogging business plan, get one now. One of the major problems faced by most bloggers is a lack of traffic and income. Finding motivation when traffic and income are lacking is tough! In a previous post I covered motivation here: How to motivate yourself!
The motivation to bring visible and effective changes to your blog involves many factors including blog design, content, update frequency, promotion and more. In this article, however, I will focus on the most common blogging problem of all: What to do when no one is reading your blog!
One of the most common issues that lead to the early death of a blog is a lack traffic and engagement. Many bloggers struggle with this for a while, and then eventually they give up. If you are at that critical stage as a blogger, this masterpiece is for you.
What to do when no one is reading your blogs:
Don’t write for bots! Make your articles humane.
I have read many bloggers who write only for search engines. They will do what we call “keyword stuffing”, placing keywords at all the required places, which makes their posts highly impersonal. It is important to remember that PEOPLE are reading your posts! When you’re new to blogging and you want to grab the attention of readers who will find value in your work and thus be compelled to share it, you must focus on writing for the human readers – not for the bots.
Sometimes when a blogger begins to learn a bit about SEO, they start to feel as though they need to attract the attention of the bots. For this reason, they start writing keyword-stuffed blog posts which, on the contrary, can kill your rankings in this Panda and Penguin world.
If you want to get more search traffic, then in addition to directing your writing to the interest of human readers, try getting quality backlinks, and using long tail keywords on your blog posts. Keyword-stuffing is a thing of the past, so work on improving the LSI keyword, readability score, and other search engine ranking factors.
So, try to write for the readers first, and worry about search traffic later. When you’re building a blog, after all, you’re building a business that needs quality connections and user engagement. This is the only way to make decent money from your blogs in the end.
Having said all of that, there are ways in which you can optimize an article for both readers and search engines. Here are few links from the SML archive which may help you to reach that goal:
- How to write post titles for readers and search Engines
- How to write perfectly SEO-optimized articles in WordPress
- How to write articles for your readers
Needless to say, before you hit the “publish” button on any post, always check the post against these 11 questions to evaluate your article for high-quality or low-quality.
Your design is crazy
Selecting a blog design is one of the toughest tasks for any blogger. Because there are thousands of options available to us, we tend to become confused, especially when looking at some of the amazing blog designs out there. If you were to ask me one hot tip for your blog design, I would suggest that you follow the “K.I.S.S.” principle – “Keep it simple, stupid”.
Focus more on readability and user experience.
When your blog content is more tempting than anything else, go for a minimalist design. I have shared a list of premium WordPress themes, and you can choose one which matches your blogging style.
When someone lands on your blog for the first time, he’ll be looking at your design elements. If your design elements are professional, you have completed the first half of your goal of converting the reader from a first-time visitor to a regular visitor.
You need to invest some money to buy a premium theme and to design a great logo for your blog in order to attract the attention of first-time visitors. Also, don’t clutter your blog design by using every widget under the sun. Keep your blog design neat and clean, and this will contribute greatly to a professional looking blog!
Nothing new in your blog posts
If you’re just rehashing what others are saying, you cannot expect to attract a great deal of attention to your blog. Try to spend quality time on creating unique content.
Unique content in a blog means that the post is:
- Busting a myth
The more unique the content on your blog, the more likely you are to bring loyal readers back to read your blog content. Always take the time to create and craft a blog post that will be helpful to both you and your readers. This way you can build a thriving audience around your network in no time.
Here at ShoutMeLoud I keep getting many new guest blog post submissions, but barely 8% of them manage to make it live here. The reason is this: only 8% of applicants have something new to say or have covered a topic in depth. If I look at the ShoutMeLoud archive, some of the most popular articles are:
Along with covering industry news, tips, software and tools in your niche, you also need to focus on adding personal comments, experiences and articles that readers can connect with.
Another approach is to create a demand. When anything new happens in your niche, try to be the first one to cover it in detail.
Long paragraphs just don’t work every time
We are habituated to writing long paragraphs because we were used to reading long paragraphs in our schools, colleges or universities. So naturally, we tend to do the same when writing blog posts. Let me tell you a secret to grabbing the attention of online readers with your writing.
Short paragraphs are easy to skim, easy to read and easy to digest, thus better conveying what you’re trying to say in your blog posts. Remember that most online readers SKIM blog posts, at least initially. So write for the skimmers by using short paragraphs like those you see in this post, and use images to make your blog posts appealing. Use bullets, strong letters and italic words to grab the attention of their eyes, thus enticing them to read your blog post.
You have generic headlines
Generic headlines don’t attract online readers. You must spend time crafting attention-grabbing headlines.
3 tips to creating great headlines:
- Write how-to posts
- Use numbers in your headlines
- Check out the more popular posts on your blog to get a clear idea of what kind of headlines are going viral on your blog.
Use Coschedule Headline Analyzer to check the effectiveness of your post title.
Your blog is full of ads and popups
Who wants to read a blog which is plastered with excessive ads? Design your online business model to earn decent income. You can’t make more money just by pasting more ads on your blog.
Use only those ads which:
- Are relevant to your blog topic
- Offer potential income per sale
- Are laser focused on your readers’ needs
If you are using AdSense, you don’t need to worry about this as much because you will be showing targeted contextual ads. But if you are like me and like to earn from affiliate marketing, here’s my top secret to making money from affiliate products: Write an honest review on a product that you personally use, and embed it with the affiliate links in proper places. Also use a compelling image for that ad, and place it in the most visible area of your blog.
You won’t see hundreds of sales in the first month, but you’ll surely notice growth in your affiliate income after several weeks.
When you write a review post about a product in your niche, you are making a sales funnel. You’re educating readers about a product and then sending them to your review post.
Another strategy which works for me is directly linking to sales pages of products I’m promoting. That works as a better landing page for buyers. Test the best locations for potential ads on your blog. This way you will eventually be able to generate good affiliate income.
Still no one reading your Blog?
All of the above points will be useful for improving your blog internally, but you will also need to work on your blog promotion. One thing which I highly recommend you focus on is building your email list and offering all important blog subscription options. The goal is to convert those one-time visitors into regular readers. Here are few more pointers which will help you to make your blog better and more readable:
- Stick to a niche.
- Offer compelling content.
- Maintain your blog’s credibility by giving useful and cross-checked information.
- Establish your blog as a brand, because in the end it’s the brand that people remember.
Let me know what you like to do to create and maintain your blog’s regular readership.
Remember to share this article with your blogging friends.
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