Grow a blog following by eliminating these obstacles…
There are reportedly millions of new blog posts written every single day. Sadly, many of these are not seen or read by a single soul other than the author.
This lack of success then leads a once-promising blogger to give it all up and look into other ways to make a living.
Are you afraid this might happen to you? Have you already been down this road and are looking to make one heck of a comeback?
Let’s look at some common reasons why your success might be stale in order to slowly grow a blog following.
You’re Selling Excessively
This is why content marketing works so well. If you want to sell something, the best approach is to not sell at all.
Sure, you can (and should) display your products/services on prominent pages and give them the occasional mention in your blog posts. However, it’s always best to adapt a more natural and conversational approach when doing so.
I was recently reading an article that promised to help readers change their website’s domain name while still keeping all the link and SEO juice. Unfortunately, the information only scratched on the surface and left me with more questions than answers.
For example, the content instructed me to add a certain piece of code to a file on the server, but made no mention of where exactly this code should go (among other curious details).
It’s easy to get carried away and only provide vague details. This makes it that much more important to go through your content multiple times until you have answered the most pressing questions. You should otherwise link to related content that may help others further.
This would also help grow a blog following thanks to natural linking and establishing potential relationships (more on this later).
Your Content is Unattractive
I regularly visit Reddit.com to read serious and entertaining discussions. However, I always skip those threads that are essentially a huge block of text without line breaks in between.
This is how your readers probably feel when they stumble upon a poorly-formatted article.
Improve your content by keeping your paragraphs short (2-3 sentences, on average) and by using other options like headings, bullet points, and the occasional image.
These seemingly small changes can have a huge impact in the long run.
Too Much Publishing, Not Enough Sharing
A lot of us tend to focus much more on writing than sharing and promoting. We feel like that stuff can wait for later, or simply don’t place enough value as we wait for Google to “do the job” on our behalf.
Unfortunately, if you build it “they will not come” – at least that’s how it works with the average blog niche. Spend more time promoting your post than anything, and expect your blog to grow very slowly but surely.
Not Trying New Things
While you shouldn’t necessarily jump from one technique to another, playing it safe might cause you to miss out on a certain traffic goldmine.
Many food/cooking blogs have found success after embracing Instagram and Pinterest, for example, as people just love looking at food images while visually learning.
Can you imagine if these blog owners had never bothered to experiment with these social networks? The same could apply in your case.
When or if the time is right, look into those sources that you’ve always heard about but never really took seriously. This may include shooting your very first video for YouTube, creating that first infographic, or trying out an unlikely source like Quora to grow a blog following.
You’re Too Scattered
Creative minds struggle to focus only on one or two things at once. It’s okay to have more than one business going (it’s recommended, actually) but you also have to know your limits.
I get a lot of ideas every single month, especially while trying to sleep. This once forced me to start multiple websites because I wanted to profit from all of them.
The end result consisted of a little bit of traffic from all sources, but nothing truly useful or substantial. I had the “jack of all trades, master of none” kind of success.
If you have the itch to start more projects than you can handle, at least try to outsource as much as possible while focusing on the main bread and butter for the most part.
Your Blog is Stuck in the Past
I still see blogs without a newsletter, as well as rising stars depending on the likes of Blogger as their default platform.
This is fine in certain cases, but you also risk having your blog deleted at a moment’s notice. You also don’t get to take advantage of the many available plugins available for WordPress, which could help your blog grow thanks to tools like Yoast SEO.
You’re Not Building Enough Relationships
Chances are you have tried communicating with the occasional blogger here and there. Maybe you’ve left a good comment and have tried to stay in touch for several weeks.
Sadly, life often gets in the way and we gradually stop building these highly important relationships. These are some of the things I personally suggest to stay in touch with a blogger you admire:
- Subscribe to his or her newsletter
- Create an IgHome account, which essentially lets you create a homepage composed of unlimited RSS feeds. This way you can keep better track of new posts by bloggers you care about
- Help them, share their content and provide thoughtful information that goes beyond a simple “Thank you.”
There may be other reasons why your blog isn’t growing (a lack of guest posting and not repurposing content, for example). But the above are (in my opinion) some of the most common factors.
Let’s make the next year a great time to grow a blog following and gradually go from average to superstar.