Want to learn the secrets of the world's best marketers in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for a free 14 day trial of Marketing School Pro to access exclusive content, actionable advice, and a private community that will make you smarter! Click here to learn more.
So you’ve launched a blog and – surprise, surprise – nobody’s reading your updates. At this point, you’ve got two choices: You can feel sorry for yourself or you can take the necessary actions to determine why your blog is failing and what you need to do to repair the situation.
The following are a few of the issues that commonly affect the performance of business blogs. Keep in mind that your blog may be facing a single issue – or you may need to tackle multiple weaknesses in order to bring your readership up to the level you expected.
1 – Your blog is new
If you’ve only just launched your business blog, don’t be surprised if you don’t immediately receive a flood of traffic pouring onto your pages. In fact, in most cases, it can take as many as 6-12 months before new blogs begin to establish a firm readership.
One of the best ways to jumpstart this process is by commenting on authority blogs in your industry, leaving your new blog’s URL in the author information section. Though blog commenting is a relatively low reward promotional strategy (that is, it isn’t going to send as much traffic your way as a high natural SERPs ranking could), it’s great for one thing – building interest in a new website quickly.
Make this technique a part of your blog advertising strategy (along with others) and you should start to see an uptick in site visits shortly.
2 – Your content isn’t interesting
On the other hand, if your blog has been around for a while and still isn’t receiving as much traffic as you’d like, it’s also possible that your content just isn’t that interesting.
Think about it… How often have you wound up on a new blog that sounded promising, but wound up being stuffed full of dull posts or re-hashes of content covered elsewhere? It’s frustrating to find yourself on these websites – and your visitors feel the same way!
So instead of cranking out dull post after uninteresting article, take some time to think about the topics that your target audience would most like to read and provide them with articles on these subjects.
3 – You’re too self-promotional
Your content doesn’t just have to be interesting to potential readers – it also needs to avoid coming off as a veiled sales pitch.
Nobody wants to feel that they’re being sold, so don’t view your business blog as an opportunity to present readers with sales cues – whether subtle or obvious – at every turn. Sure, you can include sales messages in some posts, but use them sparingly and be clear in your intentions. Otherwise, skip the sales talk and focus instead on providing valuable information to your readers.
4 – Your posts are too optimized
One final content problem to consider involves posts that are clearly built for the search engine spiders – not actual readers. Just raise your hand if you’ve ever come across content that reads like this, “Thanks for reading my article on underwater basket weaving. If you like underwater basket weaving, you’re sure to like this post about underwater basket weaving techniques.”
And while this type of content is declining in popularity due to the recent Penguin update’s warnings against overly-optimized content, that hasn’t stopped every webmaster from eliminating its presence on their websites. If your blog features any overly-optimized text, get rid of it ASAP and replace it with content that better serves your visitors’ needs.
5 – You don’t publicize new posts
By now, you should have figured out that business blogging isn’t some type of “If you build it, they will come,” situation. Blogging success relies on a combination of strong content and active promotion in order to get your business the attention it deserves.
One of the best tools for promoting your business blog posts is the Buffer App, which allows you to pre-load messages to your Twitter and Facebook profiles. In general, you’ll see the highest number of visitors if you send out several promotions for each new blog post you publish, as your readers won’t all be online at a single point in time. Using the Buffer App to do this will give you the maximum possible exposure for your new posts, without forcing you to spend all day trolling around social networking websites!
6 – Your blog is broken
Of course, if your readership is down, don’t forget about the possibility that technical or accessibility issues on your website could be preventing site visitors from reading your blog. Given the number of different devices, operating systems and browsers that are used to access the internet these days, it’s entirely possible that a site that looks good on your computer is displaying completely incorrectly on another person’s mobile device.
To remedy this situation, make it a habit to check your website using cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility tools. Many of these programs are available for free online – just be sure to look for tools that check both different versions of common desktop browsers and mobile device screen resolutions for best results.
7 – Your blog is dead
Finally, one all-too-common reason for declining blog readerships is that you’ve stopped posting regularly! Just stop me if this scenario sounds familiar…
You’ve launched your blog and you couldn’t be more excited. You’ve committed yourself to posting two times a week, and you kick off your blog’s inception with a series of exceptionally high quality articles that you’re sure will attract new readers.
And while you initially see some traction amongst your target audience, you eventually grow complacent. You’ve got other business priorities that require your attention, and you’ve burned out on writing the kinds of posts that your readers expect and want to share. As a result of your busy schedule, you start to skip one post a week – promising yourself that you’ll make it up later on – and then finally give up on posting altogether.
But here’s the thing. Although this mindset is totally understandable and incredibly common, it’s essentially a death sentence for your blog. There are just too many other good sources of information online for readers to stick around waiting for you to finally get back on track. In some cases, these once-valuable readers might even be offended by your inability to produce good content regularly!
And while there’s no easy cure for this problem besides simply putting in the work necessary to keep your business blog growing and thriving, there are a few strategies you can employ to prevent burnout. For example, instead of believing that every new post you create must be a 2,000+ masterpiece, try changing things up with video posts or link round-ups – both of which require significantly less prep time than text-based blog posts.
Or, if you’re truly struggling to keep up a regular posting calendar, explain the situation to your readers and let them know what they can expect from you in the future. Although there’s no guarantee that doing this will help you to avoid losing readers entirely, it’ll protect your website from being labeled a “dead blog” within your industry.
Have you ever experienced any of these problems on your business blog? If so, share your solutions and any other recommended actions in the comments section below in order to help others who might be going through the same struggles!
Image: Michael Clesle