This post was originally one of my exclusive newsletter posts, but I decided to post it here as well since the response was pretty good…
You set up your blog, you have posted nearly every day, and yet somehow the traffic isn’t coming in. What’s the problem?
It could be that you aren’t networking enough or sharing your posts frequently, but it could also be something more than that. It could be your content. Hear me out…
Whether you’re a new blogger or have been around for a year and still aren’t seeing the ROB (return on blogging) you had hoped for, it might be time to rethink your content. Typically, if your blog is nothing more than an online journal or a place to share your thoughts or bits and pieces of your life, it will be tougher to gain that traffic you had initially hoped for. Why? Because nobody cares.
It’s hard to hear, but it very well might be the truth. Diaries or personal posts (or “Lifestyle blogs” as the blogger world likes to call them) are probably the toughest type of blogs to promote. In the beginning of your blogging journey, you may attract a few readers who you know personally… people who are your friends or friends of friends, simply because they know you. Those types of people are more apt to want to know more about your life and see what you have to say. But when you take a complete stranger and throw them into a world created by somebody they don’t know, it’s a lot tougher to gain their “friendship” and interest. Why? Because they don’t care. Did your puppy learn a new trick? They don’t care. Did your child start kindergarten? They don’t care.
The only people who would care about these things are the people you have developed some type of relationship with, be that in real life or through online networking. It was easier a few years ago because blogging wasn’t as mainstream as it is now. You saw somebody with a blog about their family and you may have become curious to get to know them because they were one of few sharing their lives in a unique way in a sea of other blogs. Times have changed.
The internet is a fast moving machine and a lot of people don’t have the time or energy to sit down and learn about your blog. Especially now-a-days when blogging is so common and blog readers have already decided who their favourite lifestyle bloggers are. Reading one of your diary-style posts might attract those initial friends we talked about, but for a complete stranger to stumble upon that type of post means that they’ll have to sit down and read through a number of your posts to get a grasp on who you are. If a visitor isn’t looking to make a new friend, they’re probably not going to stick around or come back often.
So, how can you hold their attention and keep them coming back? Offer them something. There is nothing wrong with writing a lifestyle blog or an online journal, don’t get me wrong. What you do need to keep in mind though, if you want more traffic, is to provide your reader with something that interests them or that they find useful. Something they can relate to, in a way. Why should this visitor become a regular reader? What can you offer them? I don’t mean you should start throwing giveaways or actually physically giving them stuff… I mean providing something of value/interest/emotion. Maybe the way you shoot your photos sparks an emotion in them, or maybe you can provide them with information or tips about something they didn’t know before. Think about this and think about what you can do to make your blog attractive to a complete stranger. If you’ve created a beautiful looking blog, you’re already half way there. Your content is going to be what makes that stranger come back. Before you hit that publish button, think to yourself “does this post offer something to a stranger?”
Don’t lose hope! Traffic is all about providing visitors with something of substance. Your posts should be a part of your plan to get your foot in the door and attract people that will actually care about what you write, and hopefully even tell a friend. Once you have that momentum, the sharing part comes easily.
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