It’s hard to get readers for your blog. Really, really hard. I know what it’s like when you put a lot of time and effort into writing posts that you think are great, but no one reads them.
I’ve been a pro blogger since 2004, but it took three years of constant grind, day in, day out, before I saw any success.
There are many reasons why this may be the case. I’m going to cover some of the most common ones in this article. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have better insight as to how you can increase traffic and make more money with your blog.
Why is no one reading your blog?
It’s not easy to clearly pinpoint precisely why no one is reading your blog. So many different factors can be the cause. Let’s start with some of the most common reasons, and then we’ll dive deeper later on.
Generally, your lack of success will fall into one of two camps:
-Your blog has no compelling content
-You’re not building relationships online or offline
Harsh, I know.
But let’s dig into what’s going on and how to fix it.
Why do bloggers fail?
The biggest reason why bloggers fail, in my opinion, is twofold:
-Lack of content strategy
-Not being consistent for long enough
Let’s break down the two points above and avoid these pitfalls (and gain more readers).
The best way to become successful with your blog is by developing an overall strategy for it.
Who is your blog post for?
Also, think about what you’re trying to achieve with your content before publishing one piece of content or running one promotion on social media.
What are you hoping someone will do after reading your blog posts?
Do they need to sign up for something? Comment? Share it on Facebook? It doesn’t matter if you know exactly what that next step should be; just make sure there is some plan behind every post.
There are many different types of content you can blog about. The key to staying consistent is choosing one topic that you love to write about and sticking with it for a long time.
Consistency is one of the major keys to success when it comes to blogging.
The more you blog, the better your content will be because you’ll have had time to collect feedback from readers and address any concerns in past posts before writing new ones on the same topic.
I don’t know what my focus should be. Should I write about a specific topic or try different ones?
What’s best is getting into a rhythm of posting every day for at least three months so that people start coming back consistently even if they’re not reading everything you post.
It might sound boring, but consistency leads to a routine that leads to results.
But all the strategy and consistency in the world is useless unless your blog is discoverable.
How to make your blog discoverable
People need to find your blog.
In my 20+ years in the industry, and having worked with hundreds of bloggers, there’s a surprising amount who haven’t taken the basic steps to ensure their blog is discoverable.
If you have a WordPress blog, go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘Reading,’ and make sure ‘Search Engine Visibility is unchecked.
Your blog content should also be optimized for search engines.
I have an article about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) here.
Focus on one niche
New bloggers sometimes want to cover multiple topics spanning multiple niches. This approach is flawed.
You are not going to be a jack of all trades, and you should focus on one niche.
In the long run, you’ll get better results.
You see, Google tries to figure out what your blog is about and where it should place you in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and for which keywords.
The more you focus one on topic, the easier it will be for Google to understand what your blog is about, and where to rank your blog.
Understand your target audience
I’ve seen bloggers fail to understand their audience and then wonder why no one reads their blog.
I’ve seen bloggers try to appeal to everyone and then wonder why they never get any traffic on the site.
If you want people reading your blog, you need to understand who it is that will read your content. The more specific you are about this group of readers or audience, the better chance you have at making them interested in what you’re writing and coming back for more–otherwise known as engagement.
You should also create content that speaks to your audience’s problems or fears and provides an easy solution.
The first thing is knowing your audience–what are their hopes, dreams, problems? What makes them tick?
Figure that out before deciding on what content to create.
Choose the right keywords
Choosing the right keywords goes hand in hand with SEO.
However, if the words in a blog post don’t match what people search, it won’t rank for keywords that attract traffic.
Keywords should be used throughout the article, not just once or twice–remember that Google gives more weight to repeated keywords, but not too often. It’s a delicate balance.
Use SEO tactics such as title tags and meta descriptions so that Google knows which keywords it should rank your blogposts for.
I have another article here about keyword research.
Write about your audience, not yourself
Another blogging mistake I’ve seen is bloggers writing about themselves instead of their audience.
Yes, it’s good to share stories and your personal experiences – when appropriate. Writing about yourself should only be done when it’s relevant to the problem you’re addressing.
It’s not a good idea to share your opinion on every topic under the sun or what you had for dinner last night. Your blog will become about you, not your audience.
Also, don’t be afraid to write unpopular opinions or disagree with the popular opinion on a subject–just keep it relevant and respectful.
I’ll give you an example.
The admin of a marketing Facebook group repeatedly shared his opinion on politics, even encouraging his members to vote for his preferred candidate.
Once is probably fine. Twice at a push, but it became almost daily.
The membership didn’t join the group to hear about politics; they wanted marketing advice and nothing else. People left.
Craft strong headlines
Your headline is most likely to be the very first thing people see – often before they even visit your website.
So think about it like this.
On the SERPs, search engine users have at least nine other choices. Nine other pieces of content are fighting against yours for attention.
Your headline needs to stand out in the crowd and give visitors a compelling reason to click.
If it’s not interesting, why would they?
Clickbait does work – but you need to be careful with this tactic.
You want people who are interested in your content enough that they’re willing to click. A good way to get people to click is to use curiosity.
Another favorite approach of mine is to use numbers.
Numbers convey value. For example, if your headline promises ten ways to solve a problem, it appears more valuable than content that promises just one.
Structure your blog posts
Your blog posts need to have a defined purpose.
You can’t ramble aimlessly about whatever topic pops into your head. Your posts need to have a clearly defined outline that readers can follow.
This also allows you to make use of H2 and H3 tags – which are great for SEO.
Now, there is something you might not want to hear; some people don’t read blog posts at all.
Instead, they skim-read articles and look for things like subheadings and bullet points.
So, if you want to improve your blog’s traffic and engagement rate – think about making them more skimmable.
You’ll notice that in my blog posts, I always have sections broken up into subheadings. Even my first edition posts have these.
Later on, as I go back and update my older posts, I’ll begin adding bullet points.
You don’t have to wait; it’s just my approach to focus on getting my content out there quicker, knowing I’ll be returning to each post a few months later.
Remember, your content is never really done. Instead, view your content as a living thing that needs to be maintained and updated over time.
Have a professional theme
Your blog should look the part.
Since you’re competing with hundreds or even thousands of other websites, yours needs to communicate that you’re a serious player immediately.
A professional theme can do this for you.
Choose a color scheme that matches your brand and use images relevant to your site’s content. For example, if you’re writing about travel blogs, then an image of people traveling is a good idea.
I’ve seen a number of blogs that are nothing, just walls of text.
In addition to a good-looking theme, it should be optimized for speed too.
A fast-loading website will make for a good user experience. As a result, you’ll have more people reading your content.
Additionally, it’s been shown that readers are likely to stay on the site longer and browse other areas when they don’t have to wait for the site to load.
Promote your content on social media
Social media signals from Facebook and Twitter are another important element of SEO.
It also increases your chances of getting more traffic from the networks you’re posting to.
However, it would be best if you did not rely on social media for traffic. Organic reach on social media is decreasing.
A good strategy for promoting your blog content on social media is to create branded profiles. Of course, you can share content on your personal profiles, but you should aim to build a social media audience based on your blog.
Acquire links from other sites
Backlinks are another overlooked aspect of successful blogging.
But it’s not enough to just get a link. You should make sure that the site you are asking to link to you is reputable and trustworthy.
You can use tools like Ahrefs or Majestic SEO to find opportunities for acquiring inbound links.
Having an outreach program is a good idea. Connect with other bloggers in your niche, share their content, link to their posts, comment on their social media updates, and reach out to them via email.
Just getting on people’s radar is half the battle.
Have realistic expectations
Building a successful blog doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s important to have realistic expectations and set goals that are achievable.
If you want to be a full-time blogger, it might take a few years of consistent work before your blog starts generating enough revenue for you to make that leap.
It took me three years to achieve a level of success I was happy with.
To celebrate the little victories along the way.
It can be frustrating and confusing when no one reads your blog. But with a little investigation, strategy, and consistency, you should be able to turn it around.
While it won’t happen overnight, having realistic expectations will help you stick with it and increase blog traffic over time.