If there’s one thing every blogger wants, it’s more traffic.
You spend hours lovingly creating blog posts, only to put them out there on Facebook and hear…crickets. Sure, your mom and her friends might write a comment or two. Which is nice. Kind of. But…not really the point of your blog.
Many bloggers say it’s all about the promotion.
They say you’re not getting traffic because you’re not putting it out there enough.
And yes, you do need to tweet and retweet your posts. You do need to pin them to group boards on Pinterest. LINK You do need to create a strategy for getting your stuff out there.
But what if you’re promoting the heck out of your blog posts and you’re still not getting the blog traffic you want?
It’s really frustrating. I know.
And it may have less to do with promotion and everything to do with your content.
So…here are 8 things that may be keeping the traffic away from your beautiful blog.
1. You don’t know who your audience is and how you are serving them.
If you’re blogging with the hope of growing an audience, you must know who that audience is. Period.
(“Women from the ages of 25–55 who want to lead happy lives” is waaaaay too broad, by the way. Narrow it down. A lot.)
And you need to know them as well as you know your BFF. You need to know what they think about in the shower. You need to know what they’re excited about when they get up in the morning (other than their cup of coffee).
Otherwise, how are you going to create content they love and share and come back to again and again?
And the other thing?
You must know how you are uniquely going to help your people.
What about you and your blog is going to make them want to devour every one of your posts?
These two things – your audience and your focus – are sooooooo important. SO IMPORTANT.
Without having them in place, you can spend hours upon hours promoting the heck out of your stuff without building momentum and traffic. Because how can you get traffic – and more importantly, the right traffic – if you don’t even know who you want to read your blog?
Want a little guidance on figuring out your blog focus? Read this post.
2. Your post topics aren’t interesting to people.
So, you have a specific audience and a focus that lets you shine. You get to work writing a bunch of posts you think that audience will love. And then? Crickets.
Why is this happening, again?
It’s because you forgot one small, insignificant, hugely essential step.
Talking to your audience.
Getting to know them and what they want to read about.Your blog is a conversation between you and your audience.Click To Tweet
It’s not a monologue, it’s a dialogue.
So get out there, and ask them what they want to read about. Go into Facebook groups where your people hang out and ask them what keeps them up at night. Ask them what they’re excited about.
And then write your posts based on what you already know people care about. I guarantee you’ll get more traffic.
Note: You should also make sure you’re still writing what you care about, too. That’s kind of the whole point, right?
3. Your headlines aren’t clickable.
I get emails from bloggers every single day who want more visitors, more followers, more engagement on their blogs. And the first thing that often emerges is their lack of great headlines.
Rules for writing great headlines:
- Your headlines should get people excited.
- They should make people curious to read the rest of the post.
- Even someone who has never seen your blog before should be able to tell, after reading your headline, what they’ll get from reading your post.
Far too often, I see bloggers write headlines like “Motivation Mondays #21” or “What We’re Reading Now.”
Those are fine headlines…if your blog is meant to be a personal journal.
But if you want people to click through and read your blog posts from Facebook, Twitter, etc, you need to make your headlines grab people’s attention.
I use the Coschedule Headline Analyzer for every single headline I write. And you should, too.
4. Your images don’t command attention.
It literally launched my blog and put me on the map.
Every single time you share your post on social media, you should have a gorgeous branded image to go with it.
(Yes. Every. Single. Time.)
And that image must be…
B. Well designed
C. True to your brand
…and have your post headline and your logo or URL on it.
The web is a visual place. When you create a gorgeous image to go with each post, you give people more of a reason to click through and read.
And when you establish a consistent visual brand, you become recognizable to “your people.” So they will click through and read your posts. And share them. (Thus bringing you more traffic.)
5. Your posts aren’t readable.
I am a reader. I love sitting with my Kindle and reading for hours upon hours.
I don’t even mind that novels have no headings. Or subheadings. Or even (gasp) click to tweets.
But when I read blog posts, I come to them with a completely different mentality. I want to quickly skim through them, get the gist, and then, if I’m really interested, I will go back and actually read the post.
That’s how most blog readers are – they’re not there to spend a leisurely Sunday morning sipping coffee and reading every word of your blog post. They want to get in and out quickly.
So when your posts are just a long block of text, they click away. And never come back.
Make your posts very readable by adding headings and subheadings. Use bullet points, and bolded words. If someone can’t tell the main points of your post in less than 5 seconds, you will lose them (and the potential for more traffic, as well).
6. Your writing sounds like everyone else’s.
Not to make it even harder for you, but your posts shouldn’t just be readable – ideally, they should be a representation of you and your unique voice, as well. (Yeah, I know, I’m “shoulding” all over you right now. Sorry about that.)
Develop your own unique writing style and you’ll get people to stick around.
Tips for developing your writer’s voice:
- Check out my Define Your Blog Voice Course. In 5 days, you’ll be 100% clearer about how to shape your writer’s voice so it’s uniquely yours.
- Listen to yourself speak. What phrases do you say a lot? Incorporate them into your writing.
- Go back to old posts and see if you can add some humor or unique words into them.
- Create a language for your blog. (My friend Dre of the Branded Solopreneur does this really well.)
How does having a unique voice help you get more traffic?
Because people start to fall in love with you and your voice. And then they share your blog. Which brings in more readers.
Who then share with their followers.
7. You haven’t made it easy for people to share your posts.
Speaking of sharing, please make it really easy for people to share your posts:
- Include click to tweets in every post. (For an example of some great click to tweets, check out my friend Karen’s blog, One Salty Kiss. She’s a click to tweet rockstar.)
- Install social sharing buttons to make it extremely easy for people to share on the platform of their choice. (I recommend Social Warfare if you’re looking for a great WordPress plugin.)
- Make sure you set up your blog posts so that when people do share, a correctly sized image gets pulled up with the post. (Social Warfare makes this really easy to do.)
8. You’re not building an email list or a community.
I’ve known quite a few bloggers who had a post go viral.
And you know what happened the week after?
They went back down to their normal traffic. They didn’t make any money from that spike in traffic, and apart from it being really cool to have that much traffic, they didn’t actually benefit from it.
Yeah. I know. Not what you wanted to hear.
But here’s the thing. Traffic is great (unless you’re on the highway in Miami, in which case, it sucks), but it doesn’t mean all that much unless you have a plan in place to convert your visitors into fans and customers.
I’m not talking about plastering your blog with ads on the off chance one of your posts goes viral.
I’m talking about having a plan for getting your blog visitors onto your email list so that you can start building relationships with them.
Because once you’ve built a relationship, they will come back to your blog. They will share your posts.
And, instead of being another number, they’ll become a friend, a fan, and, ideally, a customer. Which is kind of the whole point.
- Get clear on your audience and your focus.
- Create content that really matters to people.
- Write great headlines and create gorgeous graphics.
- Make your posts readable, uniquely yours, and brainlessly shareable.
- Have a plan in place to grow your email list and create community.
…and then worry about SEO, social media, guest posting, etc.