You’ve chosen your theme, created your content, launched your blog out into the world, had it out there for a few months and you’re not seeing the traffic for which you hoped. It hurts: You put heart, soul, and heaps of energy into providing innovative content for that audience of yours and it’s hard if they’re not reading, returning, or clicking ‘subscribe’.
Before you throw your hands in the air or the laptop out the window - we’ve got some ideas to improve your blog right now:
1. Get your plan in gear
In order to drive traffic to your site, get listed on that elusive first Google page, and grab people’s attention it takes far more work than a catchy headline and a flashy graphic (although they definitely help) - it takes action. First, make yourself a list of all of the tasks necessary to get that blog up and keep it running. Get off of that free hosting site and get onto a self-hosted one with far more options for growth. Reformat your tagline so it fits with the blog on all of the social media platforms - continuity is key! Tidy up that clutter and overhaul your ‘About Me’ page to tell the story you’re telling today. A new and improved editorial calendar, a defined target audience and a clear content strategy will help boost your posts. Once you’re up and running again - uplevel your headline game to get more eyes on the title and clicks to the page.
2. Keep their engagement
Once they’ve arrived, you want to keep them there! Remember that attention spans are dwindling as the seconds tick by; so - in order to stay on the forefront of the minds of your audience there’s more to do. Transform the blog to continue to dazzle and enlighten your readers. Showcase your 'subscribe here' links, calls to action, most popular posts, and social channels front and center so anyone who lands on your blog knows where to find you and how to get more of your information. Add widgets, join forums, and track new and upcoming features that pop up. Get out in front of the crowd and entice readers to come back to you.
3. Engage with your audience
As your email list continues to grow, keep sharing your signature philosophy through a regular newsletter, podcast and social channels. Get to know your readers through comments, surveys, questions, and feedback. Once you do your due diligence to know your audience - engage with them! Try your hand at offering guest blogging opportunities - the more you offer, the more points there are for engagement. And remember - free gifts are always awesome! Offer subscription incentives through e-books, prizes, giveaways or whatever you can think of to grab their attention, keep them talking about you, and get them to come back for more.
4. Change your focus
Improving your blog might mean taking a leap. Consider all of the makeover shows where an entire wardrobe is redone or a house is refurbished: this is your blog’s makeover - use the time well. Find out what’s trending and act on it. Up your SEO knowledge, add categories for clear navigation, write tutorials, and bring on videos and photo collages. If you have to shift your editorial approach - do it. If you need to find out what your competitors are doing - do it. Remember - people come to you for problem solving, to get questions answered, or to find out breaking news in the industry. You’re looking to have your blog be around for a long time: stay current, update, and use analytics to continue to drive your research.
5. Join the club(s)
No one finds success alone: find your tribe to help. If your blog is in a niche entity, find that community and join in. Search on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook for groups, forums, and conversations to find others and be a part of the bigger conversation. Make yourself available to your readers through a contact page, comments on social media, and even comments on the pages of fellow bloggers. Offer free information when possible, find other gurus in your shared industry, and get involved in partnerships that benefit all parties. The blogging universe is a big one; be a part of it all.
6. Promote, promote, promote!
Whether it feels awesome or icky, promotion is part of the game; without it - no one will know you’re available. Use free platforms like Google Analytics to track your metrics. Learn about how those numbers can serve you, your research, future business partnerships, and promotional campaigns. Show up for your readers on the platforms where they live. Promotion is what brings people to the table.
7. Ask the experts
Whether you’re new to the industry or a giant in your field, there’s always more to learn. Set your blog up to showcase the expert you are, but also consider joining forces with influencers to learn and do more. Seniors can learn from millennials (and the other way around), adults can learn from teenagers (and vice versa), and all groups can share their knowledge with each other. Learning and development is not a one-way street: actively listen to all voices. Make sure your content is cross-posted on various platforms, that you link to other interesting and intriguing blogs and that you insert yourself into the land of innovators and experts.
Above all, keep going. Your tagline tells people what type of information they'll find, but your content will keep them coming back. If you need help, there are outlets to help with creating great content (like Present Tense, of course). Just don't give up: you never know how far your can go.