You’ve probably seen a story like this one play out over and over again – a guy launches a new blog and is incredibly excited about it. He keeps at it for a while, but soon becomes frustrated when he realizes there’s very little traffic coming in. The posts start slowing down and ultimately, that guy moves on to new projects.
Getting a blog off the ground involves a lot more work than most people imagine. If you want to get it to the point where it actually earns you money, then it’s even more work. Without patience or a clear goal, you can burn out long before that happens.
In this article, we’re going to talk about why it often takes so long for new blogs to gain traction. Then we’ll go over four tips to help accelerate your blog’s growth and put you on the right track to monetize it. Let’s get to it!
Why It Takes Time for New Blog’s to Gain Traction
There’s no such thing as a new blog that gets a sizable audience overnight. Maybe you can have an article go viral right off the bat and get a ton of attention, but the chances of that happening are about the same as winning the lottery.
Your goal when you start a blog is to find an audience, grow it, and keep it. Once you get there, you can monetize your blog and earn a consistent income from it. The hard part of the process is not the monetization, but finding and growing your audience.
Usually, it all comes down to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and here’s why it takes a while to start seeing results from it:
- A lot of new bloggers don’t know how to use keywords properly
- Search engines are still getting an idea of how relevant your content is
- You might not rank well enough for the keywords you target
- People aren’t sharing your content on social media
- You don’t have too many return visitors yet
Most blogs rely on search engines for the majority of their traffic. Once you gain a little traction, you can also bring in visitors via backlinks, social media, and email marketing. However, search engines can make or break you in the beginning.
If you like to read about blogging, you’ve probably heard about Google’s sandbox. Supposedly, the search engine keeps new sites sandboxed in for the first few months while it gets to know them, which means they won’t be showing you in the result pages. According to Google, the sandbox is a myth, but what is true is that it takes a while for search engines to ‘get to know’ your website, so to speak.
4 Tips to Accelerate Your Blog’s Growth
Your goal, at this stage, is to shorten that awkward period of finding an audience and starting to grow it. There’s no magic shortcut to get there, but there are things you can do to make sure it doesn’t take you years to reach that point.
1. Publish New Content as Often as Possible
Most popular blogs publish as much content as they can. That’s because the bigger your library is, the more chances you get for people to find you when they’re looking for something online.
The math is pretty simple – if you have a cooking blog with a dozen recipes, you probably won’t be getting a lot of traffic. A hundred recipes, though, and things start getting interesting.
In my experience, there’s a superficial link between how much content you publish and a blog’s earnings. There are, of course, a lot of other factors that go into it, but it’s a trend that tends to hold across the board.
2. Target Keywords With Decent Search Volumes
The phrase ‘targeting keywords’ gets thrown around a lot in blogging. In practice, you don’t want to be so overt about it – just trying to find opportunities to use keywords naturally is more than enough.
However, if you want to reap any benefits at all from SEO, then you need to make sure you’re writing about things people are actually searching for.
Let’s say you write and publish the following two guides, for example:
- How to dye your shoelaces green and cover them in glitter
- 5 ways to tie your shoelaces
As you might imagine, guide number one won’t be getting a lot of attention, because not too many people are looking to read about that topic. Article number two, on the other hand, would probably get a lot of traffic.
It’s also important that you don’t focus only on the most popular search terms you can imagine. There’s usually a lot of competition for those keywords, so you want to target a healthy mix of topics to ensure you get the best possible results.
3. Put Some Effort Into Linkbuilding
When it comes to SEO, one of the most important things is that you get other websites to link to yours. No website is an island, and search engines don’t ‘trust’ sites that are insulated from the rest of the crowd.
There are a lot of signals that search engines take into consideration when deciding whether to show your content in their results and in which position to do so. As a rule of thumb, the more links there are to your website, the more authoritative it makes you seem. Search engines notice that and think, “This blog must be something well if they’re getting so many votes of confidence, so let’s show them in our results.”
When it comes to link building, there aren’t any shortcuts you can take either. Generally speaking, the more content you publish and the more thorough it is, the more links you should get. However, you can always try guest posting if you want to accelerate the process, which is exactly what we’re interested in today.
In my experience, most blogs don’t start seeing any ‘results’ until at least two or three months in. For most websites, it usually takes even longer. It all comes down to how much effort you can put in from the get go and if you’re following good blogging practices.
By good blogging practices, I mean basics that can help you accelerate your site’s growth, such as:
- Publishing new content as often as possible
- Targeting keywords with decent search volumes
- Putting some effort into link building
Do you have any questions about how to accelerate your blog’s growth? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
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