Sometimes, you will start a new blog and pour your heart into it. However, after a few months, you still might not be getting the kind of traction you want. That means there may be some underlying issues with the way you’re running things and if you don’t tackle them, you might not be able to grow your blog’s traffic.
The truth is, getting a blog off the ground takes a lot of time. If you’re lucky, you’ll start to see results after a couple of months, but that’s often not the case. Even so, you will want to make sure you’re doing everything right so that waiting period is as short as possible.
In this article, we’re going to talk about three common errors people make that prevent their blog content from gaining traction. Then I’ll talk to you about how to fix them. Let’s get to work!
1. You’re Using the Wrong Keywords
Most starting blogs rely on search engines as their primary source of traffic. That means it’s especially important you tailor your blog’s content to for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Keywords are one of the most critical elements when it comes to SEO. Search engines crawl your articles and try to determine what they’re about through the language you use. That way, they know when to show your content, depending on what someone’s looking for.
The problem is, not all keywords are equal. Some keywords will hardly bring you any traffic at all because there simply aren’t enough people looking for that term. With that in mind, here are two quick tips to help you choose the ‘right’ keywords for your posts:
- Take a look at search volume estimates. Ideally, you want to target keywords with decent traffic, but not so much that you’ll be competing with everyone else.
- Consider long-tail keywords. Longer keywords can be harder to work into an article, so they’re often less competitive while still being able to bring in decent traffic.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with keywords, there are several tools you can use to help you find ideas. Once you have a list of potential options, then you can start to narrow them down using those two tips.
Finally, keep in mind you shouldn’t try to force keywords throughout your articles. That’s called keyword stuffing, and both search engines and readers hate it. Instead, just keep an eye out for situations where it makes sense to use the term you chose. If you’re covering a subject thoroughly, you should have plenty of chances to slip your keywords in!
2. You’re Not Taking Advantage of Your Email List
One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is not setting up an email list right away. Yes, you might only get a couple of subscribers during your first months of writing, but still, you’re laying the groundwork for the future.
Once your blog picks up a bit of steam and your email list starts to grow, you’ll see benefits right away. For example, sending emails notifying your subscribers about interesting new posts is a surefire way to get more eyes on them. In some cases, if you’re trying to make a sale, just sending a quick email can be enough to get a few conversions.
There’s a reason why so many successful bloggers put so much emphasis on email marketing. It’s not about spamming your subscribers with news or offers. Instead, it’s about making sure they don’t forget about you or your website.
Here are a few tips to help you better engage your email subscribers:
- Send regular roundups of your best blog posts. For example, if you publish new stuff daily, you could send weekly updates to your email list, and talk about why those posts might interest them.
- Don’t spam them with offers. If you’re anything like me, you ignore most emails that promise you discounts or offers unless it’s something you’re explicitly on the market for. When websites send me these kinds of emails all the time, they’re just setting themselves up for an unsubscription.
- Use email personalization. Small touches, such as including your subscriber’s names can go a big way towards making your messages look less like spam.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to grow a successful blog. However, it can also be a lot of work, so be sure to take advantage of the email automation features some services – such as Constant Contact – offer.
Finally, if you want to learn more about how to get started with email marketing, check out our Start a Blog guide, where we cover the process step by step.
3. You Haven’t Decided Which Audience to Target
A lot of the most successful blogs online have particular user audiences. For example, Leaving Work Behind is all about helping out freelancers, remote workers, and bloggers.
If you don’t know who your blog’s audience is, your writing is going to be all over the place. However, once you have a specific audience in mind, you can brainstorm about the topics they’d be more interested in and how you can provide value to them. To follow up on my earlier example, Leaving Work Behind does this by providing you with tips, advice, and the tools you need to grow your business.
Ideally, you’ll know what kind of users you want to target before you start your blog. That way, you can hit the ground running and not have to pivot later on. If you already have a topic in mind, here are two questions you can ask yourself to zero in on your potential audience:
- Who’s interested in this topic and why?
- Is there a subset of those I can engage with my experience?
For most new blogs, I recommend against trying to cast too wide a net at first. For example, blogs about healthy eating can face a lot of competition due to how popular the subject is. But if you focus on recipes you can make in under ten minutes, then you have your niche.
In that case, your audience would be ‘healthy eaters in a hurry’ and there a lot of us out there since not many people have the time to prepare complex meals. Once you know who to target, you can write content that will engage them much more effectively.
In a lot of cases, people give up on their blogs far too quickly. A successful blog can take a long time to get off the ground. However, the more mistakes you make along the way, the longer it may take you to grow your blog’s traffic.
Here are three of the most common reasons why your blog may be failing to gain traction after a while:
- You’re using the wrong keywords.
- You’re not taking advantage of your mailing list.
- You haven’t decided which audience to target.
Do you have any questions about how to ensure your blog doesn’t run into any problems while you’re getting things off the ground? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!