Tired of knocking yourself out writing blog posts?
Posts that receive a handful of views, a few random comments…
I’ve been there.
It’s a soul-crushing feeling, isn’t it?
The thrill of hitting ‘publish’ evaporates each time you check your stats.
Still, you soldier on because you believe in yourself.
You believe in your blog.
You understand its potential, and you know your audience will someday see its potential, too.
Ready for the truth?
Believing in it isn’t going to change a thing.
Doing what you’re doing isn’t going to help either.
What you need is a cold, hard look at the facts.
There are reasons why your blog isn’t gaining traction.
And they’re incredibly common.
So, what do you say?
Are you ready for growth?
Are you ready to learn what’s holding you back from higher traffic, higher engagement, higher returns on your time and energy spent blogging?
Let’s take a closer look at the 7 Deadly Sins Decimating Your Blog Traffic
Your Website Takes Too Long to Load
A slow-loading website kills traffic and conversions.
Think about it.
After watching the spinning icon make its first dozen rounds, how long will you wait before checking your email, before stealing another look at your social media accounts? For me, that spinning wheel (or bouncing ball) means it’s time to move on to more reliable web experiences.
Busy people won’t wait around for your page to load; they’ll find better ways to spend their time.
Slow page speeds spell disaster for SEO.
Search engines consider loading times when ranking pages, so a slow page works against your SEO efforts.
To improve your page loading speed, research these options:
- Optimize your images. When uploading images to your blog, make sure they’re compressed and saved in the correct file format. Smaller image sizes make your pages load faster.
- Look into a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN will offload some of the resources required to load your pages, such as scripts and images, resulting in considerable improvements in your page-loading times.
- Use caching on your website. Caching stores data in temporary memory, enabling faster access. When your website loads, the server must retrieve data from the database, which can take time. If you use caching, the server can store some of that data in memory, allowing for faster retrieval.
Caching can speed up your website significantly. In fact, one study found that enabling caching on a WordPress site resulted in a 70% decrease in page load time. How’s that for improvement?
Your Site Lacks Originality
While you’ve chosen a unique domain name and carefully crafted your own content, your blog lacks originality.
And that’s a big problem for readers.
If your blog looks and reads like most blogs in your genre, it can’t stand out. And if it doesn’t stand out, readers won’t remember you or your content.
So, how can you position yourself as an original, valuable thought leader in your industry?
- Write about relevant topics–especially topics with minimal coverage on other blogs. By being the first on the block to break an engaging story, you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Take a unique perspective on common industry issues. If everyone’s writing about the same subject, offer a fresh slant that’ll get people talking and thinking differently about the issue.
- Be personal and authentic in your writing style. Let your readers get to know you and your values. This includes controversial opinions. Allow yourself the freedom to break with the crowd, to offer unconventional solutions to industry problems.
- Tell the truth. Most of the me-too blogs out there regurgitate other people’s ideas without checking them for utility or accuracy. Poke holes in the common theories. Criticize the latest dogma. Share the ups and downs, the deep dark secrets no one has the guts to reveal.
You Have Poor Grammar and Punctuation Skills
If there’s one common denominator in the sea of cookie-cutter blogs, it’s poor communication skills. To cut through the noise, learn how to avoid common errors in style, grammar, and punctuation. Aim for confident, polished prose.
Remember, your blog reflects the quality of your brand and your business. A blog full of typos and grammatical errors makes you look sloppy and unprofessional. Take the time to proofread your posts before publishing. While you’re at it, don’t forget to use spell check as well as the many free grammar and punctuation tools available.
Leveling up your prose takes time and effort, but it can make all the difference.
No one is above learning and practicing the basics.
Since artificial intelligence already produces grammatically correct sentences, it won’t be long until search engines find ways to build these ranking factors into their algorithms.
You can’t afford to write amateur prose.
You Don’t Have a Marketing Plan
If you don’t have a marketing plan for your blog, you’re heading for failure.
Great content isn’t enough to build a successful blog.
Are you being proactive and intentional about getting your work in front of the right people — readers who want, need, and appreciate your expertise?
With countless ways to market your blog, are you exploiting them to their fullest potential?
For example, social media is a wonderful way to get the word out about new posts. Are you actively growing your following, posting daily content, and engaging with other users?
Email newsletters provide weekly/monthly reminders that you’re still out there learning and sharing, creating value for your readership. Do you have a newsletter? How about a content calendar for your newsletter?
Guest blogging helps you tap into another blogger’s well-earned readership.
The bottom line is clear:
If you’re not consistently marketing your blog, no one will know it exists.
You’re Targeting the Wrong Topics and Keywords
Every beginning blogger struggles to gain reliable traffic. If you’ve been online long enough for search engines to index your content, you may want to consider a keyword audit.
Although you’re writing passionately about your favorite interests, you may be targeting low-interest keywords — keywords no one searches for.
Here are 3 tips to help you avoid this mistake:
- Do your research. Test drive popular keyword research tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends to discover popular keywords and keyword phrases.
- Target long-tail keywords when there’s adequate search volume. Long-tail keywords are more specific and tend to have less competition than short, general keywords. This makes them easier to rank for in search engines.
- Stay relevant. Make sure the keywords you’re targeting are relevant to your blog’s content. If they’re not, you’ll get little traffic from them.
You’re Not Connecting with Your Readers
You want engagement — comments, likes, shares, and subscriptions.
However, it just isn’t happening.
So, how well do you know your audience?
Understanding their needs and interests is crucial to creating effective content.
Without a deep understanding of who you’re writing for, your words will fall flat, failing to make any lasting impression.
Are you putting the focus on your readers? Your readers want to understand what’s in it for them. Each blog post should offer value, whether that’s answering a question, solving a problem, or providing unique insights. If the focus is on you, your readers may feel overlooked.Are you showing your spots -- your struggles, your blind spots, your imperfections? Authenticity resonates with readers. Click To Tweet
Are you showing your spots — your struggles, your blind spots, your imperfections?
Authenticity resonates with readers.
They can sniff out a fake from a mile away, and nothing builds trust faster than honesty. By openly sharing your challenges and how you’ve overcome them, you can help your readers navigate similar situations. Your vulnerability can be comforting to those facing the same issues, creating a deeper connection between you and your audience.
How are you inviting engagement?
Are you asking open-ended questions? Are you responding to comments and messages promptly and thoughtfully? Do you encourage readers to share your posts or subscribe to your blog? By actively inviting engagement, you create a sense of community and make your readers feel valued and heard. This active engagement can transform passive readers into active participants, forging stronger bonds.
Lastly, examine your language.
Using second-person pronouns like ‘you’, ‘your’, and ‘yours’ helps create a conversational tone, making your content feel personal, like a conversation. When a reader sees ‘you’, they feel seen and heard—it’s as if you’re talking directly to them. By making it about them linguistically, you’re telling your readers you’re writing for them (not at them).
Your Content Needs an Upgrade
Remember the heydays of blogging, back when Blogger and OpenDiary seemed revolutionary?
Today, blogging bears little resemblance to its humble beginnings.
Short-form, superficial content no longer satisfies.
Take a hard look at your content. Is it providing enough value?Are you publishing enough long-form content? Click To Tweet
Are you publishing enough long-form content?
Compared to the 500-word blog posts of the past, long-form content is lengthy, in-depth, and comprehensive. Typically, long-form content refers to articles and blog posts over 1000 words, with some reaching upwards of 3,000 words or more. It extends beyond blog posts to encompass eBooks, white papers, case studies, and in-depth guides.
Long-form content ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
According to a 2020 Backlinko study, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,447 words. This indicates a clear correlation between lengthy, in-depth content and higher Google rankings (“We Analyzed 11.8 Million Google Search Results…”).
Another benefit of long-form content is keeping readers on your website longer, providing greater opportunities for engagement. For example, long-form content often includes interactive elements, such as infographics, videos, and quizzes that engage the reader and improve dwell time – a metric Google considers when ranking web pages (“2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report”).
Long-form content makes you an authority in your industry. By producing comprehensive and informative content, you demonstrate expertise in your field. This helps foster trust and loyalty among your readers, leading to stronger relationships and higher conversions.
So, be mindful of these 7 sins.
Go through your content and analytics. Highlight areas you can improve upon, and get to work.
Your blog deserves an audience considering the time, money, and energy expended.
Let us know how you’re doing in the comments.