When your blog is failing to bring in new users, you’re doing something wrong. Run properly, your blog should grow on its own, and you can use advertising and other advanced methods to boost that growth.
We’ve written before about why your blog might not be gaining visitors and growing traffic. What follows is an extension on that piece; 25 more reasons your blog isn’t getting enough traffic.
1. Your Site is Too New
Make no mistake; it takes time to build up an audience. You won’t gather thousands of readers overnight. You need pay your dues in terms of thankless work before it begins to pay dividends.
2. You Don’t Provide Actionable Advice
Most people looking for something to read have a specific objective in mind. They want to learn something, they want to find out how to do something or they want to be entertained. If you’re not providing some form of takeaway, something they can leave enriched by when they leave your blog, you’re losing out.
3. You’re Trying to Get Traffic from Poor Sources
Some blogs have a great time on social media. Others just don’t have the right kind of market to succeed in that atmosphere. You can spend all the time you want promoting and advertising through StumbleUpon, but if you’re not categorized in a popular interest, you’re wasting a lot of time.
4. You’re Neglecting Your Site
When you’re blogging, it can often seem like nothing more than a casual hobby. You post when you feel like it, you don’t hold to a schedule and you do nothing to engage your readers, few as they are. You’ll need to invest in ways to force yourself to work on your blog, even when it isn’t fun and you don’t feel like it.
5. You’re Ignoring Your Competitors
You might have a great blog, but what if you’re blogging in a niche dominated by even better blogs? You’re not going to gain much traffic, because there are better options already available. It would be like trying to start up a search engine to compete with Google; you just don’t stand a chance without something unique to back you up.
6. You’re Ignoring Online Advice
Articles like this one give you plenty of advice, but if you’re just reading it and not acting on it, it’s doing you no good. I can spend 10,000 words telling you why you need to run PPC advertising, and how to do it, but it does you no good if you file the information away and never act on it.
7. You Don’t Tell Users What to Do
It’s one thing to have readers; it’s another to have engaged readers who benefit your blog. Your readers need to have some motivation and goal to engage. If you don’t ask them to comment, don’t guide them to share and don’t ask them to sign up for your mailing list, you’re letting their potential go to waste.
8. You Have No Ethos
Ethos is one of Aristotle’s branches of rhetoric. It’s defined as the credibility and authority of the source. If you lack ethos, why should anyone pay attention to you? Ask yourself this question; am I a good person to ask about this topic? You don’t need to be the best; you just need to be better than the average Joe.
9. You Have No Pathos
Pathos is the second of Aristotle’s rhetoric styles. It’s defined as the vividness of your language, the emotional appeals you make, the sensory details you include, the motivation you provide. If your writing lacks pathos, you’re going to be boring, bland and dry.
10. You’re Not Mobile Accessible
A huge amount of web traffic comes through mobile devices, even if you don’t think about reading blogs through one yourself. You need to be available for mobile users. Just because your lifestyle doesn’t support using mobile to read blogs, doesn’t mean no one else does.
11. Your Content is Too Deep
You need a certain amount of depth to your content to avoid the superficial and thin labels. On the other hand, if you dig too deep, you’re getting into obscure technical details and language that comparatively few people care about. It’s one thing to talk about science; it’s another to delve into the math behind quantum physics.
12. Your Content is Too Superficial
This is the opposite problem; your content only covers the absolute basics and there’s nothing new or useful to be found. Dig deep enough to find something unique to say, otherwise you’re just parroting other blogs.
13. It’s Hard to Locate Old Valuable Content
Your site navigational structure and your post archives should be accessible to the average user. If you have a sufficient amount of old content and it’s hard to find a specific post, implement a custom site search box.
14. You Have No Visible Author
People read blogs because they want a feeling of personal one-to-one information exchange. They want to know the information is coming from a real person, not a corporate ghostwriter locked away in an office. Profile pictures, “about me” pages and the like will help immensely.
15. You Have Too Many Ads
You want to monetize your blog, so you implement an ad. It doesn’t perform well enough, so you add another. It does better, so you add another; volume is the path to success, right? Wrong. Too many ads and you drive people away by looking like a spam site.
16. Your Links Send People Away
You need to link out occasionally, but you can’t send users away from your blog constantly and expect them to stick around of their own volition. Always make sure your links open in a new window or tab and don’t take over your own content, as well.
17. You Lack Originality
What do you bring to the table that hasn’t been done before, and better? Maybe it’s your personal voice and experience. Maybe it’s your career choices. Maybe it’s your unique perspective. Whatever it is, you need to find it and capitalize on it.
18. Your Language is Incorrect for Your Audience
Some topics cater to a stuffy business class. Others excel with a casual audience and language. Still others like the heightened emotions and the crude language that comes with them. Make sure you’re using the right language for your audience.
19. You’re Not Moderating Comments
Neglecting your comments makes your blog look abandoned. A single spam comment slipping through the cracks can be highly detrimental. Moderate comments to remove spam and keep users in line, but don’t over-moderate and discourage discussion.
20. You’re Focusing on SEO over Content
In other words, you’re writing for the search engines. You’re spending more time focusing on keyword use, density and appropriate links than you are creating good content. This is ineffective and a waste of time.
21. You Don’t Have a Unique URL
This means two things. First, you can start an SEO blog and name it Noz; Moz already exists and it looks like you’re just trying to copy their success. Second, you should avoid free blogging services (dot wordpress dot com, anyone?) Just spend the $10 annually for a domain name.
22. You’re Not Networking
As a blogger, you’re part of a community. Comment on other blogs, make friends with other bloggers and network with people who can help you grow.
23. You’re Not Participating on Other Blogs
Blog comments and guest posts both show you’re aware of your surroundings and your industry, and you’re willing to share your advice and expertise in other locations. Be part of the community and the community will pay you back.
24. You’re Focusing on Quantity over Quality
You need a certain volume of content to succeed, but you can’t just spit out garbage content and expect it to work. Make each piece worthwhile, and trust a regular schedule to boost your backlog.
25. You’re Ignoring Feedback
Users, particularly other bloggers, have information and experience you don’t. Listen to their feedback and think hard about it; you might find valuable nuggets of wisdom, if you keep an open mind.
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