Many bloggers face the hard fact: There is more to finding readers for a blog than just good content. If you do not know about this, you can easily end up publishing the best content with no one reading it!
Just recently, I came across an article titled, 7 Reasons why no one is reading your Blog. The title really got me interested, as I do believe that many people in social media and web2.0 are facing this exact problem. To be quite frank - I was a bit disappointed by the article, mainly because the given reasons relate to bad content or bad layout – all legitimate reasons, but not the only ones.
What I find really important is why a blog does not attract readers even though it has good content and an acceptable layout. I am fairly sure there are millions of bloggers out there to whom this issue is happening right now and who would like to know why they aren’t being found, read and followed. Here is a quick checklist of challenges to address:
Your blog is new.
It is downright fantastical to assume that setting up a blog means every Internet user will be informed about your new blog about topic X. You have to work - hard - to get noticed. That does not mean: simply tell everyone you know that there is a new blog. It means connecting to other bloggers and sharing knowledge with people from your field of interest. Comment on article posts, talk to industry leaders in forums (i.e. LinkedIn), answer questions on quora. Make those you are trying to reach notice you and your expertise; they will eventually want to acquire more of your knowledge.
There are millions of other blogs addressing the same topic as yours.
When you chose your blog topic, you probably went by your interests or professional niche. That is probably the topic about which you can write the most and highest quality blog posts. Consider for a second how many other blogs are out there covering the same area, and think about what makes your blog stand out. Are you more knowledgeable, creative, entertaining or thought provoking? Even when you nail your niche, you will need time to connect to others to make them aware of your outstanding knowledge and content.
If you cover a special area within your realm of interest or expertise, it will be much easier to get the attention of the people looking for information in that niche.
Note: make sure you use the keywords your target audience will be looking for.
Potential readers are unable to find you.
Maybe people do not know your blog exists. Maybe this is because you have not yet made yourself easy to be found.
What have you done to get noticed? Did you create links back to your blog? Did you publish guest posts on established sites? Did you connect to people from your field of interest through comments and forums? Did you build a following in social media outlets?
It is critical to consider the keywords potential readers might use to search for the type of content in your blog. Avoid overstuffing with keywords, but find out which words your audience will use to find the issues, information and solutions you address. Sometimes, it is just a little rewording that can help you become found.
You publish, but do not share or spread your content.
Many new bloggers believe blogging is about publishing blog posts. Let me make something clear: this is just the start.
How do the large and highly frequented blogs reach their readers? They offer a subscription to their newsletter, they build a following in various social media networks where they spread their content, they use publishing platforms to help them get more attention to one post - republishing it within an already established audience. They connect to other industry bloggers and talk (or tweet) about their blog posts... and they continue creating excellent posts - sharing, spreading and connecting for months and years. You can be sure, that even the big and famous blogs did not attract a huge readership after the first few posts.
You post in irregular times and there are large spans of time in which there is no post.
So, you publish content. When? How often? Which day of the week? How do you make your audience aware of a new post? Do you expect readers to stumble upon your blog by chance for every new post? How can your readers know that a new post is up, if you post inconsistently?
Make it as easy as possible for your audience to know when they can expect a new post. If you are not posting once a day, at least make it a consistent (i.e. once a week on a given day or every first of a month). The longer the time in between the posts, the harder it is for your readers to remember that a post might be coming up. Posting regularly with short periods of time in between posts helps get your readers to come back for more. To maximize this advice, see the tip below.
You do not offer any subscription or information system.
Posting regularly in short intervals helps to get the attention of readers and inspire them to return for your next post. But there are more ways of getting interested readers back to your blog: give them the opportunity to be informed automatically.
There are different ways to do this. For instance, the good ol’ newsletter is a perfect way to stay in touch with your audience and inform them about new posts – especially if you do not post often and regularly.
As some people do not give their email-addresses freely, you should also offer other options to combat this obstacle. Create a Facebook Fanpage and post updates about new blog posts. (A disadvantage here is that Facebook does not show all updates to all of your fans.)
One of the best places I know to connect with your readers is Twitter. Take the time and energy to build a relevant audience and inform them about new posts via Tweet updates. Look for others interested in the same (or similar) topic, begin to connect to their audience, and eventually expose them to your posts.
Whatever you do: make it as easy and practical as possible for your audience to stay in touch and connect.
You do not give enough information about the blog or author.
This is something you could easily forget while dipping into the creation of outstanding content for your blog. People interested in your posts will want to know more about you. To create trust in your opinion and knowledge, you have to tell people who you are and what makes you an expert on the topic you are writing about. An “About Me” Page (or something to the effect) on your blog is a must!
In addition, people should be able to easily navigate through your blog and be readily exposed to content that will be relevant to their interest in what first brought them to the site. If your blog only shows one post at a time, with no list of other posts - people will read and vanish. Encourage them to stay through your strategic planning – and make them aware that your content is not a one-hit wonder. Do so, and they will be coming back for more, without over-thinking the fact that they are doing so.
The truth about blogging is: all these facts will not get you a faithful audience if your content is weak, generic or sloppy. Keep the following in mind and make sure they do not apply to your blog, even though they might seem obvious:
Your blog-layout is confusing, overwhelming or archaic; the text is difficult or unpleasing to readYou have spelling and/or grammatical errorsYour content is dull, generic, un-entertaining, and un-informativeYour articles and layout lack structure, making it hard to grab meaning in your overall blog intent or purposeThe message of each blog post is not clearThe articles are too long, too short or unstructuredYour headline does not attract attention
Dr. Susanna GebauerexploreB2B GmbHGeschäftsführer, Gründer