Do you blog? The question comes up in writer’s circles and business get-togethers quite often. Blogging is the thing to do. Everyone wants to share what they know, what they think, and what they do with everyone else. So do you, right? But, is anyone reading it?
Blogging is big business. Grant Sabatier, founder of the Millennial Money blog, shared that he earned over $400k blogging in 2017. He has helped many bloggers monetize their blogs and also claims that growing numbers are earning the same or more than he is from their blogging efforts.
Blogging is also a big part of digital advertising. This is where I come into the picture. My freelance writing business is primarily writing and editing blog copy for large digital advertising firms that provide a regular supply of blogs for clients.
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I write about such varied topics as digital advertising, legal issues, drone technology, fixed wireless internet, cloud computing, real estate, translating, medical, dental, and pharmaceutical, among other topics. My blogs have to be good, or digital marketing firms will go elsewhere.
Why No One Reads Your Blogs
You likely know about blogging, and whether you are trying to make money from your blog or drive leads to your company website, you have lots of hard-driving competition. Users can find any kind of information about every topic imaginable (and a few we could not imagine, I’m sure) on the internet, and your outpost is but a minuscule part of the WWW.
If you’ve noticed that you get no visits, readers, clicks, shares, or other interactions on your blog, there could be a host of reasons. Like I said, competition is huge and fierce. I want to focus on five of the main reasons no one reads your blog. These are the five topmost things that kill blogs. There are others; start by fixing these and then fine tune things when business begins to pick up.
Your Blog is Uninteresting
For any blog, no matter the topic, to be popular, it must provide value. It must be worth the reader’s time to pause and digest what you have written. Internet users are seeking information on a host of topics, and bloggers and businesses are writing about all those topics. In order for yours to stand out, it must be of high quality.
That means solid, true, verifiable and currently (better, forever) useful to the reader, regardless of your topic. People want something they can use, something that helps ease their current pain point, something that scratches where they have an itch.
Take this blog, for instance. I’m in the business of writing, and it’s a big business. My narrow corner of the writing world deals with composing business-related copy, mainly for webpages and blogs. So, the blogging efforts on my site are focused on that niche. I mainly write about writing better, with an occasional post about the broader topic of digital marketing.
You are reading this because the title (or a social media post or some other ad) caught your eye and hit right where you are living — no one reads your blog. I got you here, and am keeping you here, because I’m seeking to provide value to you, offering free help to get your blog on track. You will leave here with some things to do to resurrect your dead blog and get some readers.
Your blog must be interesting, and useful, for readers to want to visit and hang around.
Your Blog is Unreadable
Having something to say, and saying it well, are important. But if your blog pages are difficult to read, click — readers are gone, no matter how well written your content. They have to see it well to read it. Have you ever ran across a blog page written in some scripted font, and with text spaced so close together, it was a strain just to read it? Yep, you clicked away, too.
How the page appears to the reader is vitally important. Text blocks that are too large appear intimidating and make the reader think it will take too much time to read. Small font sizes or fancy, unusual fonts are hard on the eyes and force the reader to focus on each word just to make it out. Reading doesn’t flow and becomes difficult.
Long walls of text without headings or images are no fun to read. If your visitors want to read the newspaper, they’ll buy one (or read it online, where, by the way, it is spaced much differently). Provide your readers an easy and pleasurable reading experience and they will stay. More importantly, they’ll be back.
Don’t neglect the importance of images and video in your blog posts. They can convey a large amount of content quickly, or enhance readers’ understanding of difficult concepts. Most of all, they can help embed your content truths into the reader’s mind. Content that is remembered is used and shared far more often than content that is forgotten immediately.
Your Blog is Unpredictable
Ask professional bloggers and marketers about how often you should blog and they will all give you a different time frame. Some say daily, some weekly, some bi-weekly, some say monthly. None of them, however, will tell you to be unpredictable.
Readers who enjoy your content will want to have an idea of how often they can expect to see more. And you want them coming back as often as possible in order to drive more sales. Those who regularly read your blog for the helpful content you provide are far more likely to purchase your products and/or services.
An occasional posting of good stuff may briefly raise your number of visits, but that doesn’t help your overall blogging or business efforts. You not only need lots of traffic, you need lots of regular traffic. For that to happen, you need to be posting regularly on your blog. How often? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?
At first it may not be practicable to post every day or even every week. Currently, my blog is posted once a month, with an occasional surprise blog thrown in here and there. Readers know to look for it early in the month. My business keeps me so busy now that one blog a month and a monthly newsletter are all I can manage, combined with my marketing efforts.
Whatever blogging schedule you can sustain long-term, start there. Even once a month works (its working pretty good for me). Now, like me, you probably want to grow that blogging intensity and will in the future. So, do what you can do well now, and make plans to increase your volume in the future.
Your Blog is Unfocused
Sure, you may be interested in a number of topics. That’s a healthy thing. But it’s singularly unhealthy to write a blog about all your interests. No successful company tries to know everything about everything.
Look at some examples:
- Chick-fil-A — Chicken
- Burger King — Burgers
- Nike — sports equipment
- Exxon — energy sources
- FedEx — package delivery
Some of these, and others, may delve into other areas to broaden their appeal (Burger King has chicken, too), but they major on a single top thing. Blogging on a host of topics confuses readers. They don’t know to come to your blog for help with swimming pools or luggage. And why should they keep returning to your site when they never know what to expect?
Internet users want to go where they know they can get what is needed for a particular topic. So, pick your favorite interest and become the expert on it in your corner of the internet. Businesses know this and spend volumes of capital every year to publish blogs that establish them as the specialist in their chosen industry niche. You should do the same.
Your Blog is Unknown
Great content, compelling video, an attractive design, and a laser-like focus on your niche topic are all for nothing if no one knows you exist. Just raising a billboard on the internet highway (your website) isn’t enough to coax passersby into stopping in for a visit. You need to get on everyone’s GPS.
You have to let the universe know that you are open for business and have something useful to offer. SEO is a vital part of your blogging efforts. Without it, search engines will not locate you and place you in search results. With good SEO, your posts will get found, read, and shared, and your business will reap the rewards.
There are entire websites dedicated to how to optimize your site for search engines. I don’t propose do delve into the topic here (my niche is writing, remember?), although I must use SEO practices in my type of writing. Here are some great sites I recommend:
- Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz
- SEO Made Simple by Neil Patel
- Tips for an SEO Strategy in 2018 by Content Marketing Institute
After making sure your site is locatable, help readers locate it. Take to the social media waves and promote, promote, promote! A little research can help you determine the best social media channels for your industry, as well as the best times for posting about your topic. If you’re building an email list, be sure to notify your list every time a new blog post is published, and ask your followers to share, share, share.
In some realms, you could consider paid advertising to promote your blogs. This is part of the effort of reaching wider audiences with your blogs and driving more leads to your site. Or, if you monetize your blog posts, driving more viewers in to click on ads. Be sure to use every free means possible before investing loads of cash. Some quick ROI calculations should tell you if it’s feasible to spend on PPC or other advertising.
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If you’re one of those impatient boogers like me who scroll to the bottom looking for a synopsis or scanning headings, here it is: Here’s why no one is reading your blog posts.
- Your Blog is Uninteresting
- Your Blog is Unreadable
- Your Blog is Unpredictable
- Your Blog is Unfocused
- Your Blog is Unknown
If that sounds like it could be your situation, scroll back up and get some help. Handle the large issues first, then tackle the details.
Are you looking for help with your writing business? I offer a few resources that may interest you:
1. Sign up for my FREE writing newsletter and receive tips and suggestions to help you write better and build a freelance writing business. You will also be notified when I publish new material here on Medium.
2. Take advantage of my writing resources here on Medium.
3. Purchase my book on writing, How to Write Well. Now in its second edition, you will find loads of practical help to improve your writing; plus, keep it handy as a reference as you write. It is available in print, digital, or audio versions.