Top 10 Reasons Your Blog is Still a Sad Little Sideshow
I am delighted to welcome Melissa Donovan as a guest with her article which will be of great interest to all bloggers who feel that their efforts are not being appreciated.
Melissa, a lady with a passion for words, is a website designer and copywriter and the founder and editor of Writing Forward, an excellent blog packed with better writing tips and creative writing ideas. If you would like to connect with Melissa you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @melissadonovan.
Like all great performers, successful bloggers make it look easy. Everything they touch turns to gold. Are they getting by on pure talent or are they just plain lucky?
Luck and talent help, but successful bloggers are actually working hard behind the scenes.
All bloggers start out with nothing. They have to learn how to build a website, how to write captivating headlines and useful content. They have to find ways to attract visitors and then convince them to subscribe. Finally, if they want to be prosperous, they have to figure out how to bring value to their readers and then sell them something.
Many newbies fail to realize that blogging is a business that requires technical skills, writing aptitude, and marketing savvy.
It’s no wonder so many bloggers give up after a few months. Many more struggle along for years with little growth, minimal success, and an almost invisible following. These blogs are like sad little sideshows, admirable for their persistence and full of potential.
Top 10 Reasons Your Blog is Still a Sad Little Sideshow
If nothing’s happening with your blog, don’t give up just yet. There’s still hope. By identifying the opportunities you’re missing, you can reach out and grab them. And in time, you can turn your little sideshow into the greatest show on earth.
Here are the top 10 reasons your blog is barely slogging along and tips for how to kick it into high gear:
1. Your blog is your own private house of mirrors.
You approve comments but don’t reply to them. You know there are other blogs out there, but you never visit them. You need to mix and mingle. Interact with your readers and with other bloggers. Otherwise, how will you build a following?
2. You haven’t seen your own blog in ages.
Oh sure, you’re writing posts, but you never actually look at your blog, which is why you have no idea that the header image is grainy, the text is too small, and half your links are broken. Give your blog a quality assessment. Make a list of improvements that could be made and then set aside a little time each week for clean-up.
3. You need to get off your own merry-go-round.
You signed up for Facebook and Twitter and you use them to promote your posts, just like you’re supposed to. Except you never engage with other bloggers or promote quality content from other blogs. You’re a social media narcissist. There’s nothing wrong with loving your own blog but you need to show the love for other blogs, too!
4. Nobody’s in the ticket booth.
There’s no way for readers to contact you, even if they want to offer you a grand opportunity. And when people do contact you, their emails and messages go unanswered because you don’t know what to say or you don’t have the time. Put a contact page on your blog and then schedule time each day to check emails. If you have a slow turnaround time, just put a note at the top of your contact page letting people know how long (or whether) they’ll hear back from you.
5. Sometimes you forget to show up.
Weeks, even months, go by without a single post. Then you publish a silly excuse or apology as if people have been refreshing your home page twenty times a day waiting for an update.
The truth is that nobody’s waiting and nobody wants to read two sentences about how you’re busy but will be blogging again soon. There are tons of solutions for times when you’re too busy to post: ask for guest posts, republish a couple of your older posts, or publish a quick link list of good reads around the web.
6. You don’t even know that your blog is a sad, little sideshow.
You think that 100 visitors per day means you’ve hit the big time, but you can’t figure out why it’s not translating into revenue. You also don’t realize that the circus across the street is getting 10,000 visitors per day and the theme park across town gets 100,000 visitors per day. Learn how to use sites like Alexa and tools like Google Analytics to assess your blog’s rank and performance.
7. Your rides are squeaky.
Every single post you publish is fraught with typos and mistakes because you can’t be bothered with proofreading or good grammar. You need to oil your cogs! You may not have time to buff each post to perfection, but surely you can spare five minutes to give each post a once-over and clean up any stray punctuation marks or misspellings.
8. Your theme park is missing its theme.
You have a knitting blog but you just have to write a post about the excellent movie you saw last weekend. The readers of your food blog will surely appreciate that you’ve just adopted an adorable puppy. Stay on topic! Readers may in fact be interested in your personal life or off-topic items of interest; that’s what Twitter and Facebook are for. Most people come to your blog to read about your subject matter. Fulfill their expectations.
9. You’re forcing readers to perform.
People don’t want to have to become a member or log in to read your blog, leave comments, or otherwise interact with your content. Make engaging with your content as simple as possible and don’t ask your readers to jump through hoops to leave comments.
10. You’d rather tend a zen garden.
Maybe blogging isn’t your thing or perhaps you chose the wrong topic. Whatever the reason, you get no enjoyment out of your blog whatsoever. It’s a big chore with no payoff. If you like blogging but your topic of choice has dried up, try blogging about something else. And if blogging’s not your thing, best hang up your hat now and get on with something you’re more passionate about.
Most blogs just need a little TLC. Every successful blogger started out running a sad, little sideshow. But with time, effort, and commitment, they turned their blogs into major attractions. What will you do with yours?
Many thanks to Melissa for her fascinating and informative article. Please do let her know what you think and share your experiences and tips for moving your blog out of the shadows.
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Caravan –istockphoto.com via Melissa Donovan
Maze of Mirrors – Michael Ocampo flickr
I’m Busy – Sean MacEntee flickr
Brick Door – Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net