Have you been, just like me, wondering what the exact number of blogs on the internet is right now?
To be honest, I haven’t been able to figure it out as yet, because of so many variables involved, from the number of dormant blogs to the credibility of the sources citing them.
This question becomes even more relevant if you are a wannabe blogger, looking for some good earning without burning ……
…much of your calories, I mean (which is no more than a myth by the way, as they say: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is!). If entrepreneurship inspires you, you better be ready to work hard irrespective of the domain you choose.
Before I lead you to some basic problems that wannabe bloggers face and share some easy, practical and effective solutions to overcome them; let’s just get some facts on blogging, courtesy of activeblogs.
It’s tempting, isn’t it?
Blogging empowers anyone to publish content online, which also holds immense potential to monetize. That’s why hundreds of thousands of blogs come into existence daily.
However, most new bloggers face certain significant challenges, which in many cases lead the bloggers to give up.
This post relishes on four of the basic problems faced by the new bloggers, in particular, followed by some easy but effective ways to overcome those problems.
1. Having No Clear Purpose Of Existence
This might come as a surprise to you, but many blogs perish over time because they do not have a clear purpose of existence.
In fact, the lack of purpose cannot be confined to your online existence only; it bothers you in the real world as well. So, your blog better have a clear purpose of existence if you want to be a thriving blogger.
If it’s a personal blog that you are maintaining, you probably want to communicate with family, friends or the community, so you might post whatever you want. However, if you want it for business purposes, you must have a clear idea of the outcome of your blogging.
Think about why you are interested in blogging
It needs a bit of contemplation, but this is exactly what’s going to help your blog sustain and thrive in the longer run. Ask questions.
- Are you into blogging just to share your thoughts and opinions?
- Do you want to promote some services through your blog?
- Do you want to sell some product(s)?
- Do you want people to recognize you as an expert in your niche?
- Are you looking to make money with the help of affiliate products or ad clicks?
Finding the exact purpose of your blogging also relates directly with the blog theme design you should choose. If you are into blogging with the intention to make money out of affiliate products and clicks, a simple theme facilitating visitors to notice and click ads would serve your purpose better than anything else.
If selling products is the reason you want to blog, you should go for a theme that helps you showcase them prominently on places receiving the most attention from your visitors.
And if you want to be seen as an industry expert, you better choose a professional-looking theme and offer something like an ebook for free to position yourself strongly.
2. No, Or Low, Traffic
For most bloggers, new or old, attracting more visitors to their blog is one of the most significant challenges ever to conquer. In fact, most new bloggers are likely to overlook attracting visitors until the launch of the blog, and all of a sudden it dawns on them that their blog is not getting too many visitors.
The way I see it is, irrespective of how much traffic you have, you will always crave for more; simple as that. But it’s much easier said than done, as many new bloggers are discouraged with the lack of visitors after a while. In fact, many of them literally give up blogging on this.
The fact of the matter is that this topic is far too involving and comprehensive to be covered thoroughly in this blog post, but these few tips listed below can make all the difference in the world for a striving blogger who is not getting enough traffic.
Scrutinize the style of your blog posts
It’s like stepping back to have a better view of what’s ahead of you, scrutinizing the posts that you have published to make sure you are disseminating some original content with significant value, something that’s worth attention from readers.
Think of some new types of posts to try. Think about how you could differentiate your work from countless other blogs in your particular industry/niche. Are there some posts that are proving more successful than others? What’s their strength?
Scrutinizing your own work isn’t going to be an easy task, but it is quite imperative if you want to come up with a worthy blog post every single time. If you can identify your weak areas and work them out to improve the quality of your posts by yourself, attracting and retaining readers will become much easier for you.
Resort to guest posts
I can see readers getting hungrier than ever for quality content online and I would suggest capitalizing on that, for which guest posting on other blogs can work wonders.
There are plenty of blogs out there with ample readership looking for good content, so your quality posts on them will result in directing that web traffic towards your blog. This will also allow you to expand your network with fellow bloggers in the industry.
Keep in mind that writing a couple of guest posts won’t give you the desired results; you will only get results if you are consistent and persistent in your efforts. I suggest setting the goal of producing, at least, one guest post every week.
Exploit the potential of social media
About a quarter of the total internet usage time is consumed by activity on social networks or blogs, which means it holds immense potential to monetize, which you should exploit if you want to get a strong footing in the murky waters of the virtual world.
Find niche-specific social media outlets related to your blog and submit your posts over there. Let the people know of your existence in a meaningful and solid manner. From Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and Pinterest, there are just endless possibilities on social media to take advantage of.
3. No, Or Few, Comments
Isn’t it frustrating to give your blood and sweat to a blog post and then sit and wait for the visitors to comment, which never happens actually? It can be maddening because many people turn to blogging for its interactive aspects.
However, today most new blogs face serious issues in attracting comments. If you are also among those who don’t usually get the feedback and comments as you have anticipated, these tips can really make the day for you.
Start commenting on other blogs
When I got into blogging, I found this to be one of the most rewarding strategies to build an audience who commented frequently on my posts.
However, there’s a catch; instead of reaching out to the industry leaders, I focused mainly on other small blogs, because those bloggers were keener in noticing and appreciating my comments. The best part is that most of them were also eager in returning the favor and were more than happy to comment on my blog
In the same context, it is also important to leave intelligent comments adding some real value to the post or discussion. You better avoid generic comments like “Great post” or something like that.
Promptly respond to the comments your post receives
Being prompt in responding to the comments you receive on a post shows the commenters how you appreciate and reciprocate their time and efforts. You might also take time out to visit their blog, leaving a comment on something that relates closely to your niche.
Even if you don’t find something relevant to your niche, your commenting back will serve the purpose. This way, you help a new blog build its community, which is going to benefit you the same way sooner or later.
Engage your readers, question them
Keeping the visitors engaged is another great way of building your blog’s responsive audience. Ask your readers questions, especially at the end of your posts. Let them clearly understand that you fancy feedback from them. Asking for their personal opinions is even better. This alone has the potential to increase comments on your posts significantly.
Be thought-provoking or controversial
You know what attracts people’s attention more than anything else? Controversy! When people see something that defies the norms – beats the status-quo, they are drawn towards it immediately. Any post that tingled your readers’ thoughts, encouraging them to form or share opinions, will receive more comments.
Though I don’t personally like the idea of writing controversial posts with the sole purpose of getting increased attention, this approach has worked amazingly well for many new bloggers.
4. Not Enough Repeat Visitors
While attracting sizeable traffic to a blog is one of the primary concerns of any blogger, it’s the repeat traffic which really makes or breaks it for them in the long run.
Every blog needs a community to thrive on, consisting of people visiting them regularly. Of those regular visitors, many would share your content. Some of them will also start commenting occasionally and if responded properly, they tend to develop a positively progressive relationship with the blog.
If your blog is still striving to have a community of regularly visiting readers, a few suggestions listed below can be really helpful.
Email and RSS Subscriptions
Yes, no matter how old-school it sounds, RSS and email subscription still makes the most of repeat visitors for a blog. It’s pretty simple; once subscribed, people are more likely to catch anything new you post, which enhances the chance of them returning to your blog.
Prominent icons, buttons links or sign-up forms in the most accessible locations of your blog encourage and help people to subscribe. You may also consider presenting subscription offers within a blog post. Some bloggers also encourage subscriptions by giving away something for free, mostly ebooks.
Another useful way of reminding the audiences of your presence is through an email newsletter. It can carry almost anything; for example, a summary of your weekly blog posts, helpful articles or tips or anything else that might interest your audience. You can resort to the methods listed above for promoting your newsletter as well.
Get your blog a customized theme
The chances of your blog shine among a gazillion others tend to diminish if it doesn’t stand out, which is why getting a customized theme for your blog is so important. Consider this as a part of your branding efforts.
I know not all blogs afford high-priced custom designs when getting started, but at least you can customize an existing theme, personalizing it to some level. Customize the header, add your photo somewhere, consider a background image, and change the color scheme or any other stuff manageable freely and easily.
Follow a schedule to publish the posts
If you are wondering how this might help, it’s quite simple. It’s human psychology to get associated with something, whether it’s as meager as following a schedule to post.
For example, if you post on Monday and Thursday, people will start anticipating something new from you on those days and their likelihood of returning to your blog will increase. On the contrary, if you post without a schedule, most of your visitors will have no idea when to return to your blog.
Moreover, frequent publishing of posts (once a week at least) will help your blog build a stronger community, which will also contribute in more repeat visitors.
Promote ……….. consistently
Well, following a schedule to post alone is not going to suffice unless you promote your content consistently over a number of outlets. When a particular community often sees your posts, they are more likely to consider your blog as a reliable source of content.
So, instead of submitting every post somewhere different, submit to a chosen few, as this would also help you build some much-needed industry connections.
Get active on Facebook and Twitter
Can you guess the active number of Facebook users? What about Twitter? Well, it’s 1.55 billion for Facebook and 320 million for Twitter as of January 2016, according to statistia.
I think it will make real sense now if I suggest you getting active on Facebook and Twitter to add to your prospects of getting a good number of visitors.
In case you already have an active profile on these social networks, make sure it is linked with your blog, so that visitors can easily find you over there. And if you are not on Facebook and Skype as yet, now is the best time to get started.
Content is still the king
Believe it or not, the best and the most effective way to adding visitors to your blog is to publish original and meaningful content; remember, content is still the king!
If your blog publishes the content capable of connecting with the visitors, perhaps you will not need much of everything else; they will come back to visit by themselves.
No amount of marketing and promotion can make up for poor content in long run, where an even below average promotion of top quality content can do the trick. So, you better spruce up your content.
Care to share your blogging nightmares?
We would love to hear your experiences as a blogger. What troubled you the most and how you were able to overcome those challenges?
Khawar Zaman is a seasoned e-commerce consultant as well as co-founder of Technorian, a startup offering Magento and WooCommerce support services. They also provide dedicated developers to other startups, making business easier and worthier for them.