Have you been blogging for a while, but can’t seem to get traffic, or keep visitors coming back to your site so you gain traction?
Or have you been thinking of starting a blog and don’t want to start on the wrong foot?
Getting traffic is one thing but turning that traffic into an engaged audience is something entirely different.
Here are 7 things that may be turning your visitors off and keeping them from returning.
The first way you may be sabotaging your blog is by having a niche that is too broad.
We all want to be able to cover a broad range in our chosen niche, but that isn’t always the best way to approach blogging.
When people search for a solution to their problem on Google, they are searching for something specific.
Take the fitness niche, for example. There are tons of ways to get fit and stay fit. You can blog about walking, running, outdoor sports, yoga -- the list is endless.
And maybe having an endless list is the problem.
Most people get into just one type of fitness. How many people you know that do kettlebells, running, Pilates, T-Tapp, step classes and balance exercises every week?
So, it’s better to target a smaller group of people, who focus on one fitness method, for example, like yoga.
People who practice yoga, or want to get into yoga, are likely to only be interested in yoga. They probably don’t care about running marathons or doing aerobics.
If you keep the focus of your blog on strictly yoga information, you’re more likely to attract the right audience and get them engaged in your content.
That doesn’t mean you can never share anything else.
Perhaps you love yoga, but you’re also training for a marathon. It’s okay to share some of your personal tips and experiences about the training you’re doing. If you can tell your readers how yoga has helped your marathon training—that’s even better.
Another great example is the cooking niche.
That covers a huge range of topics—everything from utensils to techniques, casseroles, main courses, desserts, baking, etc. The list is endless.
You want to narrow that down to just one or two categories, at the most. Unless your blog is about home and lifestyle where you can share a lot of cooking advice, it’s best to stick to one or two basic cooking areas, perhaps desserts and baking.
Yesterday, I went for a walk and my dog saw a squirrel playing in a tree and barked his head off.
Wait! What does that have to do with this topic?
Well, nothing and everything. You’re expecting tips on how to keep your blog focused and I’m talking about squirrels.
Sometimes our blogging efforts get off track, too. Maybe you do have a tight niche, but sometimes you share irrelevant content or posts that just babble on and on, off topic.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing part of a personal story, especially if the experience can help your audience. People do want to see the real you. But, if you’re constantly losing the focus of what your blog is about or what you want to accomplish with your blog, then it’s time to stop chasing those squirrels and get back on track.
When someone visits your site, they need to immediately see what your blog is all about. They shouldn’t have to hunt too long to find something that interests them.
In fact, it’s likely they won’t hunt around on your blog unless you have a tightly focused blog and they know it covers the kind of information they’re looking for.
However, if you have a blog that focuses on something like a home cooking blog, you can break it down into monthly themes, much like the big cooking magazines do.
This allows you to cover several topics in the cooking field but also allows you to niche down every month and focus on one topic for several weeks.
Action Tip: So, take some time to write down your goals for your blog. Or, if you have them written down, dig them out and reassess them. It may be time to update them and make sure you are back on track with some solid goals.
If all your blog posts are focused on you, that drives your readers away. No one likes to read a self-centered blog. Even people who love drama and gossip don’t want to hear about the same person all the time.
Yes, they want to hear a bit about you, but they are really there to find out how you can help them.
If you’ve been focusing too much of your content about you, it’s time to redirect your content.
Yes, there are times you need to share personal stories, struggles, and how you’ve overcome a problem, but you need to write your content in a way that focuses on helping your readers.
So, the best way is to take your struggles and obstacles and turn them around so it’s informative and gives your readers ways they can work through the same or a similar issue.
It’s also okay to share about things you’re trying out or how you’ve done something, but avoid the “all about me” and “look what I’ve done” approach. You want your content to be meaningful and helpful to others, not a huge pat on your own back or a big whine fest.
And yes, there are times when you some support yourself, but be sure to inform the reader at the beginning of the post that you’re struggling with something and want their input.
Most people love to help others and if your blog content has helped them in the past, they are more than happy to jump in and return the favor, but for the most part, you have to be seen as more of a leader, someone who helps their community.
So, you posted on a random Monday, three weeks ago. Before that, you posted a few months ago. Last week, you posted three times.
It seems like a good idea that you posted something at least, but your readers like consistency. Posting once a week is better than sporadic posting. If you can’t manage to post once a week, and you have less than 1000 subscribers, you can post twice a month.
This is where a lot of bloggers fall short. You have plans to post regularly, but for some reason, you don’t.
The best way to make sure you release content on a regular basis is to have an editorial calendar.
To create an editorial calendar, you simply decide the topics you want to cover each month and then write them on a calendar or use a free plugin. That way, you know every week which posts you need to write and publish.
You can also do some “batch” work and write several posts in one sitting and then schedule them to go out on various days. This can help keep you on track and keep fresh content on your blog that will thrill your readers because it is consistently there.
Every post you write for your blog needs to have a purpose.
However, every piece doesn’t have to have the same purpose.
Some of your content needs to be for list building. Some of it needs to be for making passive income with a product offer or an affiliate offer.
Other purposes for your content include;
Whatever you write and put out into the world, make sure it has a purpose and a clear call to action to let the reader know what you’d like them to do next.
This is another area where having an editorial calendar can help.
Deciding all of this ahead of time and using an editorial calendar can keep you from scrambling around, wondering what to post and feeling overwhelmed because you don’t have a plan.
It can be daunting to write content, publish content and then promote the content. If you find you’re falling behind, why don’t you assess what you can do to fix the problem?
One solution is to post less content so you have more time to spend promoting it. My colleague, Brian Dean, posts once a month, sometimes even less (!), but promotes the heck out of each post.
With that being said, though, maybe you aren’t promoting your content enough. When you publish content on your blog, you should immediately share it with all of the social networks that you share content on. Be sure to use hashtags where appropriate.
You also want to send out an email to your list and let them know you’ve published new content.
Most bloggers do follow the strategy above; write the post, share on social media, email list.
Unfortunately, they drop off after that initial little push.
Let’s say you write and publish a new post on Tuesday. You immediately share it on Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms. And then…you don’t share it again. The least you should do is share it again on Wednesday and Friday. Just make sure you’ve shared other content on your social networks between your own promotions.
It can seem overwhelming to have to keep sharing content, but that’s how you get noticed. People are on these social networks at different times and days. Sharing your content one time is not enough to get the attention of people in other time zones.
Along with that editorial calendar mentioned above, a social promotion calendar is another good idea. You want to get the most out of your efforts and get the most traffic to your latest content, so you need to promote it more than once.
Editing and proofreading can be tedious and time-consuming, but it’s a blogging necessity.
It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have on a topic, if you can’t convey your message and deliver that knowledge with (at least) decent grammar and punctuation, your audience will not care.
Believe me, all bloggers make mistakes, misspell words and have typos. The editing process is to catch those mishaps and fix them.
If you’re not very good at editing your work, you may want to get a friend or family member to do it for you. Fresh eyes always help, right?
Your posts don’t have to be perfect, but they do need to be well-written and as mistake-free as possible.
Growing your blog audience can be time-consuming and often feels like a slow process.
Following the tips above will help you stay on track, help you to gain momentum, and keep more of your readers coming back to read more and hopefully, become subscribers.