Getting people to listen seems to be the hardest thing for most newbies to blogging. That’s probably the reason why most questions that I am being asked on daily basis revolve around traffic generation, increasing subscribers numbers, getting more followers and all those topics that have something to do with getting your voice heard.
Today’s post is inspired by all the emails that you guys are sending me in the hopes to receive a short and straight-to-the point answer about how to get more people to start reading and opting-in.
But we all know a simple email reply is hardly exhaustive enough to give an accurate answer…
Keep reading to find out which are the eleven reasons why it seems like people just don’t care about what you are publishing and sharing on the social networks. Of course I will also give you some tips to help you deal with the problem. The post is a bit lengthy, but I do believe that it will give you some helpful insights!
Here I will go through some of the issues that have a direct relation to one or more elements of your blog:
Let’s assume you have already found a few decent traffic sources and you are seeing say twenty-thirty unique visits per day. Although that might seem like nothing compared to the big blogs in your niche, you’ve actually achieved what 90% of the bloggers can’t – you’ve found a way to get traffic!
The next task is all about keeping the traffic…
Think about the first thing that a visitor sees once he lands on your blog!
That is most probably the design job of your blog. Believe it or not but there’s a good chance that newcomers won’t even proceed to reading if the colors of your choice and the arrangement of your blog don’t fit their expectations.
Put yourself in the shoes of a Google visitor:
You click on the link and are welcome by a poorly-made logo and no further description of what to expect. Secondly there are several different, very bright colors that don’t go along really well. Thirdly the blog is impersonal – no About page, no actual photo of the blogger – nothing! And worst of all there’s a really bad contrast between the letters and the background.
Seeing a bad layout like the above, you probably won’t wait long to click away, would you?
Practicality of the Information
Okay, maybe your design isn’t all that bad. Now the second focal point is your content.
For my almost three years of writing and publishing content here at Reviewz ‘N’ Tips, I’ve found out that the one type of content that tends to receive the most sharing is one that provides practical advice. Readers appreciate all tips, tricks and guides that can be utilized straight away. Readers appreciate all those posts that don’t simply talk about why something is a problem, but the ones that also try to give solution to that problem.
As an internet marketer and a blogger I would define ” quality content” as content that people can relate to, content that teaches people something useful, conetnt that gives people step-by-step guidelines and last but not least content that provides straight-to-the-point information and not predictions or assumptions.
So we’ve sorted the content issue. The second question that comes to mind is how often should you publish content. The answer is simple – generally the more frequent your blog updates, the more buzz you will generate around your blog.
Think about what happens when a new article goes live:
- You RSS feed notifies subscribers
- You might not share all your content on the social networks, but you probably don’t forget to share your latest piece
- Your list subscribers might receive an email whenever you have new content
All in all the calculation is simple – more content equals more traffic.
You shouldn’t overdo if you are just starting though – two posts a week are based on my experience the ideal combination between posting frequently enough and having the time to actually write useful content.
However as a starter you shouldn’t expect getting any traffic if you publish say once every two weeks, once a month, or maybe once a year… Nope, every-now-and-then-kind of posting schedule is not going to work – consistency is key!
Social Media Problems
You certainly know what social media is. It is of a different matter whether you are making the most out of your social media efforts though. The ideas below will help you get on track:
You Think Self-Promotion is For Spammers
Nope, there really is no such thing. The real problem behind self-promotion is that lots of newbie marketers simply don’t know when they’ve gone too far. You need to be able to draw the line.
For instance a bad social media strategy would be to automate three or four different messages with links to your blog and to get them sent out like every ten minutes without putting any thought to it.
Less is more when it comes to social media. The chances are that if you post a 100 updates, more people will report you or block you than those who will actually click.
The best sharing frequency from my experience is:
- On Twitter - not more than thirty tweets with links in them per day. From those you should have at least 8-10 tweets pointing to content on other blogs. Other than that you can tweet to other folks as much as you’d like, as those messages are seen only by the ones you are sending them to (as long as you place the person’s Twitter handle before everything else in the tweet).
- On Facebook – I don’t post more than four times a day. From those updates, one is often times a quote, funny picture or something else visual without links. The second is a question or a post from another blog. So I basically end up with two self-promotional posts at most per day.
- On Google Plus – Pretty much the same as on Facebook.
- On LinkedIn – Rarely more than two-three updates, where just one or two point to my blog. I don’t really spend much time on LinkedIn though. As of now I don’t see it as a worthwhile time-investment.
You Care About Quality but Not Quantity
That has to be one of the biggest misconceptions in the internet marketing world. It really amazes me how there are people who argue that numbers don’t mean a thing and quality is all one should chase.
Well let me tell you – that is bullshit! Quantity does matter and a lot actually. That however DOESN”T mean you can’t also go for quality while building a big following. With that I am mostly referring to Twitter.
One of the best ways to get new Twitter followers is by also following people and getting to know them. Lots of tools can help you with the task – there are free ones like Tweepi and there are paid ones like Tweet Adder. The filtering options that such apps provide can help you discover relevant people to follow. And that is one of the ways to expand your network.
And in the end if you share your content with those same 200 highly-targeted followers that you have, how far you think you will go? Your content will circulate only within a small circle of people and their followers… and that is if everyone retweets, which as you know is never the case.
You Aren’t Telling People to Follow You
Do you have an easy way for your readers to get in touch with you? Lots of the blogs out there lack that one crucial element that can greatly improve their results!
One of the most important widgets that you need should give visitors access to your most important social media accounts. Although you can create some fancy Twitter, Facebook, RSS and all kinds of other icons yourself, there’s an easy way. The Social Media Widget WordPress plugin provides you with several different sets of social media icons that are also animated. You can include all kinds of networks, some of which I honestly haven’t even heard of. Make sure to place that one above the fold – mine as you can see is beside the header, but as long as it’s visible right away, it’s okay.
Additionally you might want to provide text links to the same networks in your About page. People who have clicked on it, obviously want to learn something more about you. Once you spark their curiosity they’d certainly like to follow you and maybe contact you. Give them the opportunity!
A third thing – if you have already created a Facebook fan page (which is an absolute must by the way), check out the Facebook Page Promoter Lightbox - another great WordPress plugin that prompts visitors to like your fan page. Based on how you configure it to display, you can get some pretty decent results. I got like 200 new likes in the span of just two weeks, whereas I’d normally get half or even less.
You Use Each Network on Its Own
Often times what happens is that you are able to gather followers on one social network, but fail to do the same on other networks. Generally speaking, the easiest place to get followers is Twitter.
So if you have a couple of thousand Twitter followers, you can use that network to expand your reach on Google Plus and Facebook for instance.
The approach is easy. Let’s assume you’ve just shared one of your blog posts on Facebook and now you’d like to also share the post on Twitter. Instead of doing so, you can tweet the Facebook story that you just published. Simply clicking on the date header of each post on Facebook opens it up separately. That way you can see the unique URL of the story and tweet that instead of the actual URL of the blog post.
By doing so, the ones who click, will first be directed to your Facebook page. You will thus give them the opportunity to like the story or the page itself. After that they will decide whether they’ll click to see the actual post on your blog. That might mean reduced traffic, but fans and followers are worth that!
Again, don’t overdo! Once or twice a day is just enough.
Search engine optimization is important because organic traffic (or search engine traffic) is great in terms of relevancy and hence conversion rates. Here are some tips and tools to get you going:
You Only Write for the People
You’ve probably read a hundred times over that one should never write for the search engines but for the people. But you know what – it might sound bold to you but I believe this isn’t quite the truth.
If you only write for the readers in mind, that’s great. But there’s the thing. On-site SEO is important for you to rank high in the search results. And if you don’t pay attention to this, how will those folks, the same that you are writing for, actually find your content? It’s a bit of a paradox there, isn’t it?
The best thing you could do to solve the problem is the simplest you can think of – write both for the readers and for the search engines!
It isn’t as hard as it might sound. I’ve previously talked about the Yoast WordPress plugin - and that is namely the tool you need in order to make your content both easy to read and well optimized
More on some of the other on-site SEO elements that you should take into consideration can be found in my post “5 WordPress SEO Tips to Help You Boost Rankings and Traffic“.
You Haven’t Considered Guest Blogging
Or maybe you did consider it but never actually got into it. That’s exactly what I did when I started. I was never serious about diving into writing guest articles until a couple of weeks ago…
I was quite ahead of my posting schedule and one day I’ve got that great idea – why not use some of the content that I have already written for guest blogging instead for my own blog!
So I got going. I had already come across a great guest posting target list that gave me the initial spark to start. The hard part was deciding for which blogs to write for, but with the list it became easier. The only thing left was to contact some of the blogs and share with them the guest post ideas I had in mind.
Now I already have four guest posts live and I didn’t have to wait long to see the search engine traffic increasing. Every day after I got a new guest article published, I was seeing a roughly 20-30% increase in search engine traffic.
So in short sometimes a less-frequent posting schedule in exchange of guest articles and high-quality backlinks is a good idea. And the sooner you get into guest blogging, the sooner you will propel your organic traffic!
You Have Never Done Blog Commenting
Okay, let’s leave aside guest blogging – that is surely the best way to build backlinks. Blog commenting however can also prove beneficial for your SEO plus it is one of the best ways to get to know the people in your niche and start building relationships. That is how many of the bloggers out there get their very first readers.
If you are an internet marketer, you can start commenting on the blogs I linked to in the above paragraph. In order to get the most out of blog commenting in terms of SEO, you need to discover dofollow blogs or in other words blogs that pass link juice to the links in the comments section. One way to do so is by installing a simple plugin that highlights nofollow links – for Chrome or for Firefox.
The next step is to start commenting. The two golden rules are:
- Comments that add value – no spam.
- No links within the comment’s content – only in the website field and via the CommentLuv plugin if the blog uses one.
The reality is that once your blog gains momentum you will probably have less time for blog commenting. But now that you are starting, I strongly recommend you to put 20-30 minutes everyday into sharing your thoughts under relevant articles. As I said, it’s not only about SEO, but also about creating new contacts.
You Never Care to Do Keyword Research
Even if you’ve used the Yoast plugin that I mentioned and made the most out of your internal SEO, you might have hard time getting clicks if you haven’t started with a proper keyword research.
Keyword research is something that should be done for every article you publish on your blog. Before starting to write the post, you need to have a good idea of what people should be searching for in order to come across your article in the search engine result pages. Of course that’s easier said than done and using your intuition only won’t lead you anywhere.
So in order to find the best possible keyword combinations you have two options – one is to go for the free keyword research tool that Google offers and the other one is to use Market Samurai – a great piece of software that is paid that but far more advanced and provides you with everything you need in order to discover the right keywords fast.
I know, the post is longer that what you probably expected, but at least I hope you’ve found a thing or two useful in it. Now it is your turn guys! I would greatly appreciate all of your feedback! What do you think about the tips I’ve covered, do you agree with them? What other ideas can you add up to the list? Please take a minute to share your thoughts in the comments section!