Blog Dead-End: These 11 Things Are Leading Your Blog To A Dead-End
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover on the Road to Nowhere and back again, so let’s get started. And no, I’m not stopping along the way. If you have to go, do it now or wait until we get there.
1. You Didn’t Do The Research
More than one blogger has had one of those lightening flash ideas, rushed to buy a domain name and set up a blog, and published his first post that same afternoon. Two months later he’s wondering why there’s no traffic so he starts looking around, doing the research he should have done before he jumped into the deep end of the pool. Is there reader interest in the topic you’re considering? If so, what are they looking for? Will you have competition? If so, how can you be unique? If it’s a good idea now, it’ll still be a good idea in the morning. Take the time to do the research, first.
2. You Didn’t Identify Your Audience
If you’re trying to pull in everybody who’s surfing the Web you’re going to have to write an awful, awful lot of content, and it still won’t be enough. Identify and target your ideal reader. What type of person would be most interested in whatever it is you’re promoting? What type of questions will they have and what information will they be looking for?
3. You Chose The Wrong Topic
Some bloggers look for topics that have a lot of interest, like dating, finance, gadgets, and parenting. These topics also have a lot of competition. However, it’s possible to compete in any niche if you’re creative and you have a unique selling perspective.
It is possible to choose the wrong topic for you, though. For example, I once started a blog about candle making because I found a cool product to promote. I have no interest whatsoever in making candles so writing content for that blog was worse than getting a root canal. Needless to say, that blog is long gone. Choose a topic you’re interested in because you’re going to be blogging about it for a long time to come.
4. You Don’t Have A USP
You’ll be hard pressed to find a niche with no competition these days. The cool thing about the Internet, though, is that there’s plenty of room for everybody. But you’ll need a USP, a Unique Selling Perspective, something that makes you stand out from the crowd. Take a look at the top-ranking blogs in your niche, see what they’re doing, and find a way to be different.
5. You Don’t Have A Mission Statement
How do you plan to make a difference with your blog? What is your blog’s purpose, and what are your goals? If you want your readers to be passionate about your blog, then you need to give them a reason to follow you.
6. Your Design Is Horrendous
You can have the best content on the Web but if your design makes your readers’ eyes pop out of their head nobody’s going to read your content. Get a professionally designed theme and a professionally designed logo and show the world you’re a professional.
7. You’re Not Consistent
One day you’re funny, the next day you write like Shakespeare. One day you’re telling your readers to do this and the next day you’re telling them to forget it. One day you blog, the next day you don’t. You need to be consistent in everything you do. Use the same voice, and post on a regular, consistent schedule.
8. You’re Not Making Yourself Available
When all’s said and done, people follow blogs because they like the blogger. Sure, you’ll need a professional design and a good writing style and a USP, but those are things that keep first-time visitors on your blog longer. Once they visit for a while, they’ll decide whether or not to follow you based on how they feel about YOU. Make yourself available. Create an ‘About‘ page and post your contact information where your readers will see it. Reply to comments. Answer emails. Send emails to your readers using the links they leave in their comments. Engage in social media. Let your readers see there’s a real person behind your blog.
9. You Think If You Build It They Will Come
Nope. That’s not how it works. There are too many other blogs between you and your target reader. Build your blog and then step out into the Marketplace to promote it using social media, guest blogging, and content marketing techniques.
10. You’re Not Promoting Subscriptions
Most of your readers won’t just automatically subscribe to your newsletter, they have to be told to subscribe. Building that list is one of the most important things you can do for your blog. Without subscribers your traffic will come and go and never really develop any loyalty.
11. You Don’t Have A Plan
How can you say your blog is on the Road to Nowhere if you don’t know where you’re heading? You need a blogging plan, even if it’s only a week at a time? What are your goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
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