There are so many blogs on the internet, we’ve literally lost count. Moreover, everyone believes that their blog is above average, but the sad truth is that your blog–and (gulp) maybe even the one this post is appearing on–probably isn’t in the top half of that list.
Here are five reasons why that might be the case. Knowing there’s a problem is half the battle anyway.
Because You Don’t Post Very Often
There is a direct correlation between blog traffic and post frequency. The more often you post, the more readers you will have. There are several reasons for this.
More posts means more content for Google’s bots to crawl, that means more keywords and better placement in search results, and you need to perform well in Google’s page rank if you expect your blog to grow.
Also, more posts means that more people will be likely to find something on your website that resonates within them, which means you are more likely to convert casual visitors into long-term readers, subscribers and raving fans.
When you post it gives you a reason to promote your website. It gives you an excuse to tweet, email, post and in many other ways share links to your website. All of this self-promotion leads to growth in traffic. More posts also mean there are more excuses for others to share your content as well.
But probably the biggest reason why more posts will lead to more traffic is that more posts means more opportunities for you to learn and grow as a blogger. Writing is a process that must be practiced in order to be mastered. You must be good at writing to be a good blogger, and you must practice writing to improve. The more often you post, the better you will become.
Because It’s So Hard to Subscribe
Your readers like to read your posts, but they don’t like to hunt for them. They don’t like that they have to go looking for new articles, and they really don’t like investing the time to visit your website only to find that there is nothing new for them to read.
They have come to expect automatic delivery of your posts to their inbox. Some of them want to use an RSS reader like Google Reader, and others prefer to subscribe via email. All of your subscription options should be easy to find and operate.
You will lose readers if your subscription is hard to find or if it is difficult to operate once it has been discovered. Place it prominently on your page and make it a very simple process. You want to make it painless for your readers to become subscribers. Eliminate any drag or resistance that might exist in this process.
Because There’s No Conversation
A blog is not designed to be one way. Your readers expect to have a conversation with you. When you write new posts, write with the expectation that you will receive a response in the form of comments and shares.
Not everyone will agree with your perspective, and you should be willing to engage in an honest, rational conversation about the issues. You are not the King of the Universe, and you are probably wrong about something. Don’t be afraid to let someone educate your through the commenting system on your website.
When you do have your perspective adjusted through comments, acknowledge it. Be transparent about your evolving perspective. Nothing will turn away traffic faster than a know-it-all blogger.
You Can’t Spell
One of the greatest benefits of a blog over a book is the ability to make instant edits. This means that mistakes are not eternal. If someone finds a typo in one of your posts, you can quickly make the edit before the grammar Nazis are out in force. However, you should still have enough respect for your audience to proof-read your posts.
Learn the difference between “your” and “you’re”, the correct usage of “I” and “me”. Your attention to grammatical details will for many people be an invisible measure of your credibility. If your blog is full of misspelled words and typos it’s no wonder why your blog is struggling.
It will take time to repair broken trust, but the first step is to start publishing at a higher level. Once that’s done, begin going back through old posts with the harsh eye of a proof-reader.
Your Posts Are Too Long
People do not “window shop” on the internet, they drive 70 mph down the freeway and look at billboards. Online audiences have painfully short attention spans. If your posts are consistently longer than 800 words in length, you are going to lose your audience and most of your content will be lost.
Keep your posts between 500-800 words as a general rule and use writing techniques like subheadings, lists and bullet points to keep your copy moving quickly.
These are the prime evils, but can you think of other reasons why your blog might be struggling?