I read something startling a few days ago…
According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. | Source
Y’all, that means about 95% of the blogs in existence have not been updated in the last 4 months. I’m not going to lie, that makes me sad. I mean, seriously, it makes me want to cry. I’ve previously told you how to start a blog, but I suppose now is as good a time as any to tell you how you’re (unintentionally) killing your blog.
I know you started out with the best of intentions.
You had a passion and a drive to share your voice with the world. You may have had dreams of monetizing your site and selling your products or services. You started out blogging every single day and focusing on networking to build your blog audience, but you’re not seeing results and now you’re thinking of giving up. So let’s get really real about what you’re doing wrong (sorry!) and why your blog is dying (bummer).
You’re not focused
Y’all, I am all for lifestyle blogging. Seriously. I think it’s the best. I wrote a whole post about what it right here but there’s one thing we have to get clear. Just because lifestyle blogging, as a niche, encompasses everything doesn’t mean that you, as a lifestyle blogger, should encompass everything. You have to give your readers at least some idea of what to expect when they visit your blog. Try to select 3 – 5 topics within the niche and stick with them. If you’re only writing about something 2 – 3 times per year then you shouldn’t be writing
about it at all. Your readers will be confused and your blog will struggle to grow.
You’re blogging too much
A lot of bloggers feel like they have to blog
every single day in order to keep their readers coming back but that my friends, is the biggest lie in the blogosphere. It’s going to be strong content that keeps your readers coming back. It’s quality over quantity. Your readers will keep visiting even if you’re only blogging twice a week if you’re writing quality content. Before you publish ask yourself these three questions:
- Does this post teach?
- Does this post inspire?
- Does this post encourage?
If it doesn’t do one of those three things, don’t publish it. You may not publish as much but you’ll be publishing better content.
You’re not building community
Community is so much more than just generating comments on your blog and community occurs outside of your blog as well. Community is about making your readers feel valued. Ask yourself this question:
- What do I do to make my readers feel valued by me?
Please don’t say, “I offer giveaways” because here’s a harsh truth (Ready?), most giveaways don’t do crap for your blog. Sorry but it’s true. Most giveaways are run on rafflecopter and it’s always the same thing. You ask entrants to follow you on Twitter (and they do it either from a fake spam account they use only for giveaways, they do it then immediately mute your account, or they do it then unfollow you when the giveaway is over); you ask entrants to like your Facebook page (and they do but then immediately unfollow your page so they don’t see the updates or they unlike it when the giveaway is over); and so it goes for each entry option. You may be increasing your numbers but you’re not increasing engagement.
Do you ever ask for their advice or encourage their opinions? Do you defer to their expertise? Do you respond to their comments? They have a voice, just like you do, but do you listen to theirs? If they don’t feel important to you then you aren’t going to be important to them.
You don’t make it easy to share your posts
Y’all would be so surprised by the number of blogs I visit that don’t have a simple way to share their posts. It’s easy to do so there really is no excuse for not having it, and the easier it is for your readers to share your content the more likely they are to actually do it. I installed the Shareaholic plugin to place the share buttons at the bottom of each of my posts (as you will see when you scroll to the bottom) and I use the Click to Tweet plugin to make it super easy for my readers. The more they share, the more exposure you get, and the more likely you are to attract new readers.Struggling to grow your blog? Check out these 5 ways you may be unintentionally killing it. Click To Tweet
(That right there is Click to Tweet in action.)
You lost your voice
I’ve seen this happen to so many of my fellow bloggers. They start their blog excited to be able to share their voice, expertise, and opinions with the world but, over time, they begin to fall victim to the blogging comparison game. They see other bloggers growing, earning an income, and becoming successful so they begin to emulate them. They begin to adopt their voice, model their content, and mimic their style.
Does that sound like you? Once you start to imitate another blogger you lose your voice and your authenticity. Your posts no longer feel genuine and your personality becomes muddled. Your readers don’t know who you are anymore (how could they since you don’t even know who you are anymore) and they begin to fall away. If you want your blog to grow you’ve got to be genuine with the people who stop by to get to know you.
Are you killing of unintentionally doing something that’s killing your blog? What do you do to grow community on your blog?