Whoever told you that starting and maintaining a successful blog was going to be easy, was lying to you. The hard truth of it is that beginning and growing a profitable blog is challenging, laborious, and downright exhausting.
But is it worth it? You bet.
But, just because you start a blog, does not mean you’re automatically going to see traffic pouring in. That’s not how it works. Sure, there’s a good chance you’ll see a slew of traffic if you work your butt off and implement the right strategies. But it is in no way guaranteed. If you want to grow your readership and attract the right traffic, you are going to have to live and breathe your blog for the first few months. And after that, the hard work doesn’t magically stop, either. Even established bloggers are constantly working hard to ensure they get more traffic and sales. It’s a constant battle. And it’s a whole lot of hard work to run a successful blog.
But, before you can even think about trying to grow your blog’s traffic, you need to make sure you have a strong foundation in place first. This means, there are certain things you may be doing right now, that could be scaring away your readers and ensuring they never come back to your blog. And we don’t want that. I’ve put together this list, so we can get to the bottom of why you are not getting any blog traffic, and flip that around!
1) You’re not writing for your audience.
You’ve probably been wondering why you are not getting any blog traffic, and this may be the #1 reason.
There is no sugar-coating this. You’re not getting any blog traffic because your blog is merely about yourself, and your life. And frankly, your readers don’t care. This is the harsh truth, my friend. You’re not offering any value to your readers, which makes you blur among the millions of other bloggers.
The whole reason people visit blogs is to find a solution to a problem they are having.
This is why informational posts do the best; because the reader leaves learning something new – and this is the entire reason they will return a blog.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t add snippets of your life – definitely add some! That humanizes your blog and you should always aim to do that.
But, unless you have 100,000 followers and are some kind of celebrity in the blogging world – your readers are not going to be intrigued by personal posts that have zero information for them. (Other than your friends and family, of course!).
The good news is, that even if you don’t have a niche per say, and you’re a lifestyle or mommy blogger – you can still share content that is beneficial and valuable to your readers.
How do you do this?
Simple, let’s say you are a mommy blogger and you are writing about your latest trip to supermarket. Instead of making this basically a diary of your day, you can flip it around and make it something like: ”How to stay sane while grocery shopping with toddlers”. Now that is something that will resonate with your readers.
There are bloggers who are able to throw a few personal posts that are strictly about themselves or their lives, but you will notice that they also have a slew of other informational posts. And I guarantee you, the posts that are the most popular on their blogs are the ones that are tutorials or have some kind of solution to a problem their readers are experiencing.
Bottom line: Write for your audience. Offer them value. Find a way to benefit your readers in some way, in every post. This is what makes stellar, evergreen content. And this is what will make you stand out from the crowd, and keep your readers coming back for more.
2) Your blog’s niche or focus is not clear when visitors arrive.
When a reader happens upon your blog, your blog’s purpose should be apparent, immediately.
Right away, your visitor should be able to answer two basic questions:
- What is this blog about
- Who does this blog serve
If a reader cannot answer these two questions within seconds of arriving on your blog, you are doing something wrong. Remember, when we go to a blog, we are going there for a reason. Mainly, to solve a problem we are having, or to find information on a subject. So if it’s unclear what your blog is about and what it has to offer, you potentially lose that visitor, for good.
How can you turn this around?
- Make sure you have a mini bio in your sidebar that clearly states what your blog is about, and who you serve (who your target audience is).
- Have a tagline under your site title on your homepage. Your tagline should specifically state what your blog is about and who your target audience is.
- Create a stellar About Me page, that not only gives a little insight into who you are, but also clearly describes what your readers can expect from your blog, again – who you serve.
If you take care of these three things, there’s no way your readers won’t have a clear idea of your niche (or at least what your blog is about). This makes a huge difference.
As you can see below, on Elna Cain’s Twins Mommy blog, her readers are immediately told what her blog is about, and who her target audience is. Under her site title ”Twins Mommy”, it says ”Helping moms become mompreneurs”. Clear, and to the point. There’s no guessing here.
3) Your blog is not optimized for SEO (search engine optimization)
Here’s the deal. Even if you craft stellar content and promote it on social media, you’re not going to get any organic traffic. You should always strive to achieve a combination of both organic traffic and the traffic you get from social media.
Getting deep into SEO is a whole other post, but there are certain things you should be doing the second you launch your website/blog that will set you up the right way with SEO.
If you want Google to know about your site (Yes, you do!), and therefore have organic traffic pouring in, these are the first steps you must take before launching your blog:
- Set up a SEO plugin like Yoast SEO. Assuming you are with self-hosted WordPress. If you’re not, then you may want to check out this post to explain exactly why I think WordPress is the only choice if you’re a serious blogger and want to monetize your site. After you install Yoast, you will want to set it up properly and learn how to use it. This post and this post will tell you everything you need to know.
- Verify your site with Google Search Console. Don’t let this step intimidate you. It is easier than it looks. This step is vital if you ever want Google to find you. Here is how you can verify your site with Google search console.
- Submit your sitemap to Google. This is also a critical step, so don’t skip this. Google bots need a sitemap of your blog or website so they can see what exactly is on your blog. This determines how they rank you in Google. Here’s a tutorial to show you how to do this, and here’s another one.
Once you have completed these tasks, you have set up your website the right way, and now have laid the foundation for SEO.
Next, you will want to make sure that you optimize every single blog post for SEO. This is a fabulous post that walks you through optimizing your blog posts (Using the Yoast SEO plug-in you should have installed from the previous step). Check out that post here.
4) Your blog is not optimized for social sharing
We all want our blog posts shared over and over, right? You would think so. But for some reason, there are still loads of bloggers who either have no social sharing options on their blog, or they are extremely difficult to locate. This could be why you are not getting any blog traffic.
You want it to be ridiculously easy for your readers to share your content.
We’ve talked about organic traffic being crucial to your success, but traffic from social media is just as imperative.
If you’ve covered all your bases in the first three things on this list, then this may be why you are not getting any blog traffic. Your readers simply cannot share your content, therefore, you’re missing out on a whole piece of a pie.
If you’re with WordPress, there are countless plug-ins that will put social sharing options all over your blog. I use Sumo for social sharing.
Sumo comes with various apps within the plug-in, but the ones I use the most are the pop-up, the image sharing, and most importantly: The social sharing one.
As you can see, on the left side of this post there is a bar where you can share away to several social media platforms. You can customize the colors to fit your branding like I have, and choose where you place the bar.
With Sumo’s image sharing option, little social icons will appear when a reader hovers over the image. It’s also a free plug-in.
It doesn’t matter which social sharing plug-in you choose, just make sure you do choose one.
As you can see below on one of my blog posts, on the left-hand side – I have a blue bar (The plugin Sumo) that allows my readers to easily share my content. I always have the ‘image sharing’ enabled, which you cannot see in this screenshot, but when a reader hovers over any image on my blog they will get the option to share on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter. Just in case they don’t see the social sharing bar.
5) You’re not providing value to your readers.
This ties in with #1. This all comes down to having a niche (or focus) and a target audience. And I’ll tell you why.
If you don’t know who your readers are, then it’s near impossible for you to provide them with value.
Think about it this way:
Let’s say you have a lifestyle blog. You blog about makeup, DIY projects, business tips, gardening, and the vegan lifestyle. You don’t have a focus, therefore, you don’t have a target audience. Because people come to blogs to find solutions to their problems or find information, your blog would be very confusing. Someone sees your outstanding pin on Pinterest that peeks their interest about gardening, so they go to your blog to learn more about gardening. But, they find this isn’t a gardening blog, and you only have a few articles up about gardening.
They may stay and read the post, but I guarantee you next time they are looking for gardening tips, they will not return to your blog.
You will not be known as an expert in the gardening niche (even if your gardening post is outstanding) because you write about too many unrelated topics.
They will go to a blog that is specifically a gardening blog. Because that is the information they are seeking.
The most successful blogs are offering valuable information to their readers, and their readers will continue to return because they know what to expect and they feel confident that this person knows their stuff.
When you blog about 10 different, unrelated topics, you don’t establish credibility or your expertise on the topics. I struggle with this too, because there are so many things I want to write about, and so many services I want to offer, but it’s better to be an expert in 1-3 topics then be kind of good at 10.
Instead, narrow down who exactly you are writing for, and then figure out what problems they are having that you can solve.
Ensure your blog posts offer your readers something valuable, something that benefits them in some way – and I guarantee you, you won’t be wondering any longer why you are not getting any blog traffic.
6)your blog design is not appealing.
Now this one may sting a little. But it’s nothing to be ashamed about. We are not all designers here. Which is why, if you’re going to start a self-hosted WordPress blog, then you need to consider purchasing a stunning theme to take your blog from blah to beautiful.
Side Note: A theme is basically a template for your website/blog. It’s the layout, the design, and the foundation.
Here are 11 gorgeous and feminine WordPress themes that are not only delightful, they come with the features and customization abilities you need, to take your blog to the next level.
Because the blogging world is over-saturated, you need to stand out. And one fabulous way to make sure your blog doesn’t blur into the background is to ensure your website design is stunning.
We all have different tastes, but one trend that seems to work for almost every successful blog I have ever stumbled upon is, to have lots of white space. Having a colored background is very 1990’s, and it will distract from your content.
You also want to avoid anything too flashy or too chaotic. Keep it simple.
One tool I cannot live without is Canva. With Canva, I am not only able to create all my social media graphics, I also create my blog headers, and any other graphic you may see on my site. Canva is free, and it’s really a must-have for any blogger.
7)your headlines are just not up to par.
I don’t think most bloggers realize how critical it is to have awe-inspiring headlines for each and every post. With all the awesome resources out there (including fill-in-the-blank headline infographics), there really isn’t an excuse to have sucky headlines.
Your headline represents your content.
And with only 20% of readers clicking through to read your content after they see your headline – it’s more important than ever to spend some time coming up with the perfect headline.
A few tips when writing headlines:
- Start a blog post with a number. And not any number, but odd numbers appear to do the best.
- Make your article’s subject matter clear in the headline
- Use power words
- Make your readers excited and intrigued by your headline
- Write in second person. Using words like ”You” and ”You’re” will help tremendously.
Even if you’re not a copywriter, you will have to learn some copy in order to write engaging headlines (and content). This is imperative to your blog’s success.
Here are some of my favorite resources to help to write incredible headlines every time.
- The Step-by-step Guide To Writing Powerful Headlines
- 101+ Blog Post Title Templates To Grab Attention
- Popular Blog TitleTemplates That Work (and a bonus list of power words).
- 74 Compelling Fill-In-The-Blank Blog Post Titles (infographic).
- Tweak Your Biz Blog Title Generator (it creates them for you!)
- SEOPressor Blog Title Generator (It creates them for you)
- Coschedule #1 Headline Analyzer (You punch in your headline and it rates it – very popular tool)
8) You’re all about the money aspect of blogging, and your readers can feel it.
Let’s get one thing straight – there is nothing wrong with having monetizing on the brain from day one. In fact, if that’s the route you’re planning on taking, I do suggest you plan accordingly and start right away.
I don’t, however, think it’s smart to concentrate on every single possible way you can to make money blogging. Everyone is different, and something that works for one blogger won’t necessarily work for you!
You need to find your passion, not someone else’s. Once you have your passion, your niche or focus, and your target audience, you can start monetizing.
If affiliate marketing is something you want to get into, great! But sign up for a few relevant affiliate programs that you use yourself and fully trust. Otherwise, your readers will sense that this is all about the money, and they certainly will not trust you.
Building trust with your audience is something every blogger should strive to do.
If you’re attempting to monetize in every way that exists, it will not only be offputting to your readers, it will actually be harder for you to make money.
Finds ways to monetize that are relevant to your niche, and do it in a non-salesy way – and you’re golden.
9)You’re not coming across as a professional.
If you’re sure you’re not doing any of the other things I have mentioned throughout this post, then the reason why you are not getting any blog traffic may be because you’re not appearing professional.
Now, this comes down to several factors:
- You’re still using a free blogging platform. I can’t stress enough how significant it is to invest in yourself and your business. This starts with creating your blog on a professional looking platform, such as self-hosted WordPress. In this post, I break down the pros and cons of all the blogging platforms, and why I feel self-hosted WordPress is always the superior choice if you’re planning to monetize. If you want to get serious about blogging, I have a step-by-step tutorial that walks you through every step of starting a profitable blog.
- You don’t have a business email account. I realize as a new blogger you will likely be starting with a non-existent budget. Believe me, I get it. But I also get how important presentation is to potential clients and even your readers. I created my own domain email ([email protected]) through Google Suits, and it’s only $5/month. It’s a small price to pay to have a professional business email!
- Your content is full of spelling and grammar errors. Your first impression is everything online, just the way it is in the real world. Believe me, I make mistakes too, but I do my best to edit several times to make sure there are minimal mistakes, and then I run it through Grammarly for a final edit. (If you’re not familiar with Grammarly, it’s an awesome program that checks for over 200 things – not your average spelling and grammar checker). This is my affiliate link by the way! I personally use and adore Grammarly, therefore recommend it whole-heartedly. I find that it’s fairly easy for me to find errors in other people’s content, but sometimes on my own, it’s harder to spot. But don’t feel bad, I have come across many popular bloggers who make countless mistakes in their writing. We all do it. Which is why using an editing software like Grammarly is so crucial.
There’s no doubt about it, blogging is challenging and problematic at times.
But if you set your blog up the right way then you should have no trouble attracting your ideal audience, and eventually turning those readers into customers or clients. But none of this will happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to flourish as a blogger.
But is it ever worth it! Don’t get discouraged if you find you’re falling into some of these categories – everyone (even the most experienced bloggers) have room for improvement.
If you’re ready for that, take a look at this post where I walk you through every step of starting a self-hosted blog on WordPress. And if you get stuck, send me an email as I offer WordPress blog set ups that include everything from downloading your theme and demo content, to customizing it and creating your About Me, Contact Me, and all your legal pages.
Did I miss anything? What reasons do you think stops bloggers from getting blog traffic?