One of the toughest aspects of blogging, especially when you’re first starting out, is actually getting people to read your content. You’ve probably heard terms like “ideal audience” and “target market” thrown around, but may have no idea how to find these mystical groups of people (unless your target market is your mom — in that case, you’re set). So, friend, if it feels like no one’s reading your blog or even if you have a medium-sized audience that you want to grow even more, then this post is totally for you.
I actually shared a shorter version of this post with our newsletter subscribers last month, and while I normally don’t share our newsletter content here on the blog, I knew that this expanded version would be helpful to anyone who didn’t get to see the original. Ready to hear why no one’s reading your blog (and how to fix it)? Let’s do this!
1. You’re not being insanely useful.
Rule #1 of blogging for an audience: be so useful they can’t ignore you. Try writing long-form posts where you deeply expand on a topic that could help your audience. Give out free worksheets or e-books. Write tutorials that are clear, organized, and leave little room for questions. The point here is that it’s difficult for people to get deeply hooked on a blog where you write about your day-to-day or where you share vague tips rather than incredibly helpful tutorials.
Whenever you write a post, ask yourself two questions:
- What is the single takeaway here?
- Who is this post for?
Are you trying to inspire someone? To teach them something in particular? Be clear about about what you’re doing and who it’s for.
2. You’re inconsistent.
You know that flaky friend that you really like, but who never makes time to hang out with you? Eventually you stop calling them. The same thing goes with blogging. If you write one great post and then go silent for two weeks, it doesn’t give people the chance to form a strong relationship with you. Eventually they’ll forget about you. They’ll move on. You need to be consistent in order to grow your audience.
The same thing goes for the other aspects of blogging, such as social media and your newsletter. It’s much easier to connect with someone who is consistently present, rather than consistently inconsistent. I recommend creating a schedule of when you’ll post on your blog. For example, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Using an editorial calendar is a great way to plan ahead. Additionally, using a social media scheduling tool can help you be more consistent with social media.
3. Your site is unfocused.
You have a lot of interests. I totally get that. But just because you have a lot of interests and ideas, doesn’t mean all of those interests belong on your blog. Creating a focused site with a few relevant-to-your-ideal-audience topics is a much better plan than blogging about #allthethings.
A lot of people who want to blog about everything under the sun will label themselves as a “lifestyle blogger.” That’s fine, of course. You can be a lifestyle blogger if you’d like, but I can tell you that it will be more difficult for you, since your blog doesn’t have a clear focus, aside from your many interests. The bottom line is this: it will be harder to grow your audience if each of your readers can only relate to a fraction of your posts. Rather, you’ll grow your blog much faster if you get more specific. If your blog is focused enough, your readers should be able to visit your site and want to read almost every article.
From my own personal experience, The Nectar Collective used to, more or less, be a lifestyle blog where I shared everything from recipes to DIY projects. Literally as soon as I focused it on blogging and entrepreneurial tips, our traffic and audience almost doubled. Think of it this way: when your audience tells their friends about your site, how do you hope they’ll describe it? “It’s the go-to place for _____!” What are you the go-to place for?
4. You’re not utilizing social media.
I think of blogging like a tree. Your blog itself might be the large trunk in the middle — it’s the center, the hub. But with only a trunk, your tree is going to look a little dead and withered. To grow a thriving blog, you need to add branches. In the case of blogging, your branches are usually your different social media outlets and your newsletter.
Social media is absolutely huge for growing a blog. A lot of people think that you can just publish blog posts and the followers will come. If that’s your strategy, then imagine me lovingly putting my arm on your shoulder and gently letting you down. Blogging is social, so that just won’t work. Without a doubt, being active and engaged on social media has helped me grow my blog. Social media allows you to meet your audience where they already are and begin creating connections and conversations that you can drive back to your blog posts and products. Not to mention, it allows you to form deeper bonds with your readers (and potential readers), which will make them more invested in you.
There are too many strategies for utilizing social media than I could list here right now, but remember these: create conversations, share other people’s work more often than your own, and be consistent. If social media feels overwhelming, try scheduling it. You can also read some of my tips about Twitter and Instagram.
5. Your site is poorly branded.
Lastly, it’s difficult to grow your audience if your site is cluttered, confusing, or visually unappealing. People will take you more seriously if you have a professional, consistent design. This doesn’t mean you need to max out your savings account on a custom design, it just means you probably shouldn’t use a new font for every blog post (even if you found your new favorite font that you just want to use on EVERYTHING!). I recommend creating a style guide to create a stronger brand for your blog moving forward.
Before I leave you, I want to let you know that it’s okay if you’re not following each of these tips yet. And it’s okay if you have a small audience. Really. These tips are meant to share what I’ve learned and what has made a significant impact on me and my blog. They’re not meant to stress you the hell out and cause you to ugly cry in the shower because you feel like you’re doing everything wrong. I believe most things get better little by little, not all at once. So, if something resonated with you in this post, or even anywhere on this entire site, implement it in baby steps, in a way that you can manage without feeling overwhelmed.
I also want to let you know about something really exciting that can elevate your growth as a blogger.
It’s called Pinfinite Growth and it’s an eCourse I created for bloggers who want to be FOUND by more of the right people. We dig deep into your “why,” what sets you apart from everyone else, and how you can use your unique gifts to bring tons of new subscribers and raving fans to your blog. It’s kind of awesome. You can check it out right here.