Have you ever looked at your analytics and asked yourself, why isn’t my blog getting any traffic?
You’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing: posting consistently, pinning like crazy, participating in all the Facebook group threads…
…but every time you look at your stats you end up…frustrated af. With all that hard work you’re pouring into your blog, it really stings to see that it isn’t paying off.
Oh, girl…I’ve been there. Actually, that exact feeling is why I rebranded my blog earlier this year.
Now, this post is NOT about totally overhauling your blog (you can read a whole post on that here), but this post IS about getting real about what you’re doing that’s sabotaging your growth.
Keep reading if you’re prepared for some tough love. This post is going to tell it like it is when it comes to why your blog isn’t growing. Then I’m going to tell you what you need to do to get on track to success.
Save this Post For Later!
I encourage you to bookmark this post and come back to it when you have some time to intentionally move through each point!
Be Open To Change
Disclaimer: you might not want to hear some of the things in this post. If you’ve gotten to know me, you know that I like to keep it real. Like really real. I’m not going to sugar coat anything.
Because you won’t grow from that.
My goal for this post is to motivate you to take action. I think constructive criticism is great for that, so I want you to be open to changing some things in your growth strategy. If it’s not working, WHY KEEP DOING IT?!10 Tough Love Reasons Why Your Blog Isn't Growing (And What To Do About It!) Click To Tweet
1. Your Content Isn’t Helpful
If you show up to your blog every week, post pretty pictures, throw in some affiliate links, and call it a day, do you really think you’re going to get loads of traffic and commissions?
Girl, this lazy-approach to blogging is a thing of the past and is NOT a realistic “strategy” whatsoever. This might work for some bloggers, but it’s not for new bloggers fresh on the scene.
The solution: Figure out a way you can combine what you’re passionate about writing with your natural strengths and how you can create content that helps someone solve a problem, answer a commonly asked question, or provide inspiration and motivation to do something.Blogger tip: Killer blog content blends your passions, strengths, and a problem your audience needs solved! Click To Tweet
2. Your Blog Topics Are All Over the Place
I truly believe that bloggers don’t need a niche to be successful, but there are a few things your blog DOES need and you have to be willing to tweak your growth strategy to make it work.
A blog that posts about lifestyle, fashion, beauty, blogging tips, career, food…is WAY too over the place. I would only show up and read your blogging and career tips…while someone might only show up for lifestyle and fashion.
Now, there is a way that this can be done with grace: by having a strong focus that connects everything together. If you can create a mission statement for your blog that ties allll these things, then blogging about multiple topics can work for you.
The solution: spend time creating a message that you want to share with the world through your blog. Then every time you sit down to write, figure out how you can connect your post topics back to your message.Create a message you want to share with the world through your blog that makes an impact. Click To Tweet
3. You’re Too Focused On You
While our blogs do center around us, your content needs to find a balance between you and your readers.
Our readers are the driving force behind our blogs. Without them, where’s the traffic going to come from? With that said, you need to make it part of your mission to grow a community around your blog which will allow you to grow an engaged audience.Build a community around your blog and focus on what your readers need without them evening knowing it. Click To Tweet
Community building mistakes you might be making:
- don’t respond to your blog post and social media comments
- don’t visit other blogs
- don’t share other bloggers’ posts on social media
- don’t include call to actions to encourage engagement
- no interest in being part of the blogging community
The solution: get active in the community! The best way to start is switching up your social media strategy. Start leaving thoughtful comments on the accounts you follow. Plan to spend 15-20 minutes a day interacting with your followers.
4. Your Blog Doesn’t Stand Out
How many blogs are out there? Like, over 300 million? That’s a damn lot, isn’t it?
One of the biggest problems new bloggers face is getting their voices heard when it seems like everyone and their mom has a blog. And they all blog about the same damn things!
Now it’s pretty much impossible to be original anymore. What you can do, however, is take note of what everyone else is doing and do it differently.
In order to stand out online, let your personality be the shining star. Readers want to connect with someone who’s relatable. And authentic. Someone who creates content that makes them give a damn.
While everything has certainly been done before, it hasn’t been done from YOUR perspective.
The solution: Take 5 minutes and write a list of similar bloggers in your niche/focus and ask yourself: how can I differentiate myself from her? And her? Yes, there’s a little competitive edge to this exercise, but it’s meant to help you discover what makes YOU worth following.Blogger tip: Take note of what everyone else is doing and do it differently. Click To Tweet
5. You Want Everyone to Like You
I made this mistake for three and a half years. I wanted everyone to read my blog.
Actually, the root of the problem is that I’ve always been a people pleaser. I wanted everyone to like me. (I hate conflict, let me be.) But that’s enough of my inner trauma for one blog post…
The point I’m trying to make is that so many bloggers try to write for everyone because they think if they write about more topics, more people will be interested in their posts and more people = more traffic, right?
Wrong. Well, right and wrong.
Sure, writing about beauty, your favorite recipes, and sharing blogging tips is a good way to attract different kinds of people to your blog, but once they show up, read what they came for, then see nothing else that interests them…they’re going to exit out.
Bye, bye, bye. That’s not how you grow an engaged audience.
The solution: Create your content with just one person in mind aka your ideal reader. Come up with a biographical profile for them and get really nitty gritty with the details. Basic demographics are good but get in their head. Understand their goals, struggles, and what they care about most. Write your content for them.
6. Your Blog Design Sucks
There’s nothing worse than landing on a website that hurts your eyes and makes you jump through hoops to get to what you’re looking for.
I’m talking clashing colors, unreadable fonts, a million ads, a cluttered sidebar and…pop-ups.
Pop-ups can definitely be done well, but most are notorious for increasing your bounce rate (meaning people are more likely to exit as quickly as possible to escape.) Like, I just got here and you want my email address already? Girl, we didn’t even meet yet.
Don’t be that blogger.
The solution: Ask another blogger to give your blog a browse and give you constructive feedback. Is your web page design aesthetically pleasing and easy to read? Is it easy to navigate? Does it stress them out?
7. Your SEO Sucks
Whoops. I said sucks again. This is really some tough-love, isn’t it?
FYI: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a growth strategy to send organic traffic to your blog by making your website look more appealing to search engines, so they rank you higher in the search results page.
Another way to look at it is making your website look good enough for Google to notice and reward you. Meaning your chances of being discovered organically (via someone googling and finding your blog) increase.
Your SEO sucks if:
- your blog post titles are too witty aka don’t make sense to anyone else but you
- you aren’t using subheadings in your posts
- you aren’t writing meta descriptions (or have no idea what they are)
- you aren’t optimizing your images for SEO
- you aren’t placing the right keywords throughout your post
The solution: SEO is worth investing time in because once you learn the basics, you can implement easy tweaks to your content to instantly boost your traffic. And improve your Google footprint.SEO doesn't have to be scary! Once you learn the basics you can boost your traffic and improve your Google footprint. Click To Tweet
8. You don’t have a strong social media presence
Social media is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog. But it’s not just great for getting people on your website, it’s also an on-point strategy to grow your audience.
People LOVE following their favorite bloggers on social media to stay up to date and truly get to know you beyond the blog.
Yes, people want to get to know you!
Plus you have the power to add even more value by offering exclusive content they can’t find anywhere on your blog (think bonus tips, polls, questions, engagement, behind the scenes.)
The “big 4” platforms you should be focused on:
Pro Tip: Use social media with intention. Mix your promotional strategy with content that allows your readers to get to know you and build a community!
The solution: Focus on 1-2 platforms to get really good at AND that your target readers hang out on. If your time is limited, choose just one! Trying to be everywhere will hold you back and only overwhelm you, which we don’t want!Up your social media game by mixing your promotional strategy with content that allows your readers to get to know YOU! Click To Tweet
9. You’re Wasting Your Time On Strategies That Aren’t Working
I get it. Once you learn something and it becomes a part of the routine, it’s easy to nestle into it and go with the flow.
But if you’re not experimenting and your traffic still isn’t growing, then why are you complaining? Try something new.
The solution: Start tracking how long it takes you to do certain blog tasks and you’ll see what areas you’re spending a lot of time on vs. what areas that you’re spending less time on.
From there you’ll be able to figure out what you need to focus on more.
Are you spending too much time writing and not enough time promoting? Maybe cut back the number of times you post each week.
10. You’re Impatient
Growing a blog takes time. Expecting overnight success isn’t realistic and we need to stop having such high expectations.
Embrace the struggle to grow as a challenge to push you beyond your comfort zone. At the end of the day blogging is meant to be a fun way to express ourselves, remember?
But Sheila…as time goes by, when should I notice if my strategies are actually working or if I need to switch it up?
The solution: While there is no specific answer as to when you should notice results, I always suggest giving it about a month. If you’re implementing strategies and still aren’t growing, switch it up.Growing a blog takes time. Stop having high expectations. Slow and steady wins the race. Click To Tweet
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