Something we get asked at Ghost Blog Writers from time to time is the question:
Why isn’t my blog bringing in traffic?
It’s a good question. That’s the goal of a business blog – to bring in new traffic and a new audience of potential customers. And when the traffic isn’t coming in it can be frustrating.
Usually the issue comes down to expectations. Not every business blog is going to get as many visitors as major publications like Inc. or Quick Sprout or sites and blogs like that.
The good news is that not every business blog needs that kind of traffic to be successful. The blog you’re reading now doesn’t have that kind of traffic (Yet…), but it still helps to generate new business for the company.
So the traffic issue might begin with expectations and we’ll get into that topic and a few others with the possible reasons why your blog is not getting the traffic you would like.
1. Not Enough Frequency
This is a big one. A general rule of thumb for blogging (and many forms of marketing) is that the more you publish the more there is for people to see.
Not only is there more content for people to find when you have more frequency, but you or your writer will learn more and understand more of what your audience wants from the content.
Let’s say you post once a month. That’s not bad. Let’s say you post once a week.
That’s 52 posts vs. 12 posts in a year. Which situation will get more traffic in that first year? In the next five years?
2. Not Enough Total Posts
The next common situation is that you just don’t have enough posts total yet. Looking back on the GBW blog it really took to getting about 100 or so posts before regular traffic started coming. That’s a two-year wait if you’re posting weekly.
You can speed that up by posting more often in the first six months or year and that will help, but sometimes it just takes time to build up a good collection of posts for people to find.
3. Website/Domain Not Old Enough
Your website (or domain) might also not be old enough. When it comes to organic search traffic, which many businesses want from their blog, it takes time for Google to earn trust in your domain. They can’t trust a brand new website until they see proof that the site is trustworthy and that it’s providing the type of content that the target audience can trust.
In this case it just takes patience. The older your site gets the more Google will trust it. It can take six months to even get any kind of rankings in Google and after that it should get better every year just for the fact that your website is aging.
4. Not Enough Promotion
Publishing the posts is one thing. You can let them sit there and wait for the organic traffic to build and that’s just fine. But if you want to give things a boost it requires more promotion.
Something I do each week is schedule social media posts on Buffer and usually I share a good number of GBW blog posts. This helps to get the posts in front of my social followers.
Social media is one way to promote blog posts. You can include them in business email newsletters. You can reach out to other bloggers.
Here are some other ways to promote posts.
5. Not Enough Engagement
By this I mean that you’re not writing about other people enough in your posts. The more you write about influencers, audience members, industry figures and more the more engagement you’ll receive. When you write about others you bring them into the mix and give them a potential reason to have a vested interest in the success of a post.
Create top ten posts that list industry figures, complementary businesses, etc. Think of how good you feel when you or your business is mentioned in a blog post. Write posts like that and make others feel good and they’ll share your posts with their audience.
6. Not Different
I had to learn this early on with blogging. When I started I kind of wrote the same things that other bloggers were writing. I liked what they were saying so I would write on the same topics and kind of add my own take on things. That wasn’t too bad, but I needed more topics that were fresh.
The more unique you are the more you’ll stand out. That can come with personality, different takes on important industry topics and talking about things that others aren’t focusing on that are important. It’s not easy to discover those things always, but if you have a focus on being different it usually pays off.
7. Wrong Audience Focus
I see this sometimes with businesses. I’ve seen it happen with designers. They’ll write about topics that interest them and after awhile they’ll have an audience of engaged designers reading their blog.
Well from a business perspective that’s not a good thing. Other designers aren’t going to hire a designer.
Understand who your audience is and focus on the questions they’re asking that you can answer. That’s how you’ll bring in the right audience that will buy things from you.
8. Not Enough External Linking
This is a big one and many people I talk to are against it…at first.
Business owners come to us and we write a post for them and they’ll ask, “Why are you linking to outside websites? Why would we send traffic to other sites?”
Those are good questions. On the surface it would seem weird to send a reader away from a business’s website.
External linking is a few things…
First, it’s courtesy. If you cite something like a statistic you want to link to the source. If you are building on someone else’s topic it’s good to link to show them credit and courtesy.
Second, external linking improves the credibility of your post and your blog and your website. Think of a presentation or a research paper. The more citations and references the more you trust the content.
Third, when you link to other websites those website owners usually find out and they appreciate it. That goodwill can build over time and will earn you links. I’ve seen it happen. Think about when you get linked to. Does it make you feel good?
Link out and make others feel good. The karma will come back around and will lead to more traffic.
9. Not Enough Personality
Blogging can be a drag sometimes. And that comes across in your writing. Some businesses also water down posts and remove personality because they want perfect spelling and grammar and things like that.
Term papers are boring.
Blog posts should have personality.
10. Too Much Sales Focus
Talking too much about your product and service in your posts?
No one wants to read about that stuff. Save the sales talk for your homepage and the other pages on your website. When your readers are interested in what you’re selling they’ll go to those pages.
When they’re reading blog posts they want answers to the questions they have. Help them do that and you’ll earn their trust. Don’t push them.
It is frustrating when your blog is not getting the traffic you want. It usually starts with expectations. Not every blog can be the biggest blog on the web, but it doesn’t need to be. And it also takes patience. Blogs take months to even begin getting organic search traffic and it usually takes about 50-100 posts to start seeing some good traffic coming in. So be patient and reassess your expectations if necessary and things should work themselves out fine.