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Why Your Blog Gets No Traffic
If you're creating great content on regular basis, but not driving traffic or engaging new customers then you need to understand what to change, before expending additional resources.
To paint the picture: there are millions of bloggers, social media marketers, content marketers, startups, entrepreneurs, affiliate marketers, you name it, all creating content. There simply aren't enough eyeballs to consume all this content, so most bloggers and businesses aren't succeeding.
The mistake most people make is believing that "Content is king" is the whole story. It's not! Creating great content is only one part (yes, it is important) of a successful blog or Internet marketing campaign. Think of it as a platform from which you can start generating business.
So here are my top reasons for why most people don't drive decent traffic volumes from their content:
1. Don't Persistently Self Promote
Stop talking about yourself. It's boring. Instead think of how great it would be to have other people talk about you. Sounds like a dream come true? It's easy to achieve - all you have to do is talk about other bloggers, businesses, products and services.
By making sure that the people you talk about know your giving them great, free exposure you build up good will. Useful, if the people you are talking about just happen to be in a position to do the same for you.
Nurture connections based on mutually beneficial content and marketing. Sooner or later, you'll start finding traffic arriving at your website or blog because someone else has mentioned how great you are.
If you learn something from someone else. Put it in your content. Let the person know. You'll get far more back-links and retweets than you get currently.
2. Incentivize Connections & Relationships
Why should I follow you on twitter if all you are going to tweet about are your own products and services? I'm also trying to make a living.
Instead, use social media to find people who are in a position to help you. Work out how to help them. Then help them. It could be by blogging about them. Commenting on their articles. Recommending their books or products. Whatever.
Unsolicited exposure gives influential people an incentive to connect with you. The next time they release a copy of their new book, they might offer you the chance to give one away free, in a competition. Sure it promotes their book, but it's also likely that they will promote your blog post to their own readership too.
The exposure I received from these articles was far more valuable than if I had simply created self-focused content.
Above all, don't be stingy with back-links. Links are the currency of the Web and you need to trade on these to build recognition and good will.
3. Get Rid of Unrealistic Expectations
Don't expect things to click overnight. When success comes, it often comes quickly. Some sort of threshold is crossed and someone you never heard of seems to be everywhere overnight.
While this might happen immediately in a negligible number of cases, what's more likely is that the blogger or marketer in question has been working for years. That's just the way it is.
Your content could be fantastic. No-one cares. Or rather, no one cares until someone else says it's fantastic. Until you have built up sufficient trust and credibility, no one is going to say that about you either. Why should they? What have you done for them?
Remember, connections will trickle in at first but flood in later.
4. Create 'Remarkable' Content
It's difficult to come up with something entirely new for every blog post. But make the effort to approach the problem differently. I find that giving content something of a "human" interest feel works remarkably well.
It's the difference between looking at photos of scenery, and looking at photos of scenery with your friends in it. It's far more interesting to read things about people you know. Even if the subject matter is all about business - reference other people.
5. Actively Look for Exposure
Are you an active guest blogger? Do you create content for several sites? Is your blog feed aggregated by other sites? If you answered no to any of these questions then there is more you can do to gain a wider field of exposure.
How much time do spend promoting content you have created? Do you tweet about new content more than once? How many social networks do you use?
Here's a great mantra for building a successful blog or marketing campaign - "Exposure. Exposure. Exposure." Do everything you can to get eyeballs onto your content. The more people who see it, the more likely that a few of them will follow and connect with you, or even convert into paying customers, etc.
Sometimes its simply a case of adding your blog feed, other times you need to work for it by building relationships before contributing the best possible content you can.
6. Be Willing to Learn
It's just impossible to sit down and start writing content that is going to make an impact, rock search engine's and appear at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), be remarkable, be innovative or industry changing, and so on.
It takes time to find your voice. Settle into a niche. Learn the industry. Learn who the players are. Become familiar with trends. New developments. And on, and on.
You need to read what other leaders are saying. I regularly look at new content from tonnes of great business people, marketers and bloggers like:
- Lee Odden (Toprank blog)
- Seth Godin
- John Jantsch (Duct tape marketing)
- Darren Rowse (Problogger)
- Lilach Bullock (Socialable)
Make sure those influencers know that you are talking about them. More often than not, people who are successful are smart enough to recognize your value and connect with you - sooner or later.
7. Leverage Great Products & Services (to Save Time)
Often, using the right service at the right time can make all the difference when it comes to making a breakthrough. A press release that gets seen by the right person. A new website design that starts attracting customers. An improved eCommerce store that decreases cart abandonment.
There are a host of fantastic services available that can generate returns far in excess of the cash outlay required. Check out our recommended list of online marketing services for more.
Your most precious asset is time, not money. Be willing to exchange money if it will help reach important goals or milestones quickly.
So those are some of the most important reasons why blogs fail to generate traffic. In case you didn't get the general gist of it, success in blogging often correlates to the number of connections you build. Genuine relationships create a powerful network that can help propel your blog to success. In fact, influencer marketing is something pretty much all bloggers should get a PhD in.
What other reasons do you think blogs fail to get traffic (besides technical issues, etc)? Have you had any success via your blog? Share your tips and experiences.
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Blogger outreach and PR is difficult - I've read a lot of How to articles and guides that say stuff like "Get bloggers to review your site or product", or, "Get as many backlinks from other bloggers as possible".
So everyone knows what to do, but no-one's talking about how to do it. In fact, gathering backlinks is often time consuming, ineffective and infuriating.
Hands up anyone who has spent several hours emailing other bloggers asking them to take a second to look over your new [blog/site/product/service/article/video] and gotten almost no response. It happens all the time.
Blogging works! It doesn't matter if you are a college student thinking about making extra pocket money, or a entrepreneur looking to promote your brand.
It also doesn't matter what topic you decide to write about, provided it is a relevant to your niche and something you are passionate about and interested in.
Starting a blog is exciting, but it is also a medium to long term commitment (if you want to derive any real benefit from it), but if you have the drive to succeed there's no better time to start.
Google recently ruined our startup launch with a 'false positive' phishing warning that coincided perfectly with our launch announcement to 4500 existing customers.
The article I wrote about that hugely damaging mistake attracted the attention of John Mueller, who responded sympathetically and said he would 'let the team know' about the problem.
Good to his word, I noted a few hits from Mountain view, California on the affected site and at the article, and a few hours later the erroneous phishing message was removed.
Almost all businesses that have researched Internet marketing strategies are aware that high quality, engaging and relevant content is one of the best ways to drive valuable organic Web traffic.
The problem is that many people don't have the time or patience to build up a good base of content via blogging.
So what's the alternative?
Content syndication (sharing stuff with permission) can be a great way for small businesses to get more website traffic.
A lot of popular blogging techniques have died out as Google's search algorithms (and the rise of social media) have changed the content landscape of the Internet.
For startups and small businesses utilizing blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, keeping tabs on industry best practices can be a bit like trying to herd cats.
As a result, unfortunately, many people find themselves swimming upstream as their content fails to capture high rankings in search results, generates little to no buzz, and generally offers little to no return on investment (ROI).
Genuine bloggers and businesses use high quality articles to build high page rankings in Google and generate plenty of valuable organic search traffic.
The problem is that the better the content, the more likely it is that others will duplicate, copy, or spin those articles and publish them on their own sites (without permission or attribution).
Most of the time this is not an issue because low quality, article spinning sites generally tend not to rank well in Google search results.
Learn how to research, plan and create awesome blog content designed to amaze readers and turn them into avid fans, allowing you to make money online.