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.
It's what you do with great content that counts.
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.
Plan content a that talks about influencers head of time and use that as 'bait' to make new connections.
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.
Create content that gives targeted individuals or companies a reason to promote your 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?
Set smaller, more attainable short and medium term goals and work to build their cumulative effect over time.
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.
Don't add to the general background noise of content being poured onto the Web - find the angles that no-one else has.
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.
Content is the message. It still needs to be shouted out!
Find top sites in your niche and get content onto them.
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:
Follow and promote influencers creating fantastic content.
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.
Utilize products and services that help achieve your business objectives quickly.
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.