Most people who blog want to increase traffic and gain readership. I get asked all the time “how do I gain readership to my blog?” and I think instead of addressing the do’s I’ll address the dont’s.
Most people don’t know that they are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to gaining traffic to their blog- here are the top ten traffic killers.
1) You Post about you (a little too much)
This may sound bad but in truth people don’t care if all your posts are just about you- unless you are famous, they don’t really care too much and will lose interest pretty quickly. Personal posts aren’t necessarily bad, they can be a doorway to a great post that can challenge your reader, inspire them, and encourage them. The key is that there has to be something in your post that your readers can take away with them. You need to ask yourself- what can my readers take away from this post?
2) You Don’t post enough
Frequency of posts is what separates the blogs that fail to strong successful blogs. You cannot build traffic without frequent posts. I have seen it over and over that there is a link between frequency and traffic. The more often you post the greater the traffic.
3) You post too often
I know I just said to post more to gain traffic- but posting too often can be a problem as well. Your readers do not need to hear from you more than once a day. You would benefit more from writing one great post per day- than several mediocre ones. The key is to determine the frequency that you can handle, that promotes readership and stick with it.
4) You don’t encourage engagement
I am talking about reader comments, a combination of page views, and social media mentions. There are some great tools to find out about reader engagement- check out Postrank.com to determine this for your blog.
The posts that provide the most engagement are ones that are controversial and transparent. Keep your posts open ended- and even try ending your post with a question.
5) You aren’t engaging with your readers
This is critical- it’s important to remain personable with your readers. They want to know you and engage with you. A practical way to do this is to comment on your posts and respond to your readers comments. You can even go the extra mile and go to your readers blog and comment there as well.
It’s like having a party at your home- inviting all your friends and then not showing up- or only making a short appearance. This would be perceived as rude and the same can be said for blogging. Your readers what to get to know you and talk with you- and having conversations through social media and comments is a great way to achieve this.
6) Your post is too long
This is a huge problem- too many people writing overly long posts. If it takes your readers more than five minutes to read consider breaking up your post into more than one- because otherwise you will lose readership because of disinterest. If your posts have to be a bit long- keep your paragraphs short and at least add a few spaces between paragraphs- this makes it more readable and easier to scan.
7) You write uninteresting titles
Your titles need to be catchy and get your readers attention- and also be reflective of the content of the post. According to Brian Clark, from the site CopyBlogger, “on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.”
What this says it that your blog title is the most important part of your post- so give your title some thought as to what will attract interest.
8) Your first paragraph is weak
This is SO important! The first paragraph should be what draws people to read the rest of your post. Start with a interesting fact, or a story- you want to grab their attention long enough to draw them to read the rest of the post. Far too many bloggers don’t set up their posts- or just don’t get to the point. Keep it short and sweet- and get to the point you are trying to get to without too many rabbit trails.
9) You Mix Topics too often
It’s alright to post off topic every once and awhile- but when your posts vary too much in topic it can cause people to lose interest. Pick a focal point and go with that – you will gain far more momentum if you focus your energy on posting about stuff that interest specific people groups. A specific focus leads to higher traffic.
10) You don’t take advantage of social networking
To be honest I am not the biggest fan of using social networking sites like twitter and facebook- however I use them anyway because they are huge platform to again engage with readers and develop relationships with soon to be readers. The truth of the matter is if people know you- they are more likely to remain a faithful reader.
Found this post helpful? What kind of mistakes have you made in blogging? I would love to hear about some of the lessons you’ve learned about blogging.
No blog of the month this month- but I wanted to that this time to tell you about my Christmas cards– check them out! All the proceeds go to fund my adoption.