As of the latest survey in 2019, there are over 600 million blogs in the world today. The US has over 31 million active bloggers per month. In other words, the competition is fierce for a new blogger or existing bloggers who’ve yet to capture an audience. With Covid-19, which is currently forcing most of the world into their homes and created anxiety that makes it hard to work, it’s now even more likely that nobody reads your blog or makes getting traction is even harder.
If you’re starting a new blog, you’re unlikely to find success overnight unless you have a large following already. If you’re an award-winning author, journalist, celebrity, or politician, you have a ready-made audience that drives readership. If you’re a newbie or have struggled to attract readers, you need time, consistency, hard work, and a little luck to build your audience. Otherwise, nobody reads your blog.
Why blogging is critical to success?
A blog is a term somewhat dated in today’s digital world. Originally (in the mid-1990s), blogging (a bastardized version of weblog) was an easy way to communicate impersonally online. [Much of this information comes from a history of blogging by Hubspot]. Weblogs were text-heavy and often contained information about personal opinions, experiences, and activities; more like an early, longer version of Facebook. It didn’t matter if nobody reads your blog in those days since they were just for fun and used as a means to connect geeks to each other.
Anyone around in those earlier days of the internet remembers that websites were hand-coded by the relatively few developers who understood HTML and CSS, along with internet architecture and FTP (don’t worry if none of these terms mean anything to you, even though all of them still exist). Thus, websites were extremely expensive and only used for relatively large businesses.
A blog was a cheap alternative, allowing an individual or, in rare cases, small businesses to upload text to a blogging site using FTP, which required little to no coding. Bloggers didn’t need to build huge email lists (and it was getting harder to use a tool like Outlook for mass mailings as consumers fought spam) if they wanted to reach folks. Nor did they need the resources of print to distribute their works. Bloggers were geeky journalists, online gamers, or tech folk enamored with the burgeoning internet, especially those with niche interests.
By the early 2000s, more bloggers started fueled by the rise of easier and more accessible blogging platforms and drawn by the lucrative nature of blogging. Building on an increased desire for blogging, the explosion of commercial interest in the internet, and greater access to the internet, blogging technology evolved to allow bloggers the option of creating a full-blown website. This movement, driven by the advent of Content Management Systems (CMS), like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, meant anyone with a little knowledge, interest, and some skill could create their own website. Now, even a small local business could have a web presence, while blogging remained a platform for those wanting a soapbox.
SEO and blogging
Websites and blogs merged following changes made to the Google ranking algorithm–the one that determines where your links show up in users’ searches (SERPs). Most search engines followed suit.
Because showing up first (second, or third) in SERPs greatly impacted site visits and, hence, profit, businesses rushed to change their websites to accommodate the algorithm changes. The most important change required by the new algorithm was to create valuable content on a consistent basis and a blog became the vehicle for delivering this content. While the Google Algorithm changes constantly, the impact of fresh content never really declined substantially. So, more and more companies added a blog to their website, although they might call it a blog or another term like news.
Blogging and profitability
Since more traffic usually translates into higher profits, all things being equal, blogging improved SERPS and drove more traffic to your website. And, hopefully, visitors stayed after reading your article to shop your site, hence the improved profitability.
But, blogging is more than just a traffic driver. Blogging should support the brand by impacting customer beliefs, attitudes, and intentions about your brand. For instance, King Authur Flour built its small baking business into an industrial giant using the power of its blog. On the blog, the firm shared recipes, tips, and touted the achievements of their employees to great success, rising above its much better-established competitors.
Why nobody reads your blog
Maybe nobody reads your blog or maybe you’ve just launched a new blog. You can build a reputable and trustworthy presence over time. Building a respected, high-traffic blog doesn’t just take time, however. It takes concerted effort, expertise, and a bit of luck.
Many bloggers get discouraged by the lack of positive response, impatient for the blog to pay for itself. As mentioned, you need patience as a newcomer to the blogging sphere. Patience, however, isn’t going to solve all your blogging issues. Here’s some help for building your blog readership.
Creating valuable content on a consistent basis
For most blogs, and this one is a great example, organic search is the biggest source of traffic and that means using SEO. Your choice of keywords and their placement in the text and the titles are detrimental to good SEO. But don’t let keywords distract you from creating quality content that people want to read! A few years ago, Google started penalizing websites that used keywords indiscriminately or stuffed their content so full of keywords the resulting text was nonsensical.
We divide SEO into on-page and off-page SEO. Creating valuable content on a consistent basis is the one to rule them all when it comes to on-page SEO. Other elements of on-page SEO are related to this including [see MOZ for more information on ranking factors]:
- Content solving users’ problems based on the keywords entered into the search
- Links to authoritative sites that suggests the author knows the subject area or consults experts in the field
- Technical aspects of on-page such as the URL, meta description, image alt tags, and keyword density
- A secure site — SSL certificate
- Social media engagement
- Traffic indicators such as visits, time on site, bounce rate, return visits
- Load speed
- Inbound links, which suggests other sites find your content valuable. Links with higher page rank impact SEO more than links to low page rank sites. Links from sites not connected to your topics don’t help you SEO and links from some sites hurt your SEO. MKT MAVEN has over 400 inbound links.
- The content length, which again indicates the author knows what they’re talking about as short content suggests the content is superficial and its quality low.
- Domain authority. While this is also an off-page SEO factor, the more content on a particular topic and the more closely related topics are, the higher the domain authority. The Domain Authority of MKT MAVEN is 40/100, which is a log scale meaning 40 is more than 40% of 100.
- Readability including grammar/ spelling and organization
in addition to SEO consideration, here are some reasons nobody read your blog.
The platform is not suitable
Blogging offers a variety of advantages, especially at a time where self-isolation is the main rule of life. You can blog from anywhere, which includes your home office. The lockdown is the perfect occasion to build your blog presence or craft your blog as you have more time to dedicate to your blog articles. However, you need a reliable blog platform to extend your digital presence.
Indeed, stick to popular platforms Joomla or WordPress that offer all the services that ease your need, while providing great off-page SEO in the form of efficient coding and the best software. This takes care of about 90% of the work necessary to start your website.
Next, you’ll need inexpensive hosting to get you started and it’s easy to migrate to better hosting as your website demands change. You’ll need a domain (the address for your website) that matches your topic area. You’ll need a theme, which customizes your content, transforming your ideas into what visitors experience on your site. Finally, you’ll need plugins to extend the functionality of your site, such as SEO plugins to manage your on-page efforts as well as caching to speed up your page load.
If all this sounds intimidating, I’ve created an ebook that walks you through the website design process using easy-to-follow instructions and images that step you through the process.
After you have a website, all your need is content.
You need to optimize your posts
If nobody reads your posts, it may not be a problem with what you’re writing. You don’t only write for your readers, you also write for search engines, as mentioned earlier.
We’ve already discussed on-page SEO, so let’s delve a little into off-page SEO. Search engines such as Google and Bing need to crawl and index your blog if they’re to deliver links to searchers. And, each time you change your content by adding, deleting, or changing the content, search engines need to re-crawl to index this content.
Technical issues that affect load speed and navigation, such as broken links and lack of menus, for instance, need rapid resolution as they influence your ranking in SERPs.
You don’t know how to share your posts
Don’t trust organic search as your only tool for driving traffic to your blog. Bloggers must share their posts and make it easy for visitors to share them with their own social networks.
Your social media accounts let you connect with your audience and attract new readers. Unlike the way you might use social media as a way to connect with friends and family, using social media for business involves attracting new users and creating engagement. If you struggle to establish a presence on popular social media platforms, you might work with a social media marketing company that helps connect with your audience. Building conversation on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter is an essential skill for the blogging industry.
You need a supportive network
So, maybe you’ve done all the things you read in the post and still nobody reads your blog. All is not lost.
Just like many aspects of business, don’t expect you can grow your presence alone. No successful blogger maintains his/ her presence without building a network. Finding other bloggers and same-minded individuals is a game-changer. Reaching out to bloggers with similar values but a different angle and audience helps you create partnerships, for instance. You should also reach out to relevant businesses to offer your services.
A blogger’s priority is not to simply create new content, but to drive readers to that content. With millions of blogs around, posting new articles all the time, visibility is increasingly challenging and nobody reads your blog by stumbling on the content. Instead, ensure that search engines and social partners promote your blog to build a successful venture.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.