You are taking efforts to write meaningful, unique blog posts and have been doing so for a while, but you notice that not many seem be reading your blog. Why is this happening? Does this mean there is no one out there willing to read what you are writing about?
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That is unlikely. The internet is massive. Even if you write on weird stuff, or niche topics like how to play a ukulele, there are probably millions of netizens searching, reading and writing on that topic. If you are not getting a slice of that action, that is probably not because no one is interested. Even if you write about things related to just your village, you should be engaging a substantial number of people.
When I started http://blog.ipleaders.in, there were hardly any visitors. We assumed no one wants to read our blog posts as we write on legal issues that may not interest the masses. However, things changed soon. Now we realise that people have a great curiosity and need for information when it comes to law. As we cater to that need, and follow good blogging practices, with little effort, the traffic has been seeing double digit growth every month! Most visitors have come from organic Google traffic.
However, new bloggers get some things wrong. Here are a few:
They don’t keep an audience in mind
How does your audience think? What keywords do they use when they run a search on Google? What are their aspirations? What are they curious, or excited or angry about? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, chances are your targeted audience will never discover your articles. For instance, if I write posts on company incorporation, I need to have my audience in mind – whether I am writing for lawyers or entrepreneurs. While the information may (or may not) be the same, the approach may be quite different. I recently wrote an article on how the Indian education system can use cutting edge technology, targeting an audience of bureaucrats. If I wrote the article for technology enthusiasts, my approach may have had to be substantially different, so that I can connect with that audience.
If what you write doesn’t connect with a certain kind of audience, your blog will understandably be dead in terms of traffic. It is not that each post connects with exactly the same audience: different posts hold differing levels of interest for different crowds. Tim Ferriss is a master of this art. His blog has some of the best resources on things like speed reading, accelerated learning, low budget travelling, various life hacks – all of them tied into one single theme of ‘lifestyle design’. However, you can see that in each post he is talking to one kind of people; those who want to drastically improve their lives and want to get big wins by hacking various aspects of their life.
You are not mixing personality into your writing
You know the easiest way to make your writing interesting? Add your personality into your writing. Be interesting. Be yourself; don’t try to sound erudite and uptight and don’t make it all business. Be original and creative with the language and writing style. Enjoy the process of writing and don’t make it all mechanical. This is crucial, because if you don’t enjoy writing a post, no one will enjoy reading it. This is why it is easier to write about things you genuinely care about. If I write about watches, it may be a poor read, as I think watches are boring and I don’t much care for them. If you tell my friend Abhyudaya to speak about watches, he can talk nonstop for hours on end, because he is passionate about fancy watches. He goes to watch-related events, and spends money on costly wrist watches. He spent his first salary buying an expensive one. He is constantly on the lookout for watches that are on sale on the internet. So then, guess which one of us should start a blog on watches?
You are not making it easy to read
You have to think of the reader when you write on the internet. If he is bored, or if he doesn’t get it on first glance, or if the font or background is difficult to read, you will lose your reader. If he finds the text obtuse or peppered with words he doesn’t know, you will lose him. He will probably never come back.
This is why picture of cats and headlines that give away the story are so popular on the internet. If you want the readers to stick around, make everything very easy and very entertaining. Don’t write long paragraphs; break them down into short ones. Make your headlines and sub-heads bold. Intersperse the text with some pleasant and interesting photos/videos or other media.
Never have light coloured fonts on a dark background no matter how beautiful the blog looks. That makes your posts almost impossible to read.
Because you are not guest posting
Your blog cannot exist in silos. Other people need to know you exist; they need to discover your blog from a link somewhere else on the internet. They may even find you while they look for things on a search engine like Google.
It is very important to think of search engine optimisation. From length of an article to the phrases used in headlines and subheads, there are many ways search engines can tell what keywords your blogposts should rank for. If you don’t help the search engines realise what your post is all about, it may be difficult for people to find you.
Guest posting is a great way to build links to your blog and to get people to know you. This will also rapidly improve the search engine ranking of your blog. If you are not getting traffic, make sure that at least a third of your writing efforts go towards guest posting. This should take care of your traffic concerns if you are writing well.
Maybe there is no wow factor in your content
Write interesting stories, share real incidents, insights, information, and statistics. Appeal to your readers’ emotions – ranging from shock, desire and aversion to greed. However, the value of the content should be prima facie.
It is possible that you are not a good writer. In 2015, this hardly matters. You may still be able to create great videos or picture based content. You may even create GIFs and break the internet. Do what it takes, just make something that we will all want to talk about it and share with our friends.
All the best!