5 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting the Blog Traffic You Want
We’ve all been in the same boat where we take a quick peek at our stats (maybe for the third time that hour) and realize that the numbers are just crawling. While numbers don’t indicate your worth, they can be a great tool to see how your blog is performing. If you’re someone who’s looking to make a career out of blogging, you may want to pay a little more attention than someone who blogs recreationally. Looking at the numbers is a huge reason behind the groans and grumbles you’ll hear on social media about engagement and lack thereof it. If you feel as though your stats are not where you want them to be, or you feel like you have hit a plateau for daily views, take a look below at my explanations for the 5 reasons why you’re not getting the blog traffic you want.
When you start blogging, naturally you dip into a little bit of research to see what the heck everyone else is doing that led them to success. A lot of blog posts boast A+B = traffic traffic TRAFFIC, but then you try out their techniques and find you gained 4 extra views a day. This goes on for a few days before you’ve had enough, sulk, give up and try to search for the next best thing. Sound a little bit like anyone you know? Not only am I going to tell you the 5 reasons you’re not getting blog traffic you want, but I’m going to tell you how to fix it.
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Things to Keep in Mind
Good Things Take Time
Building good blogging practices and implementing them takes time. So does seeing the fruits of your labour. I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix solution that would get you the blog traffic you wanted right now, but there really isn’t. You have to build good practices, trust the process and be patient.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Each blogger’s journey is a completely unique journey. Each blogger’s traffic is driven by similar, but different factors. You can’t sit and dwell on comparing apples and oranges. No matter what, at the end of the day, no two blogs are alike. Use that energy to fuel your passion into your blog and get the results you want.
Don’t Give Up, Even if You Really Really Want To
I’ve SO been here (more times than you may think!) and it’s so hard to keep going. I’ve yelled at the screen, I’ve cried, I’ve taken days off at a time. But NEVER EVER give up! It’s so hard to not see the results you want right away, but I promise if you trust the process, consistently work at it and strive to complete your goals, you WILL see results.
5 Reasons You’re Not Getting the Blog Traffic You Want
1. Your Content Plan Needs Some Work
Timing is everything my friends. Half of the battle with blogging is creating the actual content, and the other part of the battle is rolling out that content in time! Creating posts that are both time-sensitive and evergreen are both equally important.
What do I mean by time-sensitive? These are your holiday posts (recipes, decor, party-planning tips, gift-guides and more) and your seasonal posts (things to do in the summer, fall activities, seasonal outfits). Time-sensitive posts may not be relevant all year long, but are important to include because people turn to search engines like Pinterest around these times for ideas!
What do I mean by evergreen? Evergreen content is your content that’s good all year round. Like for example, it’s never a bad time to learn about Tailwind, so I created a complete how to guide (here). Evergreen content has no expiry date, meaning theres no bad time to post it. Some great evergreen topics include self-care, places to visit locally, money saving tips, etc. Note, that evergreen topics can also be turned into time-sensitive topics!
I’m sure you have no problem creating the content, but rolling it out may be a different story. As important as it is to create good quality content, timing is everything. If you’re not posting or promoting at the right times, you may not receive the traffic potential you’re capable of.
Here are some tips to improve your content plan:
1. Create more evergreen content than time-sensitive content. That way, when you’re constantly promoting your content you have more posts to choose from (and your content is relevant all year as opposed to a specific time).
2. When looking at time-sensitive content, ask yourself if there’s a way you can make it evergreen (while still using it for holidays and occasions!) Have I lost you? For example. I launched The Ultimate Gift Guide for Her for this Mother’s Day. Originally, I was going to make it a Mother’s Day themed post, however we don’t only give gifts for Mother’s Day! By creating the gift guide for her, I can now use this post all year round (you never know when someone’s looking for birthday ideas), and it’ll be a great post to have come Christmas!
3. Start planning way in advance. If you want to roll out a holiday post, aim to get a 3-4 month head start on the actual day. Whether this is writing the post itself, or recycling an older post, get cracking well in advance! Especially when it comes to Pinterest. It can take a few months for a pin to gain traction, so make sure you’re launching content/creating new pins a few months in advance to allow the post to gain traction come the holiday!
4. Organize your content. I’m a visual person, and I also love writing things down, so I need to have my content laid out in front of me. My agenda just wasn’t cutting it anymore because I didn’t have enough space to put life + blogging all in the same calendar. I invested in the content planner and not a day goes by that I don’t thank myself. I use my Content Planner to actually plan out my posts months in advance, as well as use the handy little page at the front that guides you to when you should start posting for holidays!
2. You Aren’t Exposing Your Content Enough
When I was brand new to blogging, I would post and hope by some grace of God that the internet would find my post and LOVE it. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. It can totally be overwhelming when you first start blogging to put yourself out there and promote, but you absolutely have to do it.
When you first start blogging, it can be nerve-wracking to think of sharing your post to a bunch of strangers. I told one friend when I started my blog and was terrified when I saw that my first blog post had one view. The thought of someone reading what I had to say and cluing in that I was Cynspo was a fate I couldn’t face (fast forward now and I’m like ‘look how cute my blog is guys!!’).
Why You Need to Stick Up For Yourself
So why do you have to promote yourself? Chances are you started this blog with every ounce of courage you could muster and you don’t have a PR team backing you, nor are you writing for a well known magazine. You don’t have people who will share and repost like it’s their only job. You just have you. And that is absolutely enough, but you have to stick up for yourself. No one is going to get out there and promote the heck out of you except for yourself (and eventually your lovely followers will share posts that they love, but you have to make yourself known!).
The truth is, no one else is going to do it for you. Blogging is both a one-player game as well as a community sport. You make all the calls, you are the defence and you absolutely are the goalie, the score keeper, the coach and the water fetcher. Congrats, you’ve also just been hired as the PR person for your one-player sports team.
All jokes aside, you need to get into the habit of promoting yourself through social media, improving your SEO (search engine optimization), and getting your butt on Pinterest.
Here are Some Tips to Expose Your Content More:
1. Get on social media. Gain a presence on Twitter, create that Facebook business page, make that Instagram. Let people know when you do have a new post. Don’t be afraid to tweet out your new posts. Post to your Instagram story that there’s a new post live on the blog! Spread the word that you have a new post up!
2. Be confident in what you post. Are you nervous about sharing your post because you think it’s poorly written, or are you nervous because you’ve put a piece of you down on the page and you’re afraid for the world to see? If it’s the second one, that’s totally normal. If you feel like your content is poorly written, go back and edit. At the end of the day, all of the promotion and exposure in the world cannot fix poorly written content. Believe in yourself, produce quality content and write with a passion.
3. Don’t be afraid to share ‘old content’. I promise you I’m writing around 2 blog posts a week, but I promote all my others at the same time. Why? Because you always have the opportunity for someone to see your ‘old’ content for the first time. Treat all of your content as though it is of equal value (there is no higher value to new posts by the way) and share them all the same. You can’t be expected to crank out new content every hour of the day, so share the excellent content you’ve already written!
4. Make a presence. Get involved on Twitter, share on Facebook and Instagram, engage with other people! Participate in threads on twitter, get your content out there! Use Pinterest to spread your content even further. When you continuously write quality content, people come back to your blog and use it as a reference. I have several blogs bookmarked on my computer that I turn to when I’m stuck. Keep making yourself known and present so others look for your content even when you don’t post.
3. You’ve Been Sleeping on Pinterest
I cannot stress enough how great Pinterest is for blog traffic. I really do feel like I’ve been personally attacked when people say they couldn’t be bothered to put in the work required to get their Pinterest up and running. It blows my mind because those people are missing out on such a rich source of blog traffic!
Yes, figuring out Pinterest and how it drives traffic to your blog can be tricky. Yes, getting started can be a bit of work. And yes, it does take time to see the results. But I promise you it’s worth the time and effort.
Why is Pinterest So Great?
A common mistake people make is that they think Pinterest is social media. Pinterest is a search engine (just like Google, but definitely more visual) that people use for inspiration, ideas and how-to’s. Pinterest can essentially teach you how to do anything! Why it’s great for blog traffic? You create a pin cover (the image you see when scrolling Pinterest) and link your blog post to it. You share the pin to relevant boards and group boards and then essentially wait for people to discover your pins and click to your blog. And voila, traffic. Obviously it’s not quite that simple, but getting the hang of Pinterest takes little time!
I cannot stress enough that Pinterest is a major source of blog traffic. Take a peek below at one of my best performing months on my blog yet! Pinterest is responsible for 3 thousand of those views!
Here are Some Tips to Get Your Pinterest Game Started:
1. Set up your Pinterest right from the start. I cannot stress enough how much EllDuclos’s course helped me get my Pinterest set up and rolling. From setting up your account to understanding how Pinterest works, you will learn how to get your Pinterest looking professional from the start! You can check out her course here! You can also check out how to set up your Pinterest here, and check out how to make pins that’ll go viral here!
2. Pin consistently. Again, your results are a directly related to your strategy and actions. If you aren’t regularly active on Pinterest (daily pinning), you will not see results. Steal Ell’s Pinterest strategies when you enroll in her course and see how to pin to drive traffic to your blog!
3. Be patient with your progress. It took me months of playing around with Pinterest to start seeing results! Consistently practicing good pinning strategies will eventually lead you to blog traffic, but not overnight. You have to trust the process and believe that consistently pinning will get you where you want to be.
4. You’re Not Making the Most of Your Time
It’s no secret that as a blogger, you wear many hats. Especially once you start dabbling in many forms of social media. It can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed and overworked, or spend way too much time on things that aren’t priorities.
With so much going on, working on everything in real time is nearly impossible, and you can’t possibly complete everything you need to do in a day. By getting hung up on the little things, you’re wasting time, and more importantly, not getting a whole lot done. I’m not saying the little things don’t matter, I’m saying the little things shouldn’t be taking up the majority of your time.
As a blogger, it’s better to be ahead than behind. Where you can, schedule things to run in the background to alleviate some of the stress of working on everything in real time (you can check out my expanded explanation of scheduling here!). You also should have a solid content plan in place (see #1) so that you don’t spend half of your time deciding what to post and when. Sit down once a week and set aside sometime to plan, and then let the rest work behind the scenes for you.
Here are Some Tips to Improve Your Time Management:
1. Schedule schedule schedule! If I spent all day live-tweeting and pinning all of my older blog posts so that they would get seen, I’d burn the heck out (and not to mention I literally don’t have the time to). Schedule tweets in the background to go out when you’re not there, schedule pins to get pinned with Tailwind, and schedule blog posts in advance so you aren’t stressing. Again, I highly recommend checking out my full cheat sheet for 5 things you can schedule for blogging here!
2. Plan your content. The plan can absolutely change as time goes on, but not having an idea of when you want to roll our your content can eat away at your time. Having a rough plan in place will take out most of the guesswork and allow you to use your time more effectively.
3. Use timers to block off chunks of time to work. The pomodoro method is breaking your work up into intervals, and focusing on a task for those intervals. Set timers for completing a specific task and when the timer is up, move onto another task. This way you’re not getting hung up on specific tasks and are able to complete more.
Related Post: 10 Signs You’re Stuck in a Rut (And How to Get Out!)
5. You Aren’t Being Consistent
Consistency trumps all things in the blogging world. Consistency is making sure you tend to the little things for your blog. It means creating content and rolling it out consistently over time. It means dedicating a small bit of time each day to ensure your blog is continuing smoothly. Even doing small, mundane, tedious tasks every day will get you where you want to be. The key is to keep going even if every day isn’t exciting, knowing you’ll reap the benefits.
I’m not talking about releasing a post on the exact same minute of the same day every week, I’m talking about missing posts, ignoring engagement and downright falling off the radar. While it’s important to recognize you need to take breaks, disappearing for a month or two at a time can seriously harm your engagement. Especially when you’re starting out, it’s imperative you get your name out there and make yourself known.
Especially in the Beginning
In the beginning it’s almost necessary to rev up your posting schedule. Consistently post 2-3 times a week. Get your content out there, circulate it, and do it again the next week. You can always decrease your content releasing frequency once you’re more established (2 posts a week is often sufficient), but until you have good circulation of your existing content it’s important to get your name out there.
Again, being consistent doesn’t mean dedicating your life to being on 24/7, bud it requires responsibility from your end to make sure you’re posting regularly, responding to your followers and keeping everything in check. Steadily working on your blog daily (even if it’s just an hour) does more for you than taking 6 days off and blogging for 7 hours on the 7th day. Consistency keeps your name fresh, your content relevant and your presence known.
Here Are Some Tips to Stay Consistent:
1. Keep a list handy of reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing. There WILL be days you want nothing to do with your blog, and that’s completely normal. What’s important to remember is to take breaks and not quit. If you need a break, take it, but make a point of coming back to your task at some point.
2. Keep a list of daily tasks handy that you need to do for your blog each and every day. These are the bare minimum that need to keep your blog afloat. Take time each day, even if it’s just half an hour (I understand not all bloggers are doing this full time), and make sure you work on your blog!
3. Decide on a posting schedule that works for you and stick with it. I originally rolled out 3 posts per week, but as life demands increased I’ve dropped back to 2 and I’ve found it more manageable. Create a schedule that is realistic, and you can actually keep up with.
4. Treat your blog like it’s your job. If you plan on monetizing your blog and actually turning it into your job, this step is super important! Treating your blog like it’s your job is important because it is. You need to apply the same work ethics you would as though you were working for someone else, and stick to those routines and principles.
Okay, that was long. But, we covered a lot right? Don’t be discouraged if you’re new to blogging and aren’t seeing the traffic you want. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve been blogging a while and haven’t seen the traffic you want to. All of this can be fixed and improved upon. Adopt the simple principles and routines listed above and you CAN change the volume of traffic your blog receives!