I had a great conversation with a friend recently on the topic of blogging, and significant changes we’ve each noticed with our own blogs.
Is it a dying art? Does anyone even read blogs anymore? Should you just quit blogging and focus on other things?
The fact that you’re reading this blog post right now… should answer those questions.
There have been a lot of changes lately though, and there are specific things you should be doing now to keep (and grow) your blog’s readership if you want to see successful blog growth in 2015 and going forward.
If you’re frustrated with your blog, you should definitely read this…
Every major change brings waves of new opportunities!
If you’ve been online any amount of time at all, you already know that “change” is a constant. The internet is constantly evolving, and those that “ride the wave” and keep up with the changes are the people seeing success online.
Interestingly, with every major change you see people falling away in droves (giving up). That’s a good thing! It gets rid of those less serious, those who are not true entrepreneurs, the “spammers” – and it weeds out the “junk” online.
YOU are not one of those people though…
You are serious about your business, serious about serving your market, you’re playing the long game. You already know that change simply means… opportunity.
Tawnya and I have both been working online for well over a decade. I’m coming up on my 20th year in business, and I’ve been blogging for more than 11 years.
Tawnya Sutherland is the market leader in the VA industry. She runs the largest Virtual Assistant Network on the web.
If you’re looking to find a great VA, or outsource a few tasks, click here.
Tawnya and I have become GREAT friends over the years. I often refer to her as “my Canadian sister”.
We discussed a number of things, including the fact that we see fewer blog comments now, and where we ARE seeing more response and engagement.
Blogs vs Email vs Facebook
As one example, we both notice that we see higher engagement on Facebook and via email than we do on our blogs. Sending the exact same content via email gets replies, when there may be zero (or very little) response on the actual blog post.
You may also notice that people will read your blog post, but comment on Facebook instead of on your blog. This is especially true if they click from your Facebook update to read your post. Often they’ll come back to comment on your Facebook update instead of commenting right there on your blog.
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily…
Before You Make Assumptions, Analyze Your Blog Stats Closely.
Dig in to your site statistics and see what’s really going on.
Don’t just guess, get the facts. Then USE those facts to dig out opportunities.
I notice a very interesting trend in my own stats…
I have two blogs in completely different niches, and I also manage and market them both very differently. I have ClickNewz (the blog you’re reading now) and my low carb blog at TravelingLowCarb.com – where I’m much more active.
Direct address / Bookmark / Link in email: 64.3 %
Links from an Internet Search Engine: 9.5 %
Links from an external page (other web sites): 26 %
* The majority (almost ALL) of the external links bringing in traffic to my low carb blog are from Facebook and Pinterest.
Direct address / Bookmark / Link in email: 82 %
Links from an Internet Search Engine: 7.5 %
Links from an external page (other web sites): 10.3 %
* The majority of the external links bringing in traffic to ClickNewz are from websites that link to my site or to specific blog posts.
You’ll notice on both of my blogs, the major search engines account for less than 10% of my traffic. That’s quite a turnaround from a few years ago, when search would bring in the majority of your traffic.
Keep in mind that your stats may be a direct reflection of your activity, or lack of, so consider any changes you want to make as you analyze your own site statistics.
For example, if you want more referred traffic you should do more strategic off-site content marketing such as: guest blogging, interviews on blogs and podcasts, link bait type blog posts that get links & mentions, etc.
Want more search traffic? Focus on: image optimization, being mobile friendly, and optimizing ALL of your content for very specific keyword phrases.
Want more blog comments? Ask your readers to leave a comment! Ask them a question, or invite them to share their opinion or experience. If you’re not seeing very many comments on your blog, it’s either a low traffic issue… or you’re not engaging/including your readers well enough in your posts.
Instead of “quitting” certain things, based on “assumptions”, consider simple changes YOU can make to get more of whatever it is you want.
Don’t Fight The Trends, Though!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to fight against the trends, or try to force traffic – or force your market to do the opposite of what they prefer.
It’s smart to have all of your bases covered, like: image optimization, keyword targeting, and off-site content marketing. But focus on serving your market in the ways they prefer to be served.
If your readers prefer to reply via email, that’s a great thing! Respond to them there. The more you engage via email, the more “relevant” you are in their inbox – meaning your emails are less likely to get filtered out, and your response rate (ie conversion) on offers will increase as well.
If your readers prefer Facebook, engage them there! Focus on building out whatever platform is working for you right now, and “engage & convert” right there, instead of trying to drag them away from it with an offer.
11 Smart Blogging Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore:
- Your blog, emails & ads MUST be mobile-friendly.
- Use a Blog Broadcast to keep great content in their inbox.
- Be consistent! Stay in front of your readers, and stay relevant.
- Test a variety of post-types (long, short, video, lists, etc).
- Use bold sub-headlines. Cater to your “content scanners”!
- Use more images & illustrations in your content.
- Focus on Image Optimization (file name, title, ALT tag).
- “Stop Blogging, Start Talking.”
- Build your audience on a variety of platforms.
- Write shorter posts… with bite-sized actionable tips.
- Use stories. Include some “entertainment value”.
If I could sum it up, I would say:
Stop blogging and marketing, and stop trying to get traffic.
Start giving your market exactly what they want. Give them something they can use, brighten their day, be someone they can relate to, share things with them they can put into ACTION. Above all, figure out how you can help your market see RESULTS. That’s what keeps people coming back!
You’ll find blogging is much more FUN when you stop working so hard at it, and just focus on serving your market. You’ll also see better results, when you’re helping THEM see better results.