There’s nothing more heartbreaking as a writer or creator than publishing a post that you think is completely amazing only to have it be met with crickets.
As a blogger, especially for business, you’ve probably experienced this exact thing, more than once. I’ve been blogging for a long time with my various businesses, and I know I definitely have.
With my crafting blog, I’d spent hours creating what I was sure would be my big breakthrough project, photographing it, editing the pictures, writing the post….and nada. Zip. Zilch. BIG FAT ZERO.
Disappointing to say the least.
But it taught me a lot about blogging which has helped me become a much, much better blogger. After spending years of blogging for my businesses and for clients, there are a few things I can share with you about why no one is reading your blog posts.
This post gives you those reasons straight up – and even if you don’t want to hear them – they’ll help you learn how to make sure your blog posts are seen and shared. (And hopefully help you avoid the crisis of faith in your blog that comes from having posts that languish uncommented, unshared and generally unloved.)
No One Knows Your Blog Exists
Thanks to many a blogger and online entrepreneur touting how you can make money while you sleep, it’s easy to think you can create a blog, and it’s all just going magically fall into place.
Sorry kids, that’s not really how it works.
For people to read your blog, they need to know it exists, and for that to happen, you need to promote your blog posts to more than your mom, your boyfriend and cat. You need to work your butt off getting your content seen so you can build an audience.
No blog or business was built overnight, and it’s going to take some time to find your tribe. Persistence and a heaping scoop of resilience is necessary if you’re going to make it.
You’ve Got a Shaky Value Proposition
I’m involved in a lot of blogging groups, and this one goes a little something like this, “I’m new to blogging and I’ve been blogging for weeks now, and I can’t figure out why I’m not making money yet.”
DUDE. The internet is not an ATM.
If you’re blogging for business, and expect to make money blogging, you need to show up and be of service first and foremost. Your blog and business need to have a legit value proposition and deliver REAL value to people.
Content marketing is built on the idea that you deliver amazing value and then some of the people who dig what you’re doing are going to pay you for even more.
That is going to be a very small fraction of your audience EVER, so be realistic about what the blogging part of your business actually can do and make sure whatever you’re selling is actually needed.
Don’t make the mistake of creating something to make money just for shits and giggles and if you’re not sure anyone wants it. Trust me, that’s a recipe for stress and sadness just waiting to happen.
Your Topic or Theme Isn’t Engaging or Interesting
Think about the last four or five blog posts you read. Now think about why you read them.
Something about them was engaging or interesting and enticed you to read the post.
The same goes for your blog. You need a topic or theme that people WANT to read about. Save yourself by doing your homework and figuring out where the intersection is between what you can talk about and what people are interested in learning/reading/knowing more about.
I’ll give you a hint here that would have saved me hours of time blogging early on. Keep it simple.
We have a tendency to want to create groundbreaking, earth shattering blog posts. But for the majority of our readers, they’re busy and know less about the topic than we do.
Put your beginner hat on and figure out what someone five steps behind you would be interested in. Avoid making things more complicated than they need to be.
You’re Making it About You
When you blog for business, it’s not your personal diary. Sure you want to share stories and ideas so the post shares your voice and approach, but don’t make the mistake of making it all about you.
Every post you write, isn’t about you. It’s about the journey that piece of content takes your reader on. So even when you’re sharing a story, you need to keep that in mind and don’t get caught up in your motive or selfish needs in the process.
While everyone loves a behind-the-scenes, we really only love it for what it can teach us about our business or life.
As humans, we’re incredibly self-centred so your content needs to be of service, and not become your diary telling us a bunch of boring crap that’s not helpful or useful. And when you’re not serving your readers needs, that’s when they click away.
You’re All Over the Map
Consistency is a huge challenge when you’re running a business, because blogging is one of many, many things you need to take care of.
Lack of consistency can be a real problem when it comes to blogging. It may be that you don’t publish regular posts or that you publish on different days all the time.
Or maybe you try to talk about way too many topics and your readers can’t follow along and they have no idea what you’re really really good at or what they’d hire you to do.
A confused mind doesn’t bode well for your business. A confused mind moves along and doesn’t come back as they’ll find what they’re looking for somewhere else.
Your Readers are Lurkers
This one may surprise you a bit, but it’s worth mentioning. Only your most engaged and loyal fans will comment or share your stuff.
Most of your readers are going to be lurkers. They will read the content, find it helpful and then come back another time, all without ever interacting with you.
This is where having calls to action in your blog posts become incredibly important. Don’t assume that your lurkers have any idea that you’d like input in the comments or that you’ve got an awesome checklist they can download to build on the post.
You need to spell out what those next steps for each post would be in a way that’s helpful and provides value to them.
Instead of saying “I’d love your comments”, flip it and make it about them “What do you think about X? Share your comments below so I can write more helpful posts like the one above.”
If you’re struggling with your blog, before you decide that you’ve just got lurkers and call it good, make sure you check out what’s really happening in your Google Analytics.
Sometimes a post is just going to bomb and it happens to the best of us. Not every post is going to get the same reaction, but paying attention to what does and doesn’t, offers you powerful clues – clues on what to create more of and what may not be the right type of content for your audience.
The Recap: Earn Your Blog Readers and Build Your Business
Building a blog and a business takes time but it’s so worth it if you can stay the course and earn blog readers and people who love what you’re doing in the world.