You’ve probably heard about this new thing called content marketing. It seems to be all the rage as of late, given that 89% of companies using content marketing say it works.
So chances are you’ve started a blog. The problem is, we’re business owners, not bloggers, and our blog is not always our primary concern.
As a result, it starts to fade. I can attest to the fact that many times I’ve headed over to successful brands’ blogs, only to see an utter ghost town – what a shame!
How can this be prevented?
Let’s look at the indicators that will allow us to identify a failing blog before it hits rock bottom, as well as suggestions on how you can turn it around today.
You Have No Traffic
It’s hard to get going without a critical minimum of traffic. In all likelihood, you’re going to need a least a few thousand visitors a month in order to justify the effort it takes to write content and manage a blog.
If, after a few months, you find that you’re not there, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Is it easy for new visitors to find my blog?
Your business might be attracting visits, but it’s possible they are going mostly to the home page or other pages like pricing.
That may be fine, but you should also consider adding a link in your top navigation menu or at least in your footer to attract more attention to your blog.
Did I announce my blog to my current customer base?
Your customers want to know about new updates happening at the company – that’s why they remain a customer. Be sure to make announcements through email lists and on social media, if you haven’t already.
Am I focusing on SEO?
Organic traffic is one of the easier forms of traffic to get in the earlier days, by nature of Google’s huge audience and the fact that you can write an article and be indexed in just a few days.
You Have No Engagement
While a lot of new bloggers tend to be overly obsessed with traffic, engagement is really the more important metric. Engagement is a measurement of the life of the community, and this activity inherently leads to more promotion, which results in more traffic, and eventually more customers.
We typically measure engagement in two forms:
- Social Sharing – how often are people sharing your posts on social media?
- Comments – how many people are commenting per post?
If you are finding that you lack in either of these areas, it may not be as hard as you think to turn things around. For example, many blogs don’t have social share icons on each and every post, adding unnecessary friction to social sharing. As for comments, sometimes simply ending your post with a question is sufficient to get a reaction.
You’re Only Talking About Features
Our natural tendency in blogging is to write about what we know, and in business blogging that often means a very corporate style. One of the golden tenets of blogging, however, is to write for our audience, or in this case, our target market.
While it’s true that customers want updates on features, it’s important to not solely be writing about these new releases, for a variety of reasons:
- It will make your blog uninteresting to non-customers who are not using the product. This limits the overall reach of the blog.
- It will limit the frequency you can post since you are only writing when a new update happens, which often is less than once a month.
- It will not be garner as much promotion since other bloggers are unlikely to share or link to posts purely about features.
Instead, you should incorporate more articles about the company’s journey, as well as experiment with different style posts such as round-up posts.
You’re Not Updating Frequently Enough
“How often should I write?”
While there is no standard rule for this question, it is hardly advisable to be writing less than one a month, at a minimum.
And yet quite often we see blogs that are updating only once every few months. From an organic perspective, you are not generating content frequently enough to rank sufficiently in the SERPs.
Above all, however, it sends the message to a new visitor that there is no point in returning anytime soon. After all, there won’t be another post for months. When people don’t return to your website, they fail to get additional impressions of the business and are less likely to convert to a customer.
If you are finding that you are not frequently updating, you should consider taking the following steps:
- Come up with a list of 20 articles you would like to write about, so you always have fresh content ideas.
- Set a blogging schedule that you can maintain. Once every week or two is a great start for a new blog.
You’re Not Connecting With Influencers
Even if you’re doing all of the basics right, if you aren’t connecting with influencers on each and every post, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with an audience outside of your current one.
Influencers are bloggers and social media personalities, who, by means of their large following, can introduce you to a whole new customer base.
While connecting with them is not always so straightforward as sending them an email, there are quite a lot of creative methods for building relationships with influencers. Additionally, you might find that featuring them in a post is an excellent way to get started. This can be done by:
- Asking them to participate in an expert round-up.
- Soliciting a quote or opinion from them via Twitter
- Simply linking to one of their posts (and then notifying them about it later)
Does your blog pass the test?