Before you become angry at me for calling you “probably insane” let me give you its definition by Albert Einstein:
insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So you have waited long enough. You are doing everything to grow your blog.
But the growth is something that doesn’t appear in sight. Not even visible in the horizon.
Why is that? Are you not working smartly? I am sure you are putting enough “work” into growing your blog. But then, why isn’t the “growth” happening?
And, to make the situation even worse, bloggers who started with you and who started after you are progressing and growing in an exponential rate.
While you appreciate their growth, at the back of your mind, you feel the pain, right?
I’ve been getting so many emails recently on this topic, which is why I decided to do an elaborate discussion.
I am going to discuss with you the possible reasons why your blogging strategy isn’t working. But I am not going to just point out the shortcomings. I am going to give you actionable tips to fix it.
I mean, who would want to be insane? We all want to progress and enjoy success! Are you with me? Let’s get started.
Stop being insane; that’s the first step.
Whether you accept it or not, you should first stop doing what you are already doing for months. If something is not working you should stop doing it.
That is the first step to change things.
Blindly doing the same thing over and over won’t get you different results. Get off the circle. Get outside the box.
Pause for a while and look back. Analyse your results. Do they match with your strategy?
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you are publishing 4 blog posts per month for about 6 months. Let’s say you do the standard promotion for your blog posts.
But when you look at the traffic, you see a plateau. Now you should stop.
Instead of blindly increasing the amount of blog posts you publish per month, you should analyse your strategy – your content strategy, your promotion strategy, your networking strategy, your SEO strategy and much more!
And then, tweak what you should tweak so you can get a different result!
This is the first, basic step here.
Now let’s see what you can do to fix your “no progress” situation.
Problem #1: You don’t have a blogging strategy in place.
Solution: Devise a blogging strategy and do things as planned.
Look, this one is a biggie. If you are blogging blindly, it is not a surprise that you don’t progress the way you expect.
You need a strategy. Now, if the word “strategy” scares you, it is not a complicated, technical thing. The layman version of it is “a plan that’s aligned with your goals”.
You need to have a plan to do things with blogging. Be it publishing blog posts, the frequency of publishing, networking, doing SEO, etc. you need to do things according to a plan.
Here’s a simple way to devise your blogging strategy:
- Know what you want.
- Set precise goals (and deadlines)
- Develop an action plan that will lead you to the goal.
- Implement the plan.
Was that tough? Not at all.
To help you with more on this, here are three posts on the topic:
- How to create a successful blog strategy @ Hubspot
- A proven blogging strategy that works in any niche @ Blog Tyrant
- Get more website traffic with a content marketing strategy @ Best Hosting And Design
Problem #2: You don’t know what you want!
Solution: Get clarity on why you’re doing what you’re doing and get precise on your goals/expectations.
This is the starting point to devising a blogging strategy (see above). Without exactly knowing what you want, you cannot work towards it.
I often say, “define your success first”. Your version of success that is.
When you know your end goal, you can put some action steps to get there. If you don’t know your end goal, you are doing something stupid.
Well that “something” might be real hard work, but the sad truth is that this kind of hard work isn’t going to pay!
So how do you get clarity on what you want? You need to spend some quiet time with yourself. Sit down with a pen and paper.
Ask yourself the right questions. The first one will be why you are blogging. And then you should build up from there.
Think about your expertise, stuff you are great doing at, stuff that makes you happy, stuff you can afford, stuff you can spend time on without feeling like doing a “job”. And so on.
Once you are done collecting information from your inner self, you will be able to get a clear idea of what you want.
Problem #3: You don’t connect with other bloggers.
Solution: Reach out to other bloggers and maintain a genuine relationship.
It is painful to see most bloggers ignore this highly crucial step. It is also heartbreaking to see that they work so hard to get it done all by themselves.
Blogging is not a one man/woman thing. Well, you can be THE sole owner of your blog/business.
But when it comes to making things work, you cannot do it alone. You need some extra hands.
Here’s where a network comes to help. And this is not something you build for the sake of growing your blog (although that is a sweet byproduct).
You have to reach out to other bloggers and start building genuine, long term relationships.
And trust me, this will get you real results. Not over night. Not next week. But over the time, provided you keep building new relationships and maintain the old ones in a consistent manner.
Here’s an important resource for you to check out in this context:
How to make those all important connections @ Adrienne Smith
Problem #4: Your content sucks!
Solution: Create great, useful content (duh!)
To start with, I urge you to read this post > Why creating great content is crucial?
Well well, you have heard enough of this already. I am not going to annoy you one more time.
But the point is, what you think as great content might not be great from the perspective of your readers.
Remember, your readers ARE the heroes here and you are not (hard to believe, I know).
So what you think is irrelevant here. You need to think from the perspective of your readers to be able to deliver awesome+useful content.
If your content is a super elaborate guide on doing something but doesn’t serve the purpose for your readers, then it is not useful. It is not great (no matter how strongly you believe it to be great).
Your content should be created with your readers in mind. It should directly address their problems, issues, questions, pains etc. It should be reader-centred.
And not YOU-centred or your product-centred.
Apart from that, here are certain things that make awesome content:
- Content that fills a gap
- Content that impacts your reader (changes his/her life)
- Content that gives an experience
- Content that leaves your reader with specific action steps (usefulness)
- Content that teaches something unique, in a unique manner
- Content that you can create with 100% passion (and not out of frustration to publish another blog post)
I hope you got the point!
Problem #5: You don’t promote your content
Solution: Spend 20% of time creating content and 80% of time promoting it.
If you are not promoting your content enough, you are not giving it the attention it needs.
When you don’t care about your content in the first place, how can you expect others to care about it?
If you cannot tweet your blog post, and schedule a few tweets for the coming days, how can you expect your readers to tweet your post?
You have to give the promotion it deserves. Stop creating more and more content before you properly promote the content you have already published.
Problem #5: You don’t care about SEO
Solution: No, you can’t ignore SEO. Embrace it.
SEO might be scary to you. It could be so hard for you to understand. Nevertheless, you cannot ignore it. You have to embrace it.
Even if you are someone who says I don’t want search engine traffic (I’ll be surprised), you still need to optimise your site and its content for search engines.
This is for the sake of your readers.
If you want your readers to find out your useful, awesome content, you have to make sure they can do it. And search engines form a very big portal to connect you and your readers.
Of course, I am not saying that search engines are the only way for people to find you. But that’s a big piece of the pie that you wouldn’t want to miss!
Here’s a bit of counter argument of myself (the irony) > How to ride the SEO roller coaster for consistent web traffic?
The key here is to focus on quality; don’t forget your readers for SEO.
Don’t mechanically optimise your posts. Remember, search engines are only portals. Your readers are the ones who are going to make use of your content, and they are the ones who will form the base for your business.
Here’s more in this context:
By all means make your readers happy! But don’t forget the keywords. Keywords are the “keys” through which your readers try to find a solution to their problem.
And if you let the search engines know that a particular page on your site is relevant to a particular keyword, they will direct your readers who are looking for a solution to that problem.
Problem #6: You don’t create anything unique!
Solution: You need to be yourself in order to see the results you deserve!
When I say “create something unique” I don’t mean to force you to find a topic that no one else has blogged about!
In fact, you couldn’t find such a topic. Coz almost all the topics have been already discussed.
But any topic can be made unique by giving it one secret ingredient. That’s you.
That uniqueness cannot be infused in your content if you don’t add that secret ingredient. But if you give your content your own opinion and add two tablespoons of your style, then you can create unique content.
Any topic under the sun can be given your own twist. Your experiences, your stories, your expertise added to the mix is a wonderful way to stand out from the crowd.
Rehashed content will not be unique no matter how seriously you rewrite it.
People cannot be fooled by publishing rehashed content. People used to fool search engines with content spinning for a while, but now search engine algorithms are also becoming smart to identify duplicate content.
So if you are a blogger who just publishes rehashed content, you are insane because you are wasting your time. It won’t work!
Stop being insane; apply these changes
As I’ve said already, you cannot keep doing the same thing and expect sudden progress to happen. It is not a magic to “happen”.
Your blog’s growth is directly proportional to the amount of smart work you put in.
Smart work means analysing every step and improvising on the go. If you don’t stop to see if your actions are giving you any results at all, then you are blogging insanely.
I hope I’ve given you something to think about in this context. Let me know what your comments on this!