The one where I answer a question with nine more questions (and still manage to be helpful!) Honest.
Hello and welcome to episode 48 of the Creative Me podcast.
Today we are answering the question, why isn't anyone reading my blog?
In order to answer this question for you, I'm going to throw nine questions back at you. Yes, I'm answering a question with nine other questions, but please bear with me.
I think these nine questions will really help you work out why your readership isn't growing.
Do answer them as honestly as you can. Treat this as an audit of your blog.
Establishing a niche for your blog is absolutely essential, because if it's not clear what you're blogging about, then people just simply don't know what to expect from you.
They don't know what they're going to get when they turn up on your website.
Think about your blog purpose, in other words, the topics that you blog about. Make sure you are super clear on exactly what that is. Make sure that your reader is really clear on what that is too.
To be honest I tend to think of 'niche' as covering what you're writing about and who you are writing for. But we're splitting the two up in this explanation.
Think about your ideal customer avatar. Here's a blog post all about how to find your ICA (includes a downloadable worksheet).
When you go through the ideal customer avatar exercise, go into lots of detail and imagine one person who embodies your ideal reader or your ideal customer.
When I'm thinking about my ideal blog reader, I simply treat them as a customer because it just seems to make more sense to me.
Check out these blog posts:
So many of your readers are going to be looking at your blog on a teeny tiny mobile device.
You need to ensure the user experience is as pleasant as possible. You can test this yourself by just looking at your blog on your own mobile.
If your theme that you've chosen for your blog isn't mobile responsive, you need to research other options that are.
Are you helping your reader?
Most people these days read blogs to find the answer to a question or to get inspiration.
With the content that you're creating, are you being really useful or inspirational? If you aren't, you perhaps need to reconsider the types of blog posts and the content that you're creating.
When I say consistently, I'm not saying you have to be posting once a week. You could post once a month, you could post once every fortnight, but the key is that consistent pattern of posting.
Whatever posting frequency you choose - stick to it.
The one thing that I can suggest that will really help you keep to a consistent posting schedule is setting up a content calendar. You'll find a template here.
Consistency is really important because again, you want your reader to know what to expect from you.
Also, there is so much content out there, that if you disappear for a few months, you're as good as forgotten about.
I know it's harsh, but it's true. Consistent posting is essential and it will keep people coming back to your blog for more.
Are you effectively distributing your content via social media channels?
Are you letting people on your email list know that you've posted something new on your blog?
If you aren't, it's not surprising people aren't reading your blog. You can't just build it and expect people to flock. You need to tell people it's there.
Everyone is in such a hurry these days, particularly when browsing online.
When someone visits your blog, it's absolutely essential that the site loads quickly. If it doesn't, people will get bored and they will leave, it's just a fact, unfortunately.
It's very easy to test the speed of your website using Google's PageSpeed Tools.
Now, I don't want to come across as pedantic here, and I absolutely guarantee it, there will be a typo in my show notes, I know there will be.
However, just stop for a moment and think about why we use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
The reason we do it is to ensure that what we're writing is easily understood. Therefore, if you litter your blog posts with spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, it's going to be hard to read.
Our job as bloggers is to get our message across as clearly as we possibly can.
You might be listening to this, thinking, Martine, I know what you're saying, but I'm just not great with spelling, punctuation and grammar.
I hear you and I would highly recommend you focus on this as an area for development for yourself, and you work on improving your skills. Personally, I really don't remember being taught a great deal about spelling, punctuation and grammar at school. Spelling maybe, but certainly not punctuation. My punctuation, up until the age of 30 was absolutely appalling. That doesn't mean you can't correct the situation now, that doesn't mean you can't develop your skills further.
Before you publish a blog post, I highly recommend leaving it to rest for 24 hours and then going back to proofread it. Because if you've not looked at the blog post for 24 hours and you read it again, you are more likely to spot any errors.
You could also ask somebody else to proofread your work. That is another really good strategy.
Finally, I recommend investing in Grammarly, it's a fantastic spellchecking tool and it's far superior to standard spell checkers.
Those are my nine questions to help you establish why you aren't growing your blog readership. I really hope that it helped you think about what you can do to improve your blogging.
Of course, if you have any questions, please hop over to my private Facebook group, The Lightbulb Club. There are loads of bloggers in there who would be very happy to help you. I spend perhaps a little bit too much time in there too, so I would love to see you in there.
Before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I'm attending a blogging event in the UK this weekend, I'm going to Blogtacular.
Do keep an eye out for me on social media, because I will be reporting back on what I'm learning, as often as I can.
Okay, that's it from me today. I really hope you enjoyed the episode and I hope you'll join me next week.