The longer I blog, the more often I see people asking, “Why isn’t my blog getting traffic?” on Facebook groups, Twitter, and more. Blogging has changed a lot since I started, and so has the answer to this question. Besides, the answer is going to vary person to person. If you have been asking this question, I hope this post with 10 possible answers to it helps you figure out what’s going on so people can see your awesome work.
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Why Isn’t My Blog Getting Traffic?
Reason One: your blog is relatively new – I can’t tell you how many times I have seen comments in blogging Facebook groups or gotten emails or DMs from people saying something like, “I’ve been blogging for a month and I barely get 100 page views!” That’s because it takes time to build a blog audience. I think the reason that people think they should be getting 10,000 monthly blog views right out the gate is because of these catchy blog posts from people saying “How I went from 0 to 10,000 page views my first month blogging!” Yes, it’s awesome that there are people who can do that.
But it’s not the usual.
If you read my blog traffic reports, you might notice that very few of my most popular blog posts are from that month. I have been blogging for over 6 years and this year I’ll hit 1,000 blog posts. That’s why I have the traffic that I have. Yes, if you write one or two viral blog posts, you can jump start your blog traffic. But what will bring you traffic over and over again will be posts you have written in the past. Keep writing great posts and the traffic will follow.
Reason Two: your blog is hard to read – But even if you’re writing amazing posts, people won’t stick around if they’re having a hard time reading them. I mean both the writing quality as well as the physical design of your blog. Is the text hard to read on the background? Is the text too small? Is your blog designed like a 2004 MySpace page? Ask yourself these questions, or, better yet, ask someone you trust these questions. And make them be honest with you; it’s no help if they (or you) aren’t answering honestly in order to protect your feelings.10 reasons your blog isn't getting traffic Click To Tweet
Reason Three: your blog is confusing to navigate – Is there a system to your blog navigation that makes sense … to other people? Think about it this way: once people have found your blog somehow, you want them to stay. This will give you more page views and reduce what is called your bounce rate, or the percentage of people who go to your blog and immediately leave. You want to build an audience of people who regularly read your blog, and that won’t happen if it’s hard to figure your blog out. Here are some posts to help you out with this: How To Organize Tags, Categories, and Labels; How Site Navigation Affects SEO; 5 Ways To Improve Your Website’s User Experience.
Reason Four: your blog takes too long loading – People are impatient. They don’t like waiting in line, and they especially don’t like waiting for a website to load; it’s not 2001 anymore and they’re not using dial-up. Google says that “53% of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load” (x).
That’s hardly any time at all. Load up your blog and time how long it takes for content to show up. How long for the text? How about the images? Does the reader lose their place in the text once the images load? Think about all of the things that annoy you when you check out a blog or website and make sure your blog isn’t doing those things.
I used this site to help me think through what I needed to change about my blog over the summer. I hadn’t really thought hard about any of it, which made me embarrassed because, again, 6 years and nearly 1,000 blog posts.
Reason Five: your posts are too short – For many websites, shorter posts are better because of people’s short attention spans. (Again, three seconds.) But this isn’t true for blogging. Blogging is a whole other game. The amazing Yoast people say, “A blog post should contain at least 300 words in order to rank well in the search engines. Long posts will rank more easily than short posts. […] Still, these lengthy blog posts are of great importance for your SEO strategy. […] In lengthy texts, Google just has more clues to determine what your text is about,” (x). (Don’t worry, I’m going to talk about SEO later.) Now, this might be different if your niche is something like fashion, which requires more pictures than text. But for many topics and niches, longer is better.
More about lengthy blog posts: Does the Length of Your Blog Posts Matter?
Reason Six: you’re not promoting your blog enough – There are over one billion websites out there (1,518,207,412 as of January 2019), so if you’re just posting on your blog and not really promoting it, no one is going to find it. Then there’s the question of how frequently do you need to promote your blog. In my experience, it will depend on where you’re promoting it (more on that next). For example, tweets have really short half-lives because of the nature of Twitter. So if you only promote your blog on Twitter once a day (or even three times a day), it’s not going to do much.
Reason Seven: you’re not promoting your blog in the right places – This is the other thing about blog promoting: you need to be doing it in the right places. The biggest thing is that you absolutely need to be promoting your blog on Pinterest! Not sure how to start? I wrote this post about how to do it because there is so much more to say than can fit inside a larger post. But if you don’t have the time to read it, this biggest piece of advice I can give is to make sure you have large vertical images. Horizontal images don’t do well on Pinterest, and neither do small images. If you’re a busy person like many people are, try scheduling your pins with Tailwind.
Reason Eight: your blog isn’t providing help for anyone – Does every blog post you write have to help people? Of course not. But if you have written 50 blog posts and only 3 help people in some way, you’re not going to get a ton of page views. For example, of my last 28 blog posts, 20 help people in some ways. These examples include: helping people grow their blog traffic, helping people keep up or grow their blog traffic even when they go on vacation, providing advice for new chronic illness patients, helping people get more visitors to their blog, sharing the best WordPress plugins, explaining how arthritis is treated, sharing how you can actually rest when you take breaks (a topic requested by my readers), advising people on what products they should get if they’re in grad school, advising people on how to get the most out of Tailwind, and defining terms used when discussing arthritis.
This is also an example of how blogging has changed since I started in 2013. Back them, typical blog posts were weekend recaps, recently-found Pinterest pins, streams of consciousness, etc. You didn’t have to have a big purpose for your blog posts. Maybe it’s because there are so many more blogs now or maybe it’s because Instagram is so much bigger (and curated) than it was in 2013. Or maybe it’s because of some other reason all together.
Regardless of the reason, if you want to build an audience, you need to be helping people in some way. Most successful bloggers are doing this. How? Fashion bloggers help people style the trends. Beauty bloggers help people find the best makeup. Book bloggers help people find their next read. You get the idea.
Reason Nine: you’re not utilizing SEO – SEO, or search engine optimization, is absolutely essential. This refers to, well, optimizing your blog and blog post(s) for search engines to find them. Again, with 1.5 billion websites out there, you need to be found somehow. Essentially, you want to be focusing on one keyword per post, and your “keyword” can be a phrase; it doesn’t have to be just 1 word. You then want to naturally incorporate the keyword into the blog post itself, the title, the URL, etc. This is a great post about getting started with SEO, and this is a great post about creating an SEO strategy.
Additionally, to help you out with SEO, I pulled together a post with tips on how to use SEO to stand out, complete with a free checklist for your blog to figure out if your blog is optimized.
Reason Ten: you’re not treating Pinterest like a search engine – Yes, Pinterest is a social media network. But it’s also a search engine, and people use it as such. Ever since I started treating it as one, 60-75% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest. Yes, you read that right. In January 2018, I started treating Pinterest as a search engine and, as such, optimizing my posts for search engines as well as Pinterest. To quote the blog post in which I discuss that, “In December , Pinterest brought a little over 12% of my traffic and now [January 2018] it’s up to over 53%” (x). In that month, my blog traffic grew by more than 38%. You absolutely have to take Pinterest seriously!What you should do to grow your blog traffic Click To Tweet
What questions do you have about blog traffic? Leave them in the comments!
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