All over the internet are abandoned blogs. Started by people enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge or interest in all manner of topics, they furiously typed out the first three, or four entries, only to realize that no one was actually reading their heartfelt diatribe on why-Grease-is-the-best-movie-ever or their original recipe for maple chocolate chip cookies – at which point they give up on blogging because, if no one is reading it, then why bother writing? So, if you have one of these unread, fledgling blogs, why is no one reading it?
1. Your Blog Is Too New: To be found on the internet, you have to have content – which means writing more than a post or two. You also have to give the search engines a few days, or even a week, to find you for the first time – so if you’re hitting the ‘refresh’ button your Google Analytics page, and it’s day 2, take a deep breath.
2. You Are Not Sharing The Link Love: Search engines like to see sites that link to other sites – so when you write about the newest Ford Focus model, link to their page. Make sure the links are relevant and not to a “link farm” (a site that just houses a vast library of reciprocal links) since Google and other search engines see them as extremely spam-related, and therefore, distasteful.
3. You Have Not Found Your “Tribe”: When I started my blog, Life: Forward, I had only a tiny stream of visitors, and nearly gave up – until I happened upon Elizabeth W.’s blog, Falling From Prams, and saw her links to both “The SITS Girls” and “20 Something Bloggers.” “SITS” stands for “The Secrets In The Sauce” – and is a community of a few thousand women bloggers whose “secret” is support – they feature a different blogger each day, as well as discussing different social media topics. 20 Something Bloggers is a site where over 12,000 bloggers in their 20s chat on message boards, and read each other’s blogs. When I joined both groups, my readership, quite literally, skyrocketed – and with their insights, so did the quality of my blog. While neither of those communities may be the route to your tribe, but a search on the internet for online communities interested in the same niche as you should help you find it.
4. You Are “Tagless”: Similar to the difficulty you face in a store when you want to purchase the last sweater on the rack – and it is missing it’s price tag, when you skip the “tag” section of your blog posts, you make it that much harder for potential readers to find you – either through search engines like Google or Yahoo, or, if you are using WordPress.com to host your blog, then through that site’s universal tag surfer. Make sure that the tags you use are relevant to the topic – and, to maximize your search engine optimization, try to use tags that would be recognizable outside of your blog (for example, while you may like to refer to dessert recipes on your site as “sweet stuff” it would be better to tag your coconut macaroon recipe with “coconut” “macaroon” “coconut macaroon” and “dessert” than “coconut sweet stuff”).
5. Your Blog Is Really A Giant Ad: If your blog is nothing more than one long series of advertisements, riddled with pop up windows just waiting to attack prospective readers then of course no one is going to read it! Would you? With thousands – if not millions – of blogs and websites just a mouse click away, you have to have genuine, original content in order to get readers. While making money should not be your motivation to blog, since you will likely never earn a reasonable hourly wage for the time you must devote to it in order to produce a quality product, it is possible to eke out a few dollars – but advertisements should be an aside, not the focus of your blog.
Take the time to honestly evaluate your blog based on the reasons above, and you are likely to find the reason why no one is reading your blog – yet. Make the changes suggested, or simply continue to generate great content, and the readers will come.