Don’t you want your blog to be noticed?
Sure, we each blog for different reasons. Some of us want to express our views or write about something we love. Others of us want make a buck or promote our business. And some just want to share their lives with others.
Regardless of why you’re blogging, it’s likely you’re doing so to get attention.
Now, I don’t mean that in a childish, acting out way. I mean that you want to be noticed; that you’re writing to gain an audience. And you want your audience to so something whether they’re just reading and commenting, clicking link ads or answering a survey. So you want attention – you want to be noticed.
But what do you when suddenly no one seems to be paying attention to your blog?
As a blog and business consultant and coach, I get asked questions like this all the time. After all, the far majority of us blogging are doing so because we have something to share. But it’s hard to share when no one’s listening, right?
So what do you do when no one seems to be listening?
First of all, how do you know no one’s listening? Just about every blog that’s been around more than a couple of months sees some traffic – even it it’s a trickle. So people are listening. Okay, so they may not be listening, or even reading, but that trickle of traffic is finding you.
So you need to set criteria for evaluating whether people are paying attention or not. Doesn’t matter what you decide as the criteria, as long as you have some method to measure it. It could be traffic stats or referrals sources. It could be Technorati ranking or number of feed subscriptions. It could be how many comments you’re getting or how many ad click-throughs. Really, it doesn’t matter what your criteria are. Just be sure that it has meaning to you and it can be measured.
Once you have your criteria, you’ll want to begin measuring it. If you’re focused on comments it should be easy because your blogware (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, etc) will show you comment stats. If it’s traffic, you’ll want to look at your server stats either through your hosting company or a service like Google Analytics. Technorati, feed subscriptions, and click-through ads will all have ways of measuring your what’s happening.
Why measure? Because it gives you a more objective sense of what’s happening on your blog. Sometimes what you sense is happening just isn’t accurate. For instance, if you’re blogging for the conversation you’re probably interested in the number of comments your posts get. So if the number of comments goes down, it tells you that something in your writing isn’t helping your readers create conversation. In this case, you’d go back, look at the posts that have few comments and compare it posts that got more comments. What’s commonly different between them? It could be content, style or wording. Find what’s missing and write your next few posts with those elements in place – and measure what happens.
If your traffic’s dropped, look back at your stats and see why. One place to start is with your referrers. Are you getting the same amount of traffic through your referrers? If not, find out why. Compare the headlines from your most popular posts and those that are less popular – see a difference? Also, think back to those higher traffic times and consider what you were doing then that you’re not doing now. Maybe you used to comment more on other blogs and you’re not now. That’s easy to remedy.
In general, you can almost always measure what’s going on with your blog. After you’ve set the criteria that’s important to you, it gives you a place to spend your time. That way you don’t have to be bogged down with the many aspects of your blog – you can focus on the one to two most important parts.
Probably the biggest thing is to remember that blogging is for your readers. So if you can’t figure out why it seems people aren’t paying attention to your blog, ask your readers. As in a post and elicit comments. Maybe even email a number of readers and create a dialogue with them. They know why they read your blog better than you ever will. And if they like you, most will be more than happy to help. So ask.
The key to all this is to see what works for you and your readers and what doesn’t – or at least what works less well. Blogging is a bit of trial and error – even if you know what you’re doing. Even Darren Rowse is still experimenting with Problogger. So be willing to explore things, try things and see how they work.
Which is what leads me to my next question for Liz…
What have you thought would work on your blog that bombed with your readers? And what did you learn from it?
You know, I’m not just asking Liz, but you too. Let’s see if the comment box can carry two conversations – one about what to do when people aren’t paying attention to your blog AND the other around what have you tried that’s bombed with your readers.