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?
That’s the question that Liz Strauss asked me our latest one2one conversation.
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.
RT the fitness guy says
Getting more comments is something I have been trying really hard to do lately. It just doesn’t seem to be happeneing. Maybe it is the industry I am in?
Thank you much, I’ve subscibed to your feed (email) for awhile now…just now started reading! Posted this one in mine: World’s Most Dangerous Blog.
Susan Payton, Egg Blog says
I’ve tried a few tricks and nothing is really getting the feedback I want! I recently posted an announcement offering readers free publicity (I feature one reader each week), and one would win press release credit. No bites. What am I doing wrong, Dawud?
Getting traffic is definitively the hardest part! I’ll take your advice and see if my stats will rise and I agree with most of them.
Dan and Jennifer says
When our blog traffic slows down, we kick our Social Media promotion into high gear. Typically solves that pretty fast… 🙂
The one thing that we’ve done in the past that bombed was being too ‘promoty’ (is that a word? – guess it is now:-)) in our posts. We’re all about self promotion. Just look at our blog. No one seems to mind as long as you provide value with the promotion. A few of our posts in the beginning were lacking on that last part…
Dawud Miracle says
I think that’s unlikely. Comments seem to come more readily through the style and passion of your writing. Contact me and perhaps I can help.
Great, let me know what happens.
Thanks. Feel free at any time to contact me and let me know how I’m doing.
As I mentioned with RT, it seems to be the style of writing that draws comments. Think about it as a conversation.
Dan & Jennifer,
My experience as well. I try to writing useful, quality, engaging content that will add value to people’s lives. And when the traffic slows down, I, too, kick in the social networking.
Jens P. Berget says
I think that the combination of more traffic and more comments is pretty hard.
I am receiving increased traffic almost every single day, but not many people leave comments.
I guess I should do something about my writing. I should probably be more personal and ask more questions.
I have been more concerned with increasing my traffic than “the good conversation”, I guess I am going to start focusing more on the converstation from now on.
With the increased traffic, I see that people are paying attention to my blog, but with about 85% new readers a day, it`s more like the search engines paying attention other than my “loyal” readers.
I guess what I am saying is, I am looking for a way to satisfy my loyal readers and increase the amount of loyal readers.
Carol L. Skolnick, Clear Life Solutions says
My newsletter, Transformational Inquiry and my blog, Soul Surgery are linked (I archive the ezine content on my blog). I received an unsubscribe the other day from a reader who commented, “Your content is personal and it’s not personal to me.” Good feedback…and how many other people who are not writing to tell me this are thinking it?
On the other hand…the vast majority of email I receive comes from people who love how personal my content is (I relate The Work of Byron Katie, the process I faciliate, to real-life situations, mostly my own…and people resonate with this or not.) When I post a “how to” article, while some people appreciate this, I don’t get nearly as much “fan mail” as when I tell stories on myself.
Having a blog that consists of strictly practical information might increase readership in the short run, but I’m not sure about loyalty. My readers do not even number in the thousands yet, but they are loyal, loyal, loyal.
I have one post that has more than 180 comments on it. Basically one person who was related to the person who was the subject of my post wrote a comment saying I was being too judgmental of that person – that I was jumping to conclusions.
Then there was another response from someone who didn’t like what the first person wrote.
And it just went on from there. I had tons of Google searches pointing to this post, so people who knew the guy were all coming to my site.
Turns out he was, indeed, convicted of murder.
I try to invoke emotion in my posts. Sometimes I succeed.
Dawud Miracle says
Yet you, and others comment on my site quite a bit – which I’m highly grateful for by the way, thank you.
One thing is you need to be clear about your blogging goals. Just like in a business, it’s important to know where you want to go before you set out in that direction. Maybe comments aren’t your focus, maybe they are. But try not to focus on comments as important without first deciding if it’s what you want.
I wouldn’t worry about one person’s opinion – or even ten. Likely, they’re not in your niche. One of the keys to successful blogging is the same as having a successful business – a clearly defined, highly focused niche.
I hear you. The interesting thing I’ve found is I can never be completely sure what post is going to get that huge splash of comments. Some I have. But others that I thought would draw a big conversation haven’t. Yet most of my posts draw some conversation in general.
I just write what’s on my mind, seen in my business and felt in my heart – and I let ya’ll decide if it has value (there’s a key here).
Steve Roesler says
If my traffic has dropped it usually appears related to the fact that I have dropped! That is, I’ve missed a couple days of posting. So now I try to be very diligent about it.
As for what generates conversation: I’m surprised more often than not. There have been some lengthy posts that I was afraid might put people to sleep. Instead, they generated a lot of conversation. Recently, one of my shortest posts generated an equal amount of conversation. Go figure!
At the risk of sounding trite, a closer examination shows that the real key appears to be the quality, timeliness, and personal applicability of the content.
Speed Dating in New York City says
The more and more that I read blogs, the subjects and postings have become part of my conversation in my every day life with friends. I find that the more interesting and “different” the post, the more likely it will appear in my thoughts again. It’s important to keep in mind that a blog has got to be about something people need to talk about but perhaps it just hasn’t come up in real life (not to say online life is not real).
Symptoms and Treatments says
I have been more concerned with increasing my traffic than “the good conversation”, I guess I am going to start focusing more on the conversation from now on.
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