If you’re a blogger, chances are you’ve had at least one moment where you realize your blog isn’t getting the kind of traffic you’d like it to have. You’ve done everything the right way: you’ve got a personalized domain name, you’ve got a layout that’s clean and easy to navigate, and you’ve got a regular blogging schedule. What you don’t have, though, is a steady stream of readers. It’s worth doing a self-inventory of your blog to discover its strengths and weaknesses. But your problem might be bigger than you think: how often do you update your blog? And are you updating with fresh, timely content? If your blog posts aren’t great, that great layout and those pretty graphics won’t help you much. It’s what you write that matters most on your blog—so your content has to be great too.
Be a trendwatcher
Being able to write about the most current topics requires that you know what those topics are. So, find thought leaders on Twitter to follow, and set up an RSS feed to keep up on what’s trending on blogs—which may not be the same topics that are trending on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. Keeping yourself informed about what’s going on in the blogosphere will help guide you toward writing more current and newsworthy content.
Invite guest bloggers
Allowing guest posts on your blog can serve several purposes: guest posts allow you keep your content fresh, and to offer your readers different points of view. Get your friends and fellow bloggers to help you brainstorm ideas and to engage your readers in discussion of topics you might not know much about yourself. The more diversity you can provide your readers, the more eager they’ll be to return to your blog again and again. You can sign up for mailing lists like Blogger LinkUp to find bloggers who are looking to provide content, as well as blog owners looking for content for their own blogs.
Connect your social media sites
From posting on Tumblr to tweeting, making sure your readers know where else they can find you on the web is a good way to build your personal brand. It doesn’t take much time to post tweets or Facebook updates, and you can use those social media outlets to promote your blog. Your online presence is important, and pointing potential readers to your material is a good way to engage readers.
Learn to code
This is the best way to ensure you don’t get burned if you have someone build a website for you—and doing your own maintenance is a good way to save money. You can either use books or find online training courses to help you learn the basics of coding. Having control over your content is important, but having full control of your entire website is just as important. Running a blog takes more than just good visuals: you must provide great content, listen to your readers, make a place for yourself on social media sites, and take responsibility for your website. But it’s the content that should be your top priority. There are millions of blogs out there, and what you write has to be good enough to keep your readers from going elsewhere.
About the Author: Lindsey Paho is a professional media author working and living in the Indianapolis area. She writes on behalf of an online learning degree. She is currently finishing work on her graduate degree while maintaining a busy writing schedule.