Blog traffic – new and repeat visitors coming to your blog to read – to comment and possibly to buy the products and services you’re promoting. Increasing blog traffic is a sign of success, while decreasing blog traffic is a reason for most bloggers to panic – with good reason! Your blog is either growing or dying and your blog traffic is the indicator of your blog’s overall health.
This list started out as a “top 5 blog traffic killers” and then grew to “the top 10 blog traffic killers” – however, I forced myself to stop at listing the top 12 biggest blog traffic killers.
12 Biggest Blog Traffic Killers
1. Post infrequently and erratically.
Going on a posting frenzy – posting two or three posts per day and then going weeks without a single post is a great way kill your blog traffic. Visitors and the search engines prefer to see content published on a predictable schedule. Make a commitment to posting at least once a week to your blog if you want to increase blog traffic.
2. Create blog posts that don’t stay on track.
A while ago I subscribed to a magazine called “Cooking Light”. The reason I subscribed was because I wanted to read new and healthy recipes. (I won’t lie to you and say that I would actually have tried to PREPARE said recipes – that’s a lie I prefer to tell to myself!) I was positively confused when the bulk of the magazine’s content focused on exercise and self improvement. It’s not that I’m not interested in exercise and self improvement – but that’s NOT why I subscribed to the magazine.
People have “expectations” when they subscribe to your blog. You’re here because this blog is about making YOUR blog successful. While you might be interested in diet tips or exercise advice – if I’m going to share that kind of information with you – I’d darned well better “wrap” it in “make your blog successful” paper! Going off topic is a GREAT way to lose blog visitors!
3. You’re not commenting on other blogs.
Making pithy and relevant comments on other blogs in your niche is a great way to attract blog traffic to YOUR blog. If you are leaving comments on other blogs and those comments are NOT bringing traffic to your blog – then review the comments you’re making and/or the blogs where you’re leaving comments.
4. You’re commenting on the WRONG blogs.
I had one client who was constantly commenting on what she assumed was a popular blog. I have NO idea why she thought this blog was popular – there were no other comments and the blog’s Alexa ranking was in the 8 Million range. OK – I do know why she thought this guy’s blog was better – it was because the blog’s owner was a published author. She had bought his book and for some reason, the fact that he had published a book made his blog “better” than hers.
However, because his blog was NOT popular -in effect, my client was simply communicating with the blog’s author. The blog’s author was obviously “checked out” with regards to his blog anyhow because he never responded to her comments nor left reciprocal comments on my client’s blog.
5. You’re acting like a TROLL
In literature, a troll is a fictitious, mythological creature who is obnoxious, hideous and dedicated to achieving evil ends. On the internet, a troll is someone who posts content with the intention of stirring up trouble. The goal of a troll is to stir up trouble – period. There are people who think that troll like behavior is a great way to increase blog traffic, and it might for a while. The problem is, acting like a troll merely brings in “drive by readers”. These people are seeking a “fix”. They’re at your blog to see more of what you delivered via the comment section they just read. They’re at your blog with the purpose of seeing who you are shredding next. If you can’t deliver – they’re gone.
6. You’re not paying attention to keywords.
When A-list bloggers share how they get blog visitors, the search engines are ALWAYS at the top of the list. Choosing the best keywords for your blog is an important part of building blog traffic.
7. You’re not linking out to other bloggers.
Leaving comments is not the ONLY way to reach out to other bloggers. Linking to other blogs within your post is a great way to “reach out” to other bloggers and when they reciprocate, it’s a great way to build links. Jen Patton has a great post on How to Find Other Bloggers with whom to trade links. (Whew! Almost ended THAT sentence with a preposition!)
8. You’re not making the most of your 10 seconds.
10 seconds – that’s all the time you have to make a GREAT first impression. 10 seconds is all the time it takes for a visitor to decide whether or not they’re going to hang around a read more. Too many plugins, bloated image files, a poorly coded theme or even a poor web hosting provider can waste those valuable 10 seconds by making the visitor wait for your blog to load.
9. You’re not using images in your posts.
I know – I know – bloated image files are a reason for long load times – but I’m not talking about using bloated images. I’m talking about using high quality professional images properly sized for use on your blog. No where is the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” more relevant than on the web.
An eye catching image is the key to grabbing the reader’s attention and focusing them on the content of your post. A well chosen image is a GREAT way to make the most of those vital 10 seconds.
10. It’s all about YOU – YOU – YOU.
Narcissistic rants don’t play well ANYWHERE in social media. Whether it’s blogging or Twitter – if all you can talk about is YOU then expect to kill the traffic to your blog quickly.
11. You’re not plugged in.
Let’s face facts – there are some times you absolutely must blog about breaking news within your niche. If your blog’s niche is pets – then if you weren’t blogging about the big pet food recalls when they were happening – it looked like you weren’t plugged in. It’s one thing to ignore politics on your pet products centered blog – it’s another to ignore a breaking story when your niche is politics! Smart bloggers use Google alerts as a great way to find out when content hits the web about any given topic. You can use it to alert you when people are talking about you- your blog or your topic of choice.
12. You don’t do any marketing for your blog.
Your blog is just like any other “product” any “business” needs to promote. If you’ve got a blog and you want more traffic (a.k.a. “customers”) you’re going to have to learn to market your blog. Remember, marketing is simply communicating with potential customers (a.k.a. readers) that you’ve got something that they want or need. Yes, marketing is really that simple. If you prefer “spreading the word” to the term “marketing” – then feel free to think of it in those terms. However, marketing is NOT a dirty word… it’s just gotten that reputation because of marketers making the mistake #10 – making it all about THEM – THEM- THEM. When you view marketing your blog as simply a way of letting other people know you’ve got a nice place to hang out and share information – well, then marketing doesn’t seem quite so “horrid” anymore – does it?
I could easily make this 101 Blog Traffic Killers – but then again that’s one of the great things about blogs is the ability to engage your readers in actual two way conversation. What would you add to the list of the biggest blog traffic killers?