12 Biggest Blog Traffic Killers

Blog Traffic KillersBlog 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?

Secret to Blogging Success – Staying On Track

writinghandsCan you do it?  Can you write two- three- four times a week (or perhaps a day) about a single subject?  Do you have enough passion and even stamina to create blog post after blog post around a central “theme” or topic?

It’s something you must consider as you map your course for blogging success!

I was recently at a blog which claims to be blogging about starting an online business.  I’d been watching via my RSS feeder as the author went through methodically outlining the steps to starting a small business.  So far so good, he was creating great, tightly focused content for his newly launched blog.  “Here’s a blogger who’s destined for blogging success,” I thought.

Then, today I saw the title for his most recent blog post.  It focuses upon his diet which is the result of a myriad of health problems from which he suffers.

WARNING – WARNING -WARNING!  CONTENT DETOUR AHEAD!!!

The blogger I observed above is making a CLASSIC blogging mistake.  He created a blog and jumped on the “blogging about making money online” bandwagon because he thinks THAT is the path to blogging success.

Unfortunately, while his blog posts titles contain essential keywords needed to help his blog do well with the search engines – his posts on “make money online blogging” lack passion and purpose.

However, as I read his current blog post on his current diet where he eschews meats, animal products or cooked foods in search of better health – I saw a spark – a bit of passion around THIS topic as opposed to his previous posts in his series of  “how to make money online blogging.”

Gary Conn has a great post on Make Money Online Writing About Things You Have Passion For where he shares this bit of inspiration and wisdom:

So my advice to you is to really sit back for a minute and figure out a topic that you have a lot of passion for. When you figure that out, apply everything that you have learned while operating a make money online blog and apply these skills to your other blog that covers a topic that you have passion for. If you do, I think soon you’ll see an increase in your month to month earnings.

See, if you find a topic you’re passionate about then creating blog posts will be literally as easy as falling off a log.  It’s when you try to pursue a “profitable” blog niche that you’ll run into trouble.  You’ll not only have trouble creating posts, you’ll have  trouble marketing your blog as well.

Choosing the right topic  – a topic about which you’re passionate about – is the most basic key to blogging success.  When you’re passionate – you’ll find it easy to stay on track – and most importantly – you’ll find your “passion” will be exposed in many if not all of your blog posts.

The Not-so-hidden Secret to Successful Blog Marketing

moneytree2It’s a common lament – you’ve launched a blog and have been posting FAITHFULLY to it.  Five, six maybe seven times a week you’re creating spectacular blog posts.  These are literary works of art – and NO ONE IS SEEING THEM!

You’re frustrated -you’ve spent a lot of time and energy creating these blog posts and with no blog traffic – well, you might as well have spent your time getting caught up on your favorite television shows.  However, you’re committed.  You want to make it as a blogger – so you start reading the “successful” blogs.  You know the ones – where the blog owner declares how MUCH money he or she has made blogging.  You read and you even ask questions in the comments,  hoping that maybe the succesfful blogger will share the essential information you need to make your blog a success.

I was just at one of these “succesful” blog sites – where the blogger tells you how wealthy he is because of his blog.  He entitled the blog post well, something along the lines of  “the hidden secret to blogging success”.  The comments are literally FILLED to overflowing with people BEGGING this guy for words of wisdom.

His “wisdom” is simple – a 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.  He then gives a link to a  “blogging success” program.

Now, you may be wondering – “why doesn’t this guy just tell his readers what they need to know?”  You may be wondering, “why is he sending his readers away to learn this “secret” to blogging success.”

Here’s the scoop – even though this blogger is publishing a VERY successful blog – he really doesn’t KNOW why his blog is successful.  (In this blogger’s case – the actually tells his readers it’s because he does so much video blogging. )  Unfortunately, this is more common than you might think.  It not only happens in blogging but elsewhere in the business world as well.

I was talking on the phone today with a client of mine who is working as an outside consultant for a Fortune 1000 company.  My client has been brought in to create a customized training program for this company – much to the disgust of the current director of sales training.  It turns out that while the current director of sales training is a gifted sales person.   The company promoted him hoping he could “clone” success with the current sales staff.  Like many gifted sales people, he can’t put his finger on exactly WHAT it is that he does that makes him so successful.   Since he can’t explain exactly what it is that he does that makes him a success, my client has been hired to “document” his methodologies.

I’m grateful to this client because working with her has helped me to learn how to document exactly what steps a beginning blogger needs to take to begin marketing his or her blog.

Over the past two years, I’ve helped HUNDREDS of real people launch self hosted WordPress blogs via my business at Acumen Web Services to promote their businesses.  After about 6 months, those clients would come to me asking “now what?”

That’s why I created the 8 Week Power Blog Launch program.  The 8 Week Power Blog Launch is an 56 daily lessons to teach you everything you need to know to begin marketing your blog.  However, unlike marketing a physical product, there’s a lot of “technology” issues that you need to know in order to create a successful blog.

Learn more about the 8 Week Power Blog Launch and how it can help you learn how to market your blog successfully.

Blog Marketing: Online Keywords

One of the most common scenarios I see not only with my own blogs but also in my clients’ blogs is creating posts without considering online keywords.

Online keywords are the words used by people to find information on the web. The thing is, if your vocabulary is exceptional and if your spelling skills are good, you may find yourself creating blog posts which are focused on words very, very few people are using when they search the internet.

For example, according to Wordtracker’s free keyword tool, shows 620 searches for the word entrepreneur. Yaro Starak knows how to spell entrepreneur and has based his blog on the correct spelling of the word. Not only did he launch his blog with the keyword entrepreneur in the domain name, but he also creates blog posts with the keyword in the title such as the blog post 4 Tips for Becoming a More Productive Entrepreneur.

However, there are other ways that people online are spelling that keyword. While Google is quick to “correct” spelling mistakes, there are still other “alternate” spellings of the word entrepreneur including:

  • entreprenuer – 53 searches
  • entrepeneur – 38 searches
  • enterpreneur -17 searches

Wow. People can’t spell entrepreneur. You might be tempted to think that the easier to spell keyword “small business owner” would fare better… but according to Wordtracker, the keyword small business owner only had 17 searches. The same as enterpreneur mispelling.

So which word should you focus on when you’re writing a blog post with tips for small business success? Should you write your blog post and title it “Success Tips For Entrepreneurs” or Success Tips for Small Business Owners”?

When I started paying attention to keywords in my blog posts, my traffic began to increase exponentially. On one of my blogs, I was creating a post which was originally titled “Writing Pithy, Punchy Headlines”. When I checked the online keywords, I discovered that no one was searching for “pithy” or “punchy” headlines. However, they were searching for Creating Blazing Hot Headlines that Attract Readers.

One of the keys to blog marketing success is to pay attention to the keywords people are using to find information online.   When you create blog posts around the keywords that people are using to find information on the web, it will help attract visitors to your blog.

Successful Blogging Begins With Knowing Your Audience

Writing a blog isn’t too terribly different from other kinds of writing. Whether you want write a book…. or a blog…. or even a sales letter, if you want your writing to be successful, you need to write with your audience in mind.

For example, if you’re writing about Senator Hillary Clinton, you’d better be WELL aware of where your audience stands with regards to Ms. Clinton. If your audience is comprised of right wing conservatives, then Madame Hillary is evil. If on the other hand, your audience is comprised of left wing liberals, then your take on Ms. Clinton will be decidedly different.

However, knowing your audience goes far BEYOND political leanings. (If you aren’t sure to whom you’re speaking, leave politics and religion OUT of your writing.) If your audience is small business owners, then their interests are radically different than the interests of middle managers or even CEO’s of larger companies.

By keeping your audience in mind from the beginning, you make the marketing of your book, ebook or blog easier and more effective.

Start with the end in mind…. the end being who will be reading the magical words that you write.