You know what sucks? Being really excited about a blog post that you’ve written, publishing it, and then realizing that no one is reading your blog.
After a couple of days, you’ve given up all hope for the blog post getting any traffic at all.
Call the time.
The question you need to ask yourself is why did this happen?
You had such a good feeling about this blog post, and yet it seems like the rest of the world didn’t share your feelings.
What did you do wrong?
Before you understand why a blog post might die right after it’s published, you need to understand the lifecycle of a blog post.
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The Lifecycle of a Blog Post
A blog post can take on many lives after it is published. The reason for this is because every blogger has a different strategy of promotion.
For example, if Pinterest is your main promotion strategy then you know that getting traction right away isn’t always possible. You might find that a 3-month old post is suddenly going viral. A post that you’ve completely forgotten about.
In contrast, if Twitter or Facebook are your main promotion strategies then you know that you really only have one chance to hit it big.
Each of these platforms requires different strategies for success, but the majority of a blog post’s success rest solely on the post itself.
Once a blog post is published and promoted everything is out of your hands. All the work rests on the blog post. If it isn’t doing its job, then it won’t get shared, and if it doesn’t get shared, then it’s hard for it to gain any traction.
A blog post can have a very short lifecycle of just a couple of hours, or it can have one that lasts years.
Why No One is Reading Your Blog Posts
You might find this to be a crazy concept, but all successful blog posts follow the same principles.
Some add a couple more, but for the most part, you can increase your chances of success if your blog posts follow these basic principles.
1. You Didn’t Write For Your Audience
The biggest mistake that bloggers make with their content is that they don’t write it for their audience.
This might seem silly because your blog is your blog, but your blog is nothing without an audience.
Could you imagine going on a date and having the other person only talk about themselves the whole time?
Most of the time when someone visits your blog they don’t do it to learn more about you, they do it to help themselves.
Whenever you write a blog post, you have to ask how is this going to help the reader?
If the reader isn’t getting anything out of your post then why should they share it?
2. You Didn’t Promote Your Post as Well as You Thought
Some people over promote because they have no shame.
Some people under promote because they feel guilty ‘spamming.’
The key is to understand the right balance of promotion and why you are promoting.
If you truly believe that your blog post is going to benefit others, then you should have no problem promoting it.
However, if every time someone comes across your brand they are seeing some type of promotion then they will get sick of it.
For example, if every tweet is you talking about your blog then people will get tired of it. Self-promotion is important but only doing self-promotion can be detrimental to your blog.
What is the right approach? Make sure you spend time promoting value to your audience and then it’s okay to sneak in the self-promotion here and there.
If you sign up to someone’s mailing list and the only emails that you receive are sales promotions then how much longer are you going to stay on the list?
Questions you need to ask yourself about promoting a blog post:
- Did you schedule it on your active social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest)? I use Tailwind to schedule pins on Pinterest.
- Did you inform your mailing list? I’ve used ConvertKit to grow my email list to over 14,000 subscribers.
- Did you share it in Facebook Groups that have a specific day of sharing?
- Did you email influencers that might be interested in the post?
- Do you know when you’ll put the post through another promotion cycle?
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3. You Didn’t Focus On SEO
SEO can be a scary topic to some bloggers but the reality of it is, if you want to experience long-term growth of your blog then SEO is important.
This doesn’t mean that you need to turn yourself into an SEO expert, but you should always do the basics to your blog posts before publishing.
What are the basics?
Understand the Keyword You Want to Rank For
A keyword is simply a search term someone will type into a search engine.
For example, how to get blog traffic with Instagram is a keyword. Yes, it’s multiple words, but the phrase keyword means whatever search term someone uses.
Every blog post that you write should have one main keyword that you would like to rank highly for. When you understand the primary keyword, then you can tailor your post around that keyword.
Put Your Keyword in the Right Place
The right places in your blog post are:
- The blog post title
- The URL
- Image alt tags
You don’t want to go crazy and make 20% of your post your keyword. You just want to make sure the search engines know what the post is about so they rank it properly.
Good Content Length
Studies have shown that longer posts do better on Google than shorter posts. The reason why is because it makes Google believe that there is more information that will be valuable to a reader.
It also gives you a chance to apply multiple keywords.
So if you’re hoping that your 500-word post is going to reach #1 on Google, you’re going to find yourself being severely disappointed.
4. You Post Topic is Temporary
If you’re writing about a news event that happened yesterday or an event that is going to happen on a specific date, then your audience is only going to care for a short period of time.
If you focus on writing evergreen posts then your content has a longer shelf life.
What are evergreen posts?
These are posts that generally don’t have an expiration date or will take a very long time before the content becomes irrelevant.
For example, this blog post would be considered evergreen content.
5. You Don’t Keep Your Content Fresh
One of the best ways to boost the search engine rankings of old posts is by updating them. Search engines love fresh content but they love it even more when it is applied to valuable evergreen content.
Set a reminder to go back and look at your old posts every couple of months to spot opportunities for updates.
This also gives you a chance to promote the content again to your audience without it looking like you’re promoting the same old stuff.
You can read my post, 7 Ways to Update Old Blog Posts for tips on updating your content.
Sometimes Nothing Works
Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do with a blog post. Some just don’t work out, but if you’re able to apply everything in this post, then you stand a much better chance of having a blog post that lasts.