Whenever there’s an issue with just one blogger, it can be an awkward problem to address. However, when you’re the person in question who isn’t driving readers to the blog, the issue can be disheartening.
For guest bloggers and permanent team members who face low reader interest and dwindling tweets, it’s never too late to build support. In fact, there’s a simple formula to follow in order to check yourself for specific issues before applying a general overhaul to your style.
Accept the Issue
Don’t quit. Don’t blame anyone else. And whatever you do—never attempt to blame IT or software for glitching your ‘likes’ and shares. If your readership is 20% lower than it used to be, or lower than the average blogger on the site, then it’s time to face the fact that you’re not appealing to readers. Get a glass of water or go for a run, and then just accept it.
At this point it’s wise to create a spreadsheet for yourself to track ‘likes’ and shares. Note any comments, your response time, and if your blogs were evenly spaced each week. Sometimes changing publication days and times can have drastic results, as can missing a few weeks for vacation. Make sure your reader revolt isn’t due to something beyond control, and then proceed.
- By being proactive you’re doing more than many other bloggers.
- Don’t be complacent.
Ask For Advice
Talk to the blog coordinator and your colleagues. Ask their advice about your posts, and about the readership. Try to dig deep and find out what they’re doing differently.
Also, consider how long the other bloggers have been with the site, and if it’s possible that readers are just more attached to the long term writers and famous names. It’s perfectly natural for the blog all stars and thought leaders to pull in ten times as many tweets and ‘upvotes’ per blog. Rather than be jealous, accept that this kind of recognizable expertise and acquired fan roster takes time and devotion to build.
- Be ready to hear anything.
- Don’t lead people to answers you want to hear: try to ask open-ended questions.
Re-Read Posts & Comments
Via The Telegraph
Go back to each blog and score it with as little bias as possible. Did you write a few sloppy posts during a break-up or while you were in the hospital? Are there blogs that—for whatever reason—don’t read the same to you after a few weeks or months’ removal?
Take an earnest look at your overall quality: readers always choose writers who are consistent, even if they’re consistently a little less interesting than the highs of a rollercoaster-writer. Make sure that you deliver high quality content every week. If that’s not possible, consider reducing your commitment so that you can maintain high quality writing.
- Do the titles accurately describe the posts for readers?
- Are your topics either original or the best-written variant of the topic?
Make Sure You Share
Never expect readers to share posts that you aren’t sharing yourself. Have you shared and ‘liked’ other published articles? Have you responded to every comment in a timely fashion? Readers who are left wondering for more than 24 hours get the impression that the writer doesn’t care or isn’t invested: they will go read a blog that delivers interaction.
When you share your own blog article, make sure you include a brief comment with the share to personalize it. Simply writing “My new Post!” can encourage your real life friends to read it or blindly click ‘like.’ Or you can comment on the share with a teaser comment about something interesting in the article, or something witty about the concept.
- Spread out your activity by sharing it one day, tweeting the next, and ‘liking’ on the third day. This will keep the blog fresh in people’s minds all week.
Ask for Support
Via Job Seekers
Approach the friends and colleagues you feel the most comfortable with and ask them to go share your blogs and ‘like’ them. This kind of organic growth from a pool of confidants can lead to more readers, as well as an initial self-esteem boost that wounded writers might need after facing low interest.
- Only ask once: you don’t want to nag friends.
- Make it easy for friends by linking them to your blog author page so that they can browse all posts for ones they genuinely want to ‘like.’
Network, Network, Network
Start by leaving comments on colleagues’ blogs (after actually reading them), and build to leaving comments for acquaintances, industry peers, and industry thought leaders. These comments could help you to build name recognition and rapport with people who might read your post out of curiosity.
Attend conferences and pass out your cards like Valentines. Talk to people and develop a genuine interest in what they’re doing: make notes about them on the backside of their business cards so that you can remember them next time. While this kind of networking can take months or years to yield results, every bit helps.
Start mentioning your blog to people who might learn from it or be able to use it as a resource. This could include former teachers, old friends, and people who used to work in your office. Remember that building a name isn’t a job for shy people: you have to want to be recognized as a writer.
- Try not to hang out with old friends too much at conferences, because you’ll appear cliquey and hard-to-approach.
- Make sure comments you leave on blogs are thoughtful and brief.
If you’ve reviewed all of your past posts and started networking whenever possible, all you can do is start making minor tweaks to your style to see if there’s a difference. Keep tracking changes to ‘likes’ and ‘upvotes’ on the spreadsheet you created, and with a little luck and consistency, your blog will eventually get where you want it to go.