Today I’d like to propose a challenge—review your own blog.
It’s easy to get into a blogging rut and now that we’re almost into summer, it’s a good time to see how you’re doing this year. Below are 5 reasons your blog may not be growing. These things are critical to the success of ANY blog, no matter what the focus. Take a few minutes to see how your site holds up to review.
#1. Keeping a Regular Schedule. This is one of the first stumbling blocks to blog growth. If you’re not a big name in your industry, you need to be blogging on a schedule. We want our blog followers to stop by on a regular basis to visit and leave comments, they should be able to expect the same kind of regular commitment from us.
#2. Answering Your Reader’s Comments. If someone is willing to take the time to leave a comment on our blogs, the least we can do is acknowledge them. Reader comments don’t always have to be answered, but we can thank them from stopping by. If your blogging platform doesn’t allow you to reply to individual comments, or even if it does, it’s fine to group several acknowledgements together in one reply from you.
#3. Social Media Interaction. Do your readers know how to follow you on Twitter and interact with you on Facebook? How easy are these buttons to find? I can’t tell you the time I spend looking for your Twitter names when I want to give you a shout out on social media. Most people won’t bother and you’ll have lost meeting new and potential readers.
#4. Do Your Blog Followers Have a Way to...Well...Follow? Most of the blogs I visit are much better at this than in the past, but I still see a sizable number that miss this critical component. Every blog needs a Follow by Email and Follow by RSS option. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know what RSS is, those who use it to read blogs are passionate about it and won’t cross over to receive blog updates by email.
#5. Are the Components Above EASY to Find? The way you organize the sidebar of your blog is vitally important to blog growth. You should have things in the order of importance. For example, if you look to the left of this you’ll see the first option for readers to take action is Follow by Email and Follow by RSS. After this is my Follow me on Twitter button, etc. People are much more likely to spend money than time, so you have to make this easy for them to come back and visit regularly.
Now I’d like to know how your blog stacks up. Just to be honest, while I was writing this I realized my Follow me on Facebook button had migrated to the bottom and I had to make a few changes to get my own site up to standard.
If you’re still not sure about your own site’s growth, stay tuned for my next post, Reasonable Expectations for Blog Growth.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!