Has your blog's activity hit a plateau? Follow these strategies to breathe new life into your blog.
Just as weight loss and fitness efforts plateau, so too can your blog's metrics. Things are going along swimmingly - you're writing insightful posts and your readers return again and again - and then BAM: readership seems to come to a standstill. What should you do when, despite your best efforts, your numbers have leveled off?
It's simple: Follow these three strategies to break through flat traffic and get your readership climbing again.
Check Your Stats
First and foremost, you'll need to take a good hard look at your traffic stats from the past few months. Knowing the specifics of your blog's activity will help you make more informed decisions and identify the point(s) at which readership stagnated.
As you review traffic insights, ask yourself the following: Are you gaining subscribers but losing existing ones? Have you stopped adding subscribers? Next, look at how users interact with you on social media. Are you getting a similar number of "likes" and retweets as you were in the past? Finally, take a look at your recent history. Were readers attracted to your site by a product launch, current event, or social media trend?
Analyzing your stats can help you decide what you need to do to revive your blog's growth.
1) If your blog still adds subscribers but has lost some existing readers, you may not be providing enough new content - or your new content might not be compelling enough. You might want to expand coverage to related topics, add guest bloggers, or most more frequently than you have been. Experiment with one strategy at a time to see what impact it has on your traffic.
2) If your social media numbers have fallen, you can surmise that your content has gotten a bit stale. Check out message boards and other websites covering your topic(s). What are the trending concerns? Which posts garner a lot of responses? Use insights about trending topics to inform a post or two and see how this shift in direction impacts your readers' activity.
3) If current news brought a barrel of new readers to your site, it's natural that growth would plateau as things calm down. Your goal can be to look for future opportunities to tie your blog content to newsworthy events. When you identify trending topics in your subject area, make sure your blog has up-to-date posts on the same issues. Bonus points if you find a scoop!
4) If you're maintaining your reader base but aren't adding subscribers, you'll need to increase your outreach. Offer to write a guest post for a blog with a similar focus - it's an old trick, but link backs do bring in new traffic. Along the same lines, you can also offer to write articles for sites that cover the same topic as your blog.
Self-Promote Like a Pro
Most bloggers would probably like to be recognized as experts and reliable resources without a lot of self-promotion. But it's a big Web out there, and you can be sure other people are covering the same topics and promoting their blogs a heck of a lot more than you are.
Ask your readers for help. Remind them to help build your "likes" and to retweet or pin content they like. Don't be shy about asking them for more direct help such as recommending your blog to friends and colleagues, or posting excerpts from (and links to) your blog on Facebook.
Leverage your expertise. Is there a recent news story that intersects with your blog's subject matter? Write a related article or opinion piece. You can offer the piece to local newspapers, trade publications, and websites that cover your topic. You might earn a check for your efforts, but the real payoff will come when the site lists your blog URL with your author bio.
If article writing is not your forte, try taking the same tack on message boards and forums. Start threads related to new developments, products or controversies that affect your niche. When you post, include links back to your longer blog posts that support your shorter forum posts. However, be sure to follow the forum's terms of service.
Insert some fun and jazz! Is there anything that would make your blog more interesting or interactive? Are there videos you've meant to post but never had time? A sense of adventure often leads to posts with new energy and excitement, which can be one of the most effective tools in drawing and keeping readership.
Though static numbers are disappointing, they're a great motivation for you to revamp your blogging strategy. Follow these tips and you'll see growth in no time!
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