“Nobody is reading my blog.”
You’ve heard all the stories and blog posts about why you should start your own blog.
So feeling all motivated, you did just that.
You started your WordPress site and created your blog posts.
But you checked Google Analytics and noticed that…surprise surprise…no-one is reading them.
You even called your mum to read it.
And hooray, you now have one visitor.
But then you remember that your mum is probably not your target audience.
There are plenty of blog posts out there which will give you recommendations on what you should do to fix that problem.
And they vary: create long-form content, use images, add emotional words to trigger reactions, carry out keyword research, promote your blog via social media.
There is plenty of advice out there.
Even if you apply these tips, there are no guarantees that you will attract traffic to your site instantly.
But it doesn’t mean that you should give up. There are many other side-benefits to continue writing blog posts, even if no-one is reading them…yet.
Enables Personal Growth in You
If you want to master one particular topic, you will have to do your research and read about it.
And eventually, you might want to share that knowledge with the world.
But you would be surprised to find how much you’ve grown as a person along the way.
Even if you only saw yourself as a general “average Joe”.
Let’s say you have a particular interest in golf.
Originally, you were only participating in it as a hobby, but you became more enthusiastic about it and decided to become a better golfer by learning about the topic.
So you did your research by reading blog posts and watching videos.
You listened to the experts and the influential figures out there to learn from the best.
More importantly, you practised what you preached.
And throughout your journey, you have plotted your progress by creating a blog, Instagram account and a YouTube channel.
The journey you go on will enable that personal growth in you.
With the help of personal development, you will grow from a general hobbyist to an expert in the field.
Which brings us to the next topic…
Become a Specialist
Some people may argue that it is becoming more important to become an expert in a specific field than it is to be good at a little of everything.
A specialist instead of a “jack-of-all-trades”.
In most cases, I kind of agree with that, but it does depend on the needs of the other person.
For those who are having problems with their gas boiler, they might prefer to consult a boiler specialist rather than a general heating company.
The specialist will be able to provide and meet a niche need that the customer may have.
For those who want to improve their watercolour painting skills, they might be keen to learn from watercolour painting experts instead of an all-round painting expert.
The former will have better knowledge of watercolour techniques which could be passed on.
And in the case of the golfer above, he/she might want to specialise in swinging techniques for iron clubs instead of becoming an all-round expert.
This is particularly beneficial for those who want lessons to master a certain type of golf swing that has been bothering you for many years.
As I said, it all depends on the needs of the other person – your customer.
Widen & Improve Your Skill Set
As you learn to create content, be it via writing a blog post, creating videos or speaking in a podcast, you will widen your skill set, improving your skills along the way.
But that will only happen if you persist in creating content.
For example, don’t even think about considering yourself as a vlogger if you have only created a few videos.
I’m going to be brutally honest here. In the beginning, you’re not going to be that great at it.
In fact, you’ll probably be awful at it.
But that is natural.
Some of the most influential figures have admitted to going back to the beginning of their journey and cringing at what they saw.
But when you persist with your content creation, this is the only way you will see your skill set improve.
The following scenario could happen if you want to create your own vlog:
In episode 1, you are have fumbled your words, the sound quality is not the best, and your video capture is a bit shaky.
By episode 50, you are more clear, you have upgraded your equipment, and you sound more like an expert.
By episode 100, you have dramatically improved your knowledge, you sound like an expert, the clips look professionally done, and video creation is becoming second-nature to you.
You would not have had this skill in the first place if you did not persist with content creation.
And you certainly wouldn’t have improved your skills if you hadn’t continued with it either.
Search Engine Loves Them
It is well-known that search engines give preference to those that have fresh, original content.
According to Hubspot, “companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published between 0–4 monthly posts”.
Creating 16+ blog posts per month is a huge task for any brand, particularly if you want to maintain the quality throughout.
But search engines also love that long-lasting evergreen content, even long after it has been published.
Many other have not bothered with creating 16+ pieces of content per month.
The likes of Brian Dean from Backlinko and Derek Halpern at Social Triggers have proved that you don’t need to publish as many times as possible to see the benefits.
So what’s the solution?
Trial and test various formats to find out what works best for you.
Even if your audience isn’t reading your content yet, persistently creating content that works will eventually bring in the rewards.
Your Site Will Love Them
It’s easy to forget that the rest of the site will also benefit from the blog.
Especially if you use underrated on-page SEO techniques like internal linking.
The company Mention, who tracks brand mentions online, were able to increase their search traffic by a massive 373% in just six weeks and internal linking played a part in that.
SEO might be a practice that intimidates many people (but there is a beginners’ guide to SEO to help you along the way).
But internal linking is a practice that everyone who owns a website does and should do naturally.
Imagine if you have a blog about craftsmanship. Among your many content elements, you have one particular blog post about crafting a table, which is a detailed piece of content for beginners.
And you also have several other blog posts – one about crafting chairs and one about crafting a sitting stool.
You might feel that those who craft tables are happy to have a standalone table.
But you might feel that those who are crafting chairs and stools might want to craft a table too to match the settings.
So the most logical thing would be to have the two seating posts and a link to the post about table crafting.
This will have several benefits.
It can help users to find more relevant content via the seating craft posts, which means more traffic elsewhere on your site.
But it would also signal to search engines on the importance of the table crafting posts as there are several posts linking to it.
Act Like a Virtual Salesperson
Picture the scene.
There is a potential customer looking for someone to come in and clean their house on a weekly basis.
This person has communicated with a (fictional) house-cleaning brand called “CleanHouse Ltd” and is considering whether to part with their hard-earned cash by using them.
The only problem is that he/she is still not 100% convinced about your expertise, especially since there are plenty of other house-cleaning competitors out there.
Why should they pick CleanHouse Ltd over their competitors who are also cheaper?
When doing their research, they have visited the CleanHouse Ltd’s website and consequently looked at their content.
Aside from explaining what they do, the CleanHouse Ltd also has a weekly blog post with images and videos providing advice on how to clean various items effectively.
Clearly, CleanHouse Ltd knows their stuff. They have proved it with their up-to-date and high-quality content, which seems to provide very useful advice.
This has reassured the customer, thinking that the CleanHouse Ltd know their stuff and they have decided to use the service.
Having content can act as a virtual salesperson to encourage a potential customer to go with their company.
You may not attract high volume traffic, but if potential clients want to compare competitors or want to find out whether you are reputable, your content could sway them in your favour.
Provided that the content is useful and high-quality, they may have won a long-term client.
But you still need to have a backlog of content, as the next section highlights.
Create Your Own Online Library
Similar to the earlier point about having evergreen content, having a backlog of them is another level.
Not only will it act as a stronger virtual salesperson, but you will receive more search engine benefits.
By having your own online library, you are increasing the likelihood of having various different keywords on your site.
In a simple form, imagine if you have a cooking blog which focuses on pizza recipes.
If you have content on various pizza recipes, you have the potential of implementing various keywords, which increases the likelihood of being found via search engines.
“How to make pizza from scratch.”
“Easy tomato & basic pizza recipe.”
“The history of pizza.”
“Pizza recipes for children.”
The keyword possibilities are endless, as you can see below (even the beloved “breakfast pizza”?!).
If you haven’t built up a library of content covering various keywords, it is harder to be found by your audience via the search engines.
And it is also harder to associate yourself as being an expert in the field, which in this case, would be pizza.
Inspire the Minority
What is more valuable to you – inspiring a few people or reaching hundreds of them?
Let’s put it another way.
You can choose to go after a number by targeting hundreds of people who were not impacted by your blog post.
Perhaps they just wanted a quick scan of your content and left.
But you can also choose to inspire a small percentage of them.
Maybe you have made an impact on just five readers instead of hundreds of them.
Those five readers were not only inspired by your content but also become your brand ambassador, they follow your social media accounts and subscribe to your newsletter.
Those five visitors are also more likely to share your content with their audience.
And as a result, those five are worth more than the hundreds of others who have visited your site for a brief moment.
Provide Original Content for Social Media
By creating original content on your website, you will provide another source of content for your social media profiles.
Instead of banging your head trying to come up with new and original content to post on social media, your backlog of content can act as a repository.
It’s not exactly recommended to blast out your content on social media. Look at other sources and share other content too.
But your content can help strengthen your social media reach and can drive new visitors to your site.
So it’s a win-win situation for both parties.
Learn & Understand Your Audience Better
For those who are new to the market, you might struggle to understand your personas.
But even those who are established in the industry can struggle to better understand their personas.
The benefit of persistently creating new content allows you to find out what your audience likes and doesn’t like.
For example, if you have a food blog which focuses on baking cookies, you might want to start creating text and image-based content to display your recipes.
At this point, you do not boast a large audience like many others, so it’s hard to understand what your current/potential audience likes.
But through research and a survey using 3rd-party platforms, you decide to tweak your content by also providing short, fast-paced video snippets to show them how to make certain cookies.
Slowly but surely, you should start getting engagement on social media and your site.
Even if you don’t, think about everything mentioned above – you start improving your skills, you create an online library, you become an expert on the topic, etc.
As you focus more on video-based content and provide the content that your audience craves, you can also think about the other benefits too.
I have decided to write this post because I came across a similar one by Mark Schaefer.
He has created an infographic on why you should persist on blogging even if no-one is reading it…yet.
But I wanted to elaborate on that a bit more.
I admit that this website doesn’t exactly boast a large amount of regular traffic.
But all I have to do is to think about the other benefits of creating content.
And there are a heck of a lot of advantages.
Don’t you agree?
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