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3 Reasons Why You Couldn’t Pay Someone to Read Your Blog

By Donna L. Johnson

You hopped on the blogging bandwagon like a year ago, but your Feedburner stat counter hasn’t moved. It’s stuck at 2 subscribers – you and your loyal gal pal. Even she’s ready to jump ship, however the bribe you have hanging over her head is why she continues to stick around.

You’re following the advice of all the hot shot experts. You write consistently, share your stuff on Facebook and Twitter, yet you’re struggling to get more eyeballs on your site. Fewer visits means fewer chances to convert.

The thought of trying to sell something via your blog is completely out. If you can’t get folks to commit to reading free content, how can you possibly expect them to trust you enough to buy from you?

So what’s the problem? What steps do you need to take to change your status from ‘Internet Unknown’ to ‘Blogging Beast’?!

My best guess is that you fall into one or more of these categories:

1. You’re Too Predictable

Your gal pal already knows what you’re going to write about before you write it. You’re the Cupcake Blogger. Everyone else was doing it, so you followed and now you’re paying the price.  You’ve niched yourself in so tight there’s no room to talk about anything else. When you grill your friend and ask if she’s telling any and everyone about your blog, her response sends you into sugar shock. “When I tell em your blog is about cupcakes, they immediately say, “There are waaayyyy too many cupcake blogs  – thanks, but no thanks.”

Solution: If you insist on staying in this space, being different is a must. You need to inject some spontaneity into your icing-tube-squirter-thingy, squeeze it out, and then spread it evenly across your entire blog. Refill and repeat.

2.  You’re a Blog Snob

The entire time you’ve been blogging, you’ve never ventured outside of your niche. If it ain’t about cupcakes, you ain’t interested. If there’s a heaven for bloggers, I’ll see you there because you’re well on your way to dying a slow death. Can you imagine going through life and everyone you meet has the same conversation? How would you learn and grow in such an environment? Hanging out with bloggers who write about similar subjects is okay, but don’t get all cult-like. My friend, The Numbers Whisperer, is a great example of someone who has a diverse mix of blogs she follows. She’s led me to some I may have otherwise not heard of as a result.

Challenge: Find at least 5 blogs on topics you know nothing about. Start reading and engaging. There’s some good ones on TWAHWs Top 50 List of 2011.

3. You’re a Terrible Hostess

It really doesn’t matter if you have the prettiest cupcakes on the planet if no one ever shows up to eat them. The comment section of your blog is where the party happens. A recent post of yours has one lonesome comment. It was left three weeks ago. You can thank your gal pal for it (she twisted her mom’s arm to get her to leave it!) and you show your appreciation by completely ignoring it. The newbie blogger who’s trying desperately to build a relationship with you comments faithfully. You respond with your usual, “thanks”. If there’s a hell for bloggers, congratulations. You just got a one-way VIP ticket.

Solution: Until you’re getting more comments than you can handle, comment on every comment you get. Then, join the party over on their blog. Don’t just eat and run. Hang around and find other party goers to mingle with.

Yes…that’s the sweet taste of comment love. And a recipe for blogging success.

Donna L. Johnson, is The Unemployed Entrepreneur® and has been blogging for The Work at Home Woman since January 2010. Summary of professional experience: 15 jobs by the age of 22. Her written word hustle is a mix of business street smarts, lifestyle, and controversy. She takes a stand on things she’s passionate about without being afraid of backlash. When Donna isn’t writing, speaking, and reading, she visualizes being on the set of her dream job as a TV talk show host. Follow her journey at www.iHiredMe.net and hit her up on Twitter: @iHiredMe.

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10 Responses to “3 Reasons Why You Couldn’t Pay Someone to Read Your Blog”

  1. 1

    GREAT post Donna! It is so timely that you write this b/c I have been evaluating which of my posts get a lot of hits and which ones don’t. Of course, the unexpected always gets more!
    I think the best indicator of success of a blog is when your readers are more people you do not know and less friends & family :)
    As for the numbers whisperer — you know I love her! love her blog! and she is a very giving reader – Rachel

    • 1.1

      thanks Rachel! yep – you can start to measure the success of your blog when you attract new readers. i love engaging with and am grateful for all of my loyal friends/readers, but i get a kick out of seeing comments from “strangers”!

  2. 2
    Deb Bixler, Direct Sales Radio says:

    The single most important thing to getting subscribers to your blog and return visitors is adding value! No value = no repeat customers!

    • 2.1

      i believe “adding value” can be a bit subjective. there are so many bloggers who monetize their personal blogs and gauging value from that perspective can go all across the spectrum. i live by Jeffrey Gitomer’s mantra..we shouldn’t add value..we should just give it. thanks for taking the time to read and engage!

  3. 3
    Optimistic Mom says:

    Thanks for this great info. I was worried about finding my “niche”, but I am glad to read this and see it is okay to have some variety.

  4. 4
    Nicole Fende says:

    Hi Donna! First I’m glad to hear I’m not a blog snob. My interests online are like those offline, extremely eclectic.

    I completely agree about comments. I stop going to a blog if they never, ever acknowledge my interaction. I also try very hard to stay on top my comments, and get to know my regular readers.

    I think the first few months the only reader I had was my husband (LOL). Then I joined a blog circle via the Start-up Nation and things got rolling. You’ve just got to hang in there!

  5. 5
    Golda Smith says:

    Hi Donna-

    This was a great post and I loved all of your points. I’d love to add another. One mistake I see some bloggers, especially new bloggers make, is thinking that all they have to do is create content. They forget that they have to drive traffic back and that comes from marketing such as, commenting on relevant blogs, writing guest articles…

  6. 6
    miss donna says:

    thank you, Golda!
    and yes, i agree. marketing your blog is a must.

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