When it comes to building a successful blog, reader engagement is everything. Without a healthy number of subscribers, you can’t expect your blog to grow. No matter how many other blogs or sites sing your praises, you can’t justify the time and effort it takes to make a blog if no one’s reading it.
There could be a variety of reasons why your blog isn’t getting the subscribers you want. It could be related to the content you’re producing or how you market your blog. Regardless, it doesn’t take much for readers to abandon a blog. There are over 200 million active websites on the Internet today. Of those, nearly 43 million are blogs. If your blog isn’t giving readers what they want, they’ll simply go somewhere else.
Below, we’ll explore five common reasons why blogs fail to gain subscribers and offer you some effective solutions you can use to address the problem.
1. Your Content Isn’t Specific Enough
Part of what draws readers to any blog is the promise of new, original content. They want to read about something that they can’t find anywhere else with your blog. If your content isn’t speaking to a specific niche, readers will look elsewhere for the content they seek.
When it comes to choosing a blog’s theme, you essentially have two options: write about something completely new or explore a topic from an angle no one else has. The first option can be pretty tough. With over 43 million active blogs, odds are, someone’s already covered whatever topic you want to write about. That means that the latter option is probably your best bet.
Finding Your Specific Niche
This means that you really need to drill down into a specific niche that you can speak to with credibility, that no one else is covering. A great way to do this is to take a popular topic and cover one aspect extensively. For example, you could:
- Not just write about construction businesses in India; write about private home construction in India
- Not just write about video games; write about the development history of the 8-bit era of games
- Not just write about up-and-coming music artists; right about emerging rap artists from a specific region or city.
What you’ll achieve by being more specific is creating content that offers a unique perspective.
By focusing on one specific area, you can really explore your topic, develop your expertise, and keep your readers engaged. You can start to branch out as your blog grows in popularity.
2. You Don’t Understand How People Read on the Internet
Depending on who your target audience is, you may not be delivering content in a way that they prefer to digest. According to a study on Business2community.com, readers usually only read about 20% of the words on a web page, and as few as 10% make it through the entire page. If your content isn’t structured so that the important parts stand out, you’ll quickly lose your readers’ interest.
How to Write for the Internet
When it comes to writing content for online publication, you need it to be concise and direct. To achieve this, you should:
- Use plenty of headings, subheadings, and bullet point lists to break information into small, easy-to-digest chunks.
- Use H1 headings for article titles, H2 headings for primary topics, and H3 heading for sub-topics.
- Keep your paragraphs to 5 sentences or less, and have a new H2 or H3 every 150 or so words.
- Use bullet point lists for your main points.
- Highlight your keywords in bold or have them link out to a related article
By breaking your information up so they don’t have to read the entire post, you’ll actually find that your audience reads more of each post, and keep them coming back for more.
3. Your Domain Name Isn’t a Good Fit
Have you ever seen those URLs that read something like, “firstname.lastname@example.org” or something similar? I bet you have. We all have. It sounds immature and scammy, so our natural reaction is to avoid that site at all costs. It will also be hard to rank a name like that in a search engine.
More than just not sounding juvenile, your domain name should speak to what your blog is about. It should also be easy to spell and easy to remember. If I had a blog about college and professional basketball, something like “mikeslamdunks.com” might be a good idea. It speaks to my love of basketball and identifies the blog as my own. Plus, it’s unique enough that everyone will remember it but it’s easy to spell as well.
If your domain reads anything like the first example, you need to consider updating your domain to help get the readers you want now.
4. You Haven’t Established Enough Credibility
In the world of blogs, credibility is everything. You can only fake so much before people catch on to the fact that you have no idea what you’re talking about. If you haven’t established your credibility, you won’t earn anyone’s trust.
When you first start off, you build trust by delivering consistent, high-quality content. As your blog grows, you’ll need the most powerful form of credibility there is – a testimony from an established blogger.
Why Testimonies are Powerful
Think about it – when you consider buying a product or service, what’s the first thing you do? You read the reviews. We want to know if the thing works like the product description says it does. Reviews are nothing more than testimonies from users just like you and me. Medium.com reported that user reviews are 12 times more trusted than copy provided by businesses.
The same principle applies to bloggers reviewing other blogs. Having a blogger that people know and trust give your blog a glowing review will improve your credibility substantially.
How Can I Establish Trust with Other Bloggers?
To start, create good content. After you’ve built up a solid offering of posts, reach out to other bloggers in your niche. Ask if they’d be willing to contribute a guest post on your blog and let you contribute to theirs. If they agree, you’re not only getting a powerful testimony from them, but you gain access to their readership and they yours. It’s a very effective way to grow your audience.
5. You’re Not Marketing Your Blog Well
If no one knows your blog exists, how do you expect people to find it? You need to market your blog and market it extensively.
If you take advantage of the guest post swap I discussed above, that’s a great form of organic marketing. It’s all but guaranteed to score you some new readers. But that alone isn’t enough. Other forms of marketing you should consider include:
- Sharing any updates on your social media channels
- Encourage your readers to share your posts on their social media
- Have other bloggers link their related posts to yours
- See if someone will write a review of your blog, or include you in a “Top 10” list of blogs in your niche
- Consider paying for some banner ads on websites and other blogs in your niche
It can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive to market a blog effectively. Do it right, though, and you can grow your subscriber list substantially with the same amount of content.