So you heard about the bigtime bloggers (Linda Ikeji, Uche Pedro, Chude Jideonwo or Japhet Omojuwa), their rise from obscurity to stardom, and their journey to their present, wildly famous state. Then you had a light bulb moment, captured in a potentially life-changing thought that tore through your mind: I could do likewise! I could become a famous blogger, just like them- and earn tons of money from blogging, just like they have! Inspired by this new meaning of life you’ve found, you slap open your laptop, fervently descend upon its keys to fashion out a new blog, and then sit back to inspect the end of the beginning of a money-spinning era. Surely, it’ll bloom and yield, filling up with content that converts – If only it were that simple.
In fact, the vast majority of bloggers never come close to gaining the traction that people like Uche Pedro and Linda Ikeji have managed to create for themselves. They might start off with great zeal and determination, but their dreams of wealth and acclamation soon hit a blunt rock that is the reality. There’s very little traffic going their blog’s way, and (as a result) the royalty-paying advertisers aren’t going to look in their direction either. The usual end of the story is that the blogger gives up on the dream, and turns his or her hands to something else, something “more worth the while.”
If you’re a blogger who’s come against the seemingly unmovable rock of reality, you should take heart- you’re not alone. Most bloggers have either been through what you’re dealing with right now or are still trying to get out of it – there’s hope. You just have to find out why your blogging project isn’t turning out as you expected it to, and tackle these problems head-on. It may well be that your blogging business has one of these defects:
You didn’t really have a plan, to begin with.
Did you have a plan for the blog’s development before going online with it? Did you properly research your niche before taking a dive into it? If you didn’t have a clear sense of what it was that you wanted to do with the blog- for example, sell products, give tips on entrepreneurship, or talk fashion and lifestyle -then it’s possible that your lack of focus and direction from the onset caused you to ramble aimlessly about, just swimming in the increasingly dense sea that is the blogosphere, all for nothing. Here’s the remedy: sit down, do in-depth research on one niche your blog will be dedicated to, draw up a realistic plan for the blog’s development, and stick to it as long as it’s reasonable to do so.
Note: You should have a niche. Trying to cover several spheres of interest is usually not a good idea. Pick one field you’re good at, and work with it.
Your niche isn’t profitable
Let’s face it: it’s unlikely that you’ll have tons of people swarming around a blog that deals exclusively with the astrophysics of the Crab Nebula, or some similarly specialized and “other-worldly” subject matter (i.e. things that the majority of people can’t wrap their heads around). And when there’s no significant traffic, you can be certain that the blog isn’t going to generate revenue worth talking about. This is one good reason why you should research your niche before going ahead with the blog. If you want to make money from blogging, you’ll have to offer people information that a lot of people actually care about.
You haven’t linked up with people in your niche
It’s going to be extremely difficult for you to build a large following without connecting with people who are doing something similar to what you’re engaged in. You need them for the ideas they could share with you, to keep tabs on what the other people in your niche are up to, and for the recognition, you’ll get from them. There’s motivation to be gotten from being around people who are pursuing goals that you’re also passionate about. These contacts could land you guest posts on more established blogs, where you can reach out to a wider audience and let them know that you can do them a whole world of good (with your blog, of course).
Your blog is dull and unattractive
I’m talking about all aspects of your blog’s visitor experience. If your content reads like a disinterested academic paper written in King James’ English (i.e. if it’s boring), the chances of visitors staying with it are very slim. Don’t put out content that comes off as rigid and stiff. Use language that conveys enthusiasm; write with an engaging tone. Do what you can to make your articles sparkle with life, and you’ll find that your target audience will stick with you for much longer.
Catchy headlines, pleasant font styles and sizes, and an attractive website layout are very important too. Content matters, but the package in which it comes does as well. If you’re not sure about what potential readers would like, show your samples to friends and family and find out what they think.
You’re not using SEO principles
Ignore SEO at your own risk. You’ll have to get it right if you want your website to get ranked by Google on its first few search result pages. Your site should be easy to navigate. You should also use proper title tags and meta descriptions, consistently produce relevant content, and if possible, have other (notable) sites link back to your blog. Work to improve your blog’s loading speed and security requirements. If you don’t get these right, you might find that your blog is stuck in the desert, with very little visibility despite your effort in other aspects of the blog building process.
Note: Using free blog building platform isn’t a recipe for success (to put it mildly). To get a secure site that’ll be viable in the medium to long-term, you’ll have to pay for your own domain and host.
Don’t forget that engagement with your readers is crucial. You have to build a relationship with them in order to make them feel like they can stay with you- especially when there are many people offering the same sort of thing you’re giving them.