In this Internet Era, entrepreneurs, writers, marketers, movers and shakers are taking to the all-powerful blogosphere in hopes of finding fortune.
Blogging is a great way to promote a product, share an opinion or keep an audience updated. However, bloggers are constantly faced with a changing search engine landscape, the need to keep traffic flowing and a myriad of other issues.
Here’s a quick-list of the top 10 obstacles facing bloggers, and most importantly, how to overcome them.
#1: Keeping Up Consistency
It is very easy to start off strong when first launching a new blog –but within just a few short weeks, it’s easy to start slacking. Then, bloggers get into a pattern of 3 posts one week, then 1 post on the next, and 4 the next week, and zilch the week after. If you want to keep a readership happy and traffic flowing, then you need to maintain consistency as much as possible.
Solution: There are apps, like Hootsuite, that will allow you to schedule posts. So rather than attempting to keep up ‘consistency’, simply write out posts for two weeks (or a month) at a time, and schedule them to fit your traffic flow.
#2: What to Post
Often times, we bloggers can stare at the computer screen for an hour, having not the slightest clue about what to write for the next post. This obstacle goes hand-in-hand with #1, for the simple fact that inconsistency can damage inspiration, and having no inspiration can damage consistency.
Solution: Again, find yourself a scheduling app (like the one mentioned above), and write out your posts and ideas as they come to you ahead of time. If you have an idea, always write it down and save it for later.
#3: The Purposeless Blog
This is one of the most fundamental obstacles that bloggers often face, but not one of the more common. Simply put, your blog needs to have a clear, concise direction and purpose. If it doesn’t, then your traffic will be weak and inconsistent (and advertisers will likely get finicky.) In fact, Google Adsense will want to know the general purpose of your blog, which may be one deciding factor in your approval process.
Solution: Figure out the specific purpose and direction that your blog is going to take before you even begin. I stress: specific. This will also help drive niche traffic.
#4: SEO? What SEO?
Starting a blog is a lot like gardening: you reap what you sew. Because of the simple fact that it takes roughly 6-8 weeks for Google’s crawlers to even find your site, bloggers often see SEO as one of those unattainable goals that they’ll never reach. The result? Traffic remains low (until the blogger implements SEO).
Solution: Research SEO on a regular basis, figure out the best and most current SEO methods and DO NOT try to cheat the system (keyword stuffing, overusing meta-tags, etc.). Example: if you are running a blog for a firm, such as the firm of Olshan Law, then you need to utilize keywords like ‘attorney’, ‘lawyer’, etc. Why? Because ranking in Google is better than finding a goldmine.
#5: No Quality. No Traffic.
With Google and Facebook changing their algorithms, there is one trend that appears to be rather obvious: if bloggers aren’t producing quality content, then they get blacklisted. In addition, you’re probably attracting hits, but losing the real traffic that you truly want. Why? Well, people are finding initial interest in your blog, but upon discovering below-par content, they quickly navigate away from the page.
Solution: Never produce junk content, and always take care to avoid the appearance of spam. Either hire freelance writers to help you with producing good content, or improve your writing and topics to provide thought-provoking, engaging content on your own. The key is to attract readers, not just hits.
#6: Monitoring Social Media
If you are trying to actively run a blog, and you aren’t monitoring your social media networks, then there’s a good chance that you might be either missing opportunities or receiving bad press and not even realizing it. This issue can have dire consequences, especially in dealing with your blog’s credibility.
Solution: In the blogosphere, there’s usually an app for that. In this case, there’s a whole bunch. Download apps like TweetReach, Klout, Twazzup and Addictomatic to help you monitor those social network news feeds. Don’t spend too much time scouring social media for feedback on your blog –that is a vortex, of which there is no escape. Use an app.
#7: Commenting on Post Responses
Bloggers often post an article, and then simply forget about it. However, there are real opportunities that you might be missing, especially because comments will help grow traffic and search engine ranking over time.
Solution: If you don’t have time to comment on your blog’s post responses, then you might consider hiring a freelancer to comment on responses for you.
#8: Not Tracking Your Traffic In Google Analytics
All too often, bloggers have no idea where their traffic is coming from, how much traffic they are receiving and especially how long the traffic stays when it gets there. The result is simple: opportunities missed, improvements neglected.
Solution: Simply use a Google Analytics account and start tracking. If you’re using Blogger (a Google service), then you already have traffic tracking enabled and ready to go.
#9: Social Media Utilization
There are two ways to fail concerning how social media interacts with your blog. First, social media often goes unused. Second, social media often goes overused. The first means that you should be more active on social media. The second means that you’re far too active on social media.
Solution: You need to maintain a presence on social media,. However, because people on social media are more sensitive to spam, you may want to keep your interaction consistent and only broadcast solid content.
#10: Broke (When You Don’t Have to Be)
Again, with the gardening illustration, bloggers often look at their craft with little-to-no patience, and no expectation that they need to cultivate it. In most cases, professional bloggers don’t even make anything on their blogs until that 6-month mark.
Solution: Track your traffic. Be engaging. Use SEO. Harness social media, and you will be making money with Google Adsense before you know it. It just takes a little patience, and a little love, and you’ll see a bounty of cash-producing traffic in 6 months.