You’re steadily publishing content that you think is pretty great on your business blog, and yet, no one other than your mom seems to be reading your articles. What gives?
If you’re not seeing the traffic you think you ought to on your blog, there’s a good chance you’re making a few of the following errors. Not to worry; plenty of WordPress publishers make these mistakes, and they’re all completely remediable. You just need the cure.
1. You’re Not Publishing a Steady Cadence of Content
People are creatures of habit. They like it when a blog has a regular schedule of content they can check out. So if you’re publishing helter-skelter, you’re probably not attracting the readership you would if, as an example, you published content Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Maybe that’s more content than you have time to write, and that’s okay too. However many posts you can publish a month, just get them on a schedule.
Putting This Into Action: I like to sit down and write several blog posts at once and schedule them in advance in WordPress. That way, if I get busy next week, I know I’ve already got posts ready and waiting, and I don’t have to worry about them.
2. You’re Not Promoting the Content
Even the most scintillating content out there isn’t going to go far without a little legwork on your part. Sure, after you have a decent, steady readership, they’ll promote your content for you, but you can never rest on your laurels when it comes to marketing your own content.
Putting This Into Action: There are plenty of tools, like dlvr.it and CoSchedule, that will automatically publish your new blog posts to your social profiles. Set it up so that you know your content will be shared as soon as it’s live, but also plan to schedule additional shares of it over the course of a week after it’s published, especially on Twitter, where your audience may or may not see that first share. Handcrafting additional updates gives you the opportunity to really engage your followers. Pick a poignant point from the post or share a quote, then encourage people to click to read more.
3. You’re Not Leveraging Your Older Content
What’s the life span of a blog post, anyway? It lives in perpetuity on your blog, but in reality, it starts to gather dust just a few days or weeks after the post goes live. And yet, all the great content you’ve written over the past few years is a valuable commodity.
Putting This Into Action: I have a secret weapon to solve this problem: it’s a WordPress plugin called Revive Old Post. Once you set it up, it will promote older content across your social media platforms. Right now, it’s one of the top generators of traffic for my blogs! You can select any categories you don’t want shared (like timely or holiday posts), and the free version is pretty robust.
4. SEO? What’s That?
If you decide to get into the publishing game, you must, by force, brush up on your search engine optimization. I’m sure you think SEO is only for web designers and tech heads, but trust me: a little knowledge can take you far. It can, in fact, help more people find your content online if you use the right keywords to drive traffic to your blog.
Putting This Into Action: There are many SEO WordPress plugins, but Yoast offers some really simple-to-use tools that help you set up titles for each page of content you have, as well as descriptions that not only tell humans what your page is about, but also Google. And pleasing Google should be your objective!
5. You Have No Linking Strategy
Links — both to other pages on your blog as well as to and from other websites — also make Google and readers happy.
Internal links keep people on your blog longer. Let’s say you’re reading this post (well, you are) and you notice my link to “search engine optimization” above. Because you want to know more about SEO, you open that link to read after you’re done with this post. I’ve essentially hooked you and kept you on the Pagely blog longer, and you’ll continue to find additional links that make you smarter here.
External links are twofold: one version includes links to other sites from your blog. They’re a great way to back up quotes or statistics you use (and you absolutely should credit your sources for this information), as well as make you look smarter. Then those coming to your blog from elsewhere help other people find you.
Putting This Into Action: Whenever you write a post, keep the cogs turning to think about what content relates to what you’re writing. Any time there’s value in linking to a relevant post, do. Just don’t go overboard. Always set links to be opened in a new window so you don’t distract readers from continuing to consume your content.
Do the same for external links to further enhance your post. Also to get links back to your site, consider guest blogging as a smart marketing strategy.
6. You’re Not Keeping WordPress Updated
Consider WordPress like a beloved pet. It needs a little attention and love once in a while. Maybe when you log in you see red circles on the left dashboard, notifying you that there are tools that need to be updated or comments that need to be moderated. Don’t ignore these cries for help! WordPress runs optimally when you have the latest versions of plugins (some don’t function if they’re not updated) and you’re more likely to engage people if they see you quickly approve their comments on posts.
Putting This Into Action: While most WP hosts keep you updated automatically, get into the habit of updating anything that needs your attention whenever you log into WordPress. And set up the system to notify you whenever there’s a new comment so you can quickly approve it and respond to it (the Akismet plugin will cut down on the spammy comments you see).
Each of these mistakes has an easy fix, and taking care of whichever you’re guilty of should show an improvement in traffic to your blog.