I get asked a lot by other bloggers if I can help them get their traffic up. They can’t seem to grow their blog in a timely manner. From now on I’m going to first refer them to my post about SEO mistakes or point them to my evergrowing Master List.
From there the answer is booting their blog into Pinterest correctly and getting their Pinterest right. Then I have to tell them to work on their ugly pins as the first pins are almost always ugly. I wish I still had mine as it was truly hideous. I apologize to any unfortunate person who had to view those pins.
Then when I ask them for a list of the various keywords they are trying to rank I start to notice that their topics are all over the place. Your topics and niche focus are powerful for your traffic.
I tell them the first thing they need to do is narrow down their niche to target an audience effectively.
If they cry about how they still want to write about 10 different niches (food, beauty, cat ownership, travel, coupons, etc) I point out they can write about 10 different things just plant them on different blogs.
You Need Focus
Your blog needs a focus or it will be very slow to grow. I made this mistake with my passion project blog. My other 2 blogs were leaps and bounds ahead of my multi-niche blog.
The issue is varied content will attract in an audience that isn’t very targeted. It is very hard to monetize audiences so broad so you suffer onsite sales, advertisers aren’t sure what to do with you, and affiliates or sponsors might not want to mess with you.
I mean sure maybe you blog a lot about organic gardening in small spaces but you also maybe blog a lot about cheap travel methods. Are you a gardening blog or a cheap travel blog?
An advertiser might not want to even bother with that because they could choose a blog strictly dedicated to organic farming in small spaces.
This isn’t to say that multi-niche sites are doomed to always fail. Enough examples exist to show the contrary. It is just harder to do well and pull off.
Study What Works
How about we have site one. The author covers recipes, style, parenting, travel, work online, career help, make money online, and for good measure she throws in basic blogging help and blog income reports. There is no real cohesion, just a lot of random articles about whatever was on the author’s mind that day.
Then we have site two. The author for this site also appeals to moms yet has everything structured to a particular mom. Every post supports this idea of being a “successful traveling boss mom”.
So there are fashion posts but they relate to things like “what to wear when you travel”. Then there is stuff about parenting but it is stuff like, “How to run a business and be a traveling mom”. Even if there is a wide variety of things being written about they have the central link goal that supports a successful traveling boss mom.
Which site do you think gets more sales and attention?
Choose Your Lens
They are sort of doing the same thing just with a different approach and focus. When you focus what sort of person you want to attract the blogging gets easier.
When narrowing your niche you need to be ruthless. Imagine you are trying to promote your skills as a successful programmer to land a job on your resume. Would you put in random unrelated garbage that makes you look bad?
Your blog is pretty much the same thing. People take one look at it and decide it is a mess and never want to return again.
So pick your niche, then stick to your niche.
Back many years ago it was pretty easy to have a blog gain traction and get big. It is much slower now and the competition very high.
The easiest boost you can give yourself is to be focused on serving your chosen audience well so they click on your site and decide they like you.
You are useful, interesting, and worth reading. Always remember that you have something to offer. Given enough time you will get your focus and strategy figured out.
My very first site as mentioned in another post was all over the place and sort of acted as my own personal journal. It served no real purpose and never did anything noteworthy. Mostly it was a waste of time and a good example of what not to do.
My second blog was a “farming” blog except that expanded into homesteading which covers a lot of different topics. The same deal where my numbers were very slow and my authority wasn’t growing. I’ve since corrected it.
I have 2 other ultra target blogs that are doing extremely well. This blog is the result of going to other “how to blog” sites and deciding that due to all the information I’ve consumed that I have enough experience to start adding value.
This site will also make my life easier because people ask me questions and all I have to do is refer them to a site page. Not all questions are easy to answer in a few words and I don’t always have the time to dedicate to such things.
Be focused on a central goal when writing each post and always add value.
You read all that and now you are wondering what you are supposed to do with the information.
First, figure out your blog’s purpose. If your focus is growth, you need to figure out what you have that people will come to your blog for and give them more and more of that.
I knew of one blogger who said that she didn’t experience any growth in traffic until she made one post about a very specific sort of hair problem.
It was a huge spike in traffic. She did a couple more posts and found a good audience there and completely changed her site to center around this one particular hair problem.
If you are a food blogger, it doesn’t make sense to make posts about being a dog owner. Your audience is mainly there for the food. If you are an interior decorator sort of blog, resist droning on about your kids an being a parent. A few mentions are okay and make you relatable to some, too much and it will just annoy your audience there for the decorator stuff.
Find out the primary interest of your audience and start small. Keep delivering to them the stuff they want to know and your blog will grow.
Your blog isn’t about you at all really, it is about the value you provide your audience so give them the best you have to offer.
Surveys and Pruning
How do you figure out what your audience wants? The best method is to ask them. You can post up a survey to get a poll of content they want more of and respond to the strongest results.
Work to prune content off your site that isn’t working for your brand ideas. Figure out the common theme of everything you do with your site.
Really surveys can be made for all sorts of things. The more reader information is given to you, the better you can serve your audience.
The main thing is to allow yourself to fail and power on through the failure. Blogging is a skill and in time you can gain mastery.