Are You an Unhappy Blogger in Search of More Traffic? Five Questions to Get You There

Are you having trouble building readers and followers for your blog? As a blogger myself and when I teach the format to adults at the Praxis School of Entrepreneurship, I stress that building a healthy following for any blogger takes time and effort.

But the best way to increase traffic to your blog is to understand better the challenges, needs and wants of your targeted reader. UK-based copywriter and colleague Henneke Duistermaat recommends that writers ask these five questions, as they strive to increase their readership:

(1) Ask yourself: How can I write for my (ideal) reader? If you can imagine someone close to you as your reader and you aim to engage that person with personal and persuasive comments, you will more easily generate captivating ideas for your posts. This reader might be someone you’d call by phone, share a joke with, or whose criticism of your writing you would seek.

Whether this is an imaginary person or a composite of various people, try to understand their dreams, struggles, difficult decisions and empathize with their experiences. What industry topics do they follow, what mistakes have they made, what questions to they have that go unanswered and how could you change that?

(2) Ask yourself: Why would someone read my blog in the first place?
Keep in mind that even an enthusiastic follower will be motivated by what’s “in it for them,” by how you can solve their problems, increase their success and direct them to greater professional happiness.

When you consider what the purpose of your blog is, in the first place, you will recognize how to help your reader and how to focus on engaging and inspiring them.

Henneke recommends that we try to complete the following sentence, each time we plan a post: “My favourite fan reads my blog because I help them_________________________.” For me, many of my followers are small- and medium-sized business owners who read my blog because I help them to communicate more clearly and thereby to close more sales more profitably than they would without me.

How would you complete that sentence?

Once you know the purpose of your blog, it becomes easier to become a must-read resource in your niche.

(3) Often bloggers fall into the habit of writing for themselves or of just cranking out content, when they instead should ask: “Does my reader crave  more knowledge on the topic of this posting?” If not, get back to the drawing board.

(4) Can potential followers find you? If you’ve written quality content in your blog, you must also promote it, which often feels like an “energy drain,” or “time suck.” Consider being active on someone else’s blog (to gain profile), make connections on social media platforms where you can meet fans or followers. Over time, as your blog develops, measure your Search Engine Optimization numbers, to find out more of the choices of your demographic.

(5) Ask yourself: Do I reach out to my readers to build long-term relationships? In particular, do I invite them to join my email list? Do I have opt-in forms on my website? Do I ever send them a surface mail note with an article that would interest them? Do I share some of my personality in my writing and show empathy by providing inspiration and encouragement?”

Authentic engagement with our prospects and clients matters more than clicks, or likes, or shares over social media.

If you consistently try to engage your readers and serve their needs in what you write; and if your content helps them to know, like and trust you, then your authority will grow and your inbox fill up with prospects’ inquiries.

And now it’s your turn. Are you an unhappy blogger? Try asking yourself the above five questions to help you correct the course of your blog.

With clear strategy and a bit of effort, you should notice a difference. Please share your experience with me, on my “contact” page: As a blogger myself, I thrive on your feedback!