“I’m really frustrated with my blog now. It’s been over two months since the launch, and the blog is still getting less than five visitors a day?”, Gaurav said to me annoyingly.
“Relax Gaurav. It takes time to build traffic. For my blog- Trade Brains, which is getting over 100k visitors per month right now, it was totally deserted for the first few months after launch. The combined total traffic for the first three months was less than a hundred page views.”, I replied patiently.
Gaurav has been trying to build his blog for quite some time. However, he does not seem to get satisfactory results.
“What did you do to increase your traffic after the first three months? I really need an expert to advise here?”, Gaurav asked.
“Haha. I’m not an expert. I just know a few things more than you by experience. And I didn’t do many changes. I continued writing awesome blog posts and increased the frequency of writing from two to three/four per week. By the end of six months, I’ve written over 50 articles on my blog… By the way, how many articles have you written so far?”, I asked Gaurav guessing the answer to be somewhere between 15–20.
“Four!”, Gaurav said with a slightly embarrassed tone.
“Are you kidding me, Gaurav? In two months, you have written just four articles. What have you been doing so far?”, I asked for a logical explanation for not building contents.
“I was busy designing the blog and improving the user experience. Mostly, I worked on the blog theme, plugins, graphics, widgets, etc. to make it look awesome. I also worked on the site speed to make the page load faster… All those work took a lot of time. And because of it, I wasn’t able to write as many articles as I originally planned.”, Gaurav sounded a little satisfied with his answer.
“Gaurav, it doesn’t matter how good your blog looks if no one is looking at it. The only thing that matters right now is your content!!”, I replied knowing that it’s going to take a lot of time of mine to explain this answer to Gaurav
When most people launch their blog, they tend to spend a lot of time improving the design and layouts. Believe me, been there- done that. However, after over four years of experience in blogging, I can confidently say that it’s a wrong approach. The only thing that matters for building a successful blog is your content, especially during the first few months.
All the other stuff can be taken care of once you have consistent traffic on your blog. However, spending too much time on themes, plugins, social media, etc. is a wrong approach. Build your content first, before diving into these kinds of stuff.
Content is the King
Tell me one thing? Why do you follow any blog?– Remember any of your favorite blogs and try to find the reason why you started following that blog?
The correct answer is ‘Content’.
The actual reason why you started following that blog is that you loved their content and you wanted to read more. (Think this similar to following any facebook, youtube or Instagram profiles- which you also follow because you love their content). In other words, you were mesmerized by their posts which appealed you so much that you decided to stick with that blog.
When it comes to blogging, content is always the king.
If your content is fantastic, people will follow your blog- no matter how much crappy your blog design looks. Although there will be a few percentages of the audience (<5%), who might not stay on your blog longer because it doesn’t look cool. However, for the rest of the audience, it doesn’t matter to them as long as the content is terrific. (Moreover, it’s logical to focus on the 95% audience first by building great contents).
In other words, your content is the reason why the audience visited your blog in the first place. They landed to get the answer or information via your blogs. And if this primary criterion is getting fulfilled, they will stay longer at your blog. Else, no matter how good your blog looks, if their basic requirement is not met- people will bounce back.
(Image Courtesy: Netmonks.in)
Give the people a reason to follow your blog.
Suppose that you heard about a new blog referred by one of your friends. You landed on the blog but found only two articles. That too written infrequently (two pieces in last four months) with average quality of contents.
What would be your reaction? Would be stick to the blog or switch to the hundreds of other online websites/platforms available to read awesome contents and get entertained?
Most probably, your answer would be to switch.
The right way to give people a reason to follow your blog is by creating excellent contents. Nobody will follow your blog if the blog post section is deserted. Maybe a few of your family/friends, just for your sake. However, the other’s just don’t care.
What is the right approach to building your blog?
There are only two essential steps required to build your blog- the right way:
1. Post amazing contents
Write super helpful and entertaining articles which people enjoy reading. This will give them a valid reason to stick to your blog. The more the number of useful contents, the higher the chances of getting and retaining a loyal audience.
2. Show consistency
By showing consistency, like posting 2–3 blogs per week, you can increase the number of returning visitors as they might be interested to read what you posted recently.
Moreover, even for the first time visitors, consistency shows that the blog is active and they can expect good posts in the future. On the other hand, an inconsistent blog doesn’t appeal to most people.
(Image Courtesy: www.share.travel)
It’s true that writing contents consistently may sound a lot of hard work ( and a little boring) to you right now. However, you can’t ignore the heart of blogging. Building awesome content is the single most essential part of your blogging journey.
Final tip, as a rule of thumb, write at least thirty articles in the first three months before you actually start expecting audiences to your blog. Once this benchmark is crossed, you can start working on marketing, promotion or the design of your blog.