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Why Your Blog Isn’t Getting Any Traffic

Moyo asks:

“Hi Bamidele,

“I stumbled on your site in my struggle to generate more traffic. Otis quite frustrating as a blogger when you read so many different articles in generating blog traffic, and like you said in an article “everyone says the same thing”. It is even more frustrating when you do all what is being talked about and you are not seeing any significant results. My blog averages 10 visitors a day and for whatever reason, the search engines aren’t sending traffic my way.

“The blog is just about a year old, but I’m sure you can understand how frustrating it is to write and not be heard. Anyway, I have the following questions:”

Moyo asked 8 questions and here are my answers to them below:

1. “What could be wrong?”

I can understand how frustrating it is for Moyo right now and others experiencing the same problem.

You’re supposed to believe that you’ll suddenly start getting more traffic once you implement some magic tricks, but that’s far from the truth.

One thing most websites that talk about traffic generation leave out is that it takes time. No matter how much you try, your blog won’t suddenly jump from 10 visitors a day to 100 visitors a day.

Everything is progressive and it’s even more important to realize that tricks alone won’t do. It’s easy to apply tricks to get your first 100 visitors, but then what?

Getting traffic and making it stick are two different things. You don’t just want traffic (which is something most traffic articles teach you to do). You want recurring visitors that’ll eventually become the foundation of your blog.

With that said, you should also get results when you implement a particular traffic tactic as proof that it works.

Moyo has apparently been at this for a year without results, which births the question, what traffic techniques did you use for a year that kept your blog at 10 visitors a day?

I think that’s a very important question to ask.

If a particular approach hasn’t been working for a whole year, it’s definitely not effective.

2. “When you first launched your blog, what was the average daily traffic?”

Personally, I don’t think this has anything to do with how many visitors you can get to your blog due to differences in niche, marketing tactics and a lot of other factors. Giving a number can create expectations and people often give up when these expectations aren’t realized on their part.

Since you asked, however, I’ll answer:

For the first 3 months of my blog, I was averaging 30 – 70 visitors a day. I didn’t get to 100 visitors a day until after 4 months of launching my blog.

3. “How long did it take you to cross the 100, 300, 500 and 1000 daily visit barrier?”

It took me 4 months to get to 100 daily visitors. 8 months to get to 300 visitors. Over a year to get to 500 visitors. And 2 years to get to 1000 visitors.

4. “What would you say were the 3 most significant things you did consistently while traffic was still under 100 visits that enabled you break the 100 daily visit barrier?”

3 significant things I did to push my blog above the 100-visits average were:

1. Guest blogging: I was still averaging 100 visitors a day when I got a guest post published on an A-list blog. The day that guest post went live, I got over 1,000 visitors – in only one day, to my 1 month old blog.

Of course, that traffic went down to around 100 – 150 visitors a day again soon after the guest post was published.

I’m glad I did #2, though;

2. Email List: People often hate it when marketers say that the money is in the list, but not only is the money in the list, the traffic is in the list, too.

After my guest post went live on that A-list blog, I got over 200 new subscribers to my email list from that post alone.

Those are 200 new people who probably hadn’t heard about me till then. Notice how the number of people who subscribed was more than the number of my daily visitors?

In other words, it’s easier to get people to subscribe to your email list than to get them to visit your blog daily.

Once they became subscribers, I started sending them links to articles and my traffic increased significantly.

Due to my email list, my blog quickly spiraled from around 150 visitors a day – to 500 – to 1000.

The visits won’t come from email subscribers alone but once they read and enjoy your articles they’ll share them with their friends and that’ll lead to more traffic.

3. Repeat: It’d be easier for me to list another tactic here but that’d just be generic advice not based on my own experience.

I didn’t focus on implementing more traffic tactics. Instead, I started doing more of what was working for me; guest blogging and building an email list.

By doing these two things alone, in around two years of starting this blog I already have two email lists; one with almost 4,000 subscribers on AWeber, and another one with around 3,000 subscribers on my self-hosted autoresponder. Both are confirmed, double opt-in lists.

At the moment, this blog averages 1,000 visits a day from various sources. In other words, my list is 7 times bigger than the number of my daily visits.

Sometimes, it’s not about those daily visitors but how many people you could repeatedly target your message to. For me, that’s the value of an email list.

5. “How often do you recommend posting for a new blogger?”

As often as you can, without sacrificing quality for quantity.

If you can publish a new post daily, better for you.

Various studies have shown that the more articles you publish the more traffic you can get.

It can be difficult finding ideas to write about, but taking a look at the current WritersinCharge posting schedule can give some ideas:

Mondays – I publish a post with tips and strategies to help readers get results.

Tuesdays – I answer a reader question, like this one.

Wednesdays – a cartoon. It could be videos for you or any form of multimedia; it doesn’t have to be yours, you can share something interesting online that is relevant to your audience and credit the author.

Thursdays – a guest post; that’s 4 guest posts every month. I don’t think this should be difficult for a blogger of any level. If you don’t have ideas, you can get in touch with accessible experts in your niche and ask them if they’d mind contributing. Not only will this help your blog grow when they do, you’ll also be building relationships with them.

Fridays – A post from a WritersinCharge team member; if you don’t have a team on your blog, you can easily skip this or publish latest news and trends in the industry.

Saturdays – An interview or miscellaneous update.

6. “What do you consider most important in being a good author/blogger?”

Know your audience and give them what they want.

Some posts I’ve published on this blog have gotten over 10,000 views. There’s a post with over 50,000 views and there’s a post I published over a year ago that still gets 4,000 views monthly.

In the same vein, there are posts that only get 100 views the month in which they are published.

Something struck me when analyzing successful posts, though; the focus is always on solving a major problem readers face.

Here are some examples:

30 Websites that Pay You to Write, Instantly – Instead of giving tips on how to find these sites or telling writers that they need to find sites willing to pay them for their work, this post actually gave them the actual sites.

The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging – Guest blogging is becoming increasingly popular every day and more people have concerns about it. What better guide do you need than an “ultimate” guide on the subject from someone who is experienced in guest blogging?

10 Ways to Make Quick Cash – Who doesn’t want to make quick cash? What if they know 10 ways they can do this?

From these examples, it’s obvious that getting results is all about knowing your readers’ pain points and addressing them.

Don’t write to get traffic, write to provide a solution.

Realizing the above has changed a lot of things for me and how I’m approaching the future of this blog. Time and time again when I’ve tested this principle, it’s always worked for me.

7. “How does a new blogger who currently doesn’t have the inspiration that traffic provides, balance between participating in online communities, social media, posting quality content to the blog and life in general?”

I can feel you on this, Moyo!

I remember a few months ago when one of the recent Google updates affected this site and my traffic went down. I was devastated. My motivation was drained and while I believe that my purpose is to help others with this blog, seeing results can also make a huge difference.

I’ll say that the solution to this lies in knowing your true motivation.

Ask yourself, what is your motivation? If it’s to get traffic and make money, you’re probably on a journey to fail.

If it’s to inspire and change lives, or to create a path for yourself then the slightest failures won’t discourage you.

Reassess your goals and ask yourself if this is worth doing. If it is, you won’t be giving up anytime soon.

8. “Anything important I missed? Encouraging words? Advice?”

I don’t think so.

You just have to realize that there are no instant results or overnight success as most people will have you believe. Real success takes time.

Getting traffic to your blog is something that happens over time, not just instantly and suddenly. Keep at it and you’ll get results!

Category: marketing

31 Comments on "Why Your Blog Isn’t Getting Any Traffic"

  1. Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics says:

    I have to agree with Carol…

    Derek Halpern, Danny Iny, all those guys tell you (yes those are guys you can believe when they say ice won’t melt in their hands) that “writing less is writing more”. In this sense it’s less frequent but the times you do, it’s adding the real meat, those “ultimate guide” posts of 1500 – 4000 that gets you readers instead of traffic.

    You don’t want traffic, you want readers. Traffic is people getting to your site to get what they came for and leave your site forever after.

    Readers are the ones that come to your site, they find what they came for, they sign up to your list as they want MORE of what they came for but they only become READERS once you’ve managed to deliver to them time upon time again.

    How do you get those readers?

    Write less on your own site and do your BEST on other sites FIRST. You want to establish those relationships and connections FIRST.

    I have a saying:

    “Relationships and connections are kings, even before content comes into play…”

    Get those going before worrying about posting on your own site each day. Once or twice a month at most when you start out.

    Just my two cents 🙂

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      Hi Ruan,

      I agree with Carol, too…

      However, it’s not about writing “less” but writing well.

      Most people will tell you to write less without telling you that writing less is different from writing well; those two things are often confused, but they are two entirely different things. You could write 30 articles for your blog in 1 months and only decide to publish 3 out of those articles; does that increase your chances of success? No! The quality of the articles will be the same with someone who published all 30 articles in one month and that person will get more traffic.

      Also, data from Hubspot has shown that blogging more brings more traffic; this is something I’m experimenting with and I’m actually noticing to me more effective. Also, writing more indicates that you’re an expert and actually have something to say about your topic; even Carol will agree with this. While Carol doesn’t publish a post every day, she publishes it often enough for people to know that she’s indeed an expert on anything related to freelance writing; sometimes, this is 3 times a week and is what works for her.

      Derek publishes around an article a month; aside from him and maybe Jon Morrow and Glen Allsopp, can you indicate any prominent blogger that has had success with the same approach? This is about finding what works; those guys are able to put in more exceptional effort – Jon Morrow takes around 18 hours to write a post; I bet Derek is on a similar level – to get results. So, I’ll say you shouldn’t write one post a month unless you can spend 20+ hours on a single post.

      That doesn’t influence the marketing equation; whether you write a post a day or a post a month, marketing still matters. Derek has been featured regularly on Copyblogger, SmartPassiveIncome and various other major blogs and media outlets; he has a gigantic list. Those are a part of the equation and something most new writers don’t have.

      Ultimately, as I indicated in the article it’s not about how much you write but how you can market your writing; without analyzing your niche and having the right marketing formula, the advise to only publish an article a month can be misleading. I’ll go with proven data that publishing more articles IS more effective, though.

      Besides, as someone who has been on both sides of the table, unless you can publish something very unique and interesting, I’ll say you should go for more.

      PS. In regards to the Hubspot data, here are some key points from a survey of 4000 businesses:

      • Those who blogged at least 20 times per month had 5 times more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times per month.
      • B2B businesses who blogged just 16 to 20 times “per month” got 3 times more leads than those who didn’t
      • Businesses with over 200 total blog articles got 3.5 times more leads than those with under 20 blog posts.

      You can read the full survey results here: http://www.hubspot.com/Portals/53/docs/ebooks/lead-generation-lessons-from-4000-businesses.pdf

      There are more points on traffic but since lead is the main issue of discussion here, I decided to quote points specific to leads.

    • Grace says:

      I’m going to follow your daily schedule Dele to stay focused and organized. This is again a wonderful post. One thing I realized, IT REALLY TAKES TIME. Since I did not have the courage to start earlier, I am going to make up for the times’ lost. My social life will never be the same as I will be working alone all the time. However, my dreams and passion are worth the sacrifices.

      • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

        Aha, I don’t think you should let this influence your social life significantly.

        It’s okay to reduce how much time you spend with friends to focus on your business, but I wouldn’t advise dropping it totally.

        Besides, you’ll eventually have that freedom and more later in the future; you won’t believe it if I tell you how long I spend playing vs working lately!

  2. “Don’t write to get traffic. Write to provide a solution.” There it is in a nutshell.

    I’m impressed you know those early traffic numbers! I was so dumb I wasn’t even paying attention…had no idea how it even worked back in ’08, when I started.

    So many people wanna blog about what THEY wanna blog about. When you start caring about readers and solving their problems, it all starts to happen for you.

    I disagree on the ‘how often to post’ question, though. Better to post twice a month on your own blog and four times on more established blogs with bigger audiences, to drive you new traffic! (This also helps alleviate the “I’m sad because no one’s reading me” problem.)

    There’s no point to posting daily as a new blogger — when you don’t have readers there, you should put the bulk of your useful stuff on other blogs, to draw readers to you.

    • Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics says:

      Love it!

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      Hi Carol,

      Exactly, I wanted to include a click to tweet that “sound bite” but I forgot somehow; I’m glad you caught it! 🙂

      I didn’t even know my real traffic for those periods until Yesterday; I decided to check and I found those numbers in Google Analytics.

      I agree with your point about people blogging about what THEY want to blog about, because I’m guilty; wanting to write what I think the most people will read. I’m getting better results by writing what my readers actually want to read, though; and it’s usually what solves their problem. My list of blogs that pay writers is a great example; at over 200 visitors daily from various sources to that post alone even a year after I published it, I can see that in action.

      Thanks for highlighting the importance of marketing yourself by writing more guest posts on established blogs; I think I said the same thing in a different way. I recommend spending more time on other people’s blog since that’s what has worked for me; the how often to post depends on the individual. The advice on publishing on big blogs, especially related ones stands, though; I got more traffic from my MakeaLivingWriting.com guest post than from my guest posts on most “bigger” blogs so the emphasis on “related” is important.

      • That’s a great point, Oni – you really have to experiment and see where guest posting brings you new subscribers. I’ve posted on some HUGE blogs where I got NOTHING. You have to just do a lot of guests and see where there’s a similar audience.

        I guess I could figure that out from Google too! Not sure I want to know how long it took me to get an audience though, probably too depressing! I’m certainly nobody’s overnight success story.

        • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

          Hi Carol,

          Exactly; the experience was the same with Linda’s blog. It sent me a lot of traffic so I only have to start targeting other major freelance writing blogs now 🙂

          You’re rocking it with your blog right now so I don’t think knowing how long will be depressing. Instead, it can be a huge selling point; telling people about your experience with technology and the fact that it took “X” number of years to get to “X” number of visitors will actually give you more credibility; it lets them know you experienced the same thing as them – not some guru trying to sell them some overnight success.

          What do you think?

          BTW Depending on your host, you can still find the number of those visitors via AWstats in CPanel. It’s a little bit exaggerated compared to Google Analytics, but comparing it to your current stats and doing some calculations will give you an idea.

    • Lola Sosanya says:

      Great pointers….

  3. Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics says:

    100% Bamidele. With regards to writing less vs. writing well – perhaps I should have clarified that by “writing less” I meant “write less frequently on your own site as a start-up blogger as the best content means absolutely nothing if it gets no traffic to it” and get your name out there first.

    The key emphasis was just as a start-up blogger, huge amounts of content on your own site would be meaningless without targeted traffic getting to it, which you don’t have as a start-up blogger.

    Getting out there, initially and throwing your best out there will build those relationships and connections, whom will much more likely stick to your content than being “dead traffic” that land and depart like on an airfield.

    I agree 100% with you that one should test and stick with what works for you personally. I’d like to explain why I personally believe posting less frequently on your own site and rather spending the time building your credibility and trust “in the field” is something that I am testing at the moment and finding to work well for me, with the following example:

    I am an enthusiastic follower of your work, we both know that. Let’s say you’ve got 99 other people like me, people that follows every single post you write and publish. As soon as that mail arrives into my inbox, if I’m available, I’m out here reading it, learning as much as I can. Those other 99 people are like me, they do exactly the same.

    Now< personally, I am growing, as a professional and i get busier, a lot busier. Suddenly although I absolutely lOVE your content, I just can't find the time to read your every single post anymore. I start to fall behind. I only get to read your posts once every two weeks and only a hand full during a couple of minutes, "missing" the others.

    Let's assume these other 99 people experience the same thing – they only get to read your content once in every two weeks instead of as soon as a new post arrived, once a day.

    Now, let's say you wrote a post once every two weeks. I receive the post notification in my inbox, so excited and going "no my love, I can't help you with the dinner, the children can walk to the shop, the tv can be turned off as no one is watching anyway, etc etc as I HAVE to read Oni's latest post RIGHT now! It's been two weeks!!"

    Again, let's assume those 99 people have the same reaction.

    My question: Which scenario do you think will have the highest conversion? You posting once a day and your 100 people on your list missing 50% of your posts? Or your 100 people ALL being able to write the one post you wrote in two weeks?

    Just a thought 🙂

    I read an article once about the length of a post, think it was Ramsay aka The Blog Tyrant who wrote it. He said that if you could say what you need to say in 10 words then your post is long enough being only 10 words.

    I think the same can be applied to the frequency of posting. If you can get a higher conversion (and I'm not talking about selling your list every chance you get) by posting less, or if you get a higher conversion posting every day – you need to find what works for you as an individual and keep a standard that you are not just able to keep up with but also one that your audience are comfortable with.

    Look at the bigger blogs, most of these guys have guest bloggers producing content for them. How often do you see the owners publish themselves? Not every day, why? They are busy either enjoying freedom of doing anything they want "as things are being taken care of" or they are out there working on something big or building MORE relationships.

    This is when you are established and have HUGE amounts of traffic and readers to keep engaged on your site. You need regular content catering for thousands on a regular basis. Not when you are starting out and trying to make name for yourself.

    Just my opinion and what's working for me 🙂

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      Thanks for the reply, Ruan!

      In regards to the 100 people example you gave; with all things being equal, the guy that posts once in two weeks will win. But it all depends on the purpose; if the purpose of your business is to scale your growth, you’ll do it faster by being more consistent than by posting once in a while.

      Besides, your calculation is based on the fact that email is the only element in this equation; search engines are there, social media are there and there are direct visitors. I think these mediums will be best conquered with regular updates.

      I agree with you however that it’s easier when you’re established, but it isn’t impossible for the newbie.

      Ultimately, it’s about doing what works best for you; I think both approach are effective if you REALLY know how the work.

      • Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics says:

        Aha! A person posting every day and one that posts every two weeks – BOTH are being consistent if done once a day and once every two weeks respectively. Key is to keep being consistent, newbie or experienced.

        100 people was just a number for the sake of the example. n your case it’s a couple of thousand, I know 🙂

        Most definitely do other factors play a role, not only email lists but keep in mind, search engine or social media traffic – that is “dead” traffic still, and not returning converting clients. The ones on your email list are the ones you’re interested in 🙂

        Ditto – Wash, rinse & repeat? 🙂

  4. Khaja moin says:

    Hi Oni,

    Thanks for sharing your schedule with us.

    And it shows clearly that traffic can`t be pumped all at a time.

    ~@Khajamoin1

  5. Ben Troy says:

    Writing content that is all over the place causes your readers to become confused about the purpose of your blog.

    I have started an information plan for one of my websites. These are tutorials and information I need to complete to mould the entire information package. Therefore when I write an article I will have the best information to link to internally.

  6. I agree with Carol Tice and Oni.
    I have been blogging for almost a month now. I can say I am better off at least I am getting an average of 10 visitors per day.
    I have received visitors from commenting on other articles in other sites in/outside my niche.
    Thank you for answering Moyo’s question because I will learn from the experience.

  7. A blogger can already get success when he has patience..He needs to keep posting and promoting even if the traffic on his blog is slowly increasing. I love your idea of sharing how your blog traffic kept increasing slowly…A blogger should have some targets but when his targets don’t get fulfilled he shouldn’t give up…

  8. Sam@Goa casinos says:

    Hi Oni,

    This is really good one post which is teaching many things to you favor specially when you are not getting huge success in your blog. Beside that these are the nice tips to make your blog more attractive.

  9. Andi the Minion says:

    Wow Oni, this is a great post but look at the comments, many of them can become posts themselves. 🙂

    I write for people and try to solve their issues or at least educate them with something they do not know but would help them in their business. Guest posting is a must and building an email list is also very important.

    Traffic is vital but you hit the nail on the head, traffic is nothing if it comes once never to return again. Returning traffic is needed, those few people coming back for more obviously like your style and then they will share it with people they think will love it too.

    Cheers for now
    Andi

  10. Moyo says:

    I must say, this is very different from what I read online about blog traffic. I’ll be quick to implement these bit by bit.

    I particularly like the ideas you give about how to blog daily.

    It’s a good reminder to be consistent, diligent, and patient!

    What do you use for email subscription?

    Thanks

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      Thanks, Moyo!

      I’m glad you found the post unique and insightful.

      I use AWeber for my email list.

      Thanks!
      -Bamidele

  11. Rapheal says:

    Dele, I have a blog also that is not generating lots of traffic,i have tried various strategies,but i still average less than 20 visitors daily. But i will try some of the solutions you laid out

  12. Liz McGee says:

    Hey Bamidele,

    Now that’s practical advice 🙂 I love that you posted a daily schedule. When you lay it out like that it seems a lot more doable.

    Of course just having a daily plan makes things a lot more manageable.

    Inspiring post. Nice job!

    Liz

  13. JasonP says:

    Your advise is straight to the point. You also need to add increasing traffic from Search Engines as I believe this is a very good source of traffic, I arrived at your blog searching for “find high paying topics to write about” and it is very interesting.

  14. Klookl says:

    Thanks for sharing all of this very helpful information! Sticking to a schedule helps assure that you’re always getting everything you need to get done, done!

    Keep up the great work!

  15. Rajib Kumar says:

    Top class solution. My traffic still almost 300 per day after 1.5 years. But i am trying my best. You answers definitely will help me to get more traffic.

  16. bennie says:

    Hi Oni,

    Great job you are doing right there,as a newbie I’m following every bit of it,hope to make it through.

    King regards!

  17. Lola Sosanya says:

    Great post! Would you recommend guest blogging for less popular blogs then moving up to the high traffic ones? Or it doesn’t matter?

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      Yes. That’s the best way to go about it.

  18. Yiannis says:

    Thanks so much for these tips! Your blog (and several others) served as my inspiration to start my own. I’ve strived to create my own voice and thank you greatly for your ow innovation in this area!

  19. Akshay says:

    Love your article!
    I am also trying to get some traffic to my newly created blog….

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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