It’s disheartening when you don’t seem to be getting results, and when you’re disheartened you get less and less enthused about keeping at it. It helps to know you’re not alone. Like with personal problems, blogging problems are widespread. There are so many bloggers, and there are so few who get what they want.
And when they do, it’s through sheer hard work and determination. Plus tips from the pros, of course! Here’s mine.
If you look at them closely, blogging problems are categorized into 3, and from those three stems the other little big problem:
Whether your blog is a stand-alone scheme, or a venue for your business, you want return of investment. You can’t just spend all that time for nothing, can you?
There’s also the matter of technicals and design, both of which are essential to attracting and keeping your audience. So let’s look at the problems and how to solve them.
Problem #1: Lacking focus or niche
Why it’s a problem: To be memorable to readers and first-time visitors, they need to attach you to a certain subject or field. Look at Neil Patel– if I need advice on content and content marketing, it’s his name that comes to mind. Why? Because he consistently writes in this field. Can the same be said about you? Is your blog about furniture DIY or do you also post recipes in it, and these recipes could be anything from cakes to stews? So what’s your specialty? What’s your expertise? A Jack-of-all-trades is a master of none.
How to solve it: Find your niche and stick to it. If you find yourself enthusiastic over something, find a way to spin it and curve it toward your niche.
Decide on a field or topic and BE the master purveyor of all things related to your topic. Turn it into your brand.
Problem #2: Difficulty with headlines
Why it’s a problem: 80% of readers only read headlines, and only 20% go on to read the rest of the text– IF the headline hooks them powerfully enough. You might be writing such great pieces but no one finds out because your headline puts them off, doesn’t entice them at all.
How to solve it: It’s quite easy once you get the hang of what formulas work to tease and entice your readers. Check out 5 Secrets on Writing Magnetic Headlines Without the Headache for some ideas.
Problem #3: What to call the blog
Why it’s a problem: It’s your name! Many beginner bloggers agonize over it. I know the pain of finally thinking of something catchy and memorable, only to discover it’s already taken.
How to solve it: If it’s already taken but it’s not in use as anything useful, and if you must absolutely have it, buy it. Make contact with the owner.
If you’re trying to think of a new one instead, or simply having difficulty coming up with a blog name in the first place, let it go. Write. Take a walk. Immerse yourself in your niche. Sometimes it–or they– will just come to you. Phrases. Buzzwords. Compound words. A phrase or compound word YOU invent from combined words while writing. Wait for it.
In the meantime, your name will be just as good, especially if you’re building a business from your expertise.
Problem #4: Content writing difficulties
Too short: Aim for at least 500 words. Google assumes you need to reach that length to deliver substance. And I’d agree, unless you are simply introducing something you are linking to instead– why it’s important, how it has helped you, etc.
How to solve it:
- Don’t aim for word counts, aim for quality. While studies show people like to share long-form blog posts (approx. 1500 words), if your content is good and meaty, you’d still get engagement and shares.
- If you find you can’t expand much about a topic, turn it into a section instead, on a bigger subject.
Too meh: Countless bloggers think their writing is boring or inferior. Often, this is because these writers are lazy readers themselves, or they judge themselves too harshly, and are too close to the project to see what needs to be done.
How to solve it:
- Write like you talk. Blog posts are better and more effective when they’re conversational. Crack jokes. Draw the reader in with friendliness. Use cartoons for inspiration for comic relief, and as a nice image break in all that text! Speaking of text breaks, use headings, bullets and other graphics to make your post lively!
- Read quality and you’ll write quality. Try to read blogs whose tone and style you want to emulate. What entertains you and interests you? Read that, and soon you’ll be writing like that! You’ll find your own voice, but it will be influenced by what you read, so read nice stuff!
Too tiring: Not all of us are writers. That’s a fact. Sometimes, people are great with ideas and extemporaneous speaking– they can magnetize and charm crowds!– but they’re completely at a loss when it comes to putting their thoughts on paper (or word processor).
How to solve it:
- Hire it out. Plenty of talented writers will jump at the chance to write for your blog.
- And who says you have to write, anyway? You can vlog instead! Or you can organize your thoughts and ideas into nifty and handy infographics! You can also sketch on a whiteboard! Not only text is content for your blog!
Problem #5: Little to no traffic
Why it’s a problem: A successful blog’s success owes much to traffic. But traffic is gained through skill and smarts.
How to solve it: Be patient and smart about it. Populate your blog with great content, and then promote, schmooze and promote and populate some more. Use lead magnets to establish a list and a readership you can seduce, and use these 18 Techniques on How to Increase Your Blog Traffic Fast.
Problem #6: Little to no engagement
Why it’s a problem: It’s demotivating to speak and all your words only seem to sink into oblivion. Comments also tell Google your posts are valuable and truly relevant, so they all add up toward your ranking score. The more engagement, the more visibility– and the more visibility, the more traffic and engagement. A happy circle. If only you’d get the circle started!
How to solve it:
- Are you engaged with other blogs yourself? Do you give to other blogs what you want for your own? Do it first. Comment! Be active in the blogosphere, and you can expect others would also be active in your own blog.
- Ask questions. End every post with a CTA to share and comment. Ask something your readers couldn’t resist answering. Invite discussion.
- Cover something controversial or something emotional. These are called ‘emotional triggers’, and is one of the secrets of viral content. They don’t have to be political or debated topics. Something as simple as nostalgia for items gone by can trigger fond and tickled comments from readers also remembering those things.
Problem #7: No ROI
Why it’s a problem: You need something back, if only to pay for your hosting fees and the other technical aspects.
How to solve it:
- First, take a good look at how you’ve invested in your blog.
- Is it professionally designed and visually pleasing? Is the navigation user-friendly? Is your content top-notch? If you invest little, expect to get little returns.
- Look at your business. Is there an upswing? Track where customers come from. You might not be aware of it, but your blog might really be bringing business in.
- If your blog is a stand-alone scheme, know that it takes some hard work to earn money from it. There’s affiliate marketing, ads, and offering premium content to your readers for a price.
- But all three of those can only earn you money when your blog is already established.
- Plenty of things come when your blog is already doing well, including money.
- So focus on establishing your blog and your readership. And you accomplish both through great content. Great content = knowing your audience and solving their problems.
Design and Technicals
You can’t have a party without a venue. Your blog is your venue, and you should do your best to make the venue as nice and comfortable as you can for your readers. Sometimes, lack of engagement stems from visitors getting turned off by the blog’s layout and design.
- Think like a first-time visitor and highlight what the reader would need to get around and generally find your blog a nice place to stay– because it’s not claustrophobic. Make it a house with plenty of rooms to explore, rather than locking the reader in that one room with only windows toward the next or previous post. Eek. Look at your nav bars and widgets. What do you want your readers to find? Make it easy for them to find it!
- Blog design helps tremendously in branding your blog and making it memorable to visitors. Choose fonts– but not too many. Choose a color scheme. Be consistent. Make your design your identifier.
Technical Mumbo Jumbo
Spare yourself the horror of waking up one morning to discover everything ruined or completely gone. Secure your WordPress blog. If you use another platform, get to know the ins and outs so you’re prepared and secure!
- Hire a web developer to safely customize things (have you seen Blogelina’s new Blog Fixes & Design Tweaks services?) — don’t DIY unless you know what you’re doing
- Use reputable plugins to help make things not only easier but secure.
Bonus tips for problems you might not be aware of
Finally, here are little big details from Neil Patel’s 8 Pet Peeves About Most Blogs, which should help you weed out what might be holding your blog back from success!
- Update regularly. Quality over quantity– but be consistent. Create a routine of writing in yourself– and a routine of reading in your audience!
- Timestamp. Do your posts have a date? It establishes trust. Let readers know when that post was written, so they’d know if it’s new and current, or an oldie but goodie.
- Be visually appealing with images and other graphics. Be visually appealing in your text, too. Use headings, bullets, short paragraphs.
- INCLUDE A CTA. Your reader arrived organically, or was led there from a promotion or newsletter. So your reader will read, or what? Tell your reader what to do. Subscribe? Share? Download? Comment, share their thoughts, answer your question? Make your reader USE your blog. CTAs aren’t just for landing pages. Every post should have one!
- Be a person. Not a company, not a neutral advisor. Use first person. Detachment only makes you sound like you don’t care, that it’s not your opinion, and you’re not invested in it. if you sound like a robot, how can a reader sympathize with you and like you, talk to you, and tell other people about you?
- DESIGN matters. Intelligent design makes your readers stay and move around, because you’ve made it easy for them!
Blogging is just like any other job or business– it has kinks you need to work out. And smoothing those kinks means smooth operations.
What kinks does your blog have?
Did we cover it? Have you solved it already? Do you know about tools we can all use to always be ahead of these kinks?