Q: My blog is practically invisible. I'm not getting the comments, visitors or social shares that I want. I'm writing post after post and sharing on social media, but there still isn't too much activity to brag about. How can I stay motivated?
A: Blogging success doesn't happen overnight. And trust me when I say that the real learning begins when things are hard. If you can write a conversational blog post when hardly anyone is reciprocating, imagine what you could do when you have a captive audience? Magic.
The hardest phase of blogging is the launch period. You will expel the most fuel writing posts, earning backlinks, getting readers and building your blog community. After that, it's much smoother sailing. I don't mean to say that it will be easier, but rather maintain.
Here's a few tips that I've learned over time.
Appreciate the little wins and then build.
The small wins are what keep us motivated! It could be 5 more social media shares, 5 more comments or 50 extra visitors...regardless, realize them and celebrate!
Once you've identified a small win, build on it! Focus on achieving other small wins to help build up momentum. You could try sharing new posts on 5 different social platforms and sites, you can increase your posting frequency or spend 30 minutes per day on Facebook or Twitter building your community.
The goal is to keep you mind in your happy place and setting attainable goals for yourself and your "invisible" blog.
Why are you blogging?
To stay motivated, make sure you have a good idea of why you blog, why you want to have a blog and how you can help people.
If you haven't nailed this down specifically, I would encourage you to read other blogs that you admire. Choosing what to write about can be difficult for even the most experienced bloggers, but Dummies.com can help!
Build your online tribe.
This is not one of those "build it and they will come" type of marketing tactics. There's actually a big difference between an audience and a community. An audience is passive. They don't socialize or interact. A community, however; is a two-way conversation. They are sharing your content and views with their friends and conversing with you directly via comments. Let me share a few quick tips.
- Content and consistency are MOST important. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, content that is educational, inspirational or entertaining is what will get shared most often. This content isn't about you; it's about your community.
- Design content to share. This is where headlines matter. There's no exact formula, but sticking with something short and relevant is best. You also need to consider which social share buttons you want to add to avoid sending folks on a safari chase. If they have to click too much, they're lost.
- Schmooze on social. Love it or hate it, you're gonna have to get comfortable on social media. Now, you don't have to be active on everything, so choose two-three that you're most comfortable with, while also considering where you community hangs.
- Try interviews. This is a killer 3-in-one combo because you're creating powerful content for your community, promoting someone else and creating a new connection (the person you're interviewing).
- Guest posting is powerful. Discover niche websites that allow guest posts so that you can build community and bring in new folks. If you're a good writer or creator, you're qualified. Half the battle here is creating a kick-ass proposal, so browse my 7 essentials.
- Be patient. At the end of the day, creating a great thing takes time. My first blog posts only got about 8 views. So blog, blog and blog some more...
Got specific questions about blogging? Please leave a comment below and we'll get back to you. Throughout the month of September, we'll be focusing on "Back to Blogging" basics and related topics.