So you have a blog…now what?
If you build it they will come…or will they?
Congratulations…you built yourself a blog, loaded up loads of content, placed a few Adsense widgets here and there because you read somewhere that is where the best advertising revenue is.
Then…nothing. No floods of traffic coming in. No massive conversations going on in the comments building authority and getting you seen by the search engines.
Instead, you may get a few visitors a day, a couple of comments here and there, and maybe a few cents a month from Adsense…if you’re lucky.
Does this mean you have wasted your time?
Not at all. All that has happened is that what used to work doesn’t work as well now.
You see, the way people interact on the internet changes constantly. People used to hang out on forums…until social media came along.
Then, everyone jumped from forums to social media to interact.
Video became popular and with it YouTube.
Facebook jumped on the bandwagon and started ranking videos higher than text-based posts.
The point is…nothing is constant in the world of the internet, or it’s users. Things change fast and you need to keep up.
Ten years ago it was a great idea to have a blog, put up some banner ads and Adsense, and do some SEO to get ranked so you got traffic.
The visitors would come back over and over if they liked your content and they would click on your ads and hold conversations in your comments section of each post.
Now they check out the post, maybe share it to social media, then go back to their social media platform of choice to carry on with their browsing.
So, if that is where your visitors are going and talking, you need to follow them there.
The thing is though, you also need to become a part of the audience. You need to interact with them in many different ways. Not just trying to get people back to your blog (although that is a good thing to try and do) but also contributing something to the conversations that are happening there on social media.
The blog is no longer the main attraction…you are. You need to be ‘followable’. Great content on your blog is all well and good but if nobody knows about it what good is it really?
Kam Jennings recently interviewed a veteran blogger, Kevin Muldoon on this very subject and there are some very interesting points raised there.
As discussed in the interview, a lot of revenue that used to be easy to generate from blogs is no longer there. There are adblockers that mean people just won’t see any ads on your blog anymore.
So the smart thing is to embed affiliate links in your content. Great…but you still need to get people to read your content and click on them.
This means your content needs to be interesting enough to hold your reader’s attention. It has to be compelling enough to describe a problem and offer up a solution (available through your link).
Too much of that though, and people will stop reading because they are going to get to know what to expect.
The next challenge then seems to be unpredictable enough to arouse curiosity in your visitors. If they don’t know what they are going to get every time they visit your blog, they are more likely to keep coming back. People like surprises I think. It is a more interesting experience for them.
Does this mean the blog is dead?
Here is my position on it. Not dead…just not as effective as it used to be.
Instead of the blog being the main component to your online presence…it now becomes something different.
I agree with Kam on what he discusses in the interview around the 22 minute mark, blogging is not dead but the way we need to use it has changed.
Your audience now ‘lives’ in many different places on the internet so that is where you need to interact with them. Getting their attention is now much more difficult due to the nature of social media.
I think that in the future audiences are going to become more and more fragmented as more social media platforms come and go. This is why trying to build a subscriber list is so important. It is your audience all in one place.
I am not just talking about email subscribers here though. Social media audiences (friends, followers, subscribers) are as important as email subscribers…if not more so.
In conclusion…blogging, in my opinion, is not dead…but it does serve a different role than it did a few years ago. Also, email subscribers are still very important…but so are other types of subscribers (social media audiences).
Your audience not going to come to you…meaning you need to go to them, and connect on a more personal level.