8 Easy Tips for Reviving Your Sleepy Blog

One Writer

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Image by Kevin King(Chandana Perera) from Pixabay

We all have the dream.

I’m going to start a blog. Write whatever I want and the world will be thrilled. I will do it in my pajamas with a cup of coffee. I may get to travel the world. People will be so excited to read about my life, and soon, I will put all those lovely ads on there that will pay me handsomely.

The truth looks a bit more like this:

  • I’ve been writing on this blog for a year and just now reached 250 followers.
  • What is a plugin and SEO?
  • When I write about myself, NO ONE reads it — am I that boring?
  • This is a lot of work.
  • I’m still broke.
  • Haven’t traveled and I am out of coffee.

Sound familiar? Perhaps your story is a bit different, but it boils down to this: The dreams and goals you had for your blog must be redefined to fit the reality.

One year into my blog I realized a few things:

  1. The blog was not growing at the rate I had anticipated.
  2. The “theme” if you will, seemed to be a bit “all over the place.”
  3. My blog needed redefining.

Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation with your blog. Here is what I did to revamp my blog and get it moving in the right direction.

Clearly Define Your Blog’s Purpose

Blogs work best when they serve a very clear purpose. Have a few people open your blog site and tell you what they think of your blog. (Beta readers for your blog, if you will.) Their answers may surprise you. If people can’t figure out what kind of site they’re on, they’ll bounce. People naturally gravitate toward things that interest them, entertain them, and add value to their lives. Things that confuse them, not so much.

I recently redefined my personal blog from “all over the place” to an “author site” that provides support and insight. Redefining the blog took a lot of work, honesty, and I had to let go of the “free-spirited” idea of posting all my own internal thoughts on the blog. Keeping the focus a bit more narrow helps the reader/browser determine if this is a blog they’d like to follow.

The dreams and goals you had for your blog must be redefined to fit the reality.

Give Your Blog a Fresh Face

Visit your blog site from a computer, a tablet, and a cell phone. Using a bit of emotional distance, how does your blog really look?

Is it messy? Too many things going on? Are people able to find what they need — in seconds? Because really, that’s all the time you have them for if they can’t find what they’re looking for or something interesting to them.

Visit dozens of blogs. What do you, as a reader, navigator, like about each of them? How can you adopt these features to your blog?

My blog was beautiful in the grayscale theme I had, but it was far too messy and hard to navigate. I finally found a “cleaner” theme, added soft colors that were a bit more uplifting (which suited the blog’s purpose), and mastered the tabs at the top of the page. After a few changes, you can now see that it’s an author site and what kinds of things that author writes. You can buy her books, read about her, or read some of the content she provides to her fans. Easy peasy.

Also, keep content to the overall theme of your blog. As I took my blog from “all over the place” to “author website,” I knew I had material that would not serve this new purpose. I deleted that material. I reorganized other material into a handy drop-down menu of topics. And finally, I started a few new things that fit the narrative of the blog, such as the Through the Eyes of a Poet and the Live Your Best Life series which keeps to the inspirational, helpful, educational, mentorship quality of my work.

Now readers can find material easily, and material that relates directly to the blog purpose.

Those two are the biggies. Redefine and revamp. Here are a few other tips to get your blog on the right path.

Be Consistent and Patient

Blogging is a long game. Make this your mantra, as there will be days you feel it is going nowhere. Blogging is a long game. Persistence and patience are key. Determine the regularity of your posting, stick to it, and develop it slowly.

Honestly Evaluate Your Readers (the Type of Reading Clientele You Are Building and What They Want From You)

Your blog is not self-serving, and if it is, there’s the rub.

Who are your readers? What is their life like? Why do they visit your blog and what articles are they reading? Narrowing down your readers' interests will help you to narrow the scope of your blog and tailor it to their interests. Provide what they want.

Also, check out this article that discusses the shift in traditional blogging to “standalone pieces.”

Learn a Bit About SEO

Some say SEO is not as important as it once was, but it can’t hurt to learn a little about it, how it works, and how to use keywords effectively in your posts.

Write Evergreen Material

“Evergreen” is termed this way because evergreen trees keep their leaves all year long, persisting through each season. Your evergreen writing will do the same. It will be relevant to the reader that reads it the day you publish and to the reader that finds it six months later. Evergreen material relevant to your blog will be the foundation for your blog and provide ongoing traffic.

Reach Out

Companies love exposure, and as a writer, you can give them that. Use your followership to your advantage and reach out to companies that have products or services that fit well into your blog purpose. Contact them and see if there are any deals you can work out.

I recently contacted the owners of the Monk Manual and told them about my Live Your Best Life series on my blog, thinking the journal looks like a perfect “project” to explore for the series. It will be a great follow-up to one of my early posts on the series: Exploring Meditation for Health and Mental Wellness. The folks at Monk Journal were happy to work with me and we worked out a deal.

The followership you have built is helpful to others. Use this position to uplift others and you’ll uplift your blog in the process. Offer to write up promotional blogs for others or to re-blog some of their material.

Self-Promotion Is Not an Option; It Is a Must

Self-promotion is exhaustive at times, but it’s a crucial part of blogging. Develop a sharing strategy and stick to it. Put a call to action at the end of your posts inviting people to join your email list, and for them to share any posts that personally speak to them. Personally thank anyone who shares your posts.

Blogs are changing from the self-serving personal blogs to service and useful information sources. Some people do well with telling about their life stories, and I commend them for being able to do this eloquently. But for the rest of us, providing valuable content requires a bit more selective planning. Best of luck to all of us bloggers, out here living the dream, navigating the changes, and staying relevant.

(Do You have stories to tell? Write them for NewsBreak!)

For more reading:

How Should We Respond to Workplace Change?

Disappointment Doesn’t Have to Fester

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