[Infographics] The Top 3 Digital Challenges that Beginner Bloggers Face – and How to Solve Them
The first commercial blog appeared in 1995 on the Ty corporation website. As the Internet era evolved, blogs have generated income for thousands of bloggers all over the world. If you read this, you might also want to make money from your writing. But are you ready for challenges waiting on the way?
You probably know the purpose of your blog, and you’ve created a content plan with our free template. Let’s put it aside for today. We’re here to improve the traffic and engagement of your blog – they are the foundation of your future profit.
Challenge 1: Low Traffic
It’s inevitable at the beginning of your way. You won’t get enough traffic until people don’t know a thing about your blog. There are some proven methods to promote your business.
Conduct Keyword Research Based on the Reader’s Intent
Should you write new articles thinking solely about proper keywords? Certainly not. Nowadays, keyword stuffing can only damage your project because Google is strongly focused on high-quality content. Also, many keywords hurt the readers’ experience.
At the same time, spicing up content with a couple of keywords can help a lot. In this case, the reader’s intent is your main priority.
The solution: use 1-2 long-tail keywords per article. Keyword Finder will help you with that. To find long-tail keyword ideas, use the Similar Keywords subsection.
Readers who type in long queries want to find something specific on the web. It means they’re more likely to read your post till the very end and become your regular readers.
Fill In the Meta Description
A meta description is a bar which appears in SERPs under the main title and provides additional information about the page. It allows searchers to figure out whether this link is useful for them or not. In other words, this is another chance to attract readers, so do your best and use most of your creativity here.
The solution: write a description with no more than 140 characters (this is a standard for WordPress blogs) and try to include one long-tail keyword.
Add the Images’ Alt Text
Using a high-quality image is always a good idea. 3-5 images throughout the article help break the text into parts and make long-form articles easy to read. But how to use them for traffic? The alt text will help.
The alt text is a short description added to the image to help search engines better understand your visual content. Google translates this text and shows it in search results. Basically, this text explains what an image is about.
The solution: add a well-descriptive alt text to every image on your blog. It’s essential to use a hyphen between the words instead of space: “puppies-playing-in-a-basket”.
Use Internal Links
Internal links connect different pages of your blog. You’ve seen how we’ve added links to other blog posts in this article – this is the main idea of the internal link building. Why would you need it? Such links help Google discover new content:
“Some pages are known because Google has already crawled them before. Other pages are discovered when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page”.
Additionally, relevant links make readers stay longer on your blog following one link after another.
The solution: add links to other articles if their subjects are related. Topic clusters might help you build the articles’ structure, and internal linking will become an easy task.
Try Guest Posting
Publishing guest posts is one of the best ways to promote a new blog. You need to find a well-known, authoritative source and write an article for it. Along with promotion, you get a chance to win some backlinks (links leading to your blog from other sources).
Don’t expect that one guest post will immediately bring you lots of traffic. But eventually, it can deliver great results and give you a chance to grow your network.
The solution: make a list of blogs that write for the same industry/audience and create one guest post per week for them.
Use Social Media Accounts
That’s another effective promotion method for a minimal budget. Along with creating accounts for the most popular social media (Facebook or Twitter), you should look for niche-specific social media platforms.
Social media websites are another place for collaborations. Reach out to bloggers or influencers that can help you win some likes and shares. Even several likes on the niche-specific platforms can help you grow your community.
The solution: create accounts on the most popular and niche-specific platforms and regularly write posts there.
Challenge 2: The Low Level of Engagement
Did you write a great article and didn’t get any comments? You’re not alone with this problem. New readers are only starting to explore your blog and don’t rush to come closer. Let’s change that with these simple tips.
Write About Sensitive or Thought-Provoking Issues
Depending on the niche you work in, certain topics may provoke lots of comments. If you have a lifestyle blog, you can write an article on some philosophical concept. If it’s a tech blog, you may take on controversial updates of some popular software. The main goal is to make readers share their experiences in the comments.
If you publish such content from time to time, people will come back not only to read but also to talk. Such visitors may transform into your loyal audience in the future.
The solution: research the latest industry trends, read Quora threads and forums to figure out the main concerns of your target reader. Then, write an article without a clear conclusion leaving readers some food for thought.
Go Further with Interactive Content
In the era of content overload, it’s hard to surprise a web user with articles alone. Want to stand out? Break the borders and start adding interactive content to your blog.
The most popular and engaging content includes:
- Tests or quizzes. “The most awkward popular expressions from Spain – how well do you know them?” – quizzes of such kind offer a challenge for readers. No matter what niche you write for, your readers will gladly pass some funny test.
- Tools and calculators. Neglected by many marketers, this type of content can be particularly engaging if you write about construction, accounting, or healthy eating (a calorie calculator).
- Visuals. Apart from images, you can use animations, videos, interactive maps, etc.
The solution: use interactive content on a regular basis. Some types of content, such as calculators, are appropriate only for particular branches, so you should carefully explore the readers’ interests.
Seeking for a comment? Ask for it! As simple as it is: include questions throughout the text and especially at the end of the post. You’re showing readers that you’re ready to start a conversation.
The solution: your question should be a natural part of the article’s flow. Don’t beg for this question – tell your story and ask the reader’s opinion. It’s similar to engaging a friend in a dialogue.
Respond to Comments
Negative or positive comments – all of them deserve your reaction. Appreciate the praise and use critics for your benefit: some readers can actually give you a hint on what you can improve.
Also, the first comments you may receive are from other bloggers. Just like you, they only start their business and look for support. You should answer them back and visit their blogs to leave some kind words.
The solution: react to every comment or message sent to you. Short comments you receive now are like small bricks that build up your blog’s community in the long run.
Explore Other Blogs and Leave Your Comments
You already know other bloggers who write for the same audience. Who of them are beginners too? You should visit their blogs and leave your comments. Don’t try to get a reaction from industry leaders – they probably won’t notice your message among hundreds of others.
Exchanging messages with people who do care and share the same concerns as you do is a great way to grow your community and maybe collaborate with some of the colleagues in the future.
The solution: read other blogs and leave your comments regularly. There must be several sources that you like the most – comment their content under every other article. It seems small now, but even the broadest community starts with a couple of people.
Challenge 3: No Loyal Readers
Loyal customers are a dream of any business owner. They come back again because they believe in what you do. In the case of blogging, loyal readers provide repeat traffic, which can be key to your success. So what can you do right now?
Create High-Quality Content
Yes, we’re mentioning high-quality content for the second time because now it should be your primary concern. First, good reading is the main “product” you’re offering visitors. Taking care of your content means taking care of your audience.
Second, the latest Google updates were all about the content’s quality, and many entrepreneurs noticed the loss of traffic and could fix this issue by improving their content.
The solution: when creating a content plan, pay attention to both popular and rare topics. Look through other blogs, find what you would improve, and make your posts stand out with a couple of unique traits. And most importantly, always think about readers and their interests: explore trends, forums, and the latest news.
Encourage Email Subscriptions
Email subscription is a great reminder for your readers to come back for more. Visitors should know how to subscribe to your newsletter: add links, an icon, or a button to the blog’s interface.
Another thing is to create a well-written newsletter: include short notes, tips, and a blog summary along with attractive visuals. It is better to consult a designer who will help you build an outstanding structure for your letter.
The solution: encourage readers to subscribe to the email newsletter. For starters, you can give away something for free (ebooks, certificates, office supplies, etc.). Also, every letter you send should have the same level of quality as the overall blog’s content.
Publish New Content Regularly
Google loves fresh content. Starting from 2011, Google crawlers search for all the new content updates at a huge speed, so you have higher chances to increase your traffic by regular posting.
But how does it correlate with growing a loyal community? As soon as you have an updated schedule, readers will know exactly when to expect a new article from you. Consequently, the level of trust to your project will grow, and people will grow more likely to come back.
The solution: publish content once or twice a week on particular days (Tuesday and Friday, for example) to build the trust of both Google and blog readers.
Customize Your Blog’s Design
Buying a blog’s theme at a minimum budget seems a reasonable solution. But will your blog stay in the reader’s mind? Of course, your content is a king, but before reading any article, visitors see design elements.
The solution: if you’re not ready to invest in the designer’s services, you can change at least some elements in the blog’s theme by yourself: the color scheme, background image, header elements, etc.
Use Challenges to Your Advantage
All the bloggers face difficulties at the beginning of their work. With time, you learn to cope with them faster and more effectively. Low traffic, the low level of engagement, and not enough loyal readers – now you know solutions for each of these problems.
No matter what challenge you’ll cope with in the future, remember that high-quality content is a top priority in blogging. Both readers and Googlebot appreciate your hard work by improving your traffic and ranking metrics.
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