Another way that some bloggers let their blogs go is to let their blog become more about them and their own needs and less about the needs of their readers.
A blog will only ever be successful if it fulfills a need for readers in some way. This need might be for information, tips, inspiration, entertainment, community etc.
I’ve seen a number of blogs over the years rise to popularity only to fall in a heap when the blogger took their readers for granted. This can happy in many ways – bloggers whose posts become stuffed with affiliate programs/paid reviews, bloggers who become too big for their boots (arrogance), bloggers who just promote their own work and don’t acknowledge their readers or other blogs in their niche.
Let me say that I understand how easy it is to let your blog slip in this area. Sometimes the temptation to make your blog self serving rather than reader serving is great – however you need to keep the balance right (and it is a balancing act because a blog needs to serve you too).
The solution is to know your readers and why they come to your blog and to work towards being a useful blog that fulfills their needs.
Tips for Having a Blog that Serves You AND Your Reader:
Every now and again it is worth doing an audit or review of your blog in numerous areas. One of these should be around how useful your blog is and how much you focus upon your readers. So do a review in this area by asking some of the following questions:
- How many of my posts have practically helped people lately?
- What percentage of my posts contain affiliate links or paid reviews?
- Have I heard any recurring reader complaints lately?
- How much reader interaction do I have (in email and comments)?
- Do I answer reader questions?
- What have I given to my readers?
If you are out of balance with your blogging here are a few suggestions that I’d make to right things (based upon previous posts here at ProBlogger):
- Email a new Reader – emailing someone that is new to your blog can make a great first impression.
- Email an old Reader – sometimes long term readers can feel a little unnoticed when a blog grows. They used to get personal attention but then it disappears. An email can reignite their passion for your blog.
- Respond to a Reader Comment – being active in your own comments section makes a big impression.
- Run a Reader Survey – the perfect way to get in tune with readers
- Make a Reader Famous – blogs are usually about making bloggers famous – but one that highlights and shows off it’s readers will always attract new people to them.
- Ask for Reader Questions – and Answer them – this ensures a relevant, open and useful blog
- Check Your Stats to See what Questions Readers Have – this technique for finding out what your readers are searching for is priceless!
- Write a ‘How to’/Tip post that will help readers with something practical – the more practical and ‘useable’ your posts are the more you’ll find readers attracted to what you write.
Ultimately, when you find that your blog is starting to serve you more than readers its about refocussing your blog. Draw a line in the sand today and make it the start to a more useful experience for your readers.
Remember – it’s about Balance
Do keep in mind that for a blog to be sustainable in the long term it can’t be ALL about your readers. Yes they need to be front and center in your mind – but YOU need to get something out of your blog too. This might simply be personal satisfaction, building your profile, earning some money or something else – but unless you gain something from it you’re likely to burn out from your blog.
Get the balance right and you’ll be well positioned to have a blog that not only helps do something for you but that helps others along the way.