“I’m the number 1 blog in my niche but I’m not getting much traffic – do you have any words of advice?”
This question hit my inbox earlier today and I thought I’d repost part of my reply here as I think it could be relevant to more than the blogger concerned. Here’s most of my response (I’ve removed reference to the blog concerned as I don’t have permission from the blogger to identify it):
Congratulations on the success you’ve had with your blog. It is great that you’ve hung in there for two years now with the blog and grown it as much as you have. It sounds like you’ve worked hard to find your voice, build a core community and establish some profile and credibility in your niche.
One thought that came to mind regarding your question was that perhaps you need to widen your sites a little. While it does seem that you’re the number 1 blog in your niche (I can’t find any on your topic on Technorati with a ranking as high as yours) you are certainly not the number 1 site on the internet on your topic.
Many bloggers only see their competition as other blogs on their topic and in doing so ignore other types of websites in their niche. For example when I search on Google for your topic I find 3 forums, one social media site and a couple of other static/informational websites that not only rank higher in Google for your keywords but which seem to do significantly more traffic than your blog (according to Alexa and Compete’s stats).
I don’t say this to discourage you but in the hope that in widening your sites about your ‘competition’ that you’ll be driven on to think bigger and improve your blog.
Some practical words of advice for you are to see what opportunities there are to interact in these other websites in your niche. I know you are active in commenting on and networking with other blogs in your niche but what about getting involved in the forums, contacting the other website owners and getting active in the social networking site?
You’ve grown your blog to the point you have partly by the networking and promotion you’ve done within the blogging community – but think broader and you might just find yourself not only being the number 1 blog on your topic but being the number 1 website of all types.