Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Blogging is Dead-Four Tips to Increase Your Blog Readership


You may have heard authors say that blogging is dead. Perhaps you’ve said this yourself.

If so, consider these statistics, found on GetCodeless.com

Blogging ensures marketers are 13X more likely to see positive returns on their investments.

Researchers have found direct correlations between the number of posts organizations (or authors) publish each month and their overall website traffic.

When one’s site includes a blog, they are likely to see 67% more leads than they would otherwise.

Over half of consumers (including readers) feel more engaged and positive toward a brand (or author) after reading blog content.

But perhaps the most compelling: The majority of marketing experts prioritize blogging over their other inbound marketing efforts.

Therefore, if our blog isn’t getting read, the problem likely lies with us more than our potential audience. Could it be were not utilizing this medium effectively?

When I first began blogging in 2009, I didn’t know anyone outside of the publishing industry who blogged, though people were making great money at it. In fact, professional bloggers were brining in an annual income of $75,000, with one third of them making six figures. Soon, everyone wanted in on this seemingly easy income stream. As a result, the number of blogs grew from 127 million worldwide to over 440 million located on Tumblr, Squarespace, and Wordpress alone. (Read more stats HERE.)

Our goal, then, is to do what we can to make our content stand out.

Here are some ways we can do so:

1. Use strong, clear, attention grabbing titles

We’re writers. We likely being cutesy and clever with our words, but if our reader doesn’t know what a post is about, why will they feel compelled to stop scrolling through Facebook to click on your link?

They won’t likely click if you simply state your topic either. You want to do so in a way that makes the reader feel as if they absolutely need to read whatever you’ve written about.

For example, consider the two titles, written about the same topic.

“Building a Strong Marriage”

“How God Brought Us Back From the Brink of Divorce”

Both provide an indication as to your post’s main focus but the second is likely to get more clicks. (Bonus: Readers love transparency. Share how you’ve blown something related to the topic and even your second cousin four-times removed will be likely to click.)

2. Start with a “bam” opening.

I’m often surprised how many blog entries begin similar to how one might start a daily journal:

The other day I was out running errands with my kids.
Lately I’ve been contemplating what it means to surrender.
I’ve always struggled to understand what Jesus meant when He told us to carry our cross.
I love reading books with strong female leads.

When considering the strength of your opening line, ask yourself, “If someone were to read this first line alone, would they feel compelled to keep reading?”

If the answer is no, revise.

3. Avoid reader whiplash.

I’m borrowing from Andy Stanley here. In his book, Communicating For a Change, he discusses the importance of providing your audience (or in our case, readership) a clear roadmap so that they don’t think they’re heading one direction then feel a jolt when they realize we’ve been discussing something else entirely.

When I edit content from my ministry team, I encourage them to provide a hint by the first line. I don’t want them to provide the solution or main takeaway just yet, but I do want them to awaken reader hunger. For example, if their post is on loving others as themselves, they could begin with a line that points to self love: I can become quite self-obsessed. Or, My self-obsessive tendencies nearly destroyed my marriage. If you want to talk about generosity, you could start with: Greed cost me my house, my kids, and my self-respect. Or, my struggles with generosity suggest I don’t believe God’s as good as the Bible makes Him out to be.

4. Build tension.

Often, we provide the solution before we’ve taken the time to build reader hunger for it. How we do this will vary based on our type of content. Since my blog posts are almost always devotional in nature, I’ll share how this looks for me. I like to start with a personal story showing my life when I lived in rebellion to our outside of whatever truth I’m espousing. For example, if I’m writing about lasting friendships, I’ll start with a story of a time when unloving behavior led to loneliness. If I want to talk about biblical finances, I’ll begin sharing how my husband and were once over $35,000 in debt.

Blogging isn’t for everyone. Some of you may get more traction through podcasts or simply pumping one book out after another. But before determining this free tribe-building medium isn’t for you, I encourage you to evaluate your time and effectiveness. Might you receive better results if you were to practice the above tips? And if you found doing so helped consistently increase your readership, would you then deem it worth your time?

Join the conversation! Do you blog? If not, why? If you do blog, what tips would you add to the one I mentioned here? How do you strive to stay relevant and competitive in today’s super noisy Internet world?

Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who has addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She maintains a devotional blog found at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud and on Crosswalk. She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Love Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and
live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Contact her HERE to book her for your next women’s event.

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She’s home again, but not for long…
Unless this cowboy recaptures her heart


Returning home with a baby in tow, Paige Cordell’s determined her stay is only temporary. But to earn enough money to leave, she needs a job—and her only option is working at her first love’s dinner theater. With attraction once again unfurling between her and Jed Gilbertson, can the man who once broke her heart convince her to stay for good?


Buy it HERE.





    

33 comments:

  1. Years ago I blogged pretty regularly with a group of ladies. One of us would plan topics for the week or the month, then we'd write about them on our blogs. Even those small posts about insignificant topics got me writing almost every day and it was so good for me! I have a blog connected to my website, but I often don't feel like I have anything to say that other people haven't already said better, so I haven't fully utilized that. These are great tips and your blog is really good. Thanks for sharing today, Jennifer!

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    1. Glynis, topics of the week can really help give ideas for what to write!

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    2. Hi, Glynis!

      Thanks for stopping in! Sometimes, I like to force myself to write on certain verses, just to give myself practice writing on assignment. Having someone help with topics can really take the pressure off! Regarding feeling as if you don't have anything to say--I think every writer ever has felt that way. But though something may have been said, I doubt the other writers said it as you would. We each have a unique voice to reach a unique audience. I love the diversity of voices!

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  2. Blogging regularly doesn't work for me. Spent waaay too much time trying to come up with new content. But these are great tips for if/when I ever guest post. Thank you! :0)

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    1. Samantha, that's why I love group blogging so much. And here, we have a theme of writing and writing inspiration, so it helps give me topics.

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    2. I totally agree, Samantha. When blogging takes up too much of my writing time, something has to give. That something was my personal blog. I'm grateful to have my 3 group blogs though because there is a sense of community within them.

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    3. Hi, Samantha! I'm glad you found what doesn't work for you so you can focus on what does! I'm learning to maximize my strengths and where I see the most traction. Or at least, I try to focus on where I see the most traction. Having guests can be a great way to increase your readership and your search engine ratings. I have guests often. It also provides great content with minimal time on my part! (Though I do always edit guest post prior to posting them.)

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    4. Missy, I love group blogs! They can be a great way to really maximize our efforts, share the work load, and share one another's readers! :)

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    5. Interestingly enough, group blogs are the ones I gravitate more towards as a reader. I like the different perspectives they bring to the table.

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    6. Guest posts are a great way for the readers to 'meet' new people too. :0) I like that.

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  3. Welcome to Seekerville, Jennifer!

    I have to admit that I am a failure as a blogger. When I had my own blog, it ended up low on my list of priorities and I rarely got it done. So my posts were sporadic and my readership was non-existent.

    But when I'm part of a group blog, posting those weekly or monthly blogs jumps to the top of my priority list. I guess I thrive on peer pressure! LOL!

    Your tips are fabulous. Thank you so much!

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    1. Jan, I agree about the peer pressure. LOL

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    2. Hi, Jan!

      I love group blogs! They can be such a great way to add diversity (having different verses) and also help reduce the work load. Your comment on peer pressure made me smile. For my ministry, we have a content manager who assigns topics each week. We did this to help our social media team create related graphics ahead and to avoid repetition of topics, but we discovered many of our writers found the assigned topics helpful. :)

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    3. Missy, that's funny. But I agree--accountability can be so helpful! If someone asks me to guest blog for them "sometime" I likely will put off the post indefinitely, just because other deadlines will squeeze it out. But if they give me a specific date, I make it happen. Something about deadlines, I guess ...

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  4. Jennifer, welcome! What a great post! I really appreciate all the tips you've shared. I let my personal blog go and have focused on this group blog as well as one of our spin off blogs (the Yankee-Belle Cafe). I don't know if I'll ever get my personal one up and running again, but these tips would certainly help!

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    1. This is a great group blog! Linking arms with others can be a great option!

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  5. Jennifer, my personal blog has languished. After reading your post today, I'm heading to my site next and praying about what God wants me to do. Resurrect my blog...or bid it farewell?

    Great tips. Glad you think there's merit to blogging. So many claim they're not relevant today.

    Thanks for being with us in Seekerville!

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    1. Hi, Debby!

      I love that this post encouraged a prayerful consideration. Those are tough questions but luckily we serve a God who knows all the answers! May He direct you to where you'll get the most traction and your time will be best spent!

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  6. these are great tips, Jennifer!! Thanks for sharing them today :)

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    1. Hi, Carrie!

      Good to see you! Thanks for the encouragment!

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  7. Hi Jennifer, I used to have a personal blog, but now I stick to my three group blogs: Seekerville, Yankee Belle, and the Love Inspired Authors blog. Coming up with interesting topics for those is enough to keep me busy.

    I'm intrigues that you find blogs to be still relevant. I find the ones I return to are the ones that have created a sense of community. I "belong" there. I may read others if a topic is linked somewhere and catches my eye, but I have limited my list of must-check sites.

    Thanks for your input today. It's always fun having guest bloggers to make us think.

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    1. Hi, Cate!

      I love your comment on building community. So important. That's an area I need to grow in. It's interesting to me, in terms of my own blog, I often see more engagement on Facebook. People used to comment directly on my posts, but more and more, they'll click from FB, read the post, then return to FB to engage. I wonder if it's because FB feels more like community; more conversational.

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  8. Hey, Jennifer, thanks for popping by Seekerville today, and thank you for this topic.

    Blogging can seem like shouting into the void sometimes. How do I convince people that my blog out of the 440 MILLION others is worth the read. I love your tips and will keep them in mind.

    I found blogging to be obligatory when they first burst onto the scenes, and I couldn't tell if I was getting a good ROI. Did blogging help sell books?

    Then I realized I was looking at blogging all wrong. For me, blogging needs to be about hanging out and building relationships with people. Creating community.

    Like here at Seekerville. :)

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  9. I have actually come to enjoy blogging as I have done it over the last couple of years. And my visitors numbers have definitely gone up as I have kept it fairly consistent. These are great tips. I need to work more on strengthening my opening lines and titles.

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    1. I love blogging, too, Amy. :) I'm glad you found today's post helpful!

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  10. Ha -- I just now subscribed to an author's blog before hopping over here to see what's happening at Seekerville today so I guess I'm in the loop. :-) I do blog, but as a reviewer so figuring out content is easy. :-) I love getting a glimpse into authors' lives -- especially when they share about their fur-friends. I'm just discovering how handy it is to subscribe to a blog rather than remember to make the rounds each day -- and that will help with blogs that don't have new posts every day, since I forget which day the blog...well, blogs. lol

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    1. You're an awesome reviewer and a huge encouragement to us writers! We love you, Kav! And your blog! :) I see you're an animal lover. Do you have a fur baby? We have a grandpuppy we love and who usually comes and stays every other weekend. :) Sometimes every weekend. (Of course, we adore seeing the puppy's mama, too!)

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  11. I never knew people still have powers and make things happened. My husband left me for another woman three months ago and ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love whom i have spent my entire life with. A friend of mine told me he saw some testimonies of a spell caster called Dr Ilekhojie that he can bring back lover within some few days, i laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love my friend had for me, she consulted the great Dr Ilekhojie on my behalf and to my greatest surprise after 2 days my husband called me for the very first time after three months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for every thing he made me went through.He came back to me and now we are happy together. I still can’t believe it, because it highly unbelievable. Thank you Dr Ilekhojie for bringing back my lover and also to my lovely friend who interceded on my behalf, For more enquires on how to get in touch with Dr Ilekhojie, Email: gethelp05@gmail.com or WhatsApp him on 2348147400259

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  12. I enjoy reading blogs, but don’t have the time to do one myself. Great advice.

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    1. Hi, Lucy! What blogs are your favorite (topics, etc.)?

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  13. Seriously excellent tips--and a well-timed kick in the behind for this very sporadic blogger! Thanks so much for sharing these!

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  14. I'm really late to this party, but Jennifer, I so appreciate your blogging insights. I've blogged for six years. I have had slow but steady growth. I started very reluctantly, but I enjoy it a lot more now. Staying relevant . . . as one who shares posts of a devotional nature, I try to tap in to a few different things. I look at what my readers are sharing in their comments and see what, if anything, I can ping off of. Sometimes, I share posts that are sparked by a movie. There are times when the things happening in my community or our culture spark some posts. And I share things the Lord is speaking to me about. Relationships are very important to me. I'm not sure how many posts have been inspired by my own failings/lessons learned in mothering my sons.

    I loved your post, and I'm considering how to make my first lines stronger.

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