Written by: Mike Taylor, Contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine
That’s what you hear every time you post a new article on your website. I experience it, and so do most other entrepreneurs trying to build an online audience. To make things worse, you’re probably getting sick of hearing stories of other people turning their entire business around just by blogging. That’s great for them — and it’s inspiring — but that doesn’t help much when you’re working your butt off creating content that no one’s reading.
If you’re trying to diagnose the problem in your lifeless website, here are a few things to consider fixing before throwing in the towel and buying Yellow Pages ads:
Your website creeps people out.
Your website is your first impression, so don’t be weird. When people get weirded out they leave, and you’re left sitting all alone on your creepy site. What do I mean? I’m talking about the ancient Flash video of you walking into the screen and talking, or the super cheesy stock photos of fake people, or the icons that look like they were taken straight out of Windows 98.
Your website is the central hub of all of your online marketing. Think of it as your business in digital form. Would you let your actual business get that bad? No, because customers would start talking and business would drop off. Don’t do that to your website visitors either.
Website creation tools like WordPress make it easy — and affordable — to have an amazing looking website. Do yourself a favor and learn WordPress, or find someone who can help you get started with WordPress.
You probably aren’t blogging enough.
So maybe you have a decent website, and you’re feeling good because you added a blog to your site. You’re putting out one new blog post a month. Good job, that’s great. But it’s not going to work.
In case you haven’t already seen it, here’s a stat for you, courtesy of HubSpot. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5 times more leads than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts.
That might hurt to hear, but it’s a fact.
If you’re going to blog, you have to write a lot, and you have to be consistent. You can create less posts if you want — say, one a month — but it’s going to need to be one massive post in order for it to make up for less volume. Brian Dean at Backlinko is a big proponent of this type of blogging. Either way though, it’s the same amount of time. And it’s probably more than you’re spending now.
Don’t think you can write that much? Then hire someone. Blogging is a huge part of digital marketing and it really does pay off if you invest enough into it.
You haven’t spent enough time promoting your content.
Here’s a rule to consider next time you’re complaining about no one coming to your website. You should spend roughly twice as much time promoting your content as you spent creating it. So if you just spend eight hours creating an in-depth, step-by-step blog post with screenshots, video and graphics, you should spend 16 hours promoting that piece.
Start by making a list of 100-200 influencers in your industry. This should be people or companies who would be interested in sharing articles like yours with their audience. Remember, you want to target people who would be interested in sharing it, not people who are just interested in the topic. That means anyone who could be a competitor of yours is not going on this list.
Then spend your time emailing each and every one of them simply letting them know that you created a new post about [insert topic] and thought they would enjoy it. If it’s good, they’ll share it or link to it on their own site. Don’t be sleazy and ask for a backlink.
You can save time finding influencers to reach out to by using BuzzSumo. You’ll just type in the target keyword, pick an article from the list, and click “View Sharers.” You’ll get a list influencers who have shared a similar article to yours, then you’ll have to do some investigative work to find each influencer’s email address.
You can also use a site like ahrefs.com to find sites that have linked to content similar to yours, and reach out to them as well. It isn’t easy, and it’s time consuming, but the payoff can be amazing. Check out some of Dean’s stories over at Backlinko to see how it’s done using what he calls the Skyscraper Technique.
Your blog is all about you or it isn’t helpful at all.
No one cares about how great your company is. They don’t even care about the amazing features and benefits your product/service provides. They’ll be ready for it eventually, but your blog is not the place for it.
Your blog should focus on one main objective — answering questions. Whether they’re questions you’ve actually been asked by customers before or questions you think customers could or would ask, you’re goal should be to answer every imaginable question in the form of a blog post. Do that, and you’ll have more than enough to write about.
You’re not as active on social media as you should be.
Stop being afraid you’re going to annoy people on social media. You can and should be posting multiple times a day. As long as you’re not literally reposting the same exact post over and over, you’ll be fine.
For Facebook, two times per day is reasonable before likes and comments begin to drop off dramatically, according to an article on Buffer. As for Twitter, it’s way too crowded of a platform to drop a tweet and leave. Your voice will simply get lost in the noise, so don’t be afraid to tweet multiple times per day. Use a service like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts if you have to, or just use Facebook’s native ability now, but be active enough to where people don’t forget about you.
You haven’t considered paying to get your blog content out.
I know content marketing and not interrupting people is all the rage, and that’s all well and good, but unless you have a large following, you’re going to have to slide Mark Zuckerburg a Benjamin from time to time in order to get your content out to the right people.
You’re going to need to know a bit about targeting your Facebook ads if you want to see real results though. It’s not difficult to do simple ads, it just takes time to learn who your audience is exactly and how to target them in the Power Editor. Here’s a great resource to help you learn Facebook Ads.
Do not give up.
Don’t let the fact that no one’s coming to your website get you discouraged. If you take a look around at some of the most successful companies doing content marketing, you’ll notice they usually did it for a while before they caught traction.
If you want to generate traffic to your website, it’s going to take consistent work over time. Write, publish, promote like crazy, repeat. Assuming your content strategy is well-planned, do that process for three to six months and you’re almost guaranteed to see the needle move.