Sitting at home, wondering why people can send out simple tweets and manage to get 2K retweets to their latest blog post? Why it seems that you work so much harder than them to get traffic to your blog, but ultimately fail? Have you ever been honest with yourself?
Well have you? The realization which you might come to right now is that your blog sucks! No, not the design, but the content. Design doesn’t matter all to much whether people will read your content or not. I started Creativeoverflow with a generic template, something I bought on Themeforest. I managed to get traffic right from the start, simply because I wrote unique articles. Articles that people wanted to read.
Now you might be thinking that I’m preaching to the choir here. Well maybe I am, maybe I’m not…that’s for you to decide. My point here is that you’re going to have to fix your content in order to reach your traffic goals. I’m going to show you how in a second, but first I want to let you know that consistency is key. Uniqueness is key. Honesty is key.
I have made mistakes before. The blog started off with a bang, a lot of interested parties and we grew by the thousands. Then I made the mistake of appointing an editor and retracting myself. What did that do for Creativeoverflow? Well, it messed it up. Curated content was put at the top of the list, revenue and advertising was the target and somehow the editor forgot about our audience. The audience that took me a lot of blood, sweat and tears to build up. The audience that kept me awake for nights at end to provide high quality, unique content for. The audience that I built a report with and that trusted me with their focus.
When I started looking at the engagement statistics and the site traffic reports, I immediately saw the difference. Yes, traffic was up, but engagement was down…a lot! I was angry, I was distraught, ultimately it was my fault though. I withdrew myself and left Creativeoverflow in the hands of someone else, someone that I trusted to uphold the brand, company and focus on growth. Sure it did grow, but not for the right reasons…Not for the reasons I started this site.
Then it dawned on me…Creative overflow sucks! How was I going to fix this and bring it back to its previous state of glory? In my situation it led to the editor being fired and then I sat down, mapped out a plan to recover what was lost and started to asses the damage that was done.
If you know what I’m talking about, you’ve probably been in the same boat as myself. Everything is going for the site, but there is still something key that is missing….so how do we fix this?
Step 1: Analyze the Statistics – (3-4 Hours)
This is always my step backwards! I step back and assess the situation at hand. I have a list of applications that I go through to do my assessment. First of all, I backtrack to when the editor started and then look at the number of articles published since he started. I then start looking at the engagement statistics, comments, shares, trackbacks, bounce rates, acquisition methods, retention rates etc. I even dial down to look at the social media accounts and their growth, posting numbers etc.
I compile an Excel spreadsheet with all the data I collected to start deciphering what has happened and that I can bring my understanding of the situation to better light.
Tools I recommend to use
You can obviously determine your own method of assessing the situation and whether or not your situation really is a problem and how it needs fixing.
If you were to be assessing your own contribution to your blogs growth, I would look at Raw Contribution Statistics, Posting Consistency, Conversion ratios, Engagement levels and Blog Innovation. That’s definitely an article for another day if anyone is interested!
Step 2: Map out an action plan – (1-3 Hours)
Now that you have the raw data in hand and know what is going on, it’s time to start mapping out how you’re going to fix this situation, restart your blog and start pushing publishing boundaries for new innovative content. In this case, Google intervened a bit because there were so many links sold on the site. They activated manual spam action towards Creativeoverflow and this pushed down our PageRank to 0 and had people start questioning our credibility.
Part of the action plan was to find all the links that were a problem and add nofollow tags to them or remove them, especially if I wanted to get back the credibility that Creativeoverflow once carried with the users. Another part of my action plan was to setup a new posting schedule for articles, social media outlets and weekly reader engagement. I decided that part of my plan would be to focus on engaging with our readership on a more personal level than before. We will also be focusing on creating a lot more unique content for our readers than before, so idea lists were drawn up and series structured.
You can ultimately decide how you want to setup your action plan, people interpret action sets differently, set it up so that it works for you. Make sure that your plan is extensive and detailed.
Step 3: Start taking action (1-unlimited Hours)
When you start with your first task on your list, make sure that you efficiently complete the tasks at hand and double check the results. Once you’ve completed some once off tasks, make sure that your schedules are in place and that you effectively manage the content set to go live on your website. Focus on building quality content. People have different speeds of doing things when it comes to blogging, so be sure to set aside enough time to get things done.
Note: The reason why I can’t put a solid time frame on this is that ample amounts of time go into producing content, removing bad links and building a credible blog. It’s also an ongoing thing that never stops. Therefore you need to make some friends.
Step 4: Reach out to others – (3-5 Hours)
Here is your chance to reclaim lost relationships and start new ones. Reach out to people in your niche, offer your help and expertise and don’t ask for anything in return. Eventually your kindness and helping hand will pay off and they will help you without you having to ask them. Don’t become friends for the sake of promotion or recognition, become friends because you are truly interested in what they do, write about and offer to their readers. Offering people a helping hand will help you more than you think in the long run.
Step 5: Be Consistent in this new direction – (Keep Pushing Forward)
Blogging and consistency go hand in hand. Especially if you want to be successful. You need to decide how you want measure up against your competitors, how you’re going to be different and how that is going to look to the public. Obviously you’ve already mapped out your plan and if you want to be different, stand your ground and go for it. Don’t back down, even if you get critique, it’s part of your journey. Keep pushing forward and follow your plan of action day in and day out…You can update your plan as your blog restores or if it’s new, gains traction…
I believe you can do it, so should you!
Good luck on your blogging journey.
P.S: These steps are explained in very basic terms and I do believe that I need to sometime in the future layout an article in a lot more detail than the above. Explaining to you exactly how I setup an action plan and how I schedule my calendar to act upon that…If there are enough requests, I will do that for you.