I just wrote about our obsession with traffic in my last article and other ways that we can measure the success of a blog without it. Even though there are other ways to measure blog success, traffic is still very important and it is something that can be overlooked or avoided completely in lieu of other factors. In this article, I look at some alternative options and your articles are not getting the traffic that it needs to provide you with some sanity.
Taking a Step Back and Look At Where You Are
Understanding How Hard Blogging Is
You start to feel that the web is full and there is nothing really new out there. You kind of wonder if you choose the right topic or not. You publish articles but they constantly go unnoticed. You try to muster the strength of being able to pull through the fact that your articles just sit there, opening something good will happen to them. Will search engines pick your articles up? Will someone back link to it? Who knows?
Even as a Hobbyist, Traffic Is Still Something That We Want
I did mention before that hobbyists can gloss past traffic if they are not in it for the traffic. You have to admit that it is hard to slug through getting articles out there when your traffic slumps and takes a nosedive. This becomes especially apparent when you have spent many days writing long articles that span over 2,000 characters. We are not talking about short articles that are only several hundred characters long. We mean long articles that take time and a lot of time to write.
Disappointment From Spending So Much Time Writing
I think that there must be a correlation between the time spent writing articles with the amount of disappointment we experience when they get no traffic. The more time that we spend writing articles, the higher the amount of disappointment that we feel when they do not “succeed”. I mean, it is human nature to expect to get something out of your efforts.
If you spend little time writing your articles, then the commensurate traffic is expected. You write a little, you get a little. So the amount of disappointment expected is much lower. I can understand this but when you spend a lot of time sharing your opinions and thoughts, you would think that you get more traffic out of it. Blogging is more than just writing articles. There is a lot of psychological mind stuff going on up there.
Am I Content With Where I Am At?
Who knows? When was the last time anyone ever complained that they had too much traffic. If you are one of the lucky few to have a spike of traffic that brings your website down. If only we have more than we can handle. Since most websites are some type of simple shared web hosting, that should usually not be a problem. Traffic spikes only happen if there is some unanticipated miracle that occurred. Perhaps you ran a promotional campaign that brought a flood of traffic that sent your website crashing.
Since this article is about the loss of traffic, we can only dream of having a traffic spike now. That might be the pipe dream that keeps us going. It is really tough to keep blogging when you keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel. Or, that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
You Can Be Content With Your Progress But Humans Always Yearn for More
Again, this is just human nature and how we evolve. This is how we compete with each other. After we reach our current goals, those who strive for greatness will always want more and more. Is this bad? How can we say that it is bad when wanting more in life is what brought us our greatest advances?
Now not everyone is motivated to achieve greatness. We are all different after all. However, there will always be those who will overcome their traffic slump and see something past what their current vision holds. Almost like a crystal ball, you try to predict and guess using your traffic and tools to figure out what to do. Those tools merely attempt to assist you and give you an idea of what can happen.
These traffic and keyword analysis tools perform their best but they cannot guarantee anything. You still need to put in the hard work to get the traffic that you deserve. At the very least, these tools attempt to guide you in the right direction so that you do not waste your time. No one wants to fall down a rabbit hole and not be able to get themselves out of it.
Do Not Just Pump Out Articles Without Knowing If They Bringing In Any Traffic
I have mentioned before on this blog that we have to balance between what we want to write and what people want to read. Sometimes we get so excited and overzealous when we find a topic that we like and we just pump articles about it like there is no tomorrow. Let us take a look at what happens when you do this.
You write stuff no one reads. Look at the bright side though. You might actually return to your old articles and re-read them again. Sometimes we forget that we not only write for others but for ourselves too. That one article that supposedly “underperformed”, might have been an article that we wrote for ourselves.
Consider some of your articles more as notes or guides for yourselves. These articles are great because they help you remember to do something or provide details that you might forget if not written down. Even if they do not get you traffic, they still serve a purpose. When you think about articles that you write for yourself, they still have value regardless if they get traffic or not.
Articles That Do Not Bring Organic Traffic Need Help
In the case where you are writing not for yourself, but for an audience, you will actually need some traffic. What should we do when Google is not sending anyone our way? Can these articles be salvaged and saved? Let us now consider ways to give articles a second life. Never think that any of your articles is truly gone forever. We simply have not given it the attention that it needs. Some articles will need more attention than others. It really just depends on how the search engines process your articles and where they feel it falls in the rankings.
Should I Update The Article?
Perhaps, I have written an article on creating versus updating articles. If there have been any new developments since the last time that you touched this article, then maybe you should update. Or, if you have more to say, then update it. Since search engines are constantly crawling your website for not only new articles but existing ones too, they pick up on any changes made. An article that once performed poorly can be given new life and move up in the ranking if the search engines deem the changes to be pertinent and vital to solving the user’s search query.
Should I Post It on Social Media?
Sending your article directly to your subscribers and followers might be a good idea. If the search engines do not like your article, then maybe your people will. If you have already sent this article to your users before, then try combining it with other similar articles and create a post that has more than one article link in it.
Should I Send It Out In an Email Newsletter?
Again, similar to sending the article out on social media, an email newsletter might get you some traffic. Email newsletters are much more formal than a simple little social media post. Social media posts typically have just one link in them. However, email newsletters will have several articles in them. So it takes much more time to craft an email newsletter and you will really need to come up with a theme that groups several articles together. Grouping your articles together in a theme is a powerful method to show that you can provide a solution to your user’s problems.
Why? Just imagine the strength of just one of your articles. What happens if you combine articles together? You then have the ability to solve so many problems because you have the power of many of your articles together.
What Is the Right Choice?
You should try all of these methods and see what works for you. You cannot always tell just by doing one method because you need to exhaust your options. Plus, mixing and matching articles means that you can solve so many problems than just individually linking articles from a search engine. That is the one difference when having your articles on the search engines.
Each search engine result links to just one article at a time. Whereas you can link to several articles in a social media post and in an email newsletter.So think about how the power of your articles multiply together when sent in groups. You just need to come up with some good copy that shows why you combined these articles together in a post.
Consider Slowing Things Down
Sometimes we should consider going in the opposite direction and just slow things down. Time to stop and smell the virtual roses. This is why I talk about taking breaks from blogging when you feel overwhelmed. This is really funny, but you never know when you are going through a traffic slump and then the next day, your traffic spikes. Sometimes life is like that. We do not know all of the mysteries that go into why one day you plunge and the next day you spike. You just have to take each day for what it offers.
Were All of These Articles Written for Nothing?
This is why I call blogging more than writing articles. There is a psychological component also. Nothing that you ever do in life is all for nothing. We have our successes and failures. Even if your articles do not gain the traffic that you want, you still learned a lot from the experience.
You learned how to express your thoughts and opinions in words that you would not normally if spoken. You learned how hard it is to rank on search engines and what it takes to really get your website found. You learned how to balance what you want to write with what people want to read. There are so many good skills to learn with blogging that you can take those with you no matter where you go in life.
How to Pivot and Salvage the Time Already Spent
What we gained in experience, we may have lost in time. The time spent writing articles and not gaining any traffic from them. When I say pivot, I suggest that you might need to find another part of your niche to write about. If you do not want to, then I have mentioned earlier in this article, other things that you can do to salvage existing articles.
Can I Go Too Fast?
If you do not include checking traffic regularly, then you definitely can go too fast and not even realize that your articles are getting nothing for your efforts. So this is why we need a good routine to follow that includes checking emails, looking up traffic, finding new topics to write about, and of course, writing new articles.
Why Blindly Writing Can Be Dangerous
Can you imagine that you have a list of articles to write and you just went ahead and plowed through them because you already have a plan of attack in your head. Then you check your traffic after publishing those new articles and find out that none of them did well? Tough situations huh? That is why slowing down is so important. Ideally, we do not want to have to salvage so many articles because that is very time consuming and is not guaranteed to reap any benefits.
Writing Is Important, But So Is Knowing Where You Are Going
We definitely have to keep writing articles because that is the heart of any blog. We also have to be careful and know where we are going with it. Traffic is very unpredictable and can push and pull you like the wind. So there is some sporadic spontaneity that keeps you guessing. That is why we want to know where our blog is going but you do not have full control.
Even if you are not obsessed over traffic, you expect to get at least some. Blogging can be a humbling experience when it makes you realize how hard getting traffic is. We spend so much time writing and if it is all for naught, we get discouraged easily.
You have a few options to resurrect underperforming articles. Try updating social media and email newsletters with your articles to give them new life. No guarantees though. As humans, we always want more and to be better so try these suggestions and see what they can do for you.
If you are writing a lot of articles that are not going anywhere, then take a step back and reflect. Consider pivoting your niche and looking for another category to write about. Do not go too fast though. I know that we are under a lot of pressure to write due to competition, but do not blindly write.