Oh, the joys of the blogging life!
There comes a time in every bloggers journey, where we hit a massive plateau. Our posts grow dry, our numbers drop, and all we feel like writing is….ASEOINRSAOIG ODIHG OAIHEOINGAOWEIHG OSWLWE!!!
(No, that isnt’t a fancy foreign language, that was just me slamming my head on the keyboard.)
The feeling of hitting a brick wall can come from many sources. Be it bloggers burnout, a discouraging lack of action in the comments section, or simply a loss of direction on where to go next.
But never fear, my blogging dear! There IS a way to break through this trial which currently besieges you! You CAN break through the place you’re currently in, and take your blog to the next level!
Whether your next level looks like brainstorming new post ideas, connecting with new readers, growing email subscribers, or earning increased income, you can push past your current plateau and tackle those goals like the girl-boss you are!
1. Examine Your Foundation…And Consider Reconstruction
Every beautiful, safe, secure building requires a solid foundation. Cracks in the foundation can cause your entire project to go weak…so let’s examine what you’re building upon.
You can do this by asking some simple questions.
A) Do I like how my homepage looks? Is it warm, welcoming, and easy to navigate? Does my header image express the over-all look and feel I’d like your blog to project? Is it easy for visitors to move around, and find what they’re looking for?
If you answered no to any of these Q’s, it’s time to plan some tweaks! It doesn’t have to be anything major (unless of course, you’re in need of a major face-lift!) If you enjoy designing, this should be fun for you! If not, consider getting some outside help. I’d love to assist!
B) Is my domain name easy to remember and simple to type? Does it do well in key-word optimization? Does it truthfully express what my website or blog is all about?
If more “no’s” are rising to the surface, perhaps it’s time to consider changing your domain name. If you have a sub-domain (Such as livylynnblog.wordpress.com) and want to shorten your name to a simple www.livylynnblog.com, you can do so by purchasing a domain at Go Daddy.
Keep in mind that if you’re using WordPress, you’d need to upgrade to a hosting service such as Blue Host. Otherwise, if you’re still using the free version of WordPress, you’ll be stuck with a non-professional-sounding Sub Domain.
(Interesting side note about domains. Did you know that if you use a sub-domain you’re not able to use Google Ad-sense on your blog? Just another great reason, among many, to get your own Domain name!)
C) Am I totally in love with my current theme? Do I adore the platform I’m using? Or do I wish I had more creative freedom to design my dream blog, without having to get into complicated coding?
WordPress.com is wonderful, but it’s not the only option out there.
Some other platforms to consider are:
–Wix (Adorable templates, ZERO coding, and with a simple “Drag and drop” web-builder, there’s much more freedom to create pages exactly how you want them.)
-WordPress.org (What I use, hosting through Blue Host. The switch from WordPress.com to .org was really smooth, and now that I made the switch, I’m so happy that I did!)
–SBI Site Build It (Not as commonly heard of, but it’s quickly growing more popular as the secret of this amazing web-builder spreads! SBI focuses on search-engine optimization which is great for building a website with the goal of generating massive visitor traffic. I used it to create Crown of Beauty Magazine, and I recommend it to everyone I can! They also have a brand new program where SBI partnered with WordPress which is kinda like the Best of Both Words! My apologizes for the Hannah Montana reference, hehe.)
If the idea of giving your website or blog a makeover is totally intimidating, I’d love to offer a hand. (Two of my favorite sites I’ve designed are My Fairytale Ball and Becoming Esther. (Contact Me for more info about my Web-design services.)
2. Dazzle with Your Content
Everyone loves a well-packaged present, right?! I mean, what’s the fun of digging into a pile of gifts on your birthday, if it’s not adorably wrapped?
Blogging is really similar to that idea: the wrapping and presentation is super important! Being aesthetically pleasing shouldn’t be an after thought…it’s important to spend time and energy making your posts and their images fit your overall theme.
I know that I am MUCH more likely to click on an article if it has a lovely picture, and clear, easy-to-read words which communicate what I can expect in that post. The more professional your images and previews are, the better!
Your titles are also just as important. Look at how simple changes between these two post titles, can make all the difference…
My Favorite Books of the Summer
The Definitive List of Summertime Must Reads!
Why I’m Obsessed with Organizing
You could try…
7 Amazingly Easy Ways to Organize Your Life!
Which title sounds more clickable?
Remember, you never want to be deceptive with your titles. Nobody likes click-bate! But you do want to spend a little bit of time thinking about how your post title can stand out from all the thousands of others floating around on Pinterest.
After you work on your packaging, don’t forget to work on improving what’s INSIDE the posts! That’s the most important part! What fun is opening a pretty package, only to find a rotten tomato or smelly old socks? EW! Don’t disappoint your readers! If you’re gonna give ’em a killer title, follow through with an epic article!
Blog Content can be divided into several different types of articles. So for your next post, consider brainstorming a handful of ideas that could fall under any of these categories…
-A super catchy, or helpful title, that covers something practical and will help readers improve in that area of their lives.
-A heart-to-heart article, which shows your core readers who you really are, giving them a special look inside your heart and mind. Vulnerable posts discussing your struggles and breakthroughs, help create a true, lasting connection with your readers.
-A hot topic with viral potential. Tackle an issue or controversial trend that everyone’s talking about. Add your voice to the conversation, yet prepare yourself for perhaps some not so nice feedback.
-A potential income-earning post. Partner with a brand, affiliate company, or fellow blogging friends, to present something to your readers that could open up the possibility of bringing in extra income from your blog.
Be it through advertising, promoting your own products or services, or sponsoring a post that helps support someone else’s brand, these sort of articles are great as well!
Just make sure you don’t go overboard with promoting or sales…and remember, ALWAYS give your readers far more than you ever ask of them. Serve, work, and love them first, and you’ll be blessed in the future!
-A totally, 100% unique, YOU post. That’s right, do something that’s just…you. Your blog is your space to blab about whatever’s on your mind…be it castles, puppies, or the latest episode of When Calls the Heart, be you, and the right people will love that! And those who don’t? Well, I suppose that’s their loss. 😉
3. Repackage Your Email Freebie
If you’ve been around the Blogging world for very long, you know that growing your email-subscribers list is really important!
Most blogs offer a freebie such as an e-book, recipe collection, a 7 day email course, or something that readers in your particular niche will find valuable.
If your blog doesn’t offer an email freebie…it’s time to start working on creating one! And if it does, but you’re not getting many new subscribers, maybe it’s time to update and repackage what you’re offering.
We’ll tackle both of these issues in this post, but let’s start with the first one: how do I set up an email freebie for new subscribers?
You can use an e-mail provider like Mail Chimp to create your list, copy-n-paste a sign-up form to your site, and manage what emails you send to your excited new followers! Send the PDF download of your freebie in their Welcome email, which comes immediately after they sign up for your Blog Updates.
Remember, the most important thing about your freebie, is that it offers your readers something of value.
Do your readers love cooking? Give ’em free recipes! Do they want to learn how to become better writers? Whip up a free, Beginners Writing guide! What about self-publishing, organizing tips, or daily devotionals? Give readers in your unique niche what they want, something that solves a problem or makes their lives easier…and they will LOVE you for it!
If you already have an email freebie, but you’re not seeing many sign-ups, consider changing the title of your freebie. Highlight the true value of what’s inside. You might think, “7 Free Recipes!” sounds like enough for someone to be interested…but in all honesty, that title falls a little flat. Why would I sign up for 7 free recipes, when I can find THOSANDS of them on Pintrest? Where’s the value?
Think about what makes your content unique, helpful, and how it’s going to make your readers lives easier. Why not, “Don’t Think About Food for a Week: 7 Time-Saving Meal Plans!” Ohhhh, now that sounds a little bit more insisting, doesn’t it? It helps me see why this might be valuable to me.
Instead of, “Free Writers Advice!” try something like, “A Quick Guide to Outlining Your Novel – Saving You Time With the Messy Stuff so You Can Do What You Truly Enjoy: Writing!”
Focus on accuretly expressing the value provided with your freebie, and readers will be much more likely to stop and think, “Oh wow, this could be really helpful! I’d love to read it!”
4. Enroll in Affiliate Programs
If you dream of earning income from your blog, enrolling in affiliate programs is a great way to do so. If you’re just getting started with Affiliate programming, I’d recommend starting with an easy one…Amazon Affiliates!
Adding Amazon affiliate links to your post is quick, easy, and can add up to exciting payouts! Many affiliate and advertising programs have large financial thresh-holds you must cross before getting paid, but Amazon has smaller payouts which can encourage you to keep going, even with a smaller blog.
Another program I’d recommend checking out is CJ Affiliate, which has partnered with TONS of brands and business from all over the world! With CJ you can promote books, clothing, doggy toys…yeah, pretty much everything under the sun!
It doesn’t matter what your niche is, both Amazon and CJ have such a variety of topics, you’re bound to find something you’re excited to share with your readers!
5. Truly Care and Take Care of Your Readers
Far too many bloggers and online influencers get wrapped up in the idea of earning large amounts of income from blogging, and their readers suffer because of it.
They sacrifice their quality content to write a sponsored post for a product they’ve never used, are not passionate about, or their readers simply DON’T CARE.
That my friends…is not good.
A reader should NEVER feel like you’re using them to pay your bills. So if you’re churning out content with endless raving about this product and that, make sure you DON’T FORGET the single most important rule of blogging: place your readers first!
The relationship with your readers is a special one. They trust you. They’ve signed up for your email list, are excited see your posts, and enjoy having friendship with someone who’s passionate about the same things they are…so don’t toss it all out the window for your next big sponsored post or brand deal.
If an opportunity arises that doesn’t make sense to your readers, such as writing post about the magic of UPS at Christmastime for $25.00 (yeah, I’ve been offered that deal…) don’t do it! If someone asks you to participate in a Blog Tour with a book topic that none of your readers are into…don’t do it! If pop-up ads are going to irk your readers…don’t do it!
Protecting and caring about your readers and the special relationship you have with them should ALWAYS be number one. Period.
If you strive to write content that YOU’RE passionate about, and your readers enjoy, then you’re already nailing it! Growth will come in time. Focus on loving and being generous toward your small-community of readers, and it WILL continue to spread.
Taking your blog to the “next-level” isn’t something that happens over-night. But with faithful, consistent, determined action toward your goals, you will get there!
And in the meantime, enjoy the process! Let your community know how humbled you are to be invited to speak into their lives, and continue writing, posting, and Tweeting, for the one.
That, my friend, sounds like brilliant success to me. <3
Was this post helpful to you? What’s one piece of advice you’re going to take from the article above and apply to your own blogging? Share below!