This is a guest post by Jennifer Brown Banks . If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Blogs are a great way to brand your business and create a buzz about personal and professional agendas.
But, let’s face it; the R.O.I. (return on investment) can be a bit low in the beginning.
In my many years as a professional writer and relationship columnist, I’ve started several, gotten frustrated, lost the momentum, and decided to move on to bigger and better things. Then I would visit other sites, love the energy, read the success stories of how Blogs were turned to book deals, and well, have since reconsidered.
After all, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. Right?
Here’s the problem: because I enjoyed a pretty good “following” as a relationship columnist and feature writer, I expected to have as much traffic on my site as Chicago’s Eisenhower Expressway during rush hour! Wrong.
I would devote hours to choosing a hot topic, penning my thoughts, finding the perfect graphics, and see 0 “comments” posted for all my efforts.
This happened for several consecutive months. I started to call it quits, but much like a romantic relationship, I felt I was too far in to throw in the towel.
There would be nothing to show for my sweat equity.
So the strategist in me decided to work smarter, not harder this time.
I started visiting other sites with a mission. I wanted to know what was out there, how it compared to my online journal, and essentially what worked and what didn’t as a reader.
Here’s what I discovered and you will too. Even Blogs that have huge followings rarely have a lot of comments posted. Readers either don’t take the time to post their thoughts, don’t know how to register their comments, or don’t recognize the importance of their input.
In fact, the only way I knew folks were even reading my work is that my friends would call me on the phone or send Emails to tell me how much they enjoyed my posts. Go figure.
So, the next time you suffer from a bout of the “nobody’s reading my Blog blues” here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Recognize that success doesn’t come overnight. Blogging, even more so than any other form of writing, requires a lot of time and patience before it begins to bloom and take off.
2. Know that numbers can sometimes be deceiving. Have you ever gone on a diet? Most folks who have can tell you that the scale sometimes will show the same weight even though you’ve lost inches and your clothes are baggier. Pay less attention to the numbers and more attention to the needs of your readers.
3. Write with the right purpose. Rather than penning your way to popularity, use your adventures or misadventures in Blogging to become a better story teller, or to write tighter, or to develop ideas for editorial pieces. No writing done well is ever truly wasted!
4. Don’t get bogged in the Blog. Work on other projects that provide immediate gratification. Write a poem, do research, say hi to your Facebook friends. Like all areas in life, balance is important.
Follow these four tips and even if you don’t “win friends and influence people” your blogging blues might make you a hit song writer or the next American Idol!
You just never know where space travels can take you.
About the Author: Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, columnist, and editor. You can read more from here on her blog: Pen and Prosper.