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Two Ways to Boost Your Blog’s Energy

Do you feel like your blog has hit a glass ceiling? Traffic holding steady, or even decreasing? Are your earnings not what you’d like? Here’s my advice:

Switch gears

If you keep getting the same (unsatisfactory) results, you need to change your approach. Get different output by giving your blog different input.

You can do SEO until you’re blue in the face. You can redesign your theme. Add new widgets. But you’ve already done all that, right?

Here are two ideas that will breathe some life into your blog. I guarantee it!

Write off topic

Yep, I’m a blog heretic. Everyone knows that blogs should be centered on a happy little niche. I argue that sometimes a niche can be a rut.

Maybe you’re a horse blogger. You’ve been blogging for 6 months now, and traffic has sort-of plataued. You write great stuff about horses, but your reader base is small.

Diversify! Don’t just write about horses. You can gain new, loyal readers with a few posts on other topics. Heck, I’ll read a horse blog, if it’s got other good insights as well.

But how do you do that? The key is to still be a horse blogger, but go off on some related tangents. Maybe you’ve got some great thoughts on other animals. What about the environment in general? Share a great blog tip you figured out.

This tactic will work for two reasons. First, loyal readers will keep reading because you’ll still write about horses. If something about sheep doesn’t appeal to them, they’ll just skip over it. Second, you’ll gain new readers who find your blog through these new topics. Many people will subscribe to a blog after only one post that they really like!

Promote in another way

If you think my first idea is nuts, maybe you’ll like this one. Experiment with new and creative blog promotion strategies.

Let’s face it: there’s only so much you can do on-page to improve your blog. A large portion of success is getting the word out.

Perhaps you haven’t had much luck with Digg. Neither have I. So I don’t keep doing what doesn’t work. Find something that does work.

StumbleUpon can be a great referrer for some content. You don’t get thousands of hits in a few hours, but you can easily get hundreds in a day. For small blogs like mine, that’s a ton of traffic!

What about reddit? A few of my GTD posts have brought in significant traffic from that network. On the other hand, some posts simply flop there.

If social sites aren’t your thing, branch out to other bloggers. Perhaps you can get a guest blogger spot on another blog in your niche. You don’t have to be famous. Just write well, make it fit the destination blog, and be nice to the blog’s owner. It’s worth a try, right?

Your own ideas?

Hopefully that’s given you a new idea or two. But now is where you all get to help me and everyone else…

What’s your best tip to give your blog a boost? Let us all know in the comments.

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7 Responses to “Two Ways to Boost Your Blog’s Energy”

  1. Brett McKay
    May 10th, 2007

    Excellent post, Andrew. I have some off topic posts brewing as we speak now that I think will definitely bring people to The Frugal Law Student who probably wouldn’t come.

    I don’t know about blog promoting. I’ve had a few posts dugged and put on reddit. While I get an awesome spike in traffic, it quickly goes back to normal the next day. I doubt I’ve made longterm readers from those social services. However, I really like stumbleupon. Thanks to you submitting my GTD finance post, I’ve consistently received traffic from them. I think the best way to promote your blog to get continued readership is one reader at a time.

  2. Rory
    May 11th, 2007

    Yep, I’m a blog heretic. Everyone knows that blogs should be centered on a happy little niche. I argue that sometimes a niche can be a rut.

    Long live the heretics!

    This is excellent advice, to my mind. I think the whole niche philosophy is a myth, anyway. Taking your horse niche as an example: How much do people who write about horses really want to read about horses and only horses? There’s even some likelihood that bloggers in a niche are somewhat anxious about their fellow bloggers because they write about the same topic.

    Suggesting to widen out is a good one, and certainly a way to snag new readers.

  3. Andrew Flusche
    May 11th, 2007

    Hi Brett,

    I think you’re right about the limits of blog promotion through social bookmarking. It’s ultimately hard to gain regular readers that way.

    Maybe looking to some other promotion ideas could help. That’s why I suggested the guest post idea. My big point was to just try different things. In your case, perhaps there’s a personal finance forum where you could tactfully drop a couple links.

    Good luck,

  4. Andrew Flusche
    May 11th, 2007

    Hi Rory,

    I’m glad you liked the article. You’ve added some great observations. Together we can all be better bloggers!

    Take care,

  5. Matt Keegan
    May 14th, 2007

    I tell people that when I am blogging off topic for an extended period of time that I am “repurposing” my blog. Then, I take it in another direction and repurpose it once again. I like to keep people guessing as to where I am going next.

  6. Andrew Flusche
    May 14th, 2007

    Hi Matt,

    It sounds like you’re a guy of many talents! I just thought of the Pied Piper. You’re leading your flock of readers around, with them guessing where you’ll go. Although they’re in for a real treat at the end, not danger. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting,