Does your blog ever seem like an empty stadium? Just a few spectators? An empty comment section? Perhaps some banner ads but little else going on?
Here are a few areas you might be able to improve:
You aren't collecting emails well. OR AT ALL.
This is the easiest mistake to make and thankfully also the easiest to fix. It's crazy and embarrassing to think that I once had a blog where I wrote about marketing yourself as a musician/band but never once thought to include a widget to collect emails (hyp-o-crite!).
Neglecting to collect emails while you toil away writing quality posts results in a very low return on time invested (especially in the long-term). There is literally no excuse for not having a way to collect emails on your site. Use Mailchimp (for the widget and list management) AND SumoMe (for a brilliant popup email collector) - both are 100% free and what I use on this very site!
You are promoting to the wrong people.
Your friends are not necessarily your ideal audience. It's also hard to have an audience come to you when they don't realize you even exist. One of the best methods to build an audience is to have someone point them in your direction (earned media).
When you are starting out, try to get influencers in your space to promote your writing to their audiences. Ask them for quotes about the topic to include in your posts. Let them know when the post goes live (and that you've included + linked to them) and you'll be surprised by how often they share it with their audience via Twitter and other social networks.
You're covering topics that don't appeal to your audience.
Have you drifted away from what got your audience interested in the first place? You'd be surprised how many successful writers this happens to! Marketer Noah Kagan (@noahkagan), founder of OkDork, received an email from a reader that had just unsubscribed from his mailing list:
I just unsubscribed from your blog. The reason is I feel the blog is turning into a business startup email blast. I used to receive my okdork email and be excited to see something interesting or learn something new. For instance, I learned from okdork that the gas tank indicator has an arrow pointing to what side of the car I need to pull over on to pump my gas. That tip saved me many costless minutes reversing and backing up to go to another pump, lol. Seriously, I loved to see the emails in my inbox because it was interesting stuff. Now I feel the blogs have changed and are geared towards the technological at heart…
If in the future you steer back towards the okdork I loved to read, then I will resubscribe. Otherwise, thanks for the good reads and I wish you all the best…
Noah actually convinced the reader that she wanted to re-subscribe but sometimes that's just not possible. Identify if the direction you are heading in is gaining more readers than it's losing and proceed accordingly.
You're in an, "on again, off again," relationship with your blog.
Running a blog isn't a full-time job for everyone. Regardless of how big a part of your life/work writing is, you need to stay on some kind of schedule. That can mean once a day or once a week but people need to know when to expect more of your ideas to appear.
There's nothing worse than scattershot blogging. If you write something that gets loads of engagement but are then silent for a month you've lost any potential momentum you could have gained. Anyone who enjoyed what you wrote immensely would have already checked back (possibly a few times) and seen nothing new. Why would they continue to check back? Eventually they'll give up. Keep them coming back and have them be delighted by what they find!
Your website isn't optimized for mobile.
Have you looked at the mobile section of Google Analytics lately? Have you ever? Regardless, go to the page (Audience > Mobile > Overview) and check it out. Let's take a peek at Highlighter's analytics:
Now remember, Highlighter is an iOS app that enables users to save and share the best parts of what they read online. Considering this, It's only natural that many people would visit the page on their mobile devices (and hopefully, since we're trying to target the right audience, they'd be on iPhones and iPads). In the image above, you can see that over 40% of sessions started on the Highlighter website have been on mobile devices. If we hadn't made sure the page worked flawlessly on mobile we would have lost out on an incredible amount of signups!
Plenty of options exist to make a mobile version of your site but the best, in my opinion, is to have a website that is responsive and rearranges itself depending on window size (notice that if you make your browser window small enough while viewing this blog it will switch to the design that you would view by default if you visited it on your phone). Hire a designer to build you a responsive site or use a platform such as Tumblr, Wordpress, or Ghost (which powers this site). They all have plenty of high quality free responsive themes.
All of the solutions to these five reasons why not enough people view your blog are nontechnical. All of them simply require a few minutes of time to set up or a change in mindset.