9 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Bringing You Clients

Over the past couple of years, I’ve done a bunch of blogsite (‘blogwebsite’) reviews for colleagues, YLYW facebook community peeps, friends and clients who want to blog successfully, get clients through socialmedia, create community and establish a powerful online presence.

After I reviewed another one a few days ago, I decided to address some of the questions I get asked in a post, as they’re mostly variations of the same issues.

Here are 9 reasons your blogsite isn’t bringing you clients and what to do about that (I’ve been guilty of them all).

Feel free to add your thoughts as well!

1. You’re acting like an amateur, instead of a professional.

Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, talks about Resistance and the difference between amateurs and pros.

Amateurs write when inspired.
Pros write when inspired, but luckily, inspiration always strikes at 9am.

Well – it doesn’t, but the point he makes is that writing is about consistency. The hardest thing to do isn’t to write, but to sit down and prepare for it.

What you can do:

#1:Pick a time of the day and sit down in front of your computer for 10 minutes with all other browser windows closed. Whether you write a line or 10, don’t get up till your time’s up.
#2: Keep a draft folder of all your ideas in your wordpress dashboard, a folder on your computer and in a little notebook that you carry with you. When you’re stuck for ideas, go through them & pick.
# 3: On a day you’re feeling really inspired, stock up on writing 2-3  blog posts and schedule them for later dates.

2. You’re thinking like a coach/designer/insert title here instead of an invaluable resource.

I learned this one from David Garland of The Rise To The Top. His site is a resource for entrepreneurs who want to … rise to the top! He conducts interviews with top entrepreneurs for ideas, insights, stories, winning strategies etc to help entrepreneurs promote themselves in smarter, faster and cheaper ways.

For example, I’m creating YLYW to be a resource for multi-passionate people aka Scanners who want to figure out what their main passions are and find ways to make a great living by bringing them together. The solutions I provide for them range from coaching, to socialmedia courses, to community, inspiration and so on.

What you can do:

# 1: Identify who you’re a resource for, and what solutions you’re providing for them.
#2: Showcase your expertise and knowledge by writing pillar articles, conducting interviews with leaders in your niche, offering your services in different ways, doing a video series, creating educational content, collating your best biz resources and anything that establishes you as the go-to-person for your right people.

3. You’re writing for your peers instead of your clients.

Michael Martine wrote an eye opening post about marketing your freelance business with a blog. He’s right when he says that most service professionals tend to end up writing for their colleagues and friends.

What you can do:

You really need to focus on creating and writing for your clients! Less on getting comments and shares, more on what and who you’re writing to, ok? Getting conversations going, a few retweets and shares here and there, do not a client attraction strategy make (but great for community building & social proof).

Not saying you can’t talk about personal stuff in your blog or share, by all means do, just make sure you know why you’re blogging and be aware of who you’re doing this for and why.

This is something that took me a couple of years to figure out too. Don’t make the same mistake. Blog smart, blog right.

4. You’re spending all your time at home.

You write, you tweet, you share the post on all your social networks. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. Look, I don’t care how busy you are, but unless you’re an established blogger/entrepreneur like say, Chris Brogan, you need to step out of your online home and go visiting.

Heck, he didn’t get to where he is by twiddling his thumbs at home, and probably still goes a-calling!

What you can do:

#1: Get out of your blog and go where your people are.
#2: Comment on other blogs.
#3: Start a meetup group.
#4: Chat with fellow entrepreneurs and potential clients via email, skype, phone, in-person.

It’s all about relationships and communication online and off, baby.

5. It’s not clear what you do.

No really, what you do is much, much more than say, ‘coaching’.

If I come to your site and see “bla bla bla life coach bla bla bla” with a few paragraphs dedicated to telling me the difference between coaching and counselling (I had that copy up for an entire year!) and what co-active coaching means and why your values are so important, I’m going to RUN and not look back.

There’s nothing that spells the kiss of death like generic-ness!

Being a Sparkly Scanner type, I resisted niches for 2 years, picking and changing them over and over again. Now here’s where I’m going to deviate a little and say you don’t need a niche to be successful and be clear who your people are, if your MISSION is bigger than it.

What you can do:

#1: Be clear about problems you’re solving and the solutions
you’re providing. “Weight loss coach helping you to get fit without dieting” speaks to your perfect client better than “weight loss coaching”.
# 2 Read how to become a real authority in your field  and if you hate niche picking (ha ha) like me, find a common theme and make THAT it.

6. You have no calls to action.

What’s that? Something that compels a reader to take immediate action once they land on your site. It could be anything from reading, commenting on and sharing a post, to signing up for your newsletter, sending you an enquiry or making a purchase.

Whatever your call to action, make sure there IS one. You want a potential client to hang around your site and get to know you, instead of clicking away in a few seconds and never returning, so give ‘em a good reason to stay.

What you can do:

#1: Have an email sign up box clearly visible on your site, even if you’re brand new at what you do and have nothing to offer in return yet (like a freebie report or ebook).
#2:
At the end of each post, let the reader know what you want them to do. Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Share the post? Leave a comment? Work with you?
#3: Check out 10 techniques for an effective call to action for tips to maximise yours.

7. It’s hard to navigate your site.

Super bright colours that blind, white fonts on dark backgrounds, blocks of text with no pictures or breaks, using the same font size throughout, font sizes that are too small, too many widgets, more than 2 columns, unnecessary extras like tag clouds and category clouds, bad design, no easy navigation bars – the list is endless.

Whether you’re a scanner or not, you scan. Everyone scans. So it’s hugely important to have a site that’s easy to navigate, easy on the eyes and underwhelming vs overwhelming as the lesser of two evils.

This stuff is so basic and yet the easiest to get wrong.

What you can do:

#1: Use white space liberally – let there be light in your site.
#2: Break up long blog posts with pictures, bold headings, bullet points, quotes, 2-3 line sentences.
#3:  Use a minimal amount of widgets and social icons, decide which ones are the most crucial.
#4: Have the most important one (your email sign up box) on the top, above the crease of the page.
#5: Read 10 killer ways to boost your site’s readability.

8. You’re not promoting yourself.

Even if you hate promoting yourself, some simple easy tweaks will halve your work for you. You don’t have to be a selling machine but do remember that people buy who you are first, and what you’re selling second. Ie, they want what you have in terms of knowledge, business success, personality, happiness quotient.

If Seth Godin was to launch a product and you were to launch the exact same one, well he’d be the bigger seller by far on account of being known further and wider (unless you’re Apple).

What you can do:

#1: Use plugins: Some of my faves are Link Within (generates similar posts so the reader has an incentive to stay on your site), Comment Reply Notification (commenter gets an email when you reply to them and this brings them back to your site for more discussions), Like & tweet buttons (for sharing), Tweet-stimonials (social proof), WWSGD (welcomes you back to the site), WPTouch (so readers can read on their smartphones).

#2: Automagically link blog posts to other networks: Link your blog to networkedblogs on facebook, the WordPress widget on LinkedIn, directories like BlogCatalog.com so that they all get updated automatically when you publish a new post.

#3: Put the rss feed on top of the page so readers can subscribe in a few different ways.

9. Your writing is boring.

Dude. Nuff said. Smarten up. Hone your skills. Read copyblogger.com. Don’t be stuffy. Write like you talk. Write to one person. Put a unique spin on things. Your blogsite is your business and human face.

For God’s sake, SHOW SOME PERSONALITY!

Did you learn anything new? Got any tips to add? Please share your thoughts! ps: If this was helpful to you, I’d appreciate a tweet, like, share or stumble, thanks.

Stay connected ~

1. Sign up here for weekly Tuesday inspiration updates right in your inbox (& get the fun, FREE ebook on 10 top KICKASS ways to stop procrastinating + BRAND new, just released 120 Most Inspiring Quotes for 2012 eBook).

2. Join the Facebook page  for daily inspiration & coaching tips. Xoxo, Tia

Enter your FIRST name + email for SPARKLING weekly inspiration, occasional shimmery updates & exclusive product offers, Sparklepants!
Bonus gift: Instant access to "120 most inspiring, motivational quotes of 2012" eBook.
We hate spam just as much as you

Facebook comments:

comments

Comments

  1. says

    Tia!
    What a massively valuable post. So much gold here…it made me blush realizing how many of these “mistakes” I have made (ahem, continue to make). Thank you for the head shake and redirect.
    Tanya

    • says

      You’re welcome Annching. And welcome to the site, too! Mindset changes everything. This post was going to be about 11 tips but I got exhausted writing and was too impatient to wait for a few days to add more – an amateur move, I tell you. Oops! ;)

  2. says

    So glad I found you! It’s funny, I air on the side of cleverness and being really unique when instead, I really need to make sure I am hitting all my marks and speaking to future clients to give me the right leads. I am currently working on really simplifying my navigation and making less barriers to my work and what I do.

    I also love the tips about really honing in on what my clients are struggling with in my posts.

    So useful, thank you!

    • says

      Shenee, being clever and unique is great! That’s what will set you apart from others in your niche. I’m pretty sure you can find a way to spread your message in your own way, if you aren’t already doing that.

      Don’t go changing who you are or how you speak, instead amp it up AND talk about whatever adds value to your readers/clients. Love how you put that – less barriers to my work – that’s adding value, see. Thanks for letting me know the post helped you. Feel free to share it with your networks, thanks :)

  3. says

    TIA!! How awesome is this post? I sooo needed to hear this stuff! I am so grateful to you for posting all this stuff that us “newbies” would have to learn the hard way. Super thankful for you!

    • says

      Thanks for encouraging me to write it, Amy! Really, such simple things to do, aren’t they? ILooking forward to seeing your blog kick ass the way YOU already do!

  4. says

    My first time here and I definitely love your message here! All great tips. I just read “War of Art” for the first time. Glad it was recommended to me.

    I do agree that it’s about you. I’m doing a couple online courses now for the content but also because of who is running it. If I didn’t know about them or didn’t like them, I wouldn’t give them my business!

    I might have to check out the Tweet-stomonial plugin. Looks great!

    • says

      Hey Benny, so great to connect with you :) Yep, I’ve read WoA 3 times already and break it open at the first sign of resistance. Like em, know em, trust em, buy from ‘em! Thanks for dropping by.

  5. says

    Wow, Tia, I’m blushing. And guilty! And ready to make some serious changes to the way I blog. Thanks so much for pointing out the common errors, and for super helpful tips on how to shift to more effective, productive blogging. I’m bookmarking this post!

    Take care,
    Amy

    • says

      Ah, bless! Your clients and readers will love you for making their life easier – and your wallet too. Would love for you to share this with anyone you know who could use these tips. Thanks Amy!

  6. alex edlund says

    Out of fear of blowing your ego out of proportion, I won’t say this article was one of the most helpful blogging articles I’ve read. I just… I won’t do it.

    • says

      Out of concern for you being the caretaker of my ego, I won’t allow you to take on that burden. I just… I won’t do it ;).

      *Curtsies*

  7. Steven says

    Nice content however your grammer, syntax and structures suck big time. I like what you are syaing but all of it really is hard to read…..Best regards and have fun from Steven

    • says

      I like my gramma the way she is. Leave her out of it, mate ;). Steven, I write like I talk and wouldn’t do it any other way (yes, I learned the Queen’s English but have my own style). Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I appreciate that!

    • says

      ps: I hope you got that I was kidding in the first 2 sentences of my response ;) Seriously though, apart from the grammar/syntax/structure, what else made it hard to read – the colours? Quote styles? Constructive feedback is always welcome. Cheers!

  8. says

    Tia, it wasn’t at all hard to read and it was packed with so many great redirects to valuable info – thank you soooooo much for putting it all together and packing it with your fabulous personality! Grammar,syntax,structure? Whatever man.

    • says

      Haha! Thanks Liz, yep I’m fine with my grammar, syntax and all that, was just giving Steven a chance to be more constructive in his feedback apart from “that sucks bigtime”.

      Thing is, ‘MY’ peeps will dig the style I use, and polarising is a great way to know who resonates with my message, work etc. Can’t please everyone and nor would I want to.

      YOU, well, you’re definitely my kinda girl. Thanks for the great comment! And, you’re welcome :)

  9. says

    Tia – I loved this. My best friend sent me a link to this post because I just started blogging and am very conscious about attracting new visitors. I really want to say something important that people find of interest but still promote what I do. I can definitely use these tips. As a matter of fact, I posted on my FB blog yesterday and tagged a vendor I know who then visited my site and started to follow me. So it is already working! I hope you can come by my blog and maybe give me a review? You are probably pretty busy but would love to hear your comments.

    Cheers!

    PS I shared this on my FB page with my readers to pass the word on! http://www.facebook.com/partiesbyparis

    • says

      Hi Paris!

      May I suggest that you start with what YOU are passionate about, rather than trying to say something important? Maybe that’s what you meant but I wanted to make sure. You see, when we focus too much on finding the right things to say that makes an impact, creativity dries up a little.

      When we talk about what sets us alight, it comes through in every word we say and people just FEEL it! The energy you radiate will be so powerful that those who need to hear your message will be drawn to you.

      That’s the starting point.

      Then of course, having smart blog strategies like the ones I talked about help attract more traffic and people stay engaged and come back again. I checked out your blog real quick – it’s very pretty, love the colours but a little hard to focus (white print on dark backgrounds always is).

      The one thing I’d suggest you do right away is change the comment settings to allow “name and url” comments too. Many people don’t use google, AIM, open ID et to leave comments and you’re losing out on comments and engagement right there.

      Have a link to your facebook fan page on your site too! Let people know different ways to connect with you :) Hope this was useful to you, thanks so much for dropping by and sharing the post!

  10. says

    Thank you Tia for this post, some really useful tips that I’m going to make sure we put into practice. It’s so easy to focus solely on blog content and forget that it has to be easy to find, easy to navigate and visually engaging. I’m off to bend my digital manager’s ear!!

    • says

      Hey Natalie, thanks for the comment!

      Checked out your blog and have a little tip for you (feel free to disregard if you like). The reason 99% of blogs and websites have the widget column on the right and blog/content on the left is because the eye gets drawn to the left and then moves right, like we read. Categories, archives etc are less important and that’s why they are usually situated on the right side of the page.

      It’s fun to be different and do it the opposite way but in most cases, makes it harder for the reader (gets a little disorienting). A picture would really help in personalising your site too! Good on you for taking quick action, I’ve no doubt you’ll make your online presence rock!

      • says

        Hi Tia

        Thanks for your comments, advice is always gratefully received! We’re in the process of updating our blog and so will take these comments on board.

        Have a great day

        Nat
        x

  11. says

    Inspiring post, thanks. I found the link to this post on a book blog I follow, and found her post very interesting.

    I am not looking for “clients”, but do want a more professional blog. So thanks.

  12. Geraldine Curtis says

    I might have to check out the Tweet-stomonial plugin. Still don’t have the right calls to action but working on it!

  13. says

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I think I love you! Excellent post, excellent advice! I might have to start back at square three (one and two were learning bare-bones)…with your advice in hand, though, I might get somewhere magnificent!

  14. Patrick G. says

    It’s so true. Some are acting like amateurs and not professional so they get less readers, visitors and less traffic in return. How do you keep up with professionalism? Thanks for these tips though.

    -Patrick

  15. Kate Newland says

    I have to start a blog to link into a website for my new endeavor and am dreading it – but I am one of the lucky ones – I have someone to design the blog page and web page. Your hints, though, will be invaluable. Thanks a lot.

  16. Cindy says

    I have just come across your site. I love it! You have many articles that I have found to be a real inspiration to me. I am going through changes but find myself scared of failure. I have been playing around with beginning my own blog site but don’t consider myself to be an expert at anything, just well spoken and opinionated about lots of things . I have been unemployed and discouraged for a long time now and have decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own future instead of waiting on people to offer me work. Thank you for this site and the encouragement offered here.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>