Is Your Blog Dead? 4 Signs It's Time to Start Over
Five years ago, almost to the day, I started my freelance business with big dreams . . . dreams of being a fiction editor for self-publishing authors.
Things obviously didn't turn out that way.
It was never in my plan to be a writer---I swore I would never write for online publications because I thought I wasn't qualified. I had never even heard of the term content marketing, and anyone who looked at my blog for three seconds would know that I wasn't using a content strategy.
Fast forward to 2017, and writing for content marketing clients makes up the bulk of my income. Some of my favorite projects are working with creative entrepreneurs to develop a content strategy. I only take select editing projects, and I haven't worked on fiction books in years.
Long story short: our businesses don't always turn out the way we planned. Everything can change in just a few years.
The story of how I let my blog die
It's natural for our business goals to evolve and grow. There's nothing wrong with that.
But I got myself into trouble by continuing to blog about the same old topics, even though my audience and my services were completely different.
My lead magnet was an e-book that encouraged people to write a novel . . . but I no longer worked with fiction authors.
I still featured posts with fiction book reviews, grammar tips, and news about changes to style guides . . . even though editing was no longer my main service.
My blog became more unfocused every time I published. I could feel my readers falling away, but I wasn't gaining new followers. And I kept getting work requests from people who wanted me to do things outside my wheelhouse. ("Are you sure you can't edit poetry?" Yes. Very sure.)
I was letting my blog die because I didn't have a clear goal for my content.
Here are four signs that you might have the same problem, plus what you can do to fix it.
1. Your services have changed
You never want your blog to be a giant sales pitch, but we'd all be lying if we said we didn't hope that blogging led to connections with potential clients. Your blog content should be directly related to the services you offer. If you've pivoted your services but haven't pivoted your blog, all you're doing is confusing people.
Quick fix: Take the free Content Challenge to set new blog goals that align with the services you currently offer.
2. You have different target clients
A successful business blog writes targeted content with a specific person in mind. If you're working with different clients now than you were last year, then your blog content needs to change to meet their needs.
Quick fix: Create a short reader survey to get a feel for your new followers' pain points. The more you address their specific problems, the more they'll grow to trust you and connect with your brand.
3. You're attracting the wrong projects and clients
Maybe you haven't changed up your target clients or service offerings, but you're still getting random requests for projects you're less-than excited about. Seeing project requests that are way off base is a sign that your blog content could be attracting the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
Quick fix: Describe your ideal clients and projects. Then ask yourself how your current blog topics need to change to attract those people. (Need help? Check out the Blogging for Business workbook.)
4. You don't enjoy what you're blogging about
You can't write about whatever you want and maintain a strong content strategy, but you should still be interested in the blog posts you're creating. Readers can tell if you're not passionate about your blog topics. If you wouldn't want to read your own blog, no one else will either.
Quick fix: Look for a new angle on the topics you're writing about. These tips for finding blogging inspiration can help you find a new spin on your content.