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Bloggy-type help: How to travel beyond the plateau

Fat Mum Slim /

plateau
Hello you.

A while back I wrote this post on helping out a blog reader, and I said if anyone needed any help to email me and I’d do my darnedest to help out. I got some lovely emails through, and have to apologise for the tardiness in getting the posts up. This reader wanted to remain anonymous, but I think we’ll call her Lola {because that’s what I wanted to call Lacey but Shane wouldn’t let me}.

Almost 2 years ago I started blogging and now have hit a bloggy plateau.

My readership, stats and email subscribers have all stayed around the same numbers for ages now. Facebook is driving me crazy & I have had fellow social media bloggers give advice but I am really struggling to get my likers to 300 after 2 years of blogging!

How do you “step it up”? Find a way to take blogging to the next level? Or even improve things, especially since while I have a target reader in mind I don’t want to write about those targeted topics all the time? I have also chosen right from the beginning not to write about or show pics of my kids on the blog, so I don’t really want to go down that road now.

Would you be able to give a fellow blogger some advice?

Lola x

I certainly can. Hello Lola. What a beautiful name.

I’m going to focus on stepping you up in this post. It’s time to pack your bags and move on baby. Not from your blog, but that plateau you’re sitting on. The first thing I’m going to ask you to do is figure out where you are.

Say you were on a health kick and your health {or weight} was at a standstill and you just couldn’t budge it. Blergh, right? What would you do? You’d take a little health check. You’d grab a low-fat, decaf, skinny cappuccino and take some time to think about what’s working and what isn’t… and then you’d do a bit of an overhaul.

That’s what you need to do with your blog.

Here’s a little health-check I want you to undertake:

♥ Go into your stats. Check out the last six months. Find your 10 most popular blog posts. Write what they were on some paper. Now I don’t want you to go into your stats for 6 weeks. No cheating. Seriously, stats are the death of creative people. Don’t go there.
♥ Now I want you to think about the last year and what were the blog posts that you LOVED writing. The ones that made you get butterflies in your belly. Write those down too.

So now you know what worked, and you know what you loved writing. Consider that when planning posts for your blog. You can do whatever other tricks you like with your blog, but essentially it’s all about content… and preferably content that people want to read.

So every time you sit down to write a blog post you might like to ask:

Is it sexy? Is it shareable? Is it simple?

Sexy? Does it have something that makes someone want to read it? Just like a newspaper editor would create a cover story that makes people want to pick up the paper and buy it, you want your blog to have something ‘sexy’ about it that people can’t resist, or want to click on and read.
Shareable? You mentioned you wanted to grow Facebook, and this is one thing that will help. Make content that’s shareable. Ideally you’ll want people you think when they read a post of yours, “Hey my mate Susie would like this, I’ll share it with her.”
Simple? Make posts readable, in other words easy-to-read. But also create stuff that people connect with. I like sharing stories in hopes that another person might say, “Oh what? Me too… thought I was the only one.”

In an attempt not to make this the biggest blog post in the world, here’s some quick advice on the other things:

Email subscribers:
♥ Make sure your sign up form is in a prominent position on your blog. I recently changed mine, but perhaps share a little bit about WHY people should sign up? Health tips? Dinner ideas? Stuff to make you laugh? People are precious about their in-boxes so give them a good reason to sign up. Also, offer them something they won’t find on your blog.
♥ Grow your database by running giveaways and giving people a chance to opt-in to your email. If people are reading you on Facebook or through a feed they won’t see your sign-up form in your sidebar. Some bloggers like to have it at the end of every post. Up to you.

Facebook:
♥ Be social on Facebook. Share other people’s stuff. Create shareable stuff. And make it simple. Give a REALLY clear call to action. Ask questions that people can answer without even thinking. {Lola I’ll email you with some specific changes I think you could make}.
♥ Don’t be disheartened with Facebook. It’s going through some changes at the moment that are making it really hard to reach people. But let’s persist with it and see what happens. I’ll share a bigger post on Facebook later on.

Content:
♥ I love that you have decided not to write about your kids, and are sticking to it. Please don’t change. Only do what you’re comfortable with. But I guess you need to understand that people want to relate to you, so you need to share in a way that people can relate to you and you’ll just need to find that in other ways i.e. as a woman, your career etc.
♥ Don’t feel like you have to write to your targeted audience all the time. As people we talk about any topics we like in ‘real life’ right? Do that on your blog if you feel like. Writing some posts on this list of 50 topics I wrote has helped people get out of ruts, maybe it might help you.

One last thing, not every post has to be strategic. To be honest, most of the time I just write for the heck of it. I do things because they make me happy or I feel like I need to write about it, BUT sometimes I have to put my smart hat on and do some planning and this works for me.

Lola, I hope this helps. It was a pretty big topic! If you’re a blogger or business with a question you want help with me, feel free to email me.

  • Beka

    …funnily, curiously enough, Tara Swiger shared her podcast on this concept just this morning. Find it here: http://taraswiger.com/podcast3/

  • Lisa

    Chantelle, what do you think about WordPress? I have a blog there . Is it better to get someone to set it up for you to look more professional?

    • I LOVE WordPress. I wish I would have started on it earlier. This blog is WordPress, in case you didn’t know.

      If you have a little budget to have someone help you get it up, go ahead and do it. It think it’s an awesome investment.

      I knew how to work Blogger myself, back to front… but WordPress gave me a headache – because it was so foreign.

      So if you can do it yourself, go ahead, but it you have a little bit of money you can invest in making your blog a little perfect for you… do it! x

      • Lisa

        No I didn’t know yours was Wordpess. It looks soooo much better than other WordPress blogs I’ve seen. Yours is set out well and easy to navigate unlike mine which has bits and pieces everywhere.

  • Lisa

    Great advice Chantelle, thanks so much for sharing x

  • First of all just let me say this, I think it’s seriously a good thing you are doing by helping other bloggers out in such a big way (and then helping other bloggers by blogging about your response). Serious multitudes of karma there!

    Secondly, this is some really, solid, sound advice. Too often I run into blog posts about ‘how to improve you blog’ and they all seem to copy each other and regurge what others have said. These suggestions seem fresh to me, and I love the support of reminding this blogger that it’s okay not to always blog to a specific niche or audience.

    I don’t feel like I fit really well into any single category. And like this blogger, I have a child, but I’m not (and don’t want to be) a traditional ‘mommy blogger’. Nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t me. I’m more lifestyle, but with my own take on things.

    Way way good on ya for remember the ‘little guys’ even well after you’re blog has taken off. Too many ‘famous’ bloggers seem to forget the little guys who just need a little advice, help or encouragement sometimes.

    PS – I know it’s not Mother’s Day in OZ, but it is this weekend in the US….so happy mother’s day to you and all you other hard working mommas the world over.

    xx

    V @ Life+1
    New Post : Things to Do: Florida Keys

    • Aww thanks. What an awesome comment.

      It actually IS Mother’s Day this weekend for us too! {I think we have Father’s Day on a different day to you guys}. Happy Mother’s Day to you. xxx

  • This is fabulous advice Chantelle, thank you.
    P.S. I’ve never told you that I bought your something to blog about ebook a few years back. I haven’t revisited it for a while, but your apology to your English teacher for writing things without capitals made me laugh. I feel guilty every time I do it too! x

  • Robyn (Mrs D)

    I wanted to call my daughter Lola but wasn’t allowed to either. Such a cute name. This is such awesome advice, thank you. I just blog whatever I feel like, when I feel like it but I really think it’s time I started to do a little planning….

  • The Plumbette

    A great post with awesome advice! Thanks Chantelle! I’ve been blogging for the same amount of time and there are moments where you plateau for a while and then other times where you have some growth. It’s an interesting and fun journey!

  • MumOfFiveGirls

    Can’t get the song out of my head now…L-O-L-A lola !!!
    Great post…I need to follow a lot of your advice here….just need more time…!!!

  • Rashida Tayabali

    Fantastic advice! I’ve also had days where I’d really like to write on topics which may not be completely relevant to my audience but I find it fun to write so I go ahead and do it anyway!

  • This is awesome, Chantelle. Love how generous you are with your wisdom and advice.
    Ronnie xo

  • Such a nice information you have shared.. This is really nice… Thank you for sharing valuable information..

  • Simplify.Create

    Such great advice. Just what I also needed 🙂 I’m a new-ish blogger & am struggling to build my readership lately. You blog is so inspiring. http://simplifycreateinspire.com

  • Babs ([email protected]

    Such great advice! I hit a huge plateau but it looks as though I may be turing it around… Personally I have really struggled with sharing more of ‘me’ on my blog because I tend to hide from the camera but I can’t expect people to visit if I won’t even say hi! There are so many great tips here, thanks s much for sharing – I’m pinning this post! xoxo p.s I am loving catching up on all the posts I have missed in the past month here, this is my favourite by far though.

  • Wonderful post, Chantelle. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I’m currently writing a draft post about my first 12 months of motherhood in an attempt to become a little more personal and share more of myself…it’s a little scary though, to be honest. I’m realtively new to the bloggy world – I’m in my second month, so I’m finding I still have loads to write about, but I’ll bookmark this post for two years’ time!
    http://www.rambleonivy.com

  • Hi Chantelle, thank you so much for all your great tips on Blogging (I have read this post and several others…, I started blogging a year and a half ago but I still very much feel like a newby. Trying to work out how to get my posts read, and build up a readership….facebook, branding etc. Gosh there is so much to learn! and it also takes a lot of time. But I am enjoying the ride very much ….. and blogs like yours are so very helpful to ametures like me!

@Fatmumslim