Poor Nickelback. Formed in 1995, they’re a Canadian rock band who are regularly the butt of – admittedly funny – jokes.
Which concert has a ticket price of just 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.
You’re welcome. There’s shed loads more here.
But, when your lovingly crafted blog doesn’t perform well, that ain’t quite so funny.
Even less funny is someone comparing your blog to Nickelback.
No one wants that.
So, what gives? You publish posts regularly, you’re passionate about the blog and you keep sharing the posts on social media. Why is no one bothering to visit them or leave comments?
Here are ten reasons your blog is about as successful as a crap Canadian rock outfit.
1. Your headline is too cute
No, not cute as in aww-look-how-gorgeous-that-golden-lab-puppy-is kinda cute, more in a get-over-yourself kinda cute.
Blog headlines shouldn’t attempt to outsmart the world, they should be descriptive, contain keywords search engines will love and promise something on which you will 100% deliver.
And that one good reason they are still successful.
2. No one cares about the content
This is one of the hardest blogging lessons to learn – particularly if you’re passionate about your writing.
It might simply be that the topics you’re writing about aren’t being considered by anyone apart from the three regular readers you have. Or you might be answering questions no one is asking.
Nickelback have reinvented themselves numerous times to make sure they cater for their audience. They started as a half decent grunge band. They moved to into the post-grunge phase to appeal to newer youngsters. Now they write saccharine pop hits with a hint of guitar.
But they have done their research. They new nobody was interested in their antiquated sound.
Are you really undertaking comprehensive keyword research which is presenting you with questions that are being asked by a significant number of people?
3. You’re not beating the competition at their own game
Let’s get this straight – there isn’t a blog topic that hasn’t already been written about in some way, somewhere by someone else.
A case in point: I’m not the first person to write about how to improve a poorly performing blog. This post joins thousands of others on the same theme. But how many of those open with a Nickelback comparison? How many of those are cleverly targeted at a specific UK audience thanks to smart behind-the-scenes SEO work?
There’s nothing wrong with copying the competition, stealing their idea or looking to them for inspiration when yours has dried up. Your blog posts simply need to be better, more targeted and totally unique.
Let’s be fair, Nickelback have hardly reinvented the wheel when it comes to rock music. They’re successful thanks to the likes of Nirvana and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
But it didn’t stop them being successful.
4. Your blogs look terrible
Blogging is a form of design. If your posts are just huge lumps of text with long, drawn-out paragraphs, people are probably being put off at first sight.
Overcome this by:
- writing in short, sharp paragraphs;
- using bullet points and numbered lists;
- breaking your blog up into easily scannable sections; and
- clearly labelling each section with a H2 heading that follows the same rules as your main headline;
- Getting a big Jesus perm, or wearing black like Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger.
5. You’re not encouraging comments
Yeah, I know, you’ve seen some of the comment threads on other blogs that have totally put you off encouraging readers to leave comments, but for every clown on the internet there’s ten lovely people.
Let’s be completely honest, we are never short of a few comments when Nickelback drop a single are we?
If you’ve nailed the subject matter, blog structure and the content itself, a good number of your readers will want to leave comments.
However, like so many things in life, they’ll probably need a little bit of encouragement – or a reminder – to do so. That’s why there’s no harm in signing the blog off by asking for reader input.
6. You’re posting too infrequently
To you, posting once a month is more than enough, given the time you have available.
You should be blogging at least once per week, even if that means calling on the services of other people to help you.
Google likes active websites, and the combination of regular publishing and great keyword strategies will give your website a far better chance of being surfaced on relevant search results.
7. You’re copying other bloggers
I stand by what I said earlier: there’s nothing wrong with gaining a little bit of inspiration for your blog from the competition.
But that doesn’t mean you can copy their work word-for-word like you did in that English assignment at school.
Nickelback only sound like other artists, their lyrics are their own. Or maybe it’s that nobody would own up to them since Chad screeched them.
Not only will you be carrying out a pretty heinous content marketing crime, you’ll also be given short shrift by Google. The world’s biggest search engine is also arguably the cleverest; it can spot plagiarised content a mile off.
Don’t do it.
8. You’ve forgotten to change your URL structure
Which of the following URLs do you think Google and the people who want to share your post will prefer?
What if Nickelback had named their next single something like: HTML.27928t23_nickeroony_how/you/rewind-me.co/068348?
Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue now does it?
Depending on the blogging platform you’re using, changing the URL structure should be pretty easy. You should always opt for the second type above, or the one that includes both the date and the blog title. It makes a huge difference to SEO.
9. You’re not doing the obvious SEO stuff
Unless you’re that way inclined (and know what you’re doing), no one is expecting you to wade knee-deep in technical, back-end search engine optimisation for your blog posts.
That’s one thing you have to give Chad Kroeger and co. They understand, and repeatedly perform, the basics. Simple chord structures and rhythm patterns, Nickelback are the master of basic.
Most blogging platforms give you the option to add a meta description and title. That stuff still matters in SEO, and if you’re not bothering with it, you could be ending up with meaningless or non-existent meta data. And no one wants that.
10. You’re not linking in or out
Internal and outbound links are important for blogs. They help you rank better on search engines and add some weight to what you’re saying.
For each blog post you write, try and include at least one internal link to another piece of your own content and a couple of outbound links.
For the latter, you can use this to highlight the source of any statistics you quote or provide the reader with useful further reading.
Getting a blog to work successfully and consistently is damn hard. It takes patience and a relentless desire to make it an on-going affair.
That makes it sound rather daunting but trust me – when your blog starts to click with the audience and its net widens thanks to Google, you’ll be glad you put in that initial effort.
Just revisit this post whenever your efforts aren’t delivering results. I guarantee you’ll be guilty of at least one mistake above.
If there is anything you would like to add, then please leave a comment below. We appreciate any comments.
p.s. I actually quite like Nickelback, to be fair.