What Are You Struggling With on Your Website or Blog Right Now?

Welcome to another Think Traffic monthly report!

This time I want to do things a little differently from other monthly reports. I’m going to share the usual growth figures and stats for this site below, but more importantly I want to ask you a big question today.

What are you struggling with on your website or blog right now?

We’ve been publishing these reports every month for over a year and a half now. I realize that the things we struggle with to grow this site might be different from what you struggle with on your own site, depending on what stage of the game you’re at.

To keep these reports fresh and relevant, I want to find out what how we can help you best.

If you have a minute right now, I’d love to know what problem you’re wrestling with at the moment.

What is keeping you from building the website or blog of your dreams? What are you stuck on? What are you frustrated by? What makes you think about throwing in the towel or starting over?

Please share in the comments.

We’d also love to hear what you think about these monthly reports. Are they useful? Should we change anything? Is there anything else you’d like to know about what we’re doing to grow Think Traffic on a regular basis?

We’re here to help, so don’t be shy.

What went on here in October?

With all of the behind the scenes launch work for Expert Enough going on, Caleb and I have had the pleasure of featuring a lot of different people on Think Traffic over the past month. In October we had ten total posts, with two guest posts and two video interviews. Of the remaining six posts, five were related to the Million Dollar Blog Project and the last one was the monthly traffic report.

Featuring guest interviews and content on your blog can do a number of great things.

  • brings in new audiences to your site
  • keeps the content fresh
  • broadens the topics discussed
  • allows you to save time to spend on other intensive projects

Through the connections we’ve made online we could spend months just featuring guest posts and interviewing interesting online entrepreneurs and bloggers. We don’t ever plan to do that (we have a lot to say too and enjoy writing original content too much), but mixing in those resources makes it easier to keep content flowing and keeps what we produce fresh. 😉

Now, let’s talk about some stats for the month.

This Month’s Traffic and Growth Statistics

Think Traffic - Analytics Oct 2011

We saw 34,640 visits this month (versus 32,217 last month). This was another record month for visits to thinktraffic.net and a month to month increase of nearly 8%. The Million Dollar Blog Project has been a great driver of growth and fun way to connect with so many Think Traffic readers. We highly recommend taking on a group project at your own site if you’re feeling up to it.

Let’s look at some other stats for last month:

10 total posts were published last month (vs. 9 in the prior month), including 2 guest posts:

Thanks to Danny and Danielle for the guest posts last month.

Have you enjoyed the guest posts and interviews we’ve published lately? If there are any special guests you’d like us to interview or ask to write for Think Traffic, we’d love to hear it in the comments.

Top Traffic Sources

Think Traffic - Sources Oct 2011

Search traffic to the site has really grown over the past few months. Search now represents about 30% of all visits to the site. Total monthly search volume has tripled since the beginning of this year, all without any real SEO focus or link building here. This shows that if you focus on delivering great content that people want to read and naturally link to, the search traffic will follow.

Basic SEO is important for bloggers to understand and implement, but much more than that is a distraction from what really matters (the content).

Here’s a graph of search traffic growth this year:

Top Search Terms:

  • think traffic: 745
  • thinktraffic: 492
  • unique selling proposition: 450
  • sales pitch: 371
  • personal introduction: 349
  • unique selling point examples: 330
  • unique selling proposition examples: 293
  • million dollar blog project: 191
  • best sales pitch: 103
  • endurance nation site design: 84

Top Content

Think Traffic - Content Oct 2011

There’s no question, the MDBP has occupied a big part of our attention here lately. Look at the top two pages from last month: the MDBP leaderboard and MDBP project report list. If you’re following along with the project, thanks again for participating. If you aren’t following along, don’t worry, we’ll have more regular content coming up here soon after we launch Expert Enough next week.

Now, Back to You

We want to know what aspect of growing your website or blog is giving you a hard time. Please let us know in the comments because we’d love to help.

What are you struggling with on your website or blog right now?

Now let’s hear it. There is no right answer. Just tell us what you could use the most help with in building your website or blog right now.

Thanks as always for being part of the Think Traffic community. We appreciate it and love all the interaction lately.

Published by

Corbett Barr

Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.

97 thoughts on “What Are You Struggling With on Your Website or Blog Right Now?”

    1. Hi Dan,

      I’ve considered this problem as well and the first thing you can do is ask people you know to consider doing a guest post. Of course it depends on what kind of niche you are in but sometimes all it takes is a few guest posts from friends or relatives to get things going.

      Twitter is also a good place to get in touch with fellow bloggers. Try to follow other bloggers in your niche and most will follow back. You can then build some good relationships and you would be surprised and how many would be willing to help you out.

  1. Man you have got everything covered here, lots of statistical data.

    Your search traffic growth chart is trending in a consistent positive direction from the start of the year to now, which is great news from your point of view.

    Just out of interest how many years has this blog existed for to start reaching these numbers?

  2. Corbett,
    I definitely have a few struggles with my blog right now. I’m at a point (1 year) where I feel it’s time to start creating income instead of just writing as a hobby. I’ve built a decent amount of traffic (19k visits/month), but have not attempted to monetize at all.

    I’m making a number of changes regarding the focus and direction of my blog and am struggling with creating a strong message/product. I’m not really interested in just adding more clutter to the internet by doing something unremarkable, but I’ve been told by many successful online entrepreneurs that I just need to get started with something.

    This is where I am torn. Should I start creating products just to get some experience or should I work on trying to create something incredible? Or both?
    I LOVE blogging and see mine as a platform for whatever business I choose to create, but I just can’t seem to get excited about creating for the sake of creating.

    I’m one of those people who listens to everyone and gathers a huge amount of information and takes little action. It’s obviously a huge problem in terms of building a business, but the overwhelm factor and info overload are constantly present. There are so many great bloggers/internet entrepreneurs that we can learn from and I have trouble with deciding on whose advice to follow and to what extent.

    Anyway, I could go on forever here, but I do love what you are doing here and the reports are helpful. The only problem I see with your reports is that I think a lot of bloggers will get frustrated by their own lack of results when they see your numbers. The question “why don’t I have his results” is one that probably comes up often. When we see you killing it here, we have to question what we are doing differently (or wrong) that is giving us subpar results.

  3. Time and prioritization. I’m trying to do too many things right now so that I can have a solid base for when I go self-employed early next year, but the realities of balancing all my business activities with my day job and person life are pretty challenging.

    Trying to figure out where to focus the limited time I do have and which projects should be my highest priorities is definitely tripping me up right now.

  4. Well, I’m right on the cusp of launching Inappropriate Metaphor right now, and I’m struggling in two ways:

    1) The way I ALWAYS seem to struggle – I’m a natural introvert. I know how important networking is, I really do. And I’m much more comfortable expressing myself in words than in person – so there’s an advantage there. But I struggle to know who to try to network with, how to add value to the relationship, what the etiquette is … all the social niceties that simply don’t come easily to me.

    2) How to determine what content my readers want. I know what I want to write – I have a list of over 60 post ideas that really get me motivated to write – but this early in the game, I’m not sure how to really engage my readers and get them to tell me what they want to know about. I worry that I’ll miss my mark with what I’m doing.

  5. Hi Corbett,

    Being taken seriously is what I’m dealing with. I’ve got a proven track record of great guest posts on highly aurthoritative blogs, but the other blogs I want to guest blog with just aren’t taking me & my offer seriously :(

  6. Struggling with getting my emails opened and links clicked on. Getting loads more subscribers since adding Popup domination, but just not getting my email content read.

  7. I just feel like I’ve hit a plateau. The blog is fairly popular but I’m trying to get over that hump get past the plateau that I’m currently at.


    1. Hey Rohan,

      Just out of curiosity, because your blog seems to be about events in DC, have you ever gone to or sponsored at a local event to promote your blog?

      I’ve always wondered how local blogs interact with the community is this regard.

    2. Hi Gregory,
      I have not promoted my blog at local events yet, but was approached by some folks to co-host an event soon, so that should be happening in a few weeks from now, 1st week in December. So we’ll see.

      Great question that makes me think of some other ideas.

  8. Hi Corbett,
    I started a hobby blog in the spring of 2010. The blog topic REALLY took off – we have an average of about 70,000 pageviews per month and 32,000 Facebook fans on our page (organically grown). The topic of the blog is “365 Things to do in Cincinnati”.

    I didn’t start out to make this blog a business but it quickly became one. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE doing this blog and interacting with the businesses and people I meet in my adventures. I would love to make this blog into a business that will allow me to do this full time (or will at least pay me in a modest fashion).

    Because this is a local blog, I’ve had some trouble with monetization. I have some local ads from local businesses but they’re not enough to really pay the bills. And affiliate income really doesn’t fit into my “theme” as my blog is based on things to do in our city.

    I would love to know what you would suggest as far as monetization goes. It is my true passion…. but I’m at a loss for how to monetize this local blog and would greatly appreciate your help so I can keep doing this everyday!

    1. Sure, Rohan. I’d love to chat with you about what has worked for us. Rather than posting my contact info here, I’d prefer you go to the site (my name is the link) and go to my contact page. My email is there.

  9. “This shows that if you focus on delivering great content that people want to read and naturally link to, the search traffic will follow.” This is so encouraging and really resonates with me. My thinking is why focus on SEO right now? If I’m successful in drawing traffic to the site but there’s no real content – they’ll just leave.

    I finally feel as though I have a small audience since I’m starting to get comments. Now I need to grow traffic; I know the next step is guest posting. My struggle is to stay positive and continue to deliver content while working on a killer guest post. I’m glad I took time to read other blogs in my niche (even ones I didn’t particularly enjoy) as that opened my eyes to the best opportunity.

    Look for a blog with a huge readership with what may be sub-par guest posts. I found one and that built my confidence to approach them. If you KNOW you could do better than the last guest post, it’s probably worth a shot right?

    I think this is worth my time a lot more than SEO. Google seems to be changing things again and in a lot of ways, I feel that trying to master SEO at this point is chasing a moving target anyway.

  10. Corbett,

    I´m really concerned about creating content that will agregate some value for the audience. I´m having trouble in finding subjects that atracts people and with potential to create a conversation.. that´s my strugle nowadays!

  11. We’re really struggling with Bounce Rate! Over the past couple months, it’s been increasing and we were well over 80% bonce…that is not good.

    Recently, we’ve done some revamping to our top pages to try and keep readers on our site and clicking to other pages/posts. So far, we’ve made some changes to our top 10 pages and have seen a little bit of a dip in Bounce, which is a start!

    We are also in the process of changing the structure of our horizontal menu bar to make it more attractive to click on…we plan to add a “New? Start Here!” button for our new visitors…and to try and gather more opt-ins.

    So for us, we’re struggle with Bounce Rate and Site Layout right now.

    1. Eric,

      Please correct me if I am mistaken, but you are participating in the MDP, correct? If my assumptions are in fact correct, you are located along the top 10 of the leader-board when the MDP leader-board is sorted by “Reported Income.” I can say that I am guilty of looking at that leader-board, clicking the different site links, taking a quick look, and going on to the next one.

      That is not to say that is the only possible reason for your bounce rate concerns, but I know it certainly does not help.

      Just wanted to share that with you!

      Best wishes,

  12. I’m struggling with subject matter. The blog is a company one designed mainly to promote my own technical products. That does not lend itself to exciting posts or ones that are shareable. I’ve been branching off into somewhat unrelated topics, but there’s a danger in that.

    1. Hey Darren,

      I’ve found that reading about enticing headlines usually helps with this, as when you are imagining magnetic headlines usually the post ideas come along with it.

      Round-up and list posts are the “go to” for almost any niche, “The Top 25 Best …”, you almost can’t go wrong with those as long as they stay on topic.

    2. Hi Darren,
      I know what you mean.
      What you can do though are go through and do each of:
      and maybe think about doing posts such as:

      Just because its about your products, you can still sell great blog posts. Write about you, why you do what you do, how they solve problems for people, how they chnge the users world and how their development has affected YOU and so on.

      Let me know how it goes,

  13. Hey Corbett,
    Great stuff as always. Loving all the recent interviews. I think I am struggling to understand how I am doing. I have been blogging for a year now. Have a few products for sale. Have a program to help walk people into language learning. Have slow steady growth. But in it all, I don’t really know what I am doing well at or what I could be doing better. I listen to podcasts, read blog posts and try to apply the lessons I am learning but still don’t know how I am really doing. I wrote a guide for language learners (The EDLL Guide to Self-Assesment) which is all about helping new learners get a handle on these sorts of questions. I need some handles! I need someone to step in beside me and look at everything I am doing and have done and give me some real feedback. I need ruthless evaluation and I’ll tie the ego up in the corner when it comes. That is what I am struggling with.

    1. How closely do you track your analytics? What analytics services are you using?

      This is specifically traffic related obviously, so maybe you don’t mean those types of metrics for “how you’re doing.”

    2. Gregory has a good point. Take part in the MDBP challenge and you get a clicky dashboard which will give you a lot of stats on daily traffic etc. I also use google analytics which gives me another view of what people do on my blog and how they find it.
      I can have a look at your site and give you a free evaluation if you will do the same to mine? What do you think?


  14. I’ve started my blog a few months ago but I hadn’t really paid attention to it until last month when I joined the MDBP and started posting consistently.
    I was checking my stats today and it’s amazing how, thanks to this push in only one month I’ve gone from 200 visits to 646 (226% increase). From 851 pageviews to 2,899 (240% increase) and a 8.82% bounce rate.

    I know my total numbers are not amazing. But my growth in only one month focusing on my blog is absolutely great for me.

    I have a lot of challenges ahead. I’m struggling with SEO and definitely I need to do something to get more subscribers.

    Thanks guys for this challenge. It has helped me to learn how to focus on my blog and it’s the first time I see positive results.

    1. Hi Cristina, I’ve found the quick way to get more subscribers is to give away something of value. I did an ebook and went from sometimes going weeks with no subscribers to multiple subscribers per day. Best of luck.

  15. I have been playing with the concept of having a blog and store for Visual art for couple months but I started seriously about last month. Since last month my growth 47% ( from 150 to a 278 visits- not many visitors but % is not bad).
    My blog is visual so not much content in it and my audience will be creative people.
    I know where they are, it is a saturated market. Still believe since I love it my blog grow. Plus it challenges me to push my self for better content.
    It is a visual art is a broad subject and now I am testing which area I should focus more ( educational, fun, how to) or all of them.
    When I see the report from most people the top result is from organic google search, which tells me SEO optimization should be first thing to do.
    (Correct me if I am wrong).
    Also need to know what are the resource to better SEO for visual sites (not content based).
    and my time management, since I have my graphic design full time business too.


  16. Hi, I’m struggling with consistent blogging to get the traffic coming in and also ways to engage more with my visitors/potential visitors on social media sites to build community. I’ve started to do that on my site with a few people visiting and leaving comments, but I don’t seem able to maintain the momentum.

    I’m putting a new (basic but consistent) marketing strategy in place – as outlined on one of my latest blog posts (credit and thanks to Yaro Starek for the framework for it) and hope that will increase traffic and build community.

    Thanks for the monthly reports, great to see how your site is growing and inspiring for those of us at the beginning of our blogging journeys.

  17. I’ve only just created my website, round about 2 weeks old, so I’m not sure if I’d say I’m struggling at the moment but it’s a lot harder to generate traffic and user participation than it is to build the actual website.

    My site is aiming to be more of an online community than a blog as such and encouraging the first few people to take that leap and post and share their sketches and thoughts is going to be the trickiest part I feel.

    1. Hi David,

      Congrats on the site. I have that issue too. I think the solution is to just keep banging out good, original and fresh content. The readers will grow to love and trust your blog and will eventually start to comment. I think it helps to think of the reader as a shy child. You need to get them to trust you, then you need to build up the confidence they have in you and then you get them to talk to you!

      Hope my waffling helps!

    2. Ha cheers guys, appreciate the feedback. Yeah I’ve done all the site design myself so far, ripped the guts out of a WordPress theme, completely changed it up, pimped it out with some plugins and basically just didn’t sleep for two weeks :)

      Next step is I’ve got a couple of developers to create some unique custom features so should be good.

    3. Hey David,

      Your site looks great! While I’m no expert, I think I have some suggestions that may help you some. If not, then just ignore me!

      First, I’d suggest that you use “video game mechanics” to entice people to use your site. By this I mean set up a badge award system with cool little trinkets people can earn. Point systems and special titles for sharing sketches and participating in the community. This sort of thing works wonders in video games and everywhere else as well. If you search, there are some great articles written on using “game mechanics” on your web site to get users hooked.

      Second, I would set up a system that would allow people to use sketches from your site on their blogs, but only with an attribution link. Now, with the attribution link, make it easy for them to credit you. Put one of those automatic “click, copy, and paste” boxes (like you have on your site already) on each page to make it easy for bloggers to credit you. The beauty in using one of those boxes is that you choose the Anchor Text for your backlink. This could build you tons of great backlinks and get you great position on the SERP’s for your chosen key words due to your targeted anchor text backlinks.

      Also, I would change the text links on your “Add a badge” page to include targeted keywords. This way, if anyone decides to use these you will get a more powerful backlink with your keywords in the anchor text.

      Anyways, just my quick thoughts while I’m sitting here waiting on a YouTube vid to upload…..

    4. Hey Israel

      Thanks for the thoughts man. I’m already working on the video game mechanics that you mention, I’m having to enlist the help of some developers for that one so that the URLs for each badge are dynamic and change for each sketch and user, but you definitely make a great point.

      I’ll take a look at the badge page URL.

      Cheers man


  18. I’m really struggling with my content which leads to my low traffic and subscribers. It seems that as I put – what I think to be better content out – I get less and less traffic. I don’t know if my site is too general and if it is how I can get it into a niche area that I am interested in. I seem to struggle with the direction of my site I suppose you could call it. This affects my blog content quality, the subscribers and traffic, which means I can’t attract people to do guest posts etc. Please help!!

  19. My biggest problems aren’t necessarily anything anyone can “help” with – my blog is part of a paid-content experiment for my company, so of course it’s hard to see traffic growth when compared with my free days, when I routinely was hitting 28K pageviews a month; now it’s closer to 8K. (And again, that decision is WELL outside my control, so assume that it won’t change in the foreseeable future.)

    My bigger problem separate from that is that I actually have SUCH a backlog of material that I feel like I’m drowning. A lot of my content comes from reader submissions, and even with posting daily, I’m sitting on something like 300-some, grouped together in about 40 general themes or topics. And new ones are coming in at a rate of 5+ a day. It’s important to me that I make use of this material, almost as a matter of making it “public record” online, but I just don’t know a good way to both get it all out there and keep my sanity. I have posts scheduled out through the end of November, once a day, and I’m still not scratching the surface.

    Again, I’m not sure that’s something anyone can help me with. It’s not so much a timeliness thing, as most of the material is pretty evergreen (readers’ memories of our community as it was in the past), but more of a mental issue for me in which I just don’t want to blog AT ALL because I don’t know where to start.

    PS – I love your traffic reports. Please keep them up!

  20. I’m interested in higher a website manager/producer so that I can focus on content.
    I’d love a list of skills the person would need for my wordpress blog to refine and maintain the site. What do people do? I have a backend guy who does all of the financials and deals with audio/video file management and newsletter integration. I need someone to manage the overall site and be a go-between between me and him and other team members.

    Even if you could write a job description for that position with specifics, and an estimate the number of hours/month to expect to pay a person for updating the look, feel, functionality and SEO of a typical small business site.

    Thanks for asking.

  21. For the blog I entered on the MDBP (Sophistefunk.com), I need to look into capturing Feedburner subscribers better.

    The thing is, I need those subscribers more than I need newsletter subscribers, because the blog updates like twice a day (too much mailing going on for my newsletter to be the main subscription source).

    The other thing I need to figure out is effective monetization in a niche (electronic music) where self-made products like e-Books probably won’t be very popular.

  22. I have suffered from Computer Vision Syndrome for going on 2 yrs now. Slowly getting better, but I simply can’t spend the time on backlinking and networking I need to in order to get the traffic I need to meet my goals. Because it’s physically painful.

    And since I’m not making a profit, I’m not in a position to hire anyone to do my marketing for me.


  23. As a corporate refugee giving up the bucks for a true passion, I finally have the guts and support to “go for it”. It hit me recently that I don’t think my time can equal money anymore. If I worked out how much I’m getting paid by the hour to inspire peope to garden, connect with nature and have fun, it would be a joke. I’m launching an online shop and 4 new products this month – all on my own. I don’t outsource and can’t right now. I have a one-page daily cheat sheet, forecasts and a longer term plan but don’t have anyone to give it that sanity check.

  24. I have trouble writing new and interesting posts on a daily basis. I work multiple jobs and can’t spend the time I want on this project. I need more manpower to keep the site relevant.

    1. Don’t then! Create a strategy where you will post on a minimum one post a week. That way if you are pushed for time, you only need to do one post all week. If you do more, then you’re doing great.

      Start by spending all your effort into researching and writing that great one blog post a week and build from there.

      Good luck with it,

  25. Wow. What an amazing post. Thanks for sharing all the knowledge. I guess my biggest hurdle is getting from a Web 1.0 platform to a 2.0 platform. My talent is in content not in backend stuff. I get intimidated at the thoughts of trying to teach myself Ruby on Rails or something like that while I try to balance creating content for my readers.

    That and going from 100 to 1000 but you already answered that in another post.

    Thanks for all the wisdom. You’re helping a ton of people out! Rock on.

  26. Wow, just reading the comments here has been really interesting!

    For me, I’m struggling with figuring out what the people who are arriving via certain keywords want. I have a couple keywords that are ranking really high and delivering a fair amount of traffic, but it seems like I’m not delivering what it is they are looking for!
    I’ve tried several things, including changing up the content, the opt-in, adding polls to the articles, actually ASKING what they were looking for, asking for feedback, adding different paragraph headers, etc…. the traffic is still there, but the visitors don’t *do* much of anything on the site. I have to wonder if I’m just somehow missing the mark on what they are actually looking for. Sometimes it’s difficult because you’re so close to the topic at hand.

    I’d also like to increase engagement with the content and sharing. We are in the process of becoming a non-profit organization right now, and that is giving us some other things to measure (donations, etc). Obviously I want to spread awareness, too…The big goal is to help people who are in pain realize that they are not alone and that there is hope!

  27. I’m trying to figure out the best way to monetize my site, what types of products people would be interested in, how to offer my readers something they would really value in a product or ebook.

    I have a loyal group of readers that comment and promote the posts…now I need to take it to the next level.

    1. Ask them! Simple. Create a Surveymonkey account (other polling software available … and free) and do a ‘Ask the Readers’ post.
      Go through the possible projects you could do, the products, what they would offer and so on, query on prices etc.

      Go direct to the reader and ask them. I have the opposite problem, I have some readers but they won’t comment!

      Let me know if you need some more info on what software etc to use. I have some limited experience with the polling software I use on my site.

      Good luck with it,

  28. Hi Corbett,

    I am struggling with two main things at the moment. First, as someone with a full-time+ job and a now 6-month-old blog that requires me to go out and DO stuff that I can then write about (one of the perks, but it is a time commitment), I have limited time. And there is SO much information out there on how to boost traffic, SEO optimization, etc. I wish someone would write a post (hint, hint) to the effect of: If you have 10 minutes/day (aside from the time you spend on content and on reading other blogs), do X; if you have 20 extra minutes/day, do X and Y… and so on. Basically, I need help prioritizing!

    Second, I am struggling with finding a good, trustworthy web developer who doesn’t break the bank. I don’t know enough to know how to judge if someone really is A-level.

    Any suggestions on either of the above would be very welcome! And good luck to everyone out there working on building a blog!


    1. Hi Abby,

      I’ve been there. I spent a while reading up on SEO, following every article sites like copyblogger etc put up and I got so saturated in information, I ended up doing nothing, I had ‘Paralysis by analysis’.

      The advice I would give you is to simply focus solely on creating fresh, original content on your site and if you can write guest posts for other peoples blogs in your niche. Don’t worry about keywords and all that, just write about anything and everything in your niche area.

      When you want to take a break, work on your social media links like facebook and twitter but mainly stay on your content creation.

      SEO etc is great to use later on when you are more established but consider it in terms of the reader, you wouldn’t go back to a site that was always in search results because it mentioned the right keywords but had no content to read. I personally, have cut out sites on my daily check because of that.

      For now, stick solely to content. Play around with different types. Do written posts, video posts, interviews with other bloggers etc, reviews of products and so on. Forget stats, keywords, SEO etc for now, work on that stuff later on when you have a strong reader base.

      Treat your blog for now like if you were just starting trying to get strong by lifting weights. You need to get a general base level of strenght+muscle on your frame before you start putting on serious muscle. So in this analogy, you are at the baselevel stage. You are putting all the work in to get things moving, getting the systems flowing. When everything is optimum (i.e. traffic is picking up, subscribers are coming in etc) then bring out work on SEO and that sort of thing to add serious muscle to your blog.

      It took me a long time to realise this, I really wish I had known this sooner. I feel like I had wasted so much time worrying about things like SEO etc where I had nothing of any real value for people to bother with when they found my site. Content is king – word of mouth is better in my opinion.

      Get the social media stuff going too and get a community and audience participation on your blog going as you add in great content and you will be laughing! On a side note, have you thought about adding a forum to your site?

      On the other note, can you please explain what you mean by a good web developer? What do you need to do? What are you struggling with? I have found the best way is by trial and error and I feel great as I figure out how to do things by myself. There are sites that can give you advice on how to do things. Youtube is amazing. Make sure you subscribe to ‘thinktrafficvideos’ and ‘Qualitybloke’ (that’s me!). There are others like ‘howcast’, ‘expertvillage’ and so on. Let me know if you want to discuss this further.

      Hope this helps,

    2. Hey, Ian,

      So are you saying not to even worry about backlinking, things like blog commenting, forum posting, and article directories? It sounds like you believe that to put out a lot of good content on a consistent basis, and do some social media, is the best foundation.

      If that is what you are saying, that would help me a lot as far as the Computer Vision Syndrome. Doing the backlinking is the task that is the most difficult for me, physically. TIA! :)

    3. Hi Emily,

      I’d say not to bother with backlinking etc for now and just worry about content. There are other ways to build content apart from backlinking. There are plenty of ways to build up traffic than having to do links, especially if it will affect your health to do so. Concentrate on your content for now. Maybe even have that on your blog as a case study thing. Say every month do a post on how you are getting on in your attempt to get traffic via other means than what people view as ‘traditional’ e.g. backlinks etc. Thats why I love blogging, there are so many options open to do things, you don’t have to do what everyone else does (have a look at my blog if you want to see unique! lol). You can appeal to other people who struggle with similar conditions. You can offer them solutions to the problems you and they face. A perfect opportunity for maybe a ebook or something. Worth a thought!

      Hope I helped,

  29. I am struggling with productivity fluctuations because of heightened…pessimism. I find myself with minimal productivity one day a week, because I feel very pessimistic about the future of my blog.

    On those days, I push myself to keep going, telling myself to focus on the present, not worry about the future, etc, but that is more like damage control (i.e., works to an extent, but not really). What can I do to get rid of these pessimistic states?

    1. Hi Maria,

      That’s something that I have and still are struggling with now. One minute I think my blog is going to be the next best thing and the next (normally after losing a subscriber or two or my stats going down) I think what’s the point.

      Something that is helping me is:
      – Do different style of posts (such as written, video, podcasts etc) as this will keep you motivated as you try and learn the new skills and new stuff is exciting and scary
      – Write to other bloggers in your niche and ask them to write a guest post AND write a guest post for them, it’s amazing what a change of blog circumstances can do to motivate you again
      – Take a week off completely from the site, don’t open it, don’t check stats etc, just do other stuff, the break will boost your motivation and focus, just like a vacation does to your motivation for work
      – ask someone else (I can do it if you want) to have a look at your site and see what you can change/improve/reduce/remove etc on your site to make it better
      – aim for a posting of one article a week, if you only manage one post a week you’ve suceeded, if you do more than that, great! Stop being so hard on yourself – be proud of yourself and the blog!
      – spend some time away from the actual site, look to create some social media pages and build up a twitter following etc, you can ask your fans what they want to read and that will motivate you to fufil what they want
      – network with others in your niche, chat to them about the challenges and what they think the problems are. just offloading with them can be a great help as it gets the negative vibes out and will refocus your mind (feel free to drop me a email anytime)

      Hope this helps,

  30. I just found your blog via blogelina so haven’t read much. What I am struggling with the most is how to do reviews and giveaways on my blog. Not sure how to go about getting started doing that.

    1. Hey,

      Read up on the MDBP first – there is some awesome quality there.
      Also, read up on Copyblogger.com, there is amazing quality articles there that have really helped me produce great quality on my site.

      As for the reviews, I review things the way I want. I don’t try and adhere to what others do. If I read something and it doesn’t answer a question, I try and include that in my review. for example, lots of movie reviews nowadays just suck up and say everything is amazing. I review things as I would want a mate to review it for me, I want him to be honest, talk to me as he normally would (not yap crap about superficial stuff like the motivation of the director etc), be honest, be funny, and give a review of the good bits, the bad bits, what worked and if you should see it/use it. Review things as you would review/recommend something to a friend. Be honest and authentic, people know when you are faking it. Authenticity brings people back time and time again.

      I haven’t really had much experience of giveaways yet. I assume you could try writing to companies for a free product that you give away in return for some hyping on your blog. Companies like to give stuff away in return for getting some hype in the public. Some bloggers will give you free copies of their products to review in return for a backlink on your site and a quick review. Rule of thumb: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. The worst thing that will happen is that someone will say no. If you get turned down, thank them (never be cheeky and burn bridges) and then try the next one.

      Open a google reader account and link to entertainment blogs along with others or check the E! website and so on regularly and see what movies etc people on their are talking about. do a review of them (lots of internet sites offer pirate movies for free – allowing you to review them cheaply if you’re broke) and then post on them on the site. When people search for something (say Crazy, Stupid, Love), Google or whatever search engine will link to that keyword and bring your blog up in the search results. Keep doing this and traffic will keep coming to you.

      Hope this has helped,

    1. Hi Evan,

      Have you done any poll testing with your readers or done a post asking them what they want to read?

      Get the readers involved in the site, get them to contribute. Ask them what their main problems are, what they want or need in their live (they are coming to your site so they want answers)

      By speaking to your readers, you can create a picture of what they need and want, it will allow you to create a product that meets their needs and if the prices they will pay for it.

      As for the list, I have tried so many methods and screwed up all of them. Mind you, failure is a good thing – it just shows you what doesn’t work and what you need to tweak to (maybe) do better next time. I’m afraid the only advice I can give for building a list without raises and drops, without having to spend money etc, is to simply work each day and create quality, original content on your site. Create and post to your social media sites to build fans and then post guest posts on other blogs as well as contributing in other sites blog comments, forums etc. It will take time but hopefully, you will do it faster than I am!

      Please feel free to email me via the site if you want to discuss this further.

      Hope this helps,

  31. I’m struggling with the idea of making people pay for a product I have in mind. I feel as if there would be more benefit in free stuff. You look around at a lot of blogs and a lot of them give away free stuff and free information and free this and free that.

    I guess the real thing that makes this concept of charging people a struggle is because I have a lot of ideas. I could potentially gain more if I gave away free products that truly helped people.

    I read somewhere (read: http://thinktraffic.net/traffic-building-tips) that a way to gain an audience is to give your best information away. If this is true, which part of my information do I charge to people? Why should I charge for less than my best? Or, should I charge people for the best information I have?

  32. Hi,

    I think a lot of people struggle with that. I need the money so its never an issue for me. People are happy to pay for something if it helps them out with a problem they have. Some people won’t trust free stuff and only pay for things – I have friends like this who think if it’s free, then it can’t be good and only paid stuff – especially if it’s expensive – means it’s the best!

    As for your question, I would say to mix it up. People like Tim Ferriss give away their articles etc for free because it builds him an audience but his majority of fans come via the book he wrote, a smaller percentage become fans via his blog.

    However, Nate Green built up great fans via his blog which allowed him to produce some books and make money etc. Yet, he was making money as a personal trainer and that is how he ‘survived’ till he became famous.

    My advice would be to: ensure all articles you post are the highest quality you can but work out a product that you want to sell. Create that seperate to your blog stuff. Then when it is ready to sell, write some intro articles about it, how it heps people, why they should buy it, give a few copies (or whatever) to some people for free in return for them writing a review of it on your site and theirs.

    I think you should never keep the best stuff off your blog. You can lose fans if you rush stuff on your blog – as I am finding out. Always strive to give the best quality you can. Work out a plan for a product and keep that seperate. If you must post about it, just mention that you are working on a product that helps that thing. A lot of people include posts they have written in their products anyway. A lot of ebooks include blog posts simply expanded further and tied together with other material.

    Don’t be ashamed that you are charging. Be proud that some people want to buy something you created. I hope I can sort the chaff out my head and discover a product I can sell.

    Be glad your so creative. Email me if you want to discuss this further. Hope I’ve helped, even a little bit,

  33. My biggest problem is one a lot of people have. Traffic!!! I try all the suggested methods to attract visitors. I am not doing well. I am happy with the way my blog is progressing, so traffic is what I really need.


    1. Hi Ray,

      What sort of methods are you using to drive traffic to you?
      Have you got social media pages created? Do you do guest posts? Contribute on forums etc to provide great help so people check out your site?

      Have a look at some of the links above and have a play around with social media, guest posts etc and obviously keep creating great fresh original content on your own site, you may find it drives some great traffic to you.


  34. I am at the beginning of this journey, trying to decide the focus of a website I will launch next year. I have an interest in writing about various topics, but can’t seem to find a way to tie them all in together so that my site has the ‘focus’ it needs to do well. I’m feeling really stuck … any help would be greatly appreciated.

  35. I definitely struggle with growing a community. In fact, I can count the number of comments I’ve gotten that aren’t spam for the past nine months on one hand…. I’m starting to wonder if part of it isn’t my site design…. I run a homemaking blog and perhaps it looks a little… cold?

    1. Hi Kristen,

      Have a read of:
      http://www.copyblogger.com/10-effective-ways-to-get-more-blog-subscribers/ some useful tips, not all applicable though depending on what approach you want to take – the podcast one is a great idea!

      also have a look around on most articles on here and on coppyblogger.com – it has a rake of awesome articles on how to improve your posts, how to write better, produce better headlines and so on

      Between the two, you will be unstoppable!


    2. Thanks Ian! I definitely like that list, and the encouragement! :-) Question though… how do you do an email subscription if you don’t want to put down your home address and can’t afford a p o box? The only reason I haven’t started one yet is because I don’t want to violate the can-spam laws and don’t have a secondary address to put down.

    3. In that case, I would say that you have two options.

      1. You can get website specific emails. This means that you email directly from your hosting/website and the person who recieves it, would get a email address like (for example mine) contact@qualitybloke.com. I’m not sure exactly how to setup this up as it would depend on your hosting. Typically, all hosting sits have a email option. I would contact the ones who run your hosting of your website and ask them for the cost etc.

      2. Create a website named account on a standard email account, like gmail, hotmail, yahoo. For example I set up a gmail account for my site and used that address when I registered all social media stuff, bought stuff for the site and so on – handy to keep everything together. It also means all correspondance with bloggers etc when you ask them to do guest posts etc can be easily found etc.

      I think that the hosting email address is the most professional looking and which one I would advise. The second option (where you create a email address and name it after your site) is good if you have limited money at present as most of gmail, hotmail etc are completely free to setup and use. It’s probably more down to how you want to run it.

      Hope this helped.

  36. Great post, the monthly reports are some of my favorites!

    I think there are two things I’m really struggling with right now. The first is trying to get companies to send me products to review. I’ve read many articles on this and have used the suggested methods in my contact emails, but no bites yet.

    The second thing is that I’m looking to do the opposite of most people here. Instead of looking for a place to guest post, I’m trying to find people to guest post on my blog! The problem is, I have no idea where to even start with this.

    I’m not sure what my problems are with these two things. I have had over 20,000 visitors in the past 30 days, have PageRank 3, lots of good backlinks (very high authority, related sites) going in to my site now. Do I need more traffic and better statistics to entice companies and bloggers?

  37. I am struggling with two things as I’ve just been getting started: really crystallizing my UPS that feel strong, different, and exciting that organized my different post-ideas into a clear, compelling content-map; second is finding other “niche-mates” — I actually think that with a strong enough UPS, that won’t matter too much in the long-term.

    The physical logistics of laying out and tweaking the site have been an annoyance, but I’d rather be super clear and ugly than fuzzy but pretty.

  38. Layout is my biggest problem right now. Although I have one website with WordPress, it was almost entirely set up by a friend. It only takes me about 5 hours to set up and customize a niche site on Blogger.com, get the first post written, and outline a dozen future posts. But I’m not getting anywhere with the commercial template I’m using on WordPress for this blog. I’ve got written content sitting in draft form, but I also have pictures & video,integral to the content, which I don’t know how to insert properly.

    Eventually I can probably figure it out, but the time needed for the trial and error learning curve for the layout is keeping me from putting the content, both written and graphic, out to the readers.

  39. I’m struggling with the nuances of SEO and getting my site ranked. It’s trickier than I anticipated. But, I won’t give up. Plug away, plug away…..

  40. Traffic to my site has been stuck in the 100s for almost a year, and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. By comparison, an old blog of mine still gets 500+ hits a day, despite not being updated for a year! The content on my new blog is the same type of content as the old one, so I don’t know what’s going on. I pay attention to SEO, am active on Twitter and Facebook, write good content, have pretty photos, and have featured a few interviews and guest posts. But, I’m just not seeing the participation and enthusiasm levels that I used to.

  41. I am struggling with the following:

    1. if my USP(Unique Selling Proposition) is clear enough for my target market.
    My Goal is only one thing for my blog i.e to inspire boot-strappers to make their ideas happen . if anyone closes their eyes and clicks anywhere on the blog, Whatever comes up has to “ignite the fire” in the the Boot-strapper.

    1. Hi Vijay,

      Looking at your site, unfortunately, that is not the image it provides. I am new to the whole ‘boot-strapper’ thing and you seem to be struggling with what I am. At present, your site seems quite disjointed.

      Have you considered revamping how you sell your story? If I was to come to the site, needing to find out how to make my idea come true, I would be looking for something that took me by the hand and lead me through it. I would want a site that I can become so immersed in that I get pages deep in it before I came up for air.

      If I was you, I would revamp the site by:

      -Creating a ‘Start Here’ sort of page. One where the user clicks an option, for example I have an idea but no money, or I have the money but no company to help me and so on.
      -Create a seperate FAQ page on your top so that people can read definitions of boot strap terms, commonly asked questions and their answers etc so they don’t have to go and search elsewhere for the answers – because once they have gone off your site they wont came back easily
      -Add a page or widgit about you, why you started the site, what your mission (the current one isn’t really inspiring me and if other readers are like me, you need to pull them in)
      -Have big options for the reader by creating a categories widgit so people can just go straight to the section that they want

      Some changes I could recommend would need a new theme etc so I won’t bother with them for now.

      I would recommend watching http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6909078385965257294 it’s a video from Seth Godin about how marketing fails and how you should sell your site/product to others

      I hope you take what I said as it was intended. I think you need to refocus the site from the point of the reader. You obviously have great passion for your topic which is great but I get the impression, that you are posting more for what is interesting to you. I feel that if you could turn the site more for the reader, make it simple. Have it so they can look and say “right I need to know how to make money” and then they see the ‘Making Money’ category and go into this section of your site. Then when they learn that, go and try your ideas and see them work, they will come back and learn more, but they will also tell other people they meet in thier business dealings.

      Remember that the people that come to your site, have a problem. They have a problem that they need to fix. Change the site to provide answers. Make people know exactly what they need to do to solve the problem. I want to come on your site and say I need X, Y or Z and your site says ‘Click here and this will solve X, this bit solves Y and over there is Z’s answer.’ Always work with the readers viewpoint.

      I have a lot of work to do to get my site like this. Please feel free to email me to discuss this further. I am slowly realising that this is my big issue too so hopefully we will be getting big traffic soon!

      Hope this helps,

  42. I don’t get it! I have been adding what I think to be better content to the blog, mixing up the formats, asking the readers what they want, working almost 100% on it since I was made redundant and my traffic is smaller now and my average viewing time over the last week or so is very low!

    I can attribute the bounce rate (well some of it) to people from here looking at my site quickly and nipping off) but things are weird!

    Can you please all have a look at my site and let me know what you think of it please? Any feedback (please be deadly honest) will be greatfully recieved.


  43. Hey guys,
    My biggest struggle now is how to monetize my list. I’ve got a list of businessmen who are doing business in a certain country (I’m not saying that explicitly, as I feel it wouldn’t be right exposing it here.

    Anyway the list is almost at 250 people and growing. I want to start and monetize it. I find it to be very difficult, finding the right product to make those people buy. I’ve tried a bunch of products and services, but so far, have’nt aimed right enough. Maybe it’s a copywriting type of problem. I’m realy not sure.

    Thank you for all the great info!

    1. Hi Shlomo,

      Sounds like a great opportunity.
      Have you approached them or down any market research?
      Have you polled them asking about their needs, wants, desires and what they would pay for a product?

      The good thing about the products and services that failed is now you know what didn’t work. Maybe some would suceed with a little change here and there. Have a look at it from the businessman point of view rather than your own. Consider their position. What do they need? What problems are they facing? Communication? Hotels? inking to information? and so on. Live in their shoes and ask them about what they hate the most about their lives etc and you may find a great product idea comes out of nowhere!

      Hope it helps,

  44. 2nd person I’ve now not had my long reply show on the site. Were they not accepted by verification? They showed as waiting to be verified

    1. Hi Eden,

      The good thing about being an ‘Expert’ is that you only need to know more about a topic than the next guy or group of people. If I wanted to know about your topic, and you had a blog about it, I would consider you an expert on it. Humans are set to follow people and believe what they tell us if they are in a position of authority. Don’t sell yourself short. If you know more than most on this topic, then you my friend, are an expert! Congratulations.


  45. Prioritization for me is a really tough one. I’m mulling a strategic choice that is tough to sort out. Whether to use a content-driven strategy to grow an audience to sell a product into or whether to create a product and use affiliates to grow the audience though affiliate efforts at generating sales. As a developer, creating a software product for embedding into WordPress or Facebook fanpages is a possible avenue I could take that would support my target industry… hard to choose but the choice changes everything going forward. Or does it?

  46. I am struggling because I have had a 275% increase in page views over the last month, I have 8 great columnists writing for my site, and I seem to have a strong standing in my niche, but my site is weighing me down because I don’t see a way to make money with it. Getting emails and followers and post submissions and suggestions are great when you make money, but I feel like it’s a monkey on my back holding me back unless I can profit. A lot of people support and contribute to my site and I don’t want to let them down but I feel I’m working my life away with no benefit besides entertaining some people. Which does not pay the bills.

    Thanks for the opportunity to vent!

    1. I would recommend throwing a generalized Amazon button somewhere pretty visible on your sidebar above the fold with a line like “Amazon will throw us a bone if you buy something” or something more creative personalizing its presence over just a regular ad.

      Just use the Amazon logo and not a specific product. We are heading into the holidays and people are going to be spending a ton on Amazon. Your little banner reminds them they need to buy presents, etc. I promote Amazon some places and only about 15% of the revenue is from books. The stuff being bought blows my mind…

      It won’t make you rich but it might give you a boost.

  47. Hey Corbett,

    Thanks again for continuing to put out this great info! My biggest challenge right now is figuring out my USP. I absolutely LOVE my niche and I think I do a great job really helping people through my blog. Uncovering my USP is the keystone before I can nail down better messaging, elevator pitch, and all the stuff that goes together to create a rock-solid brand.

    Love your site and the MDBP!

  48. I’m struggling with wanting to do an advocacy message but still monetize my blog – or utilize the audience I’ve built more effectively. My numbers rival yours and this is clearly a passion of mine, but I need to make changes.

  49. I am never disappointed when I come to this site, Im quite a novice when it comes to blogging and websites but the info and guides on here are good for anybody to use and understand. Keep up the good work!

  50. Incredibly useful post and comments – has given me lots of ideas just reading through. Many thanks! I run a number of sites which are developing ok, but even though I’m trying to do everything that’s recommended building traffic is frustratingly slow.

    I think most often what’s needed is someone who can look at a site with a fresh pair of eyes and provide some instant reaction, in the past I found that even though I think I’ve covered everything I’ve actually missed out on something basic and obvious. Many of us spend too long looking at our own sites to be able to see the wood for the trees. Maybe you could create a part of the site where we can provide genuine feedback on each other’s sites? If that already exists, many apologies, I couldn’t see it. Off to explore a bit more :-)

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