Low Blog Traffic? Increase Your FTLs
You did it. You build your website. You’ve written dozens of informative yet entertaining blog posts.
You’ve opened a Pinterest Business account — maybe even a social media account or two — and then…your first 100 blog visitors.
Then 200…300…500…600…800 and then…it plateaus. You keep updating your blog with new content but your number of monthly viewers never seems increase. Your page views stall at 1500 a month. Then the unthinkable happens. Your Pinterest account gets shut down in a global glitch. Your social media accounts don’t grow as fast as you had hoped. And now you’re wondering whether it’s all even worth it.
By now you probably realize this isn’t a hypothetical situation. This was my experience in 2021. And it taught me a lot about what it really means to be dedicated to something and frustration tolerance levels.
How do either of those things relate to blog traffic insights? Let’s chat.
Why Is My Blog Not Getting Traffic?
As a new blogger, the first obstacle to increasing your readership traffic is your own commitment to your blog. Why?
Well from personal experience, you can read all of the books, watch all of the YouTube videos and even take a few courses, but until you commit to being consistent and posting regularly it’s all for naught. How come?
Let’s say you publish an amaaazing article to your site. It has the catchiest copy, the best research, gorgeous graphics and answers all of the key questions your niche audience wants to know. If that’s the only blog post you publish this week, according to that First Site Guide article above, that ONE blog post is going to compete with the 49 MILLION other new blog posts which were published this week. Let’s say that only 1% of those 49 million posts talk about your same topic. That’s still 490,000 blog posts in your competition pool.
So as you can see, writing one blog post “every once in a while” isn’t going to cut it. As a small blogger you need to be committed to publishing new content to your site on a regular basis for two major reasons.
The more content you produce, the more opportunities there are for readers to find you.
The more regularly you post, the more likely it is that once readers find you they will return for more fresh posts.
So despite frustratingly low blog traffic (according to my own expectations) I dedicated 2021 to hitting the 50 blog post marker. Why 50? Because of the blog traffic growth insights I learned from this article from Weidert Group answering the question How Many Posts Do I Need To Increase Blog Traffic?*
*note: this article has been updated for 2022
And guess what that takes? You guessed it. Commitment. For me that mean, at minimum, averaging 1 blog post a week.
Is that the right cadence for your audience? Maybe. Maybe not. But to help you figure that out, you can read this post from Jeff Bullas who reminds us that there’s a reason why magazines and newspapers come out with new issues on a daily or weekly basis. It promotes readership loyalty.
But guess what happened to my traffic when I finally hit that magic number of 50 blog articles on my website? Absolutely nothing. lol Which brings me to my second point about blog traffic.
How Increased Frustration Tolerance Levels Help New Bloggers
At times I definitely felt that everything that can go wrong for a new blogger has gone wrong for me. lol I’ve deleted published posts which had no backup scripts. My Google Analytics crash on me making it impossible to track my website insights prior to April 2021. My previously well circulated Pinterest account was deleted in a global glitch. And honestly, even when my Pinterest impressions were at 100,000+ my conversion rate was dismal. And of course all of that contributed to my site traffic stalling at frustratingly low levels for months at a time. And the list goes on and on. And that is where Frustration Tolerance Levels (FTLs) come in.
“Turns out that every human has a different frustration tolerance. That's what psychologists call the ability to handle a situation that causes discomfort.”
As I mentioned in a recent Instagram post, I was minding my own business when I came across this quote. And it all clicked.
Despite everything that you will do to increase your website traffic (SEO, amazing copy, keyword research, metadata optimization, adding images, promotion, and all of the other things you absolutely SHOULD be doing for your blog) there is no way to predict WHEN your blog traffic will take off.
That means, you have to push past all of your doubts, exasperation and perhaps bitterness to just keep publishing.
Blog traffic growth, for many of us, is one just one loooong set of frustration tolerance tests. And man do I loathe tests. But your ace in the hole for pushing forward until you’ve created a successful blog is increasing your FTL.
But I can say after grinding, I’m finally seeing results…and during the hardest month of the year (January) at that. Traditionally, blog traffic drops in January (post the holiday season) and again in the summer when readers venture outdoors. Instead, this month, for the first time ever, my blog traffic is doubling to over 3,000 page views.
And when did it happen? At an arbitrary time. I’m 18 months into my blogging journey with 82 posts on my main blog; not counting The Bonus Blog articles.
But commitment and increasing my FTLs allowed me to continue to hone my branding and create more anchor content while I also augmenting and increasing my content marketing efforts. All of this is helping my ideal audience to find me.
For more detailed information on blog traffic patterns, insights, and blog content types see last year’s Diary Of A First Year Blogger miniseries here.
So my advice to you is…hang in there. Keep going and be determined.