Busting Through Blogging Plateaus
By: Ashley Robison

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Image by Today is a Good Day

 

For the last year of blogging, I’ve hit a plateau.  My traffic is steady, my comments may sit at a particular range, and my subscribers aren’t getting any larger.  And it’s FRUSTRATING!

 

Then I have to remind myself– no matter whether it’s in your blogging, creating art, losing weight, or building a business, you’ll hit an inevitable plateau. Everything has risen and grown to a healthy point, and then it all stops off.

 

Plateaus don’t have to be permanent.  But they do require hard work to break through them.  Whether it means adding an extra 20 minutes of exercise in to your routine to drop that last 5 pounds or an extra hour of work to gain an extra 100 subscribers, breaking through a plateau can be challenging, frustrating, and self-esteem breaking.

 

Tips for Busting Through Your Blogging Plateau:

  • Step outside your niche. Start reading blogs in other topics–personal development, blog development, career advice for 20 somethings– you get the drift. Leave comments, and guest post. It’s a great way to find new audiences.
  • Stop being a silent blogger. Maybe you’ve been silently reading dozens of blogs for ages.  What good does it do you (or the blogger) for you to read silently all of that time?
  • Step back.  Stop stretching yourself too thin. Re-engage with what matters. Many bloggers, and I know especially for myself, start to stretch themselves too thin.  They spend more time on Twitter, Facebook, and other blogs than they do on their own.  Stop.  Spend your time writing posts and returning comments.  Engage with your readers in the original place.
  • Revisit your past. Trying going through your archives, post by post.  What’s getting tweeted?  What’s getting the most comments or pageviews?  How did you feel when writing those posts, and how can you recreate it?
  • Look at your present.  Is your content regurgitating popular content? A niche can become easily saturated with similar posts.  For the fashion community, it’s often fashion week posts or award season.  Are you providing new insight in to these? Or are you sharing the same images?
  • Write something different. Use the rhythms of your life to inspire you and challenge your content.  As I enter my busiest season at work, I’ve used it as an opportunity to post more “what I wore” inspired pieces. I’m dressing up more in my daily life, which is breaking me out of a fashion rut–and readers are responding to it! It’s refreshing to see me inside the blog and not just my thoughts. It’s different from what I normally write, it’s inspiring me, and it’s creating a response from my readers.
  • Realize plateaus are natural. Many blogs grow fast– often too fast.  Eventually that exponential growth is going to catch up with you and you’re going be stuck at the same number for awhile.  That doesn’t mean that’s the number you’re destined to sit on, but rather, that maybe early success came quickly and easily.  You may have to work harder to increase numbers at this point– and that’s natural.

 

Have you experienced a blogging plateau? What tips did you use to break through it?


Comments

  1. Avatar of
    Vahni says:

    I’ve hit a plateau too. It’s so frustrating! I’m trying to balance a full-time job with my goal of growing my blog readership. Not easy. Also, lately I’m just damn tired of sitting in front of my computer 90 hours a day. I think I need a vacay!

    Will have to try your tips and see how it goes~

  2. Terri says:

    Great advice and something I needed to hear. It’s also good to try a new meme now and then.

  3. Stepping out and taking a peek at what other bloggers in different niches is such a great reminder! It’s so easy to get stuck looking at all the other fashion related blog sites (’cause we love ‘em!) but looking at what foodies, techies and even random niches like off-road racing blogs can offer some unique and fresh ideas!

  4. kavery says:

    So true. Getting out of my comfort zone will be good for me and my readers.

  5. I just struggled with this on Twitter. You get to a point where you only need 10 more followers to break through to next thousand and they trickle in. It is so challenging to get to each milestone. I did it but it took patience and perseverance.

    Thanks for this bit of inspiration.

  6. Casee Marie says:

    This post came at such an opportune time for me as I’m going through the same thing. My blog just turned one year old so it’s still quite young, but when you first start out and you experience the excitement of the first surges of a following you fall into a bit of a funk when you hit that inevitable standstill. I’m trying to focus on my content and maintaining the blogger relationships I have, so the idea of networking even more while juggling that – it can all be a bit intimidating. But your advice was really motivating, so thank you!

  7. This is exactly what I am going through. I have so many more followers on twitter than I do on my blog and it gets frustrating! I feel like Im losing the drive to keep going when I get nothing back. I know I should be blogging for myself and thats what I do, but sometimes you just need a little encouragement.

    Thanks!

  8. tiffany says:

    this article was really inspiring! thanks for sharing all these thoughts and insights.

  9. Hannah says:

    Thanks so much! This post was great!

  10. God, i’ve been in like a 2 year plateau. Thanks for this Ashe! I definitely agree that looking at blogs outside your niche is inspiring. I often fall victim to the over-nicheing mentality – thinking something is not vintage related therefore it doesn’t fit. But I can easily put a fashion or vintage spin on it.

    For me, lack of time has really fueled my plateau. It’s tough when you work a fulltime job.

  11. dealing with blog plateau, glass ceiling, you name it. It’s there and it’s hard to break through, but I’m trying to break it, little by little… posts like this one help A LOT xxx

  12. Dusana says:

    Thanks for this post Ashe! It’s always good to know we’re not alone in these struggles and you give some really good tips and reminders! Personally I struggle with letting myself get distracted reading other blogs or being on fbook before working on my own. I really like your “using the rythms of your life” idea, definitely something I tried to incorporate into my blog. Haven’t hit a plateu yet or much significant growth either, but I’ve only been going for a few months now so I’m still hopeful!

  13. I don’t agree with the stretching yourself thin rule.

  14. Mrs Bossa says:

    They’re really good tips, Ashe. Especially the one about stretching yourself too thin – I think I told you that I’ve ended up posting once a week (a WEEK!!) because I spent so much time succumbing to the pressure of commenting on other blogs and getting my Klout score up. What’s the point of that? It affects your blog and comes across to your readers.

    Having said that, you do have to invest extra time to break through a plateau; my followers doubled when I became part of the Feminist Fashion Bloggers, and have now levelled off, but I’m now at a place where I can comfortably interact with people who comment.

  15. Lou Jones says:

    The tip in this article about shifting your focus from the social networks and the other blogs out there and focusing on your own blog instead is so important. Try looking at your blog as an outsider. If you read your blog as if you are a new member of your audience, what would you want to read on it? What would you expect to see? What do you think is missing? What would you change? Good luck to all and keep at it! :-)

  16. Avatar of Maggie A
    Maggie A says:

    IFB is officially my fashion bible! You have advice for any and every situation I ever find my self in as a blogger. Thank You

    xo
    Maggie
    Love Scrapbook

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