Last week I asked in the Coach The Life Coach Facebook Group is any people wanted to share a link to a post they had published on their blog recently.
Before I go on and tell you why so many life coaches are wasting their time blogging, let me ask you a question.
Why do you blog, or why are you thinking of blogging if you’re just starting up?
Think about it for a moment before we move on.
Okay, so I hope you have given this careful consideration, because if you don’t know why you blog you will never know whether you’re doing it successfully or not.
Do you blog because:
- You want to crystallize your thoughts so that you can then explain them to others more clearly?
- You love writing and are using your blog as an online journal?
- You want to share on social media and hopefully create some interest?
- You want to position yourself as an expert in your niche?
- You want to rank on Google and earn traffic that will then lead to newsletter subscribers and/or clients?
I’m guessing it’s a combination of all five, but if you have no interest past one or two, then this post won’t be for you because it’s about getting clients.
Let me make a very bold statement.
You’re almost certainly doing blogging wrong because pretty much every coach is.
Not only that but it’s costing you thousands of dollar a year in wasted time and lost client opportunities.
Writing a blog post isn’t free. There is a value to your time over and above what your website is costing you.
I almost never see a Life Coaches blog that is crushing it.
If you’re looking to acquire clients then you must have a strategy behind your blogging and you must understand how the major search engines work.
The alternative is to find yourself shouting into the void.
When I started blogging back in 2006 there were very few self development blogs out there.
it didn’t take me long to build a solid following and to start to attract the attention of Google.
Google Loved Content More Than I Love Nutella
At the time Google loved content and the more content you fed it, the more it loved you.
As such it would repay your content with lovely traffic and rank you in the SERP’s (search engine ranking pages).
But then people started getting cute.
There was a rush to publish content with people looking to game the system with zero consideration for quality or whether anybody really wanted to read what they had to offer.
A few big sites took this a stage further by allowing bloggers to upload content to their site for a supposed useful backlink and the potential that people would see it and click through to the authors site.
In reality, the links were close to worthless and almost nobody ever clicked through.
But it was a classic case of coaches doing what other coaches were doing because they presumed it must work.
I see that a lot.
I see it with website design.
I see it with their approach to social media.
And I see it in how they present themselves with statements like ‘I love life and I’m passionate about helping people’ on their websites.
The vast majority of Life Coaches are struggling, so if you copy the approach of another coach you are probably copying something that doesn’t work.
Whereas posting to such aggregate sites like EZineArticles didn’t work in all but a tiny minority of cases, posting lots of content to your own blog did work, and work very well.
Right up until it didn’t.
By 2011 Google had had enough.
It knew that if it kept serving up the same old crap to people using it’s services that it would wither on the vine.
Google’s first priority is to be the best search engine so that it has the most uses and thus can charge the highest advertising fees.
if it continued to send people to poor quality content then eventually people would get fed up and go elsewhere.
Along Came Panda And He Was Pissed
So they launched Panda, a change to their algorithm that literally killed off thousands of low-quality sites overnight.
One of the purposes of Panda was to seek out what Google saw as ‘thin’ or ‘skinny’ content as this was a major clue to a site not being worthy of being ranked.
These are blog posts of fewer than about 600 to 650 words that anybody can throw up in 30-minutes or so.
Google decided by and large, to ignore such posts, or in many cases even remove them from the SERP’s (search engine ranking pages) altogether.
The rules of the game had suddenly changed and a great many people were left playing checkers whilst Google was playing chess.
As we stand in 2018 Google couldn’t care less about the quantity of content.
It’s tripping over the stuff with over 20 million blog articles published every week.
As such most new posts get ignored and the people who published them just sit there hearing crickets and watching tumbleweed drift past, hoping, just hoping, that somebody will find them.
If the reason you blog is number 3, to share your material on social media, then that’s all well and good, but is it working?
Are you seeing inbound traffic from the platforms you are posting to?
If you’re not checking your stats, then please stand in the corner and repeat 100 times, ‘Sorry Tim, from now on I will check my analytics because if I don’t check them I have no way of knowing if all my hard work is paying off.’
I check my stats a couple of times a week to see if what I’m doing is working or not.
Here is a screenshot of the last 6-days looking at the inbound traffic from social media coming to Coach The Life Coach..
You can see I have had 164 people clickthrough from Facebook, 162 from LinkedIn, 18 from Twitter and 3 from Pinterest.
I put zero effort into Twitter and by and large use it as a platform for me to rant about politics, tell jokes and swear a lot.
I no longer even have a link back to my site from my bio, and in the immortal words of Kevin O’Leary aka Mr Wonderful, ‘Twitter is dead to me’.
Similarly, I put little value in Pinterest (or Google+ which didn’t create a single click through) and if it weren’t for the fact I can just hit the ‘Pin’ button and it populates one of my boards I wouldn’t bother.
However, both LinkedIn and Facebook are important to me for reasons that will probably fill another post at another time.
I can drill down a lot further with my analytics and see what it is people are clicking on – in other words, which posts proved the most successful.
Again I’m not going any further with this now because I’m just trying to make the point that I know what is working and what isn’t.
Let’s suppose you publish your latest blog and you share it with all your social media followers – then what?
Social media feeds move quickly and only a fraction of the people who follow or are connected with you will see it, and only a fraction of that fraction will then click through.
Make no mistake, social media interaction is important, but unless you’re totally crushing it, it’s not enough.
If You Write It They Probably Won’t Come
Reasons number four and five are great and that is why I blog, but how are you going to make that happen?
Let’s suppose you write a brilliant 5,000 monster of a post on goal setting.
You spend 12-hours writing, editing and adding nice images to your post (and that isn’t unusual for me by the way, my ultimate post on how Life Coaches should use a newsletter took me that long), then what?
You post it and you send it out on social media and sit back waiting for the traffic.
But the traffic never comes, or it comes in a trickle.
However, even if you only value your time at a mere $30 per hour that post cost you $360 to write without any of the other sundry costs.
I doubt you ever publish a blog post that hasn’t cost you at the very bare minimum $100, so if you write a post per week it’s costing you over $5,000 per annum.
Unfortunately, the reality is that for most coaches the traffic never comes and the clients never come.
Yes, you have to write great content and yes Google will punish you if you keep posting thin content, but quality in and of itself isn’t enough.
I’ve been blogging well over decade and I’ve now written over 2,000 articles and been published on most of the top self development blogs. Do you know how many blog posts I’ve had go viral – and by that I mean hit over 250,000 page views?
And each one took a lot of work and involved me calling in a lot of favors. Plus my website has a very high DA (Domain Authority) so it’s exponentially easier for me to get Googles attention than it is you.
To really succeed with your blogging, you have to do four things:
- Write great (preferably in-depth) content that people value and want to share
- Have a strategy for social media and implement it effectively
- Understand how to optimize your post using longtail keywords and adopting SEO (search engine optimization) best practice
- Acquire backlinks
Doing those four things doesn’t guarantee success (although it will come pretty close), but not doing them guarantees you’re completely wasting your time and money blogging.
There’s zero point in you just blogging without a strategy. Save your energy and take a nap instead because you will get something out of a nap.