No One Reading Your Writing? Here's How to Fix Your Blog

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter how punchy your copy is or how many Buzzfeed-style listicles you might deploy, if you don’t write blog content your readers love - piece that will genuinely interest other human beings - then you’ll never grow your readership.

Whether you’re a creative looking to promote your work or a business pro wanting to be the next Seth Godin, here’s why ‘being useful’ is the key to finding blog topics that will have your readers coming back for more.


Blogging is hard. It takes time and energy to keep writing and your blogging mojo can be knocked for a sec when Google tells you your reader stats suck. I’ve been there. The hardest part to starting is looking at the time and effort you’re putting in, then seeing at the payoff you’re getting. It’s no wonder why 85 per cent of small businesses in the US have a blog – but 75 per cent of those blogs have fewer than five posts.

Many blogs fail because their writers have forgotten why they’re writing a blog and who they’re writing it for. They’ve forgotten the golden rule: be useful. That's the key to making sure your readers love your posts. But how do you know what’s useful and how do you find useful topics to write about? We’ll come to that later but first, we need to think about the motivations you have for writing a blog.

Blogging for Fame and Fortune

There are two types of blogger. The first type are people that blog just for fun. The second are people who blog for a purpose. If you blog, you need to choose which one you are.

If you blog just for fun then you’re writing purely for the hell of it. You’re blogging for some form of creative expression or just because you love telling a good old yarn - good for you! Your posts might or might not get read but that’s not the point. 

If you blog for a purpose you want to use your blog to help you, your project, your business, your campaign in some way – and that means you care very much whether your posts get read. I’m no killjoy, and I’m certainly not saying that blogging for a purpose can’t also be enjoyable. But what it does mean is that you need to know why you’re writing and crucially – who you’re writing for. So before you write another post, choose which kind of blogger you’d like to be and if you want to blog for a purpose – then you need a plan.

The Who and Why of Writing

People write for lots of different reasons and the first step in getting a plan is about knowing what your reason is. For example, perhaps you want to sell something? Is it because you want to show your skills, experiences, or creativity in some area? Perhaps you feel passionate about something or want to change something? Think about what you want to achieve by writing your blog and write it down somewhere - ideally somewhere visible.

Once you have this, you've started building your plan.

Next, you need to know who you’re blogging for.  Ask yourself, who would you most like to have read your blog? Who’s your ideal reader? Don’t pick lots of people -- just pick one. Give them a name and an identity because it really helps to have a focus. Once you know why you’re writing and who you’re writing for – it makes finding topics to write about so much easier. Now just try to find your 1000 biggest fans - by simply writing for people just like the one you described.

The Golden Rule of Blogging

I mentioned before that there’s a golden rule to blogging and it’s to be useful. Once you know why you’re blogging and who you’re blogging for, you can start to think about the kind of content that’s going to be really useful for them to read.

Now ‘being useful’ sounds pretty boring. It doesn’t have to be. To ‘be useful,’ your posts need to inform, persuade, interest or delight your reader in some way.  How you do that is up to you. For a creative, ‘being useful’ could mean inspiring your reader or just make them feel happy or fulfilled. For a business pro, it could mean passing on some practical top tips or offering a fresh perspective based on your industry experience.

Write What They Will Read

If you want to blog for a purpose, ‘being useful’ should guide what topics you choose to blog about. Don’t be tempted to write about topics you think your reader should be interested in – like how amazing you are and how they should buy your latest book/product/service. Blogging is about showing your expertise and skills – not telling people about them.

Always stick to topics that they’re going to be genuinely interested in – and a good way to think about that is visualize your reader again and what business, work or life issues or interests they have. Ask yourself; what are the issues or challenges your reader has front of their mind? What’s stopping them from getting what they want? What would genuinely interest them or make them happy? If you’ve developed a list at this point then that’s your potential blog pipeline.

Write As an Expert

The next thing to do is to narrow down on the topics that you – and only you – can write about. Ask yourself, of the topics you’ve developed, which ones are you particularly qualified to write about? Perhaps you have personal experience of tackling one? Are any appealing to write about? Are any really topical?

So, the next time you gaze at your readership stats in despair – get yourself a plan. Go back to first principles and think through what human beings want to read. Think about:

  • What your reason is for blogging?
  • Who is your reader?
  • How might your insight, creativity and knowledge can be truly useful to them?