I have been hooked on a new television addiction. Thanks to Kristen Lamb, I’ve been watching a Kitchen Nightmares marathon via Hulu. I love it, Gordon Ramsay is now my hero, and I don’t even like to cook! The reason he’s my hero is because of the lessons I’m learning while watching.

Copyright Flikr User jo-h, used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License

One great lesson came when Chef Ramsey was arguing with an owner about the quality of his food. The owner said that they had a survey and had received hundreds of responses on it and no major complaints about his food. Remember, this is Kitchen Nightmares: this owner was in serious debt and his business was failing.

Blogging can be like that. We have readers that adore our words. They respond to every post, check on us via email. It can make you feel good.

Then you check your traffic, and realize that they’re the only ones coming to your blog!

Blogging offers us instant feedback. Readers, even those that don’t comment, let us know how we’re doing. I’m not discounting commenters; those readers who comment are definitely our favorite, but they aren’t our only readers. If we’re not getting traffic, we need to improve.

You’re asking how can we improve? Practice. Experimentation. Study.

Study

Study the blogs you love. What are they doing that you’re not? What are they doing that’s the same? Go check out the professional bloggers, ProBlogger or Tentblogger or CopyBlogger. These blogs offer advice constantly. Read it, learn it, and try it.

Experiment

I’m serious. Try what you’re learning. You’ll never know what works for you or your audience until you put it to use. While experimenting, make sure to give each change sufficient time to affect your traffic.

Practice

Need I say more? I hope not. We’re writers. We need to be writing every day. You make a change in style you really like? Practice it. Write as many posts as you can manage. You might only use half of them, but it’ll make you better for it.

Oh, Chef Ramsay’s response to the survey owner? Patrons aren’t going to tell you when your place is bad; they’re just going to go somewhere else!

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