How do you begin driving traffic to your blog so that you can accomplish all of your goals?
This a question I hear time and time again from my readers and podcast listeners alike. And, it’s one that separates the successful blogs from those that are only read by your mother and a few spam bots.
The truth is, you can have the best content in the world, but if you’re looking to drive traffic and build a successful business from your blog—you need to know how to promote your content, attract readers, and do that better than others in your industry.
1. Be Strategic About Your Content
Create Evergreen Content For Your Blog
Studies show that the more often you update your blog, the more traffic it will receive. Google gives higher priority to websites with fresh content, so if you want to get more attention from the search engines, update your blog at least twice a week.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different headlines.
The titles for your blog posts are almost more important than the content itself. That’s because titles help potential readers decide whether they should click and read more.
And headlines are your first opportunity to present your message to the audience you want to reach. The language you use should appeal to those people and make them want to find out more.
Once you’ve written a draft of your headline and article (or you’ve recorded a podcast episode or video), use the questions below to ensure your headline is the most effective it can be:
Who will benefit from this content?
How do I help them?
What makes this content special?
The answers to these questions most likely won’t produce the exact headline you’ll use.
Rather, they’ll help shape your headline draft into a persuasive message that reaches and connects with the people you want to attract to your content.
Know your niche.
While you may be interested in sea life, exotic travel destinations, Little League baseball and weight loss, you’ll confuse your audience if your content doesn’t follow a clear theme. Decide who your target audience is, what they want to read and what specific messages you want to convey.
Studies have shown that photos in blog posts boost readership. Not only does a photo make the post more visually appealing, but you can also include keywords in the Alt Image tag on the photo, boosting search engine optimization (SEO) for your site.
Google owns YouTube, which is one of the many reasons that videos can drive more traffic to your site. Supplement the written content on your blog with short videos that are informative and entertaining.
2. Don’t Fear the Keywords
Speaking of SEO, keywords are at the heart of SEO. One of the easiest ways to generate more traffic to your website is to ensure that every page on your site has a keyword strategy. So for each blog post you write, choose one key phrase that you believe readers would use to find that post. Next, incorporate that phrase into the title of the post, the headline on the page, within the content on the page at least two times, in a featured image on the page and also as part of the page link. Keyword concentration helps Google understand what that page is about, which can ultimately lead to more traffic from the search engines.
USE keywords in your context text.
DO NOT Use keyword stuffing to saturate your content completely with search queries.
LINK to other related blog posts you’ve written on a specific subject.
DO NOT include so many links that every other sentence is dotted with blue hyperlinks.
Let keywords influence your outline and help conceptualize your post.
NEVER put keywords and search bots before user experience.
3. Find Your Flock: Hunt Down Your Audience’s Nest
When it comes to promoting your blog, it’s essential that you’re strategic about where you spend your time.
Add social sharing buttons.
At the top and bottom of your blog posts, make sure you include social sharing buttons for Twitter, LinkedIn and the other major social networks. Make it easy for readers to spread the word.
Promote with social media.
While it’s nice to establish your presence across a range of social networks, you’ll quickly burn out trying to excel with every social site.
Share each new blog post across your social media networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. If you spend time cultivating your networks and share great content, social media sites can become some of your top traffic sources. But know which social media sites can help you the most and focus more energy on such social media websites.
Retweet past content.
We aren’t all looking at Twitter at the same time, so when you share a new blog post link, the majority of your fan base won’t see it the first time. Repeat your tweets, and don’t be afraid to share past content. Readers don’t care when it was written as long as it’s still relevant.
Use Google Analytics to see which websites are driving the most referral traffic.
Once You’ve Found Your Family, Go All In
4. Optimize For Speed and Mobile
The loading time of a website affects users’ behavior. It could either boost your conversions or make your target audience leave the site. A thorough speed optimization makes sense anyway because
- 53% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load (according to Google research 2017);
- 79% of shoppers won’t return to a website with
a slowloading speed. 44% of them won’t recommend the site to their friends (according to Akamai and Gomez.com research);
- 82% of websites (out of 150,000 that were checked out) have issues that negatively affect page speed (according to SEMrush research 2018).
Make your content easy to read by using plenty of subheads, bullets and numbered lists. Promote your blog in your email signature and your bio in any online profiles. Make it easy for blog visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed.
Here are a few tips:
- Purchase High-Quality Hosting/Change the Existing One
- Remove Unnecessary Plugins
- Compress the Images on Your Website
- Launch the Lazy Loading Effect
- Increase Server Performance
- Reduce the Number of Redirects on Your Websites
- Switch to Accelerated Mobile Pages
5. Play Nice With the Other Kids
When you mention another company’s product or service in a blog post, include a link to that company’s page. Not only does Google like to see outbound links on your site, the company you mention may also notice your post and link back to you. Plus, readers appreciate it when you provide resources to make it easier for them to find the things they’re looking for.
Invite guest contributors.
When others write for your blog, you add more content that you didn’t have to write yourself. As a bonus, those contributors will also share with their networks and may ask you to write for them, opening up new readership avenues for you.
Write guest posts.
Locate other blogs that reach your target audience, and offer to contribute guest blog posts. If the site has a substantial audience, you can bet that readers will in turn want to engage with more of your content.
Cross-promote to your mailing list.
Instead of writing all new content for your electronic newsletter, share the first paragraph from several recent blog posts and include a link to continue reading on the site. Not everyone is taking the time to read your blog each week, so this will help get your subscribers invested in your blog.
Comment on other blogs
6. Invest in promotion.
If you believe your audience is spending time on Facebook, occasionally invest in sponsored posts. For as little as $10, you can “Boost” a post and increase its reach significantly.
Conduct give-away events.
Create fun theme days such as “Free Book Fridays” where your readers can win a prize by submitting a comment or sharing your link via social media. You can provide prizes yourself or invite companies to donate or sponsor these promotions.
Finally, have fun with your blog. If it feels like drudgery, your readers will notice. But if you enjoy producing the content, that will come across and have a tremendous impact on your success.