Admit it, at least part of the reason you choose to write for a blog is to increase your traffic. Maybe you are a business trying to push your brand, or you might just rely on your content itself to produce revenue. Either way, you won’t get anywhere without plenty of people reading what you write. You can never have too many readers.
The truth is, some of this is going to come down to time. It takes a few years to really build brand loyalty, especially for a blog that deals entirely on interaction between the blogger and the audience. But in the meantime, you can definitely do many things to start increasing your traffic and so improve your chances of hooking the ever-sought long time reader.
Begin Narrowing Down Your Readers
One of the biggest mistake people make in any kind of content campaign is trying to appeal to everyone. Believe it or not, casting your net too wide will actually hook you less readers, and bring is far less traffic. Without a plan, you will just to blindly attempting to find people in an endless crowd, and most will not have any interest in your blog.
Ask yourself: who are you writing for? What kind of person will be most likely to read and enjoy your posts? Are they male, female, young adults, middle aged, in North America, in Europe, in Asia? Once you know who you want to write for, it will be easier to find out what content gets the most attention.
- Understanding Audience Demographics with Google Analytics
- 5 Tools to Research the Demographics of Your Twitter Followers
Start Researching What Those Readers Like
Now you have an idea of who you are targeting. It is time to start looking into their common interests. If you already have a following, even a small one, this is even easier. Most social accounts and blog commenting is connected through services like Disqus, or using social sign on with Facebook, Twitter, ect. You can just follow the line and see what catches their eye.
There is a fair chance you will actually be within your target demographic, and so will have a personal sneak peek into what they might like. If that is the case, take some time to consider what content you have looked at, saved, read through or shared lately. What gets you excited?
Begin Reaching Out To Other Blogs
Reach out to other blogs – or individual bloggers – and see about potentially writing a post for their site, invite them to contribute to yours or set up an expert interview with them. All it takes is one post on a single blog with regular traffic, and you can see a serious increase in your own blog’s traffic.
Not only that, but it boosts your own visibility and authority around the web. The more of an expert you appear on your niche, the more people will seek you out to find your opinion.
Build a Social Media Presence
This is one of the single most important things you can do as a blogger. Social media is the perfect compliment to a blog, because it allows you to both share your content and to engage directly with your potential readers.
Become well known on at least one social network, building up your followers there and really beginning a conversation. A well rounded social strategy is best, with different accounts for different types of interaction (Pinterest for sharing images connected to posts, Twitter for finding influencers, Google+ for connecting with others in your niche or microblogging, ect).
- BEST Social Media Tools: Are You Using Them? (Collective Mastermind)
- Use Viral Content Buzz for more shares and exposure!
Find Out What Is Popular From Competitors
Your competitors are another great place to see what is popular with your demographic. You can take a look at their highest performing posts, what is being shared, and on what networks. Read through the comments and get a feel for what people are saying, and what questions they might have.
While you won’t want to directly the topics of their posts, a competing blog can give you some inspiration, while pointing you in the right direction.
Get Comfortable With SEO
SEO is as much a part of search ranking as it ever was. But there is a right way and a wrong way to doing it, and you need to learn the difference to properly optimize your content. Having the right keywords to target, including them naturally in your posts, using tags and descriptions, meta-data and image optimization…this is all a part of it.
Make Sure Your Site Flies
Nothing is worse than spending weeks and months on building the traffic and then losing your peak moment because your server is down.
Besides, your site performance and load time also affects your user experience and hence rankings.
- Make sure your server is reliable. Site Geek is my top source of hosting reviews and uptime reports.
Track Your Site’s Analytics
Once you start to produce content, it is time to watch how it does. Tracking analytics, both those from your blog itself and on social networks, is a key to doing this. Seeing what is most popular, and what drives traffic more, will give you an idea of what to write about in the future.
It will also show you what content to re-promote later on, or repackage as other forms of media to further exploit.
Increasing your traffic in a more targeted way takes work. But it is also very rewarding, and over time using these tactics and a bit of consistent content writing/sharing, you will begin to really see results.
Have any advice to offer others searching for a way to boost their blog traffic? Used a particular method that has worked wonders for you? We would love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments.