There are many good reasons to set up a blog and it’s great that you went out and finally set yours up. Hopefully by now you’ve figured out what your blog is about and who your target audience is, but have you considered the next step – how to drive traffic to your blog?
There are many factors that make for a successful blog post; some of them to do with the content, some with layout and some more factors have to do with distribution. This post will touch upon each of these factors and aims to be both a guide and a checklist that will help make a huge difference to your blog’s traffic.
Way before you hit publish, a great deal of thought should be invested in your content. Your goal of course is to make the content to your blog as shareable as possible. Here’s what I mean:
1. Write Better Titles
The best advice about writing great titles, I got from Josh Avnery – “write a title that will make you want to rush out and read it. If you’re not interested in the title, nobody else will be either.” It’s sage advice because the title is what you should start with – before you write the post. And if you’ve written a compelling title, you’ll be excited to write the post.
2. Incorporate Keywords
Incorporating keywords has a lot to do with writing content that your audience will find interesting. How do you know what your audience will find interesting? Google Suggest.
(Have you read the One Simple SEO Tip to Smash Your Numbers?)
3. Do Interviews
Find interesting experts to connect with and speak to about the subject you’re blogging about. By reaching out to experts you can help people gain more insight and understanding about a subject they’re interested in. In addition, the people you’re interviewing will be happy to share the interview with their fans and followers on social media, which will help you tap into a new source of traffic to your blog. (Have you read 10 Tips for Creating Awesome Interviews for Your Blog?)
4. Write Reviews
Whatever it is you write about, there are no doubt products, websites, books, and podcasts that are related. Seek them out. Review them. Whether it’s a positive or negative review, share it. If it’s a positive review, they’ll most likely be excited to share it. If it’s not so positive, but fair and honest and provides insight on how it could be made better. They may listen and you could get a respectful dialogue going. If they don’t, you have lost nothing. Your readers will respect and appreciate your insight.
5. Write Guest posts
Guest posting works two ways – accepting guest posts to your blog and and writing guest posts for other people’s blog. Which should you do? Both.
By reaching out and inviting other talented bloggers to write a post for your blog, you can offer your readers a fresh point of view while providing your guest blogger with exposure to your audience. It’s a situation where everybody wins, as long as you have clear guidelines about your target audience and the type of post you’re looking for.
By guest blogging on other blogs you hook up with other writers in your niche, get your name out there, and gain more exposure. When guest blogging, it’s important to make sure you know who the target audience is and what the guidelines are. Be a good guest poster and share your post with your readers as well as some kind words about the blog you’ve been featured on.
6. Publish Frequently
The most popular opinion on publishing frequency says that posting frequently is better for traffic because the more you post, the more frequently search engines index your content. But that’s not to say that you must post 3-5 times a week.
A blog is like cake batter – consistency is important. So whether you decide that what’s right for your blog is posting every day, or whether you decide to post only once a week, make sure you’re consistent about the day and time your post goes out. Your readers will begin expecting a post from you at those times, it’s important not to let them down.
One suggestion that will help you stick to your publishing schedule is an editorial calendar. Decide the subject of the posts you’re covering as well as the date and any other information that will help you meet your deadline. We use Co-Schedule for planning our monthly publishing schedule as well as posting our content to our social channels.
Posts that have great images, engage, entice, entertain and enchant. In fact, coloured images increase a person’s willing to read a piece of content by 80% and according to Jeff Bullas, articles with images drive 94% more traffic.
Face it, there are no good excuses that prevent you from including great images in your content. In fact, if you need any help in this arena, you can use Canva.
Your readers and potential readers don’t always have time to read your post. But because you’re headline is luring them in, those readers are finding it hard to completely turn away. Make their life easy. Make your blog post scannable. By Creating sub-heads that make your post easy to scan and you’ll be helping your reader to come back and read your post.
By making sure that your post is spaced properly, you’ll be going easy on your reader’s eyes and they’ll thank you by reading your post. For a good example of what a well spaced post looks like, see Neil Patel’s blog. His posts are quite long, and apart from packing his post with great content, he makes sure that the post is spaced in a way that makes it easy to read. It’s important to bear in mind that nobody will stick around to read your post if it’s difficult to read – even if it is packed with helpful information.
So you’ve finished writing your post, you’ve taken care of layout elements and you’ve finally published it. It’s now time to let the world know about it.
1. Social Media
With 320 million monthly users, Twitter is a very effective platform on which to share your content. And since Twitter rolled out its tweet performance analytics, you can now track the number of impressions, shares and mentions your tweets receive.
You can use Wishpond’s guide to help you use Twitter to drive more traffic to your blog.
LinkedIn is the social media platform professionals of all industries meet to discuss news, issues, challenges that affect the many aspects of business. On LinkedIn, you can post a status with a link to your post on your profile, or you can join a group that matches your industry and post a status there. But there’s another great way that you can use your content and that’s by publishing your content directly on LinkedIn.
I know, I know. you’ve already written the post. Don’t worry, that’s no problem. All you have to do is choose one point you make in the article and turn it into a short post. Then link to your longer post, in the body of LinkedIn post.
If you’re still not convinced that publishing directly to LinkedIn is a good idea, read about Marko Saric, and how he got 20,000 views by publishing on LinkedIn.
Pinterest is the social network that encourages you to become interesting in a visual way. Since you’ve already created a great image for your post (and maybe even more than one), now’s the time to pin it to Pinterest and drive more traffic to your blog. If you really want to make the most of Pinterest, here’s everything you need to know.
StumbleUpon is the travel-the-web-in-serendipity social platform that finds and recommends content you’ll love, based on your preferences. It’s a great platform to discover new content and can be an excellent source of targeted traffic if you know how to use it correctly.
With over 36 million users and 7.93 million pageviews a month, Reddit’s an important platform to be a part of. What’s especially unique about Reddit is its tight-community of users who are known to ban together for a good cause. Reddit is an excellent platform to find out what’s trending on a certain subject and what people are looking for and if you can figure that out and provide content that’s timely and relevant, posting to Reddit can significantly increase your traffic.
(Have you read How to Reddit Right: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing on Reddit?)
2. Other Social Networking Platforms
In addition to the social media platforms we’ve all heard of, there are many smaller platforms that are attracting a more community-based engagement. Joining these sites and becoming a contributing member (this means listening and engaging with more than just your own content), will also help you drive more content to your blog and increase your readers and subscribers – assuming of course that the subject you’re writing about is relevant to the community.
Known as the platform for “ the internet’s smartest marketing community”, Inbound.org is an excellent place for marketers to connect, interact, comment and learn.
BizSugar is the community for small business owners. It’s where they come to virtually hang out and exchange news, tips and information.
Sure you’ve heard of BuzzFeed. But did you also know that BuzzFeed has a community you can be a part of? That doesn’t mean that just because you’ve written a blog post you should submit it to BuzzFeed. What it does mean is that if you’ve written a humorous post, share cool stuff you’ve come across, or have written a post in which you share some entertainment or social news, the BuzzFeed community might just be the place for you to post.
GrowthHackers is the online community that suits growth hackers and marketers that are writing high-quality articles about growth hacking, marketing channels, user acquisition, engagement, product launch and more.
This. is the social network that’s come up with a brilliant strategy for getting high-quality online posts. You know how in America’s Got Talent the judges can only press the golden buzzer once during an entire season? Well that’s kind of how This. works. You can only post once a day. So you better make it good.
Quora is the incredible platform where you can ask a question and get an answer from the likes of Sheryl Sandberg. Beyond listening to the questions that are being asked (which is important to do on every social platform you’re on) and learning a ton from the answers, you can also be the professional that’s providing valuable insight.
3. Blog Directories
A blog directory is a yellow pages for blogs. So if for example you’re looking for a list of blogs on the subject of home improvement, a blog directory will help you focus on blogs that talk about just that.
But who needs a blog directory when there’s Google?
If you’re asking this question, you’ve probably never used a blog directory before. And if that’s the case, you most likely don’t realize that many blog directories see a lot of traffic. And because they see so much traffic, Google (and other search engines) rank them well. And so if you’re registered in the directory, you can also get your blog to rank well.
Here’s a list of the top directories on which you should register your blog:
Blog Catalog is a free directory that’s enticing in both its beauty and registration simplicity. An added bonus, is the the directory doubles up as community where you can meet other serious bloggers and engage with their content.
BlogFlux features over 157,000 blogs and is completely free. It’s certainly worth signing up here.
FuelMyBlog is another great free blog directory that also has a spam-free community of bloggers you’ll love to converse with.
Best of the Web is a well respected directory that’s been around since 1994. Though not free, there are a different pricing options which can make sense if you maintain a blog for your small business.
Blog Search Engine offers affordable packages to help you get more eyeballs on your blog. Their easy-to-use setup and helpful tips will entice you to make the most of your subscription.
Bloggapedia is another attractive blog directory that allows readers to easily engage with great blogs and their latest posts. Bloggapedia prides itself on posting information that will excite, entertain, inform and even make your life easier. So if your site fits into those categories, this could be the blog directory for you.
BloggingFusion is a directory of over 12,000 active blogs in over 60 categories. You can choose to submit either your blog or an article – price varies accordingly.
1. Your Email List
Grow your email list and send out your content in the form of an email or better yet, incorporate it into a fun and info-packed newsletter.
2. Your Email Signature
You may have never thought about it this way, but your email signature is a blogger’s dream come true. Sure, you send out lots of emails a day, but when you’re email signature has the power to update itself with your latest blog post in tow, lots more people are going to be reading your latest blog post.
How do you promote your blog? Share your tips in the comments.
Overwhelmed by all of this information? Not to worry. Here’s a checklist to keep you on the right track:
How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog — The Ultimate Checklist
- Do you have a strong title?
- Did you incorporate keywords?
- Is your post an interview, review or guest post?
- Are you publishing frequently enough?
- Did you include compelling images?
- Is your post scannable? Does it contain subheads?
- Did you pay attention to spacing? Is your post easy to read?
Social Media — Did you post on:
- Growth Hackers
Blog Directories – Did you register your blog on:
- Blog Catalog
- Best of the Web
- Blog Search Engine
- Did you send out your blog post in the form of an email or include it in your newsletter?
- Are you using WiseStamp to promote your post?