It is simple to put up a blog. Everyone is doing it. However, it is much harder to build up a blog to having a large amount of traffic.
Many people never succeed in getting anyone but their relatives to their blog, or the occasional lost Google searcher. Don’t let this be your blog! Here are some simple tips to get people flocking to your blog.
#1: Write for an Audience That Shares
When strategizing about your blog, you have to think of your audience. You want that audience to be as likely as possible to tell other people about your blog, share your posts, and come back to read more. It’s true that some types of people are going to be naturally more active in talking up your blog. But there is no doubt that certain topics, communities and types of content are going to be more captivating and shareable than others.
For example, a really good infographic draws interest. So does a unique video or a collection of interesting facts that go against what people commonly assume. All of these things are interesting. And people like to share things that are interesting with others!
Keep in mind that a technical diagram that is extremely interesting for a scientist might be incredibly boring for someone looking for gardening advice. When you consider your audience, be sure to write about things likely to be interesting to your niche.
Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been at it (unsuccessfully) for ages, subscribe to other blogs related to yours. What topics or news draws out the commenters? What posts get shared across Facebook, Twitter, and other sites like wildfire? Draw inspiration from these successes when creating your own content.
#2: Take Part in the Communities Where Your Readers Are
Advertisers blow billions on research to figure out where certain types of consumers hang out. They blow that money because we know that we don’t want to target the elderly for rock-climbing equipment, right? We want to target young, fit, 25-year-old men, typically.
How does this apply to you and your blog, you ask? You don’t have to spend money to figure out where your audience hangs out. You probably already are aware of some blogs and websites where there are discussions about your particular niche. (Or you should be, or you haven’t been doing #1 in this list yet!) You need to have an account in those communities and be a regular participant in conversations there.
If you are totally lost, here are a few good ways to find these communities:
- Use search queries in Google like [your niche] blog or [your niche] forum or [your niche] news
- If you know one of the most popular blogs in your niche, look for a blogroll or recommended reads list
- Search for lists of well-received blogs: try best [your niche] blogs
- Ask your favorite blogger for a few of their recommendations
#3: Have SEO-Friendly Content
Search engines are a great way to generate traffic. But many bloggers don’t focus on search engines for a variety of reasons – they think it’s too technical, or it’s intimidating, or if they write well enough the readers will come anyway. Basic SEO is not technical or scary, but it is necessary.
If you use WordPress, there are a number of great SEO plugins you can install to guide you through the optimization process. One of my favorites is the All-in-One SEO Pack.
One of the most important things to consider with your blog is the content. Write unique and engaging posts that answer questions, dispute a common theory, or reveal a crazy new idea. If you’re having trouble coming up with topics, use a question-and-answer site like Yahoo Answers or Quora to come up with questions that you could give a thoughtful answer to. Link your new posts to older posts whenever appropriate.
Hiring an SEO company experienced in writing quality content optimized to search engines can reap even better results. They can advise you on the best way to determine keywords for your website and incorporate them naturally into the writing.
#4: Use Google Analytics
Use this free tool to see where exactly your visitors are coming from. This will give you a better idea which sources are generating the most traffic – then you can better focus your efforts. It also can help you see what people are saying about your content when they come to your blog.
There are many cool insights that you can garner when you look at where visitors are coming from. Also, you can learn just how you earned the visits and how you can get them to come back for more.
If you put a bit of effort into your blog, you really can reap the rewards in terms of your traffic. What else do you do to drive traffic to your blog?
About the author: Adrienne is a blogger and aspiring writer. When she’s not blogging about tech and social media, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.