Blogging can be an art form in that sometimes it can be difficult to find a niche that generates traffic, engagement and new subscribers. Similar to YouTube videos, you never know what will go viral or become popular. It’s important to stick to your passions, wisdom and write about what you know, but use tactics to get your blog noticed among the thousands of others out there.
Follow these five quick tips to help improve traffic to your blog:
1. Utilize Keywords, Tags and Hyperlinks
If you want your blog to show up higher in search engines, identify top keywords and key phrases you want to be found under. If you’re blogging about gardening, incorporate tags and keywords within your blog such as gardening tips, planting, soil, flowers, killing weeds and so on. You can use Google’s keyword tool to help you decide which words to use. An SEO expert, such as those at SmartSearch Marketing, can pull these for you as well but are more likely to be common search terms that are worth including into your posts. Having an SEO strategy for your blog can help drive people to your blog, which can result in more subscribers. Hyperlinks also enhance your visibility — add hyperlinks wherever you can within your posts to boost your search engine rankings.
2. Blog on Trending Topics
Just because you blog about the outdoors, doesn’t mean you should post about the election or the next iPhone, but look into trending topics within your industry. Utilize Google+, Twitter and Google News searches for what hot topics are centered around your blog topic. If you’re a tech blogger, search for keywords like ‘technology’, ‘mobile’, ‘launching’, ‘Apple’, etc. to find what press releases, news articles and other blogs are hot on at that moment. This will attract people to your blog who are looking for these types of stories.
3. Share and Make it Easy to Share
People always want to know how to make your content go viral, which is certainly a tough question. You never know what will be the next blog, YouTube video or meme to be shared like wildfire. That being said, content that does go viral is generally easy to share. Include social and sharing buttons for each blog post as well as a comment section. Interact with your readers as they comment and follow where your posts are being shared. Be sure to share your posts out to your own social networks to encourage re-sharing and submit your blog posts to places where your readers might be. Look into social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or consider Tumblr, Pinterest or make a vlog (video blog) and post it to YouTube or Vimeo. If you’re blogging about cars, tweet the link to your latest blogs to car enthusiasts on Twitter, Facebook business pages or LinkedIn groups. We all appreciate engagement and interaction, especially with someone whom we share common interests.
4. Build Your Brand Through Engagement
There can be thousands of people blogging about the same topic as you, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Comment on other people’s blogs, even re-share them to your own social networks and share your opinions. Connect with people who share similar passions and go beyond the connection, but communicate with them. Building your brand and identity online can be more difficult than in person but can also have a more powerful impact as well. Establish yourself as an industry or area of topic influencer by offering tips, advice and wisdom in order to develop greater influence online.
5. Provide Value.
When it comes down to it, no one is going to subscribe and keep coming back to your blog if it’s not providing something of value. Value doesn’t have to be monetary. Similar to email marketing, the value can be the content itself. Think about what your readers would benefit from, whether it’s tips, advice, breaking news, stories, how-tos or humor, you want to keep your readers coming back for more. The SEO component is powerful to get readers to your blog, but without catching and keeping their attention, it’s unlikely they will come back for more.
Anyone can blog but not everyone can blog well. Consider a strategy when starting out and look to see what other bloggers are doing to get their posts noticed. Technorati offers lists of the top blogs in different categories. See which ones are at the top in relation to your topic. Do your research, use these tactics and post often in order to build a successful, well-visited blog.