Running a blog can be a fun and rewarding experience. It can also be hard to maintain, especially if you are trying to stay relevant in order to increase traffic and visibility. Online competition is fierce. According to Tumblr’s own statistics, the blogging platform hosts over 281 million blogs.
In such a competitive space, how do you ensure your content gets read? We look at ten tips to increase visitors and visibility of your blog.
1. Target your audience
It’s vital that you do not waste time promoting to people, groups, organizations, or other blogs that are not interested in the content you are putting out. You must define your audience and what your blog is about.
How old is your average reader? What is their gender, income, occupation or location? You must know these metrics in order to create and market your content better.
When you’re unclear of whom you’re marketing your content to, your webpage or blog will forever live in a gray area and not reach its potential. When you take the time to define what your blog is, and then target a specific audience, you stop competing over a small number of search queries.
2. Be consistent
Consistency in your blogging is key to getting consistent views and readership. And this consistency must apply to all aspects of your blogging – from your posting frequency to the quality of your content.
You must also consistently respond to comments or inquires to your blog. Your readers will like to know when to expect new posts. In addition, more blog posts usually equate to more traffic.
3. Guest Blogging
One of the best ways to increase traffic is by acting as a guest blogger on a similar blog to yours. You can also invite more experienced or popular bloggers in your niche to post content on your own blog.
If you end up getting a “no” or no response from your inquiry, don’t let it discourage you. Wait until your blog starts gaining a larger following and give it another attempt.
You should also make it as easy as possible for guest bloggers to contribute to your blog – make it easy to contact you, and what your requirements are. Do not make it difficult for them as they are doing you a courtesy.
4. Promoting / Advertising on Social Media
Every month Facebook has over 1 billion active users, Twitter has 271 million active users, and LinkedIn and Google+ have over 300 million active users. Together, these networks are pulling in huge amounts of time and interest from internet users.
These users act as “content distributors”, which means they are likely to help share and spread the word about your blog to their contacts.
Share your blog posts on your social media accounts, and take care to optimize them for each individual platform. All the popular has means of paid advertising, where you can either promote your account, or your most popular content.
5. Email Traffic Generation
If you haven’t set up a way to capture the emails addresses of your readers, you need to do so immediately.
If you are not spending time collecting email addresses, you are basically throwing away the chance to connect with your viewers. Your blog should have an easy to use plug-in that can show up on each page of your blog.
Once you have a list of emails, start sending out a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter, letting them know about new posts or news related to your blog.
6. It’s all about SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in search engines (Google, yahoo, etc.) organically (unpaid results).
The process of doing so can be a bit confusing when you are starting out, but it is extremely important if you want to increase and sustain your traffic and visibility. Search engines are a massive opportunity for traffic.
SEO for blogs is simple to set up, especially if you are using an SEO-friendly platform like Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal. SEO basically comes down to utilising keywords in your site content and in your webpage’s HTML coding.
A popular example is Yoast SEO – the most well-known SEO plugin for WordPress (and now Drupal). There are several tutorials online and on YouTube that can walk you through the process.
7. Enrich your posts with images
The old adage of, “A picture is worth a thousand words” may be a bit of a cliché, but it rings true when blogging.
Posting a high quality, interesting image that is related to your blog increases the chances that people will click on and share it with their friends or network.
When inserting images or pictures into your blog, it is highly recommended that you create a way for bloggers or readers to use them legally on their own sites or social networks.
But this should be done in a way that benefits you as the content creator. You may decide for example, to place a consistent notice under your pictures indicating that re-using or sharing is fine, but that those who do so should link them back to your original post.
8. Write an E-Book
It used to cost a ton of money and time to self-publish your own book or novel, but thousands of people are currently doing so through companies like Amazon. Consider creating an E-book that relates to your blogs field, and offer if for free online, while linking it to your blog.
9. Survey your readers
When all else fails, why not try asking or polling your viewers? You can learn a lot of information by going straight to your audience.
Your readers are the life force of your blog, without them your blog would essentially be useless. Ask them what they like about your blog, and alternatively ask them what they do not like or what they would like to see improved.
You can also find out what kind of content they enjoy most to get ideas on future postings. There are a number of high-quality, user-friendly, and free websites that can help you create surveys or polls to post on your blog, like Survey Monkey.
10. Seek advice from experts
If you are still having difficulty getting new viewers and maintaining traffic to your site, why not approach experts in your field and ask them for advice?
You may be worried that some may not want to bother speaking to you, but you would be surprised at how often you will find people are willing and eager to speak with you and impart their wisdom to you.
Emulate what these popular blogs do. Sometimes in order to be the best, you need to learn and borrow from the best in your industry.
Follow these blogging practices and you will be sure to find that your blog’s traffic and visibility will start to grow rapidly.