So you have a blog, and you're ready to establish yourself as an industry expert, promote your brand and sell more products and services.
The problem is, your blog isn’t the only one out there in the blogosphere — and before potential customers can read it, they have to be able to find it.
In this crowded reality, how do you make your content stand out and attract followers? After all, what’s the use of investing in a blog if you don’t have any readers — and more importantly, the right readers?
If you're ready to learn how to increase blog traffic, check out these five tips for quickly beefing up your blog.
1. Make it matter.
The first step to attracting readers to your blog is to clearly define your target audience. Who are your potential customers and what do they care about? What issues and topics interest them most?
It's absolutely critical that your blog content is relevant and engaging to your audience. If you want readers to keep coming back, you have to produce content that's meaningful to them and speaks to their challenges.
Hang out in the online communities where your customers are. What are they talking about? What are the biggest concerns and challenges in their industry? How can you help them become more successful? The easiest way to find out what your customers are interested in learning more about is to ask them.
The more engaging your content, the more likely you are to attract more followers to your blog. Ultimately, the goal is to create content that your readers find so interesting that they are eager to share it within their own networks and communities, casting an even wider net for potential customers.
2. Keep it fresh.
You’ve probably heard the old adage before, and it’s true: Content is king. Blogs have to be constantly refreshed with new content to keep readers coming back.
One way to get the most out of your content is to repurpose it. Hosting an upcoming webinar? Promote it on your site with a short Q&A with the presenter. After the webinar, create a blog around the highlights with a link to the recording.
Attend an industry conference and promote the event on your blog. As you move through the different sessions and speakers, create quick blog posts around what you learned.
And remember – blogs aren’t always only written content! How-to videos, short video interviews with subject matter experts, and even pictures of new products and customers can be turned into quick blog posts that can link back to your website. (Studies show that posts with images are shared more often.)
You can even run a contest or giveaway on your blog, asking readers to share your post within their own communities to increase their chances of winning a prize.
The bottom line: Readers want engaging, relevant content that will ultimately make them more successful in their own business.
One strong blog post a month isn’t enough. If you want loyal readers who will keep coming back and are eager to share your content within their networks, you have to keep it fresh and update it often.
3. Be a good guest.
In addition to your own internal content resources, reach out to others to help generate content for your blog. Invite a subject matter expert or popular industry blogger to write a guest blog for you – and offer to write one for their blog as well.
Guest bloggers are typically happy to promote these guest posts within their own networks – and contributing to a guest blog that already has a lot of readers is a fast way to extend the reach of your content to a new audience.
Customer case studies also make great topics for blogs. Include a picture of your customer with a short case study or Q&A and link back to your customer’s website.
To drive traffic to your website, host the full case study somewhere on your site alongside other customer testimonials. Tease it on your blog so that readers have to click through to your site to read more.
4. Don’t be shy — promote yourself!
Having strong content is a great first step, but you also have to make it easy for people to find you.
There are many companies that specialize in helping you use keywords and SEO to make your blog show up higher in web browsers when customers search for certain words. Other companies like Outbrain will recommend your blog to various websites for a fee, driving traffic to your content. With these tools, you typically set a daily budget and pay per click, only paying for the traffic you get.
Though these services can be beneficial, you can use other, more organic ways to get your content out there and in front of readers.
Find out what social platforms your customers are in and post links to your content. Update your content often and promote your blog in social channels – even include a link to your blog in your e-mail signature.
Read other popular industry blogs and comment when you have something insightful to share. Not only will reading other blogs keep you informed about trends within your customers’ industries, but it can also provide ideas for future blog posts.
The more you can get your content and your name out there, the better. Promote your blog in as many different channels as possible.
5. Make it easy for readers.
All of these are great tips for driving traffic to your blog and getting more followers, but once you get them there, it’s important to make it easy for them to share your content, promoting it in their own communities.
Include buttons on your website and blog to encourage visitors to follow you on social media and make it easy for them to subscribe to your blog.
At the end of each blog, ask readers to share the content in their own networks. (Ex: Did you find this blog helpful? If so, share it with your colleagues!)
Also ask readers to comment and provide ideas for other related topics they would like to learn more about in future blogs.
When a reader comments on one of your blog posts, make sure to respond. Showing readers this kind of individual attention makes them feel more connected to you personally and more likely to follow – and share – your content.