There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time designing a blog, writing content, and publishing, only to review your analytics and notice that the only clicks are from you and your mom. Launching a blog is one thing, but if you want it to be successful, you need people to read it.
The Basics of Boosting Blog Traffic and Readership
If you’re serious about attracting readers to your blog, you have to understand the basics of how digital marketing works in the age of the internet. More specifically, you need to educate yourself on the following topics:
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Beginners often wonder, what is search engine optimization? In the simplest terms, it’s the process of increasing visibility within organic search results – such as Google or Bing – for the purpose of generating traffic for a website or blog. In other words, search engine optimization – or SEO for short – is all about helping people find your blog posts.
Search engines use sophisticated web bots – known as web crawlers or spiders – to scan and catalog web pages. They then utilize proprietary algorithms to determine which pages are most valuable. When a user inputs a search query, the search engine then delivers what it deems to be the most relevant and appropriate results.
While there are other ways to drive traffic to your blog – and we’ll discuss them in the following points – you can’t consistently procure organic traffic without having a strong SEO presence. Developing even an elementary understanding of how SEO works will prove helpful in your overall blogging strategy.
Recommended for you: Forget SEO For a Minute: Here are Some Non-SEO Tactics to Improve Your Rankings.
2. Social Media
In today’s day and age, social media is everything to a blogger. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to run a successful blog without using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
A successful social media strategy involves creating profiles on individual platforms, sharing content, attracting followers, and engaging these followers. In addition to sharing your own content, you should also curate other content that’s useful to your audience. You need to build trust and prove relevancy, rather than just being self-serving.
3. Guest Blogging
When you’re first starting out, you don’t have the existing audience you need in order to encourage lots of sharing. You also don’t have the SEO foundation to drive organic traffic to your posts. But with guest blogging, you can still get your name out there and drive traffic to your blog.
Guest blogging is the act of writing a blog post, submit it to another blog or website with a large readership, and convincing them to publish the post for you (typically with a byline and link back to your website). Sometimes this is all it takes to build up a core group of readers.
One of the ways you signal to the search engines that your blog posts are worthy of being shown in search results is by attracting backlinks to your posts. In other words, you want other bloggers linking to your content.
Over time, quality content will naturally generate organic backlinks. But if you want to accelerate your efforts, you can reach out to bloggers and webmasters and let them know that you have content they may be interested in.
You may also like: How to Write Blog Posts that Increase Conversion Rate.
5. Keyword Optimization
Search engines also depend a lot on the keywords you use within your blog posts. Spend some time using tools like Google Keyword Planner to find out which search terms your target readers are using so that you can strategically craft content around these ideas. This will ensure Google sees the connection between your content and the topics you’re discussing.
Stick with it
We live in a culture where the expectation for immediacy trumps everything. Fast food, Netflix, same-day shipping, commercial-free streaming music…everything happens now. When something doesn’t happen right away, people get anxious, uneasy, and frustrated.
The problem with blogging is that you don’t get immediate results. It takes weeks, months, and even years to see the sort of results that justify the investment you must make. As a result, most people and businesses give up on blogging prematurely.
If you want to achieve the sort of results that provide a positive return on investment, you have to stick with your blogging strategy. A commitment to sound principles will eventually yield exactly what you’re looking for.
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