There are two basic reasons that readers regularly follow blogs: useful information or highly engaging entertainment.
Information is certainly more commonly sought after in entertainment blogs, for example, information regarding car insurance discounts – but if your blog substantially lacks either one, you’ll need a different approach before you can build up your blog traffic.
The other crucial element for building and keeping an online audience: you must be an expert in the topic or focus of the blog. If a blog is all over the place, and/or has several to many unrelated topics, the blog audience will be very fragmented, and eventually opt for a more consistent writer.
Nevertheless, if a blog lacks authority and expertise in selected subject matter, there won’t be much of an audience at all. Perhaps more importantly, shallow content is now crawled and recognized by Google – shallow and lazy won’t cut it in search results.
So, if your blog is about car insurance discounts or just auto insurance companies, make sure your blog content is worthwhile, informational, and doesn’t just spout off the obvious.
Anyone can relay obvious information – be sure that whatever blog topic is posted, is not simple general knowledge.
If you can honestly say that your blog has a good, focused direction, and offers good information or entertainment, then proceed with reading the following suggestions.
1. Utilize SEO
This will require learning some SEO basics, but if you use SEO consistently in your blog, you will see results – BUT, SEO is not an overnight solution.
It takes time to move up in search results for a particular query (known as SERP rankings). Here are just a few of the many SEO :
- Targeted keyword content – Use keywords throughout content, the title of your blog post, and also very importantly, your URL.
- Links with anchored texts – Links that say to go “here,” or simply give the URL, do nothing to help your blog find its way into visible search results.
- Meta data – This is done on the html side or CMS set-up, and includes title tags, meta-tags (keywords) and meta descriptions.
- Related Posts – Link to at least one other relevant post within your own blog
2. Social Media Promotion
Okay, this may seem like an obvious tip that anyone can think of. You’ve probably been posting links to your new blog posts on Facebook for a year…. just like everyone else. When all you do is post a link, it can get lost among the other 400 links posted on the status feed.
Use social media to promote your blog the same way you socialize on social media itself – interactively. Try to engage your social networks into your blog. Set up blog responses, opinions or some other interaction within or following your blog post.
For example, at the end of a new post on her auto insurance companies blog, Sally uses a voting widget, and asks her audience to vote for the best of 3 auto insurance companies. She then also posts the vote to her social media page, but links the social media page to her blog so her social network must vote on the actual blog.
3. Get Backlinks
This may be one of the most efficient ways to increase blog traffic, but there are two things to remember with this strategy:
- Be discretionary with whom you accept or request backlinks from – not just any site will help, and poor quality sites may even hurt your rankings (i.e. Links from Facebook, while not harmful at all, will not boost your rankings by themselves).
- Secondly, backlinks that count are one-way incoming links from sites that are relevant to your blog, and have an established audience and/or traffic flow.
Getting good backlinks can take some work and effort. It means sending out a lot of customized requests to a lot of high profile bloggers and website owners – but if you get even two or three incoming, one-way links from good sites, it can boost traffic flow significantly. There are many other ways to promote blogs.
Tip: Read a few of the most popular blogs and/or websites relevant to your blog topic. Choose a topic or that relates to that site and write something up. Then submit it to the proper person to request a guest author spot. Then you can link back to your website (but do not post the same article on your blog – very important. Do not duplicate the content). Guest posting can give many things including links and authority.
4. Consider the Competition
If you have a health/fitness/diet blog – then you’re part of the other 900 million health/fitness bloggers. The same applies to celebrity/fashion blogs, tech and gadget blogs, product or shopping reviews, and several other general category topics.
General topics like these may be easy to write about, but everyone is writing about them. Commonly repeated content will not build a clan of loyal blog followers.
If this is the case, consider going from the general interest, to a specific intrigue. Instead of having an “auto insurance companies” blog, focus on one or two specifics, like “car insurance discounts.” If you know your blog topic is extremely competitive, and there are a billion other blogs out there with the same topic, make yours unique by giving it a more specific focus.
There are plenty of other tactics and strategies for increasing traffic to your blog – these four tips are not a comprehensive list by any means. They simply give you a place to start. You must continue to read up on the ever-changing blogging world if you are going to get to the top.